Last Call: “They told me it handles like it’s on rails”

Warsaw man decided to find out if this whole idea of handling like it’s on rails holds water.

It doesn’t.

Good thing that the mass transit authority in Warsaw has a Unimogs just for such an occasions.

Last Call indicates the end of Hooniverse’s broadcast day. It’s meant to be an open forum for anyone and anything. Thread jacking is not only accepted, it’s encouraged.


East Coast Editor. Races crappy cars and has an unhealthy obsession with Eastern Bloc cars. Current fleet: 4Runner, Integra, Regal, Lada


  1. Pink Floyd: The Ball

    Sorry. This thing has been parked at the end of the pier I work on and it’s all I can think when I see it. It’s on board the M/V Pacific Collector, and you’ll have to consult boatalopnik for an explanation of what it does.

  2. I hadn’t moved the Centennial for two weeks, aka since the last “new issue” comment on here, and, unfortunately, the flashing CEL returned last night. It was worse now, strong engine power loss and a “grinding”, chugging feeling. Struggled to get up to 80 kph without forcing it too much. I was to turn around when the thing warmed up and everything returned to normal. My mechanic has returned from the land of no replies and he will look over it next week. After that, a decision will have to be made – separate paths or fresh efforts.

    1. Wait… separate from the current mechanic, or from the Centennial? You’re not giving up on your “baby”, are you?

      1. The Centennial. It’s a decade old dream that got derailed a bit, and maybe I have to realize that I lack stamina and competence to permanently fix a car that is just meant to gloriously bring me up and down mountains. It occupies way too much of my free thinking space, and even though I can afford it, the prospect of spending near indefinite amounts on this car is not enticing. It is super hard just to decide on anything, and people surrounding me are not very willing to support me with the Centennial. I am surprised by how difficult this turned out to be for me here…

      2. The Centennial. It’s a decade old dream that got derailed a bit, and maybe I have to realize that I lack stamina and competence to permanently fix a car that is just meant to gloriously bring me up and down mountains. It occupies way too much of my free thinking space, and even though I can afford it, the prospect of spending near indefinite amounts on this car is not enticing. It is super hard just to decide on anything, and people surrounding me are not very willing to support me with the Centennial. I am surprised by how difficult this turned out to be for me here…

        1. I am genuinely sorry to hear this. I can empathize, because that’s exactly the way I feel about my ’87 E28 535i. I had been looking for the right one since selling my E30 way back in 2006, and finally found a great deal that needed some attention, but it’s just been more than I could reasonably keep up with. My wife was dead-set against the purchase from the beginning, and has seemingly punished me for it by limiting the restoration budget to near-zero and giving me no time or space to work on it (her car “owns” the garage spot). The car needed an exhaust from the headers back when I bought it, but she wouldn’t budge on the expense, so I built my own. I restored the brakes, the interior, did a full tune-up, and happily enjoyed driving it for a while.

          The tipping point for me was when my wife refused to let the kids ride in the BMW with me. “No airbags, no kids.” It became much less fun after that, and now an unusual fuel-delivery issue has me stumped. I’m ready to throw in the towel and sell it for a loss at this point. Fortunately I’ve invested far more time than money into it, so I’m not out much even if I give it away.

          But anyway, I feel for you. It’s really disappointing to achieve something and not be able to hold onto it.

          1. Thanks for that, I appreciate it! My wife was supportive for starters, but we have had nothing but car issues since August, are both fed up, and she eventually decided to pull out of the car, so it’s on my personal budget. I know we have quite comparable situations – my wife earns twice as much as me, since I work less part time than her part time job; we’re slackers – and every digit in my virtual budget hurts.

            But it’s not just that, I envy your mechanical skills. So many times have I said to myself “can’t be that hard”, “YouTube has the answer”, or whatever motivational quote I could embrace, and then I end up oily, sweaty and, occasionally, bleeding, often leaving a worse result than before – or thinking this would have been worth three days’ pay, after all, hehe. Man, it’s hard to admit defeat, but I’m not quite there yet. Gonna wait for next week.

            If you end up selling, I understand, and maybe you find just the right gearhead to make the decision feel a little less like a loss.

      1. Oi, thanks! Centennial (LZ) is the one, but is this a legal purchase? Another hurdle would be that they used KOBD at the time, a slightly different OBD standard, that no shop and none of my friends here has managed to crack 100% yet. I have seen a few error messages, but some are hard to get to.

        1. Of course I have no idea, but you might consider investing in a phone call to these guys.

          I suspect that they might know or could find out for you.

          I know a guy (unfortunately not very well) who was able to get some Korean market parts for his car from them.

    2. It does sound like a missfire from the description of a chugging feeling. So if you aren’t able to get it to tell you which cylinder is missing then I’d think about replacing the spark plugs and inspecting the coils/wires for signs of failure. If that doesn’t fix it buy one coil and keep moving it until the miss goes away. IE put it in Cyl 1, if that gives you no change move it to cyl 2.

      1. Is there any good reason for why this issue seems to disappear once the engine warms up? I have saved your comment and will look into that next week, too.

        1. Cold spark plugs need higher voltage to fire, The richer the mixture the higher the voltage is needed to jump the gap. So as it warms up the voltage required to make a spark happen lowers. If the coil or insulation on the boot are weak you can reach a point where the voltage required to make a spark in the cylinder is higher than the coil can produce or the boot can contain.

