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The Monthly Newsletter ~ October 2017

The newsletter is a monthly collection of stuff of interest to car hobbyists. If you wish to submit an article or photo please go to the Submissions Page for info.

From Fred
I've been waiting for over 2 months for a response to my request for a bill to allow pre-1975 vehicles to be allowed to be able to use aftermarket exhaust parts. Currently vehicles newer than 1949 must use factory replacement parts or replacement parts exactly like factory. This means no conversions from single to dual exhaust and no mufflers louder than factory mufflers. Does any company make mufflers quieter than factory ones? Those opposed to any exhaust law change are State Police administrators who don't even train police cadets to look for vehicles with loud exhausts. And a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the State Police need a down payment of $10,000 just to begin looking for the tickets written for loud exhaust.

We are living in a time where just a couple of people think they should make decisions for thousands. This is your State Police - a couple of administrators decide that tens of thousands of car hobbyists need to ignore facts such as factory original or factory duplicate exhaust parts are not available for most antique vehicles and apparently go wander junkyards (are any left?) for those like new rust free exhaust parts for your Packard, Nash, Rambler, Kaiser, etc. What upsets me is taxpayer dollars are spent to send State Police administrators to the General Assembly to lobby against - you guessed it - taxpayers like you and me. Yes, we are living in a crazy time.

One good thing is that global warming seems to be dying a slow death. The new Al Gore movie and book have both bombed. His book on Amazon was somewhere in the 100,000+ range of best sellers while a book poking out all the errors in his movie was up to 134th place on best sellers on Amazon. I don't think even Al Gore believes in global warming. Ignore what he says and look at what he did. Al bought an ocean front beach home for almost $7 million dollars - right on the ocean where he has predicted that melting ice will cause the ocean to rise and swallow his expensive beach house. He spend $7 million on a house that he thought would sink into the ocean. Well, no really, I doubt even Al believes everything he says. Global warming has been good to Al. He left office in 2001 with an estimated net worth of under $2 million and now he's worth $200 million. He should have never made that second movie. He's bleed all he can out of global warming plus his critics can look back and list all the things he predicted in his first movie that never happened. One of the ways you can spot a con is when someone predicts what is going to happen in the future. Al isn't very good at predicting the futures as his first movie has proven.

It's October and the last full month of "car season". There are plenty of great events this month so get out there and enjoy before the cold gets here.


More is better; too much is just enough


Here is a former Model T hill climber - Model T engine, two speed rear, VW steering, disc brakes on rear - street legal

News You Can't Use ~ 100% True
A woman watching the solar eclipse was killed and two others were injured Monday when a car veered into a crowd of people who had gathered to observe the celestial event in Kentucky, authorities said. In the early part of the afternoon, Alyssa Noble's 2001 Lincoln LS crossed the center line, struck a utility pole and then hit two women on the sidewalk in Hyden, Kentucky, state police Capt. Jennifer Sandlin said. Mackenzie P. Hays, 23, died at the scene, and Rhonda Belcher, 41, was airlifted to the University of Kentucky Hospital, officials said. Noble, 38, was taken to Holston-Valley Medical Center in Kingsport, Tennessee, officials said. "It isn't clear at this time what led to her crashing," Sandlin said in an email. "The cause is still under investigation" by the Kentucky State Police.

Before the eclipse began its dramatic move across the country, the AAA had urged drivers to pull over if they wanted to look up, and advised against wearing eclipse glasses behind the wheel.

A high school in Minnesota banned all flags from flying on the back of vehicles in response to some students flying Confederate flags on their vehicles last semester. What the high school didn't expect was for students to band together in one massive patriotic protest. According to the Star Tribune, students were stunned returning to school to find they could no longer fly any flags. Administrators at Rocori High School, which serves students from Rockville, Cold Spring, and Richmond, initiated the ban at the start of this school year after students last spring flew the Confederate flag on vehicles parked at the school. School officials said the flags were offensive and caused concern among other students. In response, senior Cole Staneart organized a protest that filled the high school parking lot full of trucks flying patriotic flags and symbols. When the administrators who made the flag-banning rule arrived at the school, the parking lot was full of pickups flying the US flag. The protest caused the school to have change of heart. The administrators rescinded the flag ban and will deal with offensive symbols flown from the back of vehicles on a case-by-case basis from now on.

