Posts Tagged With: Cars

A slow, hot, bath

Nothing like giving my baby a slow hot bath. Running my hands over her curves while lathering her up. Touching every line and crevice. Running clean water over her body, and gently rubbing her down afterwards. Yup, I do love washing my car. My Challenger is all clean and shiny now.

I posted that a while back on my Facebook. My then girlfriend, now wife, at first was embarrassed because she thought it was about her. After that she was just supremely annoyed that it was about my Challenger. 🙂

Categories: Cars, Women | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

She was wating for me…..

My dad died last June, the weekend right after fathers day to be exact. He had a major aneurism a couple of days before Fathers Day, as he walked in to The Roadhouse in Kramer Junction. His Chrysler 300C was sitting beside the diner for a couple of days before my fiancée and I drove her up here. After he died she sat up here for a few months, and then was moved back down to my dads house, where it sat. My siblings and I all agreed (even the ones that do not get along), that the car belong to my brother T. T bought the car for my dad about three years before, and before my dad died he probably put close to 3,000.00 in to the car.

When my brother bought the car for my dad it had a little over 74,000 miles on it. As it sits now, it has over 247,000 miles on it, and still runs pretty strong. Mostly highway and interstate miles. The car had been in really good shape, but as my dads health became worse, his cognitive abilities lessened, the miles grew, and the car became a bit battered and bruised, inside and out. Hence, the 3,000.00 that was put in to it. Water pump, radiator, hoses, alternator, oil pressure sensor, windshield, etc.

My brother T let the car sit, he didn’t want to deal with it at first. I think later he just wanted to let the car “retire.” However, as I am getting married on Friday he agreed to let me have the car for my fiancée. She needs something other than my 21 year old, falling apart Explorer, even if it is only for a couple years until we can afford a decent car for her.

The car has been sitting since June and hasn’t never even been started as I had the only key, no ones else wanted the responsibility of the key. So last night I caught a ride to my dads, jumper cables in tow as I figured the battery would be long since dead. I walked up to my dads car wondering if I would have enough gas to drive the 20 miles to the nearest gas station, wondering if I was going to get pulled over for driving a car that wasn’t registered or insured, wondering how much money this was going to cost me in the long run, wondering if I was even going to be able to get the car registered in my name, worried that something would go wrong, and then I got a strange feeling that I should try the key, so I did.

She unlocked when I hit the button on the key fob and turned over when I started her. She had about a quarter tank of gas and all the tires were fully inflated. She had an oil starved tick from the top end when I started her, but as the oil flowed and she warmed up, she quieted down.

I pulled my dads clothes out of the trunk and put them in his house, along with his glasses and address book. I’m not sure what will happen to them, but I know that my fiancée and I will take care of his car.

As I pulled out of the gate and drove down the road, she started running even better. After using up most of the old gas and replacing it with new gas, she ran even more confidently down the road.

It was like she had been waiting for me to come back and rescue her the whole time.

Categories: Cars, Death, Family, Life | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cars and Cats

I like cats. I like Cars. Cars and cats do not go together.

When I stay at my fiancée’s place, where I will soon be living, their is only a small carport to park under. This saddens me as my car is left out in the elements instead of covered by a garage. Then I think about my car in the elements all day at work and I give a small sigh of resignation and move on with my day.

However, this last six months or so cats in the neighborhood have taken to jumping on and off my car, peeing on the powder coated rims, peeing on the wheel wells, peeing on lower parts of the doors, etc. The effect of the cats jumping on my car; all kinds of pay prints and scratches in the clear coat and paint. At the same time, the ammonia in the urine eats up the paint on the body and powder coat on the rims. You can see spots on the rims clear coat that have been totally eaten away already. Not to mention the stench of cat pee around the car when you try and wash it.

I see various cats outside in the morning when I leave for work, so it is hard to pin point which cat is doing it. In fact, it could be more than one cat. I hear cat fights outside the window a lot. I could complain to the owners if I find out which cat(s) are doing it, but I have a feeling my complaints will fall of deaf ears.

Some of you are probably thinking, “get a car cover.” I could, but the car cover in itself is a problem. First, their is just the hassle of putting on and taking off a car cover every day, or multiple times a day. Plus, living in the desert, the dirt and dust that gets under car covers starts acting like sand paper every time the car cover moves. I would be trading cats for a sand paper equivalent. Not a good option.

