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What’s Your Automotive News for the Week?

Greg Kachadurian March 23, 2018 The News! 33 Comments

Your news boy is on a super serious business trip doing business stuff with business people. None of the other hoons had interest in making a news post on my behalf. I guess we might as well have your news fill this time slot instead, huh?

You know the drills: if you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or otherwise did anything even remotely car related that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments. Your regularly scheduled news should return next week… so look forward to that.

Have a good weekend.

[Image © 2018 Redusernab/Greg Kachadurian]

  • Greg Kachadurian

    So my biznis trip ended yesterday. On today’s agenda….

    • Tamerlane’s Thoughts

      It doesn’t get any greener than that in California.

      • Batshitbox

        Humboldt & Mendocino Counties get a bit greener…

        • … and that’s just your porch!

  • Sjalabais

    So tomorrow morning we’ll be heading out on a little Easter vacation in the mountains. What better preparation than the first CEL in my Honda today?

    My OBD2 reader didn’t manage to connect to the ECU, neither did my neighbour’s professional equipment. Of hundreds of cars he has connected to, my weird Honda was the first to decline. In any case, he figured it might just be the lambda sond (he saw some electric issue code) and we resetted the ECU. In his garage, a one off 940 Turbo with a 960 front and S70 taillights – pretty well executed. I never understood why people would put a lot of effort into cosmetic changes like this, but it looks surprisingly coherent:



    Bought from Sweden, he will fix it up.

    • Rover 1

      It’s still all Volvo.

  • There is a good special for a welder, I’m really tempted to get it. It would be a head first dive for me, but I am old enough to my naivety with money.
    Shopping spree for tools and equipment will follow, eventually.

    • 1slowvw

      Learning to weld, even poorly, was likely the single most important skill that has allowed me to go from a guy who can change out engines (eg:remove blown up engine a and replace with good known example of engine a) to being able to do engine swaps(eg: remove engine a replace with engine b then turbo said engine).

      Also the satisfaction from making two pieces of metal into one is far greater than it should be.

      In short buy a welder, regardless of your age.

      • Well, since you told me so – I started to create facts: I bought an angle grinder, welding gloves, and a slag hammer (that’s not an allround tool so I /have/ to go the full mile now). The welding machine is selected (Migatronic, a popular inverter box around here with non-proprietary connectors, that will do everything from rod electrodes to some kind of TIG), and will be ordered these days as soon as I get a package offer and a way to supply gas without buying a bottle for USD400, or overpaying for effectively 10min of gas flow from a 1L bottle. The money I save shall go into welding blankets.

        • Bought used: stationary drill, electric grindstone, metal work bench, and a ball peen hammer (I stem from a culture where you have bias-shaped rear ends). I’m really forcing me into this!

  • Fred

    After the recent snow in the Sierras, a couple of passes of the snow plow and shoveling the drive way, I took my TSX Sportwagon with Michelin Ice X tires out for a drive down the hill. Power had been out for over a day, I was getting stir crazy and wanted a hot meal. Drove thru some snow drifts. Got loose a couple of times and yea it was pretty slow going. Still considering it was my first real drive in the white stuff it was alright. Now if a real reason comes up I’ll feel a little better about leaving the house. I think we will have another chance this weekend.

  • The Protege I bought this summer for my daughter broke a cable in the driver’s window regulator so I had it at the house to fix that and decided it was time for it’s first oil change under my care. I had always found the dip stick in this car hard to read but it was always wet so I didn’t worry too much When I checked it prior to draining it I figured out why. The level was a good 3/4″ above the full mark. Given the space between full and add is usually 1 quart, and assuming that the level is proportional from there, that means it was 1.5 to 2 quarts over full. Yikes

    My first thought was what knucklehead put too much oil in, but then I started thinking about a possible head gasket failure leading to coolant in the oil. The oil I drained didn’t look abnormal and the coolant tank wasn’t low and the coolant was nice and green so I’m sticking with my knucklehead theory for now. I asked her to keep an eye on the level and if it goes up to let me know right away.

    • Lokki

      My guess is that it will go up again and here is why: the daughter factor. That is, somewhere out there is a young lad who will be thrilled to do the check-the-oil/slay-the-dragon thing for her, damsel in distress that she will appear, to his eyes, to be. Why he did it last time for her, and she was nearly two quarts low! All that smoking on start-up just proved how badly the engine is using oil. The only way I can think of to prevent this would be to find some paint that will stick (yeah, right) to the dipstick and paint a mark at the full point.

      • LOL, if you knew my daughter, you’d understand how this doesn’t apply to her. First, she knows how to check her own oil and, second, has little patience for fools trying to impress her.

        Back in middle school (she’s 20 now) a boy had a crush on her and, as middle school boys will do, was picking on her to show it. After being unsuccessful asking him to stop, she smacked him over the head with her textbook. Hard. Not exactly the kind of problem resolution strategy that I wanted to promote (and she suffered consequences for it), but it did do this dad’s heart a bit of good knowing that she could stand up for herself.

  • outback_ute

    Visited a friend’s shed yesterday, he has 4 Datsun 1600’s, one with a FJ20, one SR20 and a home–brewed L18 EFI turbo he built in 1991, the last one was a US 510 2 door converted to rhd. Plus a Nissan Homer truck and diesel-swapped Bronco he is putting a Banks turbo on. And a 720 4×4 that he has been used as a powered wheelbarrow.

