28 June 2007

Its Time Has Come.




World's First Air-Powered Car: Zero Emissions by Next Summer

This six-seater tax, which should be available in India next year, is powered entirely by a tank filled with compressed air.


Barring any last-minute design changes on the way to production, the Air Car should be surprisingly practical. The $12,700 CityCAT, one of a handful of planned Air Car models, can hit 68 mph and has a range of 125 miles. It will take only a few minutes for the CityCAT to refuel at gas stations equipped with custom air compressor units; MDI says it should cost around $2 to fill the car’s carbon-fiber tanks with 340 liters of air at 4350 psi. Drivers also will be able to plug into the electrical grid and use the car’s built-in compressor to refill the tanks in about 4 hours.

Of course, the Air Car will likely never hit American shores, especially considering its all-glue construction. But that doesn’t mean the major automakers can write it off as a bizarre Indian experiment — MDI has signed deals to bring its design to 12 more countries, including Germany, Israel and South Africa.


Popular Mechanics has the full article.

Unfortunately,we will,as usual, be behind the curve on this.
India's biggest car manufacturer has ordered 6,000 of these to debut in 2008.
Ex Formula One engineer Guy Negre designed them and I think we should start putting the pressure on so we could see them here in the U.S.
Zero emmissions. Zero.
The little buggers can go just over 65 mph and 125 miles before a recharge is needed.
MDI, who builds them, is building another car that also uses fuel and the range on those is 2,000 kilometers or about 1.200 hundred miles.

The duel energy engine, on the other hand, has been conceived as much for the city as the open road and will be available in all MDI vehicles. The engines will work exclusively with compressed air while it is running under 50 km/h in urban areas. But when the car is used outside urban areas at speeds over 50 km/h, the engines will switch to fuel mode. The engine will be able to use gasoline, gas oil, bio diesel, gas, liquidized gas, ecological fuel, alcohol, etc.

Both engines will be available with 2, 4 and 6 cylinders, When the air tanks are empty the driver will be able to switch to fuel mode, thanks to the car's on board computer.

The secret, apparently, to this engine is an articulated connecting rod that allows the piston to stay at top dead center longer for the air to charge the cylinder.

You can see an animation of it at work.

I think it's a pretty cool idea that's time has come.

A link to the home page here.

27 June 2007

Crash Test Dummies ...

This affects me directly because, as many of you know, I'm a mechanic. When I saw this last night, I could just guess what my day would be like today. No, I won't be fixing any cars, I'll be fielding questions from customers, both on the phone and in person, about the cheap Chinese tires and if they have them on their car.

Federal officials have told a small New Jersey importer to recall 450,000 radial tires for pickup trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans after the company disclosed that its Chinese manufacturer had stopped including a safety feature that prevented the tires from separating.

Tread separation is the same defect that led to the recall of millions of Firestone tires in 2000. At the time, tire failure was linked to an increased risk of rollover of light trucks and S.U.V.’s.

...


Gotta love that 'free market' economy. Fuck all you idiots who spout the Rethug line that "regulation hurts business". Horseshit. Look at the airline industry since St. Ronnie of Raygun deregulated it. Look at the mass media, TV and newspapers, and the sorry state they're in thanks to the abolition of the 'fairness doctrine'. 'Free market' means big business can run roughshod over the rights of consumers and employees.

We've seen it with the food we feed ourselves and our pets, in the medicines we use to keep us healthy, and we've seen it in the products we use and the services we contract for. Big business is using us as crash test dummies and it's time for them to be held accountable.

Too bad the Chinese hold most of our foreign debt. They know we can't push them too hard or they'll call in the note in the worst case, but they do have the power to fuck up our economy royally. Think that wasn't by design? It's time to reexamine the place big business has in our society and in the national discourse.

Great thanks to Chris at AMERICAblog.

25 June 2007

Shop lines


Great thanks to the Cheezburger for the photo.

