Double Decker Bus Vs Low Bridge

Here is where art meets science, meet goofing off at a low bridge as a driver runs into it with a double decker bus.


SEMA SHOW Hummer exotic cars & rims

SEMA SHOW Hummer exotic cars & rims
Originally uploaded by airgap

This is from the Sema Show, a Hummer H3. It looks like a Terminator edition that Arnold should be standing near!

I guess with Hummer on the brink of being extinct, GM is pulling out all the stops. It is amazing what a little bailout money will do! I can hear the meeting in the board room, "Boss, since we received the extra money, can I make the robotic Hummer now???"

Toyota Hilux Engine - A Brief History

Toyota Hilux Engine - A Brief History
By Chris Hamilton

The Toyota Hilux engine has changed many times since 1968 when the Hilux first debuted. Back then, it was powered by a small, 1.5 litre 4-cylinder. It has since evolved many times over with some models maintaining a 4-cylinder engine although now they're bigger, more powerful and even turbo or diesel powered (or both) while some models made a jump to larger displacement V6 engines. This article will provide a brief timeline into the history of the Toyota Hilux engine.

Toyota R Engine
The R engine was the first family of engines to grace the Toyota Hilux. The R engine was a 4-cylinder petrol (gasoline) that was used in various forms from 1968 to 1995. The 2R, 3R, 8R, 8R-C, 8R-E, 12R, 18R, 18R-C, 18R-E, 20R, 22R, 22R-E, and 22R-TE were all the variations of the R family of engines to be used in the Hilux. In the beginning, the 2R was a 1.5 litre that grew and had various factory modifications through the 2.4 litre 22R-E used in 1995. The 22R has a reputation as one of the best Toyota Hilux engine ever used for longevity and reliability of easily being able to clock 500,000 kilometers (300,000 miles).

Toyota VZ Engine
The VZ was the first family of V6 engines ever used in the Toyota Hilux. The VZ engine ran on petrol (gasoline) and all versions featured electronic fuel injection. The Hilux made use of the 3VZ from 1988 to 1995 at which point it used the 5VZ. Displacement increased from 3.0 to 3.4 litres and power jumped from 112 kW (150 hp) to 142 (190 hp). The 5VZ (or the 5VZ-FE to be exact) has been touted as the best V6 Toyota Hilux engine ever used for its reliability, light weight, and excellent fuel economy. Hilux owners with the 3VZ engine often seek out a 5VZ to install rather than rebuilding or replacing a 3VZ with problems or high kilometers.

Toyota RZ Engine
In 1996, some models of Hilux went back to 4-cylinders with the RZ. The RZ was a family of 4-cylinder engines that consisted of the 1RZ-E, 2RZ-FE and 3RZ-FE. Their displacements were 2.0 litres, 2.4 litres, and 2.7 litres respectively and they produced 78 kW (105 hp), 106 kW (142 hp), and 112 kW (150 hp) also respectively. The 1RZ saw limited production mostly in Japan and select parts of Asia. The 2RZ first came to life in 1995 and ceased production in 2004 (2004 being the last model year this engine was used in a Hilux). Like the 2RZ, the 3RZ also came to life in 1995 and it's still in use to this day.

You can review a thorough history of the Toyota Hilux engine as well as gain knowledge for reading Toyota Hilux engine numbers and it's also recommended to read about all diesel and petrol (gasoline)

PowerSlot Nissan's and pod setup info

News from Power Slot to show this afternoon.

Mind Bending Spoon Cadillac by Uri Geller

Spoon Cadillac by Uri Geller

Spoon Cadillac by Uri Geller Clos Up

This custom-built 1974 Cadillac which adorns 5,000 pieces of silverware is the creation of Uri Geller, one of the world's most famous spoonbenders. And 1000 of these spoons and forks were given by the children from around the world, and some of the treasured pieces were owned, or used by famous personalities. Some of the pieces on this custom-built 1974 Cadillac were arched by Uri Geller using his "brainpower", while the remaining were artfully shaped by his friend Avi Pines, a famous Israeli sculptor. I cant vouch for the "mind bending" part but the car sure looks really cool.

BKW: Andy Hampsten, 1986 - Inside La Vie Claire

Belgian Knee Warmers has a stellar article this morning, on Andy Hampsten's recollections of the feud between Greg Lemond and Bernard Hinault during the 1986 Tour de France. For the uninformed, and if you are a normal American you are probably uninformed about cycling, Lemond was promised by Hinault that he would ride for him that year. This was in exchange for the work Lemond did the previous year in bringing Hinault to Paris in Le Maillot Jaune. Instead, in 1986, Bernard was obviously riding for himself. Greg Lemond finished in yellow to become the first American to ever win Le Tour de France in one of the most memorable races in history.