A battery technician with the Idaho Power Company was on lunch break when he noticed smoke coming from beneath the center console of his truck. The culprit, he was surprised to learn, was a bottle of water. "I looked over and noticed light was being refracted through a water bottle and starting to catch the seat on fire," said Dioni Amuchastegui in a video shared on the company's Facebook page on July 13. The evidence shows how dangerous leaving a plastic bottle in one's car on a sunny day can be: two burn marks were left on the seat of Dioni's vehicle. Firefighters are warning drivers about the hazard, too. In a test conducted by Oklahoma's Midwest City Fire Department, sunlight magnified by a water bottle reached 250 degrees, news channel KFOR reports. "The sunlight will come through, when it's filled with liquid, and act as a magnifying glass as you would with regular optics," said MCFD's David Richardson. It uses the liquid and the clear material to develop a focused beam and sure enough, it can actually cause a fire, a combustion," Richardson explained. The risk of such a disaster occurring is low, but officials say taking your water bottle with you when exiting the car is the best way to prevent this type of car fire.

Metro Transit Police have arrested a woman who allegedly threw a cup of her urine on an X2 bus driver over the weekend on charges of simple assault. Opal L. Brown, 38, of Southeast D.C., was riding the X2 bus on Saturday evening. According to Metro, surveillance cameras on the bus captured Brown peeing into a cup near the back of the bus. Then, right before she got off the bus at the Minnesota Ave and Benning Road NE stop close to 6:15 p.m., she threw the urine-filled cup around the protective shield and onto the bus operator before fleeing the scene, according to surveillance footage. The bus driver, who was an adult female, was taken to a local hospital for decontamination, Metro says.


So long to summer

Ebony Archie and her six-year-old son, Kingston Frazier, made a quick trip to a Kroger grocery store in Jackson, Mississippi. According to WMC Action News, because Archie had to run in for only a moment, she left her car running with Fraizer inside. In what authorities are describing as a “short time later,” two suspects pulled into the Kroger parking lot in their own car. The passenger of that car, described as a six-foot-tall black man, got out of the vehicle and into the driver's seat of Archie's car. Both cars then sped off with Fraizer still inside. After Archie notified the police, an AMBER Alert for the six-year-old was released. Hours later, around 9:30 a.m., Archie's stolen Toyota was found behind an ABC warehouse. Sadly, according to Jackson Police Department Commander Tyree Jones, Frazier was found dead inside the car, with “at least” a single gunshot wound.

Children should never be left alone in a car, not even for a short period of time. As KidsandCars.org points out: Vehicles are stolen with children alone inside quite frequently. This happens even in the safest neighborhoods and it only takes a few seconds for a thief to jump into your vehicle and take off with your child in tow. Most of the time, the thief doesn’t realize there is a child inside until they are already gone in the vehicle.

In 2001, Todd Heap was picked in the first round of the NFL draft. He played for the Baltimore Ravens for 10 seasons and then for the Arizona Cardinals for the 2011 and 2012 seasons before retiring in 2013. The 37-year-old has been married to his wife Ashley for 16 years, and the two had five children together: On Friday, Heap was moving his car in the driveway of his Arizona home when he accidentally struck his youngest daughter, according to ABC 15. The 3-year-old girl was transported to the hospital but tragically died of her injuries. ESPN reported that the former NFL player “exhibited no signs of impairment,” although an investigation into the incident is ongoing. The Baltimore Ravens tweeted a statement of sympathy to the family: We cannot imagine the heartbreak and sorrow Todd and Ashley's family feels right now. This is knee-buckling news and on overwhelmingly sad tragedy.

While the tragedy is certainly unthinkable, it's not exactly rare. In 2008, Christian singer Steven Curtis Chapman's teenage son was driving the family SUV when he accidentally hit his 5-year-old sister. According to Christianity Today, she was airlifted to a nearby hospital but unfortunately succumbed to her injuries. According to Fox 4, in 2015, 3-year-old Amelia Michelle Johnson-Conway was also tragically killed in her own Kansas City driveway after a family friend accidentally hit her. The advocacy group Kids and Cars identifies that a “backover incident” typically “takes place when a car is backing out of a driveway or parking space.” According to the organization's statistics, 59 children under the age of 14 were killed as a result of someone backing up and striking them in 2016. The site noted that in over 70 percent of cases, a parent or close relative is behind the wheel and that children 5 years old and younger are most at risk. In order to prevent injuries and deaths, Kids and Cars recommends that a driver walk around and behind their vehicle prior to moving it and install a rearview camera and back-up sensors.

