It was March 31st. The grass was green, the street sweepers were out, birds were chirping, cars were clean, jackets were off, and the snowblower was put away for the season. I then awoke on the morning of April 1st. I stood up, and peered out the window like a zombie. Just as my eyes began to focus, Nature screamed in my face “APRIL FOOOOOOLS! It’s still winter! L0Lzz!” Ugh. I hate being Punk’d by Nature.
There are two states in the country that come to mind when you talk about extraordinarily strict vehicle safety and emissions inspections, California and Massachusetts. I have never been to California, but I have had the pleasure of living in Massachusetts my entire life. This means that I have always had my cars
failed tested for emissions, and a variety of other interesting laws. I have also had the distinct honor of being a Massachusetts state vehicle inspector, so I am quite familiar with the rules. Today, I wanted to cover a few things that may be helpful to you or possibly even entertaining to talk about. (more…)
The original BIGFOOT Monster Truck, is by far my favorite monster truck of all time. The creation of BIGFOOT began as a brand new 1974 F250 Ford Pickup that was purchased by Bob Chandler and his wife so that they would have a vehicle with more cargo room for camping and have the ability to go off road.
While becoming frustrated with the lack of parts and services for four wheel drive trucks in his area, Bob Chandler teamed up with Jim Kramer and began modifying his Ford F250. This partnership became Midwest Four Wheel Drive. Chandler used the truck to deliver parts from the shop. (more…)
Today I have a gripe that I would like to discuss with you all. The topic really irks me on some cars and I feel it needs to be addressed because I see it too frequently. Maybe I need to stop getting emotionally attached to rolling heaps of metal. I don’t know, just peruse this and let me know your thoughts on the subject, because I may be the crazy one. This gripe of mine is known as “parting-out” your car. (more…)
Up until this year, I had never had a garage of my own to work in. I spent many…. many nights working on cars in the dark, in the snow, the cold rain, the hottest sun, and bone chilling wind. If that’s you, I can relate. Just substitute the word “garage” for “driveway” in the question above.
For me, my favorite tool has got to be my MIG welder. I got mine when I was 16 years old, and I spent every last cent that I had on it. Today, I could probably buy a better welder for about one third of what I paid 13 years ago, but I don’t regret it for a second. It has paid for itself hundreds of times over, and taught me far more than I ever wanted to know about metal & things that are very hot. Sure it has burned me a few times, and sets my pants ablaze from time to time, but that’s always my own fault. When it isn’t causing a denim inferno, it is surviving my hundreds of trips to and from the house, sub zero temperatures and the hottest of hot days in New England. It’s all business. Weekend after weekend, it never lets me down. I just flip the switch, crank on the gas, and liquify metal. It is by far, my favorite automotive tool.
So what’s yours?
Over the past 6 years, I have slowly but surely replaced the majority of the steering components on my truck. The latest part that I swapped out was the Idler Arm. Mine was totally smoked, and may have even been the original one that came with the truck 22 years ago. As you can see in the picture, there is nearly zero bushing left inside where it attaches to the bracket. I am sure that the fact that it was ungreasable lead to its demise, but it was the gigantic car launching pot hole near my house that really finished it off. Let’s hear more about it!
In the moment before I hit the unavoidable paved crevasse that was racing toward me, I began saying “oooooohh” very loudly and immediately clamped my jaw shut. I figured that if I did this, maybe I wouldn’t bite my tongue off when I rolled my truck deep into the nearby woods while on fire. I then double checked my seatbelt, and began mentally preparing for impact. The mating of my right front wheel with this hole in the road, was time bending. In reality, it may have lasted less than 1 awful millisecond, but it felt like an eternal sentence in Destructionville. Oh gosh the sound was atrocious. Imagine what it sounds like to crash a medieval castle into an equally large, yet fragile, glass tank full of anchors. That is close to the sound that my truck made when contact was made. Each and every part of my truck separated for a split second and then came crashing back together again. When my brain turned back on and all wheels were touching the ground again, I was miraculously still driving down the street. I pulled into my driveway, twitching just a little bit, and noticed a fantastic new clunk in my steering to track down. Alas, the idler arm had given up the ghost. (more…)