Genesis Coupe Commercial

Genesis Coupe

Who didn’t watch the Super Bowl?  Who caught the Genesis coupe commercial with Rhys Millens?  I know I did and it was awesome.  So those of you who some how managed to fall off the face of the planet and missed this check it out at:

I can’t wait,  in a few months I’m going to Hyundai to test drive one.  While your at it try to edit your own commercial. Here’s mine:

CL360: First attempt at polishing

I ordered a Dremel tool and purchased some aluminum polish.  I’ve been looking on how to polish aluminum all over the Internet so I can polish the engine cases on the CL.  So here’s what  I learned.

1.  Get a variety of sand paper (I use 400, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit).  Wet/dry sandpaper seems to work the best because you can wash it out.

2. In one direction, sand the piece.   Do not sand in circles. The idea is to smooth the aluminum out.  after you get the rough spots worked out take the next softest grit up (1,000) and sand at a 90 degree angle of what you did before.  This gets the scratches out from the previous sand paper.  Do this using all of the sand paper and switch directions every time you change sand paper.

3. Use some rubbing compound over the piece to help smooth the aluminum further. In this case, I used Turtle Wax’s red rubbing compound.

4. Wipe the rubbing compound off and apply aluminum polish to the piece.  I used Mother’s aluminum polish and work it into the piece.  If you are doing this by hand you want to use a soft towel.  I used a buffing wheel on my bench grinder or my Dremel for small pieces.

Here’s the first piece.  Not the best but it is a start.  The piece goes on top of the valve cover for the engine.  Next week I tear into the gummed up carbs.

CL360 Breather Cover

2009 Barrett-Jackson Event

A couple of weeks ago was the Scottsdale Barrett-Jackson Auto Auctions. You can watch all of the actual auction on the Speed Channel and see some amazing vehicles get sold at rediculous prices, but what else happens there? What does a $55 ticket give you access to? Take a look. It gives you a chance to look at lots of really cool cars, and to see what the social elite spend their money on. Helicopters, jets, million dollar boats, and pictures of ferraris mashed up with classic works of art.

How to Replace a Constant Velocity (C.V.) Boot

freed axle

The C.V boot on Austin’s Sentra tore and he got quoted about three hundred buck-a-roos to replace it.  As I am the mechanic of the family that means I get to do it in my garage for the price of beer.  It’s a fair trade…

Estimated Time: Two Beers (about 1 hour)

Skill Level: Some mechanical aptitude and tools will definitely help.

Must have tools

1.  Crack open a beer.

2. Raise the front of the vehicle using a jack and support the vehicle with jack stands.

2.  Remove the appropriate wheel.  The driver side outer boot was torn so that was the side of the car we took the wheel off of.

3.  Remove the cotter pin from the axle nut.

4.  Remove the cotter pin for the lower ball joint securing the ball joint nut in place.  Take a swig of beer.  The beer that night was Four Peaks Brewery’s Kiltlifter.  Mmmm good.

5.  Remove the axle nut.  This nut is usually on the axle tight.  I have air tools and used a half inch impact wrench with a 32mm deep socket.

6.  Remove the lower ball joint nut using a 19mm wrench.  Take another swig of beer.

7. Take a hammer and knock the lower part of the steering knuckle the ball joint is in.  The goal is to jar the ball joint loose.  Hopefully you haven’t had too many beers at this point and you can hit the knuckle not the lower control arm.


8. Take a pry-bar and move the lower control arm out of the steering knuckle.  Slide the axle out of the hub.

9. Remove the old C.V. boot using a pair of side cutters.  Using a dead blow hammer knock the stub axle off of the end of the axle shaft.  The stub axle might not come off of the axle shaft and you may need to remove the entire axle from the transmission and place it into a vice to remove the stub axle.  Don’t forget to check your transmission after your done with the repair if you remove the axle from the transmission.

10.  Clean the old grease out of the C.V. joint on the stub axle.  Twist the grease package and clip the end of it.  Force the grease into the center of the C.V. joint until grease moves around the ball bearings in the joint. You should still have some grease remaining.  NOTE: The C.V. boot kit contains a new snap ring.  I don’t recommend replacing it on the axle because it make the axle difficult to reinstall onto the C.V. joint.

Grease the C.V. Joint

11. Slide the new C.V. boot onto the axle with the new clamp. Finish off your beer.

12. Install the stub axle onto the axle with the dead blow hammer.  Make sure the joint is installed all the way.

13. Install the remaining grease into the inside of the C.V. boot and slide the boot over the stub axle.  Get a new beer and take a drink.

14. Crimp the boot clamp tight.  I carefully used a pair of side cutters but there is a special tool you can buy that is designed for these style clamps. Take two swigs on your beer.