Ha Ha Ha Ha,,Yeah, Right.

I couldn't resist this one. All I can say to this ,is,I know a quicker way.

Breaking In Your Tires

Tires are comprised of many layers of rubber, steel and fabric. Due to these different components, your new tires require a "break-in" period to ensure that they deliver their normal ride quality and maximum performance. As tires are cured, a "release lubricant" is applied to prevent them from sticking in their mold. Some of the lubricant stays on the surface of your tires, reducing traction until it is worn away. Five hundred miles of easy acceleration, cornering and braking will allow the mold release lubricant to wear off, allowing the other tire components to begin working together.
snip

Where I lifted this;
Must be a filler article.

22 June 2007

Something new in valves.

To kind of continue the conversation in the comments on the last post, I googled poppet valve technology and found they are soon to be obsolete if this outfit has anything to say about it;

Art Vatsky, P.E. Explains Coates Spherical Rotary Valve Technology

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Coates Spherical Rotary Valve Cylinderhead

WALL TOWNSHIP, N.J.--Coates International, Ltd. (OTCBB: COTE) announced that Art Vatsky, a well-known professional engineer and CEO of Future Fuels Technology, has provided a clear explanation of the company's technology. That independent report is as follows:

"An Elegant Solution for Todays Internal Combustion Engine Valves

Improved Engine Breathing, Reduced Internal Friction, Lower Production Cost"

George G. Coates, CEO of Coates International, Ltd. has devoted a good part of his career to developing and perfecting a spherical rotary valve to be used to replace poppet valves in internal combustion piston engines.

Snip

You can find the rest of the article here.



21 June 2007

20 June 2007

Heh ...

Nothing like the look on a customer's face when they say "I'm here for my inspection" and you pull on a rubber glove and say "okay, drop your pants and bend over".

19 June 2007

Bad days ...

Thank God they don't come around too often. Yesterday at the shop was a day from Hell.

1. Got a 1982 Chevy pickup with a 6.2L V-8 diesel that needs a starter. Guy wants a new starter, as opposed to rebuilt. Starter comes in, not a factory part but new aftermarket. I rip the old (original) out (heavy bitch) and put the new one in. Connect the battery cable and the ignition line and go to connect the battery. As soon as I touch the battery cable to the negative terminal, the starter starts cranking the engine. Problem is, the key is sitting on the front seat. Piece o' shit starter. I call my parts guy and scream at him. He says all he can get me before quitting time is a rebuilt. "Fuck it, send it," I say.

Rebuilt starter comes. I pull out the 'new' starter (heavy bitch) and install the 'new-rebuilt'. I connect the battery cable and I'm happy because the engine doesn't start spinning immediately. I hop in the driver's seat, put the key in the ignition, and ... click ... click. Piece o' shit rebuilt. I call my parts guy and scream at him again. Can't have any kind of starter until today. Call the customer and humble myself and ask if I can have the truck another day. He's understanding, no problem.

2. 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Needs front pads and rotors. Parts come and I pull it in and start taking it apart. Get the right side done and go to the left. Indian helps me out and cleans the cosmoline off the new rotor ... and finds a crack. Cracked straight up from the hub to the outer edge. Piece o' shit rotor. Call up my parts guy and scream at him again. Gotta leave the Jeep hanging on my lift for an hour until I get a new one.

3. 1995 Lincoln Town Car. Needs a right front window motor. Ordered the part from Ford so I'd get the right fucking part. Part comes and I pull the car in. Pull the door panel and all the attendant accoutrement off, blow the rivets out of the bracket and get the motor out only to find ... Ford sent me the left side window motor. Called the Ford parts guy and screamed at him. Turns out the part was mis-boxed. Apologized to the Ford parts guy for screaming at him. Put the door back together and left the old motor unplugged so Mrs. Y won't accidentally put the window down again like she does every other day and I have to wrestle it back up.

I'll be damned if I got anything fixed yesterday.

An Alternative Engine.

