Saturday, March 31, 2012

This is Gordon E. Jones ,

and he's a Pearl Harbor survivor . He came into the shop a few weeks ago with his daughter to sit with her while she got a tattoo .

His handshake was strong and you could tell he was a tough old dude . He looked you right in the eye when he was talking to you and had a quick and easy smile , probably born from carrying the memory of that day with him throughout his life . We chatted for a while about stuff , told him how my dad was on a carrier during the Korean war , etc . He was pretty interesting to say the least .

He was quick as a whip and was really interesting to talk to . I'm glad I got to meet him and shake his hand . He's part of a generation that's disappearing quickly , and It was an honor to make his acquaintance .

Friday, March 30, 2012

If you drive a Dodge Magnum , Chrysler 300 or a Challenger , and suddenly for no apparent reason you are stuck in park and can't get out , here's what you do .

Your shift interlock has a broken spring tab and this is how you fix it .

First get a little screw driver , like a normal sized flathead . You'll need to pop off the trim ring around the shifter to get to the interlock release cable . Push it down in-between the cable and the housing and slide it over to the left a little . this will disengage the shifter and let you get home do fix it with real tools , in your garage or driveway , rather than in a gas station parking lot or on the side of the road .

It looks pretty ghetto but totally works . If you want you could probably just leave it at that and not worry about actually fixing it for real . I'll bet you could roll like this for some time and not have any troubles . If you ever see anyone driving around like this you know what they've got going on .

I busted out the iPad and found some how to shit on YouTube that helped a lot for getting into this thing without busting everything I touched . I usually fuck around with old stuff so this was new to me and ended up being pretty fun . Anyhow once you take all the junk off from around the shift unit , you need to unhook the shift interlock solenoid ( the white thing with the cable poking out of it ) and then the shift arm ( the black rod looking thing attached to the shift unit ) . It helps if you pull the ashtray out first so you can get to these guys .

Then there are a couple electrical connections you have to undo , and 4 10mm nuts that hold the shift unit in place . Our car is a Magnum with a center console that has a hidden drink holder thingie . If you have a regular drink holder you won't have to undo the center console . . . I was not so lucky . It turned out no big deal though , 2 philips head screws in the dash and 3 8mm bolts under the plastic tray in the console . just scootch it back an inch or so and the shift unit pops right out . Here it is in all it's glory .

And this is the little fucker that stranded you . You can see the ridiculous little tab that broke off and this is where you start wondering , what the fuck . . .

OE part # 4578029AC, AE; 4578087AA, AD, AE, AG depending on application . I went to O'Riley's and got a Dorman's replacement part # 924-706 which is oddly enough made out of metal .

Go figure .

Why doesn't Dodge make these things out of metal ? Well because when you need to get this problem fixed at a dealership they have to replace the whole shift unit ( $200 ish ) and charge you $200 in labor . The replacement part cost $39 . I saved $360 , give or take doing this job myself .

Planned obsolescence can go fuck itself as far as I'm concerned .

Here's the new linkage in place , after a few dabs of lithium grease to ensure smooth moves in the future . Looks like it will outlast the car now .

Problem solved , crisis averted . Money saved and male ego fully in tact , till next time something breaks and I get the opportunity to test Amy's patience with desire to do this kind of shit myself all the time .

All buttoned up and ready to go .

Thursday, March 29, 2012

oh how I miss you , Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton . . .

And oh how I miss you Warp Core Breach , at Quark's bar , at the Star Trek Experience . . . at the Las Vegas Hilton

I found this old picture of my friend Rob's bike from a long time ago .

Lots of neat little weird things done to this bike that make it very cool . I guess it lives in Japan now , as do many of the old choppers from the west coast these days .

Thursday, March 22, 2012

We went to the Natural History Museum last weekend and got to check out some junk

This was an iron meteorite that was cut in half and just chilling . It was super weird to touch it and think that you were touching something that was literally millions of years old and came from the deepest depths of outer space . No telling where this old rock came from or how long it took to get here . It was kind of trippy .

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Kuttty truck

I remember when this thing hit the scene for the first time and everyone lost their minds . It was an instant hit wherever he drove it and people couldn't figure out all the crazy shit he & Merc John had done to it . It was a little go-kart to ride in and it did burnouts 1/2 way down the block . Still looks insane today , many years after the fact .