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Project Miata Roars Back to Life

Miata at golden hour

There have been many ups and downs with this project and it’s great to say that we’re starting the year off back on an upswing. It took some work to get here but take a look after the jump and you’ll see how far we’ve come.  … Continue Reading

Project Subaru Justy: It Could Be Zero

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Old cars break. I keep forgetting this fact.

I’ve been chasing a rough idle and rich running condition ever since I bought this Justy in… October. Alright, a few months isn’t forever, but I am a little disappointed to have bought a rolling restoration that gets 20 mpg instead of a finicky-but-economical daily driver.

I had changed the spark plugs, cap and rotor, and bought a new fuel injector for cylinder No. 2. None of this made a difference, so, I thought, there might be a problem within the distributor or somewhere else in the engine. It came time to run a compression test and discover the exact “somewhere else.”

It’s just a compression test. How bad could it be?

… Continue Reading

Project Subaru Justy: Sorting a Sloppy Shifter

Alan Cesar February 4, 2015 Project Cars

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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.

… Continue Reading

Project Subaru Justy: Bad Omens and Junkyard Luck

Alan Cesar January 29, 2015 Project Cars

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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.

… Continue Reading

Project HoonTruck: Let’s take a look at what we’ve got here

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I pulled up to the stoplight.

Third gear was still a mystery to me, but I was working on it. I’ll figure this truck out sooner rather than later, but I was still stuck in the getting to know you phase of our relationship. The brakes were stiff, but I knew that already. Regardless, they worked and the nose of the truck wasn’t 3 feet farther into the intersection than it should be.

The idle was a bit high, but I could fix that now. Besides it was at 1,200 at the moment and not 2,200… I could hear myself think. I could also feel the eyeballs of the car next to me. The lady, who was in her later stages of life, was driving a third generation Ford Explorer. My windows were already rolled down, and she brought hers to the same level.

“What year is it?”
A ’65 I answered back.
“It’s wonderful, are you going to restore it?”
I replied that I was planning on it leaving it pretty much as it looked, and explained as much as one could over the course of a traffic light.
“Well good… because it’s gorgeous as it is.”

My smile lasted four more days…

… Continue Reading

Project Subaru Justy: Itty Bitty Wheels and Tires

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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.

… Continue Reading

Project Eagle: Diagnosing a Driveline Problem

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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.

… Continue Reading

Introducing Project HoonTruck: My “new” 1965 Ford F100

Jeff Glucker January 22, 2015 Project Cars

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The time has come to begin a new project journey. For some reason that I can’t fully explain, I’ve had an itch to add a truck to my life. It had to be old, and it had to have a bit of style. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to my 1965 Ford F-100… Project HoonTruck.

… Continue Reading

Project Justy: Even Your Horn Can Wear Out

Alan Cesar January 21, 2015 Project Cars

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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.

… Continue Reading

New Project: A Buyers Dilemma

Jeff Glucker January 19, 2015 Project Cars

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I’m very close to adding a new project car into the Hooniverse garage. Ever since I’ve sold the Civic, I’ve been looking for something to fool around with at least until The Wombat is ready to roll.

I’ve got two choices on my plate this week, and I’m interested in both. One is close to what I’ve been looking for while the other is a total monkey wrench. I’m going to share them both with you, and I’d love to hear your thoughts.

… Continue Reading

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