31 December 2007
Remember what I always say, Don't buy cheap tools, thats how ya get yer knuckles busted,and if ya can't be good, stay sanitary.
30 December 2007
"By May 1991 I was driving the pace car at the Indianapolis 500. Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, just back from Iraq, was grand marshal and I drove him around the track once at 150 mph. Later, he found out I'd had a heart transplant. He said, 'I had a couple of close calls in Desert Storm but nothing like that ride.' "
28 December 2007
Take a close look at the nose and sides and tell me they didn't spend a ton of time in a wind tunnel with this thing.
This is a proto type, and they are famous at the American Le Mans series for using state of the art engineering and aerodynamics to try and edge out the competition for bragging rights.
Here is a quote from the article;
"Furai takes Mazda's unique Nagare (Japanese for "flow") design language a step further as it is translated into a concept car based on an American Le Mans Series (ALMS) racing car. The car utilizes the Courage C65 chassis the company campaigned in the ALMS series only two seasons ago, and the 450-hp three-rotor rotary engine that distinguishes it from anything else on the track."
"Flow" certainly comes to mind when looking at the aero styling on the front of the thing.
Original article here, where I also got the pictures.
27 December 2007
When me'n Mrs. G pulled into our motel last Satiddy evening, this pickup was there. I asked the owner if he had any problems, thinking I might help.
His reply was, "Naw, I just drive around like that. Saves time."
I should have known. Usually you see these like that by the side of the road. If they make it to a parking lot, they're OK.
You may believe that or not, as you wish.
That truck never moved from that spot until Wednesday A.M. although he did close the hood. Note also the sterling parking job, one of my pet peeves in The Land Of Never Enough Parking Spaces. That thing must have appeared a lot wider from the driver's seat than it actually is.
Knowing that there may be just the teensiest bit of good-natured brand rivalry around this joint, you may ask if I would have posted that pic were it some other make. Well you may ask...
21 December 2007
Fixer is enjoying the holidays with his lovely wife in Germany, visiting relatives and having a blast from what I can tell.
Gordon has been being a naughty boy but I don't think he gives a shit about Santa Claus and his damn list.
If he wants something, he'll order it, thankyouverymuch.
That leaves me, the low man on the totem pole, to stop by and wish you all Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.
I will be spending a couple of months at my parents while they go galavanting all over the country side in their motorhome.
That will give me access to the toobz after work and God help ya.
And if you thought I was kidding about Gordo, I have proof;
This is what he is sending out for Christmas cards this year.
Heh, heh, I almost sent him exactly the same damn thing.
2 lumps of coal, to go.
14 December 2007
This is a trailer from The Thing with Two Heads, which marked my movie daybyoo. I'm in the scene where the Ford knocks over the fire hydrant, though not in this clip. The 'fire hydrant' was a prop of course, and was yanked out of the way by a coupla grips while another one turned on a carefully hidden hose. If you ever take leave of your senses enough to actually watch this turkey, I'm the guy in the blue Goodyear jacket with yellow stripes, next to Ekins' Honda 600 who gets showered by the hydrant.
Also notice the two guys who are so amazed at the two-headed thing in the motocross race that they unload off their bikes into a mudhole. They did this by the simple expedient of tyin' off their front forks to a pole. One of the guys got up and walked away, but the other, Paul Nuckles, got the handlebars right in his chest when he went by. It knocked the wind out of him a split second before he went face down into a foot of muddy water. He just laid there. No one moved to help him until the director hollered "Cut!". Real pros, these movie guys. I was there that day, and I loaded him onto a sidecar rig and hauled him to a water truck, laid him under the nozzles and turned it on.
Ah, the glamor of showbiz...
At the time, this flick set a record for the number of cars wrecked. In one scene you can see Bud Ekins upside down in a cop car in one of his very few speaking roles.
Rent this (if you can find it!), light up a fattie, and be dazzled.
12 December 2007
06 December 2007
03 December 2007
Every hotrod and bike enthusiast knows who Von Dutch was. Well, those of us of a certain age, anyway. I met the guy several times. A real character, a friend of Bud Ekins and Steve McQueen.
BTW, I just got my dead tree Cycle World the other day. It has a nice article on Bud in the wake of his passing. I can't find it on line yet, but here's the subhead:
"We all wanted to be Steve McQueen. McQueen wanted to be Bud Ekins."
Now that's a tribute! I'll try to find it later.
Cycle World has an article on the big Von Dutch Auction. Go read. Be sure to hit the Auction Gallery. Have fun.
01 December 2007
Click to embiggen.
They've taken trophies at a buncha the local shows and it's a really fun ride.
29 November 2007
First thing, Look at these pictures then scroll down to the last post and compare.
This is what I'm talking about, do it right.
One name ,Carroll Shelby.Old school super hero does it right with the new GT500KR.
540 HP, and a wicked look for the new Mustang.
Notice what I was bitching about in my last post,then looky here at what style really is.
The wheel/tire combo fits the wheel wells, the spoiler and the chrome SHELBY spelled out make the ass a lot more finished looking.The ride height looks more correct.
The hood scoop makes the already tough looking nose appear to mean business.
Still no cover for the quarter window, although it is a blind spot when driving.
No change to the mirrors, but hey, the first rule of racing is that whats behind you isn't important.The front air dam is lower with functional brake venting for the upgraded 14 inch brakes.
Set for Spring 2008, they are only making 1,000.
This bad boy will run circles around the new Bullit.
Of course, like the saying goes, speed costs money, how fast do you want to go?
Not that I could afford to buy two tanks of gas in the thing right now, I still have an eye for nice rides and this one qualifies.
Shelby ain't going to be around too much longer, he has put his name on some priceless automobiles in his time,nice to see he still knows how to train a pony.
Lots more pictures and a promo video of the debut here.
23 November 2007
Inspired by the movie with Steve McQueen that came out that year, flying through the air and sliding with abandon through the streets of San Francisco for 9 and a half minutes, in the now classic, Bullitt.
Ford Motor Company, sometimes referred to as FOMOCO by us die hards, has decided, in its infinite wisdom, to try and reclaim some of the past glory by coming out with a 2008 Mustang badged as, Bullitt.
