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andre1969 ·

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andre1969
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  • Re: Project Cars--You Get to Vote on "Hold 'em or Fold 'em"

    I can always tell when the thermostat first opens up on my '85 Silverado, because the gauge goes up a bit more than half-way as it gets up to operating temperature, and then it drops down a bit. After that, it usually stays constant. Except for that one time I overheated it driving into DC last year. Oops!
  • Re: Project Cars--You Get to Vote on "Hold 'em or Fold 'em"

    Now that I think about
    Let us not forget that idiot lights have returned! Many cars nowadays no longer have temperature gauges. Both my Forester and Fiesta are examples, and I find it highly annoying (for my part). Apparently dash space is just too valuable these days, what with all the electronics and idiot lights....
    Want the ultimate in cost cutting? When an idiot light on my 2000 Park Ave comes on, the HUD shows the warning "Check Gages". They couldn't aven afford the "u"! :p

    The Park Ave only has a gauge for fuel and temperature, but it has a trip computer that lets you cycle through various functions, and where the odometer normally is, it can display battery amps and oil pressure. It will also show the coolant temp in Fahrenheit. I think it'll show it in Celsius too if you hit the metric button, but can't remember.

    My 2012 Ram has a coolant gauge and fuel gauge, but idiot lights for oil and amps. There's space for the extra two gauges though. I think you have to either pay extra for them, or they come standard with the nicer trim levels.

    One reason, I imagine, they went to idiot lights back in the late 50's and 60's over real gauges was cost cutting, but I wonder if it was simply that the gauges they used at the time were pretty cheap, and not always very accurate? The amp gauge, especially, in those older cars tended to jump around alot. And if you were sitting at a traffic light with the turn signal on, the needle would dance in rhythm with the turn signal.

  • Re: Is the vehicle you drive a ticket target?

    Topaz drivers probably get pulled over in states where they actually enforce left lane camping laws. Or they get hit with visual citations...too much visible exhaust, something from the undercarriage dragging, etc...
  • Re: Project Cars--You Get to Vote on "Hold 'em or Fold 'em"

    It looks sort of bluish green to me, unless my eyesight is going bad. FWIW, the color chart I looked up also had a color called "Sumatra Green" that had sort of an aquatic hue to it.

    Silver with a red/burgundy interior can be a really nice combination, though. Back in late 1996 I looked at a '76 or so Newport that was for sale locally. 4-door hardtop, silver, burgundy vinyl interior and, I think, a burgundy top. It had a 400, IIRC. I started it up though, and it was missing half of the exhaust system, was leaking fuel in the engine compartment, and the rear quarters were rusty where they tucked under at the bottom. It actually looked good at a quick glance, but when I saw it up close with all those problems I passed.

    My '86 Monte Carlo was a 2-tone gray over silver, and had a burgundy cloth interior. It was pretty sharp looking, back in the day. By the time Mom gave it to me though, the hood and roof were faded pretty badly.

    Wow, it's kind of wild to think how fast the time has gone by. I hadn't even thought about that silver Newport for a long time. At the time, it was an 18 year old car (well, okay, 19 model years). And yet now, another 18 years have slipped past...
  • Re: Inconsiderate Drivers (share your stories, etc.)

    When I was in the tool business, I wasn't thinking one day and I loaded about a dozen floor jacks
    in the back of my little Nissan pickup. They each weighed probably 75 pounds.

    As I drove over the Vincent Thomas Bridge my steering was as light as a feather and I realized that my front tires were close to being off the ground! It scared the heck out of me!

    I quickly found homes for those jacks!
    Back in high school, I worked part time after school at a veterinary clinic. We had to move, because the grocery store a few spaces down was expanding, and in the process was going to take out an empty store right next to it, a consignment shop, our vet clinic, and the video store on the other side of us. We found another location about a half mile away.

    Well, over some break...either the Friday after Thanksgiving, or a Friday around Christmas, we moved. Only problem...the movers showed up that morning, drunk. They backed the truck in behind the building, kind of cock-eyed, put the ramp down. But then, while one of the guys was standing on the ramp, they moved the truck. Pulled forward, so the edge of the ramp dropped off the curb, and then backed up, and when the edge hit the curb, the ramp, well it kind of popped upward, and threw that guy off. At that point, the doctor sent them on their way, and we just rounded up a bunch of pickup trucks to do the job.

    Granddad let me borrow his '85 Silverado...the one I still have, and that I overloaded with dirt a few years ago, overheated it in DC, pulled out a tree stump with, and did other abusive things to over the years. Back then, it had a camper shell on it, which meant that, while you couldn't dump dirt in it, you could pile things higher, than if it didn't have that shell.

    I didn't even think about it, but when it came time to move all the dog and cat food over, we just kept piling it in the back of the truck. And piling. And piling. And not even keeping track of how much weight was going in back there.

    When it came time to drive it over to the new store, I noticed that the steering felt funny...way too light. The exit from that shopping plaza was down a fairly steep hill, and then there was a right turn out onto the main road. I remember going down that hill, and the truck seemed to over-ride the brakes. And going around that turn, I swear it felt like it was going to tip! I got scared at that point, put on the flashers, and limped over to the new store at a snail's pace.

    After we unloaded the truck, I took a tally of everything, and added up all the weights. Looking back, I wonder if I goofed somewhere, but I came in at 5,000 lb! In retrospect though, I wonder if that was anywhere near what it was. Personally, I'd think that for any given volume, dirt would weigh more than dog and cat food. But, when they dump a cubic yard in an 8-foot bed, it doesn't fill the whole thing up. The peak of the pile is above the top of the bed rail, but then it tapers out to the sides, and front and back. In contrast, we had that dog food packed in there tight. And to the ceiling of the camper shell.

    Also, more food for thought...when I overloaded the truck with dirt, I really didn't notice much difference in the way it handled. It didn't list like the Andrea Doria when I made a turn. It wasn't any harder to stop. Steering felt about the same. And while I was gentle taking off with the load of topsoil, the extra weight didn't seem to strain the truck any. So I'm pretty sure that dog food load, if not 5,000 lb, was definitely heavier than the 2800 lob of topsoil. Plus, I guess the camper shell would have added what, maybe 200 lb or so? And that would've helped make it a bit top heavy.

    Regardless, I always kept my mouth shut to Granddad, and never confessed to him about overloading his truck! B)