Reason Number Four Bazillion And Three Why I Hate Computer Controlled Cars

There is a reason my internet handle is Bustednuckles.
I have been a mechanic in one form or another for over thirty fucking years now.

I have worked on so many different kinds of machinery, cars, trucks, boats, equipment and Heavy trucks that I couldn’t list them all.
I got to thinking about it one day and about the only things I haven’t worked on are aircraft and submarines, seriously.

I even went back to school at 29 and got an Associates Degree in Applied Science for Automotive Technology with honors to learn how to work on computerized modern cars.
I then worked at a Lincoln/Mercury dealership for ten years.

I can say with some certainty that I absolutely detest newer cars.
They are absolutely fucking miserable COCKSUCKERS to diagnose and work on.

Today I got reminded why I quit working on the motherfuckers.

My sister in law has a 2005 Volkswagon Jetta with all the bells and whistles.

Six months ago the timing chains broke while she was trying to start it. Long story short, after days of hassling with the decision of what to do about it, she had a dealer find a used engine to put in the fucking thing.
The repair estimate was the same amount as a used engine plus removal and installation.

Volkswagon had a problem with that engine wearing out the chain tensioner prematurely and instead of coming out with a fix, they started putting different engines in them so the people with those certain model years were good and fucked.

A quick internet search on the subject will result in myriad horror stories of the $3500-$5,000 dollar repair bills and part time mechanics begging for technical help on how to replace them.

So two days ago the Sister In Law calls my wife, crying about this fucking car acting up again and showing symptoms of the same type as last time.

This is the same poor woman who just racked up $4,000 in vet bills for an old fucking cat she had that she wound up having put down anyway and who is not only still making payments on the engine swap but now has thirty grand in student loans to start paying off.

You can of course see what is coming here.

My wife started in on me to go look at the damn thing.

I have been working my homesick ass off lately and on my ONE DAY OFF, the last fucking thing I want to do is drive fifty fucking miles to go look at a car that I probably won’t have the slightest idea of how to fix if it is broken, nor the time to anyway.

So, being the nice fucking guy I am, after working until two o’clock this fucking morning, I head over there.

First, I told the wife that I didn’t have a code scanner and needed one because her check engine light is on and I need to know why.
These things aren’t cheap.

To my ever living amazement, she told me to get one!

Luckily, Harbor Freight is right on the way and just happened to have several in stock.

I ain’t stupid, I called first.
So I swing by and pick up one of these babies;

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For the uninformed, not all code scanners are created equal and those cheap fuckers you see aren’t worth spit.

This one however, has the shit ya want.
Not only will it scan the cars memory and tell you what codes are stored, it will actually let you monitor the input sensors to the computer in semi real time so you can see what the engines computer is looking at.

You can do this while driving down the road.
It will also let you capture the screen when you see an anomaly in the data and clear the codes to turn the light off.

I have been wanting one of these fuckers for years but always told myself that I couldn’t justify the cost/benefit ratio because I don’t work on these motherfuckers for a living anymore.

So, I get over there with the scanner and a stethescope to listen and see if the timing chain is rubbing on the case.

After checking a bunch of stuff out, I hook it up and tell her to start it.

It starts kind of rough and the check engine comes on right away.
Beep beep, boop boop, bingo, the computer has detected a missfire on cylinder #1.

Why?
Who the fuck knows why, it ain’t sayin’.

Could be lots of things.

I clear the code and have her start it again.

Runs like a top.

Come to find out, this replacement engine only has about twenty thousand miles on it so the odds of the timing chain assembly being fucked up are pretty slim.

I tried and tried to get that fucking thing to act up again but I will be damned if it would even sputter once.

Drove it around while watching the data parameters and everything is optimal.

Are you fucking kidding me?

One fucking time, the engine misfires for some God only knows reason, the Check Engine light comes on and and she panics, I get to spend two hundred fucking dollars on a scanner, drive fifty fucking miles on my day off and all I had to do was plug it in and clear the code.

That’s it.

NOW, do you understand why I fucking HATE computerized cars?

She thought she was going to have to have it towed to the dealer again and the engine was shot and on and fucking on and extra bonus fucking DRAMA, because the computer saw a glitch in the data stream from a fucking input sensor and OMG, ARMAGEDDON!

This is why I personally only own and drive cars that do not have this unnecessary fucking horseshit and can not, for the life of me, understand why any sane individual would buy a fucking automobile that has the computational capability to basically drive its self like they have these days.

Do you know that a POS 1990 Ford Escort had more computer technology in it than the Lunar Landing Module did?
True fact.

The shit they have out now is truly frightening to an “automotive technician”.

It ought to scare the living shit out of you as a consumer.

People wonder why it costs so much to get their fucking car repaired.
The average mechanic these days has enough technical training as a medical practitioner and has to buy many thousands of dollars of tools to keep up with the pace of technology and the ever changing fastener technology.