Give, me, a break.
The styling on this car blows goats.
The rear wheel arches vs the tire size looks like hell,the ass end looks like it is unfinished.The retro wheels are going to be a hot item but really don't do much for the whole look. The ride height looks to be too high and the rear quarter glass needs a vented cover badly. And what the hell is up with those mirrors?
Damn,it looks to me like a thrown together gimmick car.
Too bad Ford is going to get schooled by the aftermarket crowd who are going to do this thing up like it should have been done from the gitgo.
Note to the boys and girls at the Blue Oval, do it right or don't fuckin' bother.
The rest of the pictures I didn't grab are at Road and Track dot com.
21 November 2007
15 November 2007
Click it for the Corps!
Many more. Click around his right sidebar. Does an old Jarhead's, er, heart, yeah, that's it, good...
Click around both of his sidebars! I can honestly say I've never seen a "Swallow...or it's going in your eye" tee-shirt before!
Heck of a site! Good goin', Nucks!
14 November 2007
12 November 2007
When we're slow around the shop we like to make shit. Usually modified tools to help us do a job better. One of us will get an idea and the three of us will put our heads together and come up with something. A little welding, a little fabrication, a couple whacks with a hammer, and we got us a great new tool.
I don't know if I mentioned it before, but Indian and Mrs. I are avid campers (probably that Cherokee blood). When they're not going to NASCAR races, they're in the mountains. So, the other day, Indian comes up with this great camping accessory for his grill. Now, as I said, with all the experience and wisdom running around, you'd think we'd come up with something revolutionary.
Presenting the Weenie Cooker:
We think it's the greatest thing since the internal combustion engine. Sam, on the other hand, has a different opinion. Heh ...
To quote her: "So my mom is right, boys never grow up."
You betcha, dahlink.
*Part of an ongoing, semi-regular series.
Click pics to
11 November 2007
10 November 2007
"My thing with the green situation is: Even if you don't believe in global warming, don't you want to screw the oil company or gas company or utility company?"
Oh hell yeah!
His parts cleaners are eco-friendly -- one uses microbes to eat away grease and grime, the other employs ultrasonic cleaning bubbles. Instead of a gas-operated plasma cutter to saw parts out of sheet metal, a water jet does the job using sand. And refillable canisters of brake and carburetor cleaners take the place of throwaway aerosol cans.
Walking over to the power meter to confirm what he'd just read on the computer, he tapped the screen.
"Right now, I'm using all the power I want, and I'm generating more power than I'm using. Why would anybody get mad at you for that? To me, you want to be a good citizen. It's important to try and be a good citizen. And you can."
It's just expensive.
That's the rub, but it's still the dawn of time for solar. The more folks who use it, the cheaper it'll get.
Until the oil & power companies figure out a way to switch the Sun off if you don't pay.
08 November 2007
PETERBILT TO UNVEIL ADVANCED HYBRID TECHNOLOGIES
DENTON, Texas (November 6, 2006) – Peterbilt will display a production-representative, hybrid-electric medium duty truck – outfitted with a fully integrated bucket lift body – at the Hybrid Truck Users Forum National Meeting in San Diego this month, Peterbilt Motors Company recently announced.
The Class 7 Model 335 is ideal for municipal and utility applications and features advanced technologies that provide improved fuel economy while reducing noise and emissions. The hybrid Model 335 will be in limited production in 2007.
They are already on the road.
The latest models should be out by now for 2008.
Here is some detail of how it works;
According to Peterbilt Chief Engineer Landon Sproull, the truck uses a parallel hybrid system that was developed with Eaton Corporation. A parallel hybrid system has an electric motor that assists the mechanical diesel engine with supplemental torque for improved fuel economy. The system stores energy during stopping through a process called regenerative braking, and then reuses it for acceleration. The system also stores energy during idling and uses it to power the vehicle’s PTO.
Basically the same ideas used in the smaller puddle jumper class of cars being touted, just on a much bigger scale.
The reduced maintenance requirements, Sproull says, result from less wear on the engine, as its workload is supplemented by the electric engine, and the brakes, since the charging of the batteries retards the motion of the vehicle.
The truck and body communicate through a new J1939 digital controller. This interface senses hydraulic demand from the body and automatically engages the hybrid system. Under a full charge, the PTO can operate for approximately 25 minutes at which time the vehicle will automatically start the diesel engine and recharge the hybrid’s batteries. “It takes about three minutes to fully recharge,” Sproull says. “So, during eight hours of operation, the diesel engine will run for less than an hour.”
A PTO, for those who don't know, is a Power Take Off.
It is a device usually mounted on the side or bottom of the transmission that, when engaged, powers different add on mechanisms,typically a hydraulic pump.
For more info.
I expect almost all big rigs will be going to this soon, the cost of fuel will demand it.Already, long haul tuckers are adding supplemental fuel tanks to take advantage of price differences between states that can be as much as a fifty to seventy cents a gallon for diesel.
2007 required innovative engine management strategies and new technology to use the highly de-sulphered fuel mandated.These new engines suck, to be honest. The 2006 models had been back ordered to no end from people trying to extend the life of their investment and avoid the hefty price increase that went with the new technology.
06 November 2007
Here is more of Mr. Goodwins story, including the reference to Chinese food;
Two years ago, Goodwin got a rare chance to show off his tricks to some of the car industry's most prominent engineers. He tells me the story: He was driving a converted H2 to the SEMA show, the nation's biggest annual specialty automotive confab, and stopped en route at a Denver hotel. When he woke up in the morning, there were 20 people standing around his Hummer. Did I run over somebody? he wondered. As it turned out, they were engineers for GM, the Hummer's manufacturer. They noticed that Goodwin's H2 looked modified. "Does it have a diesel engine in it?"
"Yeah," he said.
"No way," they replied.
He opened the hood, "and they're just all in and out and around the valves and checking it out," he says. They asked to hear it run, sending a stab of fear through Goodwin. He'd filled it up with grease from a Chinese restaurant the day before and was worried that the cold morning might have solidified the fuel. But it started up on the first try and ran so quietly that at first they didn't believe it was really on. "When you start a diesel engine up on vegetable oil," Goodwin says, "you turn the key, and you hear nothing. Because of the lubricating power of the oil, it's just so smooth. Whisper quiet. And they're like, 'Is it running? Yeah, you can hear the fan going.'"