This leaves me with three option categories:

1.) Extreme measures. Leave out bowels of anti freeze or just stalk them with my 22 rifle.

2.) Try and find some sort of deterrent. Spray, ultrasonic, etc.

3.) Trap them and take them to the pound.

Category one presents many problems: A fiancée/wife that would probably be beyond angry with me. Don’t want to be kicked out of the house weeks within getting married. Plus, can you imagine our little girls reaction when they find out dad is murdering cats? I shudder to think of the tears. There is always the possibility of fines and/or jail for animal cruelty too.

Category two seems like a viable solution. However, when I read the online reviews I can’t seem to find any that always work. Either some cat’s just aren’t affected by them, or the cats learn that the deterrents are more of an annoyance that can be overcome.

Category three would be pretty easy. The fiancée isn’t opposed to it provided that we give a warning to the cat owners first. She likes to play fair for some reason. I’m leaning towards this, but the pound may have issues with me coming in frequently with trapped cats, especially if they have identification of some sort.

Anyone out there face this issue? Anyone have any ideas?

Categories: animals, Cars | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Motorgrounds, a Cars and Coffee type event

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Categories: Cars, Friends | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking in the cracked mirror

It would be easy to blame all of my flaws on my parents. Isn’t that what society does today? Blame everyone but themselves? Alas, I am an adult now and I have to take responsibility for my own actions.

Somewhere along the road of life I learned to be pessimistic about pretty much everything. Again, my first thought is to point at my mom and say “I learned it from her!” But again, I am responsible for my own feelings and actions. I have a really good life these days. Let me state that again, I have a really good life.

Why do I have a good life?

First and foremost I have a beautiful and loving fiancé that is always there for me and two beautiful daughters. I can’t state that enough. I see them and I can’t believe that they are in my life, it was like winning the lottery. When my dad ended up in Loma Linda she drove down there with me and never left my side. When my sister and her mother held a memorial service for my dad, my fiancé was right there beside me even though she had just come off working two graveyard shifts in a row and was dead on her feet. She calms my anger. In general makes me want to be a better man for her and the girls. Do better, be better, be there for her like she is for me, give her nice things. Be the dad for our daughters that they deserve.

Why else do I have a great life? I have some great friends; some if which I have had for most of my life. Last year I helped start The Sidewinder Motor Club where I have made even more friends and had some awesome experiences. Career wise, I was recently promoted to the GS-12 position of Deputy NAVOSH Installation Program Director. Fancy way of saying assistant department head for Safety. I was just given a great performance review for the year, I have the respect of some fairly high up individuals and to be blunt, I am damn good at my job when I am not being lazy.

I drive a 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T as my daily driver! Screw you gas mileage! I can afford a big V8! Speaking of big V8’s, my grandfather recently gave me a 1984 F250 with a 460 V8 and camper to repair and then just have. My fiancé gave me an X-Box One for Christmas! I have a comic book collection that my nerdy friends envy and a book collection that a lot of people drool over….until they help me move.

Speaking of my grandfather, he told me he was proud of me. That’s huge in my grandfathers world. For all of their flaws, my bio family does care for me and even love me. This is more than a lot of people have.

But the pessimistic me is always there…..

I’m constantly looking at what’s wrong with me, what I don’t have, etc. I see my car loan and my student loans and complain about how broke I am, when in reality the student loans gave me my degree and my degree helped me land my job! I love my car, so then why do I complain about the loan that I took to get it? I look in the mirror and see a fat version of myself, but instead of doing anything about it I just complain. I always want more, I never do good enough for myself…the list of complaints when I look around me can go on.

I’ve always been told I am hard on myself, that I judge myself too harshly. However, I am also told I judge others too harshly. It’s true too. For some reason I really don’t like most people, even ones I haven’t met. I tend to judge them on the smallest actions and immediately dismiss them as being a moron, a douche, an ass, a mooch, a drama queen, etc. I tend to prop myself up as being better than they are too, unwilling to recognize the struggles they are going through because I can’t see past my own past.

I have a chip on my shoulder when it comes to my friends that were given a lot of breaks in life or just grew yup privileged. Yet, these are the same ones that I compare my life too and say “well they did it/have it, why can’t I?”

These are things in my life I need to change for my fiancé and the girls, or I am going to drive them out of my life. I need to be a better person, while also recognizing that I already have things pretty damn good.