Georgie Knox of Airdrie, Alberta, was driving to work Saturday when a coyote darted in front of her car and she hit it. "I heard a crunch and believed I ran over and killed it," she wrote on Facebook. But 30 minutes and 20 miles down the road, a construction worker pointed out that the critter was still very much alive, and trapped. "When I got out to look, this poor little guy was looking up and blinking at me." Don't worry. This has a happy ending. Alberta Fish and Wildlife officials were called and freed the animal. Game wardens were able to release him back into the wilderness of Alberta, and here's hoping the experience has made him more wily.


52 Ford - they are hard to find


Fire engine red 442

Monthly Rant ~ Edd China Out on Wheeler Dealers
You've seen Wheeler Dealers - the show where Mike buys a vehicle and takes to the shop of Edd who fixes it up and hopefully they sell it for a profit. This has got to be the most liked of the fix up the old car shows. I can tell because so of the shows are more than 10 years old (they been making the for 13 years). I have a buddy of mine who works on a Velocity show and he says they expect no more than a 10 year run. If a show goes longer than that it is a big hit.

So if Wheeler Dealers is such a great show and in fact it is - how many Brit shows can you watch everyday on the TV - then why would Edd China get dumped?

From Jalopnik: "Edd was the antithesis of the usual car-reality-show mechanic: where most shows tended to have caricatures of loud, arrogant, tattooed meatheads yelling at everyone about how this ‘69 GTO had better [bleeping] be ready by tomorrow or heads will roll, Edd’s a calm, wildly capable, good-natured guy who had respect for all kinds of cars and was someone you’d actually like to work with.

Plus, there’s almost never shots of him grinding down chunks of metal just to get more sparks on camera.

If you don’t believe me, get this: Edd made his mark by building motorized couches and desks. They’re amazing.

It seems that the big reason is that Velocity, who is taking over production of the show, found Edd’s workshop sequences “too difficult to make.” As Edd said in his statement:

Unfortunately, on Velocity’s first attempt at producing the show they found Wheeler Dealers “too difficult to make”, “at least in its current format.”

In particular, the detailed and in depth coverage of my fixes in the workshop; what I consider to be the backbone and USP of the programme, are something Velocity feel should be reduced. The workshop jobs are certainly the hardest part of the show to make and reducing their substance and role in the show will save the production considerable time, effort and therefore money.

However, this new direction is not something I am comfortable with as I feel the corners I was being asked to cut compromised the quality of my work and would erode my integrity as well as that of the show, so I have come to the conclusion that my only option is to let Velocity get on with it, without me.

This, I think, is a huge mistake on Velocity’s part. Edd’s absolutely right: the workshop sequences are the soul of the show, and reducing those will effectively kill what made Wheeler Dealers so special.

Edd will be replaced by Ant Anstead, known for the UK series For the Love of Cars."

I think getting rid of the star on an auto show is quite stupid. We get used to seeing these guys and enjoy watching. And we like the wrench twirlers. In fact Wayne Carini and Chasing Classic Cars says when someone spots him they always ask about Roger Barr, the crotchety old master mechanic who is about 80 years old. That's who we car hobbyists want to see and not the money man. Below is a video where Edd explains why he got dumped.

Pinch Welds and Jacks ~ Tom's Story
A pinch weld seam jutting out of the rocker panel makes it challenging to jack up the vehicle without crushing/scratching metal. Some jacks and jack stands come with U shaped fittings to wrap around pinch welds, but there is not one fitting that works well on every vehicle. The height and width of pinch welds vary. Many newer vehicles have plastic rocker panel covers that leave small openings only at the jacking points.

I personally solved the problem of jacking with pinch welds about a decade ago when I had a new composite (Trex brand) deck built on the back of my house. The carpenters left numerous small scraps of 4X4 inch composite plastic post scattered about. The scraps are thick enough to cover pinch welds and protect painted surfaces without being so tall that they become wobbly.

The composite material is easy to cut and shape. I set the blade on my table saw so it cuts slightly deeper than the height of the pinch weld. To help avoid crushing or splitting the composite block, I make sure the weight of the vehicle is resting on the block's flat surfaces rather than on the sharp edge of a pinch weld.


