Finding gears in my Justy was a guessing game. The shifter was sloppy and vague, with long throws between gears. There had to be some way to improve this. It was diagnostics time.
I have entirely too many projects to keep track of inside my increasingly crowded head. This includes two project cars, a finicky daily driver, and all the various issues that come up when you own a house. My wife wanted a whiteboard to attach to the fridge so we could plan weekends and keep a running honey-do list. But even small whiteboards are fairly pricey.
My wife found a cheap idea on some other blog, and we tried it out. The whiteboard failed on the fridge — we couldn’t get the board to stick, and didn’t want to screw into the fridge — but it’s been great in my garage. This project affords plenty of material for all the whiteboard you might want: You’ll start with a 4-foot by 8-foot sheet.
The spec we’ve all been waiting for is here. Mazda has been teasing us with details on the next-generation MX-5 Miata for months, first releasing a drivetrain photo, then the bodywork and a handful of details. Light weight was the first big news: Some purists decried the (modest) weight gain when the third-generation NC-chassis cars were released in 2006. Everyone is enthusiastic at the target weight of a metric ton, or 2200 pounds — same as the first generation. But how much power and displacement will it actually get? Hit the jump to find out.
Put the car in gear to pull away from the stoplight. Slowly let up on the clutch. A moment that feels almost like forward motion is followed by grinding. Feel that gut sink. Try again with same results. Open the window, then the door. Step out. Reach in and turn the wheel. Put a shoulder to the door frame.
Push the car off the road and onto gravel. Call a friend who hopefully has a tow rope, and while waiting, try to imagine the best and worst-case scenarios for what might be broken. Then consider the possible solutions when dealing with an abandonware car purchased for $1,300.
My Justy’s previous owner sold the car to me with a brand-new set of tires mounted on alloy wheels. He said he had spent a good amount of time finding wheels that were the right size and period-correct. It was clear the man loved the car and was interested in taking good care of it, but that also meant the Justy rolled with balloons on the same sort of wheels I’ve seen on dozens of Pontiac Grand Ams.
When you add boost to the legendary Jeep 4.0-liter inline 6 engine, magic happens. If you put that magic inside a yellow and brown box of delicious defunct automaker and take it to an automotive competition, you might just win.
But it’s more likely you’ll end up mid-pack in competition as the crowd favorite, especially when they get a peek at that interior.
When I last spoke of this Eagle, it was a mere introduction — both of myself and of this project. I hinted vaguely at its “some kind of clutch problem.” Honestly, that’s about all I knew at the time. Shortly after, my dad came over for a visit and we spent a couple days yanking the transfer case, transmission and front axle out to see what was up.
Your enthusiast fanboy dream truck is here, and at the right price to boot. It’s 4 wheel drive with a manual transmission, mated to a diesel engine. The short bed and standard cab mean it’s perfect for maneuverability when you’re out muddin’, or simply trying to get to your cabin. It’s already fitted with big tires and some auxiliary gauges. The caveat: To row your own while rolling coal, you’ll have to extract it from a junkyard and find out why it went there in the first place.
If you’ve watched TV anywhere near Chicago sometime in the last 30 years, you’ve probably seen what is now an iconic low-budget commercial for Victory Auto Wreckers. It’s been on the air essentially unchanged since 1985. Now is your chance to replace it, earn a measly $500, and perhaps become immortalized in Chicago television history for another three decades.
On my first night drive with my Subaru Justy, a friendly motorcyclist pulled up next to me and said I don’t have any marker lights. My brake lights worked fine, which was somewhat comforting, but any co-spatial event in this tin can is unlikely to end well for me. I had to avoid driving at night until I could sort out this wiring problem.