Category Archives: Editorial

Engine Rebuild in Time-Lapse Video

Some time ago, I posted an engine rebuild in time-lapse video of a Triumph Spitfire motor.  In case you want to see what that looks like, click here.  Well the history of Triumph engines is not exactly “stellar”.  You see, Triumph engines are not much more than glorified tractor motors.  In some cases, they started life as pump engines.  Want to piss off a Triumph purist?  Tell them their engines are tractor motors!!  😯

So back to today’s post…  My friend Michael sent me an email today with a very interesting link.  The link points to a YouTube video showing a rebuild of a classic Chrysler HEMI engine.  No tractor or pump engine folks!  This is the real deal; truly legendary stuff.  So kick back, and enjoy.

There is so much to see in this video.  I’ve watched it many times and every time I see something new.  But most impressive is:

  • The Intake –  the intake plenum and runners are all made from scratch from tubing.  Those long runners are for a reason:  produce torque.
  • The exhaust – check those tubes!!
  • The empty cans of beer – beer good!
  • The green MG Midget – pump motor anyone?  LOL!

This is an awesome video.  Thanks Michael!!

Incidentally, custom intakes and custom exhausts…  Been there done that.  My cousin Jim made both intake and exhaust from scratch in bowtie6:

Saving the best for last…  Here is a Chevy engine rebuild in time-lapse video…

Long live the Chevy Small Block!!

Somebody please give me a cigarette!  😉

Honda Ridgeline Gets a Tag

My friend with the new Honda Ridgeline (that I posted about here) finally got the good-news phone call from the DMV:  the tag was finally ready for him to pick up.

As it turned out, my friend followed the entire procedure first by calling the 800 number of the Call Center and requesting help.  Since the training these folks receive is not very extensive they were of little help.  The next step involved paying a visit to his local DMV office.  This is when a “supervisor” too over the case and as I explained in the earlier post, things went nowhere.  It took yet another visit to the DMV including a plea for help when another “supervisor” finally gave my friend a break.  Yesterday, this “supervisor” came through in the form of a phone call with the good news.

This was a happy conclusion but it took several trips to the DMV and many phone calls.  And lets not forget the aggravation!  It is a real shame that a government office we (as tax payers) fund offers such crappy service.

The South Carolina DMV

Today’s post is a rant about the glorious South Carolina DMV and how bad it sucks.  I’ve written about the South Carolina DMV is in an earlier post:  Honda S2000 Gets a Tag.  Today I have an even better story.  So quoting from the famous brewery, “If you’ve got the time, we have the err… story!”…  Read on because you are in for a real treat…

The newly redesigned 2017 Honda Ridgeline

You see, one of my buddies at work recently bought a new 2017 Honda Ridgeline like the one in today’s featured picture.  Not exactly the same color, but my friend’s Ridgeline came fully equipped with every possible bell & whistle available.  I am not a truck kinda guy, but this one is something else!

A few days after my friend bought his new pride and joy, we went to lunch and he said “Check this out!”…  He about scared the crap out of me:  he floored the throttle, let go the wheel and as we approached a red light (with a car stopped ahead of us), the Ridgeline immediately came to a controlled halt – it automatically intervened and handled the situation.  I’m like, damn!!!  Amazing what technology can do for you, right?

OK back to the South Carolina DMV…

You see my buddy had to travel out-of-state to buy his truck.  He wanted all the gizmos on it and the only one with such accoutrements was found in a different state.  The deal went according to plan, and included the fee for the tag and transfer which is pretty much a given.  Right?  WRONG!!!  My poor friend has had en experience from hell.

You see, the South Carolina DMV gives you 45 days to display the paper, temporary tag.  During that time (or sooner), one should get a) the tag and b) the title.  In my buddy’s case this went terribly wrong.  As it has turned out, during the process of entering the Ridgeline’s vital statistics into the DMV’s database the person doing the typing fat-fingered the empty weight of the vehicle.  Instead of typing 4,100 lbs, they entered 41,000 lbs.

This is basic “Programming for Dummy’s” stuff:  you would have thought the online system at the DMV would have prevented the data-entry clerk from entering 41,000 lbs as the empty weight of a pickup.  But no.  The system accepted the value and immediately produced a very expensive tag transfer fee.  This in turn, caused a pileup of epic proportions between the DMV, the dealer and the bank.

