Category Archives: Voices from the Garage

These are my vocalisations of things in and around the Garage.


This is not what I had planned!

I will be a spectator at this years Dream Cruise. The 65 has taken a turn for the worse

The nagging misfire has evolved into a severe no start condition. And with the Woodward Dream Cruise on Saturday and the 50th Anniversary Mustang Show on Sunday  the timing couldn’t be more unfortunate.

After another day of troubleshooting what I believe to be a wiring / ignition issue it devolved into a catch-POP-quit event. I am not sure yet as to what it is but with all the new parts that have been installed it has never gotten better. I will be digging deeper into the possibilities of an internal mechanical glitch of some sort but that will have to wait.

So it is with a bit of severe disappointment and agitation that I am going to park it for now, step back, take a deep breath and do both events as a spectator. While it should be less of a hassle it is causing me some mental trauma. I am going to do my best to not stress out over this. But I will try and relax and enjoy the shows on foot.  So this afternoon and tomorrow I will hang out on Woodward in the PT and park in Ferndale and see the sights.

Leave it to the Aussies to build a V8 powered chain saw

You know, we have seen some wild engine powered stuff but these guys at Whitlands Engineering are nothing short of spectacular. Check this bad boy out! The only thing missing here is Tim Allen and the Binford logo.

Now this is not the first by any means. Just a bit easier to handle than some other earlier US versions. These are part of the Unlimited V8 Competion Class Chainsaws. But no less impressive. Check out the US versions.

Dated 2011

15 reasons why cars are less trouble than women

  1.  Go means go, stop means stop, left means left, right means right. Nothing is implied.
  2.  It’s perfectly fine to have more than one.
  3. The tire bill is considerably less than a woman’s shoe bill.
  4.  Aside from the fuel tank, its weight does not change.
  5.  If you don’t like it anymore, you can sell it and get another. (Without going through hell)
  6. If you take good care of it, it’ll look the same as the day you got it.
  7. Too change it, you don’t have to talk to it, you just MODIFY it.
  8. Even a LARGE heavy one, can look sexy. You can have fun inside it and no one will think you’re weird.
  9. You can redress it with a new body kit for less than the cost of a wedding dress.
  10. You can give it accessories whenever you feel like it, irrespective of birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
  11. It never asks questions about it’s rear.
  12. The airbags are not just for decoration, they save your life.
  13. Regardless of the time of day, season, day of the month, it is ready to give you a ride when you want it.
  14. Every year, it only asks for new oil, not jewellery.
  15. Ever now and then, you’ll be able to drive a friend’s one, without any guilt.

NOTE: These are just observations! I still like women but these observations make sense of why guys like cars. Just sayin! BzeroB

Trying to cure a nagging ignition stutter

65 Mustang Coupe
65 Mustang Coupe

My 65 Mustang has developed an annoying ignition stutter

Over the last couple of months I have been fighting a new problem that has appeared on the 65. It is what appears to be a stutter, or misfire, at speed. It is real worrisome when cruising at freeway speeds when you can feel it missing a lot. And has made me a bit nervous to take it out on long runs. I need to fix that!

At first we thought it might be a fuel delivery issue. We replaced the carb with another and no net effect. Starts way better but other than that it still stutters. The next thought was that the aging Pertronix ignition unit was a possible culprit. I went ahead and got another rebuilt points distributor and dropped it in. Timing is stable so I don’t see any issues with timing gears and the such. We will be taking it out for a couple of spins to verify that all is still the same.

I will be doing a simple compression test in the next few days to substantiate what I believe may be some burned or stuck valves. I am not sure but this is a definite possibility.  If the head is wounded I will get it reworked. With 80K it may be time to get it done. We shall see.

My 06 HHR

Why my HHR recall is worrysome to me

My 06 HHR
My 06 HHR

I am still waiting on the repair parts

But in the mean time I am driving it on a limited basis. I never had any issues with the ignition since I got it new in 06. But I don’t see any reason to dance with the devil at this time.

Why Every Driver Should Care About The GM Ignition RecallBy Kate Cox April 21, 2014

The massive ongoing recall of General Motors vehicles with faulty ignition switches (and the dozen years the company spent not issuing a recall) has made headlines, launched lawsuits, angered legislators, but many consumers who don’t own a recalled car have shrugged and said, “Glad I don’t drive one of them.”

Whole Article

Although I am entitled to a free loaner until it gets repaired I haven’t pursued it

Court To Decide If Recalled GM Cars Should Remain Parked Pending Repairs
By Chris Morran March 27, 2014

Earlier this week, plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed against General Motors over the ongoing ignition-related recall of more than a million cars asked the court to issue an injunction that would compel GM to urge drivers to stop driving these vehicles until the repairs. Today it was announced that both sides will get to argue their position before the court on April 4. Whole Article

Despite the court ruling that they aren’t required to park the cars they are allowing customers a courtesy car until it is repaired.

Court Denies Bid To Keep Recalled GM Cars Off Road By Chris Morran April 17, 2014

A U.S. District Court judge in Texas has put the brakes on an attempt to compel General Motors to tell owners of recalled vehicles to keep their cars parked pending repairs. Whole Article

I guess I will wait till they call me and get it all done . I will feel a bit better when it is done. Unfortunately my opinion of GM is a bit weakened at this time.

