Quantcast

Home » Wrenching Tips » Recent Articles:

Hooniverse Bookshelf: Memoirs Of A Hack Mechanic

bentley_gbrs_cv_large

I just finished reading this book, and I can tell you, dear reader, that this book belongs on your bookshelf. Don’t dawdle, get a copy today, this afternoon, right now! When I read, I don’t often pick up a memoir, as I tend to find the stories of other people’s lives somewhat unexciting. This time, though, the book came highly recommended from a friend who’s opinion I trust greatly. I was in Ohio to attend this friend’s wedding as a member of the wedding party, and as thanks for showing up, the book was thrust into my hands. I’d finished my previous book on the plane ride from west to east anyhow, and needed something to read on the way back to Nevada. Why not give it a shot? This friend of mine is a BMW fanatic of the first degree, and while I have great respect for the brand, I’ve never owned one, and don’t really aspire to (exempting a few models; E30 M3, E28 M5, E9 3.0 CSL, 2002 Turbo, M1, and surprisingly the new i8). As such, I was expecting a book that panders to Bimmerphiles and I might not relate to as closely. Boy was I ever wrong.

… Continue Reading

Free Shop Supply Samples For The Win!

Tanshanomi April 21, 2014 Wrenching Tips

samples

As every crack dealer and supermarket aisle chef knows, giving away free samples is a great way to introduce your product to customers who wouldn’t otherwise know of or try your product. The tactic works, however, only if your product is really good (or tragically addictive, but that’s another discussion). Two additions to my garage that I discovered through the-first-hit-is-free tactics that I am now überloyal to are Fluid Film and Worx hand cleaner.

… Continue Reading

Adventures in Field Expediency with a ’95 Peugeot 306

20140325_211333

It was twenty past eight in the evening that I got the call. I was in the living room, my laptop sitting on top of my lap, frantically concluding this Carchive post to hit a schedule deadline approaching in ten minutes time. So deeply involved was I in typing and rescaling images (somehow making them blurry in the process) that I didn’t notice the phone ringing for several seconds. With a start, I launched the laptop across the sofa and lifted the receiver.

My other, better, infinitely prettier half had fallen prey to mechanical malady in her beloved Peugeot. She was about half an hour away from home and her dashboard had exploded with that big red Peugeot warning light that simply announces “STOP”. There had been much eruption of steam from up front, too, so she had obeyed the Panic Light without dispute. And that was that.

Being the “car person” elect in our household, it was up to me to be heroic. This is how it went down.

… Continue Reading

A Half-Dozen Great, Cheap Vehicles for The Noobie Wrench

resto4noobs

A couple of days ago, Jeff received an E-mail from Hooniverse reader “John”, who says he “never had a mechanic-savvy family member to teach me as a teenager, so now I find myself learning the ropes all by my lonesome.” He wrote seeking recommendations for a cheap and easy project car to fiddle around with and learn the basics on. John is in college and doesn’t have a bucket of extra cash to spend, but he doesn’t want to attempt to wrench on his daily driver and wind up without reliable transport. He’s currently considering “an old Datsun Z, an old VW bug, or an ’80s-to-early-’90s Japanese four-banger….”

When Jeff asked for input from the Hooniverse staff, I replied that I’d read an article on this very subject in either Auto Restorer or Cars & Parts about 10 years ago. The author of that article said that everybody thinks that old Beetles make good beginner restoration candidates, but in reality they are a horrid choice. They inevitably have extensive corrosion, flimsy sheetmetal, a lot of weak components that can break easily during dis-assembly or are difficult to re-assemble, and Beetles rarely run properly once you get them back together unless you know which things need to be adjusted and tweaked just-so.

Jeff’s reply back to me was succinct: “So write the article.” That is how, despite being perhaps the least qualified of the Hooniverse staff to erudiate on auto restoration or modification, I find myself suggesting six vehicles that I think are suitable project cars for the neophyte hobbyist. I’m thinking of truly starving-college-student budgetary restrictions: in a quick survey of La Liste de Craig, I was able to find multiple ads offering of each these vehicles—complete and in (claimed) running condition—for $1000-1200. … Continue Reading

Quotes from Idiots: “I’ll Do It Tomorrow”

20131021_180550

At work, I spend all my time between eight and six overseeing repairs and maintenance to other peoples cars, to the extent that the needs and wants of my own cars barely get a look in.

