Mar 29, 2005

So, do you remember how I backed into some construction equipment that was carelessly left behind my driveway? No? Here's a picture:

I finally decided to look into getting this fixed. Since it is a plastic bumper that was ripped all the way through, I knew it couldn't be patched and would have to be replaced. Given an estimate of $428.17 for JUST THE BUMPER COVER, I knew the final estimate to have it painted and installed was going to be painful. The final total: $922.08. My response: "F U, good day, sir!"

The breakdown of the price is as follows:

  • Rear bumper cover: $428.17
  • Rear grill: $51.83
  • Paint: $89.70
  • Flex additive: $6
  • 5.8 hours of work @ $46/hr: $266.80
  • Tax: $79.58

I looked around and I found the SVT rear bumper cover and grill for $312.50. If I just have them paint the bumper cover, it looks like I can drop the price to just the paint, flex additive and 3.9 hours of labor for a total of $299.31. Including the price of the bumper cover and grill and this is easily over $600. I may just end up having insurance cover this and paying the damned $500 deductible.

Mar 28, 2005

Given the five paint choices and the two wheel choices for 2005, I would rank them as such:

  1. Black/Silver
  2. Blue/Gold
  3. Black/Gold
  4. Blue/Silver
  5. White/Gold
  6. White/Silver
  7. Dark Silver/Silver
  8. Silver/Silver
  9. Dark Silver/Gold
  10. Silver/Gold

Back in 2004, I believe I would have placed Black/Gold at the top since the Black paint had so much gold metallic to it.

Mar 24, 2005

Whoa, it's 3:20 PM and I still haven't posted this. The horns are mounted, wired and working! I purchased those damn things on 10Oct2004 so that means it took me 163 days to install them! I should do a full write up so you can all laugh at my lack of expertise and tools. Come on, specifically buying a 2x6 for use as a workbench/vise? Pathetic.

The Car Lounge Forums: Soccer moms! O'man!!: I hope the link stays up for awhile because this is absolutely hilarious. The best quote by far is "We're not going to go down there and enforce your western bacon cheeseburger."

Mar 21, 2005

BMW 6 Series rice. Expensive rice, but still, unbelieveable.

Well, a momentous day has arrived. Both of my horns are mounted! Note, I said mounted, not installed or functional. I still need to do the wiring, which may take another four months!

Mar 17, 2005

First, Blogger was down so I couldn't post at all. Second, I tried posting this earlier and Blogger ate the whole post. Third, it ate it again. Let's see what happens if I try posting from home!

Conan did a bit about trying to sell his Taurus SHO. The funniest part was when he was getting it appraised and referenced the engine:

Conan: "Look at that, you know what I call this? I call this The Ranch, you know why?"

Appraiser: "The Ranch?"

Conan: "The Ranch, do you know why I call it The Ranch?"

Appraiser: "I have no idea."

Conan: "Cause it's where my 220 horses live."

First, Blogger was down so I couldn't post at all. Second, I tried posting this earlier and Blogger ate the whole post. Let's see what happens this time!

Conan did a bit about trying to sell his Taurus SHO. The funniest part was when he was getting it appraised and referenced the engine:

Conan: "Look at that, you know what I call this? I call this The Ranch, you know why?"

Appraiser: "The Ranch?"

Conan: "The Ranch, do you know why I call it The Ranch?"

Appraiser: "I have no idea."

Conan: "Cause it's where my 220 horses live."

Mar 13, 2005

This was a good Car Weekend™.

Let's start with the virtual and end with the most manly. I'm finally getting the hang of GT4. At first, making money was virtually impossible, even with transferring 100k credits from GT3. I must have rerun the Roadster race six or seven times for a paltry $19k each series. Finally, I got sick of the Beginner races and tried out a few of the rallies. The second rally, which doesn't even require dirt tires, was only two races for the series and gave you roughly $275k! I've since picked up the B and A licenses (even though I got those transfered from GT3 as well) and then the iB and iA licenses (passed the Nurburgring test in my first try, thank goodness). After that, I got pretty bored with the game. It's GT3 with some polish and some stupidity (screen shake?! How did this game get released?).

Ok, on to my spring detail. It's not really spring yet, but the weather was nice and I just bought all those new detailing supplies. It's a long process!

  • NXT Tech Shampoo wash and dry: 30 minutes
  • Sonus clay and NXT rewash: 30 minutes
  • Bug, tar and spot cleaning and full dry: 25 minutes
  • P21S Gloss-Enhancing Paintwork Cleanser: 65 minutes
  • Klasse All-in-One: 50 minutes
  • NXT Tech wax: 55 minutes
  • S100 (AKA P21S) Carnauba wax: 50 minutes

No after pictures yet since I just finished the carnauba wax this morning! I found a few spots I will need to touch up so I'll probably take care of those and add another layer of S100 this weekend.

