Archive for the ‘Automotive Related’ Category

Z32 LED HEADLIGHT RETROFIT HALOGEN 300ZX TWIN TURBO

Years ago, I remember thinking my first Z32 had incredibly bright headlights (compared to anything I had driven at that time). Flash forward 10 years, and my 06 (non HID) Honda Civic puts it to shame. What a difference 10 years of technology make.

I was incredibly disappointed while driving my current Z at night; it was damn near dangerous how lousy the stock Halogen projectors were. HID retrofit kits are fairly cheap, but they’re well known to not work correctly (and for being illegal) when installed in “non HID” designed housings, the most common issue being a non focused beam shooting bright light everywhere without the proper cutoff (blinding other drivers in the process).

So when a forum post introducing a new LED retrofit kit popped up (that was said to work correctly with the old Halogen housings), I took a chance and got in on the group buy. Here are my first impressions.

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JSWORKS_Mustang_Goodbye

I said goodbye to my 69 Mustang this week. Bittersweet to say the least. I’ll save the metaphors and just say after 6+ years and a lot of memories, it was time to move on. 

We shot our last scene with her on a beautiful moonlight night almost two weeks ago… she was supposed to leave the next day. Two weeks later – and a few “snowpocalypses” in between – she finally went on the trailer this Friday.

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Last weekend I had the pleasure of teaching a good friend the basics of welding out in the garage. Libby – AKA The Hobby Hoarder – is on a quest to become a professional amateur, tackling 52 “hobbies” in 52 weeks… and she’s almost there!

I’m consistently amazed by how much energy this girl has, and her tenacity/never give up attitude is awe inspiring. So glad I could play a small part in her journey. Check the video above, and full commentary/context can be found in her blog post below.

The Hobby Hoarder – Welding: More than just Metal

A week from yesterday I was sitting in an emergency room, bleeding through my homemade bandage of paper towels and an old ace bandage. My right arm sliced open by a car almost comically enacting revenge on me like a jilted lover (or the mythical “Christine” from the Stephen King novel).

While I waited for the ER staff to admit and eventually stitch me up, I had plenty of time, what felt like an eternity honestly, to ponder – how did I get here?

The Z build has become a lot like a bad relationship. The type of relationship that in your heart of hearts, you knew was doomed from the start. The brief highs never seem to outweigh the long periods of exhausting lows. But still, you keep trying. You keep thinking, I can fix it; I can SAVE it! You invest all your free time, energy, and money – and there are brief periods where it looks like you’re going to make it work – but it never seems to pan out. Always ending up right back where you started.

Eventually you hit rock bottom and do what you knew you should have done from the start… end it. The Z knew her time was up: I had reached my rock bottom. But sometimes just as jilted lovers do, she had to have the last word. 15 stitches later, I heard her loud and clear.

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SPL Radiator JPC Fabrication Z32 300ZX

Bear with me for a moment… have you ever heard of the book “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” by Robert M. Pirsig? The title tends to get thrown around in automotive circles – usually by car guys (watching other car guys) struggle with a stubborn part, [miss] diagnosis, or any other issue causing a hapless mechanic distress.

It’s cited in such a way as to say, take a break/calm down, get in a focused state of mind, and the answers will come; “you know, like ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.’” Having finally read the book last year, I can honestly say; people who throw that statement around have probably never read it!

The book touches very little on the art of motorcycle maintenance (or any Zen like state to accomplish said maintenance). The author himself stating, “it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles, either.”

Having said that, it’s a fantastic book, and I highly recommend it (for reasons other than the title implies). But I digress… at this point, you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with radiator repair? Stay with me just a little longer.

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Last Saturday I took a trip to the annual NASA Northeast 2011 season awards banquet – held at the incredible Avenue A Club (in Newark NJ of all places).

Sean over at SPL Pro Suspension (one of my build sponsors) suggested I join the NASA forums to get more info on road racing in my region (rules/classes/etc.), as well as link up with other drivers in my area.

The guys over at the NASA Northeast forum couldn’t have been more helpful! After answering many of my questions, they suggested I take a trip to the banquet as a way to meet fellow racers face to face and get an idea of what NASA’s all about. So my fiancée and I decided to take the trip down.

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