New F-150 Steering Recall

Ford trck.jpgFord Motor Company is issuing a safety recall for approximately 12,300 2015-model Ford F-150 vehicles in North America for an upper I-shaft that might have been riveted improperly, potentially causing it to separate. If that happens, it could result in the loss of steering control without warning, increasing the risk of a crash.

Ford is not aware of any accidents or injuries, but is aware of one report of loss of steering believed to be related to this condition.

Affected vehicles include certain 2015 F-150 vehicles built at Kansas City Assembly Plant from March 19, 2015 to March 21, 2015 and certain 2015 F-150 vehicles built at Dearborn Truck Plant from March 21, 2015 to March 30, 2015.

There are 12,328 vehicles that might be affected in North America, including 8,963 in the United States and federalized territories, 3,348 in Canada and 17 in Mexico. Of those, 6,722 vehicles are unsold, meaning 5,606 vehicles are in customer’s hands.

From MSN News




Doug Monin’s 1969 Dodge Coronet Super Bee

2-28-16 (5).JPGDoug Monin is always working on something. This resident of Sheridan, New York and father of three has a large car collection, but what really peaked my interest is the 1969 Dodge Coronet Super Bee.

The car was last registered in Georgia in 1977 and 2-28-16 (6).JPGMonin bought this car a year ago from Earheart Collision in Dunkirk, New York. He has been working on it ever since. The first thing he did was strip the car down to nothing and replaced the rotted floor and trunk pans. To give an idea about how bad those were, this is the original rear seat. You can tell it needed work.


Monin likes his cars “sweet and clean,” meaning mostly stock and as original as possible. Besides the floor pans, the roof and engine are the few parts that are not original.

A 325 hp (estimated) 440 with a four barrel carburetor will replace the stock engine. The Pro Shop in Angola had the honor of freshening up the engine.  The transmission is the original 7727 Baby H Torque Flight and as was reworked by American Transmission in Irving, New York. The rear axil is stock with 3.23 gears.

2-28-16 (7).JPGOnce finished the Super Bee will have factory a/c, an upgraded electronic ignition and a new radio. The radio with have a factory look right down to the tuning knobs, but will be Bluetooth enabled. The car will be panted the original emerald green and have factory Super Bee graphics.

Monin hopes the car will be done in May.

“Are you every really done?” Monin said. You get them running, and you drive it down the road and think, ‘Ok, there’s one more thing I wanna do and I will do that later.’ It never ends. It’s like building a house, is it ever really done?”

Monin keeps his family involved with what he builds. His wife helps him to look up parts online, and even though his kids are very young, with the oldest being 3, they come out to help him sand.

“I hope my kids will develop a liking for it and continue to do it on their own,” Monin said.

As the car progresses, we will visit Doug Monin again to see how the car is coming along.

A Look at the Fastest Cars form 1950 to Today

Ever wonder what the fastest cars of their times were? This article is great for answering that question. Even a quick flip through shows GM staying right up there with Porsche and Ferrari in many years. The Shelby Fords are right up there to in some years. There are a lot of Corvettes naturally, but some others you may not expect to be the fastest cars of their years. The Buick GNX,  the 1958 Chevrolet 315 Delray at 7.2 seconds in the 0 to 60, and the 1966 Plymouth Satellite 426 Hemi at 5.3 seconds tying with a Porsche 904 at 5.3 seconds are some of the unsung heroes.