Way back in the 1940's there was a gentleman named Russell Bourke who had an idea.
He tinkered around and engineered a mechanical wonder in his home workshop in 1954.
It is difficult to describe, but I will give it a shot and then point you to some links that has videos and a working diagram that will give you a more detailed idea of his vision.
His engine is a pancake design that has two cylinders . Theoretically, you could marry as many together as you wanted for any type of horse power or torque situation you could reasonably dream up.
The opposing pistons are mated to a single connecting rod with a unique triple slipper bearing. The compression ratio could be varied from 8:1 to 20 to 1! It was tested with several different types of fuel and could run on unleaded gas, diesel, Coleman lantern fuel, natural gas etc. .
The original engine was spec'd at 30 cubic inches and tested at 35 HP @ 5,000 RPM. The emissions emitted were Carbon Dioxide, and water vapor.It could be carburated or fuel injected, run a capacitor discharge ignition or use compression to fire the fuel for diesel.
He built a four cylinder version later that was rated at 400 Cubic inches and was static estimated to put out 200 HP and 500 FT LBS. of torque at only 2,000 RPM!
They were also fabulously fuel efficient, running air to fuel ratios of 30:1 and even 50 : 1 with an exhaust temperature of only 190-240 degrees!
Enough out of me, go check out the website thoroughly, it is flat out fascinating.
Here is a working diagram so you can wrap your head around the design ,and here is the home page, be sure and check out the videos.

I would love to see one of these stuffed under the hood of a car.

I Thought They Discontinued These Things.

Apparently not.





The 2008 Ford Taurus.

18 June 2007

Start With A Good Idea...







Then run with it.....









One small bit of advice;
Next time don't wait damn near forty years to do it,'K?





Links to pics,

http://www.allsportauto.com/english/ford_mustang_shelby_gt_500.php

http://www.muscularmustangs.com/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=18&page=5

Are you idiots?

I'd like to know who the genius was who thought this was safe?

SELMER, Tenn. -- Two more people have died after a drag-racing car went out of control and careened into a crowd of spectators, raising the death toll to six, officials said yesterday.

...

There was a guard rail along at least part of the highway but not where the crash occurred.

...


We've been dealing with the street racing problem in NY a long time and are painfully aware of what can go wrong. Thing is, most street racing is illegal. This was a legal, sanctioned event so I ask the organizers, what the fuck were you thinking? How the fuck are you gonna sleep at night with 6 lives, so far, on your conscience?

This accident was a long time coming and as those of us in the business know, racing is inherently dangerous. I could regale you for hours with stupid racing stories of how shit happened at sanctioned tracks.

A note to the person who arranged this idiocy: You have a good cause; next year hold it at a racetrack instead of a highway. If there is a next year. Odds are, you'll be sued into destitution. Good luck living out of that refrigerator box.

Question for the Tennessee Highway Patrol: How the fuck did they get a permit for this stupidity?

17 June 2007

3 days on ...


Click to embiggen.


Well, three days and 150 miles in with the new Escape and the first impression is that it's a solid (the doors sound as solid as the ones in the Explorer when you close 'em) well thought out vehicle.

It has as much power as the Ranger, though the automatic (4 speed overdrive) doesn't leave the line like the standard shift did. Passing power is more than adequate at highway speed.

The car is also comfortable, the seats hug you and seem to adjust indefinitely. I got cloth interior instead of leather so I wouldn't stain the shit out of it (I do drive it to work and the Mrs. always nags at me when I get something on the seats in the Explorer when I take her car) and it's easier to clean if I do.

Ergonomically, the dash is laid out well, even including a digital gas mileage meter to remind me when I'm driving ... wastefully. Heh ... All the controls are easy to get to and easy to read while keeping your eyes on the road. Blind spots are few as well and the oversize side view mirrors make you forget about the few it does have.