I want to leave you with something to think about here.
On one hand, consider all the whiz bang technology they have stuffed into the modern automobile just for the sole purpose of increasing fuel mileage.
Forget all the other electronic add ons, just fuel mileage.

Now consider this.

The Ford Model T was first produced in 1908 and had an estimated fuel economy of between 16 and 21 miles per gallon and would run on gasoline, kerosene or ethanol.
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That was a hundred and five years ago.

The newest car I own is a 1983 GMC Caballero.caballero

GMC’s version of the El Camino.
It is in very good condition, has a 3.8 liter V6 with less than 125,000 original miles on it and got an estimate 19-21 miles per gallon when brand new. The only thing electronic on that motherfucker is the ignition.

My 1964 Sprite gets over twenty miles per gallon and there ain’t a fucking thing electronic on that little bastard.

You people just keep on buying newest and bestest computerized shit.
When it breaks down,
DON”T FUCKING CALL ME.

A Work In Progress

As I have alluded to in other posts earlier, I have been working on my Piece Of Shit 1964 Austin Healey Sprite off and on for, about the last twenty five or so years.

 

I finally got a bit done today that I should have done a couple weeks ago when I had the fucking engine out.

 

At the time I was just going to slap it back together so I just sanded some surface rust and sprayed it with some black spray paint  over the sanded spots and put the engine and transmission back in it.

It looked like hell and wouldn’t ya know it, it came back and bit me square on the ass today.

 

I was using some Brake Clean to get rid of some greasy spots and that cheap paint instantly crinkled up like a cheap suit.

Fuuuuuuck me was I pissed.

 

That’s it then.

I started stripping parts off the cocksucker like I should have done the first time. Then I had to remove all that black fucking paint.
That was an unholy mess and took most of the day.

Of course with the engine and front steering/suspension still mounted I couldn’t get it all painted but I got most of it.

Forty bucks for stainless steel bolts, two more trips for laquer thinner and paint.

The engine compartment is now the color I wanted to paint the rest of the car. Eventually the whole thing will get stripped again and repainted but this is where I am at right now.

 

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If you look closely under the steering rack you can see the original Baby Blue color of the car.

I always hated that color.

Here is the rest of the miserable sonofabitch.

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The whole front end comes off with two pivot bolts and unhooking the wires for the lights.

That makes it SO much easier to work on the little monstrosity.

 

The thing is basically a street legal Go Cart.

 

Now I have to clean up and reinstall all the crap I took off and actually get the thing to run again.

There is no end in sight to the amount of work and money I am going to have to put into this thing but at least I have something to do instead of sitting in a bar.

 

I should have my head examined for opening this can of worms but there it is.

1984 Rules the World

Forget thought crime, this shit is getting serious, welcome to the future.
It’s not bad enough the State can cruise through a parking lot and scan every license plate at fifteen miles an hour, or fifty, for that matter.

It’s not bad enough that there are traffic camera’s every where you turn, Arizona has them every half fucking mile in the middle of the fucking desert, Britain has them in bars where it is now Verbotten to wear a fucking hat or sun glasses because they demand to positively identify you sipping a motherfucking beer,they went so far as to outlaw real glass beer containers and real metal knives and forks two years ago in bars.
Now, George Orwell should be spinning about two thousand RPM in his grave, they took that concept and ran hard.

Now get this.

I can see prohibition Moonshiners circa two thousand fucking thirteen making a mint in Jolly Old England next year.

Really.

If you try to put gasoline in your car, at say, eight fucking dollars a gallon and the pump is connected to Big Brother, if you don’t have car insurance, they will shut the pump off remotely.

I suppose some burly dudes in a big box van with machine guns won’t be far behind to throw you on the ground to help you separate your shoulder with a knee in your neck and your elbow somewhere between you and the moon.

No fuel for you, ya piece of shit that is trying to get to work,a hospital,or God Forbid, an appointment with the motherfucking government.

Look for this to come to a fucking gas station near you soon.

When I was a kid, they gave you laundry soap, dishes, glasses or Green Stamps for doing business with them and checked your oil, cleaned your windshield and checked the air pressure in your tires just for doing business with them instead of the guy down the street. Now they are going to call the STASI on ya without lifting a finger.

Papers, Citizen?

Another Battle Won.

HA! dirty motherfucker.

I want to hunt down and strangle the idiot cock sucker who had this fucking car before me.
Gotta, and I do mean gotta, be a fucking Crack head.

I have been fighting a severe oil leak since I got the damn thing.
Severe as in puddles under the front of the car, in my parents garage.

That shit don’t fly.

I took it to my friends transmission repair shop to have a new starter put in it, that I fucked up and to chase down two leaks, one was transmission fluid and the other one was that nasty fucking oil leak.

He put it on the hoist and cleaned everything up, then had to use a crows foot socket wrench to get the transmission cooler lines off to remove the starter.
he also changed a little seal on the side of tranny where the shift linkage hooks up.