During this time my buddy is patiently waiting for his new tag.  Instead he gets one of those “oh shit” letters informing him the tag is nowhere near because his Ridgeline has magically morphed into a 41,000 Honda tractor-trailer and he now owes something like $4,500 worth of title transfer fees to the state’s coffers.  Day-um, Nikki Haley – today is NOT a good day in the state of South Carolina!!!!

In case you don’t know, Nikki Haley is South Carolina’s illustrious governess and future ambassador to the United Nations.  And she made it a point when she took office to make all employees answer the phone by saying how great a day it was in South Carolina.  Back to my friend’s story.

For the past week my friend has had to work from home.  The 45 day period has elapsed and if you follow the letter-of-the-law, the vehicle cannot be driven in the state of South Carolina.  My friend has made many trips to the DMV and every time somebody just passes the buck to someone else.  The clerks say they can’t change things; they need a supervisor.  The supervisors can’t seem to get their act together.  Today, my friend told me the clerk said all traces of the case have been lost and they can’t tell him where they are.  Honest!  I’m not making this up.  This is for real.

Seriously the irony in all this is that a mistake by a data-entry clerk has landed in the lap of my buddy.  The DMV has clearly stated the 45 day tag cannot be extended and the car not be driven on public roads.  He has also been told this will be “maybe” solved in the next few days.  And of course, all this from folks we (as tax payers) indirectly pay for in the form of their salaries.

Bureaucracy is a bad thing.  Add ineptitude and you have a disaster.  It is a crying shame that in this age of high technology, vehicles are still given “titles” and rely on all this antiquated paperwork.  Then again, I think I am preaching to the choir.

And as always when it comes to this type of situation, it is the tax payer (us) that get the shaft up the arse.

Hopefully soon, I’ll have an update with a satisfactory resolution.  In the meantime, didn’t I tell you this was an interesting story?

 

Godspeed, John Glenn

It is with a heavy heart I write today’s post.  Today we lost a true hero – the last of the Mercury Seven – John Glenn.

I suppose I am just “old” but the Mercury Seven represent for me a time when we as a nation and society traveled through time’s finest hour.

Godspeed John Glenn…  May you travel well…  Godspeed…

mercury_test_pilots-1

Just imagine the stories these glorious seven are sharing now…

Astronaut John Glenn photographed in space by an automatic sequence motion picture camera during his flight on “Friendship 7.” Glenn was in a state of weightlessness traveling at 17,500 mph as this picture was taken.

 

Mopeds, Trucks and Mustangs

img_4128My friend Jeff sent me this photo just a few minutes after leaving work yesterday, November 22nd.  I suppose this is as good an example of “necessity being the mother of invention” as any…

Interesting how mopeds are becoming more and more prevalent in our busy streets.  The sad part about this is that these transportation conveyances are so non-regulated.  Then again, this is why they are so easy to acquire and to ride.  Catch 22 for sure.

Don’t take me wrong, I am not scorning folks driving these machines on city streets and highways but some of these folks certainly go to extremes at the expense of their own (and others) safety.  And adding insult to injury with no regard to basic laws and driving conduct; ie., driving in the left lane, hogging the road or hauling a keg of beer, etc.

img_3947While on the subject of mopeds…  I took this photo several weeks ago.  It shows two extremes in transportation – a sign of our times.  On the left a fully loaded $60k Ford pickup and on the right another moped.  Two chariots providing the same basic concept – moving from point “A” to point “B” – but with different levels of safety, comfort, status, and the list goes on.

Finally, a short story on the silver high-dollar truck shown in the picture:  The truck was a “loaner” given to a co-worker by a local Ford dealership  Turns out several months ago my friend had bought one of the new Mustangs with the V6 engine.  Said Mustang developed a voracious “appetite” for engine oil and eventually started making strange noises.  The dealer took the engine apart, put it back together and that yielded more strange noises.  After weeks that turned into months the good folks at FOMOCO did like Tammy Wynette standing by her man and in this case, stood by their steed:  they sent a brand new crate engine replacement.

All is well now after the engine transplant and my friend is back on the road enjoying his Mustang.  I guess this must have been a bad omen though…  FOMOCO has ceased production of the V6 engine Mustang…

So happy Thanksgiving 2016 to you all.  I for one have much to be thankful for and with much optimism that America will be made Great Again.