The tunes are awesome, the JBL Audiophile 6-CD/MP3 player along with Sirius Satellite Radio. This is my first experience with satellite (it's part of the Ford special on the car, they pick up the subscription for the first 6 months) and I am truly impressed; enough to consider continuing the subscription after the trial period is up. I'm in the car for 60 miles a day in NYC/Long Island traffic, good tunes are a must when my commute can be anywhere from 40 minutes to 3 hours, depending on prevailing conditions.

I'll have more once I put a couple thousand miles on it but at first blush, I'm very happy with it.

16 June 2007

NASCAR question ...

Is it me or are the Busch Series races getting to be more fun to watch than the Nextel Cup cars? This whole Car of Tomorrow (seems like IROC with fancier paint jobs to me) thing is dubious (sorry, but I been a NASCAR fan since they ran real showroom stock cars) and Tony Stewart was right, it does seem more like professional wrestling than auto racing.

Resources

I found a great site, thanks to linkage to Gord's post below, run by a lady named Louise Kyle. She's from out Gord's way too. From oil changes to increasing your car's resale value, she covers it all. Give her a look-see.

14 June 2007

Dr. John, the Auto Tripper




These pics get positively HUGE if you click 'em! By all means, do so.


I took my Dakota over to The Auto & Tire Doctor today for an oil change and tire rotation. What's a mechanic doing having someone else work on his rig, you ask? The $29.95 Special of the Month is why. I usually do my own oil changes, but the oil filter is a pain in the ass on that thing. I don't know what it's like up on a hoist, but on the ground the filter lacks about 1/4 inch of enough clearance to drop right out like it ought to, so you have to slide it forward and change hands between the frame and the hot exhaust manifold, arms fore and aft of the tire with your chin resting on it. No fun. Rotating the tires with a floor jack in my sloping driveway is a time-consuming pain as well. It costs me a little under $20 to do an O & F change myself, so another ten bucks or so to do the rotation is well worth it.

John, the owner of this joint, is an old pal. We started our shops one door apart in the same industrial park the exact same day in '84. He started The Auto Doctor with 450 square feet, built it up 'til he had all ten units in the original building, and through the magic of time and hard work, not to leave out a missus with a lotta business savvy, now owns the 12,000 sq.ft. building, on 2 1/2 acres, that you see in the above photo. The four bays are about sixty feet long with roll-up doors on the other end as well.

The windows above the entrance and customer waiting room (other photo) are apartments John built to house some of his employees. Forty Meskins in each one! Just kidding. That's huge. Affordable housing for working folks in our town is getting increasingly hard to come by. While the building was being designed he thought of a damn good use for what would otherwise have been wasted space.

Speaking of the waiting room, there's magazines and TV, and a lot of deco: die-casts, signs, license plates, all kinds of automotive and NASCAR memorabilia. John has an RS/SS El Camino that he built, and El Caminos are the preponderance of the die-casts. It's hard to get very bored in that joint.

I waited for my pickup in the outdoor waiting area, equipped with nice patio furniture and also a cow-condo grill upon which John occasionally cooks lunch for his employees and customers. When he's not cookin' up road kill ("From your grille to ours!"), there's coffee, popcorn, and hot dogs for the customers. For free!

Did I mention that John is a nice guy who likes to treat people right?

Just to give you the small-town flavor, while I was waiting I had a nice chat with a young lady, maybe mid-30s, who was waiting on her Ranger (smart girl, huh, F-Man?). She ended up showing me pictures of her grandkids, which floored me 'cuz she didn't look old enough. The Ozzy Osbourne T-shirt musta fooled me. She also said her Mom liked to play video games, which she thought was weird for an "old" lady of 60. I set her straight on that "old at 60" shit right quick! I also got a short visit with some folks I've known for 25 years but haven't seen in quite a while that were getting their car serviced. I got caught up on their kid: "He's in juvie. Three dirty pee tests. All the kids quit racin' motocross, too. They all got hurt too bad. Catchin' too much air." Some things never change. Heh. Pretty fun way to wait for your rig.

