Got a Jeep? We show you how to take it apart!

This week we had a Jeep Grand Cherokee to play with, so naturally, we took it all apart for your entertainment!  We made several how-to videos to show you how to replace the tail lights, the parking lights, the corner lights, and the rear hatch supports.  You can check out all of our videos on our youtube channel.  Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for the latest and greatest how-to videos!

Automotive Misfortunes, Let’s Review.

My cat Malibu and I were recently reading an issue of HRM while it was too cold outside to actually do something productive. One of the editors was describing some of the unlucky automotive related events that have happened to him over the years.  Some were admittedly his fault, and others were beyond his control.  So I began to reminisce myself on some of my own “misfortunes”.

Let’s take a look back, shall we?

- I once hung a car from the shop ceiling….. by it’s hood.  Hood hinges are much stronger than you would think, so is the chainfall for pulling engines out.

- While still not fully awake yet, I opened the garage door and took a very complete step into a drain bucket full of waste oil.  That was a bad way to start the morning.

- After not being able to loosen a bumper bolt on one of my trucks, I got out my big 1/2 inch drive breaker bar.  I applied all the pulling force that my body could possibly make, when the breaker bar suddenly snapped and I punched myself in the face. It was definitely the hardest punch I have ever thrown or received.

- I learned that throwing a brake-less 1964 Thunderbird into park when it is rolling will not even begin to slow it down. Then in a panic, if you push the Thunderbird’s “emergency” brake pedal to the floor, the cables WILL snap.  This chain of events will guarantee a firm crash into a beautiful 1976 Corvette.

- Late at night, when cruising home from a friends house, I missed the end of the street, drove across a busy road, got a little bit of air-time, and landed my truck in someones beautifully groomed front lawn.  That sure was awkward.

- It turns out that a clogged catalytic converter can cause a 1988 Camaro automatic transmission to not shift properly.  So spending 11 hours replacing a working transmission with another working transmission is not going to unclog the catalytic converter and fix the real problem.  Mental Note: Only buy cars older than 1973!

- You will never see as much traffic on your road as when you lose your driveshaft during the maiden voyage of your project car.  I guess I should have tightened those u-joint caps down.

- I think we have all forgotten to install an oil drain plug before. The difference is, the Cadillac that I forgot it on held 8 quarts of oil (with the drain plug in) .  8 quarts makes one heck of an oil slick.  Luckily, I noticed before I started the engine.

- Just because the neighbor is rumored to be in jail, doesn’t mean you can take his 83 Riviera through the woods.  However, it did prove that a V8, front wheel drive car is not a good off-roading vehicle.

- I got pulled over by a police officer that was on a bicycle.  It was kind of a humorous situation, and I deserved the ticket.

- Contrary to popular belief, Olds Cutlass Ciera’s aren’t good at hill climbing in the sand pits.  My friend rolled his onto it’s roof, and I got to help him flip it back over.  As far as his parents knew, a tree fell on it.  I hope they don’t read this.

- An easy way to test the strength of a wooden 4×4 is to place a 60 Pontiac body on it. If it breaks, and dumps the body on the ground, then it is not a very strong piece wood.

- It turns out that the automatic transmissions in rear wheel drive cars are very close to the floor pans. So if you aren’t paying attention when installing a B&M shifter, you can easily drill through the floor pan and into the top of the transmission.

I will finish it off with an explanation of the fine moment in history pictured above.  Yeap, it’s me many years ago….. borrowing a pair of women’s sunglasses to protect my eyes from the burning magma 2 feet from my face.  There is so much wrong with this picture that I cannot even begin to explain.  What the heck was I thinking?

Automotive Mad Science: Sparking in the living room.

I like wiring, electricity, cars, and the magic that happens when you combine all three.  Last week I was modifying a wiring harness to install a turbocharged 4G63 engine  (from a 1991-94 Mitsubishi Eclipse, Talon, Laser) into any vehicle that I want.  It is a time consuming process and when it was done, I needed to make sure it worked properly.  Massachusetts in January is an absolutely frigid place, so I was not about to go outside.  Then it dawned on me that I could test it in the comfort of my own living room!  Before I knew it, the spare battery, ECU, CAS, injector resistor, coil pack, and power transistor, arrived on the premesis, and viola!  We have ignition!

AUTO NEWS: Toyota Gas Pedal Fix!

The Toyota Press room is reporting that they now have a fix for the gas pedal sticking problem.  They will be adding a “precision-cut steel reinforcement bar” to the gas pedals to reduce friction within the pedal that on rare occasions, could cause the pedal to stick.

Drive-by-wire failure was inevitably going to happen at some point, it was just just a question of  which manufacturer it would be.  Toyota was the unfortunate winner of this fail-contest, but their immediate reaction (from what I saw) is commendable in my opinion.  They not only halted the sales of the effected models (huge money lost), but they even stopped production on new vehicles until the solution was in place (massively huge money lost).  So although this issue was clearly a serious one that affected a lot of people, Toyota deserves a pat on the back for locking down the problem and correcting it in timely fashion.  Maybe I would have a different opinion if I owned a new Toyota with a sticky gas pedal. Though, I think would probably just push in my clutch pedal, instead of crashing ;) Call the “precision-cut steel reinforcement bar” a shim if you want, but hey, if it works, it works.

Image from the Toyota Press Room.

Subaru Wagon: Plaid is Not Just for Lumberjacks Anymore.

You drive a 96 Subaru wagon.  Clearly you are aware of the greatness lurking under its discrete wagon skin.  Before long, an EJ20 will power the beast to bring new life back into her old soul.  However, for right now there is only one thing on your mind. It is the most wonderful fabric on earth through your eyes, better known as Plaid.  Sleep, plaid.  Breakfast, plaid.  Lunch, plaid.  Work, plaid.  Subaru, plaid….. Subaru, plaid… Wait a minute.

Greatest Tow Vehicle: Lincoln Town Car Limousine

What does one do when one needs to arrive in high style, yet also needs to do a little 4 wheeling?  You guessed it!  Simply add a tow hitch and declare yourself the coolest guy to ever hit the streets of New Hampshire.  Let us pause for a quick moment to appreciate the extraordinary amount of greatness that is going on here….

Yes. Very nice.

1994 Lincoln Town Car Limo + Mud = Best day ever.

Replacing a Grille and Headlights on a GM Full Size Truck

Chances are good that you or somebody you know has one of these beautiful trucks.  That’s because they are awesome in nearly every category.  They have reliable small block engines, rugged drivetrain parts, comfy interiors, and dashing good looks.  The Suburban’s hold about 47 people, the 4×4 trucks are great fun when stuck in mud, and the 2 wheel drive trucks looks fantastic when slammed to the ground on 22′s.  Let us not forget the 2 door Tahoes, Yukons and full size Blazers though.  I mean what is better than a bohemouth of a vehicle with only two doors?  You are left wondering “am I in a 4×4 monster truck or an exotic sports car?”  No matter which model Chevy or GMC full size truck you drive, you could benefit from watching this video.  Our own supermodel, better known as “Mike”, proudly displays the best way to swap out the grille and headlights.

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