Crimp the Boot Clamp

15.  Reinstall the axle into the hub and the ball joint into the steering knuckle.

16. Tighten the axle nut to the manufacturer torque specification.

17. Tighten the lower ball joint nut to the manufacturer torque specification.

18. Install NEW cotter pins into the axle shaft and lower ball joint. Finish off the second beer.

19. Reinstall the wheel, and torque the lug nuts to the manufacturers torque specifications.  Lower the vehicle and let your brother-in-law test drive it for you since you have had two beers now.  The pictures below are all in order of the steps if you need something to reference.

These are guidelines on how to perform a repair and by no means am I or this site responsible for your mistakes on your vehicle or anyone who uses these instructions on for repair on another vehicle other than their own.  If you have question refer to a repair manual or if you don’t think you have the correct tool or are capable of doing the repair then don’t, take your vehicle to a repair shop.  I don’t condone drinking and driving, either.

Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Profile Genesis Coupe

I had to put a post on the upcoming Genesis Coupe (GC).  This has been a long anticipated car for me and a step in the right direction for Hyundai.  There are simply not enough affordable rear-wheel-drive sport coupes on the market today. Plus, if Hyundai can make one why can’t other companies like Toyota (That is my shameless request for Toyota to come out with a new sports car.)

The Genesis Coupe has the combination of looks that are reminiscent of Hyundai’s no longer produced 2008 Tiburon,  but the GC has a more ominous feel.  It has the looks of a bee.  They look cool but you really don’t want to be messing with it our you might get stung.  Stung by what though?  Hyundai is know for economic cars and low horsepower engines.

Backend Genesis Coupe

Well Hyundai has put some “buzz” under their hood with two engine choices.  The first variant is 3.8 liter V-6 producing 306 HP and 266 ft-lbs of torque that can be equipped with a six speed automatic with paddle shifters or a six speed manual transmission.  The other far more interesting engine is a turbocharged 2.0 liter four-cylinder that produces a decent 210 hp and 233 ft-lbs of torque and can be mated to a six speed manual transmission.   Here is the comment I pulled from Hyundai’s press release about its four-cylinder engine.

“While some turbochargers sacrifice smooth drive-ability with high operating boost pressures in the 20 psi range, Genesis Coupe uses a refined, low-boost calibration for smoothness and efficiency,” said Derek Joyce, Genesis Coupe product manager. “We could have opted solely for big performance numbers, but our focus for the 2.0T was a more balanced package.”

Let me tell you what this means to me.  Did you catch the “low-boost calibration” and “We could have opted solely for big boost performance numbers” comments”?  Well that means this engine can be tuned.  Hyundai is reaching out to the tuner crowd saying “Take it.  Make it faster, that’s why we built it, for you…”   But that isn’t the only thing that struck me about the four-cylinder engine.  Take a look at the pictures below, looks like a mirror image, right?

Hyundai 2.0T Engine sr20det

Some of you might recognize the 2.0 liter engine on the right, it’s an SR20DET found in the Nissan Silvia in Japan.  Its a common swap in the Nissan 240sx in the states.  Coincidentally, it is the exact same bore and stroke (86mm x 86mm) as the Hyundai Genesis Coupe’s new power plant.  Well if Hyundai built it even remotely like Nissan’s SR20 then the Hyundai’s engine is going to be killer.  And if you don’t think there is going to be an aftermarket for the engine, you’re wrong.  Hyundai has already provided HKS a Genesis Coupe to tune.

Interior Genesis Coupe

Guess what else is great about this car?  If you’re not the do-it-yourself tuner or like having a warranty on your car then Hyundai is going to be releasing track models with 13.4″ front  and 13″ rear Brembo brakes with stiffer suspension, and even a R-spec model for the die hard.  You can get the track model with either engine as well. Plus with both track and non-track models, you have the option of a Torsen Limited Slip Differential.

Well, I’m sold. Of course I’m not sure what the price is yet because that hasn’t been release.  With the loss of the Tiburon, and the fact that the Genesis Sedan starts at $32,000 and the high model of the Tiburon was $22,700, I would guess the base model coupe will be starting between 25K and 26K which would make it quite comparable to the Ford Mustang GT.  But I’m hoping that Hyundai will come in under the 25K mark.  We’ll just have to wait a few more months until spring to find out.

All Pictures are © Hyundai Motor America

2010 Fusion Hybrid Dashboard

I was able to get one of the Ford representatives to give me a quick rundown of the dashboard system on the new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. I have been reading about it a bit and honestly I think it is one of the best innovations of any new car by any manufacturer.