The composite material is easy to cut and shape

Two or three passes over the table saw blade makes the slot wide enough to slide over the pinch weld. One or two more saw blade widths might be necessary if the pinch weld arrived slightly bent up. Angling the table saw blade lets me cut the edges off composite blocks so they fit the small openings in specific plastic rocker panel covers.

I regularly misplace, find and make new composite weld seam blocks. Over the years, none of my blocks have worn out. Of course, when I jack up a vehicle, I always put multiple jack stands under it to ensure I remain safe if one of my homemade weld seam blocks, a jack stand, a hydraulic jack, etc. ever fails.

Tom Taylor,
RockAuto.com


Trans Am with SD 455 engine


Grabber Blue Mustang customized engine compartment

How to Troubleshoot a Tire-Pressure Monitoring System
I recently changed wheels, tires and TPMS sensors on a car and had to learn how to "train" the new sensors to work with the car's computer. This is a 2009 article from Popular Mechanics that is a good primer for these systems. They have been on vehicles since 2007 in the US and they are not going away. Article link is www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/a4849/4336449 ~ Fred

It's hot. Real hot. Fortunately, the new car you bought right before that Arizona spring-break road trip has air conditioning that works great, in spite of the heavy pop-up trailer and loaded roof rack weighing it down. You pull in for gas and lunch, and carefully check the pressure in the trailer tires with the gauge that lives in your glovebox. The tires on your crossover are fine though, because all new cars have a tire-pressure monitoring system that will tell you if your tires are low from the comfort and safety of your driver's seat. The desert beckons, and 40 miles of heat-shimmered asphalt later, a tire blows. What happened?

After swapping in the spare, you continue your trip at a more sedate pace. The TPMS light is on, and you stay well under the speed limit until you can check the tire pressures with a gauge. Surprise--they're all low. Surprise No. 2: The TPMS light remains on after you top off the tires to the correct pressure, at least until you can get a replacement tire mounted later in your trip.

Be Prepared

A Department of Transportation study dating back to 2001 says that 60 to 80 percent of cars on the road are running tires underinflated by as much as 10 percent. Worse yet, they say that 20 to 50 percent are being driven with tires down in pressure by as much as 20 percent. Yet, here's the scariest part: If your tires are low, even falling into that minus 20 percent category, your TPMS won't tell you--ever. The TPMS warning light is only required to illuminate when the pressure gets 25 percent below the correct value, which is enough to reduce fuel economy, lower the available grip (especially in wet conditions) and make tires run substantially hotter.

Bottom line: Don't trust the TPMS. Once you understand how your TPMS system works, you'll understand why it doesn't obviate the need for regular tire-pressure monitoring.

The Easy Way

There are two types of TPMS on the market, direct-reading and indirect. Indirect systems use only software and readouts from the individual wheel-speed sensors used by the antilock brake system. If all four tires are properly inflated, they will all rotate the same number of revolutions in a stretch of road. If one tire rotates more than the other three, it has a shorter rolling radius because the pressure in it is low.

The indirect type of system is inexpensive, because the only real part that must be added to a car is the display on the dash and some extra code in the vehicle's operating system. Properly inferring tire pressures this way can be a problem when the tires are unevenly worn, or if you replace only two worn tires instead of all four. You can reset the system to allow for wear when all the tire pressures are correct. The procedure varies from vehicle to vehicle, and this one won't necessarily work on yours. Persistent TPMS warnings can often be cured by setting the tire pressures properly and then resetting the TPMS somewhere in the menu on the driver's display, or perhaps with a scan tool. If the system isn't reset this way, TPMS warning lights will also crop up after a normal tire rotation, or if you're replacing tires with ones of a different size from the old ones.

1. TPMS senders are usually attached to the valve stem, although some are banded to the wheel's drop center. These units can cost over $100, but replacements for most domestics can be found on the aftermarket for $50 or less. They're prone to damage from tire-mounting machines, so get your tires mounted by a knowledgeable technician.

2. In an attempt to reduce the sensor's mass and keep the wheel in balance, the metal stem of the sender is commonly made of aluminum. Soft aluminum. Use a torque wrench on the inch-pound scale to tighten these, because it's really easy to strip the threads by overtightening. Ferrous-metal valve caps may interfere with the electronics, so stick with OEM-style plastic valve-stem caps.

