How much OEM BMW plastic can you buy for $200?

| July 3, 2016

Plastic is not cheap when it comes to engine compartment parts for our BMW X5 35d, although parts for most cars are all pretty expensive … but what other options are there? Since they just came in today (Saturday), I’m hoping to work one the car Sunday or Monday – we will see since Monday […]

Archive: Keeping my eyes open for a Packard emblem

| July 2, 2016

The 1958 Packard Hawk isn’t on the "to do" agenda for this summer, but when walking by it in the garage, it is difficult to not think about things that need to be done. One particular item I need to find is a gold "hawk" emblem just above the trunk lock mechanism (sort of like […]

Doggies in the Toyota window – Pre-4th of July

| June 29, 2016

What Volkswagen TDI owners need to know about the settlement

| June 28, 2016

As Volkswagen prepares to dole out $15 BILLION in a diesel emissions settlement for their cheating, here is what VW TDI owners need to know (Source: Yahoo Finance): Who can file a claim? Owners of certain Volkswagen and Audi cars with 2.0 liter diesel engines from model years 2009-2015 are eligible under the settlement. The […]

Legend Bob Riggles rolls his car with Jay Leno inside

| June 27, 2016

Whew … luckily no injuries.

Finally closing in on a 2010 BMW X5 35d worthy of driving

| June 26, 2016

It has been a much longer process to get our BMW X5 35d back to road worthy than I initially thought. When I bought the used diesel SUV last year, I knew there were a few things I needed to repair, as well as a few items I wanted to tweak. After tinking on our […]

A broken tool, a stuck part and fixing them

| June 25, 2016

In rounding out and connecting the dots in a couple previous posts, I’ll summarize with a short post and what happened. When reinstalling the brake caliper slides the other day on the BMW X5 35d, I snapped off my Craftsman branded hex socket when tightening down the slide. It was careless on my part as […]

Installed a 2 inch hitch receiver and flat 4-plug on the BMW X5

| June 24, 2016

I’m behind on my BMW X5 35d updates as the hitch installation happened over Father’s Day weekend and I failed to get the photos to my computer. The process started by peeling off the body moldings which have every combination of plastic locking tab. Suffice to say, I broke a few trying to figure out […]

VW to Pay More Than $10 Billion to Settle Emissions Claims

| June 23, 2016

Volkswagen AG has agreed to pay more than $10 billion to settle claims from U.S. owners of diesel-powered vehicles affected by the German auto maker’s emissions-cheating scandal, said people familiar with the matter.The $10 billion-plus deal would address owners of nearly 500,000 diesel-powered vehicles with two-liter engines that contain software capable of duping government emissions […]

Ever tested Sears Craftsman broken tool policy?

| June 22, 2016

The tools my dad had were for the most part Craftsman (Sears) … and the sockets and ratchets that I have are almost all Craftsman … and the set I gave to for Taylor are as well. Interesting thing … even though I have a couple broken sockets and ratchets, I’ve never tried to return […]

Ceramic Front Discs Brakes installed on the BMW X5 35d

| June 21, 2016

It was past time for brake maintenance as the wear sensor on the BMW X5 35d has been warning me to replace the front brakes for weeks. After a bit of research, I opted for the Power Stop (17-1294) Evolution-Plus Ceramic brakes and am hoping to reduce the dirty brake dust. I’m hoping for continued […]

An EGR Race Pipe mod for the BMW X5 35d diesel SUV

| June 18, 2016

Finally found enough time to remove even more items from the BMW X5 35d … this time it was to replace the EGR and the EGR cooler assembly with a "gorgeous" billet aluminum EGR Race Pipe from FixMyVW ccm. The photo on left below is fresh out of the package and below and on the […]

How will the Elio achieve 84 mpg?

| June 17, 2016

Another Elio Motors update detailed more on a variety of engineering points (my previous posts) … particularly on how the Elio will achieve the advertised 84 mpg. Powertrain – An Efficient Union of Technology and Efficiency The other system we’re checking out this week is the Elio’s powertrain, which will help the Elio run as […]