The shop is modern and up-to-the-minute. I don't know how many employees John has but it's a bunch. Mechanics these days need a lot more learnin' than they used to because basically they're electronics diagnosticians, but they still get greasy up past their armpits on occasion. He also has service writers, tire guys, and office folks. When he started out, John did it all by himself. Now he just walks around, schmoozes, does whatever he can to keep things goin' smooth. It's the biggest shop in town and has the best reputation.

He gives back to the community, too. Just about every event you go to around here, The Auto & Tire Doctor is on the list of sponsors, particularly all us gearheads' favorite, the annual Cannibal Cruise. By the way, the guys who put on the cruise say it got its name from 'cannibalizing' parts to build cars, but those of us who live here near Donner Lake and Donner Pass know that it's really named after a peculiar eating habit of some of the old pioneers.

I just wanted to share John's success story with you. It shows what a dumb-ass kid wrench with a dream can do with a lot of hard and honest work.

Update:

The title of the post comes from the old days when John and I both, er, worked, yeah, that's the ticket, 'til all hours to try and keep up with things. The statute of limitations has run out on some of our nocturnal goings-on, but I'm still not going there. We're mechanics, not altar boys, after all. These days I call him "the T & A Doc".

Something Wicked This Way Comes


This is the 2006 Weineck 780 CID Limited Edition A/C Cobra.

Thats right, Seven Hundred Eighty Cubic Inches.Or,12.9 Litres. Only 15 were to be built and you could get any color interior you wanted.Here is some of the article from which I got this picture along with a link;


The first turn of the key activates a gigantic high-pressure fuel pump. To tromp and release the accelerator pedal means more than half a litre of finest nutrition (fuel) have arrived inside the ultra high-performance carburetor system to feed the devil, that is Weineck's custom milled V8 engine. The next turn activates the gigantic starter motor to spin the crankshaft resulting in an latent idle of 1,000rpm.

Even up to 4,000 rpm, the Weineck Cobra 780 cui Limited Edition accelerates faster than any other supercar when fully driven. The accelerator pedal always has to be operated very gently and with respect. The world's most powerful, strongest & best accelerating road-legal car and its absent of aids from the digital era like ASR, ESP, ABS etc.

Above 5,000rpm the engine delivers its world record torque of 1300 ft.lbs (1,760 Nm) at 5,600rpm. It's more like Sol 5 on Starship Enterprise! The rev. limiter is set to cut in at 8,000 rpm and the engine reaches its maximum power of 1,100 hp at 7,000 rpm. In fact, the engine revs faster than the classic Smith instrumentation can follow!

From 0-300 km/h (186 mph) in just 10 seconds! That is, of course, not only possible by using the strongest, naturally aspirated engine ever built for a road car.

snip

Take a look here for more.

I have as many Nads as the next guy but this thing sounds very scary.
Which of course, means I want one!

12 June 2007

Tech Tips

I would like to thank Fixer for giving me the opportunity to post here,it is an honor and I hope to have more to come later on. I am also greatly looking forward to picking Gordons mind on a few things as I love old iron and use to ride motorcycles as a crazy youngster.
I hope I can relay some time saving tips from my side as I use to work flat rate as a mechanic, which is piece work. The quicker you got done, the more money you could make.So I have a few things up my sleeve and hope you can benefit from my experiences.


