Technical aspects of automobiles

Archive for December, 2009

Is this problem my car, or me?

I took a close look at my tires yesterday for the first time in in
about 8,000 miles.  I was horrified to see that the outer part of
my left front tire is worn almost flat, while all the other tires
exhibit even wear.  My car has 24,000 miles on it, and I had a
4-wheel alignment at 16,000 miles.

My first thought was that the alignment is off again – which
would surprise me since I don’t drive over rough roads or hit
curbs.  Later, I realized that here in Northern CA, all the on
and off ramps I use are on the right, and I have a habit of
whipping around these guys at 40+, where the advisory speed
is 25 or 30.  My tires are rather thin and tall – 185/70′s,
so I thought that all this hard cornering to the right could
be causing the uneven wear, especially as I make a lot of
short highway trips, but don’t really do much city driving.

If you’ve got any ideas or suggestions regarding this problem,
I’d appreciate your dropping me a note or posting a reply.
Oh, the recommended pressure range on the sidewall is 35 psi max,
which is what I keep the front tires at.  The car is an 89 Probe,
which is front-wheel drive.  If the problem is indeed my hard
cornering, I’ll just rotate my tires.

By the way, how often should you check the alignment, in general?

–Neil


Neil Williams
ne…@informix.com

.
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Call for discussion

   Recently, I posted an article on the rec.autos groups asking how to
   go about starting a new newsgroup called rec.autos.volvo .
   I have had numerous replies regarding this, *all of them were
   positve*.  The only suggestion was that I do not restrict this news
   group to the Pacific NW and Seattle, but make it a general one.

   The following is a clipping from the article on how to go about
   creating a new group. I have included it here for your reference,
   since this is the first time I am trying to do this, and I would
   like to not make a mistake:
**************************************************************************
The Discussion

1) A call for discussion on creation of a new newsgroup should be posted
   to news.announce.newgroups, and also to any other groups or mailing lists
   at all related to the proposed topic if desired. This group is moderated,
   and The Followup-to: header will be set so that the actual discussion takes
   place only in news.groups. Users on sites which have difficulty posting
   to moderated groups may mail submissions intended for
   news.announce.newgroups to "announce-newgro…@turbo.bio.net".

2) The name and charter of the proposed group and whether it will be moderated
   or unmoderated (and if the former, who the moderator(s) will be) should be
   determined during the discussion period. If there is no general agreement
   on these points among the proponents of a new group at the end of 30 days
   of discussion, the discussion should be taken offline (into mail instead of
   news.groups) and the proponents should iron out the details among
   themselves.  Once that is done, a new, more specific proposal may be made,
   going back to step 1) above.

**************************************************************************

   So here goes:

   This is a call for discussion for creating a newsgroup called
   rec.autos.volvo .

   It seems from the response to the first posting that the general
   consensus of many users is that it should not be restricted to pnw
   or seattle.

   This group is aimed at discussions/suggestions/advice to and from
   Volvo users who find themselves in need of parts for their older cars,
   can exchange parts, or cross post a "forsale" note when selling
   their Volvo. Volvos are expensive to buy and maintain, but seem to
   run for ever.

   I would like this news group to be a unmoderated one, for the
   obvious reason that there does not seem to be anything in this
   group that needs be moderated.

   Please give us your views on this news group. If you have any
   reason that this newsgroup should not be created, speak up now or
   forever hold your peace… (now, where have I heard that before….:-)

   I will wait for a full 30 days after which, if there is a general
   agreement, I will post a CALL for VOTES.

   A successful vote consists of at least 100 YES votes *and* at least
   a 2/3 majority in the votes.  Hence I cannot but stress the importance
   of your involvment in the creation of rec.autos.volvo . (now I sound
   like a politician…:-)

   Shailendra
   ss…@caen.engin.umich.edu
   sumax!ole.uucp!ssave

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Bumper Grounding Strips

        I would like to know where to buy those rubber grounding strips
        your father had hanging off the rear bumper of his 52 buick !                   I have seen some cheap ones at Grand Auto etc., but can’t find
        the good (thick) rubber ones.

        Anyone know where I can buy them ?

        Bob Bourman
        bour…@hpcc26.corp.hp.com

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Starter problems – possibly brushes. Replaceable item by me?

My starter has been steadily dying (ie, sometimes it starts, sometimes not),
and other times it starts slowly.  Talking with someone here at work, they
mentioned some brushes inside the starter that are probably going out.  

