Posts Tagged 'Car'
2014-01-21

For a while now, I've been lamenting that fact that my sweet Ghia doesn't have a cigarette lighter. There is an ashtray, but no lighter. Being a non-smoker, the lack of a lighter isn't a big deal, but I would love to be able to charge some devices while driving. For about 10 bucks, I found a decent power adapter / USB charger combo on Amazon.... then I installed the adapter.

Drill A Hole

Hey looky! There is the adapter, a piece of 2"x2" lumber with a hole in it, a drill with a 1" paddle bit, and my hella sweet buck knife.

The Adapter itself is about 7/8" diameter, but the black frame that the adapter sits in is 1". The hole was drilled a little lower than center so that there would be room to accommodate the lid when it is opened.

Trim The Bracket

A bit of zing zing with the circular saw made a nice trapezoid.

At this point, I really should have used a sander to round the edges. Oh well.

Screw It Into Place

In order to screw the bracket into place, it was necessary to remove my security system, AKA a busted up cassette player.

Installed And Done

Once the bracket was in, I needed to shave a bit of plastic off of the black frame that holds the adapters lid, and the adapter was pressed snugly into the bracket and wired directly to the power. Then the security system was re-installed.

Devilishly Pleasant Weather

It was a wonderful day for working on a car.

The Security System: It is my opinion that the most common reason for breaking into a car is to steal the stereo. I don't have a stereo, I have an amp that I plug a music player into, but I still don't want anyone breaking into my car. As a deterrent, I have a busted, crappy, worthless cassette player in plain sight so that anyone looking into my car will see nothing worth stealing. However, the cassette in the player is the Little Mermaid Soundtrack and that is worth something because it has some jams!

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2013-09-12

In the "backseat" area of my car, instead of a seat, there is a moldy warped piece of particle board covering an empty area of the car body and chassis. Today, I finally got around to making a decent replacement.

Empty Area

This is the empty area. Normally a seat (and I use that word in the loosest sense of the word) would be present on top of this open area.

My car didn't have a seat, it had crappy particle board that I pitched into the rubbish bin.

Time to get to work!

Shitty

Whoa! Cool your jets, bub! Before I can get to work, I need to be able to rock out.

This antique chamber pot made a great resonating chamber for my less than stellar ZTE "Open".

No. I didn't listen to chamber music.

Sweet Skate Ramp

Remember the old adage "measure twice, cut once"?

A certain Jezra who will not be named didn't heed that advice and had to adjust his so called "design" midway through the project. Actually, having two separate pieces makes it easier to do what I want to do. Winning!

Once Piece In

The ends with the 2x4 screwed to them go towards the center of the vehicle and the end of the cover fits nicely into a little groove in the body.

In one of the empty areas, I will be storing my mini 2-ton floor jack. BOOYAH! Ideally, I will have a spare set of tools stored in that empty area as well.

Both Covers On

Wow, what a boring picture.

The fit is quite nice, and it feels pretty solid.

Carpet

That's about it. Both pieces are in and the interior carpet fits over the covers perfectly.

That bottle of motor oil should probably go into the new storage area.

Hold on a second! Won't that wood get wet and rot like the old particle board cover?

Nope. Thanks to the help of my buddy, the leaky seal on my rear window has been replaced.

Now quit reading, and go build something out of wood.... or fix your car.

Comments
2013-09-14 Alison Chaiken:
A reptile tank would have been a nice touch, with a lexan cover. Imagine sitting on top of an iguana enclosure . . . Given the retro themes of your tech exploits, I like the idea of a record-player based car audio system, too.
2013-09-14 jezra:
The car-puter will probably go in there as well.
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2012-03-23

Quitter

Talk about a quitter! The rear view mirror in my car is a quitter. No matter what angle I put the mirror, within a few milliseconds the mirror will quit and slump. The problem is caused by two things:

  1. The ball and socket joint is over 50 years old and is just too loose
  2. One of the car's previous owners stuck a new mirror on top of the old mirror and the added weight causes the slippage in the joint

Time to finally fix that crap

Mirror Mirror

Oh looky looky; a mirror connected to a mirror with some padded foam adhesive.

A few strokes between the mirrors with a utility knife and I had cut enough of the adhesive to separate the two mirrors.

I Don't See Anything

Holy Crap-a-lam-a-ding-dong! This is the original mirror. Most of the silvering on the back of the mirror glass has fallen away.

Fortunately, the mirror that was glued to the original mirror is the same size as the old mirror. Time for a swap.

Hey, it's the Ball Socket

The metal frame holding the mirror is a rather soft metal, and with a bit of gentle prying, I was able to remove the old mirror.

Underneath the old mirror, is a metal plate that puts tension on the ball socket.

Two things were done to increase the friction/tension on the ball and socket joint. First, a small bit of spirit gum was applied to the ball and socket joint to make it slightly more sticky. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of smacking the metal tension plate with hammer to make it snug.