Anyone who has ever done any amount of wrenching will immediately grimace whenever this topic is broached;
Gasket removal.
Who hasn't spent a few hours scraping and cursing a particularly stubborn gasket?
One that has been stuck on a piece for say, 25 years or more?
Oh yeah, been there.
I have seen some nasty hand wounds from guys who tried using a gasket scraper the wrong way,to tell the truth I have a couple of scars myself.
Well, I am here to make your day.
I first ran into the original version of these little wonder discs back in the mid nineties. Perhaps you have seen them.
3M calls them Roloc surface preparation discs.They come in different diameters and different degrees of coarseness. They twist onto a collet you put in a 90 degree die grinder.
Instead of an hour of scraping, you can do a water pump gasket in two minutes.
They are awesome for large gaskets and can be used for rust removal, paint removal (to a point)
heck, I even used one once to put a quick edge on my knife!
Care should be used, eye protection is a must, gloves, possibly dust protection.
You do not want any of the resulting dust to get inside an engine, it is literally sandpaper
particles getting into your bearings etc.Care must also be taken when using on aluminum parts as it will quickly eat into the gasket surface if you are not paying attention.
Here is a link to the 3M site, there are other brands out there.
I will say ,once you try these you will be glad you did.

http://www.tcpglobal.com/3m/3m101-4.aspx

11 June 2007

Staff

We'll be adding a new mechanic to the staff. Please welcome Bustednuckles to the blog and pay attention to what he tells you. He's been to a lot of the Ford schools I have and from his comments it's easy to infer he knows what he's talking about.

10 June 2007

Housekeeping ...

Figured I'd spruce the place up a bit. The impetus for this came while searching for artwork for the Brain. I stumbled across the above (the name of the painting is "Outta Gas and She's Gotta Go") and I thought it fit well with the page. Comments solicited.

09 June 2007

Goodbye, old friend ...



It chokes me up, but I'll be saying goodbye to my Ford Ranger this Friday. The Mrs. and I got a wild hair this morning after getting a flyer from the Ford dealership advertising rebates on '08 Escapes and we decided to go look. Well, this is what I walked out with an hour ago.



The Ranger was one of the best cars I've ever had and I'll miss it, but the warranty will be up next month and as hard as I am on cars, a big repair (transmission or differential) was in the cards for the near future. I'll be sad but I look forward to driving the more versatile Escape.

The Ranger is/was a sports car (I called it my undercover mid-life crisis car; did you actually think I'd drive a red sports car?) and I only used it as a pickup once and that was to pick up 2 brand new tires from Goodyear for a customer's car.

After 35,000 miles, daily 90+ mph runs on the highway, regular powershifts, and sliding around turns, take my advice and buy a Ranger if you're looking for a small pickup. If I couldn't kill it, it's a good bet it'll take anything a normal person can throw at it.

We'll see what the Escape can take soon enough, won't we? Heh ...

And just a note, because they do treat us so well, we buy all our vehicles (this will be our 6th from them) at:

Newins Bay Shore Ford
219 W Main St.
Bay Shore, NY 11706


If you live in the NY Metro area, you owe it to yourself to give 'em a look before you buy.

And just a clarification, the reason I didn't get another Ranger is because Ford doesn't make the Edge package anymore. The closest thing they had (I had the salesman look) was the STX package and the lowest gear I could get in the differential with a standard transmission was 3.73:1. The Ranger Edge came with 4.11:1 and it was part of the reason the car was so much fun to drive.

And of course I got the 3.0L V-6 in the Escape, the same as in the Ranger. I'm not a fan of the 3.8L V-6 in the least.

06 June 2007

Better ideas ...


If you've read this blog and don't know I'm not just a Ford guy but have worked for them and have a deep affinity for the company and the product, you ain't been paying attention. And I am not averse to criticizing them when they need it either. I've had serious issues with William Clay Ford when he was running the show.

That's why this news today makes me happy.

Ford Motor Co. snared five top category awards in an annual survey of new car quality, more than any other auto maker, according to J.D. Power and Associates.

The Dearborn-based car company bumped Toyota, winner of the most category honors in last year's survey.

...


It's about time they are able to compete with the Japanese brands, especially Toyota whose quality is legendary.

...

The 2007 Initial Quality Study, released this afternoon, rates overall brand quality and also ranks vehicles within specific segments or categories. Top model segment honors went to the Ford Mustang, Lincoln Mark LT, Lincoln MKZ, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Mercury Milan.