Does anybody know if these are replaceable by me?  If so, where do I find
a place to sell me some brushes?  I can’t afford to go buying a starter right
now, and would much rather go through the work of replacing them myself if
I can.

The car is a 1984 Toyota Corolla sedan.  Front Wheel drive gas engine.

If anybody can help me with this, I’d appreciate it.  I’d prefer an email
answer, and if others are interested, I can post to the net.  Otherwise, I can
just read from the net myself.

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RFD: rec.autos.volvo

Recently, I posted an article on the rec.autos groups asking how to
go about starting a new newsgroup called rec.autos.volvo.
I have had numerous replies regarding this, *all of them were
positve*.  The only suggestion was that I do not restrict this news
group to the Pacific NW and Seattle, but make it a general one.

This is a call for discussion for creating a newsgroup called
rec.autos.volvo.

It seems from the response to the first posting that the general
consensus of many users is that it should not be restricted to pnw
or seattle.

This group is aimed at discussions/suggestions/advice to and from
Volvo users who find themselves in need of parts for their older cars,
can exchange parts, or cross post a "forsale" note when selling
their Volvo. Volvos are expensive to buy and maintain, but seem to
run for ever.

I would like this news group to be a unmoderated one, for the
obvious reason that there does not seem to be anything in this
group that needs be moderated.

Please give us your views on this news group. If you have any
reason that this newsgroup should not be created, speak up now or
forever hold your peace… (now, where have I heard that before….:-)

I will wait for a full 30 days after which, if there is a general
agreement, I will post a CALL for VOTES.

A successful vote consists of at least 100 YES votes *and* at least
a 2/3 majority in the votes.  Hence I cannot but stress the importance
of your involvment in the creation of rec.autos.volvo. (now I sound
like a politician…:-)

Shailendra
ss…@caen.engin.umich.edu
sumax!ole.uucp!ssave

posted by admin in Uncategorized and have No Comments

Rumbling noise

 GM> limited to only annoying noise at highway speeds.  I had a mechanic
 GM> look at
 GM> it late last fall;  he checked the wheel bearings, cv joints, and
 GM> balance, and
 GM> couldn’t find anything in particular need of repair.  Also had the car
 GM> aligned, including the rears, which had gotten a bit bow legged over
 GM> the years.

Probably a rear wheel bearing. Sometimes they are very hard to diagnose. It
could also be the parking brake, if you have the type that’s inside the rear
disks.

 * Origin: Silver Bullet – Silver Spring, Md. – 301-622-2247 (1:109/417)

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Carbon fiber brake pads

I have recently heard there are carbon fiber brake pads available for
"street applications" ie non-racing, but occasional autocrossing.
The advantages are virtually little rotor wear and longer lasting
brake pads.

I am considering getting rid of the repco metalmasters and trying the  
new technology even though they are 2x the price of repcos.

Does anyone have experience with this technology on the street?
If so, are there disadvantages such as having to "warm" them up before
the max efficiency is attained?  Do they really last as long?  The local
sales rep says NASCAR and BMW motorsports has approved the use and can refer
some racers, but I have not found anyone using them on the street.

**********************************************************************
Jeff Yarne                            je…@sequent.com
Sequent Computer Systems              (503) 578-4128
15450 SW Koll Parkway
Beaverton, OR   97006
**********************************************************************

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Building a Tire Gauge

The recent posting about Tire Gauge Calibration inspired me to do this
post on how to build your own accurate, easy to use, durable, tire
pressure gauge.

I built mine 20 years ago when I needed a good gauge for racing.

First get a 0-60 pound round dial pressure gauge.   Do not get other than
a 0-60 pound gauge; a 0-40 does not have enoughrange and a 0-100 does not
have fine enough gradations.  0-60 gauges are used a lot on home water wells.
A plumbing shop, or Sears, should stock them.  Get a "good" one.  Mine is
about 3" diameter with a metal case and a glass front.  This gauge will
have a 1/4" male pipe fitting on it.

Go to favorite auto store (Pep Boys stocks this stuff).  Get a female
quick release air connector (the one with the sliding collar) to screw
onto the gauge; it should be tapped for a female 1/4" pipe fitting.
Screw the parts together, use pipe tape or gasket cement sealant.

Also get the male part of the quick release connector and a small air
chuck to screw onto it.  Screw the air chuck onto the male quick release
connector.  Now plug the chuck into the gauge part, the quick release
connector acts as a neat swivel joint for the gauge.

You could put a rubber hose into this setup, but then it would require
two hands to use, one to hold the gauge and the other for the chuck.
I find the setup without the hose easy to use with one hand.

