The Case for the Kart Hack

Age brings many new experiences.  Some you’d rather do without.  Everything starts to hurt.  You’re tired all the time.  Cynicism lurks behind you like a hungry but patient wolf.  Yet some changes are good.  You finally begin to shed school debt.  You streamline your processes.  And best of all, you find it easier every day to shuck off the concerns of others.  The sweaty, calculated poise you found so crucial in middle school has faded to a mewling ghost.  Instead, you value the practical.  You have work to do, and you don’t have time to impress anyone.  I’ve reached such an age, and that’s probably why I want to buy something rear-driven, strip it of all excess, and drive it everywhere.  I want a kart hack. Continue reading “The Case for the Kart Hack”

Fix Your Car’s AC Already

Fix Your Cars AC Already

Summer brings a host of enthralling activities.  Vacations.  Theme parks.  Beach volleyball in Kansas.  And my personal favorite, complaining about how often the sun tries to kill me.  Maybe it’s because I’m a certified ginger, and we’re scientifically known to be more sensitive to heat and cold.  Maybe it’s because I’m bitter about losing the three months of total freedom I loved so dearly as a child.  Or maybe I’m just tired of walking around with 48 active mosquito bites, a patch of poison ivy, three forms of sunburn, and a constant layer of sweat.  Like I’m sitting in a cup of coffee.  But I just made summer a little more survivable when I fixed the air conditioning in my 19-year-old car.  And I did it on the cheap. Continue reading “Fix Your Car’s AC Already”

Honda CRX: From Beater to Project

1987 Honda CRX Si

I stood in the tiny gravel lot behind my apartment building, staring in appalled disgust at my 2002 WRX wagon, my dream car.  My dreams were dead.  The wagon had betrayed me, locking its engine, and I was so broke from the previous repairs that I couldn’t afford to fix anything else.  I would have to sell it.  The next few days were raw, desperate, and depressed.  I needed a car.  Through red-rimmed eyes I scanned Craigslist, looking to replace my car not with another WRX, that was out of the question, but with another copy of the best car I’ve ever owned: A 1990 Honda Accord Coupe with a manual.  Those had been the good days, when the most work a car had needed was an oil change or new brake pads.  But I found nothing.  All Accords were either carbureted, out of my price range, or worse: automatic.  I was downgrading, not retiring, and the last thing you need when you’re depressed about losing a car is to drive an automatic.  As the days passed, I broadened my search.  Anything.  Nothing.  Then I found a car.  A temporary car.  A beater, to get me through a financial rough patch.  And now I want to keep the little punk forever.  What happened?  How did I get here?

Sometimes love takes time. Continue reading “Honda CRX: From Beater to Project”

Ecoboost Intercooler: How to pull your boat better

Install Difficulty: Easy
Duration: 30-60 minutes

When your forced induction truck needs to cool off what is a person to do?  Enter the BladeRunner.  I’m not talking about the old early 80’s film.  I’m talking about aFe Power’s series of intercoolers for today’s late model turbocharged trucks.  As a guy with a 2012 F-150 Ecoboost that likes to haul a heavy 22ft boat, I wanted to make sure my truck kept its cool.  Cool intake air, that is.

The Ecoboost intercooler in its stock form has been proven to overheat quite quickly.  As RPMs go up from a hard dyno pull or yanking a load around, the stock Ecoboost intercooler is quickly heated up and power of course is reduced due to the hotter intake charge being delivered.  aFe Power has the solution.

Let’s take a look at a side by side comparison of the stock Ecoboost intercoolerand the aFe Bladerunner below.

aFe Power Intercooler Install - comparing side by side

Continue reading “Ecoboost Intercooler: How to pull your boat better”

Dynamat Installation – Eliminate Road Noise

You’re on a Dynamat installation mission.  You want to eliminate road noise, noise from outside the vehicle, and all sorts of little vibration and resonance noises that penetrate the cabin of your car, truck or SUV.  If you succeed, you’ll achieve the “nerve calming quiet” that a lot of luxury car makers charge top dollar for. The following is a Dynamat installation guide using a 2005 Ford Escape which details the tools you need and steps you take when installing Dynamat Xtreme series products.

Dynamat Installation- Dynamat Quarter Panel
2005 Ford Escape hatch area

Here’s a quick guide to sound-proofing your vehicle with basic materials and tools. Continue reading “Dynamat Installation – Eliminate Road Noise”

These Cars are Begging for an Engine Swap

The best cars are built by crazy people.  Now cars, from the Toyota Prius to the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, come with engines that will help them sell, engines that will make their companies some bucks.  But once they hit the market, you can give them the engines they really need.  Here are six cars that could use engine swaps.  And what they should get instead.

Engine Swap Continue reading “These Cars are Begging for an Engine Swap”

The Weirdest Custom Car Movements, Ranked

Weirdest Custom Car Movements - Batvan

If your car is stock, it’s just like everybody else’s.  And that’s no fun.  How we customize our cars is a form of expression.  It’s our art.  But sometimes our strange and wonderful car mods can run concurrently with those of others, and we end up with custom car movements.  Many of these overlap, such as the stance movement and slamming, but they’re all unforgettable.

Disclaimer: These are ordered by increasing weirdness, but weird does not equal bad, especially to car customizers.  So please take this as a compliment, rather than criticism. Continue reading “The Weirdest Custom Car Movements, Ranked”