The Better Way

There is a much better (read: more expensive) technology to monitor tire pressures. Higher-end vehicles use a direct-reading system of battery-powered senders mounted inside the tire, communicating with the TPMS by means of small antennas in each wheel well. Every few minutes, the TPMS will interrogate the senders in the wheels, acquire a "true" pressure reading and transfer the message to the in-car display.

But what's to keep the system from reporting the tire pressure of the car next to you at a traffic light? In order to keep things straight, the individual senders have a unique serial number to transmit to the vehicle. And that keeps individual wheels on each corner of the car properly sorted in the TPMS's tiny little brain. On many vehicles, there's even a sender on the spare tire. The TPMS is initialized with the position of the four (or five) tires when the car is new. Eventually, those tires could change position, through normal tire rotation or as the result of a flat. That's why there is a procedure to resynchronize the system. For most vehicles, it involves the use of a special tool that communicates with the vehicle and the sender to make everybody play nice. This device knows which wheel is which because it's held next to each valve stem in turn as the system is programmed. Your car dealer will have one, and some independent repair shops might as well. Unfortunately, they're different for every brand of car, and they cost plenty, with basic models going for $600 to $800, and those that work on a variety of vehicles running up to $2500.

Fortunately, it's rarely necessary to use the factory-style tool. Each manufacturer has its own tool and procedure. Look in (surprise!) the owner's manual.

And all of this has to happen within 2 minutes, or the learn mode times out and you'll have to start over. Also, if anyone nearby is adjusting tire pressures on a car with TPMS sensors, the system may be confused. If your vehicle's TPMS includes the spare, burrow into the trunk and get access to the spare first. Don't forget to top off the tires to the correct pressure.

1. The definitive correct tire pressure is on this sticker on the door frame. This info is also in the owner's manual. Ignore what's printed on the tire sidewall. Your car manufacturer has determined what pressures will make your car handle properly. The pressure on the sidewall is the maximum pressure for any vehicle.

2. Tire pressure should be checked in the morning on cold tires, not after you've driven to Starbucks. Tire pressure changes 1 psi for every 10 degrees of outside temperature. A change from 70 F to 40 F will lower the pressure 3 psi, enough to affect wet braking and fuel economy; check your pressures monthly.

On some GM cars you can activate the wheel sensors with a simple, powerful horseshoe magnet. GM has a special tool for this, but I'll bet a nice strong magnet from RadioShack would work. On Toyotas, apparently the only way to activate the sensors is with the Toyota TPMS tool or scan tool. Your mileage may vary. You'll need to find out exactly what procedure your vehicle needs any time you rotate tires or install winter tires. Consult your owner's manual, or the factory service manual. Be wary of advice on TPMS from enthusiast websites: A lot of the procedures I saw there were wrong or just plain out-of-date.

Special Considerations

If you ever need to replace a valve-stem core, use stainless steel rather than brass to avoid corrosion. It's one thing to replace a $2 rubber valve stem and something else entirely to replace a $100 TPMS sensor. And always use that cap. Water, road salt or mud could affect the sensor.

One last thing: That can of aerosol flat-fixer in your trunk may damage the sensor. Yes, it says "Sensor Safe" on the label, but experience in the field says it's a bad idea. The hole-filling compound may well plug up the hole in the sensor that checks pressure. If you must use one of these products, take the vehicle to a properly trained tire technician as soon as possible to have the hole plugged properly from the inside.


Rusty but running Chevy pickup


DeSoto with Hemi engine - owner calls it an "Odd Rod"

California tries to goose electric car sales with rebates — but is it enough?
From the Daily News ~ more rebate money to try and get people in California to buy more electric vehicles (which aren't selling) ~ Fred
California electric car buyers are getting a mixed bag of news this week, some of which could have profound implications for the future of the state’s effort to get 1.5 million drivers out of emission-spewing vehicles and into electric alternatives.

The Legislature is poised to send the governor a bill—outlining how to spend $1.5 billion in proceeds from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions—that includes $140 million replenish the state air board’s rebate fund for zero-emission vehicles, a popular and often over-subscribed program to assist consumers in buying pricy electric cars.

But a last-minute provision took a broadside at Tesla, and possibly other car manufacturers, by requiring that the air board and the state labor department develop a system to certify that companies included in the rebate program are “fair and responsible” in the treatment of their workers.