Starter in, good, fucked up ring gear, bad.

Dude only charged me forty bucks and wouldn’t take the extra twenty I wanted to give him.

There will be some drinks bought later.

It works and sometime down the road, I will have him yank the transmission, this guy is GOOD he can haul that thing out in a half hour, have him throw another flex plate at it and call it good.

In the mean time, he fired it up after climbing a ladder because it was on the hoist and leak hunting we went.

I know it is at the front of the motor somewhere.
Got the flashlight out and started watching.
After about a minute, I see smoke coming out of the left front of the engine!!

Looking a little closer and being mindful of the fan spinning at a high rate of speed real near to where I am looking and I see smoke coming out of a empty bolt hole.
An empty bolt hole?
Sure as shit.
There is a bolt that is supposed to go in that hole hole on Chevy 350’s that when changing the fuel pump, which is operated by a large push rod off the cam, that you can remove and thread in a two inch long bolt to hold that push rod in place so it doesn’t fall out on the fucking floor, which they are prone to do. I learned this the hard way after pushing a 66 Chevy pick up across two lanes of traffic and half way up a driveway by myself in a hundred and four degree weather, by myself, at a whopping one hundred twenty five pounds.

That bolt was missing and oil was flowing out of it like an Arabian Princes dream.
One new starter, one used bolt and some skookem’ putty to make double sure the motherfucker doesn’t leak any more and life is good.
Two down, several more issues to deal with but I AM kicking this things ass, finally.
Stay tuned and,

Thanks fer stopping by.

I Won This Battle

The war is far from over but I finally kicked that Chevy in the nuts and Fordified it.

I got on the internets and found a few cheats from other guys who had gotten tired of fucking around and figured out how to re wire a Chevy starter and the Alternator too.

A few copy paste, send it to the wife so she could print out the schematics, five trips to the parts house because I couldn’t get a grip on all the little fucking electrical connectors I needed and game on.

The inside of the engine compartment looks like a nightmare but it works and I can go back and redo a bit here and there at my leisure to make it pretty again.

At least I know what goes where now.

WTF, it starts, runs and drives again and if I ever, ever, find the crack head that butchered that wiring harness, I am going to beat him senseless with his liver and string him up and choke him to death with his intestines.

The fucking shit I ran into would make a mechanic drink until he was blind.

Two, 10 gauge heavy duty wires coming from the alternator back to the starter, wrapped together and connected to a 14 gauge wire, with electrical tape.

Think of two ropes connected to a shoe string trying to pick up a rock the size of your car.

That kind of shit everywhere.
EVERYWHERE!

Everywhere I started hunting down wires, I ran into bizarre shit like that and would have to go get more wire and the correct connectors.

I got it to start and run but I am going to spending a long time going through a bunch of wiring harness’es and a ton of new wires, new connectors, harness covers, tie straps and beer until I get this fucker straightened out and looking pretty again.

It is a testament to my mechanical ability I got the fucker running at all.

Run it does though.

BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

Kiss my fucking ass.

I do have to admit, right now under the hood it looks like a spider on acid had a field day….

Going to the Parts house and then…

I’m coming home, to work on my truck, which I see needs a new timing chain.
I’m gonna cheat as long as I can and keep turning the distributor as far left as I can and hope the weather warms up real soon. I ain’t as young as I used to be and Uncle Arther[itis }just kicks my ass anymore.
 Replacing the timing chain on a truck you have to have a step ladder to see the engine in ain’t gonna be no fucking fun and will probably take two days to do because of my lack of enthusiasm.

Still gotta fix that fucking Chevy too.

Like I said, total lack of enthusiasm.
I’m just plain getting old and tired, just like my rides.

I can has nap now?

I’m A Lucky Dude.

It’s nice to have friends.
My buddy Steve showed up and used his Chrysler mini van with plastic bumpers to push that old Chevy around , backwards, forwards, into the drive way and into the garage head first where I can jack the fucker up and get under it.

Bonus, he is the shit, he brought me some jack stands too.

Double bonus points, my buddy and his partner in crime Tim showed up to make sure it happened.

Thank you very much fella’s.
It’s nosed in  so I can get to the wiring and the starter and I didn’t have to have everyone and their
niece go out in the street and get the fucker in the garage again.

You would think I could write myself a note not to drive the bastard, now I don’t need one.

My pal is upset that I let myself talk him out of this thing.
He is upset I have so many problems.

I am a big boy and I knew what I was getting into.
Imagine an old Chevy that gets twice the mileage of my old Ford, drives like a car instead of a tank  and still goes like a scalded cat.

Yes, I am a stubborn fucker, my wife still hates the ugly bastard but it is beyond the point of no return now.

I have way too much into it now, which is typical of my narrow ass but I actually like driving it when it works.

I WILL, fix this ugly old fucker and I Will enjoy it, eventually.