For going on 16 years now I have belonged to one, or numerous automotive related websites and forums at one time or another. Usually it would change from time to time as my interests changed and I built and sold various projects. Sometimes I would even build a specialty website catering to a single model or brand (this very website was at one time a Buick Regal specialty site!). But, the one thing that they all shared, was a common love for whatever it was, be it a Chevrolet, a Ford or even an import. The common interest usually was the dominant theme running throughout the community. Sure, when you take several hundred, thousand or tens of thousands of people, and you bring them all together, you will from time to time have friction. People are people and no one always gets along. When instances did flame up, the community, be it the members themselves ,or the site/groups moderators almost always did their best to extinguish the fires before they consumed the group as it was in the best interest of preserving the community. Which leads me to present time. We now have a rift in the Mopar, specifically the Dakota family, that is fostering an us versus them attitude, all the while a national level organization using it’s might to divide the community, and silence the voices of those that dare disagree with their agenda of separatism and personal attacks against those who shed light on their antics. Or to protect their vested interest in their largest vendor after numerous unhappy customers and poor work, or to cover up the current leaders personal agendas. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s nothing but bad news for the community, and for the hobby in general. We are part of a hobby that is under constant attack, be it from environmentalists, by legislators, or even simply by higher and higher fuel prices. The last people with whom we need to be feuding with are the very same people we share an interest with. Turning a national level organization into nothing more than a hammer to crush your supposed enemies does nothing to grow the hobby, and only drives more and more people away. Even now, they are losing members and many more are dropping out once their dues are up. Will these people disappear? Of course not, they will simply fragment off to smaller groups/sites and stay there. What purpose does that serve? When did splitting a group into two factioning armies ever produce anything beyond a constant feud?
Had this clean survivor in the shop today, it’s a 64′ Comet. It’s a 289/4 speed car. My grandfather had one just like this. Read more
This came into the shop today. This is a 2006 Chevrolet Kodiak 4500. I’ts powered by a Duramax and came rolling in on 40x12x20 rubber. We upgraded it to 40x15x20 Nitto Grapplers. To say this truck is huge is an understatement. Not a bad way to blow 100 grand. Click below for more pics. Read more
I remember the days of bitching about the mess that was the Chrysler Lean-Burn system, the numerous vacuum lines that were made out of something resembling rubber, but dissolved when introduced to any temperature higher than human body temp, or fuel, or oil, and an ignition system/Carburetor that required a voodoo incantation and a sacrificial lamb to operate properly on the third Wednesday of every other month, on leap years only. However now, when something such as this clean example rolls into my bay, I gaze upon it with fond memories of adjusting carbs and messing with distributors. Skills that are utterly useless to most techs now in a world dominated by fuel injection and electronics. In a way I feel lucky to have had the chance to cut my teeth on old relics such as this (the REAL old timers will chuckle at that). They were a bitch to work on, and they would go in and out of tune with the beat of a butterflies wing. But, what they did do was force me as a young technician to fall back on my knowledge, the basics, and taught me how to diagnose and troubleshoot. Not just plug my scan tool in and read off a code. While I don’t think anyone will disagree that diagnosing today’s modern automobiles requires a much different span of knowledge, I will say that many young technicians are coming into the field never having touched a carb, or set a vacuum advance, and while those skills aren’t truly needed, I feel having those tools in your skill set is a good thing, and it makes me wonder, will the techs twenty years from now even care about those skills much as less possess them, or have I become the old man bitching about the good ol’ days gone by?