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What Was Your Automotive News for 2016?

Greg Kachadurian December 30, 2016 In General, The News! 21 Comments


Another year is just about in the books, and man was it a weird one. It was a year that became a sentient being which got blamed for dozens of celebrity deaths and basically all the worst things that happened around the world, but it was still another 365 days we got to spend doing the things we love with the people we love.

Because the automotive news is practically non existent this week, I’m reserving this time slot for you to reminisce on the events – good or bad – that defined your automotive-related news for the year. Whether you took on a new project or three, went to a bucket list event, bought something new, or just spent the year breaking everything, we wanna hear about it… especially if you just broke stuff.

We’ll see you all next year. Cheers!

[Image © 2016 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

  • I broke my Volvo 66 GL on my way to the LeMons rally, I broke my International Harvester pickup during the LeMons rally, and I broke Spank’s ToyoHog during the LeMons race at Buttonwillow, so yeah, it’s been a pretty good year.

  • Greg Kachadurian

    I went to my first Rolex 24, did my second Chicago Auto Show press days, ruined an episode of the Cammed and Tubbed podcast, had a water pump slowly die on me, did a few quick road trips for a wedding and a rock festival, did Monterey Car Week again, got media access to Laguna Seca for the first time, Ferrari Finali Mondiali stuff, did several mountain runs again, and uhh… I think that covers everything? Not a bad year.

  • Fred Talmadge

    I registered my Acura for the last time here in Texas. Next year I return to the wonderful California DMV.

  • 1slowvw

    After following the development of Megasquirt, then the microsquirt units to the market for almost a decade I decided I finally have enough wiring experience, and the supporting tech (tunerstudio) is where it needs to be to make the move.
    So I bought a Microsquirt V3. set up to run on the 4.8 Turbo that I’m going to build. I then bought a 97 S10 to put it in because it was cheaper then buying an engine stand.

    This will hopefully be the gateway into learning how to do basic tuning on Fuel injected vehicles.

    Also I destroyed another clutch in my mk2 VW…planning on throwing a new one in next summer along with a fresh head, and a new intake manifold.

  • jeepjeff

    Mine got covered on this very site! http://hooniverse.com/2016/09/13/false-neutral-29-lemons-rallying-with-jeepjeff/

    TL;DL: I broke my TW200 on a silly road trip.

  • Manic_King

    Bought 2 cars for my own money first time in 15 years (company cars only during these 15 years), sold both without really driving them, MB was meant for sale and made nice profit, Alfa was meant to be DD-project car but I just didn’t believe in her so sold for the same amount of loss MB made profit, +-0 all in all. Bought third car week ago, Lexus IS250, US import, seems that I better learn F/C degrees, miles and mpg conversion table as there’s no button to get metric numbers. Radio plays only 1/3 of channels as it is also US (NA?) version and doesn’t do even frequencies we also have. No worries, though, I can live with that.

  • I finally got my high school dream car. Future projects and minor mods beckon. Updates available at prizmgsi.com


    • I’m thinking you’ve got a pretty low spec dream car, then I click through to your site and find that link to a GSi hatch for only $600 and it’s less than an hour from me. Suddenly I’m dreaming of one – for a few seconds when I come back to reality. I liked these, especially the hatch, but a rusty one with transmission problems? I’ll pass.

      • The hatchback is definitely a unicorn. Fewer than 800 ever built, but that particular one may be too far gone. Seems like there’s still a decent supply of notchbacks kicking around – decent ones seem to go for 1500-2000, with beaters for less.

    • outback_ute

      The hatchback looks identical to the Corolla Seca we got here in Australia. I knew a guy who wanted to get the SX with the 4AGE, except there was something like a 6-month waiting list so he ended up settling for a lower model with the normal engine (4AFE?).

      • That’s exactly right. It was the Seca in Australia and the Sprinter in Japan. The 4AGE was the rare upmarket engine only available in the GSi here in the states. It was a healthy 28 horsepower boost over the base 4AFE’s 102 hp. In turn, the 4AFE was a healthy 26 horsepower boost over the 4A’s 76 hp. The wonders of fuel injection.

        • outback_ute

          Yes it was the same here for the lower models. From memory the SX was only available as the Seca liftback and the ‘normal’ hatchback, but not the sedan – seen as the “oldies” bodystyle fairly or otherwise. The final version was rebadged “GTi” for some reason.

  • Fuhrman16

    This year I’ve sold my Neon and MGB, bought a Mazda 2, went to the PWC and Indy car race at Road America, did three Lemons races at Autobahn, Gingerman, and Buttonwillow, futzed about with my Encore, and am currently in the process of buying a “race” car.

  • It’s been a pretty good car year.

    I made good on my idea to buy interesting older cars as a daily driver by picking up a 1996 318ti for cheap and making it my daily. A year and about 18K miles later, I’m still enjoying it but I’m thinking of moving on to something else in the spring.

    I entered design school thinking that I’d make it as a car designer, but that never happened. This year, however, I got a new job in the automotive world working with kit cars. It’s been fun so far, but I’ve only just started.

    A new house with a large garage with heat and property so I might get a pole barn someday is a plus.

    I didn’t really plan any of that going into 2016, which makes it all the better.

    On the down side, the Tbird didn’t get the attention it deserves, but hopefully that can be remedied this year.