One engineer turned and said, "GM said this wouldn't work."
"Well," Goodwin replied, "here it is."
And the best part;
His latest project?
Goodwin leads me over to a red 2005 H3 Hummer that's up on jacks, its mechanicals removed. He aims to use the turbine to turn the Hummer into a tricked-out electric hybrid. Like most hybrids, it'll have two engines, including an electric motor. But in this case, the second will be the [jet] turbine, Goodwin's secret ingredient. Whenever the truck's juice runs low, the turbine will roar into action for a few seconds, powering a generator with such gusto that it'll recharge a set of "supercapacitor" batteries in seconds. This means the H3's electric motor will be able to perform awesome feats of acceleration and power over and over again, like a Prius on steroids. What's more, the turbine will burn biodiesel, a renewable fuel with much lower emissions than normal diesel; a hydrogen-injection system will then cut those low emissions in half. And when it's time to fill the tank, he'll be able to just pull up to the back of a diner and dump in its excess french-fry grease--as he does with his many other Hummers. Oh, yeah, he adds, the horsepower will double--from 300 to 600.
"Conservatively," Goodwin muses, scratching his chin, "it'll get 60 miles to the gallon. With 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. You'll be able to smoke the tires. And it's going to be superefficient."
He laughs. "Think about it: a 5,000-pound vehicle that gets 60 miles to the gallon and does zero to 60 in five seconds!"
And here's the punchline:
Goodwin's work proves that a counterattack is possible, and maybe easier than many of us imagined. If the dream is a big, badass ride that's also clean, well, he's there already. As he points out, his conversions consist almost entirely of taking stock GM parts and snapping them together in clever new ways. "They could do all this stuff if they wanted to," he tells me, slapping on a visor and hunching over an arc welder. "The technology has been there forever. They make 90% of the components I use."
Article stolen and reprinted from Daily Kos.
Bonus, there is a video now at the bottom of the article of the Impala
smoking the Lambo.
The original article is worth every bit of time and consideration spent reading it..
05 November 2007
Goodwin's feats of engineering have become gradually more visible over the past year. Last summer, Imperium Renewables contacted MTV's show Pimp My Ride about creating an Earth Day special in which Goodwin would convert a muscle car to run on biodiesel. The show chose a '65 Chevy Impala, and when the conversion was done, he'd doubled its mileage to 25 mpg and increased its pull from 250 to 800 horsepower. As a stunt, MTV drag-raced the Impala against a Lamborghini on California's Pomona Raceway. "The Impala blew the Lamborghini away," says Kevin Kluemper, the lead calibration engineer for GM's Allison transmission unit, who'd flown down to help with the conversion. [my em]
If there's one thing we got in NY it's Chinese restaurants. It's about time Chinese food came in handy for something.
03 November 2007
Think Love Ride, and images of Jay Leno and Harley-Davidson race to mind. But a nitro-fueled cacklefest? Flat-track racing? Stunt-rider pyramids?
The Love Ride is looking a little different in 2007. Now in its 24th year, Southern California's annual cruiser mecca is getting a face lift, with a change of venue and a new three-day adjunct called California Bike Week. Instead of the usual 35-mile pilgrimage to Castaic Lake, the 15,000 bikers expected to turn out for the world's largest one-day motorcycle fundraiser this Sunday will head east to the Pomona Fairplex.
That's the venue for two racing events that will take place earlier in the weekend - the All Harley Drag Racing Assn.'s Nitro Drag Races on Friday and Saturday and the Pacific Coast National Flat Track Series Debut Saturday night. It's also the site of weekend-long freestyle stunt shows, demo rides, a 150-vendor trade show and musical performances, including Gregg Allman, who headlines Sunday afternoon.
"We thought: If we can do the racing in Pomona and have the Love Ride at the same venue, it would really focus a lot of motorcycling activity into one venue and turn it all into a much bigger pie," said Oliver Shokouh, Love Ride founder and owner of Harley-Davidson/Buell of Glendale. "The Love Ride is not a Harley lifestyle event but a motorcycle event open to all motorcyclists of all brands. It's about anybody on two wheels."
I mostly put this in as a plug for Oliver. He gave me my first job in the Harley-Davidson field in 1978. At the time, he was living at his brand-new fresh-bought dealership, on the roof I think, and hadn't even brought his family to California yet. He's of Persian descent, from the Middle East. Detroit. He's a helluva good guy.
He spent his last dime getting that dealership. Don't worry about him. He has plenty of dimes now. The Love Ride is his way of giving back and has raised more than $20,000,000 for Muscular Dystrophy and children's charities over the last 24 years.
Go to Harley-Davidson/Buell of Glendale or Love Ride. You'll be glad you did.
Crossposted at the world's other best blog.
01 November 2007
Click to increase displacement
I just changed to a fresh month on my Classic Triumph wall calendar (So sue me. It's damn hard to find a picture of the '07 one!) and was regaled by one of 33 (or 28, or ?) road-going replicas of arguably the most famous Triumph roadracer of all time. The photo above is of a replica of a replica, but it looks good. It has a later BSA-style T160 'sloper' engine than the original '70 T150 with vertical cylinders. Either engine is a 750cc 3-cylinder OHV. More pix and hear it clank 'n roar here.
Motorcycle UK Web Directory and Search Engine
The most celebrated Triumph racer of all time, the only machine ever to win five TT races in the Isle of Man in five consecutive years.
Slippery Sam was one of three similar models built for the 1970 Production TT, one of which, ridden by Malcolm Uphill, won the race at 97.71 mph. Tom Dickie was Sam's rider and, unused to Sam's ways, fumbled the Le Mans start and was last away. He rode to finish fourth.
The fastest lap was Alex George in 1975 at 102.82mph
The Slippery Sam nickname was coined during the 1970 Bol d'Or 24 Hour Race in France when a malfunctioning oil pump plastered the bike- and riders Tait and Jolly with oil.
Better the rider than the rear tire, I always say!
