Monday, January 10, 2011

The Red Coupe - Winter strikes back...

...again. Many friends and strangers gave me blank stares when I told them this was my daily driver, given the winter we had last year. Even more so when I explained I'd be driving this car through the 2011 winter as well. There were a few things I had to do to get the car ready for this Winters' ice, sand, salt and rock chunks the highway vehicles shoot out at on coming drivers in the name of safety for all. A$sholes.

I washed the car a few times after the Fall rolled in, but once December rolled around and the 40 degree plus days left the weekly forecast, I decided to start my typical 'no more car washing until it's above 50' policy to allow the dirt building up on the car to act as a de facto shield until Spring (or the freakishly warm winter day). In this plan lies the beauty of not spending a lot of money on paint/bodywork; I did the same with my golf over the years with original paint. The only thing I'm mildly bummed about running this winter is my recently acquired, throaty & polished Stromung exhaust, which will be thrown to the environmental wolves. Meh, it had to happen at some point.

As you can see, I took off my color matched IS front lip and beat up bottlecaps; trust in the fact I could care less about my bottle caps being exposed to the Winter, but the tires had to be ditched so I can control the car like I want on ice and snow. In come the steelies of doom, wrapped in the sweetest winter tire I've ever run, Hankook iPike W409 Winter tires. The bad thing is now that I have coilovers, I have to run spacers up front AND raise my coilovers to keep these tall skinny tires from destroying my inner fenders on bumps. I've now done something I've never done to date; raising coilovers after setting them (two hrs in the cold that I'd like to have back). I didn't really have a choice in the matter; these Maryland Winters done got legit and replacing tires before they're worn doesn't make cents.

look in the hole
Another surprise that arose during the rear coilover perch adjustment was diagnosing a light clunking that's been coming from the back of the car since putting the bottlecaps back on. I wasn't quite sure what it was, but my suspicions were pretty dead on; driver-side rear rotor was loose, with the lock screw backing itself out enough to give it play during rotation, acceleration, etc. I looked through the tool box and didn't have an Allen head that quite fit the bill. Thankfully the elliptical I bought for the house back in 08' had an assembly tool that fit right in there (YUS). It's a good thing too, I didn't feel like walking a couple miles in the 20 degree weather to AutoZone to get one.

i bet you know what the next project is

after playing in the snow
My winter adjustments were painstakingly performed with excellent timing, because I had to drive home during the second snow of the year a week later (if you couldn't tell). I plan on doing a full review of these Hankook iPike W409 Winter Tires in the near future, so stay tuned.

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