The News for April 24th, 2015

Welcome to the Hooniverse News! As always, this is a weekly recap of some of the biggest stories in the automotive industry without the fluff or bull. I just throw in a little opinion of mine because I can. This week:

  • A bit of new car stuff

  • Some new car news

  • There’s a touch of stuff happening to this one new car

  • Hey did you hear about that new car?

  • What’s your automotive news?


Greg isn’t here this week because he’s finishing up a large project at school. I said I’d step up and handle his column for him. It’s 9:30PM the night before the column should run… and I don’t really care what’s happening this week in new car news. I enjoy new cars. I love Greg’s column each week. I just can’t find myself caring this week. That’s rough considering it’s the week I said I’d run the column.
Instead of new cars news, however, we’re just going to let you in on a little secret…
Project Car SOTU returns with new updates on May 11th!
That’s right, we’re going to clue you in as to the status of every project car spread across our motley crew of idiots connected to keyboards. That means Rob’s 240Z, Tim’s Falcon, Tim’s Wagoneer, Tim’s Rustchero Ranchero, Kamil’s GS-R, Bryce’s Miata, Alan’s … all those cars that Alan has, Bradley’s European Fanboy Apprecation Society Fleet, whatever Tanshanomi has on two wheels, Jason’s new Ford, Jason’s old Ford, and yes the Wombat, and of course, HoonTruck.
And more… as there are, well, a lot of vehicles that need a lot of work.
So forget about new cars for today, because it’s clear that I have. Let’s hear it for the old stuff!

What’s your automotive news?

If I can rant, you can too. If you’ve got anything newsworthy to share, whether it’s a project car update or something else you found on the vast expanse of the interwebs, sound off in the comments.
[Image Source: Hell on Earth]

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  1. e46chris Avatar

    The e46 is getting a bit worn and now that I received my tax return, it’s off to Pelican Parts to catch up on some deferred maintenance. Valve cover gasket and front control arms with bushings. I’ve done the valve cover gasket before, but not the control arms. What could possibly go wrong?

  2. faberferrum Avatar

    I’m halfway through doing a ‘$50 Rustoleum Paint Job’ on our work truck. It’s a ’93 GMC with 430,000 Km on it. It’s looking pretty good so far

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      That’s the kind of job I’d like to see illustrated.

      1. CraigSu Avatar
  3. nanoop Avatar

    This week my DD started to brake one part I didn’t mention here yet, I fixed the one from last week, and I ordered more parts for the project car. Then, something (half) witty to fish for upvotes.

  4. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    Finishing up a new HoonTruck video for next week. We changed the wheels, removed the glass fuel filter, found the source of the vibration, and I pulled the old tape player to swap in an old-look radio with modern features.

  5. GTXcellent Avatar

    I’ve decided it’s not fun playing mechanic anymore. My wife’s Saab is out of commission as the rear window regulator broke – a part that is unavailable. (we live on a gravel road, and it was 14 degrees yesterday morning, so no, she really can’t drive it right now) Hopefully the correct salvage part shows up today. Otherwise I don’t know where else to turn. In the meantime, she’s been driving our old “farm truck” ’88 F150. The other day she comments that the tranny is “noisy” – check that out and it’s almost completely out of fluid. Do some researching/tearing apart – and there are 3 little rubber seals on the top plate that are leaking. So, that’s sitting out in the shed tore apart as well. The GTX is still “winterized” and now blocked in by the old Ford anyways – so we have 4 vehicles and only 1 is operational. GRRRRRRR. At the bare minimum I should have the old Ford put back together this evening, but I’m really not enjoying wrenching at the moment.

  6. Greg Kachadurian Avatar
    Greg Kachadurian

    My [not] automotive news is why I couldn’t do the normal news this week…

  7. wunno sev Avatar
    wunno sev

    my wagon is just one thing after another these days. i’ve put 6,000 miles on it in the last two months, so i forgive it, but it needs some time off and some TLC.
    i’ve been looking for a good Miata to help me with that, and today i found a bad one. since Waco, TX is not exactly a haven for people who are okay with driving Miatas, i test drove what is apparently the only Miata for sale in this part of central Texas, and it was pretty garbage – the engine idled poorly, it was stupidly loud at 55, the top was pinholed, the rear window was partly torn and completely fogged, there was no left mirror, needed a timing belt and tires, etc etc.
    it was SO MUCH FUN! i forgot how fun those cars are to drive. shifter clickety click, top down in five seconds, arm out the window and coast. no way am i buying that one, at least not unless she comes down by 50% on the price. but i can’t believe that i was seriously considering a Honda Insight at one point.

  8. Fuhrman16 Avatar

    I bought something stupid…

    1. Vairship Avatar

      Tres bon!

  9. salguod Avatar

    Sometime after hitting 100K in 2012, the shock and struts in my 2005 Mazda3 started to get a bit floppy, specifically the RF. Each bump was felt 2-3 times. Being a cheapskate, I put off buying the parts until July of last year (then at 146K). Because I’m a lazy procrastinator I didn’t actually install them until this past weekend (now 157K). At this point, any road imperfection was sending the RF wheel into convulsions and putting any power down out of a RH turn produced more wheel hop than acceleration.
    The job took pretty much all day Saturday (and an hour or so on Friday night), but the results were worth it. I’ve been hitting apexes and enjoying the car again. While under there I did discover a torn CV boot that will need attention this summer and the factory brake rotors are well past their prime, but she’s fun to drive again and feels a bit less like a beater.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      About 160k miles on one set of brake rotors? Lots of rural driving, I assume?

      1. salguod Avatar

        Not rural, but my commute is about 23 miles one way and probably 20 of that is highway. Not too much stop and go traffic usually.
        The factory rear pads went 95K miles, the fronts went 116K and there was still life in them. I checked the thickness on the rotors when I changed the pads and they were still good, no deep grooves and no pulsing. They started pulsing last year some time. I’ve got my money’s worth out of them.
        In related news, I’m still running the factory clutch too.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          That’s a pretty decent run on maintenance parts, no doubt! My Honda’s clutch pretty suddenly shows sign of wear at just below 160k kilometers. I guess the engine has to go out to change it, so I should probably start to drive with some care and sense…

          1. salguod Avatar

            Yeah, it’s been great mechanically. The clutch still feels great, hopefully still some years in it. It’ll likely be my youngest’s car in a year or so. Considering others have put clutches in as early 80K, I’m thrilled.
            What kind of Honda requires you to pull the engine to change the clutch? That’s nuts.

      2. ptschett Avatar

        In a generally very rural duty cycle, my Thunderbird’s front brakes lasted to 125,000 miles; the rears to 175,000. I replaced the front pads and rotors because the rotors were getting awfully warped; on the rear pads and rotors, the life seemed unnaturally long as it was.

  10. caltemus Avatar

    I drove 1000 miles from CT to St. Louis in my firebird tuesday, and I’m driving back tomorrow. Road trips are the best

  11. ptschett Avatar

    My Thunderbird crossed the 196,000 mile mark this weekend on a trip from its home base on the family farm to Athol, SD, a town only 50 miles from home that I’d never visited till now, and only knew from its exit sign on US-281 (and the hilariously juvenile remarks that would ensue between me and my dad whenever we saw that sign on trips to Aberdeen.)
    The Challenger crossed some pre-programmed threshold around the 2,000 mile mark and seems to have gained some power and MPG’s.
    Amongst family vehicles, my dad just took delivery of a new Peterbilt 389 semi tractor. After looking at it and comparing it to my knowledge of the previous trucks on the farm (like that ’85 GMC General it’s parked beside) I think I’m starting to get why Peterbilt has the market position that it has.