The confrontation is now top of mind as the cycling world is waiting to see what happens when comeback kid Lance "Mellow Johnny" Armstrong and his Astana team are rejoined by 2007 Tour champion Alberto Contador. Words have already been exchanged from the moment Armstrong announed he was coming out of retirement to join Astana. Contador has stated that he isn't riding domestique for Amstrong, who publically thinks that Contador talks too much.

I personally think it's all moot however. Armstrong is 37 years old, 7-time champion or not, and he looked brutalized after his very respectable 7th placing in the recent Tour of California. Two days in he had the craggy, jagged "race face" we usually only see on him after the third day in the Alps. Contador won the 2008 Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta Espana grand tours, the lformer without even training (he was literally sitting on a Mediterranean beach, lamenting his Tour de France snub when he got the call for Italy.) He's already won the 2009 Volto Algarve stage race in Portugal, and is considered a favorite in the upcoming Belgian Spring Classics.

I respect Armstrong for everything he's done for cycling, especially bringing so many American fans into the fold, but I seriously doubt he even be around for the Tour de France, much less finish it. It's a long way to July and it looked like he left a lot on the road in California. There are a lot of new names coming up in cycling to take over his legendary place in the peleton, and Alberto Contador is one of them.

Car Crushed by Giant Pumpkin - For Fun

No Comment, but hilarious!!!

Pimp my Cardboard Ride - Kids with Mad Skillz

Pimp my cardboard Ride
Pimp my cardboard ride
These guys have it all, the cars, the rims, the crazy mad looks and of course the car babe off to the left. The only thing they don't have is a drivers license, but when they get them, watch out!!!

Beardog Racing Lotus 34

The Beardog Racing Lotus 34 has been a labour of love. Finding the reference has taken many hours of research and surfing Slotforum and the web. Again only 50 will be produced, complete with decals to assemble either the car as it is now in the Parnelli Jones museum, or as it raced in the1964 Indianapolis 500.

Colin Chapman built three Lotus 34's for the Indianapolis 500 in 1964, each one had the same specifications, Engine: V8, dual overhead camshafts per bank, fuel injected, 255ci. 475bhp at 8,250rpm; Gearbox: ZF two-speed, Suspension: four wheel independent; Chassis: offset to left of centerline by 2 3/8 inches; Brakes: four wheel disc. Single seat speedway racing car. All three were entered by the works team. All three cars were used in practice.

Team Lotus, showed up in 1963 with the then-new (and very controversial!) 15" Firestone tires, but for 1964, Colin Chapman (over the objections of Ford!) brought Dunlop to the Speedway, apparently for the contingency money, depending on whose account you read. Dunlop apparently did not figure on the sustained high speeds of Indy, especially when compared to their normal venue of road racing, and supplied tires with treads that were either too thick, too soft, or both.

The car modeled is the car that Jim Clark raced at the 1964 Indianapolis 500, earning the pole position with a speed 159.337 which was 7 mph faster than the lap record. During the race Jim had severe problems with the Dunlop tyres and only completed 44 laps. His car experienced tread "chunking" midway into the event, which quickly developed into the tread peeling off the tire, the resultant imbalance and extreme vibration breaking the left side rear suspension, and ending his race prematurely.

Beardog kits are available with everything you need to build a very unusual Slot Car. All components are ala carte, Body kit, 4 different motor choices, Chassis kit, Wheels and world renowned Ortman Tyres are all available, so that the customer can build a fast competitive racing slot-car, or a beautiful shelf queen with a full length driver and interior.

BODY KIT COMPONENTS:Resin Parts: Body, Driver figure, Driver head, Seat and Dashboard, Engine Intake manifolds and Exhaust, Gearbox Transaxle, 4 Wheel Inserts.White Metal parts : Fuel fillers, Steering wheel, Engine Transistor Box, Roll Bar, 8 fuel Injection Trumpets,Polycarbonate Windscreen, and a comprehensive Decal sheet featuring two styles of race numbers, for practice, race and as the car appears now, Instruments Dials, Rivet Details, Dutz Fasteners, Seatbelts, Lotus Decals, Racing Stripe, and full sponsor decals.

Each body kit comes complete with full color history and photos of all three Lotus 34's.

THE CHASSIS KIT: Spring Steel Chassis kit with assembly guide, Drill blank 3/32” Rear axle, Rear axle Oilite Bearings, 16G piano wire front axle and brass tubing for front wheel retainers, Guide flag, Pick up braids, Silicon leadwire and ferrules, Precision Crown Gear, and Optional Rear Axle Ballrace Set.63 with the then-new (and very controversial!) 15" Firestone tires, but for 1964, Colin Chapman (over the objections of Ford!) brought Dunlop to the Speedway, apparently for

MOTOR PACKS: No less than 4 motor pack options are available from mild to wild.

WHEELS AND TYRES: Superb quality aluminium wheels and world renowned Ortman Tyres.