One of the pillars of Car and Driver—and Sports Cars Illustrated, which was our name from our founding in 1955 until 1961—has always been recording objective performance data for a wide variety of automobiles. This tradition began in 1955, and our approach progressively became increasingly scientific as manufacturers became ever more adept at wringing performance from their wares. It’s worth a note that in the fast-and-loose ’60s, carmakers regularly sent magazines “ringers” that were far quicker than what someone could buy off a showroom floor, and these same companies also often vastly underreported output figures. One of the most egregious cases of this practice involved a certain 421-cubic-inch 1965 Pontiac Catalina 2+2 that appeared in our March 1965 issue. Capable of demolishing the zero-to-60-mph measure in a blazing 3.9 seconds, that particular Catalina, we openly revealed, had been “properly set up” by famed tuner Royal Pontiac. Massive V-8s began to give way to turbocharged muscle in the ’70s, and the 5.4-second zero-to-60 time put down by the mighty 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS454 was tied by the 1979 Porsche 911 Turbo. The trend continued in the ’80s, and the ’90s were all about the supercar. But it’s after the turn of the century when things got real—or rather unreal—with every single car on our list of cars from 2000 to present day bursting from zero to 60 mph before the second hand ticks three times. It’s hard to imagine that cars will continue to get quicker at the same pace we’ve witnessed over the decades, but we’re eagerly awaiting the first car that breaks the mile-a-minute barrier in less than two seconds. You know it’s coming—we’re already at 2.2 seconds with the Porsche 918 Spyder. Here, find the quickest cars we tested in each decade, starting with the 1950s and continuing through today. Enjoy!


Zombie Jeep, Part 3 Diesel Cleaning the Engine

Jeeps can be fun in the mud, but not when the engine oil looks like mud. As a working theory, I believe that its pervious owners did not take real good care of their car. I say it is a car because it is unibody. It must have a frame in my eyes to be a truck, in case Jeep owners start hissing at me.

The engine oil looked like mud. There can be several different reasons for this:

  • bad head gasket that lets the oil and antifreeze mix
  • lack of proper changes that cause the oil to get dirty and watery
  • water condensation from sitting

Lucky us, the head gasket is fine, so it is a combo of lack of maintenance and water condensation. One way to fix this problem is what I call the “diesel treatment.”

2-21-16 (2).JPGAfter the oil is drained and the cheapest oil filter possible is put on, pour about a gallon of diesel fuel into the oil fill. Yes, I said the oil fill. Relax, it is an old school trick for cleaning out a dirty engine.

And say hello to Rob. This is his rust bucket anyway.


2-21-16 (4).JPGFind the coil and disconnect it. The engine must  not start while you are doing this. On this Jeep, the coil is located on the right front of the engine. Crank the engine over for a while then let it sit. The diesel fuel will be pumped around the engine and begin to loosen up the sludge. After about a half an hour crank it some more, then let the crap settle into the oil pan before draining.

2-21-16 (10).JPGAir can be pumped into the oil fill by plugging the hole with a rag and that will make more of the crap come out of the pan after the first drain. This can be done several times, depending on how bad the engine is. After you are satisfied with how cleaned out the engine is, change the oil filter again because it too will be plugged with crap. This was a new filter,  but not anymore.

Fill the oil like normal and see how much cleaner it is. It may not be perfect, but it will be a lot better than if nothing was done. Consider changing the oil in about 100 miles because all the diesel will not come out and will continue to loosen up crap in the engine.

Any who…I am pleased to report that the brakes are all done and bled, the rear shocks are replaced, and did I mention that the oil change is done?

2-21-16 (13).JPGThe crossmember is now in. Nuts where welded inside the channel for the bolts to go through like stock after the inside piece was made and two holes where drilled. And then…weld weld weld, and walla! The transmission his held up by something other than automotive cancer. It is not the prettiest thing I have ever seen, but at least the tranny won’t fall out.

Zombie Jeep is going to sit for the week, and possibly we will visit it next week end and hopefully finish the job, if Rob ever stops buying new parts.


Zombie Jeep, Part 2

DSC_0014Nothing was done to the Jeep last weekend because it was just two cold and nasty out. But after putting the jumper pack on it fired up no problem. Of course it sounded like a Sherman tank because of the lack of exhaust, and that will get worse before it gets better because the Y-pipe will be coming off.

We did not just dive into the frame work. We moved around keeping things in motion since many different things are planned and Rob bought a lot of parts. I didn’t fib on one point-we are bringing it back from the dead.

DSC_0001.JPGThe left front fender had a nasty hole in it where mud, salt and rocks get thrown at it. The first step is to remove the dum-dum, or factory undercoat around it along with dead metal. I would suggest wearing a facemask. The entire shop was filled with the smoke from that dum-dum.

