I'm finally home. It's 1:30 and I still need to shower. But I got a thing.
More news when I've slept and am coherent.
If it's from Japan, I'm probably interested. The smaller the better.
Natural aspiration is just wasted displacement.
2003 MR-2 Spyder. 2ZZ turbo on the way.
1992 Autozam AZ-1 Mazdaspeed. HT07 and all that jazz. VVT K6A swap eventually.
1992 Autozam Scrum Turbo RZ Super Multi Roof. EV conversion probably never.
1998 Eclipse GSX. HTA68, MegaSquirt, built everything. Finally fast enough to tackle the winter commute.
1996 Suzuki Jimny CC. 3.73 diff swap, VVT K6A eventually
2017 Chevy Bolt. No longer catches on fire.
Best posts made by DSM_OR_DIE
I'm finally home. It's 1:30 and I still need to shower. But I got a thing.
My husband was on TV
Link here. The local news wanted to do a story about pool health and no one higher up the chain at the Health Department was available to accommodate, so my husband had to step in.
I had to dress him that morning because he's gay but he's not THAT gay. Brown belt with black shirt and shoes? Honey, no. He was nervous, but I assured him that the reporter is good at her job. She uses semicolons. Correctly!
After filming, he only had one thing on his mind: did my watch look good? So Watchlopnik, I'll let you decide.
I can't keep this picture of my sister's cat to myself
Tibby loves road trips. She goes back and forth between Nashville and Cincinnati all the time and is now best friends with my mom's cat.
For the first time since October, all seven cars are at my house together.
I went down to Bloomington today to pick up the AZ-1. Drove the Bolt down, met up with the couple who has been looking after it for a Chinese buffet lunch, and then drove the AZ-1 back.
But not before stopping at this open garage and checking out a pretty badass car.
I need one.
Now I just need to rearrange my garage to get everything to fit, since I have two engines on pallets that weren't here when the cars were last together...
The 7 Deadly Sins: Pride
Pride isn't an emotion that I feel all that often, but when it hits, it hits hard.
I got a message from my mother in our family group chat today. And my family is a mess. My dad is DEEP into dementia and my grandma is suffering from Alzheimer's and my grandpa isn't taking any of this well. BUT. My mother, having taken care of all of the bullshit that typifies her life these days, pulled the Mustang out of storage and gave it a wash. This is the image that she sent to everyone.
My mom has been through hell and come out laughing. She sold her C7, the E92 M3, the Integra R, and the Challenger 392 when shit hit the fan and hunkered down to prepare for weathering everything on her own, but she came out the other side so well off that she was able to get her dream car, pictured above. I'd love to say that I helped her through all of the family drama but she made it all on her own, and I couldn't be more proud of her for that.
On a similar vein, my sister has been through some shit. Living two states away from the rest of us, being in the travel/amusement industry when COVID hit, and having a boyfriend that didn't support her left her in a very rough place. She was keeping above water but just barely. She bought a property that none of us saw hope in and surprised us all when she turned it from a brass prison to a hardwood home. She has always been adamant about the three pedal lifestyle, from her Volvo 240 through her two Corollas, but after finally finding herself in a position where she can buy a car because she wants to she ended up in an Elantra N. I sent her a Hyundai review article today, and she responded.
And that's when it hit me. My family is badass. From the car perspective sure (all three pedals except for EV/hybrids), but also in general. I just can't express how proud I am of everyone in my entire extended family. Siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, all of the in-laws. We're awesome. If being proud of all of us is a sin, well I'll see you all in hell.
DSM or: How Ruining My Life Was The Best Decision That I ever Made, Part 1: Catching a disease
I guess it's time. This was a series that I wrote on the original Oppo and I keep getting requests to put it back online. Unfortunately some of my pictures didn't survive but I'm working to get as many of them back.
I grew up with Need for Speed. Every kid my age did. My sister and I put more hours into that series than any other in our collection save maybe the Harry Potter PC games (we have eclectic tastes). The one that stood out in my mind the most, though, was the original Underground game. I never put any thought into the actual vehicles available and chose cars based on those sweet sweet blue stats bars. So I grew up getting familiar with the Dodge Neon, Peugeot 206, NB Miata, and Nissan Sentra on a visual level, but nothing deeper than that.
Enter the mid-2000s, however. My mom sits me down and tells me that I am required to get my temporary license as soon as I am eligible because I am required to get my license on my 16th birthday. I am required to buy my own car and I am required to get my own insurance for it. And these tasks are necessary because her car was so unreliable that I would need to drive her to and from work and do the shopping while her own car (Jaguar S-Type R) was inevitably in the shop. At the time of this conversation, it was at the dealership after having been towed because it wouldn’t start.