Finally, I did some work on my car. No, I didn't finish installing the horns. Now that I have one mounted, I'm not really challenged by the project so I just don't seem to care anymore. I should finish it just so I can torture the horrible drivers in front of me. Anyway, I purchased an SCT reflasher from Hypnotic Illusions Auto (ignore the horrible web design) for the SVT. The process was pretty darn simple. Pull out two fuses, plug the flasher into the OBD-II port, press a few buttons to start the process and twenty minutes later, it's done! I got quite a scare though. After the flash, you are supposed to disconnect the flasher and then fire up the car for the first time. I held a bit of trepidation and this was confirmed as the starter wouldn't turn over! Key in, turn key, nothing. I knew I had power as the alarm-armed light was still flashing. At this point, I realized I had replaced the fuses! After that, it fired right up!

I could tell the difference immediately. Normally, the SVT will idle at 1400 RPM for a few minutes (depending on the ambient and internal temperatures) and then drop down to the normal 950 RPM. This tune brings the revs up to 2000 for a couple seconds then drops down to 900 RPM. I let it idle for a few minutes, letting the ECU start to learn the system. I took her out and didn't wring it out much, but I could already feel the difference. Just starting from a dead stop, you can feel the increased torque. After letting it completely warm up and driving around for awhile, I took her onto the highway. The increased torque from 1500 RPM to 4000 RPM is just immense. The car pulls and pulls! After that, the improvement is not as noticable, but I bought the flasher for the low end torque anyway! Take a look at a few dyno plots of stock cars with the stock flash and then the SCT flash:

It's less than a 5% increase in max torque, but now 95% of that torque is available from 3000 RPM to 5250 RPM!

On those first few trips, I did notice quite a bit of pinging. I usually drive around with the radio blasting, but once I started to hear it, it was immistakable. I kept the radio off and only noticed pinging a couple more times. One was when I was in a high gear at low RPM and was trying to get up a hill. The second was on a WOT push from 3000 RPM to 6000 RPM in third. No matter as the ECU seems to have learned and I no longer get pinging. It's possible the tune was for 93 octane and we can only get 92 octane around here. The ECU corrected the problem and I shouldn't see that again.

I love cars.

Mar 10, 2005

A weeks paid vacation to Puerto Rico? Staying at the Wyndham El Conquistador Resort? Sounds good to me! Kat is part of Presidents Club for the 2004 year! If you dont know what Presidents Club is, it's the highest honor you can receive in sales. She gets the free trip and she's taking me with her!

Mar 9, 2005

What is it with me and binary odometers?

2003 Ford Focus ZX3

2004 Ford Focus SVT ZX3

Chris Rock on relationships (this is directed at no one!)

You have to be on the same page, have the same focus. And that focus is HER. She's already there, she's waitin' for you to come aboard. Every morning you should wake up, look into the mirror and say fuck you, fuck your dreams, fuck your hopes, fuck everything you thought this life was gonna be about. Now let's go out and try to make this bitch happy!

Story of a JGY Customs Rip-Off: Unbelievable. This guy contracted JGY Customs to drop in a SR20DET into a Datsun 510. The SR20DET is fairly common as far as engine swaps go, so this is a doable project by anyone with moderate fabrication and automotive knowledge. Just take a look at the results! There are so many egregious errors it's just plain funny!

Mar 8, 2005

SILENCE! Silence of the Lambs: The Musical - by Jon & Al Kaplan: Racist, but funny. I'm sorry.

Why Can't Chinese Women Drive?

It's 10 past 8 and I'm gonna be late; Holy Moley

Why is the person in front of me driving so slowly

He's veering back and forth in his lane; what the hell is he doin'?

Is he talkin' on a cell phone or distracted by the gum that he's chewin?

So I pull up beside and I honk on my horn

And I freak when I look at the driver

'Cause the guy at the wheel is a she not a he

And those eyes - my god this woman's from China!

Tell me why can't Chinese women drive?

I'm surprised I'm still alive

If you want to survive the ride

You better open your eyes!

There are certain things in this world that just don't go together

There's Israelis and Arabs

And hard liquor and beer

And there's picnics and terrible weather

But there's two more things that just don't mix

They outweigh the others by far...

It's not blacks and whites nor dogs and cats

It's a Chinese woman and the wheel of a car!


Maybe I'm a racist with a crooked view

Not every bearded big-nose guy's a frikkin' Jew

And not all blacks play basketball

And not all Asian men are small

But why's it every time I'm nearly killed behind the wheel

Oh God I'm asking you please!

That the person responsible don't have a clue

Is a woman and Chinese?


Driving down the freeway is a dangerous task

Especially in LA

Lots of people lots of cars that go too fast

It's a game that only lunatics play

I can deal with detours, traffic jams

And changing lanes is a breeze

But driving in this town is like Russian Roulette

Except the bullets are Chinese!


Mar 6, 2005

Refer to Chapter 23, "General Good Practices," to learn about checking for group membership correctly.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the "coolest" book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

Parish Hilton takes motor racing lessons - Found this on The Car Lounge (I'm not an avid reader of Teen Today). Basically, Paris claims she is taking racing lessons in Monaco so she can avoid the paparazzi in her Ferrari. The best response to this story was "thats like training to be a black belt, and going around kicking the crap out of random people".