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Car repair basics and common sense

Sometimes we need a tap on the shoulder to remind us to pay attention. Car repairs are no different. Here is a list of handy stuff to remember when you are considering car repairs.

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Sometimes stolen cars do get found

Stolen car crashes into cabs on Beacon Street
Stolen car crashes into cabs on Beacon Street (Photo credit: Boston Public Library)

And it takes a while but they do get found

Sadly many don’t end up this way. And these two incidents are a shining example of the fact that they are being sent overseas! And that is a trend that has been going on for years.

The first newsworthy recovery happened right here in Detroit.

DETROIT - A Volkswagen Beetle that was reported stolen from Tennessee in the 1970s has been found in Detroit. U.S. Customs and Border Protection said officers in Detroit found the 1965 Beetle during a document check on Jan. 30 as it was being shipped from Michigan to Finland. READ MORE

The other incident involves a 57 Chevy, a highly prized vehicle. Both by car fans and car thieves.

A ’57 Bel Air is one of the world’s most prized collector’s cars. This one was stolen from Wilson’s place in Clearlake Oaks not just once but twice in the early 1980s.

Wilson, who’s 65 and battling cancer, had long before quit hoping to see it again when, about three weeks back, a California Highway Patrol investigator named Mike Maleta phoned him from Southern California. READ MORE

Some times good things happen. While being excellent outcomes it raises a red flag for me in a couple of ways. But in both incidents you start to question the many opportunities over the years where the same information that FOUND and identified the cars as stolen was also available when they changed hands multiple times in various jurisdictions. And nobody caught it then.

With that said I still have faith in the system. Kimda. Maybe. Sorta. It does make me a bit more protective of my “toys” but I can only hope that this is the outcome for more of these prized possessions.

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Just how complicated is an oil change?

English: SIGONELLA, Sicily (July 1, 2009) Avia...

It’s not really. Unfortunately we get lazy and that’s when you get minimum wage goofies involved.

That’s when it can go completely sideways

As many of you know, changing the oil in what could be a daily beater, your prized possession or a mediocre family car, is not that complicated. Messy? Maybe. But definitely not complicated. The simplified version involves getting the vehicle up in the air, unscrewing the drain plug, draining the old oil out, replacing the drain plug and filling it back up with new oil. Pretty straight forward. Right? It should not be a traumatic experience at all.

You may notice that I used the words SHOULD NOT in that sentence. The reason for this is this. Not all of us are capable of changing our own oil and other fluids. And sometimes the circumstances make it a problem. This is where the local service centers get involved. They are more than happy to do this for a fee. Not really sinister at all. And there are a whole bunch of these quick service facilities littering the local landscape. The problem here is that in most cases the person actually doing the service is usually a minimum age, part time, young know-it-all that doesn’t have a clue. And even more alarming is that the car they are working on may be a $100 beater or a $80K Mercedes. Either way this could get ugly real fast if it is not done right.

NOTE Before we go any farther you may want to check out my blog entry – Walmart Oil Change goes wrong

The simple act of unscrewing the drain plug is by itself not the problem. It’s the screwing it back in that gets them all jacked up! Here’s where they get confused. First off it needs to be threaded back in correctly! I say it again, Correctly. With a new gasket. That means by hand to start. Finish with a hand wrench. The correct size hand wrench. Not cross threaded. And not with power tools! This is critical because many of the new oil pans are now aluminum or other soft metals that don’t take nicely to being over-torqued. The threads will be stripped in a heartbeat if you use power tools. It is because of this lack of knowledge not likely that the car I brought in in operational condition should now, all of a sudden, have the oil plug “develop a leak” or even “fall out”! Could it be a problem? You betcha! Ignorant gorillas under the car tightening the pan plug is the problem.

My advice here is if the vehicle has a non-steel pan pay close attention to where you take it for an oil change. You really need to know and trust your service provider. The cheapest is usually not the best choice.

A critical sidebar to this simple act of changing the oil is changing the oil filter. It goes hand in hand. And here to things can get silly really quick if you don’t pay attention. Just like the oil plug, unscrewing the oil filter by nature is no biggie. Usually the hardest part is getting your hand and the tool in a position to do so. Beyond that it is a similar scenario of screw the old one off and screw  the new one on. This screwing the new one on is where the unknowing neophyte gets it all wrong. First you a supposed to put some oil on the sealing ring so it seats nicely and doesn’t grab. Next is screwed down to contact plus a quarter turn.  Not two more turns! I can safely say those of us that do our own changes have, at one time or another, encountered a jammed filter. It was screwed on so tight it either left the base plate stuck to the seat after having the housing stripped away or  the ole “stab it with a screwdriver” removal technique was employed  in order to get it started. And of course, no one seems to know how it got that way. Most incidents are immediately after a trip to the quick service facility. Gee! What are the odds? Pretty good actually!

The re-emergence of the insert/canister style oil filter has created it’s own monsters with the handling of the filter housings or covers. Once again the wrong tools and techniques could be fatal to your engine. Caution is the keyword here.

My advice is the same here. You gotta know who is under your car for stuff like this. And if you don’t consider yourself warned. It has always amazed me that oil change business owners continually populate their staff with unskilled goofies knowing that if it goes sideways because of them the owner is responsible. Apparently they are avid gamblers.

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