Using metal cut from the hood of a junk car, a patch is made that fits over the hole. Once the outside of the hole and the patch is down to bare metal I used a metal bonding adhesive from Lord called Fusor 110B. 2-20-16 (5).JPG

Put a generous amount of glue around the outside of the patch, place it over the hole and attach it with self tapping screws. It will harden in 2 hours, then the screws can be removed and reused later, or left in. I mixed up some body filler and put that over the patch.

2-20-16 (7).JPGAfter it hardened I ground it down some and then we sprayed it over with undercoat. Some people may have done a better job, but it is hard to tell we were ever there, unless you really look, and it keeps the carpet dry.

The brakes are all brand new, as you can see from the picture to the right, there is a bag over the new rotor, caliper and pads to protect them from over spray and dust. The oil is drained at this point and that stuff was just mud. I am not sure what we plain to do about that right now, so look to future installments to find out.

We got out an old bumper jack and placed it under the transfer case to hold up the trans once the crossmember is removed. The bolts came out on the driver side without a problem but the passenger side was so rotted out that it had to be cut out. Once all the bad metal was removed, the first of the new pieces was fabricated and tacked in. 2-20-16 (11).JPG

As you can see there is not much left and we have a job and a half cut out for us. Tune in later, same Jeep time, same Jeep channel, for the next exciting installment.

Windshield Washer Pump Change on 1500 Chevy


cropped-12-30-15-2-171.jpgI have had this 1997 K-1500 Chevy since 2005 and everything on it works (almost), except the windshield washer pump. It hasn’t worked at anytime in living memory, so it is time for it to. Unfortunately because of deadlines, it had to be changed outside on a minorly chilly February day. But it is a quick fix.

The pump is rather inexpensive too at only $17, plus the cost of Smurf juice. That stuff isn’t cheap, do you have any idea how many Smurfs have to be ground up to make a gallon? They are not that easy to catch either, just ask Gargamel. (Ok, washer fluid is normally blue, hence the joke).

DSC_0012The tank is not hard to find. It is in the front of the left inner fender and the neck is by the upper coolant hose were it goes in the radiator. Only two bolts hold it in, one right by the filler cap that is 8mm and one by the inner fender that is 10mm. Once the bolts are out, the tank will pull out, but it is a bit of a tight squeeze. Pull on the part farthest from the fender to get it out.

DSC_0017.JPGAfter that comes removing the plastic cover that protects the pump from the cold blast of air made by rocketing down the road in sub-freezing temperatures. It is held on by snaps that come apart quickly. Remove the power wire, and the pump just pops out of its holder and slides out of the tank. Remove the hose by turning the pump to loosen it up then pull.

DSC_0019.JPGSince I did this outside, I had to use lung power to make sure the lines were intact and not plugged. If they are broken the fluid won’t go where you want it to, if plugged nothing will come out and put extra strain on the pump, or fly over the windshield and that will just annoy you.

Now assembly is just the reverse order of what was already done. I slid the pump in after putting on the hose and clipped in the power wire. By now, my hands were getting cold, so putting the lines back into their groves was a bit challenging. The plastic cover just snaps on, but make sure to check the back side with your hand. I would like to say slide the tank back in, but it is more like cram. Don’t worry too much about that ground wire on the fender, once the tank goes in, it will be out of the way.

DSC_0023After reinstalling the two bolts fill the tank and try the wipers!

After all that, changing the wipers just makes sense. New ones can set you back $20 or more but they are easy to change. Most have a hinge on them, and the little plastic clip that holds them on is between the arm and the blade. Sometimes they can be stubborn add require a smack on the end to get them to slide off. New ones just click in.

DSC_0014.JPGThis is just one example of some small projects that most car owners can do themselves, but varies from model to model. Some jobs that are easy on one car can be major surgery on another, so know if you should seek help before doing something on your own.

Oh…and making silly faces isn’t always a necessity, but does add to the fun.