Help get my car back on the road

Help get a broke college student's car back on the road. There will be prizes!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Well, I thought I fixed it..

Some updates on my car. I repaired the broken tie rod, got some new tires and pieced back the body into a reasonable state. Unfortunately at this point in time I haven't got the cash to really get the bodywork done. The drivers side fender is banged up a little, but its really the rocker panel and door that got the worst of it. The headlight mounting tabs and the bumper got pretty thrashed, but they're good enough for now.

All of this is well and good, I thought. I figured once I reached this point I'd at least have a working, usable car, even if she was a bit banged up.

Yeah no, that would be too easy.

At first I simply thought it was a dead battery. The car had been sitting for 2 months and that wasn't too much of a stretch to me. Hell it made a lot of sense. But when after checking to see if it could still hold a charge (it couldn't) and eventually replacing it, I was still without and internal combustion to power my new fangled horseless carriage.

Then I remembered the inertia switch in the trunk. Ford installs a switch in the back that is supposed to detect a crash or even some other harmful scenario for the car and cuts the fuel. It's basically so you don't just piss a lot of gasoline into the ditch you've buried your car in. Good feature. I chalked it up to the switch temporarily. I tried resetting it (though for some reason, the car started right back up when I crashed.. I had to even use the car's power to help the tow truck get it out) but to no avail. Eventually a friend of mine came over with his Mustang and we did some sciencing.

We turned the ignition to the ON position without starting either car. In his car, you could hear the fuel pump start to prime the system. On my car, only an annoying clicking sound. Next we tried the same thing, but with the switch disconnected. My car still made that stupid click, but the other car was just silent. Still not sure what the hell this means, but thats where progress has taken me so far. I fixed all that I had thought I broke, but I guess thats part of the deal.

On the plus side, the rebuild of my other car is going rather well, and should be finished up not too long from now. But I'll tell you more about that juicy story later.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Earning that beer

As a college student, living away from home, its been tough for me to find time for what used to be everything I lived for. Once upon a time I would wake up at the crack of 9 to start working on my car. All day, no breaks. No food, no rest, nothing but completing the project would matter. I would toil away on my beloved machine until the sun began to go down and only then would I rest.

With school and all the other commitments that come with getting older, I've had less and less time to tinker. But alas... this last week was spring break. I finally got to spend an entire day (albeit in the rain..) working on  my Mustang. It wasn't all fun and games mind you, I unfortunately got into an accident a few weeks ago, and I've been carless since. I had no time to fix the car during the schoolweek, but I finally got the chance.

It felt good to make short work of that snapped tie rod. and begin putting the body back together. I admit, the poor car is going to have to stay beat up for a little while, as I cant afford the more expensive aspects of the bodywork, but hey, at least its going to be back on the road. Progress was temporarily halted while I wait for new tires to come in. Two of the wheels had dismounted tires from the crash, and theres no way to go get the car realigned til those come in.

At the end of the day I got to finally do what I could never do back in high school. I sat down with my good friend MGD and my car, and relaxed for the first time all day.

Its so easy to forget the value of a single beer these days. Parties rage for days at times and no one stops to remember that the little bottle of brewed perfection is more than just a ticket to a schwasted sinfest with your "associates". It's a treat. It's a reward. It's a reminder that you spent all day doing backbreaking labor to fix something you could have paid alot of money for someone else to do. But you did it yourself. Why?

Because you love it. And at the end of the day, why else do we do anything.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

As an avid fan of older bikes, I have a lot of love for Harley Davidson. I know most people these days scoff at those over chromed heavy ass buckets of  steel. Ancient motors! Rudimentary suspensions! Slow as hell!

I've heard it all. And the worst part is.. theres a great deal of truth in these criticisms. 

I found these pictures a few years ago and they blew me away. A monoshock Harley? Sure this particular model isn't exactly cutting edge, but it got me wondering. Why can't Harley make a modern motorcycle? After all, Harley Davidsons weren't always about putting around at 60mph on the freeway across the country. While that is a big part of HD culture, its not the ONLY part of it.


When you go to the HD website, under "racing" all they have is drag racing and dirt track. Whatever happened to road racing? Harley had some pretty sweet bikes back in the 1980s on the racing circuits. The closest thing we've had to high tech racing Harleys lately were the Buells, but those have been cancelled now.

But I think I figured it out. HD the company isn't the issue. The customers are. The guy who comes in to buy a Road King with hard bags and a fairing and floorboards is not interested in the least in the high tech V-Rod, a HD-Porsche collaboration. He WANTS his slow ass chromed machine. Which is fine, those bikes should exist for those who want them.

But why can't I go down to the local Harley dealer and find something that can compete with a comparable Japanese midrange sportbike? The XR1200 you say? I do love that bike... but its hardly a sportbike. Cool as shit, yes, but not a true performance bike.

Most "Harley guys" scoff at that bike too. I saw a post on an unnamed forum not too long ago where one HD owner posted in the XR-1200 section that he wished they would cancel the bike. 

WHY? He doesn't like it so its a travesty that the bike even exists. I rolled my eyes so hard my roommate came in to ask if I was alright. This hatred of fellow enthusiasts that merely have different preferences is ridiculous. I guess that's why Harley doesn't make cutting edge bikes anymore: the average client seems to be too ignorant to give a rats ass.

Then why not market these cooler sportbikes under a different brand name, sell them to the types of people who DO want a modern bike with a sweet vintage sounding v-twin and call it a day? surely that solves the problem. Wait.. this sound a lot like Buell.... which they canceled..

Sigh. I guess I won't be seeing a sweet cutting edge HD anytime soon.. At least they do offer some bikes without chrome.

First post

Howdy howdy,

First post today, so I thought I'd talk a little about myself, and a little about what I'd like to talk about. I'm a car nut mostly, so you can expect a lot of posts going down that road. While I prefer muscle cars, theres room in my life for much more than that, but more on that later on. For the time being my garage is exclusively Ford Mustangs. I know how that sounds, but believe me when I say I didn't choose my cars purely for straightline speed; I'm more into making a car handle. Whodathunkit right? I thought all mustang drivers ever did was roast tires and leave straight black lines all over the place :P

I also have an affinity for older motorcycles; I used to own an old Yamaha XS650.  It was a good bike, when it ran. I guess I can only blame its reliability woes on myself. After all, I'm the fool who spent $1100 on a deathtrap motorcycle from 1980. But if theres anything a deathtrap of a bike does, it teaches you how to ride. The first thing one of my friends said after riding it was "Your bike has NO brakes" I laughed and shrugged it off until the day when my brakes really DID go. Trying to tighten the nut on the front brake handle to regain braking power while headed towards a crowd of traffic is not something I ever want to have to do again. what about the rear brake you ask? what rear brake *rolls eyes*

Enough about me and motoring though. Looking forward to your comments and making future posts!