NOCO X-Connect Eyelet Terminal Accessory

Today, I installed the NOCO X-Connect Eyelet Terminal accessory on my Red Top Optima.  I made mention of this in my prior post about the NOCO Genius10 battery charger.  Originally, I had thought about getting the OBDII adapter pigtail for the Genius10 however, after giving it some thought I decided to against the OBDII adapter.  Going through the OBDII connector means exposing the PCM directly to the charger and I rather not risk damage.

This pigtail comes with two round 3/8 eyelets that bolt to the screw on the battery terminal.  The other side of the pigtail has what NOCO calls an “X-Connect” and this connects to the plug on the Genius10 main charge cable.  It even has a “click” sound to tell you the connector is secure.  But first, this is what the battery box in bowtie6’s trunk looks like:

After removing the two screws holding the top down, we can now deal with the terminals.  Both terminals are protected with covers.  These two battery post covers are just as an extra precaution.  You can see on the bottom left corner of the photo below, part of the inside of the top lid.  It is covered with a thick layer of rubber.

And after sliding the covers back, I secured the two pigtail terminals to the bolts.  Here we we have the wires going through the covers before sliding them back in place:

And here is the pigtail after the top is secured back.  Yes, the clear coat has cracked but believe it or not, it is not flaking off yet.  Oh and this was rattle-can clearcoat!And finally, with the cover back on and the Genius10 connected the setup looks like this:

Pretty cool – this will save the hassle of having to remove the top cover on the battery box.

Oh and one more gizmo to talk about.  My wife’s car is a Chevy Equinox SUV.  This weekend was time for maintenance and the Equinox received 5 quarts of fresh Mobil1 as well as a new Mobil1 filter.  After I changed the oil, I checked out the tires and they looked like they needed rotation.  However, what to do with the TPMS devices?  How to get the sensors reprogrammed to their new locations?
After a little research, I found this TPMS reset device at Amazon.  The reset procedure could not be easier: Set the dash to “learn mode” with an audible horn confirmation.  Then, starting with the driver’s front wheel, point the TPMS Reset Tool at the valve stem and wait for the horn to beep.  Rinse and repeat on the remaining 3 wheels.  Finally, you get two more short beeps and you are done.  All is right with the universe again.

Well folks, that’s it for today’s post.  I know, exciting stuff, right?  Stay safe.

NOCO Genius10 Battery Charger Review

Today, I bring to you my personal NOCO Genius10 Battery Charger review.  But first, lets get this straight:  if you are a regular reader of my blog you know I don’t like to mention products by name and only on certain exceptions do I do a “review”.  Having said this, I thought this post might come in handy for other car enthusiasts with more than one machine in their stable.

Thanks to Covid19, my driving has been reduced dramatically.  The S2000 and bowtie6 have not been out in many weeks and given the weather has been nice, I wanted to take bowtie6 out for a ride.  I turned the key, pressed the start button and all I got was that sickening “brrrp-brrrp” sound.  The Red Top Optima just did not have the balls to get the Ecotec to turn over.  Fine, got the keys for the S2K and tried it.  Pressed the red Start button and ditto – “brrrp-brrrp”.  Damn.

Yes, I have procrastinated for many years and been cheap in not having a decent battery charger/tender.  I would normally just  borrow my cousin Jim’s charger and solve the problem.  This time, I did a little research and decided to invest in my own charger/tender.  Logged into Amazon and found very good reviews on the NOCO Genius10 charger/maintainer.  The price was actually discounted from what the NOCO website has it listed, so I ordered one.  If it didn’t work, I could always send it back, right?

The box came with the charger, a separate cord with clamps and a little instructions booklet.  If you are wondering why the separate cord with clamps is configured that way, well… It is because there are other corded adapters available.  For example, there is a pigtail with an OBD-II plug that will charge the battery through the OBD-II port.

Here is a closeup of the clamps.  You can see the clamps are held in place by button-head screws that if removed, turn the cable into something that can be permanently attached to the battery posts.  Yes, there is a separate accessory available for purchase, that provides this functionality.  There is also another adapter that can be added that even has a little charge gauge of sorts.  Pretty nifty.

 

Charger Impression

The charger is made well.  It is quite heavy and easy to use.  The little plugs used to connect the accessory pigtail are OK.  They could “click” a little better but for what they are, they will suffice.  Finally, the cables are long enough although I did use a short heavy gauge extension cord to go from the receptacle to the charger.

