Archive for July, 2010

21st July
written by Todd Harrison
Current Status: DONE! (Day 11)



I have to replace my 16 year old Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.2L V8 engine. It no longer passes emission testing and smokes like a mosquito fogger!

Being this engine swap-out project will take several days I’m going to post each day’s progress below with a DAY Number heading marking each day’s work. Unfortunately this will not be a full tutorial but rather just some eye-candy photos and progress blurbs. You will learn what is “generally” involved in replacing a motor and you may realize it is something you could do someday instead of junking out a nice vehicle and taking on 5 to 6 years of new car payments.

In the past I normally pull my motors, tear them down and replace and rebuild as need be. But that takes a ton of time so for my Jeep I decided to order a fully remanufactured “long block” from Engine House in Phoenix, AZ. They have a great rating with the BBB and everyone I asked recommended them.

Below is a photo of a remanufactured “short block” which does not have cylinder heads installed. With a short block you would have to use your old heads or get new cylinder heads and install them yourself.

I chose to use a new “long block” like seen below which has new cylinder heads already installed. 

If you need new cylinder heads its cheaper to just buy a long block, plus its a big time saver not having to put the cylinder heads on yourself.

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20th July
written by Todd Harrison

I converted a Harbor Freight utility cart into a multifunctional welding cart. The conversions to the cart make it easier to move about in tight places yet strong enough to support 100lbs of brick and a plate steel top. I added a second smaller chopped up Harbor Freight utility cart as a firebox to catch all the sparks when cutting with the oxygen-acetylene and plasma torches.

Final cart modifications: Large plate steel top for MIG welding, bricks for oxygen-acetylene welding and firebox for plasma cutting.

Converted to oxygen-acetylene welding and plasma cutting:

Converted to MIG welding:

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13th July
written by Todd Harrison

This is a testing rig I constructed for my  persistence of vision SpokePOV kit.  I used an old bicycle, ceiling fan motor and wiring from an old lamp.  It works great as a bench testing rig when programming my SpokePOV boards on the wheel. It could also work as a cheap display device.

You can buy these SpokePOV boards at and get more details on how to build and use your SpokPOV boards at their sister site

This is the second SpokePOV testing rig I’ve built so this one is being donated(*) to HeatSync Labs for testing, learning, hacking and maybe even as a part-time window display.
(*) Not the SpokePOV boards, just the testing rig and old bicycle wheel. 

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