Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What to watch this weekend (Mar 24th - Mar 27th)

  • Car Warriors. Teams of builders take on the 86' El Camino. Friday @ 9pm - 10pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD)
  • Chasing Classic Cars. Friday @ 9pm - 11pm (Discovery's HD Theater) 2nd season replays
  • Formula 1 - Australian Grand Prix; from Melbourne/Albert Park Circuit. Qualifying. Saturday @ 2am - 3:30pm (SPEED/SPEEDHD) replay Sunday at 12am
  • Formula 1 - Australian Grand Prix; from Melbourne/Albert Park Circuit. Race. Sunday @ 1:30am - 4am (SPEED/SPEEDHD) replay Monday at 12pm
  • Indycar Series - Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg in St. Petersburg, FL. Sunday @ 12:30pm - 3pm (ABC/ABCHD)
This weekend is what I've been looking forward to for quite some time; the beginning of the 2011 F1 and Indycar seasons. Like I said previously, I'm going to try following Indycar this season so I'm all 'learned up' on the major players before the Baltimore Grand Prix; hopefully Simona is one of them. What better way to start off with Indycar than a close quarters race at one of the best street tracks in the US; the (closed off) public roads of St. Petersburg, Florida. And in the red corner, we have Formula 1 action in Australia. We'll see what McLaren has done with their aero package to help Hamilton and Button match up better with Ferrari and Redbull in the corners. We'll also see if Vettel has what it takes to defend the championship belt with a target on his back. Is old 'Shuey' going to have the car he needs to be competitive this year? Only time will tell. In the words of Bart Scott, CAN'T WAIT.

Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Quick Vid: Autocars' top 5 road tests

Autocar revisits the five most important road tested automobiles from their 100+ year history.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Car Pron: VAG Event 2010 (by Loniek/Wolfsgruppe)

The warmth of the sun and daylight savings time are back in session. I can see the modified cars, my friends, associates and packed-full parking lots now. I :heart: show season. I ran into this video by the widely known Wolfsgruppe crew several weeks ago, but I wanted to save it for when the starting flag to the 2011 season of wrenching and socializing was waving...violently.

VAG EVENT 2010 - full length from Loniek on Vimeo.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Red Coupe - The Vapors

I saw a little water on my door-jam sill a few weeks back, after getting into the car on the way to work, and I tried to ignore it. Unfortunately with the rising temps, the snow left and the rain arrived leading to a meeting with a soaking wet driver-side carpet that forced my hand. I made a temporary barrier where it appeared to be coming from using a black plastic bag my last six-pack came in, which ended up working much better (and looked far prettier) than what I had jammed in my golfs door last summer.

I rolled over to Wheaton Service Center on the next sunny day of the calendar to get the golden roll of goodness from Tom and patch up my door. I love e30s for a lot of reasons, one of which is that it's so gd easy to work on them. I had the doorcard off in a couple minutes and I had some cleaner alcohol and a rag getting old adhesive off soon afterwards. If you inspect the previous vapor barrier carefully (second pic below), you'll see where it failed. All in all, it did pretty well for being the original factory-installed barrier on the car from 1989. I borrowed a box cutter, and got to work.

golden roll of goodness!

After smoothing out the adhesive sheet to create the seal needed in all the vital areas, I took a bottle of water from the car and tested the barrier. Success. If you look at the little square hole in the second to last picture above, you'll see where water running down the inside of the door is supposed to drain. It's now good to go and as I type the interior is now free of moisture.

Everything was going fine with the car, but I guess I was due for a breakdown seeing that I've never had one since acquiring it last January. I was driving home from work last Sunday and I noticed the interior lights were a little dim. A couple miles down the road and they had dimmed even further. Next thing ya know I was merging onto I-95 and the interior lights were just about off, the headlights were as bright as two wax candles. The alternator had taken a dump. Before coming to a complete stop, I realized that I could nurse the car further as long as I didn't come to a complete stop. I got to a well lit shopping center in Columbia, MD and used my AAA Plus membership (a must have btw) to get the car to Euromotive and me to my house.

My brother-in-law Nick took care of me with a discounted rental (so I could leave the other car in the garage, and the repair turned out to be rather simple. Little did I know the alternators that came on e30s can be refurbished by just replacing the brushes and regulator; that's what was done. I was back behind the wheel in no time.

Getting back to my last want-to-do-list for the e30, I came to some realizations. One, I love wheels entirely too much. Two, if I went after a set of wheels, they'd need to be pretty special. Three, the cost of a set of wheels I'd show with would be close to the cost of redoing the interior completely OR refurbishing the m20 currently in the car. For those that know me well, you'll be surprised by my decision; but in my defense, the wheels I really had my heart set on could not be attained (single tear). I'm now very glad that was the case.

What you see in this picture is a m54 cranked m20b28, built by a fine gentleman named Andre from NC. This motor makes enough power, currently, to help my S3.25 diff make a bit more sense. This lovely yet crude hunk of German metal still has power to be made, but more importantly than anything, it's been rebuilt thoroughly which solves multiple problems for me. I have a reliable yet aging motor and I'm on pace to break into the 265k mile range this time next year. Also I already planned on building up my current motor to levels that wouldn't have reached this motors power for the money I would've spent. This is what we in the business call "a win win". This motor will look different in the coming weeks prior to installation, some go fast tweaks and part swaps, but it's a wonderful place to start. Oh and I've ordered a set of daily 15s for the car and new tie rods, blah blah blah. Stay tuned.