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Discussion Starter · #361 ·
It's been a while since I updated about the steering wheels. I had some small holes and such to fill once I finished sanding them. Unfortunately, I foolishly decided to use the marine epoxy I have as filler. Needless to say, it sucked for that purpose and I ended up doing a bunch of unnecessary sanding. I followed that by buying a proper glazing putty and filling in the holes/indentations. Then, I did another finish sand.
20210820_162011 by Jose, on Flickr

With that complete, I painted the flat bottoms in black. For now, this is so I can sand and easily spot any extra low spots. Later, it will be so no odd coloring shows through any small gaps in the carbon fiber(I will respray after any extra sanding). In any case, I fully expect to get to carbon by the end of this weekend!
20210820_165600 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #362 ·
Also, I should note that I had previously cut four grooves into each wheel. These go where the carbon fiber will meet up with the leather or alcantara on each wheel. This allows for both materials to be tucked into the groove, resulting in a rolled edge transition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #363 ·
Way too much Tacoma projects lol. Since my ac was bad, I started replacing all of the o-rings in the system. Turns out the suction and charge hoses were bad and the compressor honestly looked done for as well, so I ordered a new Denso compressor and Four Seasons hoses off Rockauto. I already had a rebuild kit with a new AC dryer, o-rings, PAG46 oil, and a new expansion valve. The expansion valve came with one o-ring that was the wrong size so I couldn't get it to assemble, but the o-ring kit had several so I swapped it out and got it done. Now I just need to finish vacuuming the system and then charge it up. I'm praying I won't have any leaks.
20210821_184016 by Jose, on Flickr

The bolts that hold the expansion valve in are steel and they thread into an aluminum insert in this plastic piece that couples the lines. Needless to say, they corroded and one chewed up the aluminum threads on its way out. I fixed the threads on the bolt and hole using a thread repair kit (M6x1.0) and added antiseize to the bolts before putting them in. Major fail on Toyota to use a threaded insert made of a dissimilar metal.
20210821_191746 by Jose, on Flickr

Old expansion valve
20210821_200442 by Jose, on Flickr

New expansion valve
20210821_194244 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #365 ·
I vacuumed out the system for half an hour and then charged it. Unfortunately, I did not notice these worthless gauges from autozone don't read vacuum until I was too far along and just wanted this nonsense done. I tried charging the system and the low pressure side reached dangerous pressures whilst the compressor never kicked on. I really don't know what to do with this.
20210822_140805 by Jose, on Flickr

This is the same behavior I observed in the past, so clearly, I spent all that money on new parts in vain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #367 ·
Well, at my wits end with the AC issue, I found a new OEM AC Amplifier and Pressure Switch on eBay for a good price. A local Toyota dealer sold me a thermistor for peanuts also and I swapped all three out. I started charging the system and sure enough, the compressor engaged. Unfortunately, I did not have enough refrigerant to finish charging the system, but I will get that done tomorrow and hopefully have my AC back!
 

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Discussion Starter · #371 ·
So, I did some light cleaning inside my truck and took her for her maiden voyage since the brake booster/master and ac installs. My brake pedal is rock solid with the truck off. The second I turn the engine on, there's magically 1.5" of freeplay in the pedal. I drove it and the pedal has nothing and then suddenly all of the brake. I can lock the tires up easily. It also seems like the rears are locking up before the fronts. I am wondering if my brake booster push rod is gapped too far from the master cylinder. I also noticed this booster doesn't have a built in check valve like that Tacoma one. I ordered a new one from Toyota, but I can't imagine that would be the cause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #372 ·
I finally got around to wrapping the carbon fiber on the steering wheels. I painted epoxy on them first and then waited for the epoxy to tack up. I waited 2 hours, which is a bit too long based on what I found. It would have had better holding ability if I only waited 1 to 1.5 hours. Anyway, I wrapped the carbon fiber on there and trimmed the excess with some shears. I feel like this would have been way, way easier if I had used a lighter carbon cloth. The stuff I had is too thick and made it harder to deal with the excess. That, and it's not a tight weave so it comes apart quite a bit at the edges. I got it on as best I could and then wrapped it down with heat shrink tape. I left the adhesive facing out so the tape wouldn't attach to the carbon. I do feel that this tape is not very good quality; it barely shrinks when heated.
20210909_101811 by Jose, on Flickr

20210909_101808 by Jose, on Flickr

20210909_101805 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #374 ·
I picked up the new check valve from Toyota and got it installed. As expected, it made no difference to the pedal feel. However, it does do its job of providing vacuum brake assist for a few pumps once the motor is off. This is so that if your engine shuts off while driving, you can easily brake to a stop. You can see the silver check valve on the vacuum line here:
20210909_133919 by Jose, on Flickr

Knowing that I will still have to remove the master and adjust the booster pin, I went ahead and made myself this adjustment tool. All the ones for sale on line cost $25-50. I had ordered a $25 one, but it wasn't going to arrive until the end of the month, and "ain't nobody got time for that" so I just cancelled the order and made my own.
20210909_133932 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #375 ·
On the ac repair front: Now that the system works, I need some good cooling fans. My old Flexalite setup had been getting weaker and weaker until the fans died. However, I like the shroud they come on, so I gutted the fans out of it. I will get some new fans and install them in place of the Flexalites.
20210906_212848 by Jose, on Flickr

20210906_214336 by Jose, on Flickr

There's so much room in here when the fans are out!
20210906_214354 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #376 ·
I was able to take the tape off and the results weren't half bad. So, I mixed up some epoxy resin and got to wetting this stuff down. It doesn't look perfect just yet, but I am sure that after several coats it will be what I want it to be. This is definitely too heavy a carbon weave for the application, so I will order something lighter and more tightly woven for the future.
20210909_182815 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #378 ·
I did some cleaning up of stray fibers and epoxy using a cut off wheel and sanding drum on my Dremel. From there, I sanded down the resin, cut new grooves in the wheel, and took off the excess carbon. Then, I wiped the wheel down with acetone and added another coat of epoxy.

20210911_160455 by Jose, on Flickr

20210911_160503 by Jose, on Flickr

20210911_160506 by Jose, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #380 ·
Being happy with the appearance of the wheel, I went ahead and sanded all the carbon using 120 and then 200 grit. The idea here was to get all the contours even so I could see all the low spots. I got that done and will be dabbing a bit of resin into each low spot. From there, I will do another round of sanding, one thin application of resin, another round of sanding, and a final coating with automotive clear coat.

Here is what it looks like for now. All the shiny areas are low spots
20210913_183838 by Jose, on Flickr

20210913_183842 by Jose, on Flickr

20210913_183845 by Jose, on Flickr

I can't wait to see the finished product!
 
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