The interface is handled by one button that when pressed correctly enables the Genius10 to charge pretty much any kind of battery.  There are a number of icons that show what is going on.  And, on the back of the unit the sticker clearly states “Made in Vietnam”.

Pressing the single control button cycles through the different battery types and voltages available.  This charger will handle lead batteries as well as AGM batteries like my Red Top Optima.  The charger sells for about $100.

I started with the lead battery setting on the S2000’s battery and after about 4-5 hours, the green LED finally reached the “done” setting.  I clicked on the button to make it jump to the AGM setting and then moved over to the Optima in bowtie6.  This took a little longer, but eventually the green LED reached the “done” setting.  Needless to say, both cars started right up and all I can say is that I should have bought this device a long time go.

If I had a complaint to make is the flimsy box this device comes in.  You would think the folks making this charger would have included some sort of case to go with it.  NORCO makes cases, but they are right pricey – actually a third of what the device sells for.  You would think with a premium product like this, some sort of case should have been included.  I suppose Mick had it right, “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime, you get what you need”.

Now some other thoughts about things in general, in no particular order…

This weekend has come and gone; the days just seem to run into each other thanks to our pandemic.  The new “normal” is grim, I know.  But…  Finally we get to watch live NASCAR at Darlington and that gave a feeling of somewhat “normalcy” if you will to this Sunday afternoon.  Gosh it sure is nice to hear the engines run again.  Hard to believe this May won’t have the glorious F1 machines in Monaco nor we watch the spectacle of engines wailing at the Brickyard…

Hope those of you reading this post are doing well.  I’ve been watching a lot of old movies on TCM these past few weeks.  There have been some good films indeed.  Matter of fact, they even showed 2001 A Space Odyssey – one of my favorites – and HAL doing his thing.  I’ll date myself, but I remember actually watching that movie at the theater back in the day.  Awesome movie – just don’t try to make any sense out of it.  And while we are at it, try asking your Echo Dot, “Alexa close the pod bay doors”…  She don’t like that so well!  <grin>.

I made another trip to see my mom this past weekend and this time I drove the Camaro SS.  I track mileage on Fuelly.com and much to my surprise, it had been 2 months to the day since I had fueled up the Camaro.  How time goes by.

Not sure if you are a fan of podcasts, but there are a few that I have subscribe to that are excellent.  Among them is “Throughline” from NPR, “A History of Now” from Marketplace and one called “The Cold War: What We Saw“.  Depending on the subject matter, the episodes can vary in length but the content is fantastic.  Especially “Throughline“.

Finally – on the car theme – I’m really enjoying a new book I downloaded to read on my iPad.  The book is titled “Faster” and so far, it is excellent.  This book is about racing in the age prior to World War II and mixes the flamboyance of the early GP drivers and their cars and the upcoming Nazi regime with the rise of AutoUnion and Mercedes in the world scene with their mighty Silver Arrows.

The book takes a little time to get started, but once you get past the opening chapter or so, it starts to really get interesting.

And that is it for this weekend.  Stay safe!

Customized Dodge Challenger

This weekend, I made a quick road trip to visit my mom and on the way back, I found this customized Dodge Challenger parked on the side of the road.  This bad boy is another example of one of those things that make you go “hmmmm”…

Mom has a very supportive network of family and friends in the little town where she lives.  She is handling our new “normal” quite well, but she does not drive and she needed to go to the grocery store.  So we took care of that this weekend by going to North Augusta, SC.  Mom is now set for another couple weeks and I had a chance to finally get out on the road and clear my mind from being in lockdown.

So back to the customized Dodge Challenger.  All I can say is that somebody put a ton of money on this Challenger.  The pictures don’t do the paint job justice – it is flawless.  While it is not my cup of tea, I do appreciate the hard work invested.  The Challenger was painted probably with ChromaFlair because as you move around, the thing changed colors.  Somebody then took the time to ghost-in the Mopar logos on the quarter panels.  You can barely see an edge in the photo above.

The hood was also highly customized:  it had the Mopar logo as well.  I’m not a big fan of the color shifting paint but that paint-job did the trick:  it caught my eye.  I had to drive back to this parking lot and felt compelled to take these photos.

And last but not least, the wheels and tires.  I didn’t get out of my car, and inspect them closely, but they are LARGE.  Again, there is no telling how man dead presidents are invested in this set of wheels.  Having said all this…  I have a few questions:

    • With a wheel/tire combo like this, what effect does it have on the drivetrain.  If we go by the relationship of a lever, I would suspect this is going to load up the gearbox and strain it.
    • What effect does a whee/tire combo like this have on brakes?  Suppose you are driving at highway speed, would braking efficiency become compromised?
    • Speedo.  The speedo reading would certainly be hosed.  This is when tuning software and/or a separate box would save the day.  I am not familiar with this type of setup but there is certainly a lot of work here…
    • If you have any info on this, let me know…

Stay safe!