It’s ridiculous and unforgivable. For somebody who is, you know, demonstrably quite keen on cars, to neglect ones own chariot is a heinous crime. But, you know, after a stressful day at the office, when you get home at seven o’clock sometimes all you want to do is eat, drink and sleep. Come the weekend wrenching on your own car can sometimes seem a bit of a chore. And so you put it off.

Sometimes, this can be stupid.

… Continue Reading

Wrenching Tips: Invention is a Mother…

Tanshanomi October 3, 2013 Wrenching Tips

IMG_1079

After discovering that all three different types of spring compressors offered by my local auto parts store were useless in disassembling the Bultakinstein‘s monoshock, I was frustrated enough to do what everybody tells you is a really bad idea: compress a shock spring with a homemade compressor. In this case, I bolted the bottom of the shock through the jack’s lift arm, and used not one but two name-brand tie-down straps through the spring. A few pumps of the handle and I was in business, but I was very, very nervous as I reached in to pluck the retaining collar off the top of the spring, imagining it jumping like a suction popper at any moment and doing me serious damage. 

It’s amazing what sort of risks three frustrating trips down the street and a wasted evening can prompt you to accept. Just for the record, don’t try this at home.

 

Wrenching Tips: How to bring a non-starting car back to life

how to get old car started The face of a modern day Dr Frankenstein

Medically or magically, few feats impress more than reviving the dead. If we issued Hoon Merit Badges, starting a “No Start” car would be a major one. In today’s Wrenching Tips we’ll walk through the basic principles and steps to getting a mystery non-running car to at least fire. Getting it running and driving well are topics for another day. Think of this as a guide for what to do on the first weekend with your recently-acquired “free” LeMons car. Think of this as the 201 or 301 to the “my battery’s dead” Car Starting 101

… Continue Reading

Hell is an Unprimed Oil Pump, Episode 2

Why there's no oil pressure

Yesterday I chronicled my descent into madness, driven by what should’ve been a simple unbolt-reseal-re-bolt job. Today we’re cover my (partial) climb out of that pit of despair.

On my lunch hour, I roll by AutoZone to get a loaner oil pump priming tool and a new starter bump switch. I wait in line for 20 minutes because that’s apparently how long it take 3 AutoZoners (their term, not mine) to deal with the 4 people in front of me in line. My AutoZoner doesn’t know what an oil pump priming tool is, so I have to point it out to him on the poster to find the part number. It takes him 4 tries to enter my phone number for my rewards card (I spend a lot of money there). Also, apparently they no longer sell starter bump switches because people use them to steal cars. Instead, I buy a starter switch button and a length of wire with two large alligator clips on it. Good to know they have well thought out policies like that.

… Continue Reading

Hell is an Unprimed Oil Pump, Episode 1

P1010005

After my last rant about my pain in the ass 1969 Jeep Wagoneer, I rinsed the sand from my underpants, put on my wrenching clothes and got to work on the damn thing. The most recent round of fixes was aimed at the most annoying problems: massive oil leakage and a carb that delivered too little gas to the motor and too much to the exterior of the intake manifold.

The intake manifold gasket and and carb rebuild, which I assumed would be the tough jobs, went smoothly. The auto trans pan gasket was a stinky mess, but otherwise easy enough. I’ll write up the carb at some point as a Wrenching Tips article, as I actually remembered to take pictures it’s usefully instructive on the general process.

Despite those successes, it’s the process of re-sealing my oil pump that’s got me throwing an angry monkey shit fit and hating this car all over again.

… Continue Reading

Wrenching Tips: Shop Safety

Ok, this is a boring topic, but we felt it definitely deserved a place in this series. If you have spent any considerable time working in the garage, shop, driveway, carport, or parking lot, you have probably cut some corners when it comes to safety. You may have even had a close call or two. Stop doing that. Here are some tips that will help to keep the doctor away.

You can dance if you want to…

… Continue Reading

Search

Hooniverse Marketplace

Featuring Top 2/3 of vehicles Available in Marketplace

Read more





Subscribe via RSS