Neil Zurcher packs his bags for a final farewell tour

| June 16, 2016

It looks like a farewell “again” for Neil Zurcher from WLW in Cleveland. I remember ‘One Tank Trip’ from our 13 years in the Cleveland area as we often looked for things to do when our time off was short (well it still is!) His trips were a highlight of things to do when our […]

Excitement is building, but the Elio is not in production … yet

| June 14, 2016

The hardest part in putting down a deposit or investing way before a company is even off the ground is not the fear of failure, but the anticipation. Elio is doing their part to keep the excitement alive by sending out development photos, surveys and computer generated drawing. So far, they are doing most everything […]

BMW X5 35d update: Shedding some weight plus a new item

| May 28, 2016

It is amazing just how many exhaust parts find their way onto modern cars. They do a good job of making diesel exhaust clean, but the expensive and complex process is going to kill the internal combustion engine, in my opinion. I’m amazed at just how much "junk" I had to remove (above) in repairing […]

The 1958 Packard Hawk is still in the family and in my garage

| May 21, 2016

  With a little help from the tow company’s flatbed delivery guy, my Dad’s 1958 Packard Hawk has been safely moved from Sidney, Ohio to my garage. Although I was able to get it started a few weeks ago, something is wrong with the transmission (stuck in gear) and it also has a known master […]

Still tinkering with the BMW X5 35d after limp mode ordeal

| May 12, 2016

Replaced the defective Throttle Actuator on the BMW X5 35d last night … unfortunately it did not solve the Limp Mode problem. Now to look further into the disconnected sensors after the ECU came back from Andrew Rodriguez and FixMyVW.com.    old | new

Volkswagen and Mercedes Benz diesels can last a long time

| May 2, 2016

From the Christian perspective, I have mixed thoughts on using the "Think eternal" line for a 1963 classic Volkswagen Beetle cover on Hagerty Classic car magazine. It is of course a Peope’s Car with a l-o-n-g and beloved history by VW enthusiasts, but the word "eternal" when it comes to "earthly material things" can be […]

Maintenance on my old Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel

| April 26, 2016

Since I’ve been driving the 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel most of the late winter and spring this year, I’ve been racking up the miles and am due for a full fluid and filter change. Tonight was the night and after 4 filters (2 fuel, 1 oil and 1 air) and 8 quarts of oil, […]

Downloaded iOS Carly for BMW app and ordered OBD adapter

| April 22, 2016

The saga of our poorly running 2010 BMW X5 35d continues while replacing component by component the SUV is inching back towards running condition. The most recent hiccup was a bit of a computer glitch after getting the ECU back from the tuner. I was hoping that as as soon as I powered everything back […]

Archive: Looking forward to seeing this at the 2016 TDIFest

| April 20, 2016

In an email exchange with Andrew Rodriguez of FixMyVW.com, he hinted that he’ll have a few new products up in Wisconsin at the 2016 TDIFest this Labor Day. One item that caught my eye was a billeted chunk of aluminum "goodness" as the marketeers say — he knew what he was doing sending it to […]

Why would someone make a Volkswagen Beetle bigger?

| April 19, 2016

Have you ever wondered what a 1959 VW Karmann Cabriolet Convertible would look like if it was built 40% larger? Well here you go … Tumbler LINK

Newer cars are too complicated. What have I gotten myself into?

| April 16, 2016

What a mess of "tiny snakes" as my daughter call the the organized harnesses of wires connected to my cars ECU. I have to admit, I was taken back at the perception of a rats nest of connectors and wiring all tying into the BMW X5 35D’s computer. The air and water tight box under […]

Raspberry Pi security video and nearing the end for the Rav4

| April 12, 2016

We found out a couple things Monday … first, the Raspberry Pi garage camera seems to be working just fine after tweaking a few thing while experimenting in the house, albeit the video is a bit delayed (15 seconds maybe ???). So far so good with video … next to get some motion detection so […]

My fair weather daily driver: 1982 Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel

| April 5, 2016

Love this car and the whole W123 thing!