Thursday Hate

Either the bike gods are firmly aligned against me or I am enduring a test of will and if successful will be winning Proctor this year.

When the Max Lelli arrived back in December, my exuberance was tempered drastically by the fact that a certain, now-bankrupt, shop had put it together without a torque wrench, or any assembly paste. Even then, the steering tube was cracked and the fork had to be replaced immediately. I was lucky enough to get the bike out of the shop before the bank chained the doors.

Then about two weeks ago, I was giving the frame a routine check over and found a crack in the seat tube. Taking the seat post out, I found the crack to be about half an inch long coming down from the seat collar, through to the inside. The clamp was also quite ill fitting, too tight even when completely loose.

The only savior in this fiasco has been the willingness of Max Lelli Bikes and my teammate who set the deal up, Emanuele, to resolve the situation immediately. The new frame was shipped from Italy on Monday and arrived this afternoon.

However, when I called with the tracking number, they wouldn't release any other info to me as I was not the shipper or receiver. And when Emanuele called to see if a courior could come pick it up rather than wait for the slated Friday delivery, he was sneakily told no. He would have to pick it up himself.

Imagine his shock upon arriving at the Halsted and Division pick up station to find the box in at least three pieces.

Fedex Fail.

I of course got this news five minutes after walking into the apartment, soaking wet, to find the bike room trash can strewn all over the floor, the couch 45 degrees out of position, a puddle of piss on the carpet, and Kedzie lounging in the off-limits chair. Then the phone rang with Emanuele's news.

Finally, after all that, I had to get on the bike and endure Randy's spin drills - ending with 10 minutes at least 130 rpm. At least I had some motivation. Kicking a Fedex driver in the head over and over and over and over.

Again, Max Lelli and Emanuele have come through in the clutch. The upgraded frame, with an integrated seat post is on the way and will be here Saturday. One teammate says I should stick with my old model as the bottom bracket is stiffer. Any weight savings will be neutralized by the loss in power from the flex. I heard Chippo didn't like it when he tried it, but then again, I ain't putting no 1900 watts against any bottom bracket any time soon. When I talked to Randy about it, he said the bigger issue is the stiffness of the rear triangle, and that both should be frames should be equally stiff.

If anybody has any experience with a variety of stiffness in their bottom brackets I'd like to hear about it. I have above average power for a Cat 4, but nothing that would flex a frame like Chippo. My old aluminum bracket flexed quite a bit more than my current Lelli frame, and I imagine the new frame won't revert back to that.

Oh, sorry I got off track here. Fuck Fedex. And get a Lelli. Just ship it throught UPS. Or just ride in Italy.

Good night.

Guitar Mobiles on the road, Again!!!

There are very few guitar art cars but I think it all started with Ray Nelson and his Guitarcycle. Then there was the Acousti Car and finally the world biggest guitar bicycle by Didi Senft, a cycling fan, who made his debut in Strokow, Germany. I don't know about you but it might be a bit tricky playing while driving.

Ray Nelson and his Guitar Motocycle
Ray Nelson and His Guitarcycle
Acousti Car
Guitar Bicycle
Guitar Bicycle

Motivational Poster of the Day

Week's end is almost here! And so is Cavendish. The man is a fuckin' missile.

(thanks to HTATBL)

SCX Reese's CoT Nascar gallery link

See photos of the new SCX Reese's Kevin Harvick CoT at this link.

Hump Day

February 25th: 178 pounds. (Goal reached. I don't think it's wise to lose any more weight for a guy my size. I had a body fat analysis last week and it was 5.8%.)

8 Days.

(Sniff...) "Apricot?"


Powercranks. The answer to the question nobody asked. Oh, sorry, PEZ. (Seriously though, I think it's possible to obsess too much about cycling and this is that line.)


What a great ride home today, although the day started off a bit auspiciously on the way out. I got honked at twice on Lake Ave in Glenview. Single riders always get ganged up on, but I was still surprised. Except for the incident last August, drivers pass with plenty of room due to this road's wide lanes. Leaving work was a completely different story, however. 52 degrees and a stiff wind out of the west had me cruising back east at an easy 25 mph plus on my 30 pound, fendered, squeaking Jamis Coda, Clyde. Too warm for the winter bibs, but not warm enough for bare legs. So I sweated it up in the bibs.


Roscoe Village is profiled on Chicago Cycling Examiner.


I got my order of Mad Alchemy the other day. It smells like Junior Mints. I can't wait to use it.

Oldster defaces ride with Buddhist text???