Lane Rhythm Midcentury Modern End Table

I’m trying to stay sane during our new “normal”, so I’ve been working on a Lane Rhythm midcentury modern end table.  It is  finally finished and it turned out quite nice.  But first, a little background…

Ever since my wife and I visited Palm Springs CA (been there twice!) we have been on the lookout for nice midcentury modern (MCM) furniture.  We have quite a nice collection thus far, essentially replacing as we go.

So, where do we find these pieces?  They come from MCM stores local and online, and also from estate sales.  Estate sales can be hit or miss; there is a lot of luck involved but that is what makes it fun.  In the case of this table, my wife picked it up at an estate sale just a few weeks before this COVID-19 changed our way of living.  

This table was made sometime in the mid 1960’s by furniture maker Lane as part of the Rhythm collection.  The table is walnut, and was in fair shape with a number of stains on the top.  “Stains” as in when somebody puts a flower pot and moisture makes a ring.  That might be why nobody wanted it, and why my wife picked it up for a song. 

Other than the top, the rest of the table was in remarkable nice shape considering it is 50+ years old.  I started with some light sanding and this removed some rough spots from the wood.  The top took a little more effort, and fortunately the stains came out…

While I was doing all this work, I removed the drawer and flipped the table upside down.  That is when I found it was loose in a few joints.  All it took was a little patience, some strategically placed wood glue and some clamps.  Now the table is solid and stable.

Sanding this table reminded me of body work and that is why I found it so much fun.  The trick is in attention to detail.  The cleaner and accurate you make the prep, the nicer the project will turn out.  In this case, I used several grits of sandpaper, finishing out the prep with steel wool.  Then, wiping the entire table down with spirits and a tack cloth to remove any dust and/or debris.  Finally a couple of very carefully applied coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal satin finish.  Arm-R-Seal is very thin, and I applied it with good quality foam brushes.  Letting it dry thoroughly and then gently following up with steel wool.

And yes, that is Jimi Hendrix in that photo – I thought it complimented the table quite nicely.

As you can see, the two chairs on either side are far from midcentury modern.  I can kick myself back in January:  my wife and I visited Knoxville TN for a wedding and we found an MCM store.  They had a pair of very period correct lounge chairs that would have been perfect with this table.  I should have bough them.  If you notice, you can see what I mean in the lounge set used to introduce movies on Turner Classic Movies network.

So, a request to anyone reading this entry, if you have a lead on two MCM lounge chairs, let me know.  It makes no difference what kind of shape they may be in, provided they are not too far gone.

Stay safe.

Coping with COVID19

Greetings and salutations to the loyal readers (albeit small) of this blog during this unprecedented time, hoping you are doing well and being safe, while coping with COVID19.  I’ve been working from home for the last 2 1/2 weeks and it has been quite an experience.  Don’t take me wrong, I am very grateful that the company I work for, has the necessary resources for us to work from home, but it has been quite an adjustment.

I”ve lived in the United States for 40 years and never, in my wildest dreams would I have thought things would get this dicey.  And according to Drs Fauci and Birx, things are going to get even dicier.  My heart and admiration goes out to all the unsung heroes of society:  the health workers, the UPS/FEDEX drivers, truckers, grocery store employees and the list goes on.  I heard a story on NPR the other morning,  that explained the extreme sacrifices being made by utility workers and water treatment plant operators (click here).  Like standing up RV’s so they are not too far from their plants.  Why you ask?  Because there are not many folks willing to specialize in that type of work – but yet, they are the foundation to our “civilized” society.

This blog is not political; neither is it about parties.  I just wish these dunces we call politicians would set aside their personal agendas and do the right thing for the good of our beloved America.  My father (who would have been 98 years old today) – member of the Greatest Generation and a decorated WWII veteran – would have been appalled to see what is happening today to the nation he so selfishly defended.  Dad was alive for 9/11, and I remember he wept.  I honestly don’t know how he would have reacted to what is happening now…

Bill Withers passed away today.  An American treasure…

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
We all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there’s always tomorrow
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won’t let show
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on
Lean on me, when you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on
For it won’t be long
‘Til I’m gonna need
Somebody to lean on
You just call on me brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on
If there is a load you have to bear
That you can’t carry
I’m right up the road
I’ll share your load