During my search, I found the Allen Motorsports Collection. The original Slippery Sam is long gone to the best of my knowledge, but you can see a replica of it in road race trim. Check it out. Noodle around a little. Lotsa neat bikes.
30 October 2007
From the LATimes on the Tokyo Motor Show:
Consider the Nissan PIVO2 on display here. It's an electric three-seat "city commute" vehicle (as opposed to a "Hollywood Freeway commute" vehicle) that is essentially a glass-and-metal bubble atop four small wheels.
Among the features: When you need to back up, rather than shifting into reverse, looking over your shoulder and inching into oncoming traffic, you wait while the cabin rotates 180 degrees and then drive straight ahead.
Hate to parallel park? Pull up next to that choice-but-tight space, rotate the cabin and all four wheels 90 degrees and proceed just as if you were pulling into your garage.
The PIVO2 also has a charming dashboard-mounted "robotic agent" that, according to Nissan's promotional brochure, "infers the driver's condition. It not only gives necessary information for the operation, but also speaks to you to cheer you up or to soothe you accordingly."
Shit, I've got the 'cheer you up and soothe you' feature in my '92 Dakota. It's called an 'Auto Suck' (video). It don't wanta talk afterwards, neither...
But seriously folks, I've always wanted an Isetta. Maybe this Nissan would do.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to use the Auto Suck in an old English sports car with a positive ground electrical system! Oh, it'll work, but in a strange manner that may be quite disconcerting at speed.
You may, of course, use the Lucas equivalent, the 'Nobber Bobber'.
Please don't ask how I discovered that. Let's just say our R & D department is on the job and let it go at that.
I'm getting old, like a lot of us, and I kind of feel sorry for these younger people.
The crap they call cars now, and the unadulterated joy of driving that we used to be able to enjoy.
Who can't feel sorry for a 25 year old kid out tooling around in his little four cylinder, front wheel drive plastic wannabe?
Back in the day, we had V-8, rear wheel drive cars that actually had working suspensions and were comfortable and fun to drive.
Take a 1970 or so Ford LTD.
Nice car. It had plenty of power, a hell of a nice ride and you could play with it.
Go find a gravel road and start dirt tracking the son of a bitch till hell wouldn't have it.
Find an empty parking lot and spin donuts until the wheels fell off.
When you got done playing, you could pack your friends up and take off across country, cruising at 80, all day, and feel like you were sitting on your couch.
Same thing with GM or Chrysler cars.
Sure, you could go down and order the latest factory hot rod, but just the everyday vehicle was a potential fun to drive car.
Now we have the little soap bubbles on wheels, all front wheel drive, road noise out the ass.
Hit a fucking pot hole in one of those at 40 and it sounds and feels like the fucker just dropped the transmission out in the road and you just ran over it.
You can spit on one and put a dent in it.
I will never forget the time a friend of mine got pissed off at his 69 Chevy wagon, he was working on it and he just lost it. He literally picked up a two by four and started wailing on the front fender.
I sat back and laughed at him. Not only did it just bounce off, it never even scratched the paint.
That's a car.
Right. Barrrrrrffff. No. First of all, I don't "turn my car on." I "fucking start the damn thing." Then I "spend the next half hour crawling behind dump trucks, garbage trucks, school buses, asswipes driving 15 mph below the speed limit" and/or "hitting every goddamn traffic light between here and there." Secondly, the only thing I ever want to do with my -- mmmm, hard! -- stick shift is rip it from whatever its bolted onto and use it to repeatedly pummel the head of the jerkoff ahead or behind me that's driving like a fucking moron. Thirdly, go fuck yourselves, you pretentious asstools.
27 October 2007
Albany -- Acting New York State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Barbara Billet Thursday announced the arrest of a Long Island car dealer on charges of tax fraud stemming from an investigation initiated by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota.
Salvatore Cioffi, 66, of 404 Landing Avenue, Smithtown, New York is the owner of Automart of LI Inc. located in Patchogue, a corporation engaged in the wholesale and retail sale of used automobiles. Cioffi was investigated for alleged underreporting of taxable sales and failure to remit sales tax collections.
If he's willing to screw the state out of taxes (not that I'm defending NY's use of those taxes), I can imagine what he did to his customers.
26 October 2007
25 October 2007
Just askin' ... twits.
*New York State Department Of Transportation.
18 October 2007
Me: Sam, come over here.
Me: You got little fingers, right?
Sam: Yeah. She grins, holding up an index finger.
Sam: For what?
Me: I got this flapping snot in my left nose hole and I can't get up there deep enough to snag it. Could you get it for me?
Sam: You're disgusting!
Me: Be that as it may, could ya do it for your pal?
Sam: I'm not putting my fingers in any of your holes.
And so it goes ...
*Part of an ongoing, semi-regular series.
17 October 2007
A while back we were reminiscing about THE old truck or car that we wish we had never parted with.
This is the year and model of old Ford truck that I had once.
When I bought it, it was on the side of the road with an eleven foot cab over camper on it.
Both were trashed. The guy wanted $125 for the truck and $200 for the camper. The camper had a hole in the side of it looked like an RPG went through it.
I said no thanks but I'll take the truck.
The engine was a 223 CID straight six that also had a big hole in the side of it.
I got my brothers, cousins and a couple of friends and it took six guy's that all weighed over two hundred each just to pick the camper up enough to drag the truck out from under it, no jacks of course.
I was happy and we towed it home with very little brakes and no lights.
Upon further inspection I found it had; 16 leaf springs on each side in the rear, bent axle tubes from the weight of the camper,the roof caved in from the camper,completely worn out kingpins and a whole chop list of other to do jobs.
I got a wrecking yard engine and over the course of five years ended up putting a 351 Windsor and a C6 transmission in it, along with several hundred man hours, a new roof ( a story in itself) and lots of money.
When I was just about ready to paint it, it looked just like the bottom photo,lowered straight and fairly quick due to the 4 speed rear end gears I left under it.
Notice the bed and the cab are all one piece, they only built these for 3 years.
Anyway, right before I was going to paint it, I was tooling around in the rain at night on this twisty river road, this is shortly after the engine swap.