A Taiwanese pensioner covers every inch of his four vehicles with virtuous words from Buddhist texts.
Li Zongxiong, 71, a workshop owner, started to 'tattoo' his car, two trucks and a motorbike nine years ago.
His words virtually cover the vehicles, including the mirrors, windscreens, bodywork, doors, wheels - and even the number plates.
Li admitted his hobby had caused him trouble: "Passers-by thought I was doodling on the cars of others, and police found it hard to believe that someone would cover his own vehicle in writing," he explained.
Li, who has only an elementary school education, said most of the words were taken from Buddhist texts.
"I felt public morality was deteriorating, so I started to write some words of virtue on my vehicles," he told China News Network.
"Each day I write something down. If I spot a place where the writing has worn away, I write it again."
Li?s son, Li Jiasheng, said the family now forbids his father to buy new vehicles, since they know he will write all over them - no matter how much they cost.
But his grandson has promised that when he grows up and makes some money he will buy him a big bus to write on and indulge his hobby.
via ananova

Atomic Dog Art Car - George Clinton Mothership Connection

Where have you been all my life Atomic Dog Art Car!!!!

Atomic Dog Art Car
An art car extension to the Mothership Connection, "The Atomic Dog, One Nation Under Groove" pays tribute to musician George Clinton and his funkadelic band, Parliament. Band members and dogs made of mosaic mirror shards mingle with beaded flying saucers, guitars, drums, and lots of chrome pipes while one big mirrored dog guards the roof.

Led by veteran art car artist and teacher, Rebecca Bass, the 2006 Art Class at Waltrip High School created this award winning art car in four short months. Students worked after hours, on weekends, and over spring break to craft this stunning masterpiece. 

George Clinton and the Atomic Dog Art Car
Stories about this amazing vehicle spread across the country and eventually reached George Clinton. In June of 2006, funkadelics star George Clinton came to Houston to autograph the car. George and his entourage were very impressed with The Atomic Dog and its creators. They all became instant art car fans!


USF1 video

USF1 launched!

USF1 will launch in only a few hours, who will be the sponsor? Who will drive for this team? All will be answered soon...

New Slot It Porsche on the way soon

Photos from Slot It of the latest Porsche 962 that will be available soon.

1960 Cadillac Fin Attaché Case - Reusing 50's Cars

This photo of a 1960 Cadillac Fin Attaché Case was sent in by Kelly and was made by Steve Heller's Fabulous Furniture. On this amazing site you will find a ton more art cars made from classic 50's car parts, wood furniture and other sculpture made from assorted motorcycle parts.

1960 Cadillac Fin Attaché Case
1960 Cadillac Fin Attaché Case

Here is what he has to say about his art car work:

"I love wood and metal, but in my heart I'm a car freak.

The Cadillacs of the 1950's are the cars I love the most. I've collected dozens of them over the years, and have incorporated them into furniture and sculpture, hoping to keep them from going to the crusher (perhaps the most evil piece of machinery ever invented). I have made cedar chests, entertainment units, beds, lights, and other pieces of usable furniture out of these once rusting piles of metal. I am, after all, my fathers son."

- Steve Heller

1957 Buick Two-Tiered Bar
1957 Buick Two-Tiered Bar


I took a lesson from Saturday and watched the final ToC stage over both the TourTracker (online) and on Versus. Not bad coverage, I was able to conclude after seeing both at the same time. Versus picked up at 4pm, and did a recap as though it were live up Palamor Mountain to just before the Cole Grade, and then it was live live. Earlier online I was able to keep with the initial attacks, but actually missed the much of the last half of the Palamor climb, where Levi lost contact with his team in order to stay with Jens Voigt. I was watching it sporadically while I cleaned my bike and the kitchen, putzing around after my morning ride.

I had just come back to the computer to see Levi riding in that chase group by himself and instead of wondering what had happened, I just turned on channel 55. Bob Roll was doing his usual start line interviews and Paul Sherwin was prepping the audience on the details for the day's ride, then after the commercial break I was able to see just exactly what led to Levi being exposed like that.

And props to Cav for at least starting the day, but I can't blame Boonen for heading home. No need to put yourself through something like that when the spring classics are just around the corner.

The riding this weekend was another mental sufferfest, building up the callouses on the saddle and in the mind riding indoors. Five of us met in a teammate's garage for four hours on Saturday and three yesterday. I know it was beautiful, but it was still cold, and we'd agreed to get in a max effort rather than drive all the way out to Winfield for the ABD indoor timetrial series.

We watched The Boune Ultimatum and 2003 Rhomandy on Saturday. On Sunday, just as we started the 10K TT effort about 90 minutes into the workout, Indy and Marion were tied up while the bad guys were about to get their faces melted off. Doing another hour of endurance to make our scheduled three hours was the toughest part of the entire weekend. Staring at another hour after nearly 15 minutes at threshhold was nearly unbearable.

But coming home and seeing the peleton amid the palm-trees and the throngs of short-sleeved wearing fans gave me all the hope I need.

One more weekend of this shit - currently reading 14 degrees on my computer screen - and then it's off to 8 days in California. No concerns for me except the wheel in front or the climb ahead.

