Where I Should Have Stopped

A few weeks ago, I sold the one constant thing in my life for the past four years. While it was a hard decision to make, it was the right thing to do if I was every going to preserve my truly southern Jeep while living in upstate New York. Its now vacant parking space has left me with a set of juxtaposed emotions that would leave any gearhead spinning – what do I buy next?

My old 1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ Ruby. This was her “fuck you” side.

Continue reading

Advertisements
Posted in Car People Speak | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New York to Windrock: Prologue

As a wheeler, or someone who partakes in off road activities with a motorized vehicle, your hobby is often defined by your surroundings. The goal of modern infrastructure and bureaucracy is to eliminate what you find appealing – near destitute areas with landscape in need of low range and contemplation – so you tend to post up in more rural facets of America than a mecca of hipsters and iPhones. Knoxville, Tennessee is borderline as it houses a large, state-supported university, old money, new money, and good old fashion rednecks all within a 20 mile radius. Plus, on its outskirts are a number of dedicated areas where other wheelers can gather and talk about off roading before driving off road, all without bothering ordinary people and their iPhones. It’s a nice place for gearheads who like to go slow rather than fast.

Wild Wild West Knoxville

Continue reading

Posted in Car People Speak | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Camry Conundrum – Why Every Gearhead Should Make Friends with One

Let me make one thing clear – the Toyota Camry is by zero means an enthusiast vehicle.  It doesn’t matter how many “Sport” badges, fog lights, lower body moldings, or paddle shifters are added, the midsize Japanese namesake simply does not have the panache to match even the the slowest motion handbrake turn an edgy commercial can capture. Despite the car’s vanilla demeanor, there is a big question mark surrounding the Camry and its relationship to the people with grease under their fingernails who’d rather ignore it – why are we ignoring it? Isn’t it time we put aside our differences and tap into the Camry’s potential?

15834633182_6c21d30b5e_o

Continue reading

Posted in Car People Speak | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Project Hot Rod Apocalypse Part 2 – Skip to The Middle

Two years after taking over responsibility for Ruby, she now looks at me with glassy eyes and a bruised face – but that’s mostly from pushing her into a tree… er, three trees. Whatever the number of trees this Jeep has hit, I still own it and have sunk so much money into fixing and upgrading various parts that I now have a slightly worse truck than when I first bought it.

Jeep XJ Header Panel

Here’s the abridged story of how Ruby, the 1999 Jeep Cherokee, first went from a SUV to a questionable deathtrap smile machine.

Continue reading

Posted in Car People Speak | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Can You Have a Car for Your Entire Life?

Recently, I received an email from a good friend asking,

“So, theoretically, you can have a car for your entire life. But, from a practical perspective, how likely is it that if everything is done right and the car is not involved in any accidents, that one could in fact keep a vehicle for their entire life?”

Let’s look at that first part – can you have a car for your entire life? The simple answer is yes.

1966-volvo-p1800-irv-gordon_1-5228 Continue reading

Posted in Car People Speak | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Questionable Names at the 2016 NAIAS

Today marks the second day of the North American International Auto Show 2016 and with it, automakers from around the globe have unveiled their next superstars, volume leaders, unknown concepts, and ground-breaking technologies. As a skeptic with an affinity for vehicles unveiled at the 1962 Detroit Auto Show, here’s a snippet of unbiased truth aimed at three of the 2016 NAIAS’s hottest vehicles.

cq5dam.web.1024.768 Continue reading

Posted in Car People Speak | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Car Tech: The Subaru Headgasket.

DSC02077

The Subaru boxer engine is a very unique machine. Its flat design layout and odd firing order give it the feel and sound of absolute legends. Unfortunately, certain variations of the boxer engine do carry some undesirable traits and none are more pressing than the head gasket issue that plagues the Phase I EJ25. This engine, which was Subaru’s first DOHC EJ series four cylinder, can be found in the second generation Legacy GT sedans and wagons (96-99) as well as the Outbacks of similar vintage. Even though it was innovative, light (due to its all aluminum construction) and enjoyed being revved, Subaru must have been excessively drunk on sake when they decided to install the gaskets that separate coolant and oil. The OEM head gaskets on the EJ25D have a tendency to fail just as much as the sun has a tendency to rise in the east. If you have one and the head gaskets have NOT been replaced, here is what you need to do to remedy a tragedy.

Continue reading

Posted in Car Tech | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments