Saturday, December 05, 2020
I've posted about the Dodger Stadium races before https://justacarguy.blogspot.com/2016/05/dodger-stadium-road-races.html
how embarassing it is to see a car site screw up identifying an easy to recognize car like a classic Challenger. The Hotchkis E Max
Charger? Really? That's pathetic. Turn off your site and start blogging about buttons or quilts or something.
Friday, December 04, 2020
As you can see, Cibeles appears in a carriage carried by 2 lions. Why lions and not horses? Because the fountain represents the story of one of her most famous Myths, Hipómenes and Atalanta Mith. Let’s discover the story, they were not always lions:
Atalanta was a really beautiful hunter who became famous because of her strength and speed. Because of her beauty a lot of suitors tried to get her love but she was not interested in any of them as she had made a pact with Artemisa (the Goddess of the Hunting) to stay virgen.
Nevertheless her father wanted her to get married. So to avoid to get married Atalanta reached an agreement with her father: she would only get married if one of her suitors could beat her in a race by foot. If he won, she would marry him, if not, he would be condemned to death.
Beacause of her beauty and speed, the pretenders went to the Hades really fast, so she stayed single and happy for a long time. But then Hipómenes came into play. He knew that it was impossible to beat Atalanta by running, so he asked for help to Afrodita, the goddes of the Love. She told her that one of the main defects of Atalanta was avarice. So to defeat her, Afrodita gave 3 gold apples to Hipomenes.
Hipomenes took them and went to challenge Atalanta to the race. When the race started Hiponemes took one of the gold apples and threw it far away from the road of the race. When Atalanta saw the apple she got apart from the road to catch it letting an important advantage to Hipómenes. But just some minutes later, Atalanta reached back the head of the race; as we mentioned she was really really fast. So Hipómenes threw the second gold apple far from the road again. Atalanta went for it. He repeated this strategy as many times as apples he had, wining the race finally. “Love” won the battle and they got married!
So having this story in mind, Ventura Rodriguez designed the proyect and Francisco Gutiérrez y Roberto Michel sculpted the figure. 10,000 kilos of sculpted stone later, Cibeles was inaugurated in 1782.
I don't think I've ever seen a set of tires that more accurately defines the term "pizza cutters" more aptly
Mel Brooks driving Marty Feldman and Dom DeLuise in a Morgan. They were some great guys, who made this world a better place
found on the Twitter page of the grandson of the founder of the car manufacturer Morgan Cars https://twitter.com/charlesmorganuk
Been a long time since I've had a Morgan to post!
Only here. Because my source posted it 2 years ago, that's why http://www.overdrive.fi/forum/threads/vanhoja-valokuvia-ameriikan-raitilta.267070/page-1259#post-3412732
Lee said "You may be the greatest auto journalist ever... "
Stiff Speed Steve said "Places like this can't be getting away with shit like this. Especially from the worlds best auto-blogger."
The president of Brightline Trains met with transportation leaders in Orlando on Wednesday to discuss the company’s expansion project through Central Florida
the sister of the stupid young man that was caught doing 181 on interstate 15 in San Diego, came on to my blog to talk shit in the comments.
She is not smart.
Thursday, December 03, 2020
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, (have more patience than seems reasonable, and realize, you may be in the wrong, and banging your head against a wall, getting frustrated and stressed out with people who might feel you're accusing them of doing you wrong)
BUT, I still got done wrong, someone fucked up, and IF I am to believe that I was only quoted for one thing and not two? I was still over charged if math still works when no one agrees on what was said, heard, and the people that have the job and responsibility to write things down didn't.
But that's where the facts, and the true story, begin.
But I think the big take away on this entire issue, is that the old saying that there are 2 sides to every story, means something more to me now, that I can see that what I feel happened, and how it was dealt with, aren't necessarily the way the other person involved feels things happened, and they can recall what was said different, and that they see how it was resolved was better than I do.
Mostly, because I was sure that my recollection of things was the way things went down. Well, I now can see that no one else on this planet will agree. And, no matter what I was expecting, and what I was thinking was going to happen, ever will.
I believe that is what people call adulting, wisdom, and stuff like that. I suspect it's just closer to being a calmer head prevailing over what my hot headed reaction to someone fucking up, had seeing as the course of events.
Hell, I've been wrong before, and it's even cost me money, and this is just another example of something costing me money, but I'm pretty confident I'm not wrong, the other person is, and there isn't a damn thing that is going resolved to my satisfaction because we don't see things the same way.
Mostly because this involves me being a customer, and the other guy being a speed shop owner. But I'm writing this all up, because, I might be wrong about some things, or not. Hey, I blog about it, regardless.
So, here's the facts, and some photos.
I started this blog in 2006, about the same time I went and took the beater I was driving to get the catalytic converter replaced. I went to a garage that specialized in Fords. JBA.
I was impressed, the whole job went fine, and I thought I get a bit more than I should have expected for what it cost me, and I have been a fan ever since. You know, good work, good price = good place and good people.
From then til now, JBA has been on my "Recommended Shops" list, and have been posted about 27 times for a wide variety of reasons, like being at the races, showing up to car shows, putting on charity fund raisers, having customer appreciation days, a 25th anniversary open house, and a machine shop open house, and a grand reopening open house when it opened at a new location, and hosting a car club meeting... etc etc.
This isn't unusual, I've posted about Galpin Ford 39 times for the same reasons, and Pure Vision 18 times. That's what I do. Showcase cool stuff and let you know who did it and where.
So, I got laid off like so many millions of other people in March, and the govt paid me unemployment, at 375 a week, which is 1500 a month, right? Well, that's about half what I made when employed for the past 6 years at a car dealership as a photographer. Expectations of just how bad that would turn out freaked me out, as my bills are about 1600 a month. Now, that is bad. Rent, cell phone, car payment, car insurance, those alone are 1100, roughly. But renting two garages (one for the car in this post) totals 300 a month, and now, monthly costs are 1400, plus about 100 for gas a month... etc etc etc
Allright, about a week after getting laid off the govt announced that extra 600 a week. Suddenly I was getting about 3900 a month. Damn, no worries until that runs out, right?
So, the govt ordered everyone with a non essential job to stay home, take the pay, and don't go get sick, right? Ok, done. Then 6 months later, unemployment is over, and so is that 600 a week. Time to get a job, right? Right. Well, they did say there would be a 4 month extension of the 375 a week... but really, that won't pay the bills.
Now I paid my bills, and put the rest of the unemployment and that 600 a week into the bank. So, now that I am back to work, I figure a couple things. Time to pay taxes on that income, probably 15 to 20 percent, because I was looking to make sure I would have money to pay bills, and rent, now knowing what the hell is going on with this flu that was freaking out the govt to the point it was ordering people to stay home.
Probably political, as they come up with a vaccine, for a virus that some people don't even know they have (Listen to Kevin Hart, or anyone else that learned they had it) and the cure is to stay home for 2 weeks. Really? Not very dangerous if you don't know you have a disease, and the cure is to stay home.
Anyway, after paying the taxes, I realize I finally can afford to get something done to make my 69 Dodge run better, and that is to have the MSD ignition parts that I saved my income tax returns and your tips (you peoples are terrific like that!) installed by some pros, because the right springs need to be installed in the distributor, in order to realize the performance potential of the advance curve. (you know what I mean, right?) Plus, hell, things could go wrong (see the title of this post? It was chosen deliberately) and if I screw up the damn ignition, or something else, well, fuck. I'd have to get the car towed to where some more experienced people could fix it.
So, it's like that thing where mechanics prefer that you don't screw with stuff, just take it to them to get it done right the first time... you guys know what I mean. We've all had to fix other peoples mistakes at work... and when it comes to cutting expensive ignition wires to the right length, only one time, and crimping on the tip, you better get that done right the first time, every time.
I bet we've all had to take one off then put it back on again, because that damn electrode center moved when we crimped on the tip.
So, believing in the principle of "anything worth doing, is worth doing right the first time" I chose to have a shop that I believed in do the ignition.
Then I realized, this would be the right time to get the headers replaced, as the passenger side collector has rusted a hole about the size of a quarter, and it makes the sound of the solid lifter lumpy cam - not nearly as impressive as it used to be before the rust made the hole.
So, after deciding that installing headers wasn't too easy the last time I did it in 1993 with my 71 Challenger I had then, I realized, hey, I can actually get both done, at the same time, by the pros at JBA.
A couple weeks after starting the new job, I drove a couple blocks more, as JBA is only a couple miles away from where I work, and popped in.
Now, I've seen J Bittle at dozens of car shows, his shop (JBA) a dozen times or more, at SEMA, the Optima Challenge, Speedfest, cruises, the car club meeting he hosts, and his open house customer appreciation days, shop tours, and many times he's either mentioned that his shop would / could do some upgrades to my 69 Dodge, or me mentioning to him that when I get the money, he'd be seeing my car in his shop, I had already known for over a decade that I wanted to have JBA do the work that I couldn't to my Dodge. There are several things that you aren't going to do laying on your back, under your car, in your garage. Either you don't have the confidence to rebuild a transmission, engine, etc, or you don't have a dyno, or you don't have the tools to machine something, or remove something... whatever the case maybe, there are some things that you're advised to let the pros handle instead. Right?
Like installing headers. Hell, I don't have a welder, so I'm not going to be able to match the exhaust pipes to the collector, or whatever other things might come up... like, I don't have an extra set of hands to help lift off the hood, I don't have an engine hoist... I don't have a car lift..
So, getting back to the point, right? I go over to JBA, where I have been before, but not in the last 5 years, as I've been too broke to waste gas going out to car shows, cruises, etc.
Back in 2015:
So, I walk in, don't see anyone that I know as years go by and every one has moved on that I knew who used to work the front counter.
David now has his Mustang restoration and wiring business at his home, JR opened a speed shop in Escondido, etc etc. It's all fresh faces.
So, I pop my head into J's office and say "hey! How ya been!" Because I haven't seen him since the Optima Challenge a year or two ago, and know he's not going to recognize me with my recent disaster of a haircut (I've had a flat top for the past 30 years, no one would recognize me without it) and I now have a beard down to my sternum, and not even my mom would recognize me with that.
So I say hello, and get a kick out of slowly being recognized, and then say, well, I finally can afford to have some work done here, do you have a buddy ol pal discount price for an ignition install, and headers install?
He laughs, says sure, and
Now, right here I didn't realize that nothing was going to go right from this point on.
tells me a price.
Now, I'm not surprised by how much has says, cause it doesn't matter. Do you care? Why? A buddy price is always a deal to your buddy, it's always non-profit, and it's always going to be what you can do because you've got reasons.
Some times it's free. Some times it's at cost. Sometimes it's simply flat rate half off the usual cost. It's always one thing though, it's always less than the usual cost.
So, I say great, when should I bring my ol car? They consult the work load calendar, realize that the shop is busy as hell, and I tell them (J and the service writer he wanted me to work with on the time table) that I'm not in any rush, make it when it's convenient.
Sounds fine so far, right? Well, I thought they'd order the headers, and install the ignition parts, and headers, and I'd pay the bill.
I might not have a god damn clue how shops operate, but I'm willing to learn. It turns out, the service writer didn't want to order the headers. It's a speed shop, in business 35 years. Why not? I didn't ask as I wasn't too happy about learning that now I was working for free to get the headers for my car. See, I thought you show up, tell them you want to have them do the work, and you do the pay, and that was the sum total of your involvement.
Now, I haven't had my ol Dodge into any shop since I bought it in 2002, as the 3 carbs and the dyno tune of them and the ignition, were exactly what the Dyno Shop in Santee specializes in, and I don't.
Do you? Heck no. So you take your car, it's 3 carbs, and a credit card to the place that does, and you're happy to let them tell you what it is going to cost. That is why they are famous, and on my list of recommended shops, and I'm paying to have other car guys work on my car. Can you tune 3 carbs? I know I don't even want to try.
And JBA is on my list of recommended shops because I've been welcomed in for over a dozen years
SO, back to the facts, and the story of what happened.
I was informed of when to bring it in, and that's what I did, on a Saturday about 1pm.
They had a guy walk around with a clip board to get a look at what was the situation with what worked, what was dented, and where it was scratched. That's typical of rental car places too, and Uhaul. You show up, or drop something off, they take a tour to see what they are dealing with, or what you've screwed up. Good time to get to know the car, and the owner.
So, then some other guy, a young guy, come over, starts it up, and tries to figure out what gear it's in. This can be tricky, as there was a wall a foot behind it... right? No room for error there - but then again, this car comes equipped with a "you're in reverse" light.
Right next to the shifter. So, you know you're either in a forward gear, or neutral, when you let the clutch out a little, and any one who has a tiny bit of experience can do one thing to know you're not in neutral....move the damn shifter. If it moves side to side a lot, or up and down, you're not in gear.
That's just stick shifter 101.
This kid needed a couple tries to figure out where 1st was. Well, that's a bad sign. Anyone's first time in a car with a stick will need a couple movements to find 1st. But shit... a couple minutes? No.
So the car starts rolling back, toward the wall. Freaking me the hell out. I yell. Loud. You would to is YOUR car was moving toward a wall, piloted by someone who was proving they were new to the job of engaging a clutch.
Then I decide it's time to go, they've got it, and things will be just fine. I was wrong.
About 5 weeks later, I pick it up... on Nov 25th.
I'm going to point out, that the headers were dropped from the install, as TTI headers outsources the ceramic coating, and again, if you're going to do something, do it right. Get the right parts, the first time, and get them only installed once. It just costs too damn much to have work done twice.
I covered this in a post last month.
So, since the car was in a shop that can do anything... I realized I ought to have them do another job I can't do in my garage. Replace the torsion bar bushings. This follows with my replacing the shocks in 2019. It's a step in the right direction, replace the worn out suspension parts. Which made me realize I ought to have them replace the pitman arm. It was seriously wasted, and since I've heard that they need a 10 ton press to install on the steering box (I may be wrong), but they also need a pulley puller to remove, and I realized, get that done right now too.
So, I had the car in for an ignition upgrade to MSD which I'd bought one piece at a time for the past 4 years, torsion bar bushing replacement, and pitman arm replacement. They called me up to let me know the idler arm needed replacing, and yeah, I knew that. I intended to do that myself, as I did it on the last car I had, my 69 Dodge Super Bee.
Why do this other work? Well, the timing was right, as it's in a shop than can do it, and the stuff needed done, and I could finally afford it, based on the buddy ol pal price I'd been told for the ignition and headers install job I walked in asking about.
When you're not going to have the headers installed, I figure you've just cut that price in half... right? You ask about 2 things, and one doesn't happen, so you're going to pay half that amount, right?
Well, way back at the beginning of this long post (hey, I don't write much normally, and I rarely just sit here and write for hours, and here's one example of that. 2.5 hours so far) I mentioned that there are 2 sides to each story, and here's the other half, as it was just explained to me a couple hours ago, when I asked... how come I was charged 975 to get the MSD installed, when I was quoted 850 for the ignition AND headers installed?
You see, this has made me upset for about a week now.
Well, the other side of the story as it was told to me, was that he didn't hear me say, headers.
So, that may be. I mean, if you can't believe someone you've respected, when they now tell you that they didn't hear you say headers, then what do you do?
He also tells me that he doesn't remember telling me 850 either. Oh. Well. That's two things, that were said, in the same minute, about 8 weeks ago, that I was basing this entire situation, stress, cost, price, and expectation on.
Now, summed up, I thought I would have work done for under a thou, then half that work when the headers fell out of possible things getting done, and half the cost.... then more because I was adding pitman arm, torsion bar bushings, and they talked me into the idler arm... easily to, as they didn't tell me what any of those parts cost. The way I figure it, you either trust people, or you don't
Most of you have seen everything I've posted for years. It's clear to you that I'm whatever you have decided, based on what I choose to put on this blog.
I think I'm fair, believe in respecting the stuff that deserves it, and also likely to get upset easy about stuff. I think that this blog proves me out on those observations about myself, and my personality.
So, as this is car guy 101, it's getting posted as I respect you all enough to not hold back something that went bad. I'm not trash talking J Bittle, as I can see where I may be in the wrong, and from his direction, I might be the nut job with some attempt at weaseling out of what the work costs.
Well, that's the start of a debacle, which gets a lot worse. Now, I don't know any way I could have prevented anything that follows.
The decision was made to replace the 9 year old battery in the Dodge. No one notified me.
No one kept my old battery (something about a law that was passed that says you will be offered all your old parts, as so much rampant fraud has happened where shops all around the world have ripped off customers, never replaced parts, sold off the parts that get removed, etc etc - this is common knowledge. You can even have the old tires you want replaced)
A battery was chosen, by someone who went with a battery that was not my choice to pay for.
Now, I realize the following about the 9 year old battery that was in the car....
it wasn't going to last forever, it was still working, and was holding a charge of 13.7 volts when I drove out of my garage.
It was 12.7 when I took this photo to show Mike that such an old battery (sold date sticker on the top shows 3/11 , March of 2011)
And it didn't hit the 52 year old air induction fiberglass under my hood.
The battery someone else chose, without telling me, was installed, with a wingnut on top of the post clamp... and it sat a couple inches higher than my hood would close over.
Yeah, they closed the hood, about 2 inches lower than the wingnut would allow the 52 year old fiberglass to lower... and they latched that hood.
