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Project 4Runner: LED interior light upgrade

4runner interior led map lights bulbs

It was the Matchbox car that my son dropped that really did it for me. It sounds silly, but I could not see it, at least not easily. Then it was the time when my daughter, who loves to read, left the dome light on overnight, which drained the battery. That happened like three more times. I therefore decided to order some LED interior bulbs. The idea is that the interior would be better illuminated and in case the light is left on for a longer period of time, the battery would not drain as fast with the LED’s lower power consumption.

I did minimal research. Someone on a 4Runner forums said “oh these are great, get them on eBay here” and that is what I did. Okay, I read the eBay ad, the buyer feedback, and then bought them. Apparently that was enough to separate me from my $44.99.

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Range Rover shows how all SUV acceleration should be tested

Kamil Kaluski January 23, 2017 All Things Hoon

The CUV/SUV market is insane now. With notable exceptions (if you’re reading this, it may be you), it’s all that everyone wants. People like the elevated sitting position, the ease of ingress and egress, the presumed and bogus ability to safely travel in foul weather, and the overall safety.

Ah, that legendary all-weather ability of an SUV. Every automotive advertisement from November to March shows the latest AWD box unstoppably (is that a word?) plowing through a foot of fresh snow. And unstoppable it is, what with its “eco” all-season low-profile long-life super-quiet tires. It’s not stopping or turning any better, but it can start moving forward better than a two-wheel-drive vehicle.

The above video shows 0-100 km/h (62 MPH) acceleration of the Range Rover Sport SVR on various surfaces: gravel, sand, snow, mud, asphalt, etc. And  it brings up an interesting point.

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2017 Monte Carlo Rally – Dying for a YouTube video

Kamil Kaluski January 20, 2017 Motorsports

hyundai 4 i20 wrc rally monte carlo accident

For 2017, WRC and their parent group, the FIA, announced new vehicle regulations. The new regulations brought more OEM involvement, and more teams. The vehicles are more powerful and are suppose to bring back some of the magic of Class B rally cars. And with all that, the sport is suppose to attract a wider audience and increase press coverage.

While the cars are not exactly Group B, the rest of the plan worked. Until the first day of the first race that is. That is when a sad accident occurred which cost a spectator his life.

This short article on the Axis of Oversteer discusses the accident and its aftermath, its impact on the race, the cars, and the spectators. It is really worth your time to read it.

Respecting the motorsport community means spectators, like drivers, have to use their brains take responsibility for there [sic] actions.

 

 

Quick Pic: Fiat 124 Abarth R-GT on Col de Turini

Kamil Kaluski January 19, 2017 Quick Pics

fiat 124 r-gt abarth

The 2017 Monte Carlo Rally starts today. Premiering at that rally is the Fiat 124 Abart R-GT. It has a 300-horsepower 1.8-liter engine. Those horses go to the rear wheels via a seven-speed sequential-shift gearbox. Two wheel drive is a requirement of Group R-GT in which the Fiat is in.

Col de Turini is a famous, steep, high elevation, 31-kilometer pass in the French Alps. This year there is a lot of snow on it, possibly making things very interesting.

Image source: AxisOfOversteer

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Stuck Unimog gets rescued by an Alfa Romeo

Kamil Kaluski January 19, 2017 All Things Hoon

 

This video is amazing for two reasons. First is that someone actually managed to get a Unimog stuck in what looks like freshly plowed powder snow, somewhere in the Italian Alps. To get a Umimog stuck is a special kind of accomplishment. The damn thing has huge off-road tires, locking differentials, portal axles, and other off-road goodies. Read more about Unimogs here.

The second reason is that a Police Alfa Romeo 159 is actually able to pull it out of the snow! I am guessing that the Alfa is an all-wheel-drive model and possibly riding on snow tires.

The truth is that crazy power or magic was not really needed here. All the Unimog needed was a little momentum, probably just enough to get moved off the snow that was under the axles and allow its tires to get some traction, and then it pulled itself out.

 

Quick Spin: 2016 Jeep Cherokee Overland 4×4

2016 2017 jeep chrokee overland front

Jeep says that the Grand Cherokee is made of the best stuff they have, or something like that. I would agree. Having reviewed several versions of the Grand Cherokee, I loved them all, and I would own one if it was available with third row seats. There is something that just makes the Grand Cherokee better than most of other Chrysler products.

With the Cherokee Overland model, which Jeep launched about a year ago as a mid-model year 2016, and carrying it over for 2017, Jeep is trying to put some of that that Grand into the smaller Cherokee. It is basically the top-of-the-line Cherokee model, most easily identifiable by it body colored trim and polished wheels.

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Craigslist: 1989 Chevy Caprice – LT1 Squared

Kamil Kaluski January 18, 2017 For Sale

89 chevy caprice

There is something about the last of square third generation Chevy Caprices that is just special. I am not sure exactly what that is – its industrial looks, new one piece headlights, smoothed out corners of an amazingly square car? Perhaps they were simply around in abundance when I was a little kid in New York City, forever influencing my taste in cars?

Whatever the reason is, it turns out that there are many yahoos like me out there, with feelings for this workhorse. Today we look at one one of the last ones, with an LT1 motor from the later Caprice.

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2018 Ford Mustang – Yey or Ney?

Kamil Kaluski January 17, 2017 All Things Hoon

2018-Ford-Mustang

This is the face of the 2018 Ford Mustang. The whole internet car world seems to have an opinion about it. We felt left out, so we are asking – improved or ruined?

In addition to the rhinoplasty, the Stang’s rear-end also gets surgically enhanced. Under the hood, the four and the V8 get more power (unknown how much more at this time) and the V6 is dropped – will anyone miss it?

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Quick Pic: Plain Rally Car

Kamil Kaluski January 17, 2017 Quick Pics

rally car without livery

Much like the BMW M235iR, this Ford Focus rally car looks equally great without graphics and sponsor stickers.

Source: Imgur

2017 New England International Auto Show starts today

Kamil Kaluski January 12, 2017 All Things Hoon

New England Auto Show

If you live within an hour’s drive of Boston you owe to yourself to come to the New England International Auto Show. It starts today and goes through January 16th. It’s the biggest show in New England and unlike other show it is actually represented by the automakers and not just local dealers.

If you remember the Boston auto show of many years ago, forget about it. New location, bigger floor, more of everything. It’s at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210. Adult tickets are $15.00, children 6-12 are $6.00 and children under six are free.