Nine hours scheduled next weekend. Let's just call Saturday and Sunday "long" and "long." Pray with me we can do it outside.

Slotcar-Episode 2

A bit more madness from "Slotcar"... love the ride with Denny!

Versus Hate

Thanks to Versus not picking up the coverage of the Tour of California until an hour into the race, we missed any of work done by Astana to keep the contenders in check on the climb up to Millcreek Summit. By time coverage did start, the break of 10 was already off, and we had to wait until the last lap to see anything interesting, when Frank broke away.

Tactically, the Versus directors should've known that the early action in a stage like today would've been great viewing.


More ToC coverage from the Chicago Cycling Examiner, and be on the look out for another entry in the neighborhood series, on Roscoe Village.

That's what I'm takin' about

Let's keep it up people! The Turin Ride High Life Foundation needs your help! Do you have any idea how much we spend a month on chamois creme alone?!?

Please do your part

Brand new posts are up on my Chicago Cycling Examiner page. Please click on them. And have your friends do the same. I have added racing coverage as well today.

I am paid by unique hits (and not very well) so the more people who read it the better. And we all benefit. All proceeds go to the Turin Ride High Life Foundation.

Star Wars Car For Sale

I came this Star Wars Car for on ebay today, a Custom Painted 2007 Chevy Cobalt LS. called the "Star Car" painted by Greatlakes Airbrush. 15 year auto tech and Artist John Deltgen with brother of 25 year Sign & Graphic Art expreriance with over 30 Awards, Artist David Peterman. This is pretty amazing car and for a mere $20K it can be your.

Start Wars Car Yoda Close Up
Star Wars Car - C3PO and R2D2
Star Wars Car - Darth Vader
Star Wars Art Car

P0171 and P0174 Codes - Dont Replace Oxygen Sensor Before Reading

P0171 and P0174 Codes - Don't Replace an Oxygen Sensor Before Reading This
By Dennis Bandy

So your car's CEL (Check Engine Light) is on and you had the codes scanned at a local parts store. Your car has either a P0171, P0174 lean fault code or both stored in the computer, these codes are based on Oxygen Sensor (O-2) readings. A lean code or codes indicate that there's too much oxygen in the exhaust. Remember parts stores have employees that have good intentions but they may not have the experience necessary to interpret what the trouble codes really mean. These codes are based on oxygen measurements in the exhaust. A common mistake with lean codes is to replace the oxygen sensors. This could be a very expensive mistake that will not fix the problem. Especially if both codes are present, because the chance of both O-2 sensors failing at the same time is very unlikely.

Get a FREE, No Obligation, Extended Auto Warranty Quote in Less than a Minute!

Most likely the cause is a vacuum leak. A vacuum leak can be caused from a vacuum hose, intake gasket or maybe even a leak in the air intake hose from the MAF (Mass Air Flow Sensor). Listen for a hissing sound that may lead you to the source of the problem. Some technicians will use a propane bottle with a hose attachment to help pinpoint vacuum leaks. With today's computers it's not quite as easy to check for vacuum leaks this way because the ECU (Electronic Control Unit) will compensate quickly for the added fuel and a change in idle is harder to notice. Oxygen sensor readings can be monitored with a scan tool while checking for leaks with propane, by looking for increased readings when enriching the mixture. Another way technicians can check for vacuum leaks is with a smoke test. By introducing smoke into a vacuum hose on the engine, the leak will be revealed when the smoke escapes from the problem area.

Aftermarket air filters that use oil on the element can sometimes damage the MAF. Over oiling the air filter may allow some excess to get on the MAF sensor wire or element. This can alter the reading, fooling the ECU into seeing more or less air flow therefore changing the air/fuel mixture incorrectly. I once worked on a car that would not start that had a problem with a MAF. When looking at the wire in the MAF, there was a burned piece of trash that made it's way past the air filter. After cleaning the sensor the car ran perfectly. The ash that was on the MAF sensor wire was altering the reading by enriching the mixture so much that the car could not run. After talking with the customer, he said the air filter was just changed. This was obviously when some trash got into the air intake hose that settled on the hot wire of the MAF.

Fuel Pressure could also cause a lean condition. If the fuel filter is clogged or the fuel pump pressure is low, there could be higher level of oxygen in the exhaust also. Most of the time though, the ECU will compensate for the reduced fuel volume. So this is one of the least likely causes of a lean code.

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About the Author. Hi I'm Dennis Bandy, thanks for reading. I've been an ASE Master Auto Technician for over 20 years and have also sold professional auto tools since 2005. I am in a unique position to help readers with automotive repair related topics since I've had personal hands on experience with many auto repairs and automotive specialty tools. This is not a hobby for me, this is my business. Your feedback is really appreciated, if you thought this article was helpful or informative, please rate it below (thank you in advance).