That is a fact. Not an opinion. Not conjecture, not an assumption.
here's the hood resting on the wingnut, photographed to save for posterity the fact that the hood won't lower farther without force, since it's a broad piece of flat metal, with springs on the hinges, yes, it can be forced to latch. And it was
here's what was installed without my authorization, consent, approval, or knowledge.
here's what was put on my hood after I let them know I'd found this problem about two weeks ago, because I stopped by, curious when my car would be ready to be picked up
that's it, hood resting on 12 volts dc electricity, about 1200 amps of current.
here's the full under the hood equipment for getting the air from the hood scoops, and directing that to the carbs, via the pieces of fiberglass duct work.
with the hood raised a couple inches and showing how high that wingnut is, and how it is higher than the valve cover, higher than the inner fender, higher than the bottom of the hood hinge
and how that damn wingnut is going to hit the fiberglass. with the hood closed any lower, the camera cant take a photo under the hood, the yellow across the top of the photo is the hood
So... that happened, and I had to bring it to the attention of car mechanics, professional ones. I'm just a car guy. I've been a professional car mechanic, at a Sears oil, battery, and tire center. I've even been a mechanic in the Navy, got my E-4 in 1990
I figure you have to right to blindside anyone with complaints, even the justified ones. If you want to be respected, you also have to respect things. Like the responsibility that people have as employers, as company owners, as car guys and what not. All that stuff. So you have talk to them about what went wrong, so that they can deal with it, handle their business, and provide you with an idea of what they want to do to resolve an issue. Or two. Or 3. Well, frankly I have about a dozen.
So, then I left.
You know, I admire Optima. Have for a decade or more.... and that is the battery I want to pay for and have under the hood of my cool old car.
That's going to be another post when I can make time this weekend to open the door up and look inside to see what went wrong with the mechanism, but, I looked inside the slot, with a flashlight, and saw that the armature that connects the window handle to the glass, via a round hole in the bottom of the window, is no longer in the window. Maybe just a small part popped out of something. I'll see this weekend.
I wasn't given my old ignition system. Not until I asked for it.
I wasn't given my old battery. Yes, I actually have a good use for an old battery, and when I learned that they felt my wasn't going to work, you know, after I got upset that it was already replaced, I thought, hey, I can use that to power the old AM radio from a Cutlass that my friend doesn't realize I am going to make into a garage radio for her for xmas, (another post in a couple weeks probably) because it's the only part of the 442 her parents had, that she LOVED, that is still around. It probably works, but was likely replaced by an AM FM radio.
So, when I was there about 2 weeks ago, to check and see when my car would be done? Discovering the hood to battery contact? I also found that they hadn't been installed. So, I pointed out that I was pretty angry about the battery to hood impact, and that the boots weren't installed.
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit-
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit”
Just wait til you can calmly discuss what you're upset about, and you might see that there is another side to the story, and that other people might not be on the same page, as they didn't hear you, and brother, I know I talk a lot, especially when I'm excited, you know, as in, holy shit, I'm finally getting my car upgraded!
So, I found that I'm the only one that thought I was getting a buddy ol pal discount that I asked about.
No one wrote that down, and no one heard me say insulation boots, and they did reply, we have those on the shelf... but they didn't write it down.
Oh, something else that made me mad. They wrote down on the bill to charge me for installing a new ignition coil.
That was something they charged me for on the bill. They didn't install a new coil. In fact, I had a spare MSD coil because I was a bit happy when ordering the last part of the system, the brain box, and ordered a coil, even though I already had an MSD Blaster 2 coil in the old ignition system that I bought about a decade ago, to hope that it might make the car run better.
So, when I brought over the ignition parts to get installed, I brought over the spare coil, brand new MSD Blaster 2 coil, and told the guys at JBA to give it to someone who could use it, who needed it. Just pay it forward.
And that seems to me to be the better option than returning it to Summit... a year after buying it, and it sitting in my garage in the box, waiting for me to install the MSD system. I thought, hey, be basic. Do the right thing, be generous, be nice, pay it forward. Someone will need that, and where will they be when they find out they need a coil that will work in nearly all 1960s muscle car ignition systems? At a speed shop that specializes in upgrading 1960s musclecars.
By the way, I talked to a couple people about this entire debacle, they all only heard my side of the story, but Mike said quote "I'd be in jail" when told about the hood impacted with the battery
If you can keep your head when all about you
So, having emailed and offered him the opportunity to give his side of the story, and finding that he didn't, I've went ahead and posted this. If I hear from him, which I doubt, as people who feel they are not going to change anyone's minds normally don't bother saying what they think, I'll post it. But since I want to get this behind me, I'm not waiting any longer.