Once the ball and socket joint was nice and tight, I put the newer mirror in the mirror frame and then began tapping the soft metal frame, with the rubber handle of my hammer, to bend the metal frame around the mirror so that the mirror won't fall out.

Installed

Shazaam! The mirror is installed and working like a champ.

As you can see, there is no nighttime flippy dippy thing on my mirror and I expect to be blinded when I drive at night. Damn, that was the only advantage of the quitter mirror. Oh well, I'll figure something out.

Comments
2012-03-31 Alison Chaiken:
Spirit gum?! Don't you have any hot glue or silicone adhesive? Silicone adhesive is worth using if only for the smell, and melting the hot glue is so satisfying somehow.
2012-04-01 jezra:
hot glue or silicone would have been permanent. With spirit gum, the ball joint is sticky but not locked on one position
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2011-03-02

Well That's No Good

While driving to the East Bay last week, in the second foulest Bay weather I've ever been in, I noticed water dripping onto my leg from under the dash. A quick inspection revealed quit a bit of water dripping out of my fuse box, and I thought this was a really bad thing. Directly above the fuse box is the post that connects the wiper motor to the windshield wiper arm.

Look at that picture: What you don't see is any sort of rubber washer to keep the damn rain from dripping on my fuse box. Since I found bits of a washer around the post, I presume the washer had simply rotted away during the last 50 years and needed to be replaced. Hey! I can do that.

The Quick Fix

Without too much time to dilly-dally, I cut a piece of old bicycle tire inner tube to fit over the post and bolded everything back together.

See that bolt holding the wiper arm to the post? That bolt has an 8 millimeter head. Before I even started this little project I knew it was an 8 millimeter head; not because I had measured it, but because the 8mm socket is missing from my damn tool box. grrrrrrrr

Go fix stuff.

Comments
2011-03-06 David:
What kind of machine (car) is that with the bad wiper grommet? I love cars and have many...some good..some bad, but none with a bad wiper grommet.

dave
2011-03-06 jezra:
She's a 1961 Volkswagen Karmann Ghia.
2011-03-07 jpope:
Of course the 8mm socket was missing. This always happens to me too... If it wasn't for my visegrips, I doubt I'd get anything done. :D
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2010-03-07
For a long time now, I've been trying to find a way to get music in my car on the cheap, and since I've finally succeeded, I thought I should share this tale of 12 volts.

When I first purchased my car, it had a crappy cassette player installed. The unit would only play through the right channel and it would randomly eject whatever cassette it was playing. Eventually, the player started eating my cassettes and then died altogether.

Fortunately, my local thrift store was selling a cassette player for $5, as well as a bunch of cassettes for $1 each. Six dollars and 20 minutes later, I was rocking out to Boston's "More Than a Feeling". Not too shabby, but I want to listen to music from my digital collection as well as some audcasts. Purchasing an "audio out to cassette" adapter proved to be a fruitless endevour as the cassette player started ejecting the adapter after a few seconds of playing.

The next step was to purchase an FM modulator that plugs directly into the antenna port on the back of the cassette player. Unfortunatly, the radio decided to break when I tried to tune into the FM modulator's selected channel. "That's OK" I thought, "I can just listen to cassettes from the thrift store." Jerry Lee Lewis, Glenn Miller, Back to the Future Soundtrack, and some Lionel Richie mostly kept me entertained until the cassette player started to fail.... Time for another solution

The Busted Beast
Personally, I like having a busted crappy looking cassette player in my car, because It lets people know (or think) that there is nothing of value in my car. So, the junk cassette player will stay mounted in my dash. Perhaps I can convert it to a change holder in the future. Oh well, perhaps some other day.

Why yes, that is the Little Mermaid Soundtrack in the cassette player. How did you know?



200 Watts of Fury
For $16, including shipping, I purchased this amplifier from an Ebay store. The amp was advertised as 200 watts and I certainly believe that the actual amplification number does have a 2 in it, but it certainly isn't 200; it is more like 2.

What the amplifier does have is a 3.5 millimeter stereo input jack, which will allow me to connect nearly any portable audio player.



Body Modification
In order for my plan to really come together, I would need to hide the amp in my trunk and keep my portable music player in the glove compartment. This would require cutting a hole in the glove compartment so a cable could be run to the trunk.

What? You can't access your trunk from a hole in your glove compartment? weird.



Custom Mounting Bracket
Nothing says "awesome" like a custom mounting bracket, and in this case, that mounting bracket is Gorilla Tape. Hot damn, that is some strong tape.

With the amp installed, I plugged everything in and tested the system. Not bad, not bad at all.

For a victory lap, I went out for a drive while listening to Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom from the Conan Soundtrack by Basil Poledouris, and I turned left where I had never turned left before, just to explore what was there.



Now quit reading, and listen to Riddle of Steel/Riders of Doom while Crom laughs at your Four Winds.
Comments
2010-03-12 Dylan Thiedeke aka Swathe:
Sometimes the simplest of solutions are the best solution. This is a testament to that fact. There is something beautiful about adhesive tape.
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