My own car. I hadn’t put any thought at all into what I might want beyond the fact that I would be getting a car and had been saving up. And here’s how I chose my first car: I wanted that one car from Need for Speed Underground with the tail lights that go all the way across the back. So I fired up underground.exe and checked. 1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse. Alright, done. I began searching.
I knew that it needed to be a manual. It wouldn’t be green or purple. I found out pretty quickly that I only wanted the facelift, so 1997-1999. Those were pretty much my only requirements (I didn’t know that there were trim levels that didn’t have a turbo) and it still took me three months to find one that matched them. My mom was rather unhappy with this delay because it meant that we forced into four people sharing my dad’s Integra R and my sister’s badass manual Volvo 240. The Jag had needed a new transmission.
eBay Motors. Wouldn’t recommend it. But I found one that I liked. A red 1997 GS-T Spyder. It didn’t have great paint but otherwise needed nothing according to the listing. I placed a bid and won. And that was when I discovered that the car was at a dealership in Florida. So I went to the bank, withdrew most of my savings to pay for the car and the trip back, and then bought one-way plane tickets from Indianapolis to Sarasota for my mom and me (Indianapolis was cheaper than flying out of Cincinnati). I was still 15 at the time and didn’t have my license, so the second plane ticket was a necessary expense.
We woke up at 2AM, had my dad drive us the two hours to Indianapolis, got on a plane at 6AM, were in Sarasota by 9:30, had the dealership pick us up in a black Focus SVT, and were checking out the car by 10:30. I started going down my checklist in my head. The top is in great shape. It runs and idles well. AC works. Cruise control works. No CEL or other warning lights. The clutch caught right at the floor, but that’s a common complaint with these cars. The underside looked like it had just rolled out of the factory, so I knew that I must have it. My mom was less enthused, however. The body was in much worse shape than the pictures showed, with several new large dents and very little remaining clearcoat. She “stepped inside” to “have a nice conversation” with the guy running the dealership.
And at this point I should clarify that term. These guys had a dealership license and were able to provide their own financing and temporary tags, but the “dealership” was their house and they just had a driveway full of shitty and mostly riced out cars. And apparently I was lucky to have purchased the car when I did because the sellers had already installed underglow and had just received the body kit that they had purchased for the car. If I were to leave without purchasing the car, the stock bumpers would be scrapped and replaced with the most ill-fitting aftermarket bumpers that money can buy. After having stood up to the likes of my mother (a task that few have ever achieved) they decided to make up for the undisclosed damage by offering to include said body kit with the car. I firmly and almost violently declined.
I hand over the cash, they print a temp tag and sign the title, and we’re on our way. Yes, there was a test drive, but it was consumed entirely by my mom screaming that I wasn’t allowed to put the top down anymore because her hair had been destroyed. So we hit the road with the top up and head North. My mom whips out a disposable camera that she had secretly bought to capture my reactions to driving my first car.
I drove the car into the night, trying to both get a feel for my new purchase and to get as far as I could before we had to stop for the night. Having only ever driven my dad’s Honda, I was not used to the torque from this 4G63. It felt infinitely faster than the Integra, so I was happy. I had test driven only one other Eclipse by that point and this one was obviously slower, but that one had been modified so surely it was supposed to be faster than this one. However, by the time we stopped in northern Georgia the CEL was solidly illuminated and we had averaged 19mpg across the few tanks of gas that we had used. I pulled out what remained of my cash and bought a hotel in the Middle of Nowhere, Georgia.
In the morning, the car was reluctant to start and was a little rough idling in the parking lot. Being 450 miles from home didn’t leave us many options, though, so we pressed on. The second day of driving was consumed entirely by complaints from my mother about how horrifically uncomfortable the seats were. The 19mpg trend continued despite my sticking to the speed limit (I still didn’t have my license, remember?). And despite all of the above, I was quickly falling in love with the car. Sure, it needed work, both to correct the body and to correct these unknown mechanical issues, but come on. How bad could it be?
DSM or: How Ruining My Life Was The Best Decision That I ever Made, Part 11: Seven Cars Might Be Too Many
Calling my garage a “two-car garage” is a bit of an exaggeration. Parking was at a premium so something had to give.
