Five Driving Mistakes You Don’t Know You’re Making

Posted in DIY, driving, Promoted, Safety by Kurt Ernst | April 1st, 2011 | 9 Responses |

The deer on the shoulder isn't impressed with your HID lighting.

Here’s the thing about driving: very few of us learned to drive from a professional instructor. If we did, chances are it was an “instructor” who taught driving as a sideline to his real career as a janitor, music teacher, or cop. I’d argue the point that most of these instructors, while proficient in operating a motor vehicle, never really learned to drive. My first lessons came in a dual-control equipped AMC Hornet, and I can say with absolute certainty that we never covered topics like threshold braking, understeer, oversteer or even accident avoidance. Until I started taking lessons on a track, most of what I learned was from either my mistakes or the mistakes of others around me, and that rarely ends well. Read More…

No Paint Booth? No Problem

Posted in DIY, Guide, How To by Kurt Ernst | March 31st, 2011 | 1 Response |

Image: Jay Leno's Garage

One of the biggest challenges faced by backyard car restorers is paint. Good paint jobs cost serious money, which is fine if you’re restoring a high dollar ride, but what about those of us with more modest tastes, like a 1972 Ford Pinto? The car is easy enough to wrench on, but even the though of a same-color respray gives me a cold sweat since I don’t have access to a spray booth or sterile environment. There’s not much of a market for restored Pintos, so farming out for a pro-quality paint job is a money-losing proposition. If I were building a race car that would soon be trading paint anyway, I could probably do a passable job in the garage with an airbrush and a compressor. If I actually wanted to sell the car, the only cost effective option would be to do the prep work myself, then trust Maaco or Earl Schieb (“Any car, any color, just $99.95!”) for the paint. Yikes. As this episode of Jay Leno’s Garage shows you, 3M has a few solutions of interest to backyard car restorers everywhere. Read More…

Half Bug, Half Boxster: Bugster

Posted in Bizarre, Car Branding, Custom, DIY, European Rides, Featured, Porsche, Volkswagen by Dustin Driver | March 30th, 2011 | 6 Responses |

In the vast uncharted wilderness of Austria lives an automotive Dr. Moreau, a mad genius who splices cars together to create breathtaking beasts like this unholy union of a ’73 VW Bug and 2000 Porsche Boxster S: The Bugster. The man behind this beauty is Siegfried Rudolf. His shop, CarMaxx, specializes in tuning and restoring VWs and Porsches. Apparently he got the idea for the Bugster after he parked his tuned ’73 Bug next to his wife’s Boxster and noticed the two cars shared a remarkably similar wheelbase.
Read More…

Powerblock Projects Rock

Posted in car modifications, DIY, Television by J D Stadler | March 14th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Image: Powerblock TV

Every weekend, I can guarantee you my husband will be watching the entire Powerblock TV lineup on Spike.  In between my domestic engineer duties (read: housework), I try and catch the episodes as well.  I absolutely love seeing them take what is usually a hunk of junk and turn it into something really special.  If we had the means and the space, we’d each have a pet project car.  Alas, we have neither but at least Powerblock allows us to live vicariously. Read More…

Dealership or Stealership? Parts & Service Edition

Posted in DIY, Maintenance, Mechanics, Rants & Raves by J D Stadler | February 27th, 2011 | 7 Responses |

Are you the type who takes your car to the dealership for routine care and maintenance?  Do you prefer to do everything yourself, from oil changes to brake jobs?  Maybe you fall somewhere in the middle and use an independent local mechanic or a franchise like those specializing in tires or transmissions?  Whatever your choice, you likely have a very strong opinion why it’s best.

When I was newly licensed, I asked my dad to teach me a few things every good gearhead should know.  I learned the ins and outs of oil changes (complete with hot liquid down my arm), the proper way to jump a battery, how to change a tire using those frustratingly inadequate little scissor jacks, and how to swap out spark plugs among other things.  I will be the first to tell you I still have a lot to learn but I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from a good bit of grease and brake dust under your nails. Read More…

Frozen Assets Makes Winter Worthwhile.