BMW X5 35d weekend wrenching update

| April 4, 2016

In order to start working on the BMW X5 35d upgrades this weekend, I ordered a set of "star" sockets known as E-sockets. I picked up the larger set partially because I wanted the plastic storage box … and the Torx bits (already have "some") came with it — Amazon’s price with Prime shipping was […]

The sweet sound of the American V-8

| March 21, 2016

Will the next generation of car enthusiasts continue to appreciate the sound of the American V-8?

Downloading torrents and updating BMW Navigation maps

| March 20, 2016

  One cumbersome downside of driving older premium vehicles like our 2010 BMW X5 35D is that 6 year old technology might as well be 20 years old. The navigation software and maps leave a lot to be desired in today’s Internet connected mapping world. The current 2009 maps (above) have never been updated and […]

Turning a Volkswagen Jetta into the perfect VW pickup truck

| March 19, 2016

For my Volkswagen TDI guys who have always wanted a modern small VW diesel pickup … here’s the ticket!

New downpipe and exhaust pieces arrived for the BMW X5 35D

| March 18, 2016

A few modified exhaust pieces needed to work on the BMW X5 35d arrived today from Canada. The welds look good, fitting for sensor "seem" to be in the right place and I’m hoping this expensive stainless steel will  last a long time. I’m opted for the version with the small catalytic converter to keep […]

Hemmings Classic Car highlighted the 1958 Packard Hawk

| March 8, 2016

Previously I’ve posted before about my Dad’s 1958 Packard Hawk, but now that it has been passed down to me, there is more of an incentive to pay attention to articles, stories, car shows, etc. Thanks to my high school friend, Greg Fogelsong (a automotive guru), he noticed a photo similar to my dad’s Packard […]

Impulse buy–4 port 48W 12 volt USB charger

| February 27, 2016

Read an independent review about this IXCC 4-port IXCC USB charger with what it claims as “plenty of power” … although one descriptions says 48W and the other 36W (both claim 9.6 amp) … we’ll see. The Amazon reviews were a very high 4-1/2 stars and since our new “older” car doesn’t have an abundance […]

The 2016 Daytona 500 thrilled even this casual NASCAR fan

| February 22, 2016

Ah … the good ol’ days on Daytona Beach Florida (1958 above) … well before I was born BTW! Last week was SpeedWeeks culminating in the Daytona 500 on Sunday. The biggest NASCAR race was enjoyed by millions of viewers and did not disappoint. The restrictor plate race was tighter than ever and had the […]

Elio Motors’ shares launch on OTCQX

| February 20, 2016

Time to keep an eye on this small company … really hoping it can keep promises and start producing a $6800 three wheeled car without too many hiccups. Shares will be traded on the OTCQX under the ticker ELIO according to a press release.  

Video: 5 bad habits when driving manual gearbox cars

| February 17, 2016

Great video explainer for those driving manual shift cars … dos and don’ts — Engineering Explained

Repairing the AC on the BMW X5 35d in the middle of winter

| February 10, 2016

My timing is probably not the best considering the temperature is in the teens this week, but since the BMW X5 35d is in the shop, I’m addressing as many “squawks” as possible. One of the known issues was that the air conditioning wasn’t working (paid less for the vehicle) … so after checking the […]

A long BMW X3 test drive — well, a loaner car

| February 7, 2016

While our BMW X5 35d is in the shop and waiting for a few parts, I was given a pretty nice loaner car or the weekend – X3 XDrive 28i. After buzzing around town for a coupled day, I must say that it is nearly a 10 in my book. I’m impressed with the styling, […]

Keeping the old diesel running in the wintertime

| February 6, 2016

It has been surprisingly mild in Cincinnati for February that I decided to get the old girl out of the garage.  It wasn’t particularly warm last night when I got home, but the drier air and snow-free roads were excuse enough to drive the old Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel in the winter  … besides the other car was finally […]

VW Rabbit-Golf facelift through the years #GIF

| January 21, 2016

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.