In all, 14 Ford Motor models placed in the top three of their respective categories.

...


Hopefully, the brand can begin to reclaim some of their past greatness.

05 June 2007

Firsts ...

I've told you a few times that my buddy Nunzio will work on anything. He doesn't care. He and Marino (the Greek that works for him) will take in Maseratis, Jaguars, even French cars, not to mention everybody with an Italian car on Long Island goes to him. When we have piece of shit, hard to work on foreign cars, we offer Nunz the job.

Well today I get this 5 year old Chevy Cavalier (80,000 miles) in on the hook. New customer, said on the phone she overheated it and it didn't want to run anymore ("You know, it made that clanking noise"). I get it off the wrecker and there isn't one straight piece of sheetmetal on the thing. The nose is pushed over about an inch and a half to the right and the hood overlaps the left fender. Fine. I push it into the shop and fill it with water. A good sign, the water didn't just pour out of it.

I tell Harry to try and start it. As it cranked, I could hear the compression was gone in one cylinder but it fired. That's when I saw exhaust coming out of the radiator filler. I told Harry to back it out and park it. The head gasket, maybe the head itself was shot.

Now, I don't want to work on this (if it were a long-time, regular customer I'd consider it, but I don't know the person and, from the look of the car, getting paid for a $1500 bill might prove ... difficult) and at that time, Nunz comes up with an inspection. I ask him if he wants the job and we'd tow it up to him. He looks it over and says "not for a million bucks".

First time for everything.

03 June 2007

Fireroad Special



I just like this bike and wanted to share. It's a '70 Triumph Bonnie set up for street and fast dirt roads. It will make about 50HP, with bags of torque. These things are about as much fun as you can have with yer clothes on!

The bike ain't got a thing on it that it doesn't need to get down the road without getting a ticket.

Ceriani forks, Works Performance shocks, Filtron 'green weenie' air filters, TT pipes (I'll bet those "mufflers" are hollow!), minimal lighting, fenders, and other legal BS, the rare (these days) aluminum oil tank and the very rare Webco rocker shaft oil manifold - an older-style set-up. Someone's been havin' big fun with this sled for a long time. The disc brakes and aluminum rims reduce unsprung weight, just be feather-fingered on that front one in the dirt.

Turn comin' up on that twisty ol' fireroad? Crank on some throttle in 3rd, 4th if ya got a pair, and back 'er in! Whee!

And yes, my pants are down around my ankles...

There's more "readers' rides" at the LATimes.

02 June 2007

Giving back to the future

I appreciate all the comments on the post about Sam doing well on her final exam presentation and it got me to thinking about the kids I've mentored in the car business and the talented, promising young women Mrs. F has taken under her wing over the years. I don't know who has reaped more rewards, the Mrs. and I when we see a kid we've worked with become successful or the kids themselves.

It's our way of giving back for our success and it's also a form of investment in the future of our nation and the world. It's not only job training but a chance to bring our progressive outlook on life, and impart some of the lessons we've learned along the way, to the next generation who'll run this planet when we're gone. I don't know how much will stick, but I believe every experience can be learned from.

I encourage everyone to spend some time with a young person. Listen to them and find out what makes them tick and then lend your advice and guidance. Don't preach, don't act like a parent, be their friend and give them the encouragement they need to develop their self-esteem and the knowledge they'll need to deal with the world, whether it be in business or in life, lessons learned young will last a lifetime.

I have had several mentors in my life whose guiding hand and influence has made me a better person and a better mechanic, and I am forever in their debt. Mentor a young person, give them a hand up, teach them how to be good, successful people and the world will reap the reward.

***


And a Sam update: Harry and I were talking this morning and agreed that since her internship is over, and the fact she enjoys working with us, we're gonna put her on staff for the summer. We'll work out her hours when she starts college in fall (if she'll even have the time), but we figured we might as well start paying her. She'll need all the scratch she can get for tuition and books.