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Thread: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

  1. #1
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    Probably you can get through life without ever having to learn to write longhand; so long as you can sign your name, you're fine.

    We type everything else, right?

    It's the same with many things car-related, too. No one today needs to know how to double-clutch, for example - unless you happen to own a car built before the 1950s.

    The last twenty years of technological advances have added several items to the roster of obsolescent skills and things you don't see much anymore, including:

    * "Choking" the engine -

    Since all new cars have electronic fuel injection, there's no need to set the choke (either manually, by pulling on a knob or automatically, by pumping the gas pedal) because fuel-injected cars don't have a choke. They have a cold-start enrichment circuit - but it requires no special action by the driver. Just get in, turn the key - and go.

    * Threshold braking -

    There are still a few cars that come without ant-lock brakes (ABS) but not many - and their days are numbered. So drivers no longer need worry about learning how to apply the brakes just hard enough to get maximum braking without locking them up and sending the car into a violent skid. The computer handles that now; the driver just slams the brake as hard as he can and the system will prevent the wheels from locking while applying maximum possible braking force to slow the car down. No more loss of steering control; no more black stripes in the road leading to a pile of broken glass and crunched-up sheetmetal.

    * Locking the hubs -

    Virtually all 4WD systems today are either automatic or electronic. The onboard system either decides for you when to engage 4WD - or the driver does it by turning a knob on the console. The manly fun of stopping in the middle of a muddy road (or in a downpour), climbing out and manually rotating the engagement mechanism on each front wheel to engage 4WD is fast slipping into the mists of history.

    * Rolling down the windows -

    Have you noticed how few cars still come without power windows as standard equipment? Even the meanest little econo-boxes increasingly include power windows (and air conditioning) in the car's base price. It's become an expected "given" - and probably within three or four years at the outside it will be impossible to find a new car that still offers manual roll-up windows. (See also: Locking doors manually.)

    * Emptying the ashtray -

    As smoking has become politically incorrect, cup-holders and power points have supplanted ashtrays - several of which, at least, used to be found in just about every new car. Today, if an ashtray is even available, you have to special order it as part of an optional "smoker's package."

    * Lubing the chassis -

    Many new vehicles have no grease fittings - and so, don't require the periodic attentions of the grease gun. They are "lubed for life" - which (according to automaker PR) reduces maintenance costs but also means that expensive suspension/chassis parts are also "throw away" parts that can't be serviced, either.

    * Laying rubber -

    It's still possible to screech the tires and leave a pair of black marks in the road - but electronic nannies are making it harder and may soon render it impossible. Burnouts are irresponsible (though fun!) and the automakers are working feverishly to put under computer control any uncontrolled vehicle movement - such as a slip-sliding drag race-style launch. Traction/stability control systems are becoming omnipresent; they may soon be impossible to turn off.

    * Rustproofing -

    This is handled by the factory, which does a magnificent job of applying protective coatings that keep new cars from rusting out for many years. These days, it's common for the body to outlast the engine - the reverse of what used to be the case. And it's completely superfluous to buy a rust-proofing package beyond what the car got when it was assembled at the factory. That business has gone the way of the pet rock and Betamax.

    END

  2. #2
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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    All very true.

    The degree to which we are dependent on manufactured items is a bit scary, but there is the bicycle ...

    Actually I just passed on the 1994 XJ40 Jag even though a change would have made me ten grand, mainly because the GM is newer and more reliable [and has a better engine] The Jag rides better though...

  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by robmcg
    All very true.

    The degree to which we are dependent on manufactured items is a bit scary, but there is the bicycle ...

    Actually I just passed on the 1994 XJ40 Jag even though a change would have made me ten grand, mainly because the GM is newer and more reliable [and has a better engine] The Jag rides better though...
    Looks better, too!

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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    The only car I ever owned with with after market rustproofing (it was on the car, i didn't ask for it) rusted in every place a hole was bored to apply the stuff.

    I knew a guy in the 70s who lived in way northern NY (we had a rec farm there), a land of snow, salt and sand. His car remained rust free and his secret was to run the thing through the car wash a couple of times a week and have the so-called wax applied. Whether the cleanliness, "wax" or both did the job, i dunno but the results were obvious.

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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    Stop being mortal.

    I could have an XKR or XK8 (the former being a poor supercharged Ford the latter being the basic V8] and it's easier to spend money and use the talents of us guys down here....

    Sorry, it doesn't work for me.
    And I am dismayed by the perponderance of travelling bricks, of which you Sir are guilty.

    Will you now allow electronic following?

    1905 trolleys did it better

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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    To see this article on the main page visit the below link:




    http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/...0&Itemid=10819



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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    The only car I ever owned with with after market rustproofing (it was on the car, i didn't ask for it) rusted in every place a hole was bored to apply the stuff.

