Hooniverse Asks: …so what do you want to tell us about?

This morning, it’s an open forum. I want to hear about anything you’ve been itching to talk about. Did you get a new car part? Did you get a new car? Have you been thinking about something and you need the guidance of others?
Spill your beans in the comments below. Let’s chat!
[It’s the middle-end of the summer… so our brains our fried.]


    1. Awesome! Although you could really put it over the top with a wizard mural and some Cragar SS wheels.

        1. Victor, I truly meant no disrespect. I love, love full-size conversion vans. It’s awesome that yours has served your family so well – and I really do like the subtle graphics and complete package of your E-series. Sorry that reply didn’t come across the way I meant it to – a problem with ol’ internet. (and I don’t dare polish my old Plymouth, because the ancient lacquer would all buff off)

        2. For what it’s worth, I thought GTXcellent’s comment was humourously complimentary, and second the apologies if anything was received as disrespectful.
          My dad always drove a van (for work and family), and in fact still has an extended E350. He and I drove many miles in it, whether camping, hauling my junk-ass car projects, whatever. I have fond memories riding as a kid in his green ’73 E150 with seat covers that always left a diamond-plate imprint on my legs in the summer. I in fact considered a new Transit before buying a minivan for the family, but it looks somewhat awkward compared to the old Econolines.
          Again, no disrespect intended towards the E Series. They’re lovable workhorses in my family.

  1. OMG vintage Jeff. Love it. I might as well bring it up since that photo is from the LA Auto Show (what is that, 2005?). I am going this year! Got my tickets. Not as non-credentialed media, like I do in New York. But the kicker is why. My wife and I are agonizing over what new car to buy. My Elantra wagon is fine. But we make good money and want a higher-riding, quieter car. The mother in law in North Carolina can have the Elantra. We went to the New York show this past Spring, looking to create a list of new car candidates. I went in thinking Ford Escape and Jeep Cherokee, and came out thinking Volvo XC40 and new RAV4 Adventure. So it’s off to LA to refine that list. Nuts. Some people take a month to get a new car. I take over a year (and hired Tom McPharland to boot, who you should have on the show).

    1. No it was later than that… We didn’t start Hooniverse until 2009. So sometime after that.

  2. Several years ago, my son and I started a car project together:

    Next week he is going off to college in a distant state. He is all grown up now…and I am going to miss him. While I spent more money on the project than I was planning, I am SOOOO glad I had that time with my son…to share one of my passions with him. And to give him some skill which will save him lots of money.
    We worked on the car for about three years. It was finished just in time for his junior year of high school. He drove it to school daily for two years.
    It will rest, under cover, in my garage, while he is away. I will take care of it for him until he can put in his own garage…and hopefully when he and one of his children can work on it together.
    Dads….you kids are only young once! If there is any way you can make it happen, do that project together…before it is too late!

    1. So you started when he was 13 or 14? I think preteen is probably the best age for starting a project like that.

      1. He was 13, yes.
        We had been watching a TV show called Burn Notice, which features a nice 1973 Dodge Charger. My son decided he liked that car A LOT. We started looking for one to buy and fix up, but once we drove one around, he realized it was bigger than he wanted, so we gave it some more thought. He decided an early Mustang was a much better size, so we spent about 4 weekends cruising all over SoCal checking out Mustangs listed on Craigslist….even that was fun in its own way…My son choose the car and most of the things we did to the car. I vetoed a few things, but overall, this is the car he envisioned.

  3. I’m in a quandary deciding what to do with my E28. It’s one of my all-time favorite car designs, and I got a great deal on it. But, I bought it with the intention of involving my kids in its maintenance and restoration, and for teaching my soon-to be 16-yo how to drive a manual. My wife has since squashed my enthusiasm, telling me she doesn’t want the kids riding in the car because “it doesn’t have airbags”. Low blow.
    The E28 falls into that era/category of cars that are sometimes difficult to work on, and for which parts are not cheap. I don’t get a generous budget for my car hobby. If the BMW were modern enough to satisfy my wife’s safety expectations, it’d be a no-brainer decision. But if I’m forced to ride solo anyway, I could potentially sell the E28 (likely for profit) and buy something older and mechanically simpler to maintain.
    I’ve boiled down my options to the following:
    1) Keep the BMW and just enjoy driving it solo, even if it may occasionally be sidelined due to lack of budget, time, and space to do necessary repairs to keep it on the road.
    2) Sell the BMW and invest the money in an older, simpler vehicle that I might not love as much, but would keep my hobby alive. I also have a couple of vintage cars in storage I could restore instead, but the space/time issue would keep them off the road for a while.
    3) Sell the BMW and buy a modern, high-mileage beater with a manual. Teach the 16-yo to drive and maintain the car, even if it doesn’t last very long. Drive it until the wheels fall off.
    4) Trade in the family minivan for a new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited with a 6-speed that my wife is unable (and unwilling to learn how) to drive. This option may involve divorce papers…

    1. 5). Follow your original plan. If your wife complains about lack of airbags, put your mother-in-law in the car.
      You know what’s safer than a crash involving airbags? Not crashing, and not having airbags go off. How many airbag-recalled cars are ticking timebombs because replacement parts aren’t available still?
      My teenager drives an 80’s car. I tell him his life (and the lives of people sharing the road) is in his hands every time he takes it out of Park. He is probably a better driver than most of his peers because of it.