Categories: Family, Friends, General | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More fun with vehicles, this time my 2012 Challenger R/T

Lately I have been experiencing hard shifts from 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 and downshifting between the same gears. I never had it before, just started intermittently and slowly encroaching it’s way in to my shifting to the point that every other time I drive the car it is rough shifting. I have read countless threads on Challenger, Chrysler, and Dodge forums on the issue. Evidently Chrysler is aware of the problem and has a technical service bulletin on it, but only for 2009 and 2010 vehicles! The issue is that there is a lubricant on the input shaft that doesn’t really lubricate. It instead gums up the works and does not properly allow the clutch to disengage from the flywheel. Weeks of research led me to discover a few things:

1.) The Challenger uses the Tremec TR-6060 Transmission, which is the same transmission used in the Viper (which I already knew). What I didn’t know is that Dodge is using the same lube on the input shaft of the Challenger as they do the Viper, which on the surface makes sense because they are the same transmission. However, the Viper is configured differently and the transmission area runs a lot hotter than the Challenger. The lube has such a high viscosity that the Challenger just does not get hot enough to actually make the lube do its job.

2.) Star Case # K38556860. This is Chryslers internal tech bulletin network number. It was a known issue on the 2009 and some 2010 Challengers. So Chrysler/Dodge wrote this:

Case Verification; Vehicle affected is the LC Challenger equipped with a manual
transmission. It may be difficult to shift in and out of gear.

Recommendation ;Repair this condition by removing the transmission, cleaning the
transmission input shaft splines and the clutch hub splines, re-greasing,
and putting all the same parts back together. No parts need to be replaced because clutch disc wear or shaft/hub spline wear are not contributing factors.
The clutch should be removed from the flywheel to properly clean
the clutch splines, because it is not possible to thoroughly clean
the clutch splines otherwise. Do not use harsh spray solvents
(brake clean, etc.) on the clutch discs… care must be taken to
keep cleaning solvents away from the clutch friction material.
Mineral spirits or similar will get the job done. Both of the clutch
hub splines and transmission input shaft splines must be
carefully cleaned. When applying the grease for reassembly, the
entire exposed length of the clutch hub splines (both discs) and
the entire length of the input shaft should be lightly coated with
the P/N 05083150AA grease, spread evenly on all splines
without excess. The flywheel does not need to be removed for
this repair. New clutch pressure plate to flywheel bolts P/N
06508880AA (quantity 6) must be used.

3.) This problem is only supposed to apply to 2009 and 2010 Challenger 6 speeds. In 2011 they changed the input shaft splines and supposedly used a new lube. However, 6 speed owners in 2011’s and 2012’s are also starting to have the issue.

The good news: I called the nearest Dodge Dealership, talked to a service rep who is an owner of a 2013 6 speed, had him look up the case number and he said that he is absolutely sure the powertrain warranty will cover the work. He also said he has been experiencing rough shifting between the first three gears and may have the techs look at his too!

The bad news: If it can’t be fixed under the warranty it will be around $900.00. Also, the nearest Dodge Dealership is two hours away. They said that basically never having done this before they want my Challenger for at least two days…and they don’t work weekends. So working around that, work schedule and the holidays, I can’t take my car in until January 29th. At that point I may have a local shop do it just so I don’t have to go out of town.

In the meantime, I am going to have my transmission fluid serviced this Friday (differential too) at a local shop. If that takes care of it, then I don’t have to make the trip or wait over a month for a fix! If not, the fluid needed to be serviced anyway, so I am really not out anything.

Categories: Cars | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fun with Ford F250

About then years ago my grandfather bought a 1984 Ford F250, with a gas guzzling 460ci V8 under the hood. This was right before fuel injection, but while everyone was trying to meet newly stringent emission standards, so the engine is carbureted and a MESS of vacuum tubes. He promptly threw on an MSD ignition system to do away with the “abomination” that was the Ford system, a K & N air filter, two chamber muffler, air bag suspension and then plopped a big Lance camper in the bed. You know the kind that sit in the bed, hang over the top of the truck, have a bathroom in it? Yep, that kind. He took it on a few trips, one of which he developed an vacuum leak and burned up a cylinder. My grandfather, not one to half ass anything, bought the best crate engine (still a 460) he could buy and had it installed. The engine has a brand new crankshaft on it, not a regrind and probably has less than 2,000 miles on it since it was put in the truck.

