Archive for the ‘Rants’ Category

1998 BMW 318ti

Posted: June 16, 2017 in Rants

I paid more for my last suit than I did for this car.

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The first thing I did was purchase four M12 washers and installed two per side between the lower shock bolts as shims.  The internet told me this gives me more camber for about $2 (or you could be a sucker and pay real money for the Turner kit).

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The secondary air injection pump shit the bed, so I bought a new one.  In order to properly access it, I had to remove the monstrous air intake assembly which covered almost the entire front of the car.

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And me being me, I figured it was an opportunity to save a ton of weight.  So I went to Lowes and purchased $18 worth of HVAC parts.

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I cut up the filter and clamped it in before the MAF, and then removed the fog light cover, snaked the pipe down into the fresh air, and clamped more filter over the pipe end.

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I definitely lost a ton of weight and the car makes some mean noises under full throttle, but I can’t say it makes any extra power.  However, this exercise is in line with my theme for this car – dirt cheap garage engineering.

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1998 Subaru Outback Sport

Posted: June 8, 2017 in Rants

I purchased this car for my wife to learn how to drive.  No, I didn’t marry a child.  She’s from a place where people don’t need to drive.

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It was a completely rust free example from a less than reputable local dealer.  Of course as soon as I drove it off it had a check engine light and multiple small issues, but I didn’t pay much for it and I was prepared to deal with them.

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As I tend to do, I immediately debadged the rear and took the stickers off the sides.  I installed swaybars, adjustable shocks (with stock springs) and taller snow tires for added ground clearance.  Of course I did the obligatory DIY autozone air intake and an APEX’i N1 cat back exhaust.

For the summer, I used BFGoodrich g-Force Sport Comp tires, which are a solid summer tire for street use.

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For the winter, I chose Firestone Winterforce.  These are studdable which means they have a slightly stiffer sidewall than a standard snow tire, although I never studded them (because a studded tires performs worse on all surfaces other than ice).

I went an entire winter without plowing or shoveling my driveway.

Here’s the thing with Subaru’s AWD system – its schizophrenic.  It understeers on entry, oversteers on exit, and arbitrarily switches between the two during sweepers and transitions.  Now, obviously this car isn’t an autocross (or even a rallycross) car – but the lack of predictability from the AWD system was infuriating in my daily driving.  As you know, flat out – that is how I drive.

The nail in the coffin for this car wasn’t the haphazard handling.  Rather, it was the deplorable build quality.  This thing was built like a tin can.  I simply did not feel safe putting my child in the car – and I’m notoriously cavalier about my children’s safety.

1993 Audi 100 CS Quattro

Posted: October 6, 2016 in Rants

It’s gonna be a race car.

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Step 1: Add lightness

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Step 2: Add power with a “custom” intake.

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Step 3: Mount truck tires

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Step 4: Race

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We added a little more lightness during our first event by ripping off two fog lights and the front grille.  We also discovered that 1st gear is more than enough with the tires.  Finally, our suspension travel not only makes for a pillowy smooth highway ride but also works rather well in an off road setting.

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Rarr.  We also broke the exhaust.  One of the bolts snapped right in half.  Time for an upgrade?

2016 Volkswagen Jetta S 1.4t

Posted: March 23, 2016 in Rants

It’s an adequate car.

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2003 Volkswagen Jetta VR6

Posted: February 5, 2016 in Rants

I purchased this car as my wife’s first car.  We got it from CDI in Victor.  Within 30 minutes of purchase it threw a check engine light, and they refused to return my calls.  Suffice to say I don’t think anyone should ever do business with them, ever.

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Immediately upon purchase I dumped the car to the ground on some cheap, garbage coilovers and installed a rear lip spoiler.

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I eventually also added a Borla exhaust.  The sound of the VR with an exhaust is one of the primary reasons my wife kept this car for 6 years.

Now it’s mine.  I’ll admit its fun – compared to later Jettas the size is just right – its small and can squirt through traffic.  It has nice torque delivery but power up top as well.  It’s been fairly reliable with a few hiccups, usually when my wife was in New York City – which is why she got the new Jetta.

2013 Volkswagen Jetta SE 2.5

Posted: February 5, 2016 in Rants

My daughter’s expression pretty much sums up how everyone in my house feels about this car (seen in the background).

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I picked the car up for my wife to drive, who refused to drive it – instead preferring to drive her 2003 Jetta VR6 (the other gray Jetta in the garage).

2016 Volkswagen Jetta Sport

Posted: January 22, 2016 in Rants

It’s got a torquey 1.8t automatic, two-tone white/black seats, nav, heated shit, NO SUNROOF, a lip spoiler, a lower sport suspension and 17″ wheels.  My wife is happy with it.

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