    Then today another friends new shed, this time a Sunbeam Rapier, Hillman Minx sedan, wagon and convertible, Hillman Imp and Super Minx wagon.

    Nothing like a bit of variety!

  • ptschett

    Pretty boring here. I did an oil change on the Challenger just to stay on the right side of the 12 month/10,000 miles/oil life monitor indication (whichever comes first) requirement in the owners manual where the only thing I was anywhere near breaching was the time requirement.

  • fede

    it’s been just a few days since the DeSoto came back from the shop, with all the interior done. it’s amazing the change that a bit of sound and heat isolation can make…

    • Sjalabais

      Wow, that’s gorgeous. Need more photos to verify properly though, cough.

      • fede

        Thanks! the result was great. As any project, it ended up overtime and overbudget. And if you look at it closely, defects start to show. But as a whole, it’s great. Enjoyable, usable, it looks good, and now it’s as comfortable as it should be.

        *saying it ended is a bit generous… still some sorting left to do

    • outback_ute

      Did you fit dynamat or similar, or is it just having carpets etc that has had the change?

      • fede

        There is something between the carpets and the floor, it’s not dynamat (I think I saw something about that on jay leno’s garage), but I don’t really know what it is or how it’s called. But definitely there is something under the carpet.
        Also some holes were covered and a gasket used on the front part of the floor over the gearbox.

        It was quite noisy and hot before! 🙂

        • outback_ute

          Good to know, my mate’s Super Minx wagon is pretty noisy on the open road, I don’t think it has much insulation if any. Checking for firewall/trans tunnel holes being sealed properly is a good starting place!

  • Smaglik

    Thankfully no news, as I just completed a 3000 mile spring break road trip in the X3, completely uneventful, AZ to MT and back, and other assorted destinations.

  • onrails

    Cold weekend still but I think we’re finally out of snow until November so I swapped to summer tires and hosed out/mopped the garage, put the snowblower away, and the propane heater, heavy boots, and insulated coveralls are back up in the attic. Now we just need some rain to get the salt off the roads (maybe tomorrow?) and it’ll be time to wake the SS up out of hibernation.

    • GTXcellent

      Summer tires? We got 8″ of new snow yesterday – it’s going to be awhile before we take the snows off

      • onrails

        And I thought I lived in the great white north… keep the faith! I did help my dad load a bunch more firewood into the basement yesterday… hopefully he’s just using the free labor and not preparing for something other than his normal slow re-stocking of the woodpile after a long winter.

        • Sjalabais

          Half of all Norwegians go to the mountains (or wherever) during Easter, it’s the country’s biggest vacation season. We rent a cabin in the interior. The road up the mountain is a private toll road consisting of ice with fresh snow on top. I don’t have chains for the Camry, so this is all about momentum: If I meet a car and need to stop, I need to reverse at most 3km down the hill to the next spot where acceleration is possible. Trying to take curves at idiot speeds, with all four studded tires taking only rough directional hints is colossal fun, but I pray to the Easter Bunny that there will be no one trying to get down this road in the other end of the corner…

          • onrails

            I’m sure the picture isn’t doing the elevation justice… it looks like fun and/or misery depending on the situation. Good luck and enjoy your break!

  • P161911

    I’m really starting to hate the whole commuting thing. Last Monday I got rear ended in the Silverado. Traffic in front of me stopped quickly for a guy making a right hand turn. The guy behind me didn’t. Silverado 1 Kia Forte 0. After picking his headlight out of my bumper and a police report, I was on my way, while his car awaited a tow truck and most likely a date with the junk yard. The truck is now in need of a new bumper and left rear quarter panel at least. After some confusion on insurance carriers from the accident report, I’m now the one filing the claim against State Farm. I was on the other end of a similar situation back in the fall. Two bit of good news, no one was hurt. I had a very minor sore back for a day. Went to the doctor that afternoon at the insistence of my co-workers, minor back sprain. As soon as I mentioned that I went to the doctor, the insurance company started offering me money. (Not sure how I feel about this.) I now have a new Impala rental car for the foreseeable future. I like the Impala, GM has come a long way in the last few years.
    Now on the weekends I have a cheapskate’s dilemma. When hauling the family around, do I use the Volt, which basically doesn’t use gas, or do I use the Impala and keep miles off my car?

    • Sjalabais

      Good to hear that you walked away from it in ship shape! Let me rephrase your question: Would you like to put miles on your hard earned automobile, or would you test how much sideways you can go in a random rental? My car was first owned by a rental company, so I follow that philosophy through as the third owner.

      • P161911

        Note the “when hauling the family around” part. The wife and daughter do not approve of sideways stuff. The wife choose the Volt for her weekly car pool duties, so I will be testing the full 305 horsepower of the Impala on my drive home this afternoon through the foothills of the North Georgia mountains. The morning drive is heavily trafficked highways, so no chance for hooning. In the evening I avoid the mall area and get a few semi-fun roads.

        • Sjalabais

          Yeah, I guess that was just a clumsy approach at “don’t forget it’s fun, too”. My wife doesn’t approve at sideways driving either, but I tell her it’s better to know when and how the car slides than being surprised and flummoxed by it. On the Camry, we got GoodYear IceContact 2 studs, supposedly test winners, but compared to Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7, which I had bought repeatedly for half a dozen cars, these tires just lose grip suddenly. It’s like learning to drive all over again, just because of backless rubber.

  • Alff

    This week’s wrenching total, four rotors and sets of pads, two calipers, a radiator, headlight bulb and egr valve. Spring has arrived.

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