          Also a coil can have an internal short or open that only occurs when it is at a certain temp. So as it warms up things expand and the short/open goes away.

          Hopefully it does give you a code as to which cylinder. In that case my usual first plan of attack is to swap that coil with an adjacent cylinder and see if the miss follows the coil.

          Of course the vehicle in question makes a difference as I know there are cars out there where you have to remove the upper intake to access one of the banks on a V- engine.

          Of course not all miss fires are caused by ignition and injector that isn’t providing fuel will also cause a miss.

  3. I had something I was going to say on a Last Call, but forgot what it was. It wasn’t seeing a Lambo Urus or a couple of Smart Roadsters in a couple of days.

  4. What are your opinions on selling an old car (with needs) during this point in the pandemic? I’m not sure if a potential buyer would welcome a winter project– especially if they’re feeling cooped-up and would enjoy a distraction, or if the financially unstable times mean I’m better off sitting on it until this virus clears out. I personally don’t get the urge to buy project cars until the weather starts warming up– I rarely feel that way heading into winter.

    My 535i has spent most of the past year sitting with a fuel delivery issue that I haven’t had the time, place– or apparently the intelligence– to sort. Unfortunately, my wife won’t give up her garage space for me to use for a few contiguous days, and our snobby HOA won’t let me work on cars in my driveway. My intention was to make all necessary repairs for reliable use before selling, but I’m beyond the break-even point already. It feels like time to cut bait. I’ve long since made the decision to invest my resources into restoring my late grandfather’s F150 pickup, but don’t have the space for two projects, let alone one. The truck itself isn’t a desirable model to most people, but it’s a 300 six with a stick, it is the model from the year I graduated high school, and it belonged to probably the most influential person of my adolescence.

    Thoughts? Is it a good time to offload, or should I wait it out for a greener spring?

    1. “…Wife won’t give up her garage space for a few contiguous days…”

      The obvious solution is to ditch your selfish wife.

      It doesn’t have to be in a way that requires a visit to divorce court. Send her to visit her mom for a few days during the holidays.

      1. Haha, yeah, if only it were that easy. Her mom lives 8 miles away.

        The biggest barrier on this car is that I basically bought it “without permission”, and have been punished with a ridiculously tight restoration budget. As in, nearly zero. To date, I have less than $2000 invested, total, and that’s with a full emissions-legal (homemade) exhaust, new brakes, new upper control arms (in the box– not yet installed), and a variety of sensors, plugs, wires, etc.

        If I can even get back half of what I have in it, I can get my grandfather’s truck back on the road. It’s not as fun, but not nearly as finicky. My wife will be less pleased about seeing it in the driveway than the considerably-more-attractive Bimmer, but so be it.

        1. Any crusty squarebody pickup gets a lot of respect these days, She might not want to see the F150 in the driveway, but about every third time you take it to the gas station, somebody at an adjacent pump is going to ask you f you want to sell it.

    2. 1. Park 535i in garage space
      2. disconnect battery, or if your wife is observant, something else to immobilize the vehicle
      3. exclaim mournfully that you’d move it if you could and are trying to figure it out, you’d push it out, but your back is at you again.
      4. profit.

  5. Here’s something I read on Two-Wheel Tuesday and then forgot to post when I got in here.

    Volkswagen is planning to ditch Ducati, Lamborghini and Italdesign. This comes a few weeks after Kawasaki Heavy Industries announced they’d be cutting their motorcycle division loose to determine it’s own fate (though, probably still somewhat a part of KHI>)

    “We are working on our Italian legal structure,” CEO Herbert Diess said, referring to Lamborghini, Ducati and design studio Italdesign.

    1. Ah, the ol’ American drivetrain in a British sports car thing. A time tested formula. If I had f***-off money I’d rock something like this, but I can’t come up with a suitable combination right now.
      Those Jensens always look like the wheels aren’t centered in the wheel arches, even the 2WD ones.

      1. I’m admittedly a sucker for that formula. The wheel locations never bothered me on the Interceptor, but on some cars I can’t un-see it. As much as I love the Porsche 993, I feel like the wheels are too far forward.

      2. Jensen FF was Mopar powered from the factory. i would have gone with a Hellcrate to stay truer to that formula.

        1. Retropower in the UK are doing an earlier Jensen CV8 with an LS and explained the LS is smaller aka easier to fit and a lot lighter, plus better supported.

        2. Very true, and I thought about that. But honestly, Hellcrating has become almost as boring to me as LS-ing, and from an engineering standpoint it has more disadvantages. The LS is still the better brand-indifferent swap due to its packaging and lightness. Besides, I personally think the Hellcrate is overkill for most builds, even in its most modest output.

          But yeah, I see your point. I personally prefer to keep it in the family when possible.

  6. This reminds me of the circa 2014-15 incident where a drunken douche bro in Portland overcooked it on the I-5/OR 217 interchange, launched over the guardrail and landed his BMW squarely on the MAX tracks netting him a $50k towing bill on top of the DUI charge.

      1. The tracks he landed on were in a cutting and he knocked out some overhead catenary on the way down so the $50 k covered both sending in the road-rail Unimog to drag the car out and repairing the catenary and track.

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