I have been wondering for ages why nobody has yet put an LCD gauge cluster in their cars and Ford has gone and done it first. From the looks of it they have a winner too. It seems like it would take a bit of playing around with it to customize it exactly how you want, but I think it is very innovative and certainly visually appealing.

AZ Toyota Drive


About 10 days ago I took a little drive with the local AZ Toyota crowd up one of the best drives in the state of Arizona.  We started at the Quick Trip located at the beginning of Highway 88 and drove all the way past Canyon Lake to Tortilla Flat.

I met Brady at the “QT”, the unofficial organizer for the majority of the AZ Toyota clubs in the Phoenix area, who proudly brought his AE86 with a silver top 20V 4AGE powered engine.  But as the Toyota’s started to wheel in, Cris (Picture Below) and John showed up with later generation Corollas.  But we didn’t just have Corollas showing up to this, there was a Celica GT-S, a *cough* Infiniti G35 *cough*, MR-S, and several 3rd generation Supras.

Cris's Rolla

The supra below is Clint’s and has a turbo charged 2.5 L 1JZGTE engine putting 330 HP to wheels.  Impressive, I think so.

Clint's Supra 1JZ

After gas tanks were filled and all the Toyota members were amply supplied with their beverage of choice, we headed down highway 88 in Arizona.  If you haven’t been there is is worth the drive, especially on the day we went; sunny and 70 degrees.  I cruised with the windows down and the wife snapping pictures along the way.

We stopped at Tortilla Flat where the Supra guys split off and took a drive further back on 88.  I took some pictures of our local “Boso” who represents a recent Japanese craze here in the U.S..  Check out Woody’s crazy exhaust.

Boso exhaust ae86

(If you need to know what a “Boso” is check it out here:

All in all, it was a great drive and I can’t wait to bring the AE86 out again.  If you want to see more pictures from the drive check out the link below.

How To Inspect a Used Car For Purchase

oil cap valve cover

If you are ready to test drive and look at the car, I’m going to assume you already talked about the title (No leins, No salvage) and that you have done your homework on the car (dependability, common problems, major maintenance concerns).  I always want to recommend to people to take a car you are serious about to a good and trusted mechanic, but I know some times you don’t have one or one is not available when you are looking.  These are guidelines and by no means am I to be held responsible for you buying a lemon.  With that said, now it is the time to check the car out for any major mechanical problems.  If you are doing this at night bring a flashlight.

Make sure the car is placed in an open place where you can walk around the vehicle.  If possible make sure the car has not been driven any time recently.  Ask about maintenance records if they have them.  This will help ease concerns during your inspection and let you focus on other items that might not have been taken care of.  If the car is equipped with a timing belt you will want to ask when the last time it was change; they need to be changed every 60,000 to 90,000 miles and can cost a couple hundred dollars to have replaced.

Start at the driver-side wheel.  Inspect the tire tread depth.  A penny is great to use for this by using Lincolns head as a depth gauge.

Inspect the body panels and make sure they are not a different color.  Look for paint over spray on the window and body edges.  This is an indication that the vehicle has been painted and was possibly in an accident.  If you cannot tell or see anything you will want to ask about the accidents and paint.  Look at the hood, wipers, windshield, headlights and lenses and turn signals.  Walk around to the passenger-side front wheel and check the tire.  Do the tires match with the other front tire? Is the tread worn on one side and not the other?  If so you may be looking for tires on the front two wheels and a wheel alignment.

Move along the passenger side of the car noting any body problems, broken glass, and door, door lock and window operation.  Move to the rear of the car and check the operation of the lights.   Inspect the signals, brake lights, and check both the rear tires for good tread.  Move to the driver-side of the vehicle and check everything you did on the passenger-side like doors and windows.

Now, it is time to open the hood and this is why it is important that the car is not warmed up.  Check the oil.  If it is low, it is a good indication of a leak.  If the oil is black or really dark it is a good indication the oil has not been changed recently and possibly not regularly.

Open the oil fill cap on the top of the valve cover and look into the top of the engine.  Look on the backside of the oil cap.  Is there oil burned onto the metal of the valve cover or cylinder head? Is there a black blob of congealed oil sitting in the back of the oil cap or in the valve cover?  These are both good indications that the oil has not been changed regularly.  Be wary, but this doesn’t necessarily keep you from buying the car.

Check the other fluids.  Automatic transmission fluid should be red.  Coolant or Anti-Freeze can be bright green (Most Cars), Orange (Most GM Cars), yellow or gold(2000 and Newer Ford and Chrysler), or Red (Toyota).  If the coolant is rusty, the coolant has not been changed regularly and can cause major mechanical problems in the future.  You may want to steer clear of the car if this is the case.  The power steering fluid should be full with the front wheels straight ahead.  If it is not the Power Steering may have a leak.

