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Old 04-22-2003, 01:20 PM   #21
wwalkersd
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Default Re: JB's Mental Breakdown: Mechanical Nightmare #3,621

Go for the Renault. At least the Fiat Spyder was pleasant to look at. Well, OK, maybe only until it started to rust, which took what, maybe 15 minutes?
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Old 04-22-2003, 01:33 PM   #22
wwalkersd
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Default Re: JB's Mental Breakdown: Mechanical Nightmare #3,621

I first experienced this effect soon after I got out of college. My mom was visiting me, and mentioned that her car needed an oil change. Well, I'd been changing my own oil for a while, so I said "I'll do it, mom, and save you some money." This was before Jiffy Lube, of course. Well, the oil filter on her car was mounted at kind of a funny angle (can you see it coming?). And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get it loose. I finally crushed the filter, and punctured it, and still couldn't get enough grip to get it loose. So, we had to call a towtruck to haul the car to a service station, where the mechanic also had a tough time removing what was left of the filter. However, he was ultimately successful, since unlike me, he was turning it the right direction. Sigh.



Never work on a woman's car in order to save money. They're cursed. They don't like you.



Now, JB, does your boat run? If not, I can tell you a nasty story about marine exhaust manifolds. Been there, done that, have the receipts and scars to prove it.
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:37 PM   #23
Mr_Bigglesworth
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Default Re: JB's Mental Breakdown: Mechanical Nightmare #3,621

Torx fasteners are the factory's way of telling you, "Stay away."



Seriously, H-D started putting torx fasteners on the maintenance ports years ago, and as a former H-D mechanic who spent entirely too much time undoing owners' shade-tree tuneups, it was not a bad idea IMHO. Now that Pep Boys sells torx bits, maybe the factories should switch to harder-to-find security torx fasteners (with a post in the center of the star so you can't use a standard bit).



Also, the difference between doing any kind of repairs in a clean, well-lit, organized service bay and doing it in the driveway is so extreme that I'm not even tempted to work on my own cars. Not that I haven't at least thought about trying to get the car up on the bike lift in the shop...
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Old 04-22-2003, 02:42 PM   #24
jmeyn
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Default Re: JB's Mental Breakdown: Mechanical Nightmare #3,621

Duke, I used a $15 Bendix Starter Loosening Wrench to unstick my MG's starter. Shame on you. Pagan.
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Old 04-22-2003, 03:09 PM   #25
rsheidler
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Default Re: VW Golf?

I went from a 1983 Rabbit GTi to a 1985 CRX (I totaled the GTi) and while I liked the CRX a lot, it was not nearly the drivers' car that the GTi was. The GTi could easily be put into controlled oversteer, or be brought back to moderate understeer with a bit more throttle, while the CRX just understeered -- albeit at a rather fast rate of cornering speed. It also did not have nearly the same sense of a direct connection from the steering wheel to the front contact patches.



I drove a number of Golf GTi's of more modern vintage in Europe and they were all very inpressive handling -- for front drive units. I have not driven a recent vintage Golf, but my daughter has a New Beetle (standard version) and my best friend has a turbo Beetle and both are much more entertaining than the recent Hondas I have driven -- the turbo obviously more so. The recent Civics I have test driven were rather unimpressive, compared to older ones. Way too much understeer and the sensation of far too many rubber bushings between the steering wheel and the front tires. I have also driven some tuned (set up for autocross) Civics and CRXs that are very quick.



I drove a '91 Prelude Si for 5 years in Europe and for a couple of years in Utah after I returned, and I loved it for fast touring. It was a more refined car than the Golfs I drove, and probably was statistically better handling (skidpad gs etc) but in really hard, tight turns (eg Alpine passes, or some of the Utah mountain roads, it would finally understeer a lot. If I had kept it, I would have tried out some different sway bars to try shift the handling balance a bit. I suspect that it is faster over a given mountain road than is our Miata, but with the front tires screaming and the steering going dead, it was not nearly as much fun.



I have only had a brief test drive in an S2000, but I admit that I probably would cut off my left nut for one. On the other hand, the (prior generation) BMW Roadster, especially in M trim would be pretty tough competition -- the S2000 feels a lot like a 600 sportbike to me -- pretty sluggish at moderate rpm, but when it comes on the cam......oh my god! Great fun but I imagine it could be tiresome in rush hour traffic. Comparing the Z3 to the S2000 might be somewhat like comparing a Buell to an R6.



As for the NSX, in my wet dreams!



Yes, I agree that BMWs are wildly overpriced, but if money were no object, I would always have one.



Regards

Bob



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Old 04-22-2003, 03:18 PM   #26
rsheidler
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Default Re: VW Golf?

I went from a 1983 Rabbit GTi to a 1985 CRX (I totaled the GTi) and while I liked the CRX a lot, it was not nearly the drivers' car that the GTi was. The GTi could easily be put into controlled oversteer, or be brought back to moderate understeer with a bit more throttle, while the CRX just understeered -- albeit at a rather fast rate of cornering speed. It also did not have nearly the same sense of a direct connection from the steering wheel to the front contact patches.