Posted in Best of, DIY, General, Horsepower, Off-Roading, Racing, Videos by MrAngry | February 2nd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

Frozen Assets

I think I have just found the cure for cabin fever! This is an ice dragster that belongs to the Frozen Asset race team out of Minnesota. The concept is simple; take a Spitzer dragster chassis, insert one big honkin’ 2000 hp Pro Line twin-turbo V8 and a rear-trac complete with full spike regalia and you’ve got what is perhaps the baddest machine ever to have run across frozen H20. The pilot of this nut-ball machine is a gentlemen by the name of Paul Groth, he’s the lunatic that back in the 1980’s took the Budwiser Sno King to a top ice speed of over 200 mph using a blown big-block Chevy. The fabrication was done by Performance Concepts of Mokena, IL and by the looks of it they did an outstanding job. Now I’m all for going fast but I like good old fashion tarmac, not a surface that goes against everything that a good pair of brakes stand for. Click through for the video.
Read More…

Honda Explains Compression and Leakdown Testing

Posted in Cool Stuff, DIY, Engines, Honda, How To by Kurt Ernst | January 7th, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

If you like to turn wrenches, chances are good that you have a compression gauge in your tool box. I do, and I used to use it to log compression readings both before and after races, just to give me early warning on developing engine problems. I’d also use it to check out any used cars or bikes I owned, simply because I wasn’t the person who’d broken in the motor. Like the video shows you, they’re easy enough to do, although I’ll admit to not removing spark plugs from all cylinders in advance. I was always more paranoid about sucking dirt and grit into an open spark plug hole than I was about running down the battery.

Read More…

Pismo Beast Buggy is 15,000 lbs. of AWESOME!

Posted in Bizarre, Diesel, DIY, Off-Roading, Trucks, Videos by MrAngry | January 3rd, 2011 | Leave a Reply |

It’s not too often that I am in awe of home built vehicles. This one however, called the “Pismo Beast Buggy” is just too cool though. The Beast Buggy started life as A FL120 Diesel truck that was transformed over time into a Mad Max-esque beach crawler the likes of which I have never seen before. A massive diesel engine powers its two monster truck size rear wheels, and with passenger accommodations for 8 people, this sucker can go just about anywhere. I think the best part though are the massive twin stacks that belch out black smoke every time the accelerator is hit. Hell, I’m intimidated just watching it on video for God’s sake. I have to say that this is truly one of the coolest home built off-road monsters that I have ever witnessed.


What’s your Automotive New Year’s resolution?

Posted in Classic, Collector Cars, DIY, Dodge, Featured, Promoted by MrAngry | December 31st, 2010 | 4 Responses |

New Year 2011

Every year I try to come up with a way to improve myself as an automotive enthusiast. In the past I’ve vowed to learn more about mechanics so I could become more self-sufficient, I’ve also told myself that I wouldn’t spend as much money on auto related things. For 2011 though, I’m finding it hard to nail down a good one. I mean I would love to say that 2011 is the year that I’ll be buying a dedicated track car, but that requires money, which is something that is in short supply at the moment. It’s also not really a resolution, but more of a want then anything else. I suppose I could say that I’ll be more diligent about automotive maintenance, but I’m already pretty good about that. One thing that I was thinking about was restoring and extra grill that I have for my 1968 Dodge Charger. It’s all there, but the biggest problem is not having the space to properly dismantle it. I suppose that I could make it work if I really wanted to though, but we’ll see. So what about you guys, what’s your automotive New Year’s resolution going to be?

Ridelust Recap: Dustin’s Favorite Cars of 2010

2010 was a good year. The venerable Lancia Stratos came back from the grave. Jaguar built a car with two jet engines in it. The Mustang shaved its mullet and proved itself as a more-than-capable sports tourer. Chevy’s long-awaited Volt turned out to be pretty good. And Cadillac made the most bitchin’ station wagon ever. But my favorite cars this year didn’t make the glossy magazines. They won’t end up in posters plastered to 15-year-olds’ walls. They won’t be featured in Forza or GT5. They are, however, spectacular in every way imaginable. Here they are, in no particular order.

Read More…