Category Archives: Editorial

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!

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

2017 Mileage Roundup

Time for the 2017 mileage roundup for the fleet.  I started this type entry a year ago when I summarized the mileage totals to start collecting history on mileage traveled.  I made it a point after acquiring RedRock to create an account at Fuelly.com and then installed the app on my iPhone.  With a little discipline, I’ve recorded every fuel-up and the results are interesting.  The website provides a yearly totals view and that is where these screenshots came from…

Here is my 2017 mileage roundup:

Totals for: RedRock

Totals for: S2000

Totals for: bowtie6

Comparing to the totals from last year, I must drive MORE!!!

Finally, like I did last year, here is a gallery of the three dashboards taken on New Year’s day, 2018.

Note:

This might be one of the few times I post a picture of the mileage on bowtie6.  It shows 23,519 miles and this is a bit misleading (adding this as a reminder to myself too!):

  • I’ve driven my 1972 TR6 for 23,159 miles since I put it on the road after the full restoration.
  • The first engine – a 3.4L V6 from a Camaro –  ran for 14,513 miles.  That is when we discovered an irreparable frame failure with stress cracks and my cousin Jim built the new frame from scratch.
  • The 2.4L Ecotec engine/gearbox came from a Pontiac Solstice with only 8 miles on the odometer.  This powertrain was then installed in a new frame built at Jim’s shop.  On October 15th, 2011, bowtie6 left Jim’s shop and has been a hoot to drive.
  • The new Ecotec powertrain has 8,998 miles so far.

 

Ford Tough

Driving RedRock to work this week, I see this vehicle at a red light proudly wearing a Ford Tough sticker…

But wait a minute…  What is wrong here?  This is not a Ford Tough SUV!!  This is a Honda Pilot.  😯

I get a kick out of the different stickers people plaster on their cars…

  • Stick families (gotta include the dogs/cats)…
  • Holy rollers…
  • “My kid did this or the other special crap”…
  • Political affiliation – these are even more entertaining when comparing candidates vs car/SUV/truck…
  • Hardware (as in guns)…
  • In memory of…

And then, one of my favorites:  the ones that make no sense at all.  As in today’s featured picture making a Honda Pilot “Ford Tough”.  Wonder how the boys in Dearborn feel about that?

As we say here in the South, “Bless his heart”.  But it’s all good, after all he is a Clemson Dad.  😉