The requirement, which would take effect next year, appears to have been inserted at the behest of labor interests, who have been attempting to unionize Tesla’s manufacturing plant in Fremont. Some employees have complained of low wages and unsafe working conditions, a charge Tesla disputes.

Angie Wei of the California Labor Federation reminded the Senate budget committee Wednesday that the automotive industry created the American middle class. She also defended the provision, insisting “those companies who believe they are treating their workers fairly and responsibly, I believe they have nothing to worry about.”

Should Tesla fail to qualify for the rebates, the impact could be serious, as its all-electric cars have the highest price tags on the market and consumers might balk if the cars are out of reach. A lessening of demand would surely reduce production of the clean cars, apparently setting back the state’s ability to reach it goals. “This provision creates an unpredictable standard that would be impossible to adhere to while creating uncertainty in an already challenging market. ” the Association of Global Automakers warned in a letter to the governor.

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the bill, which matches his proposed amount to keep the rebate program going.

The rebates—about $2,500 for buyers of small electric cars—are seen as a critical incentive to help meet the state’s goal of putting 1.5 million electric cars on the roads by 2025. It has a long way to go: There are 323,000 clean vehicles in California now.

While sales are creeping up, ownership of full electric and plug-in electric cars still appears behind schedule. Some skeptics have suggested that to come close to achieving its goals, the state will need to more aggressively goose sales of all-electric cars and trucks. But the Legislature earlier this year balked at a bill by Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco that would have directed $3 billion over 12 years to fund and streamline the rebate program. Critics complained it failed to identify where the money would come from.

But there’s been unforeseen good news. The outlook for electric cars would have been much more bleak if not for the misdeeds of automaker Volkswagen, which was caught in 2014 having installed devices to circumvent California’s pollution tests. In total, VW admitted fitting 11 million of its cars with test-defeating software in a scandal known as ‘dieselgate.’

The company paid out more than a billion dollars to the state to settle its myriad legal issues. Part of the deal was a controversial arrangement for VW to fund installation of a broad network of charging stations, many in low-income neighborhoods. To be operated by a VW subsidiary, Electrify America, those stations will collect fees from drivers in exchange for charging services.

That deal dropped an $800 million windfall into the air board’s clean vehicle program.

Viewed through a pragmatic lens, the company’s get-out-of-jail money hasn’t bailed out the state program, but it certainly comes in handy.

“The money came at the right time,” said Dean Florez, a member of the air board.

But even with the addition of the VW charging infrastructure, the company’s total contribution will only amount to about 10 percent of the stations that California will eventually need, according to the air board. There are currently about 11,000 public charging stations in the state.

In addition to funding the charging stations, VW was required to pay $25 million to general support of the ZEV program, including vehicle replacement for low-income consumers.

California’s leading-edge vision for an electric highway was born out of its climate policies that sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program started strong in its inception in 2010, and the state’s consumers buy more than half of the nation’s stock of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen vehicles. Automakers now manufacture more than two dozen low-emission vehicle models sold in California.

But tastes have changed. Consumers seem to prefer trucks and SUVs, and lower gasoline prices have meant they don’t pay a penalty at the pump. As a market share, hybrid electric and fully electric cars represent less than 5 percent of new cars sold in the state.

Conversations about adoption of electric cars generally include two issues: the availability of rebates to purchase the cars and charging stations to run them.

California’s rebate of $2,500 for a smaller car is far less that the federal rebate of $7,500—together they bring a vehicle that can cost $35,000 more into range for some consumers. The program is once again oversubscribed, with a waiting list for most consumers to receive a rebate. The air board says that everyone who has previously applied for a rebate will get one. Rebates for low-income applicants, who have first priority, are available now, the agency said.

To address consumer range anxiety—concern about being stranded when a car’s juice runs out—manufacturers are rolling out more cars with longer ranges. The new Chevy Bolt, for example, can travel 238 miles on a single charge.

Bill Magavern, policy director for Coalition for Clean Air, which has sponsored numerous bills encouraging adoption of low emission vehicles, hopes the Legislature continues to support the program, and extends rebates to upgrade heavy-duty trucks and buses to low emission technologies.

“Consumers will continue to warm to these vehicles,” he said. “Clearly we have a long ways to go. I don’t think anybody thinks we’re on track” to reach the state’s goals.