These four in the driveway, Jimny and Miata #1 in the garage, and truck on the street. With “For Sale” posts for the Focus plastered everywhere that I could find, I also listed the Ranger for sale. Not unsurprisingly, it sold immediately. A local guy wanted it and showed up with a stack of cash and his mother. The situation was pretty odd; he, a middle aged man, was buying the truck himself but registering it in his elderly mother’s name. I was wary, but he had no qualms with doing a bill of sale, signing the title over immediately, and letting me photocopy his ID. That was one car down.
Not long after that, I got a letter in the mail from the world’s worst Ford dealership. It was the standard “we want to buy your car and put you in a new one” ad that everyone gets, but their offer was right where I wanted to sell and nowhere on the letter did it say that I was obligated to buy something else. The very next day I was at the dealership signing a check to pay off the remainder of my loan. As soon as the ink was dry, I told them that I was shocked by their offer, as I had been trying to sell the car for $2000 less for several months with zero interest. They were taken aback, but I was already out the door. Sucks to be them. The car was still on their lot a year later. And note that I wanted the Focus gone so badly that I forked over $6,000 cash to pay off the loan.
Around this time I had also reached out to a local boat repair and hot rod restoration business. They had given me a quote to repair the Autozam’s bumper and had penciled me into their schedule. As a sign of triumph, I sent their quote out to the group chat, exclaiming that I had finally found someone to handle the car. Sam, who was in that group chat and happened to be coming to Indianapolis already, took note. I don’t remember why he was in Indianapolis, but he did happen to leave a check on my dining room table for the exact amount of that quote. I didn’t even notice it for another week, but he had kept his word about making sure that the Autozam got repaired after his oopsie.
I took the Autozam to the shop for its scheduled repairs but the shop wasn’t open. I had gotten the Autozam there with no issues but apparently the shop owners had decided that the snow was too much and had not opened that day. I returned the next day in 55 degree weather and noticed that the coolant temperature had started to rise when stopped. The shop again turned me away, but this time they claimed that a high dollar restomod had come in and they didn’t have the capacity to work on my bumper at the moment.
When I got back home I found that the crash had deformed the metal fan shroud just enough to catch the fan blade and prevent it from spinning. I placed an order for a bunch of OEM parts and returned to the body shop with them a month later. I was again turned away, this time because the boat season had started and they were swamped with hull repairs. I should call them in about eight weeks to reschedule. I politely told them to get fucked.
With that option no longer available, I was down to repairing the bumper myself or hoping that a used one magically appeared online. And as if by magic, one did appear that week. I sent a message to my friendly Australian JDM parts exporter and he was on the case. Unfortunately for me, the auction price quickly exceeded my repair quote. And all of my cash on hand. Disappointed by the incredibly high demand for these, I began wondering if I could handle rebuilding the bumper myself. But this same friendly Australian JDM parts exporter shocked me by saying that he just happened to have a Mazdaspeed AZ-1 front bumper in his basement. It had been the subject of an attempted home repair and needed some smoothing, but unlike my bumper it was still in one piece and not missing any parts. And due to a comically favorable exchange rate to AUD at the time, I could have it shipped to my door for under $500.
Then the waiting game began. Well, it would have been waiting if I weren’t so busy with everything else, but instead I had two long trips to the UK for work (Skoda Fabia estate and VW Golf, respectively). I pitched some new technologies to the company. I pushed an 18-month-late program to completion. I went to another con in Attack on Titan cosplay. Before I knew it, the bumper had arrived. I threw it on (as well as all new control arms and bushings and the replacement fan shroud) and took off to meet a woman named Gisela.
Oh, Gisela. She perfectly embodies the small, kind, excitable Chinese junk shop owner stereotype. Except that she’s German. And average height. And runs a body shop. When I pulled up in front of her shop, she came running outside and could not stop exclaiming in a very thick German accent how very cute my car was. She inspected the bumper for the quote but spent much more time looking over the rest of the car and asking questions about its design. She was genuinely interested in the history of the car and I had to push her back inside lest we talk for hours in the parking lot. The quote took a very long time to put together but that was only because we spent more time talking about unrelated things than we did about the bodywork. Her moving from Germany. Running a body shop. Insurance work vs. personal jobs. I genuinely enjoyed the time that I spent there, and after the conversations about fiberglass work, I felt very comfortable letting her do the work. And the best part was that her quote was low enough for the repair that I could have her also address the cracks in the rear spoiler and still come in under the quote from the boat shop. I paid the woman, and three weeks later I came back to this:
I was impressed. She did a damn good job on everything: the bumper rework, the spoiler rework, and the paint matching. I was the most unproductive that I have ever been at work that day because I could only think of one thing: beating the crap out of the Autozam on some twisty roads. So I left work pretty early to drop my stuff off at home and…
I had replaced the fan shroud so the fan could spin freely, but it had never occurred to me that that much load on the fan would have blown the fuse. Which it had. So I had gotten stuck in gridlock on the way home because of course I did. Before long I had found myself staring in a panic at my temperature gauge while, inch by painful inch, traffic imperceptibly moved down the road. After 15 minutes of profuse sweating, the curb finally dropped away and I could pull into a parking lot. Where the coolant system promptly dumped its contents onto the asphalt.