  • ptschett

    My ’96 Thunderbird rusted some more and I drove it anyway; the ’05 Dakota got a new brake caliper on the left front to replace the original one that was sticking; and the ’15 Challenger continued to be my hoonmobile of choice. For the first time since 2004 I went a full calendar year without operating a manual-transmission vehicle titled in my name and I was entirely OK with that kind of shiftlessness. (The Ford 4R70W, DaimlerChrysler 545RFE and ZF 8HP70 are all pretty good.)

    • njhoon

      I just dug out of my moms garage my still in the box cobra R rims that I bought for my 95. Want them?

  • Vairship

    I’m listening to Tim Odell singing on YouTube, while having the dogs snoring next to me.
    Oh, it’s Tom Odell? Must be Tim’s brother…

    Happy New Year everyone!

  • Scoutdude

    This year I did some overdue updating of the fleet around our house making this year the most money I’ve spent on cars in a long long time.

    First up my old Econoline was finally at the end of its economic service life and the big reason wasn’t even its fault. In a wind storm in the winter of 2014 a large branch fell on it. It was a high top wheel chair conversion it its original life and that fiberglass top that took the brunt of the branch was pretty hammered. The windshield and hood didn’t fare very well either. None the less it survived a bit longer with a little Gorilla tape making the top a little more weather proof. However it needed 4 new tires and the radiator was getting iffy.

    The problem was that I really need a high top van for what I use it for and they are hard to come by and are either really really expensive or have 350k or more and are really expensive. I had found a potential canidate at the county auction but backed out at $5K my self imposed budget for a work vehicle that doesn’t see that much work. So I kept looking and several months later I was able to buy that exact van for $3500. The lady I bought it from had paid $8500 (dealer paid in the low $6K range) for a mobile dog grooming business. Unfortunately she was injured and had to call it quits. The problem was the van now really smelt like wet dog. Thankfully with a good cleaning and time that is gone. The van does need some work but it has earned its keep so far.

    Second my wife’s Fusion Hybrid was totaled. For some time she made due with driving my car while I drove the van or driving our Montaineer that I resurrected by finally replacing the bad transmission. However that was more thirsty than needed for her daily driver. So after looking again for months I came across a good deal on a Escape Hybrid that the state was surplussing. One of the reasons it went cheap was because it was labeled a “pest vehicle” in the maintenance history and another reason was that it had a thick layer of dust inside and the LR window was held up with packing tape. I did track down the reason it kept throwing TPMS codes, more on that below.

    Third my F350 was also at the end of its economic service life also needing new tires, having a leaky radiator and a host of other problems. Just so happens at the exact same time as the wife’s future Escape was supposed to close there was a F250 that met my minimum requirement of a gas engine crew cab and a 8′ bed. I really wanted a V10 but this one had a V8 but was a unicorn thanks to its close ratio 4sp with Low and OD. That sealed the deal and I even raised my budget to $6k and then proceeded to go over that and take it home with a $6100 bid. The one thing I really didn’t like was the undersized hwy tires that didn’t have much tread. So craigslist provided a set of take off 33″ tires and wheels to replace what should have been 31″. So now the speedo and odo were off pretty significantly. that too I was able to fix.

    Which brings me to my best automotive buy of 2016 an OBDLink MX. It is a OBD II dongle that will read the Medium speed bus used by some Ford modules (as well as GM). It is combined with FORScan the greatest program for anyone with a Ford. With it I was able to communicate with the Escape’s GEM that takes care of the TPMS duties. Once the vehicle finally acted up on us I read the codes and looked at all of the previous events, including the sensor ID and last learned position. What I found was that same ID was the root of the problems but it showed it having different learned locations. So I did a reset and then looked at the ID for each wheel. Low and behold what were now on the rear shared the same ID which is what is confusing the computer.

    The next great thing about FORScan is that like the Ford IDS it can be used to toggle options on and off. That meant that to fix the problem with the tire size on the F250 all I had to do was go to the right field select edit and a drop down menu opened with all of the factory tire sizes. Click on the right one and then hit write. Odo is now measured to be only about .5% off of what the GPS in my phone says over a 75 mile check distance.

    I also used it to toggle dark mode on and off on the van as well as the DRLs just to see how it works. So now my 05 CVPI is likely to be replaced with one of the last CVPI since I’ll be able to turn off dark mode so the dome light works when the doors open. (With the 05 and down it is changed by disconnecting a ground wire)

    • Fresh-Outta-Nissans

      Is the dome light so important to you?

      • Scoutdude

        Yes, yes it is. I live in the PNW which means it is dark before 5pm a lot of the time of year when I drive my P71s and I like being able to see what is in my car just by opening the door which many times may not be the driver’s door. Way to much of a pain to go open the driver’s door manual turn on the dome light get what I’m looking for and then go back and turn off the dome light. When all of the cars up for auction have aprox the same miles on them I had chose the 05 and earlier cars because they just required disconnecting the battery, then the dark mode connector and reconnecting the battery. Now I can just plug in the tool and select the options I want active. I can also turn off that annoying seat belt reminder too.

  • spotarama

    mrs spotty sold the shitroen and bought a 2014 jeep Cherokee, the only good thing about this equation is the selling of the hideously unreliable frenchmobile, the jeep has proven to be only slightly less unreliable than its predecessor, total fail/shutdown on 2 separate occasions so far, the second one of which left it beeping forlornly to itself on the side of the road on Christmas eve….merry Christmas mr jeep