      1. I started driving in the early 90s, and my daily (ok, weekend) driver was a ’66 Mercury with a big block. I was far more skilled with the limits of car maneuvers than my peers, including a friend who drove a brand-new Dodge Stealth. So, I agree with you. Unfortunately, my wife doesn’t, and parenting in our house is a dual affair. We either agree, or it doesn’t happen.

        1. A strong successful marriage is far more important for your, your wife, and your children…than anything else. Entirely correct for the priority to be there!

        2. Then the answer is 1, perhaps with the asterisk that maybe she’ll relent over time.
          2 doesn’t accomplish anything, because the older car is probably less safe and still without airbags, and wouldn’t be your all-time favorite design. 3 is going to be hard to do because finding a more modern car with a manual probably would have you looking at cars that you wouldn’t want a teenager in, particularly if you are paying for the insurance–Mustang, F-body, Miata…
          You’ve already said 4 isn’t a realistic option.

          1. For #3 I’d be looking at a mid-00’s up Civic, Mazda 3 or similar which should be around as a manual, or even mid-size cars.

          2. The kiddo will get access to my wife’s 10-year old car, and she’s getting a new one for her primary use. If there’s a manual in the family, it will be mine, but I want my kids to learn to drive it.

          3. Hmm… that’s tough comparison, given that the E28 is thought of as a “classic” these days, and the E46 is still just a used car. I’d guess I could pick up a 330 (definitely a 325) E46 for what I could sell my 535 (mine’s a 10-footer with maintenance/repair needs, but no rust). There are some great values out there in E46 M3s, but unless I found one with damage or serious deferred maintenance issues, I’d pay much more than what my car is worth.

      1. Lol, I know what you mean. It’s an ’87 535i / 5spd, with a near-perfect interior (except a couple of requisite cracks in the dash). I spent months shopping for this car.

    2. Combination of 2 & 3? A manual car usually reduces the scope for distraction activities, once your new driver has had the initial learning steps away from traffic.
      And get started on one of your projects, assuming you have the space. 3 could eventually take over from 2, because people usually give old cars a bit of respect on the road.

    3. You’re in a tough quandary – damned if you do and damned if ya don’t.
      I think if you pick options 2 or 3 you will regret selling that car for a long, long time – and I’m not a psycho psychologist, but I’d guess there would be some deep down resentment for the reasoning behind a sale. Obviously you can’t pick #4 for the many reasons you’ve already outlined.

    4. Do you have a truck? If not, everyone with a house needs a truck. (Don’t tell me how you hauled home all the shingles to redo your whole roof with a Jetta wagon. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. (Any way is it always the VW people that insist that they don’t need a truck.)) Buy a cheap truck with a stick shift. Should be able to find one for a well under $2000. That will teach Jr. how to drive a stick. If you get a full size, the wife will see it as “safe”, might even be able to find one with airbags.

      1. Funny, I was just browsing CL for pickups yesterday, and chatted with my good friend (and car nut) about the beauty of owning a basic truck. I miss having one, actually, and if I did decide to sell the bimmer, it’d likely be to fund a truck purchase.

      2. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
        Ha, this is funny because it turns the usual argument heard around here on its head…the handful of yearly trips needing loading space can be done with the neighbour’s trailer, no need for a truck.

      3. I get the feeling that a mechanically-worthy manual-equipped truck that can be purchased for two grand isn’t any more crashworthy than the E28.

        1. I found several airbag equipped manual transmission Rangers, S-10s, and even a few F-150s in serviceable condition for under $2000 with a quick Craigslist search. Doesn’t matter if they are truly more crash worthy, the wife just has to believe they are more crash worthy.

          1. I considered that, but worried Zentropy might find a $2k manual S-10, shell out the cash to bring it home, and then a month later Mrs.Zentropy might stumble upon the crash ratings.

          2. Indeed, the Missus is keen on such things. I looked at a couple of airbag-equipped Rangers, which would be fine for me solo or to teach my teen to drive a stick.