Half the battle when it comes to auto repair is having the right tools, that's why we have supplied name-brand automotive tools (like OTC, Makita, Ingersoll), shop supplies and automotive shop equipment at discount prices, at DenLors Tools since 2005, many readers put us on their favorites list and visit our site when auto specialty tool needs arise, we hope you do the same.

Slot car photography-link to tutorial

So I've posted a tutorial about taking slot car photos at this link. Think macro, tripod, white balance... and practice.

I'm, Too Sexy For This Car!

I'm, too sexy for this car
Originally uploaded by Maxx Manboeuf

Sexy Car Show girls show off new car. I see why these car shows always create a buzz!

Sexy Car Show Girls
Daisy Duke Car Wash
Sexy Car Wash
Sexy Car Wash Girls

Harley covered with a million lights

This amazing motorcycle Harley Davidson Electra Glide covered in a million lights was taken back in 1974. Photo sent by Sparky who left a nice comment about my daughters pen car. Thanks I needed something to write about.
Harley Davidson Electra Glide covered in a million lights
Photographer: (1974) Steven R. Hudson, Patterson, GA
The event was in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Hummer H3 gallery

See a gallery of photos on SCXWorldWide of the new SCX Hummer H3.

Thursday Hate

You knew this one was coming...

The Weather.




And that ride home from downtown last night was excellent. Beautiful. And by that I mean I hated every goddamn 30-mile-an-hour-head-wind, snow-in-my-face, tires-skidding-out, cabs-passing-too-close, fingers-and-toes-frozen 30 minutes of it.

GOD I can't wait for training camp. 15 Days.

"Morrissey! Is that you?!? Get your fat ass up here!!!"

Hump Day

A birthday haiku for Tattooed, Ninja Stare
Eating fear and shitting watts
Good wheels and big balls


February 17: 179 lbs.

16 days.

"Yeah, but you're still only going at light speed..."


From this page on the Armchair Racer website:

The tragic loss of life and property in Victoria following the worst bushfires in our history has affected us all.

In our first step to support the national relief effort, Armchair Racer would like to auction two rare slot cars and all the proceeds will go directly to The Salvation Army Bushfire Appeal. Furthermore we will cover all shipping costs to the winners, no matter the location.

Both are new and supplied in the original boxes. Details of the cars:

Car 1 is an Orange Warsteiner Porsche 956KH produced by This car was manufactured in 2008 for the European Championship and only 50 were produced.

This is the first ‘fantasy’ livery produced by and is in the colours. In typical style this is a magnificent looking slot car and without doubt will perform brilliantly on the track.

Car 2 is a little older. This Limited Edition TVR was manufactured in 2002 by Scalextric for the members of the Australian Scalextric Racing and Collectors Club (ASRCC). Only 250 units were produced and the Scalextric part number is C2452. The car being offered is #197 and will be supplied with the original certificate.

Rather than place these cars on any online auction site we are asking you to place your bid directly to us to avoid any unnecessary 3rd party fees.

This page will be updated daily – usually around 8.30pm Sydney time and also randomly if and when required – with the highest bid receive to date. The highest bidders first name and location will be also advised. If two bids are received with the same $ value we will accept the first bid as the winniing bid.

Both auctions commenced Tuesday 17 February 5.00pm and will end Monday 2 March at 9.15pm and the winners names and the winning bids will be advised by 9.30pm.

Payment may be made either to Armchair Racer and we will forward the proceeds to The Salvation Army or you may make your payment directly to
If choosing the second option we must receive a copy of your receipt before we ship your car.

Good luck and thank you in advance for supporting this cause.

Bids are to be emailed to Simply advise if you are bidding on Car 1 or Car 2 and place your bid in A$. Please also include your name and location.

Auto Repossessions Repo's At All Time High!

Auto Repossessions are at an all time high, but the Repo Man is getting left out in the cold! Customers are returning their cars, trucks, and SUV's at an alarming rate, but are bringing them to the dealerships to drop them off voluntarily! It will still show as a Repossession on your credit, but what are customers to do when they cannot afford the car note anymore.

Here are a few tips that may help someone that is going through this dilemma:

1. Make sure to call the lender and try to work something out. You never know until you call, but this is the first thing to consider. The lender really does not want to repossess your car because they will most likely take a loss when they sell it--and remember, you get charged the losses taken when it sells!

2. Try to trade your car for something more affordable. Remember to check your ego at the gate and ask your salesman for help in finding something that will accomplish your goals. It may not be what you WANT right now, but may be what you NEED! Don't take that the wrong way, just trying to help.

3. Advertise your car in the newspaper or Internet to try and sell it to get out from under the notes. Here is something creative--if you get an offer that is within $3000-$4000 of payoff, go buy a car with a cheaper note and apply the rebate to your payoff to get the title cleared so you can sell. Make sure when you buy your new car that you get a car payment that is manageable.