I turned onto a bridge and romped on it.
The carb linkage jammed and stuck wide open. I went screaming across the bridge with both feet on the brakes, holding onto the wheel for more leverage with the back tires spinning the whole way.
Before I could reach down to turn it off I was across the bridge and hit a telephone pole head on at 50+ MPH.
It ripped the engine and trans out of the mounts and through the radiator, ripped the battery posts out of the battery and crushed the nose, It hit on the frame horn dead on.
All I got was a badly cut finger from the custom steering wheel.
It took several months but I rebuilt that son of a bitch.Made sure the carb linkage worked right too.I kept it for a couple more years but it kept costing so much money I didn't have, I finally sold it to a kid I worked with for $500. I think I actually got two and never saw him or the truck again.
I had way too much money and time in it, but was raising the girlfriends kids and had to say goodbye.
Due to length this is only a very small part of the story with that truck, there is LOTS more.
13 October 2007
Hal is our car salesman. We mentioned, back when we got my Escape that we wanted to be a little more fuel-conscious and we'd probably be interested in getting rid of the V-8 Explorer for another Escape for Mrs. F.
"He said he's getting an Escape in this week," she tells me. "And it's got everything I want (that means loaded) in it."
"Do you want me to look at it with you?" I ask.
"No," she says. "We just have to stop by the dealership Saturday to sign the papers. I'm getting it."
For the first time in 20 years, I didn't have any input into her car purchase. I love it that she did it all on her own and yet it's something she doesn't need me for anymore. Maybe she should try her hand at installing fiberglass insulation. Heh ...
So here it is. Black on black, leather, JBL Audiophile 6-CD MP3 SIRIUS satellite radio, 17" wheels, moonroof, heated seats and mirrors, and all the little frou frou options as well. The Queen is used to her comforts.
And here's where it pays to be a loyal customer. There are 5 more payments left on the Explorer's lease and Ford and the dealership got together to eat them. This will be our 7th vehicle from them and buying a car has become a painless, stress-free, 15 minute process for us.
219 W Main St.
Bay Shore, NY 11706
12 October 2007
I'd like to alert you to this little thing we have here on the Isle of Long called rain. You might have seen it; little water droplets that fall from the sky and collect on our roadways? Yes, that. I believe you've experienced it once or twice.
Now, just because we haven't had any in about a month or so doesn't mean the physical properties of water have changed. Swerving wildly and applying brakes suddenly on wet roads causes your car to slide out of control, even with whatever fancy 'roll control' or 'traction control' your car maker built into the motherfucker. Driving like Enzo Ferrari on rain-slicked roads in your Toyota with bald tires and bad brakes ends somewhat inevitably.
Also, be advised this rain stuff won't hurt you if you drive more than 20 mph on an interstate fucking highway. What the fuck is with you people? If you're scared of going a bit too fast in the rain, use the excellent service road (frontage road for you 'other' folks) system for the Long Island Expressway, not the left fucking lane of the highway.
Another point. Rain collects in lower-lying areas of our roadways. At this time of year here in New York (we call it autumn, by the way), the leaves that fall from the trees (those crunchy brown things) clog the drains and these low lying areas fill up quickly. You know this, you live in the neighborhood by the shop, the same places that flooded in the last rain (last month) flooded yesterday.
You see me laughing at my other customers who drive through the lake at the bottom of the Avenue at full speed and destroy their engines or other parts of their cars. You see 'em in my lot waiting for the insurance adjuster to get there and total them. Why the fuck do you have to do the same thing? That 2 month old, 7-series BMW sure was a nice car until you filled it up with water to the dashboard, until the engine sucked in enough water to hydro-lock and make me pick up the internal parts with a broom and snow (that's a whole other post) shovel after they slide off the flatbed with your car.
What the fuck? We get 43 inches of rain a year. Can't you get used to driving in it?
05 October 2007
04 October 2007
29 September 2007
Wally Parks, the hot-rodder and entrepreneur who curbed drag racing on city streets by steering drivers onto legal racing strips and founded the National Hot Rod Assn., has died. He was 94.
"Today is a sad day in the world of NHRA and the sport of drag racing," NHRA President Tom Compton said in a statement. "Words simply can't describe the immeasurable impact Wally has had on the sport he created and the millions of people's lives he touched along the way."
If you've ever been to a drag strip, Mr. Parks is the one who legitimized drag racing as a sport instead of an unlawful activity. A true pioneer of motor sports.
26 September 2007
25 September 2007
16 September 2007
When I ask them where it is, I get a blank stare. Far be it they read the fucking thing when they buy a car. Maybe if they did, they wouldn't bother me for stupid shit all the time, like what the 'check engine' light means or the host of other multi-colored shit that goes on in the instrument panel.
You'd also know where your spare tire is and how to operate the jack. You'd also know how to open your hood, program your sound system, GPS, OnStar, compass, and a whole buncha other assorted shit you need to know about your car. Or you can pay me to hold your hand and walk you through it.
I could use the owner's manual in the car so I can decipher your fuse box (usually they're numbered and then I have to go and hunt for a cheat sheet to figure out which fuse controls what), figure out the grade and type of motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and a whole host of other fluids your manufacturer recommends. It's also easier for me to find the procedure to reset your 'oil change light' without having to search through my huge Service Bay Manual.
It also helps the tow truck driver if you're broke on the side of the road. Some cars have to be towed a specific way or it will do damage to the drivetrain, electronics, whatever.
Want to tow a trailer? Your manual tells you that too. It tells you how to load your car safely (think that doesn't matter? Put a few hundred pounds in the trunk and try and control the car at any type of speed). It also tells you about the tires (size, speed rating, and tread wear rating) and how much, or little, they can be inflated for safe operation.
Your owner's manual is the most important tool a driver can have in the car with them. Read it (sit in the fucking car when you do and familiarize yourself with what they're talking about) and then leave it in the car. No, the two minutes your salesman spent going over shit with you doesn't count. If you don't have one, go to the dealer and order one. It's a small price to pay for a boatload of useful information.
13 September 2007
I am a tool junkie.
I buy tools that I don't even need, somehow rationalizing it to myself.