Now for the slick part.  Take the air chuck apart and drill a small hole
(3/32") thru the housing.  You can cover the hole with my finger and use
it to bleed air from the tire  (overinflate by a few pounds and bleed
to the exact pressure).  You can easily get a tire to within one pound.
You will have to experiment with drilling this hole.  You may destroy a
few chucks in the process.  I drilled the hole from the front of the chuck
up thru the housing to the back.

Oh, you will find that after a few years, the rubber gasket in the chuck
will wear out and the gauge will leak a bit when you set tire pressure.
The solution is either to drill a new chuck or to replace the gasket.
I suggest buying several spare chucks just so you can replace the gasket
without messing with redrilling.

Please let me know success stories and problems.

Regards,
Richard Marks
rma…@KSP.unisys.COM (till 7/24)
      @MDC.unisys.COM (after 7/26)

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AMC Club Details (Finally)

                          AMC WORLD CLUBS
                          information by
                           Chris Peters

Disclaimer:  I am in no way financially connected with AMC WORLD CLUBS and will
             receive no benifits from them.  My purpose is soley to enhance
             the AMC hobby and make a better future for my 70 Javelin.

AMC WORLD CLUBS (AWC) is a non-profit (yes, non-profit) club organized to
provide a club for ALL years, makes and models of AMC from 1954 to 1987.  
This includes AMX, Javelin, American, Spirit, Eagle, Hornet, Concord,
Gremlin, Pacer, Matador, Rebel, Clasic, Ambassador, Marlin, Metropolitan and
AMC/Jeep.  

Ownership of an AMC vehicle is not required, only an interest in AMC in
general.  

The national office is at 7963 Depew St, Arvada, CO 80003 – 2527.  The
national director is Larry Mitchell.  The phone is (303) 428-8760.  
Office hours are 10am to 6pm M-Sat RMT.

The club newsletter is called the AM-xtra and is published 6 times yearly.
The newsletter features :

      TIDBITS — small articles of AMC related news
      AMC Local Chapter Car Show Reviews and Results
      AMC Historical Articles
      AMC Historical Pictorials
      AMC Historical Adds
      Techinal Information covering all aspects of AMC Autos
      Reviews of new AMC Products and Old
      Letters and pictures from readers
      Special interest articles
      Vendors adds
      For Sale and Wanted Adds
      And more Adds, Adds, Adds

Each newsletter is commonly 20-30 pages of the above in black and white, with
color accents.  (Better than a Xerox or Newspaper, but not a magazine either.)

Dues are 25.00 yearly.

Some recent special interest things the club has done include sponsorship
of all the AMC autos at the Talladega Racing Museum.  The club, I believe,
is responsible to the upkeep and display of the cars.  Larry has
participated and reported on Pikes Peak Hill Climb and Nevada Open Road Race
in his own 69 AMX.  A few years ago at the national meet the quests of honor
included Richard Teague.  

The club also provides a technical hotline at the above number for answers
to any technical questions about any aspect of AMC autos to any club member
for the price of the call.  The club also has a dedicated computer bulletin
board for AMC adds.  (More info from the Arvada office.)

You may also call the above number for any further info about the club.  

Here is a list of the locations of the local AWC Chapters:

AMX Orientated:
Westminster, MA
Williamstown, NJ
Denver, CO
Lincon Park, MI
Oregon City, OR
Pierceton, IN
Richmond, TX
Seattle, WA
San Jose, CA
W Melbnourne, Australia
Warby, Sweden

AMC In Gereral:
Denver, CO
Imerial Beach, CA
Oregon City, OR
Las Vegas, NV
San Juan, PR
Hallam, Australia

Joint:
Dauphin, PA
Wauwatosa, WI
Loughborough, Leics, England

And more are coming all the time.

I could probably go on forever, but I think this should be enough to wet
your appetite.  Contact Larry at 303-428-8760 10am-6pm RMT M-Sat for more
information.

Thanks for your support,

Chris Peters,  cpet…@x102a.ess.harris.com

These opions in no way represent or are supported by my employer.

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Computer Navigation Systems

I am doing some research on computer navigational systems for automobiles.
If anyone has information they’d like to share, I’d sure appreciate it.
The information is for an article I’m writing for the annual auto issue of
Design News magazine.

Many thanks!

Snail at work: 275 Washington St., Newton, MA  02158 (617) 558-4339

Sharon

Sharon Machlis Gartenberg
Framingham, MA  USA
email: sha…@unixland.natick.ma.us   or   uunet!think.com!unixland!sharon

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