About four years ago he went to start it up, but it wouldn’t start. Battery was good, starter solenoid was good, and relay was good (at least he thinks). In his trouble shooting he decided it must be an ignition switch or wiring issue under the dash, so he started tearing all that apart. he didn’t get very far as it was the middle of summer, not in a garage or in any shade at all and laying down under a dash board is ruff on a young person, let alone an (at the time) 82 year old man with a bad back.

So, he stopped working on it, saying he would get to it when it cooled down…..four years later he decided to just give it to me. So now that it has been sitting for four years without being started it has more issues than just the ignition.

1. All three batteries are horribly corroded (one truck battery, one deep cycle batter for the camper in the engine compartment of the truck, one deep cycle battery for the camper in the camper) to the point that the clamps on the wires are messed up.
2. Gas doesn’t last that long. Both fuel tanks (19 gallon midship and 17 gallon aft) need to be dropped, pumped out and flushed.
3. While the tanks are out, the fuel pumps will be replaced.
4. Carburetor need to be cleaned out.
5. Fuel lines should be flushed or blown out.
6. Original ignition problem needs to be diagnosed and fixed.
7. All fluids need to be replaced and anything that can be lubed and greased (oil, auto tranny fluid, diff, etc.) needs to be lubed and greased.

Did I mention this truck is sitting about an hour away from the nearest decent mechanic? Consequently I will be doing all this in the dirt of my grandfathers yard, with the help of an 86 year old man who can’t really help. Grateful for the truck, just wish I had a little help with it. Nothing I can’t handle though 🙂

Categories: Cars, Grandfather | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Dodge Challenger Shenanigans

I’m a car/truck nut, always have been. I think it was something I picked up from my dad as he was a truck nut, especially old Dodge trucks. When he died he left a backyard full older Dodge trucks in various states of disrepair, except for the 1972 Flatbed, which is about 80% restored, driveable, and registered with the American Truck Historical Society. We would always stop and look at old cars and trucks, and he would tell me stories about the old stock car racers from the 50’s and 60’s. It took root and I always vowed I would get a muscle car. And I did! Sort of….

I ended up the proud financer of a 2012 Dodge Challenger R/T, with a 6 speed manual transmission, painted in “Pitch Black.” It’s a muscle car, but it’s a modern muscle car. Not as fast as the V8 Fords and Chevy’s, you want the SRT8 over the R/T to think of competing with those, but still plenty fast…at least at first. I wouldn’t mind having more speed, a new R/T Scat pack, a full on SRT8, or as long as I am dreaming how about a Challenger Hellcat….

Anyway, I digress. It was not long after I drove off the lot in my Challenger that I was bitten by the Mod bug. For those of you that don’t know cars, the Mod bug bites you and you immediately want to start changing things, adding aftermarket parts, making the car faster, handle different, look different, etc. So, I started saving and I started planning. My plans are coming along nicely.

First off was a dash mat and floor mats. A dash mat in the desert is an absolute necessity, the sun will bleach and crack your dashboard in no time.

Next came the skip shift eliminator. Some modern manuals will lock out second and third at certain low RPM’s, making you shift directly to 4th. It’s supposed to be a gas/emissions saving thing for stop and go traffic, when in reality it’s just a distraction. So I put a little 25.00 resister in and eliminated it, as the name says.

When I needed new tires I also bought new rims. 🙂

Next up was the seat covers, especially after the Halloween candy incident. *shudders*

This summer I splurged; I put on a Cervinis Ram Air Intake with a Charger air tube and new brake rotors and pads. Not sure if it does much, probably could have saved a little money on a different intake. Plus now I need to reconfigure the crank case line….ah well. The brake rotors were needed as I had warped mine…..

Just a few weeks ago I out on an oil catch can, and cutting the lines wrong for it made me realize I should have purchased the lines that are already measured and braided with stainless steel. So… I have those on order.

Also on order, a Barton Industries shifter http://www.bartonindustries.com/Challenger-PRODUCTS.html
I went with the white shift knob to give it that old school look 🙂 I almost went Hurst, as they are a little cheaper and used to have a solid name, but the reviews from people that have had them for a few years are not good. Blown out bushings, broken shift arms, etc.