I have so many fucking tools, I have three roll aways to hold all of them and still have shit laying around.
Thousands and thousands of dollars worth.
The Snap On guy loves me.
I get mailers from Harbor Freight and my fucking eyes glaze over.
I can't even go into a Sears store anymore.
People wonder why I have always driven piece of shit cars, priced a screwdriver from Snap On lately?
The price of good tools has skyrocketed in the past ten years.
The stupid bastards where I work wonder why I get so wound up when they want to borrow something.
Fuck that, go buy your own shit, asshole.
An old, old mechanic joke;
Why do you never use your screw driver for a prybar?
Because the next time you want to use it as a chisel, it's bent.
Thank you, try the veal.
05 September 2007
11,000 miles in 11 days racing around the perimeter of the United States looking for 5 checkpoints that you have to find in a two hour window, on motorcycles.
No consideration is given for bad weather (during the running of the Iron Butt, riders can expect to ride through rain, sleet, snow, severe thunderstorms, hurricanes and the occasional tornado). Temperature extremes routinely run 125 degrees or more in the desert Southwest in fact, in living up to the name, "World's Toughest Motorcycle Competition", event organizers intentionally route the rally through such places as Death Valley or the Mojave Desert during the hottest part of the day, to extreme cold at the top of mountains like Pike's Peak in Colorado where competitors may have to struggle up a muddy road to reach the peak's 14,110 foot summit.
Go read the rest here
My ass is sore remembering the 100 mile round trip every day between San Jose and Frisco I used to do on a Honda 450, so, no thanks.
I can't believe Gord didn't post this, I know he saw it before I did!
04 September 2007
Millions of inventions pass quietly through the U.S. patent office each year. Patent No. 7,033,406 did, too, until energy insiders spotted six words in the filing that sounded like a death knell for the internal combustion engine.
An Austin-based startup called EEStor promised "technologies for replacement of electrochemical batteries," meaning a motorist could plug in a car for five minutes and drive 500 miles roundtrip between Dallas and Houston without gasoline.
The technology also could help invigorate the renewable-energy sector by providing efficient, lightning-fast storage for solar power, or, on a small scale, a flash-charge for cell phones and laptops.
Skeptics, though, fear the claims stretch the bounds of existing technology to the point of alchemy.
So? I took alchemy in school. Blacksmithing too. They both still come in handy.
The result is an ultracapacitor, a battery-like device that stores and releases energy quickly.
Batteries rely on chemical reactions to store energy but can take hours to charge and release energy. The simplest capacitors found in computers and radios hold less energy but can charge or discharge instantly. Ultracapacitors take the best of both, stacking capacitors to increase capacity while maintaining the speed of simple capacitors.
Until EEStor produces a final product, Perry said he joins energy professionals and enthusiasts alike in waiting to see if the company can own up to its six-word promise and banish the battery to recycling bins around the world.
"I am skeptical but I'd be very happy to be proved wrong," Perry said.
The problem with capacitors is size. Capacitors are rated in terms of capacitance in units of farads. Most capacitors are very small and measured in microfarads. When I was learning how to fix radios for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children, my instructors told me that a one-farad capacitor would be about the size of a football field. That's maybe a little dated, along with the vacuum tubes they taught me about, although those are still being used for design and prototype work because they are highly adjustable. But I digress...
There are capacitors in every piece of electronic gear. Period. I think their earliest use in automotive technology was as the condenser in contact-breaker-point ignition systems, where they were used to prevent counterflow voltage from causing arcing at the points and subsequent rapid point wear. CB ignition has gone the way of the buggy whip.
In motorcycles, electrolytic capacitors are sometimes used as battery eliminators, providing a load for the charging system, in effect fooling the charging system into thinking the system has a battery. I explained this to my buddy Sluggo one time in his garage, and his reply was, "Damn, how ya gonna fool it now? You said it right in front of it!", pointing at his motorcycle.
There's no reason you couldn't do this on cars as well, if your car has a kickstarter.
In this age of electronic miracle progress, nothing seems impossible. I hope they can do it.
Crossposted at the world's other Best Blog.
30 August 2007
29 August 2007
Click for even Superer Heroes
Fixer, of course, is top row right. I'm 2d row left. Wordsmith is 2d row, 2d from the right. Jersey Guy and Bustednuckles, and our Illustrious Emeritæ can identify themselves, but in 'Nuck's case, I'm holdin' out for right next to the F-Man. Mechanic, you know.
Cross-posted at the other "Best Blog in the World".
Tongue, meet cheek.
27 August 2007
Because I love old cars trucks and equipment, I am going to run some by once in a while.
This is a 1941 Plymouth pick up.
My buddy has one of these and I just get a huge kick out of it.
I think the top speed on the thing is 35 to 40 mph.
His is green with black fenders. The tail lights even say Plymouth on them.
Another friend found a 1:24 steel model for him that even has the same paint scheme.
It has the old push the switch to start under the gas pedal and everything.
Just a sweet old pick up that he takes to parades and sometimes farts around town in.Nothin' fancy.
17 August 2007
I have seen this around for a few years now. I have always loved old iron, they just don't build 'em like this anymore, haven't for going on 35 years now. If I was to build a rod, you can bet your ass it would be one of these. I can not stand trailer queens. If you are going to build the damn thing, run it, HARD.
A fancy paint job does not make it run better and out of the forty odd cars I've had, only two or three were good looking, nice cars. All the rest were beaters, barely legal, sometimes not even close. You know the type, you see it coming in the rearview mirror and bail into another lane, hoping nothing came flying off as I wizzed by. Any way, I was surfing the net and found this site, Rat Rods, there are some nice ones and there are some terrible ones. I think I was born 15 years too late.
Rat rod is a newly developed name for the original hot rod style of the early 1950's. A rat rod is usually a vehicle that has had many of its non-critical parts removed. They are usually finished in primer-like paints and are often period correct. They are very often the conglomeration of parts and pieces of different makes and models.
Link to more pics.
16 August 2007
14 August 2007
I immediately Googled it because I was researching another Alternate Engine piece and it stopped me in my tracks.