For his part, Ting isn’t giving up on his legislation. “Unfortunately, we ran out of time this year to reach an agreement but our need to act remains clear,” he said in a statement. “California must have more clean cars on the road to meaningfully reduce the emissions that dirty our air and contribute to climate change. Our state must play an active role in facilitating the shift to zero-emission vehicles through a more aggressive rebate program.”

CALmatters.org is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media venture explaining California policies and politics.

Bumper Sticker of the Month


Liberal - just another dirty word


Time to rake the leaves

Kool Site of the Month
Collector Car Valuation Tools

Video of the Month
Collector Car Showcase in Oyster Bay, New York

Repair Mistakes & Blunders
From Rock Auto
In the summer of 1981, two friends and I were recent high school graduates who worked evenings and weekends at a two-bay, full-service gas station (Standard Oil, remember them?). It was fun! I grew up a car guy by watching my dad and his friends and I had my own 1970 Mustang project car/daily driver. What a great time. It was almost heaven!

One warm evening, approaching closing time at 10 PM, a distraught woman in an early '70s Japanese mini-pickup pulled into the station complaining her truck was overheating. Wanting to impress my friends with my advanced automotive knowledge - and help a lady in distress - I offered to pull it into the shop and do a flush/fill of the cooling system. She agreed, and I was all set to showcase my skills.

I hooked up a water hose to what I thought was the heater hose and turned on the water. But nothing came out the top of the radiator. Hmmm... So I turned up the water some more, still nothing. Uh oh, something is wrong! My showing off is not going as planned.

A few seconds later, the mysterious hose I had attached the water hose to flew out from underneath the hood, and a stream of energetic water dang near hit the ceiling before gracefully curling back onto the floor. It was just like the fountain in the city park. Boy, did I blow it! I attached the water supply to the PCV hose, not a heater/coolant hose, thus filling the engine with water!

In the end, the truck was OK though. I had my father come help me fix it. We put the truck on the lift, drained and washed out the engine block and oil pan, filled it with oil and it started right up. It made a little steam for a bit, but it seemed none the worse for wear...

Needless to say, I was fired the next day. But in the end, lesson learned, and I can smile about that blunder today.

Chris in Colorado


Chevy coupe

DIY: How to Adjust Sealed-Beam Headlights on Your Classic Car or Truck
Good info from Hagerty - go to Adjust your headlights at home for the video.

Trucks and SUV are booming in the classic market, thanks to Millennials and Gen-Xers
By Jeff Peek of Hagerty
Go big or go home. That’s the theme of the newest Hagerty Vehicle Rating—and we aren’t talking about values. Two-thirds of the vehicles in the newest Top 25 ranking are trucks or SUVs, and nearly 90 percent of them are valued at $16,000 or less.

Who is responsible for all this four-wheel-drive brawn? Millennials and Gen-Xers.

“The interest in trucks and SUVs is an effect of the changing demographics of the hobby,” says Hagerty Valuation Information Analyst Jesse Pilarski. “Our insurance quoting data shows that Millennials and Gen-Xers are nearly 30% more likely to quote a truck or SUV than Boomers and Preboomers.”

Pilarski says, based on vehicles in No. 3 (or “good”) condition, that “the entry-level market [sub-$25,000] is definitely the most vibrant, with an auction sell-through rate over 72%. That’s compared to 68% for the middle market [$25,000-$250,000] and 62% for the high-end market [$250,000-plus].”

The 1973-87 Chevrolet C/K Series pickup and 1945-68 Dodge Power Wagon are tied for the HVR’s top spot with 96 points apiece. There’s a three-way tie for third, at 94 points, between the 1976-86 Jeep CJ-7, 1993-2002 Pontiac Firebird, and 1994-96 Chevrolet Impala SS.

The Hagerty Vehicle Rating tracks a vehicle’s performance relative to the entire classic car/truck market. Based on a scale of 0-100, a vehicle with a 50-point rating is keeping pace with the overall market. Those above 50 are appreciating ahead of the average, while those below 50 are lagging.

The C/K has been in the top 25 for the last 16 months, but this is the first time it’s been the highest-rated vehicle. The truck’s Hagerty Price Guide value has risen 4% over the past four months, and it has consistently outpaced both the auction and private sales market for the last 16 months.