    5. Get an E34, they handle better. And they’re pretty much the same mechanicals apart from the rear suspension, (which is why they handle better.) Better aero makes them faster too. E28s are just a budget facelift of the earlier E12 and were criticised when new for their ‘dated’ appearance and oversteery handling. Though not in the USA where standards were lower.

      1. It’s funny, because I considered that. But I think it’s the “dated” look and handling that attracts me to the E28. The E34 is the better driver, admittedly, but it looks like a fattened-up E28 from which the character details have been erased. Aesthetically, I’d rank the 5 Series as E28>E12>E39>E34. Besides, I like diving board bumpers.

        1. I’ve always thought the E34 to be the best looking 5. Klaus Luthe took all the themes of the earlier cars, including his work on the E28, and made them aero while still keeping it BMW. He himself preferred his E34 to his E28, who am I to argue?
          BMW had to come up with a counter to the W124, which wasn’t possible without improving the rear suspension and the aerodynamics.
          But there is something aggressively attractive in the E12 and E28 ‘shark nose’.

          1. I don’t think you’re in the minority, necessarily, and I agree the E34 is an attractive sedan. But for me, the shark nose is part of the charm, along with the pure-80s taillights. The flat-nosed E34 looks very sterile, and very 90s. Also, if all else is the same, I’ll take exposed metal bumpers over plastic-covered ones any day. However, I might be tempted to trade the E28 for a 5-speed, six-cylinder E34 wagon. But that’s only because the E28 wasn’t available as an estate, and wagon>sedan>hatchback>coupe>convertible in my mind.
            There’s no wrong answer here, really, because I honestly like every 5-Series until the E60 came along. To each his/her own, they all have their cool points.

    6. I think I’m just going to keep it. I regret not being able to teach my oldest to drive a stick, though maybe we can at least do low-speed parking lot maneuvers without inciting mom’s ire.

  4. Tomorrow night I’m taking my 92 Jetta drag racing for the first time in 10 years. We’re going to race against a turbo tercel my friends and I built for pennies. We’re going to look like fools and I can’t wait.

    View post on imgur.com

    We know the tercel will run mid 14s at 96-98mph…but the Jetta is a wild card.

    1. Hey it can’t be worse than the Nissan Patrol diesel I saw at the local off street drags years ago. I think it snuck under the 20 sec mark!

  5. The SS is officially entered into the 2019 One Lap of America. Counting down the days until next May. So… anyone want to sponsor us?

      1. Ha! Regardless, if you can get some Hooniverse stickers my way, I’ll do my best to get you guys some traffic. We’ll be on a shoestring budget, but at least a pay first and not later shoestring. Heck, we might even be able to have extra mustard for the hot dogs if we play our cards right.

          1. If we’re not too bleary eyed from the transits, we’ll do a daily picture dump and report through our Facebook page plus an occasional check in here too. This is one of the many reasons I got the car in the first place… looking forward to following through on the wish list!

  6. I’m replacing the busted struts on my Saabaru, and I’ve learned that from ’02 thru ’07, Subaru built Impreza wagons with 20mm narrower track width than the sedan. As far as I can tell, much of the suspension design (and probably most of the unibody) was carried over from the ’91 thru ’01 Impreza wagon, whereas the sedan was redesigned.
    This severely limits the variety of aftermarket suspension parts that will fit my car. Fortunately, the struts that will fit are a bit cheaper.

    View post on imgur.com

    1. Love that car. My favorite of the lot is probably the Bugeye ’02-’03 wagons, but the Saab version would be my second. I’ve looked for both but can’t seem to find a bargain that’s not suffering from serious cancer.

    1. I think my dad’s is a ’95. It’s a dark blue, extended E350 that was originally an airport taxi. It’s always been an awesome (and comfortable) project hauler, including the time when I drove four states with a trailer for a Volvo P1800 that I ended up not buying over a mere $500 difference in opinion with the seller. Still kicking myself over that little display of obstinance.
      I don’t remember my father ever NOT having a full-sized Ford van. He told me he once “laced” the paint on one, before I was born– apparently it’s a technique where you use lace as a painting stencil. Sounds hideous to me, but he said it was popular at the time.

    1. If you lived in far northern Minnesota I’d give you one for free – ’88 F150, Lariat, 4 wheel drive, big-six with a 5 speed.
      (problem is that mine has more rust than metal and needs brake lines among many, many other things)

    2. A friend sent me info on one a couple of months ago. A ’92 with a 5.0 for $2500. Looked very clean but probably had a bit of rust. Still kicking myself for not calling about it.

      1. Damn that was a steal. I’m looking more for trucks with the 300 just for the shear indestructibility of it. Unfortunately an F150 having a 300 usually means it was a work truck and is completely beat to shit.

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