Even with a degree in automotive technology it was a new one for me, to wit;
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tribology is the science and technology of friction, lubrication, and wear, derived from the Greek 'Τριβο' ("tribo") meaning 'I rub'. Formally defined, it is the science and technology of interacting surfaces in relative motion and all practices related thereto.
The study of tribology is commonly applied in bearing design but extends into other almost any aspect of modern technology, even to such unlikely areas as hair conditioners and cosmetics such as lipstick, powders and lipgloss.
Any product where one material slides or rubs over another is affected by complex tribological interactions, whether lubricated (e.g. hip implants and other artificial prosthesis) or unlubricated (some studies, for example, have looked at high temperature sliding wear in which conventional lubricants can no longer be used and the formation of compacted oxide layer glazes have been observed to protect against wear).
I will leave the literal translation of 'I rub', alone.
Fascinating stuff, this goes all the way into molecular motors and other exotic things like viscosity and God only knows what else.
Not a term I think would be easy to drop into a conversation though.
10 August 2007
Clicking will make it HUGE!
So how come I didn't notice that my yard needed weeding until I saw it in that picture? Where's that Meskin...but I digress.
That's Mrs. G's new '06 Buell Blast (backstory here and here). By now I've had a chance to think about it, look it over, poke it and and prod it some, and even ride it a little. Here we go...
I think it's a very pretty bike. It's got modern styling, which doesn't always work for me on some bikes, but on this one it does. It's a small bike, but everything's in proportion. A lot of new bikes are pretty angular, but this one's round. In my view, motorcycles should be round in styling, more pleasant to my eye than a buncha harsh angles. Score one for the styling department. I like the color, too.
The heart of any bike is the engine. This one is conventional and unconventioal at the same time. It's coventional in the sense that it's an air-cooled pushrod-operated overhead valve 500cc single-cylinder layout with two valves. It's unconventional in the sense that this is a traditional layout since the dawn of time which fell out of favor over thirty years ago in favor of overhead-camshaft engines, which make more power because they can rev higher and have less moving parts in the valve train to have to throw around.
It also departs from OHV tradition in that the bore/stroke relationship is undersquare, meaning the stroke is shorter than the bore diameter, which lets it rev higher than the old long-stroke singles, which had bags of torque but only produced a power stroke about every other phone pole. Redline comes at 6500RPM, fairly high revs. There's no tach, but revs are limited electronically by a spark randomizer, which is a pretty common way these days to avoid over-revving and the resultant attempts of the engine internals to exit stage any whichaway, or as us pros say in techspeak, "go blooey".
The Buell company is owned by Harley-Davidson. The engine was derived from the Sportster V-twin and pushrod engines are the only type of four-strokes that H-D has built for about the last hundred years until the recent OHC V-Rod. That's not new. Vincent made a line of singles such as the Comet model out of their V-twin Rapide sixty years ago.
We can leave H-D's old ('40s-'60s) 2-smokes out of this for now, but just as a point of historical interest, they were copied from the German DKW as spoils of WWII, along with the BSA Bantam and early Yamaha 125s. Hey, why design an engine when you can liberate one?
The Blast engine is 'dry sump' which means it has an external oil reservoir and a separate gearbox/primary oil supply. That, too, is old-fashioned and it works. It has an added benefit of helping to cool the oil as well.
On to the Frame. The Blast barely has one. It has a rectangular steel tubing backbone, which doubles as the oil tank, from which the engine is hung. There's a short stub extending downward from the steering head which connects to the engine via a Heim joint rod, which, along with one to the rear, serves as a top motor mount.
Since there's no frame tubes under the engine, a no doubt truly expensive set of crankcases are left vulnerable to damage from running over curbs, pedestrians, etc., Buell has protected the mill in a very clever way, I think. The exhaust pipe segués neatly into the muffler directly under the engine. The line of the pipe follows the curvature of the front wheel for eye appeal, and resembles a 'chin' fairing used on some bikes as an an air intake for various purposes. A little dab of 'fool the eye' put to good use. The muffler is triangular in shape, which makes it look aerodynamic and won't high center on anyone you run over.
Speaking of engine protection, take a look at the footpeg support, the Y-shaped pressed steel bracket extending downward from just under the front of the seat. Since this a supposed to be a 'beginner' or 'starter' bike, this is a real good idea. It won't do much good at anything over walking speed, but that's when beginners tend to tip over. Bikes self-stabilize once they get going. Don't ask me how I know this, but they actually work. The slight drawback is that they need to be removed for some service work, like adjusting the clutch or changing the gearbox oil, but it's only two bolts per side.
I've got more to say about this neat little sled, but the pups are clamoring to get emptied and then it'll be lunchtime. Later.
I go on vacation and come back to a dysfunctional computer.
Took damn near a week to get up and running again. I have never heard of an IP address expiring.
After pestering my buddy the computer guru, he finally got through to the bastards that run our service.
Come to find out, all he had to do was unplug something and plug it back in.Jesus Christ on a crutch.
No fucking email, no toobz period.
In all of my bitching and whining I did manage to score a faster computer,heh ,squeaky wheel and all that.
I am afraid to find out how much spam is waiting for me,oh well, the boss is gone today and I am the only one in the shop so I think I'll have plenty of time to find out.
I will do some surfing and see if I can find any new gizmo's out there we can talk about. Back soon.
30 July 2007
To set the scene, Indian is one of those guys who has a chronic 'plumber's crack'. You know, when you can see the crack of his ass above his jeans? So, one day in the past I tell Sam, when she remarked 'I can see Indian's crack', that when I catch him bending over, I slide a long Phillips screwdriver between his cheeks. I didn't think anything more about it.
The other day, Indian is bending over under the hood of a car and I see Sam run to the refrigerator. She puts a finger to her lips, telling me to be quiet. Seems she stuck a wrench in the fridge earlier in the day. She takes the cold wrench and drops it down the Indian's crack. I ain't seen him move that fast since the time one of the auto parts places was giving out free beer. Heh ... Good thing Sam runs faster than the Indian.
Next, I have a bad habit, or bad timing, to be the most politically incorrect at the totally wrong time. Like the time I was doing my best mama-san impersonation, "yeah, GI, ten dollah for boom-boom, my first time, love you all night", while the Korean mail lady was dropping off the mail, or I'll go off on some profanity-laden tirade when, unbeknownst to me, a female customer is in the shop.