I walked to a gas station and bought their only gallon of coolant but couldn’t find anyone with distilled water, so I sat in that parking lot next to the Autozam listening to it gurgle and drip for a full hour before I could add enough coolant to get me down the street to a CVS to get some water fo fill it up the rest of the way. The story does get a little better because something interesting happened on my way home.
I was pissed. 15-20 mph over the speed limit, I was determined to get home as quickly as I could. And in typical ‘the slightest inconvenience is the worst thing in the world’ road rage fashion, I happened to get stuck behind the world’s slowest vehicle during an interchange. That vehicle just happened to be a gold and black S30 240Z, but I was too angry to care. As soon as the highway went back up to two lanes, I blew his doors off. But soon my rearview mirror showed a gold Nissan gaining on me. When the highway ended, he pulled up next to me at a light and began gesticulating wildly. His window mechanism must not have worked because he was trying to yell through the glass. I pulled into the parking lot of our local sushi joint (RIP Kasai, you are missed!) because I realized at that point I was being reckless and needed to calm down. The Z followed me.
A passenger with a camera got out of the car. The driver marched over to me and exclaimed, “ZOMGAnAutozamINeverThoughtI’dSeeOneOfTheseHolyCrapIt’sSoSmallThisIsAmazingOhLookAtTheSpoilerILoveThisThing-” I couldn’t stay mad. It was already getting dark but we talked about our cars for two hours while the guy with the camera snapped pictures. I got home at 11PM.
I did a coolant flush, replaced a very damaged thermostat, and then eased the car back into service to work out any other bugs. Just kidding. I immediately took a road trip to Nashville to hang out with my sister. And we had a blast! We did the Lane Motor Museum, who had just gotten their own AZ-1 in that very morning and still didn’t know much about it. By complete coincidence it happened to be Nashville Pride so we did that and, well, I don’t remember anything else from that night.
I got to watch my sister prove that drive-up ATMs in the Autozam are a breeze. Sushi for every meal. Look how bloated and gigantic her (three pedal) Corolla is!
Also the Autozam leaks. But just a little.
Next time: I rebuild the Eclipse, offroading is simultaneously less and much more awful than I expected, and it’s time to say goodbye to the Jimny.
Black Friday and Dementia
Mental illness is a bitch.
I went to Cincinnati to spend the extended weekend with my family. Thanksgiving itself was fine, but that night we were all trying to catch up after dinner while my dad was watching a series of videos on Facebook, as he does. Volume at max and he'll just swipe through them, not really watching. This night's theme was wood saws and sirens. My mom had to pause everything so that she could find headphones and a 3.5mm to lightning adapter because Apple is a shit. He took the headphones off so that we could all hear the noises.
My women in my family traditionally brave Black Friday as a group every year, starting with breakfast out. I had to pick up some car parts at the dealership so we all went to breakfast together. Except my grandma, who is sidelined with Alzheimer's. Breakfast was okay, except that when my mom would read the menu to him, my dad would stare blankly back. She eventually had to decide for him.
After breakfast I would need to drop the car parts off at home before continuing my errands so my mom asked me to take my dad home with me. No big deal. We get the parts. We go home.
I replace the failed optical drive in their desktop. Mr. _OR_DIE researches some gifts for my aunt. My dad lies on his back on his bed and stares at the ceiling. Then the husband and I depart for more Black Friday shenanigans. Not 60 minutes later we had finished our To Do list and were back on the road when the husband gets a call from an unknown local number. Someone had spotted our dog wandering through the neighborhood and called the number on his tag. We let my mom know and she starts panicking about the two cats at home that may or may not also be wandering the streets. The other group beat us home and filled us in on what my dad had been doing in the hour that he was home alone.
He had eaten around 8 chocolate bars. He had gotten all of the Thanksgiving leftovers out of the refrigerator, but it's unclear how much of them he ate. He put the cheese ball on a board and sliced up all of the blocks of cheese in the house and arranged them on the board as though they were the crackers to eat the cheese ball with. He pulled the desktop back out and had started disassembling it. Parts of the case were broken and rattling around inside. HDDs and SSDs were unplugged. All of the toolless drive bays had been removed.