I drove a number of Golf GTi's of more modern vintage in Europe and they were all very inpressive handling -- for front drive units. I have not driven a recent vintage Golf, but my daughter has a New Beetle (standard version) and my best friend has a turbo Beetle and both are much more entertaining than the recent Hondas I have driven -- the turbo obviously more so. The recent Civics I have test driven were rather unimpressive, compared to older ones. Way too much understeer and the sensation of far too many rubber bushings between the steering wheel and the front tires. I have also driven some tuned (set up for autocross) Civics and CRXs that are very quick.



I drove a '91 Prelude Si for 5 years in Europe and for a couple of years in Utah after I returned, and I loved it for fast touring. It was a more refined car than the Golfs I drove, and probably was statistically better handling (skidpad gs etc) but in really hard, tight turns (eg Alpine passes, or some of the Utah mountain roads, it would finally understeer a lot. If I had kept it, I would have tried out some different sway bars to try shift the handling balance a bit. I suspect that it is faster over a given mountain road than is our Miata, but with the front tires screaming and the steering going dead, it was not nearly as much fun.



I have only had a brief test drive in an S2000, but I admit that I probably would cut off my left nut for one. On the other hand, the (prior generation) BMW Roadster, especially in M trim would be pretty tough competition -- the S2000 feels a lot like a 600 sportbike to me -- pretty sluggish at moderate rpm, but when it comes on the cam......oh my god! Great fun but I imagine it could be tiresome in rush hour traffic. Comparing the Z3 to the S2000 might be somewhat like comparing a Buell to an R6.



As for the NSX, in my wet dreams!



Yes, I agree that BMWs are wildly overpriced, but if money were no object, I would always have one.



Regards

Bob



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Old 04-22-2003, 04:16 PM   #27
drthompson65
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Default Re: JB's Mental Breakdown: Mechanical Nightmare #3,621

Why don't you just torch it and take the insurance?



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Old 04-22-2003, 04:30 PM   #28
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Default Re: JB's Mental Breakdown: Mechanical Nightmare #3,621

So after all this time we finally hear about the headbolts and we also hear that until then the car was running fine right!!! Goddam parts that need replacing periodically - I guess the timing chain at 100,000 is not a lot different than having to do a cam belt on a decent Japanese car, but then they are very easy to get at (usually).



JB other than divorce I had suggested you emigrate to New Zealand to get away from things, but maybe that's a bad idea. Down here we have to have our vehicles checked by the authorities every year until they are 6 years old and then every 6 months after that and I gather you don't have anything like that in USA. The call it a Warrant of Fitness here and damn they keep upping the rules.



Last week I took our 22 year old Mitsubishi Celeste (I think you had Colt names on them over there, which we inherited when the mother-in-law died), in for its check. Warrant man is down underneath in the pit and calls me down and says I gotta fail you this time - new rule - you can't have any worn or split steering joint boots. I figured I might as well replace the joints complete with boots because I doubt I could buy anything separately to do the job and the joints wouldn't be too good any more anyway.



I was able to buy all new ball joints, 8 of them, from the local autoparts shop and spent all day Monday doing the job. Getting the old ones out was at times tough with much use of the hammer, but have any of you tried to put new joints onto the bottom of the Macpherson struts on these suckers. No amount of hammer would get the bloody thing to slide up the spline in-situ. So I then had to take the lower suspension arms out of the car and take to the part with a hammer while the arm was on my vice giving it something solid for me to hammer against. In the end it all went together but took me way too long.



The next thing I have to do is work on my trailer because now they have introduced a rule that says I can't have the safety chain welded on uless it has a welders certificate available. So I gotta cut the chain off and bolt or shackle one on. Its all in the name of road safety and I think our bureaucrats have gone mad.



If you are interested check out our vehicle inspection standards here http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/publications/vir-manual/ This covers motorcycles as well.



Now JB you would truly go insane if you had to keep to these rules. Chances are they are getting close to how tough the Japanese rules are.



In the name of road safety I suspect they are driving the more unfortunate souls to say to hell with the law and more of them will drive their vehicles without a warrant chancing that they might not get picked up by the cops and in the meantime they save all that money.



So while I was lying on my garage floor banging away at the Mitsi I was wondering how the Merc was doing. Hell I should have been biking. I was on Sunday morning I visited my brother and went for a ride on his 1970 Triumph Daytona 500. Now that took me back, I said to him it was the first time in a while I had ridden a bike that vibrated my eyeballs so my vision was blurred. It all smoothed out above 55mph. Its not that the bike vibes real bad its just that it hit a bit of a resonance with my eyes. It wasn't uncomfortable on arms, butt etc. All in the name of fun huh.



Cheers

Merv.
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Old 04-22-2003, 04:31 PM   #29
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Default Re: VW Golf?

Thank you, having been involved in the development of the original US GTi, its gratifying to see that you appreciated it. BMW M Cars, Porsche 911... Driving both on a regular basis, I can say the Japanese will never duplicate the pleasure of the experience or pride of ownership.
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Old 04-22-2003, 06:02 PM   #30
dwr461
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Default Re: JB's Mental Breakdown: Mechanical Nightmare #3,621

Thank God! He's back. This is the kind of article I loved when his rantings were published in an un-named print magazine. No larger agenda to ponder, just funny and well written (except mispelling "remeber", look's like something I'd type and no one would pay to read my thoughts.)



Welcome back,

Dave
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