So, the other day, Sam froze a bottle of Dasani and would stick it down our shirts when we weren't looking. She does it to the Indian and he tells her "I'm gonna shove it up your ass if you do it again". Of course, that's just asking Sam to do it again. Couple minutes later, I see her sneaking up behind him.
I come around the other side of the car behind her and as soon as she drops it down his back and goes to run, I snatch her up and throw her over my shoulder, her ass up in the air. Sam's screaming bloody murder and I say to the Indian as he approaches with the frozen water bottle "okay, dude, stick it in her ass".
Wouldn't you know, one of the little old Russian ladies picks that time to walk into the shop. She makes the sign of the cross and runs out. I'm still surprised she didn't call the cops.
Just another day at the shop. Heh ...
*Part of an ongoing, semi-regular series.
28 July 2007
I see one of 'em and I put my foot to the floor to see how high I can get it to register.
And if you decide to do what this clown did, I'll drive up on your lawn and run 'em over:
The West Salem firefighter found a way to slow down the drivers who cruise through his neighborhood by using life-sized cut-out photographs of his own children, reported NewsChannel5.
If you drive by Mike Wood's home too fast, you may not be able to tell if those images of children are real or just cut-outs -- and that's the idea, because the photos are making drivers slow down. [my em]
Listen to me. If a cop gets me speeding, I'll gladly pay the fine. I take responsibility for what I do. If a private citizen decides to do the cops' work, I'm gonna hand him his ass. If you ain't a cop, you'd better not fuck with me on the road.
You got speeders on your street? Petition the local government to install more traffic control devices (like we did in my neighborhood). Believe me, playing cop will only get you hurt, regardless of your motives.
Disclaimer: I do not advocate speeding through residential neighborhoods. I don't do it (I keep my excessive speed for the interstate highways) but I got a big problem with wannabe cops getting their jollies at my expense.
27 July 2007
I work with some seriously stupid people, really, seriously ,stupid.
I was walking across the shop when I hear this very loud BANG!
I turned to look and see a tractor truck pulling away from the 40 ft. trailer it had just pulled out from under, with the landing gear UP.
Dumb SOB didn't check the fifth wheel for being latched.
Of course now the electric cable for the lights and both air lines go snap too.
This is just one more for the Bozo's around here.
We had another idjit drive across the yard with the boom up and try to get in the wash bay.
CRUNCH. Tore the front of the building off. Yet another idjit, this time a lady, drove under a conveyor belt 20 ft. in the air with the boom up.
That one was ugly. Twisted the frame and wedged it into the superstructure holding up the belt.
Had to get a monster forklift and drag it back out. Bent a pin for the boom that was 3 inches of solid steel and completely fucked up the boom.
Yep, it's always interesting around this joint, no wonder I drink so damn much.
Speaking of drinking, I am taking a week off to restore whats left of my sanity and will not be anywhere near a computer or phone. I think I am going to fishing in the Columbia river, see if I can finally catch something besides a buzz.
See Ya's in about a week or so.
20 July 2007
I open the doors and water pours out. I look over and there's water in the center console cup holders. Indian and I pop the hood and pull the air cleaner ... soaked. Next we pull the spark plugs and a combination of gas, water, and oil pours out of each hole. I crank the motor with a big ratchet on the crankshaft pulley and empty the cylinders, about a gallon of the mixture, onto the floor. I call the customer up and tell him to call his insurance company so they can total it. He wasn't happy but the motor was full and so was the automatic transmission, not to mention the car was flooded up to the dash, there's no point putting a motor in it when it will have electrical problems for the rest of it's natural life.
Moral: Avoid puddles, I don't care what kind of car you drive.
Next, Friday Amateur Hour on the Expressway. Listen, if your minivan is packed to the gills with all your stuff and your kids so it drags on the road, maybe you shouldn't be driving like an idiot on the highway. I can't understand why people who live on Long Island pay exorbitant amounts for timeshares in the Hamptons (we have 300 miles of some of the best beaches in the world), but you ain't gonna make it there if you flip the fucking thing.
If said minivan also has front wheels whose tops point in and wants to pull violently to one side or the other, you might also want to have some front end work done before you kill the whole damn family.
There's a lot of shit you can let slide on your car, but the safety items, brakes, lights, steering and suspension, tires, should never be ignored. A tire blowing out at highway speed or having to stop suddenly with an overloaded vehicle with shitty brakes, can mean the difference between life and death, not just for your sorry ass but for your family or the poor innocent schmuck who's just trying to get home to his family on a Friday evening.
17 July 2007
To start, a tantalyzing snippet;
Some people find it hard to imagine our car’s Lamborghini-beating acceleration comes from a motor about the size of a watermelon. And while most car engines have to be moved with winches or forklifts, ours weighs about 70 pounds — a strong person could carry it around in a backpack (although we don’t recommend it). Compare that to the mass of machinery under the hood of $300,000 supercars that still can’t accelerate as quickly as the Tesla Roadster.
But more important than the motor’s size or weight is its efficency. Without proper efficiency, a motor will convert electrical energy into heat instead of rotational energy. So we designed our motor to have efficiencies of 85 to 95 percent; this way the precious stored energy of the battery pack ends up propelling you down the road instead of just heating up the trunk.snip
Here is the link for more about the drivetrain of this electrical demon;
Zero to sixty in four seconds. No blower, turbo, carb,pistons or gas.
It's all electric, and it is bad assed.
The Tesla Roadster.
The car is under production now and they are taking orders for the '08 model.
Two cents a mile to run ,by their estimates, it has revolutionary battery packs to store the electricity that it uses and can create its own by using regenerative braking.
This uses the electric motor to create electricity as a generator and greatly increases the distance you can go on a single charge.
For us older gearheads, remember the old days when cars still had generators instead of alternators? How did we test them?
By hooking up a battery to it and turning it into an electric motor.If it spun, it should generate when hooked up and driven by a belt.
Same thing here, just wayyyy modern electronics governing the input and out put.
Here is their home page.