And he had let the dog out and not let him back in. AND I discovered that the kitchen faucet handle was now leaking pretty badly.
So the rest of the night was spent cleaning up, putting away, and generally babyproofing the house. My mom kept me up until 1:30 to talk about how much worse he had gotten and how quick the decline has been. I have no idea how she's not only managing to keep up with all of her responsibilities and his but also still having fun together. Traveling is certainly out of the question now, but they seem to find plenty of things to do.
So I'm kind of inspired to just post random nostalgic bits, hence the tag. I'm going to try to do one every day, and they'll just be like a paragraph or sentence story from my life. We'll see how that goes. For the first one:
We used to take the Integra R camping. We'd load the hatch with a cooler and cooking gear and the tent and hatchets and then set off for wherever. My dad, my sister, and me. We used to go camping on a friend's property that was back in the woods on undeveloped land and there was a water crossing and a usually muddy hill between civilization and that patch of land. In later years we built a bridge to help people cross but for the first few years we'd take the Integra mudding.
Good news! Great news even!
That Toyota transmission part that is long discontinued and has been unobtainable for a few years? MonkeyWrenchRacing just happens to have one "set aside" and will trade me for the used final drive coming out of my transmission, assuming it's in good enough shape. Sign me up!
Incredibly comfy kitty for your time!
Latest posts made by DSM_OR_DIE
RE: Facebook marketplace is a dumpster fire
@AkioOhtori said in Facebook marketplace is a dumpster fire:
beat beat beAT BEAT BEAT BEAT! BEAT! BEAT!
EDIT: but NOT for that price or even half that. Beat is a $5k car no matter how good the example is.
RE: CoPart Finds (24)
@User said in CoPart Finds (24):
Old DB7 looks fabulous
RE: HUMMER EV SUV Reviews Are Out
@WasGTIthenGTOthenNOVAthenGTInowA4 said in HUMMER EV SUV Reviews Are Out:
@Krusty-Walnut said in HUMMER EV SUV Reviews Are Out:
TheDrive said that the interior felt very cheap
I mean, that's just GM
I haven't seen a decent quality GM product since my mom's STS. Everyone else has gotten better. GM doesn't seem interested in keeping up.
RE: von Kármán vortices
@davesaddiction MAFs are silly. Speed density is where it's at!
RE: A clean slate, an empty garage - What Would Oppo Do?
@nth256 one Corolla/Matrix XRS 6 speed and one Matrix AWD. If you MUST have a crossover then get a Pontiac Vibe version instead. And then you spend your remaining money on an MR-2 Spyder. That'd be a pretty good garage that covers the bases.
RE: Covered wagon.
@WasGTIthenGTOthenNOVAthenGTInowA4 @HammerheadFistpunch I would assume that a "Chocolate Covered Wagon" would be much closer to a "Stanley Steamer" than a "Dutch Oven." But maybe that's just me.
RE: new ///M comes with pillows as standard equipment
@RPMesq said in new ///M comes with pillows as standard equipment:
@Urambo-Tauro I know I have made it as a professional adult because I have upgraded to two pillows per person. But anything more than that would just be excessive, and inconvenient.
My husband and I average 2 pillows each, but I have one and he has three. Still counts, right?
RE: DOTS - Safeway and This Weekend
@HillRat I never realized HOW small the Pulsar NX is. This makes me want one even more.
RE: Craigslist is apparently not the popular way to sell a car
@ranwhenparked Back when I was trying to replace my Focus RS, I found an intriguing Eclipse GSX on Facebook. Via cat on keyboard, I accidentally clicked "Contact seller" and without confirming anything, it sent the message, "I'd like to buy your Eclipse GSX for $1"
I didn't think that I'd be a serious buyer but I felt obligated to explain the situation. He ended up being genuinely interested in trading for my Focus, but I'm still really weirded out that that was the message it sent by default.
Selling definitely sucks on Facebook more so than any other platform that I've used, and I assume that's because it actively recommends things to people who aren't actually interested. If I have things listed in multiple locations, I put Facebook leads at the very bottom of my list.
RE: What is your favorite lyric in any song?
@Vampire-queen Pretty much everyone had some kind of deep lyric, but the first that came to mind to me is:
If you're offended by this song, you're clearly doing something wrong
If you're offended by this song, you're probably saying
Boys will be
Boys will be
Boys will be
Boys will be boys....
But girls will be women
The whole song is..... disheartening