In the interest of shining a light on the OEM vs aftermarket truth, I wanted to show off a little something I noticed during my travels. Not too long ago, I replaced my timing belt, pulleys, hydraulic tensioner, and water pump on my 2005 Subaru Impreza RS 2.5 SOHC (booo no turbo, I know, I know, it was a good deal). As you can imagine, I got part number GAEEK00038 from 1A Auto (Hey, I can throw a subtle ad in here if I want, amirite?) Anyway, the timing belt kit that I purchased was made by Gates, who is a very well known, and reputable brand in the auto part world. When I opened the box, it was a bit of an “Ah Ha!” moment. Mixed in with the Gates brand water pump and belt, were OEM pulleys! They had all the same markings as the OEM ones that I pulled off of my Subaru. Yes, 100% totally identical in every way. Cool right? (New ones on the left, old ones on the right)
Much like I had seen in the past, even though it is considered an “aftermarket” part, it may actually be OEM. Now, obviously this is not the case every time. In fact, I would say that it is the minority. But, hey, it happens more than you might think. Beautiful “aftermarket” …ehem… OEM… parts at a bargain price!
As you may have heard, in New England, we have rusty cars. Lots of them. It’s disgusting. The best that we can hope for is that our fenders and suspension don’t fly off unexpectedly on the highway. Because that kind of stuff actually happens around here. Quite regularly, I see control arms rotted in half, entire mufflers in the middle of the road, and struts where the lower coil mount snaps off and allows the coil to stab the tire.
Being a car-guy, I like my cars, so one of the actions that I enjoy doing every few months is cleaning debris out of my front fenders. It’s strange, I know, but I do it regularly with hopes that it will make some kind of difference in the life of the vehicle. That being said, I never keep a car long enough to find out. It’s a blessing and a curse I guess.
So anywho… I usually start by staring at the lower section of my fender to figure out what needs to happen for me to get the gross stuff out.
On my 2005 Subaru Impreza, I began this process by removing the black plastic inner fender. Behind it is where I found about 3 lbs of dirt, mud, sticks, bugs and pine needles… Notice how lovely the area looks with that pollen covered water line. Nice.
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I come from a long line of car-guys (and gals!), so when looking through old family photo albums, I occasionally discover automotive gold. This was the case on Thanksgiving 2012. I was scouring through old albums looking for pictures of muscle cars that my parents, aunts, and uncles once owned, and there it was. Amidst some blurry pictures of “Jungle Jim’s” famous funny car, was a New England Dragway entrance ticket from August 6th 1972. How intriguing I thought… I pulled it out of the album and flipped over the business card that was with it, only to discover something truly incredible. The business card was actually a time slip from my dad’s voyage down the quarter mile. And how quick & fast was he? » Continue reading more of this post…
A few weeks ago, I found myself with a flat tire in the RX8. The air had been leaking out slowly over a few days, so I assumed that I had a nail in it, as usual.
Step 1) Remove the wheel from the vehicle, and spray soapy water all over the tread area of the tire. Watch for bubbles.
Strangely – I didn’t find an air leak. So I moved on to step 2, which I had almost forgot existed, because I always find a nail in my tire during step 1.
Step 2) Spray the tire valve stem, and the bead of the tire where it meets the wheel with the soapy water. Watch for bubbles. » Continue reading more of this post…
1954 Kompac Trailer
On my weekend adventures I’m always on the look out for those cool and weird creations that might make you scratch your head. While visiting a gift shop/auto museum up in the White Mountains of NH, I stumbled upon this 1954 Kompac Boat trailer.
Less than 200 of these fiberglass boat trailers were made. The back half of the trailer was crafted to resemble a 1953 Ford. The roof of this trailer was a row boat that was made to come off so that you could do a little fishing while you were on your weekend away for some rest and relaxation.
The only problem that I can see with this creation is that there was very little room inside, you had to crawl into the trailer to catch a good night’s sleep. Speaking of catch, if you had a great day of fishing, you’d better like the smell of fish, because the roof of your vessel was used to catch those fish so that you could eat supper that night while you were away.
All in all very few of these trailers are still known to exist today, and it’s definitely up there on my list of crazy automotive contraptions that I’ve seen.
For me, it’s probably this Snap-On Ratchet. I would imagine that this is probably from the 1950′s, though I’m not entirely sure. It’s got some old blue patina on it, and looks like it could tell some great stories. It’s too bad that tools can’t talk. So what’s in your tool box?