These are just a few ideas to keep you out of Repossession status. Don't be afraid to get creative because times like these call for creative thinkers. New Car and Used Car Sales are going up each month as well so there is light at the end of the tunnel. And, Never say that it cant get any worse because it can always get worse!

1-year-old girl gets her very own toy pen art car.

Girl in her toy pen car
My smallest daughter has always been fascinated by my Mercedes Pens Art Car covered in 10,000 pens. And every time she sees it she wants to go over, sit on the car and play with the pens. So I decided for her first birthday that she needed her own pen car so I "penned her ride" as well with crayola caps and other colorful felt tips. I even tried to spell out her name on the front. She loves her Toy Pen Art Car and now that its raining we brought in the house and she sits in it while watching her favorite DVDs, with her feet up on the dashboard. The only problem is that she managed to take off all the pens on the other side. No worries, daddy will fix it.

Car Heater Not Working - Blowing Cold Air!

Car Heater Not Working - Blowing Cold Air!
By Dennis Bandy

There are several reasons why your car's heater may be blowing cold air, instead of heat. It is important to understand how the heater works in your car before you can begin to try to diagnose why it is not working. First, there is NOT an electric heater element in the heater system in automobiles, like in portable heaters used in the home. The part that transfers heat into the passenger compartment is called a heater core. A heater core can be thought of as a miniature radiator. The car engine's coolant flows through the heater core while the fan (also called a blower), blows air through the heater core fins. When air blows through the heater core fins, it is warmed, therefore warming the passenger compartment.

Start by checking the coolant. As we already said coolant is what warms the heater core. So if the coolant is low, there may not be a sufficient amount of warmth to transfer heat to the air in the passenger compartment. Since it 's cold outside, low coolant may not effect the operating temperature of the engine significantly, so you won't be alerted to a coolant problem by the temperature gage on the instrument panel. Once the coolant is full, feel the heater hoses that go through the firewall. With the engine at normal operating temperature, BOTH of the heater hoses should be hot to the touch. If only one is hot, this indicates there is is a blockage in the heater core or there is air trapped in the heater core. Using a Lisle coolant funnel is helpful in purging the air from the cooling system. If the coolant is really brown, has been neglected, or if "stop leak" has been used at some point, the heater core could be stopped up. The blockage can sometimes be unstopped by removing the heater hoses and using a garden hose with a sprayer to flush the heater core out. If neither of the hoses are hot to the touch, there could also be a malfunctioning heater control valve, if used on the model you're working on. Check for presence of a heater control valve by following the heater hoses back to the engine. Sometimes, a vacuum line could have a break causing there to be no vacuum to operate the valve. Also it should be noted that if this is your first winter with this car (and you're unfamiliar with the car's repair history), the previous owner could have by-passed the heater core because of a leak. When a heater core leaks, usually they wet the passenger side floorboard. The labor cost to change heater cores is usually expensive, so sometimes people will loop the heater hoses and by-pass a leaking heater core instead of repairing it properly.

Next check for proper airflow. After you're sure the heater core is getting hot water flow, read the following information. Doors within the heater case are either controlled by electric actuators, cables or vacuum motors. Adjust the heat control to both extremes while listening for movement of the blend door. With a cable operated heater door it's easiest to hear the door thump when it closes. If the door is not operating, find the door that controls the airflow across the heater core. If there is an electric motor that controls the door, tapping on it can sometimes make it work temporarily for testing purposes. A vacuum operated motor needs vacuum to work, so using a handheld vacuum pump for testing is usually recommended. If the vacuum motor does not hold vacuum, the diaphragm is leaking requiring replacement. To go deeper into diagnoses of the control head's function and diagnosis, specific vehicle repair manual information is needed. But hopefully the basics laid out in this article has helped to get you started on the right track.

About the Author. Hi I'm Dennis Bandy, thanks for reading about my background. I've been an ASE Master Auto Technician for over 23 years and have also sold professional auto tools since 2005. I am in a unique position to help readers on certain automotive repair related topics since I've had personal hands on experience with many auto repairs and automotive specialty tools. Let me just say, this is not a hobby for me, this is my business. Your feedback is really appreciated, if you thought this article was helpful or informative, please rate it below (thank you in advance).

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Grand Am Stalling Answer
Half the battle when it comes to auto repair is having the right tools, that's why we have supplied name-brand automotive tools (like OTC, Makita, Ingersoll), shop supplies and automotive shop equipment at discount prices, at DenLors Tools since 2005, many readers put us on their favorites list and visit our site when auto specialty tool needs arise, we hope you do the same.

New Slot It Group C Jag's and chassis piece

A new chassis suspension piece to show today form Slot It. This is a very cool little sprung suspension piece that will fit any Slot It car. This is not a magnetic system, rather only springs and small adjustable bump-stops.
A pair of prototype Jaguar's shown at Nurnberg's Toyfair.


