What Was Your Automotive News for the Week?

We’re coming up on Memorial Day weekend here in the states and the only real industry news was a cheesy James Bond edition Aston Martin. So rather than report on a few boring stories that are sure to put you to sleep, it’s open mic night at Hooniverse again. If you saw anything, fixed something, broke everything, or have weekend plans that you want to share with your fellow hoon, sound off in the comments. Have a good weekend.

[Image © 2019 Hooniverse/Greg Kachadurian]

I'm the guy that spoiled the site with all the new car stuff. Hooniverse News Editor since 2011, amateur motorsport photographer, sim racer, and mountain road enthusiast.


  1. The automatic rear hatch on my wife’s car had not worked since we bought it (used). You could hear the motors working, but had to unlatch and lift manually.

    It just started working. Unfortunately, when unintended. It opened twice going down the road on her way to work this morning.

  2. Two bits of “news” this week. Cabin filters are usually plug’n’play, but I always laughed off the Camry for having 1 tiny screw to losen. The Nissan Leaf takes this to a whole different level: 10 screws (!) to remove the glove box, and after that, the filter needs to be pressed into an opening only 2/3’s its size. Once inside the slot, there really is no way to check if it sits well. And the lock for that slot? Meant to break once you open it. So when you own a car that supposedly doesn’t need much service, it seems Nissan figured out a way to make small service items appear larger.


    Also, after talking about selling the Honda van for a year or so, we are finally ready to let it go. My kids had to eat breakfast alone yesterday so I could catch the early morning light. Giving the crapcan its last honors, a BaT-ish photoshoot:


    1. I think it was my 1999 Honda Odyssey that, for the first cabin filter change, required removing the glove box and using a saw to cut out a dash brace to get at it.

    2. Took my Volt in for an oil change a few weeks ago. The service adviser comes out and tells me “Your car is missing the cabin air filter. Do you want us to put one in?” It was going to be something like $40. I had bought the car used at that dealership. I hadn’t removed the filter. After a discussion with the service manager about how they inspect their used cars, they installed a cabin air filter for free.

      1. Ah, the righteousness! Well done. 40$ sounds a bit stiff anyway, but I guess every started half hour needs to be paid for?

    3. I like the Stream, and don’t really understand why its kind are so under-represented in the States. I can offhand only think of the Mazda 5, Ford C-Max, and Prius V that fit the category. The U.S. essentially gets a raised-suspension MPV in the form of compact crossovers, but I’d rather drive something more car-like.

      1. The same is happening in Europe. Small 7 seaters are losing steam. At one point, most of the volume brands had an offering in the class, the most hoonable probably the Opel Zafira OPC in a mesmerizing blue with pretty wild 270 hp – a lot at least for the era. Now, the VW Touran is the go to vehicle and it’s mostly the French who offer some competition.

        1. I like the form factor, eg Peugeot 307 wagon, but not the long front overhangs or modern-Europe very-low ground clearances (to be fair other places too)

          1. The lack of overhang here has actually been some of the biggest worries with this car for me. The engine sits slightly beyond the front wheels, so you end up with very little weight up front, especially going upwards. On snowy and icy hills, and sometimes even on plain gravel, this van has had huge traction issues. Given that these are my favourite conditions, I often needed to replace grip with speed. A lot of people have called me mad after being on “deep into forests/mountains”-trips with me, sigh.

          2. I don’t think there would be much difference, usually either crash structure or aero is the reason for more overhang.

            I’m with you on the offroading aspect though, I’ve come close to finding the limits of what my 2wd ute will climb a couple of times. Steep enough it is difficult to walk up.

  3. So it looks like I may have some news on a new acquisition by tomorrow afternoon. Not going to jinx it by saying what it is, but I will tell you it is rare and Hoonworthy. If my wallet gets much lighter tomorrow I’ll try to update y’all sometime this weekend.

    1. Well I’ll be heading out shortly but I thought I throw a clue out there to see if anyone there are any other fans of this car. Enthusiasts of this vehicle can decipher the year, make, model, and color from these 7 characters; DBP 300b

        1. We have a winner, 2003 Mercury Marauder in Dark Blue Pearl. The 2003 cars came in two versions; the first run, which was part of the early intro of the 2003 Panthers which were order code 300a. After that initial run they changed the equipment a bit, added the Dark Blue Pearl and Silver Birch (SB in fandom speak) instead of Henry’s any color you want as long as it is Black of the early cars and those are order code 300b.

          This one has some mods, a lot of miles (will turn 175k tomorrow) and came with a ton ($$$$) of spare parts, including a number of the Marauder specific parts that are kind of hard to find.