Not on order, but next up will be exhaust and a tuner. Going to put some JBA shorty headers on along with a JBA Catback exhaust and a Diablo Trinity tuner. It’s a lot of work to put the shorty headers on, as you have to lift the engine block an inch off the mounts, so I am taking it down to Lancaster to R&E Racing. They have done it before, know the price down to the cent and the time down too.

After that, probably go ahead and fix that crank case line by making my own air tube and installing a fitting for it. At the same time I would like to replace the 80mm throttle body with an 85mm throttle body. I’ll put the money out for a custom tune after that. I will need it to take advantage of the exhaust and intake mods.

When the more tame and easier bolt on performance mods done, I plan on focusing on the suspension. An Eibach Pro-Plus kit will serve me nicely. Heavy sway bars front and back, new bushings, new springs, new struts and the car will be lower by about 1.5″ in the front and 1.7″ in the back.

If, after all this is done, life hasn’t altered too drastically and if I have the cash (two big things to ask for, I know) I will have new, ported and polished heads put on with a new performance cam shaft. Again, a custom tune will have to accompany this. The parts alone are around 3,000.00 and I will have to have the install and tune done, so I know I am looking at a big chunk of cash.

Or I could say screw all this, save up close to $10,000.00 and have a supercharger installed……..

Categories: Cars | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

My Car

I love my car. It’s the first new car I have ever had, even though the bank owns in for 6 my years, I still love it. It was probably the worse financial decision I have ever made, but I do not care.

I drove a 2012 Challenger R/T off the lot 14 months ago, she had 6 miles on the odometer when I test drove her. 🙂

She has a 5.7 Liter (345 CI) Hemi V8 paired with a 6 speed manual transmission, and a 3.73 rear axle ratio. She pumps out 375 HP to the flywheel, not sure what it is at the wheels. Speedometer says 160, and I had her up to 145 when the governor kicked in.  Their was plenty left on the Tach, so I know she could have hit the 160 mark, easy. She isn’t the fastest thing out there, especially coming in at almost 4,000 lbs curb weight, but she is still plenty fast.

She may not get the best mileage, but I get a smile on my face every time I get in.

My girlfriend says she hates my car because I love my car more than her, she is mistaken on that. Image

Categories: Cars | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Car Rant/Story

My girlfriend has been driving my old 95 Explorer of late, as she has a new job, no car, and two kids. Figured my Explorer is just sitting while I drive around a new car, so I might as well let her use it. Not many things are worse on a car than just letting it sit, seals and gaskets dry out, rubber hoses dry rot, things get in the wiring, etc. Well on Monday she calls me from her work and says that the tank is empty, and she just filled it on Friday, and that she thinks she smelled gas. My first thought, fuel leak. Well with it being night time and me not having a garage, I couldn’t check it that night, the next day was Christmas, and then Wednesday and Thursday of course I had to work. Go to work in the dark, come home in the dark. I know most anyone who reads this knows that feeling.
Anyway, I got off work Friday, and promptly put the Explorer up on jack stands ,turned it on, and crawled under it. I checked the fuel lines from gas tank to engine…not one gas leak. Which is odd, considering if it was losing that much gas there should be puddles under it. Plenty of other things leaking though, as I said, not many things harder on a vehicle than letting it sit. So while I was under there I decided to change out the fuel filter. No better time like while you already have it jacked up right? Well, one of Fords “better ideas” was the quick disconnect fitting…when they are old, their is not one damn quick thing about those disconnects. I have diagrams of them below (if this works right). So my only recourse is to take it to a shop 😦 and I did so this morning. This angers me, I have replaced fuel filters before with out issues. Hell, I have replaced transmissions, transfer cases, water pumps, rocker arm covers, myriad sensors, filters, etc. Of course I had a headed and lighted garage to do it in, not just an open parking lot like I do now. Maybe that has something to do with sucking my will to fight this thing. 
Walked in to the shop, told them everything that was going on…and even the shop owner was scratching his head. He agreed with me that it is probably not a leak, and of course he was more than happy to take my money to replace the fuel filter. Except, he couldn’t replace the filter. The head mechanic is on vacation and won’t be back until Wednesday, and the tool needed is locked up in his tool box. GRRRR!!! In the meantime we put our heads together on the problem..and come up with a simple possible answer….someone siphoned gas out of the tank. One locking gas cap later and a full tank are now purchased and hopefully the fuel filter and quick disconnect issue will be resolved on Wednesday.

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Categories: Cars | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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