Inspect the drive belt(s) on the front of the engine for cracking.  If the belt(s) have cracks they will need to be replaced.  If the engine is cool inspect the radiator hoses by squeezing them gently.  If the hoses feel crunchy when you squeeze or fairly hard they will need to be replaced.  Make a note of that for bargaining.

Now it is time to start the engine.  Leave the driver-side door open while you do this.  Listen for any knocking clattering, or odd noises.  If the oil was low, really black, or congealed and there are noises, it is probably time to walk away.

Next turn the air conditioning on.  (If the temperature outside is less than 70 degrees the A/C is going to be hard to check.)  Put your hand next to the vent in the center of the dashboard.  The air out of the vents should be cold in less than a two minutes of turning the A/C on (This does not mean the car will be cool just the air directly out of the vent will be).  If it is not the A/C system maybe low due to a leak.

Time for the test drive.  Take the car on the freeway if possible.  Cycle every setting on the A/C and heater, every vent control, the radio, cruise control, power mirrors, defroster, headlights, turn signals, and don’t forget the wipers. It is actually a good idea to check the state of the wiper blades before you turn them on. Austin bought a car and picked it up on a rainy day. In spite of the fact that he picked up new blades on the way to pick it up, the seller didn’t notice that they were bad and was kind enough to etch half a circle across his windshield. Check how the vehicle accelerates.  Does is accelerate smooth?  Does it shift gears smooth? Does the clutch seem to hold when shifting gears?  Is there any vibrations?  Note any concerns.  If the automatic transmission is slipping walk away that is a major repair.  If the clutch is slipping negotiate for extra off.  If the gears are grinding on the manual transmission you probably want to walk away unless you know how to rebuild a transmission.

Test the brakes.  Do they operate smoothly? Any vibrations? Squeaks?  Vibrations and squeaks mean you might need to do the brakes on the car soon.  Make sure you mention that when negotiating.

Alright, if everthing looks good now it is time to start bargaining.  Bring up all the problems you found and use those to negociate for a lower price.  When you agree upon a price make sure the title is notorized and you get a bill of sale.  The car is yours go register it a drive away happy.

Barrett Jackson Drift Demonstration

At Barrett-Jackson this year (and years past) Ford and Falken do pretty slick drift demonstration with Vaughn Gittin, Jr. We snuck past the rails and took some video. This isn’t super long as we took out most of the boring stuff.

My New Project: Honda CL360

1975 Honda cl360One of my good friends moved away almost a year ago and gave me a motorcycle. As our conversation progressed over the phone about the motorcycle, I asked what it is was.

“It’s a Honda CL360 street bike.”

“What is that?” My brain was running at full throttle when a poof of smoke rose from my ear. I had never heard of it.

“It is just a little street bike; you have to know about a 1975 CL360. You know about almost everything else.” He said.

“First off, I don’t know about every motorcycle ever produced. I can hardly tell you about the different types of Harley Davidson and much less any thing older than 1989.”

“Are you interested in it or not?” He said.

“Heck yeah!” A free motorcycle who couldn’t pass that up.

The day arrived, when I picked it up with a trailer. Apparently registration ran out on it and he never got it renewed.

“Oh yeah, it has been backfiring when it runs and it does not run very well.” And he failed to mention the fact that it a nasty seventies orange, had old spoke wheels, drum brakes all around, a leaking fork seal and … that’s it… for now.

I was there with a trailer and he had the title. It couldn’t run, so I took it home and let it sit in my garage until the past couple of months where now it won’t start at all. I wish I had a picture of my wife the day I brought it home. It was the look of “Is that a motorcycle and why is it here?”

“It’s my project.”  I smiled with a grin.

She rolled her eyes, frowned a little and said “I hope it was free.”

“It was.”  I said back to her and she walked back into the house.

I began inspecting it to size up my work.  The carburetors were so fouled up the throttle plate would not move. The points are black with carbon. Points?! What the heck is points?  This is the electronic era. Where is the electronic ignition?

I vaguely remember reading about them in my automotive class and I have never ever worked on anything with points. Only the electronic ignition, the wave of the future for 1975.

As I was cursing the fact that it had points and I hadn’t any clue as what I should do about them, my wife returned into my garage. “Are you really going to fix that thing?” She said to me.

“Yes, I’m going to turn it into a Vintage Cafe racer with my own twist to it.”

That is the beginning story of my project bike. As I work on it, I will be posting things about it.

There is just one thing I need for it… a name. Every cafe racer’s bike has a name.  I’m open to suggestions and you are welcome to post any.

Ooh, and here is a pic of what my bike should have looked like but doesn’t:

Uploaded on October 21, 2007 by V-rider

Uploaded on October 21, 2007 by V-rider of