          I thought this one was going to be the “one that got away” As I’d seen it when it was first listed at a higher price and the problem was one of the mods/extra parts was another set of seats. He had pulled the factory light flint seats out and put a set of black ones that he bought from a guy who had them in a CVPI. I think they may have been from a 2004 because it had a number of seat/air bag codes and was doing the 5 beeps of an air bag problem. He dropped the price twice and before I got a chance to try and get with him the ad went away. Then it came back and I told him if he put the original seats back in I cleared the codes and they didn’t come back I’d buy it at his current asking price that was $600 less than the initial price.There were only 328 of the DBP cars so yeah If I didn’t get this one I’d probable never have another chance at one locally.

          So I’m happy and the wife only said “you don’t need another stupid car” and “which of the other Panthers is going away” once……so far.

          So anyone want a 2005 P71? It’s a good runner has only 140k or so, tires with hardly any miles on them, but the white paint is doing what they do.

          1. Congrats – this is your keeper then? 175k miles shouldn’t be an issue with these, right?

          2. Thanks, yes I plan to keep it in the collection for some time. While there aren’t reports of the 4v version of the 4.6 going a million miles or more http://millionmilevan.com/ they do seem pretty durable and this one has had its timing chains and tensioners replaced the weakest link in the 4v. So hopefully there are many miles left in it. Of course I also don’t intend it to be something that I drive more than ~5k per year.

            One of the many mods it has is the popular conversion to a real oil pressure gauge. From the factory they came with an Autometer oil pressure gauge and volt meter. The problem is it is an idiot gauge that just shows ~65psi whether the engine has 8psi or 120psi. So the trick is to put a standard Autometer gauge in and replace the oil pressure switch with an actual oil pressure sender. So yeah it has good oil pressure which indicates the basic lubrication, bearings ect are still in good shape.

  4. Good news: I finally have a new photo of my 66 GL on a flatbed tow truck!

    Bad news: I finally have a new photo of my 66 GL on a flatbed tow truck!

    One of the driveshaft couplers has failed, which is particularly awkward in that they are integral with the driveshaft itself, which can only be removed by pulling either the engine/clutch assembly at the front or the Variomatic transmission at the rear. I have a spare driveshaft but its rubber couplers are also, of course, about 44 years old, just like the one that failed…


      1. Not that I’ve found yet, no. A friend of mine recalls having seen an ad a couple of years ago for someone who rebuilds them, perhaps in either the Netherlands or the UK, but no luck yet on that front, either. Dafhobby has one of similar design available for the 340, which at least serves to illustrate the nature of the problem:


        If I can’t find one, I’m starting to think that the short-term solution is to install the spare from the parts car and the long-term solution is to have a custom driveshaft fabricated using conventional U-joints with a pair of salvaged splined couplers welded to them.

        1. Don’t weld the couplers. Duct tape. Maybe use a little bubblegum for balance if it’s attached off center.

        2. Integrated like that – ouch! Maybe cut the end off and weld a flange on your spare shaft to take a CV or guibo joint. Probably only needed at one end so you could get away with making the other end solid.

          1. There’s very little clearance for the driveshaft but also zero working angle at both ends (which is why the rubber bushings were a perfectly fine solution at the time), so I’m more inclined to go with conventional U-joints, as it’s easy to find sturdy examples that are quite a bit smaller in diameter than comparable CV joints or guibos. Besides, at zero angle a U-joint is constant-velocity…

          1. They want a core, so I assume this is rebuilt and is most likely what my friend had seen a few years ago. Thanks!

  5. Me and my father tried to take the 46 DeSoto for a spin on saturday but it wouldn’t even move the starter or turn the lights on, so we thougth we had a dead battery. Put the charger for a while, but the same result. Checked the wires, everything seemed connected and tight, the battery terminals looked good too. So we left it alone, and I started looking for a new battery (185 dollars for a 6v/180amp).

    Today my father cleaned the terminals just to check, and electricity started flowing again like nothing had happened and the battery was new.

    I do not understand electricity, ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    1. Car battery prices can vary widely now. It seems the two best sources are Wal-Mart and Tractor Supply. Wal-Mart can be 30-50% cheaper for a regular car battery than Autozone/Advance/O’Rieley. It looks like Tractor Supply has several 6V batteries, probably for actual tractors, not sure it they are compatible with a DeSoto.

      1. I’m from Uruguay, here there are only two options of 6V batteries, both 6v/180amp and about the same price, just different brands.

        The idea of a 12V conversion is floating around…

    2. For some reason DC makes sense to me, and I don’t usually mind troubleshooting it. It’s AC that throws me for a loop.

  6. I finally in a decent wheel puller tool and got the steering wheel off of my Cappuccino to find out why there is in/out play and the bad news is that it’s there even with the wheel off, so there goes’ my badly fitted wheel theory (I think), the spline moves in/out about 4-5mm

  7. My wife’s sister and her husband are visiting the states for the first time, and I gave her her first ever drive in a convertible…. she loved it. The picture below is staged; she’s only pretending to drive. If you zoom the picture up, and look into the driver’s side mirror, you can see the huge grin on her face. I hope that this will score me some car-parts brownie-points with my wife ;-j


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