Meanwhile, the Power Wagon is among the Top 25 for the seventh time. This is the second time it has been No. 1. The Power Wagon’s jump to the top followed a sharper trajectory than the C/K. In the first published HVR, the Power Wagon had a rating of 49, placing it in the middle of the market. Over the last eight months, however, its HPG value is up 13%.

There are actually 34 vehicles in the Top 25, due to a 10-way tie for 25th place. There are 16 trucks/SUVs among the top 24 vehicles, 22 of 34 overall.

The 1983-90 Land Rover Defender, tied for 16th, carries the highest No.3-condition value at $25,500. The 1966-77 Ford Bronco, tied for sixth, is at $19,400; the 1993-98 Toyota Supra, tied for 14th, is valued at $18,300; the Power Wagon is at $16,000; and the 2000-03 Honda S2000, tied for 16th, is at $15,000.

The 1993-98 Lincoln Continental, which joined the Defender and S2000 at 16th, has the lowest value in the Top 25: $4,100.

“Again, we’re seeing the most interest in the entry level market, and several factors play into that,” Pilarski says. “Rare and desirable cars like Ferrari 275s, Mercedes-Benz 300SLs, and air-cooled Porsche 911s saw huge increases in value over the last five years, but now that values aren’t rising like they were, interest has started to wane. Most buyers aren’t worried about losing $2,000 on a $20,000 purchase, but $20,000 on a $200,000 car? That’s a different story. Also, the stock market has been performing well relative to car values, which may have pulled some of the interest away from those high-end vehicles.”

Also of note, for the first time in months the Top 25 offered no surprises. None of the top vehicles gained more than two points overall, and the 1993-2002 Firebird took the biggest jump in the standings—three spots—rising from sixth to third place.

Here’s a full rundown of this month’s top 25:

1t. 1973-1987 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup
1t. 1945-1968 Dodge Power Wagon
3t. 1976-1986 Jeep CJ-7
3t. 1993-2002 Pontiac Firebird
3t. 1994-1996 Chevrolet Impala SS
6t. 1973-1979 Ford F-Series
6t. 1960-1966 Chevrolet C/K Series
6t. 1994-2004 Ford Mustang
6t. 1966-1977 Ford Bronco
10t. 1978-1979 Ford Bronco
10t. 1981-1986 Jeep CJ-8 Scrambler
10t. 1969-1972 Chevrolet C/K Blazer
13. 1981-1993 Dodge Ramcharger
14t. 1967-1972 Ford F-Series
14t. 1993-1998 Toyota Supra
16t. 1973-1991 Chevrolet Suburban
16t. 1967-1972 Chevrolet C/K Series Pickup
16t. 1993-1998 Lincoln Continental Mk VIII
16t. 1983-1990 Land Rover Defender
16t. 1987-1991 Ford Bronco
16t. 2000-2003 Honda S2000
16t. 1966-1983 Fiat 124, 1983-1985 Pininfarina Azzurra
23t. 1946-1949 Willys-Jeep CJ-2A
23t. 1973-1991 Chevrolet C/K Blazer
25t. 1966-1973 Triumph GT6
25t. 1947-1965 Willys-Jeep Pickups
25t. 1973-1987 GMC C/K Series Pickup
25t. 1948-1963 Studebaker Pickups
25t. 1949-1965 Jeep CJ-3
25t. 1954-1961 Plymouth Belvedere
25t. 1961-1971 International Harvester Scout
25t. 1971-1976 Buick LeSabre
25t. 1980-1986 Ford Bronco
25t. 1984-1993 BMW 3-Series (E30)


Model A pickup at Blackstone Festival

Fish on Fridays
After 35 years of marriage, a husband and wife came for counseling. When asked what the problem was, the wife went into a tirade listing every problem they had ever had in the years they had been married. On and on and on: neglect, lack of intimacy, emptiness, loneliness, feeling unloved and unlovable, an entire laundry list of unmet needs she had endured.

Finally, after allowing this for a sufficient length of time, the therapist got up, walked around the desk and after asking the wife to stand, he embraced and kissed her long and passionately as her husband watched - with a raised eyebrow.

The woman shut up and quietly sat down in a daze. The therapist turned to the husband and said, "This is what your wife needs at least 3 times a week. Can you do this?"

"Well, I can drop her off here on Mondays and Wednesdays, ...............But I fish on Fridays


Thrush stacks from 1979


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