    I knew a guy in the 70s who lived in way northern NY (we had a rec farm there), a land of snow, salt and sand. His car remained rust free and his secret was to run the thing through the car wash a couple of times a week and have the so-called wax applied. Whether the cleanliness, "wax" or both did the job, i dunno but the results were obvious.
    My farming garage is good. Stopping rust generally inhibits actual USE of a car... today I was was sprayed by gravel from a passing truck, but you guys surely don;t have 60mph two-lanes... like Sweden you probably have median barriers.

  8. #8
    Gareebee
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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    Regarding the loss of driving fun (laying rubber, etc.), I bet that the companies churning out high performance computer chips which you can use to replace the one in your car's "modulator", will probably start offering replacement chips for these new cars coming that will allow you some of that fun. Who knows.

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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by Gareebee
    Regarding the loss of driving fun (laying rubber, etc.), I bet that the companies churning out high performance computer chips which you can use to replace the one in your car's "modulator", will probably start offering replacement chips for these new cars coming that will allow you some of that fun. Who knows.
    Hi Garabee,

    We cannot fix rust easily but we can make your car go better with this bottle...

    Meanwhile, I am trying to work out if common 'chips' can be had for less than a full re-write and dyno-tune..

    In general it doesn't matter with common small upgrades. I think the factory sets the numbers to not destroy engines at full throttle, with a bit to spare. So out of kindness I am thinking of putting a small cam in my LS1 Chev-engined Australian with the idea of making it better on low throrrle mid-throttle.





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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    You realise that my inerest is mainly music and mathematics,

    and that the new cam is for fun.

    The Plains are very dry and we got rain today but the whole country is 3C above 100-yr averages, here where we live in the real world...\ yes it a weather pattern I know...

  11. #11
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by Gareebee
    Regarding the loss of driving fun (laying rubber, etc.), I bet that the companies churning out high performance computer chips which you can use to replace the one in your car's "modulator", will probably start offering replacement chips for these new cars coming that will allow you some of that fun. Who knows.
    I hope so.. but even if that's true, it'll mean another layer of hassle and expense to do something that ought to be free. I am losing personal interest in new cars with each passing year... they're too expensive, too complicated, too over-nannied....

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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric

    I hope so.. but even if that's true, it'll mean another layer of hassle and expense to do something that ought to be free. I am losing personal interest in new cars with each passing year... they're too expensive, too complicated, too over-nannied....
    I agree, but I can write computer stuff and talk a little Japanese and enjoy a new car.

    The kids here do the wheels thing, and the few who do the V8 thing are mostly tradesmen with money, but to put it bluntly, carbs are steam engines, and the kids who get serious get computer re-writes and also do engine mods. We NZers produce the people who build F1 cars., and most days I pass a plinth marking the spot where in 1955 a local lad , not Burt Munro, got a 2-way average of 185mph world record for a bike on a seal not designed for anything buit farming...

    I have a video here which I could dig out showing an alloy LS engine in a sedan normally aspirated doing a low 9sec which is what my mechanic friend gets from his English Ford Anglia (well, I think he got a high 9) with a carb 350.

    link to 9 sec Camaro? to come

    on
    http://www.rapidmotorsports.com/project_cars/ls1_9s.cfm

    scroll down to the bottom,
    the first video link shows sheer beauty in drag-racing nomally aspirated it's a 9.55 pass.

    beautifully filmed with the magic of a good piece of music, even if it probably didn't have facory ECU

  13. #13
    Gareebee
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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    Quote Originally Posted by Gareebee
    Regarding the loss of driving fun (laying rubber, etc.), I bet that the companies churning out high performance computer chips which you can use to replace the one in your car's "modulator", will probably start offering replacement chips for these new cars coming that will allow you some of that fun. Who knows.
    I hope so.. but even if that's true, it'll mean another layer of hassle and expense to do something that ought to be free. I am losing personal interest in new cars with each passing year... they're too expensive, too complicated, too over-nannied....
    Agreed. As you opined earlier, it is an era that is gone for good. I remember down in Ft. Lauderdale, FL there was a rental place where you could rend high-powered exotics by the hour (350.00/hr comes to mind). It might be fun to do something similar, only rent out muscle-car era big-blocks instead. I got to believe it would be a hit for us boomers.

  14. #14
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Eight things we don't have to know about, can't buy or do anymore

    "Agreed. As you opined earlier, it is an era that is gone for good. I remember down in Ft. Lauderdale, FL there was a rental place where you could rend high-powered exotics by the hour (350.00/hr comes to mind). It might be fun to do something similar, only rent out muscle-car era big-blocks instead. I got to believe it would be a hit for us boomers. "

    Even better - keep a big-block tire-fryer in the garage for use whenever the urge hits you!

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