I read a bit today from Michael Pollan’s January 2007 New York Times article, “Unhappy Meals.” Michael Pollan is the author of “In Defense of Food” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”. I haven’t read either book, but from what I have gleaned from people who have, Pollan has a strong stance on the subject of whole foods and food culture versus food reductionism and science.

That is to say, he argues that by reducing our foods to mere delivery systems for macro- and micronutrients we are doing more harm than good. By taking the vitamins and anti-oxidants out of their context and the systems in which they work, we render them useless or even harmful.

Take for instance, the Omega-3 fad. Touted as a benefit of eating fish, we don’t realize that fish obtain the nutrient from green algae - its primary source, along with other leafy greens. As well, the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids come from the interaction in the body another essential nutrient, Omega-6, which is found in seeds and grains. Within naturally evolved food cultures this ratio is close to one to one and is linked to cell structure and function.

However, with the industrialization of grain-fed, Omega-6-heavy beef production, rather than free-range, grass-raised - and little to no consumption of green vegetables - the western eater receives almost no Omega-3s through intake of whole foods. Supplementing it in pill form is virtually ineffective unless Omega-6 consumption comes down.

The idea of food-culture resonates with me strongly. The so-called “French Paradox” contradicts everything about American food science: a diet loaded with fat, butter, and wine that produces, for the most part a healthy, fit population. The key is in whole foods, Pollan argues, in shunning heavily processed foods, in communal dining without snacking.

All food-cultures evolved along with their environment and available foodstuffs. For example, the majority of humans were once lactose intolerant, some entire populations still are, getting sick when they drink cow’s milk. Yet, certain genes that produce enzymes for its digestion were passed along over thousands of years as humans became agrarian, and spread until the populations adapted. This benefited the cows, too.

The reason I relate to so much to this idea is another book, published several years ago, called “Eat Right For Your Type.” I referenced in a past blog a cancer scare I had, years ago, that led to a massive and permanent weight loss. The falling of the Berlin wall in my life is the still that one life-changing event in 2001.

If you, in our time together, come to understand only one thing that defines me, it is this: I spent two months believing I had cancer and learning about what I had been putting in my body up to that point. It was like somebody had ripped off the heavy blanket covering me on a sunny day, and I will never go back. To eating like that, looking like that, or feeling like that. I don’t have so much of an issue with food itself - maintaining a pretty consistent weight and body size ever since - as I have with the food of the western diet.

Coming out of the battle victorious and armed with new knowledge I still had many questions for my doctor. Such as, why am I still so irregular? I felt terrible all the time, even though I was doing my damnedest to eat healthy, high fiber foods. His answer?

That’s just the American Diet.


So off to find more information I went and ended up at the homeopathic place on Addison, a block east of Damen. I spoke with a gentlemen there who informed me of Peter D’Adamo’s book, “Eat Right…” and said I should give it a read, being a Type O. He said that Type O’s have trouble processing wheat gluten and it makes them irregular. So I bought the book, then the idea, stopped eating wheat products, and within a week, was shitting like a champion.

The idea is simple, and sound I believe, regardless of any doctors who scoff at the science. Type O is the universal blood, in fact, because all other blood types evolved from it. That is a Type A can receive Type O, but not visa versa. This evolution took place as humans agrarianized and began cultivating more complex and starchy grains, as well as animal for dairy production.

Type Os are a hold over from hunter-gatherers. Therefore they are much less tolerant of grains with gluten, and most dairy products. The more simpler grains - like rice, and rye, leafy natural greens, and lean protein, the better. I don’t know much about the methodology behind D’Amado’s findings, except that it’s worked incredibly well for me.

When I’m able to follow it.

Just try avoiding wheat gluten. It’s nearly impossible to do so without having to constantly explain that you are not some Atkins Diet jerkass. “Come on, have a cookie!” “What do you do about pasta?!” It’s so tiring that sometimes I’d rather just acquiesce, not give the lecture, and then suffer in silence with a copy of Katy’s “People” for an hour under the soothing hum of the bathroom fan.

But lately, I’ve really tried get gluten out of my diet. I didn’t have a single piece of pizza at our latest cycling team function last night, and I’ve avoided the cafeteria at work since Day One, 2009. I bring my lunch every day. And empowering myself this way, starting the day off right – “leaving it all behind you,” as Louis Armstrong used to shill - albeit naturally, is really making a difference, and giving me more willpower to keep on eating right.

When you have a hobby like mine, and performance is everything, an issue like this can really take on weight. And with the mountains of California approaching in the distance, having a lighter load makes all the difference in the world.

Sorry to take the tone of this one in a downward spiral, but seriously, I urge everyone to take a more thoughtful look at what they are eating. Think of food as whole food and the whole person it makes you.

New BRM Porsche 917 prototype photos

Photos of the new BRM 1/24 Porsche 917k.

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