Jun 19, 2011

the blog of shame

For the record, this is the crappiest blog ever.  Basically I've got nothing to say, but I did wash my car.  So please don't read it.

I’ve already blown my entire car spending budget this year. Any projects this summer will need to be small and cheap. Thankfully the latest car needs nothing in the way of service for the immediate future. However, we all know you can’t just buy a car and be happy. You’ve got to do SOMETHING to it, right? You’re damn right.

So the small, cheap projects have begun.  I checked my tires. Rectified the squeeking breaks.  I wired up my Valentine One and installed a permanent mount.  The TomTom is now hardwired. Topped off the oil.  Reorganized my toolkit.  For the most part, a well bought used car doesn't need too much in the way of small projects, which is good but also boring.   A few of the bigger things are too pricey (HID headlights for instance), at least for now.  That leaves detailing.

I’ve never been a guy who worked too hard on cleaning my car. Historically, I’ve opted for silver cars because they look clean after a $1.50 pressure washing. The cleanest my cars ever got was right after my father-in-law visited. He loves to detail sports cars. Needless to say, I’m always happy to see him.

Tech wax from Meguiars is awesome for one reason.
It doesn't dry white, so it won't harm black rubber.
Especially useful if you are a bad waxer.

So when the weather is crappy and a track day is not on the financial menu I've started clean.  It's a cheap way to spend quality time with the one I love.  A day spent detailing isn't as bad as I thought it would be. I began by washing with a new level of attention.  I followed up with some touch up paint and then some wax. I did’t get out of control mind you. I just waxed the flat areas that are horizontal for now. Roof, hood and the decklid; the areas that the water should bead up.


A coat of wax is smart to protect your paint especially if you prefer to drive. When and if you get caught in the rain, don't have a stroke, just have a good coat of wax on your car to protect it.  Act normal and don't panic, it won't melt.  I personally don't set out in the rain intentially but can handle it if I get rained on.   It's just that darting around on wet asphault in a rear engined car isn't that fun.  Perhaps I'd have a different opinion if my current ride was a C4, Audi S4, EVO or STI  I might not be blogging right now, but rather tearing it up in the rain.  Alas, I only have a lowly 2WD.

I've been a black interior guy for years but have come around to tan since I own a golden retriever.
  I don't haul the dog in this car ever, but still,  the dog hair still finds its way here.

Onto the interior.  Vacuuming and some windex was easy since the car's already clean.  The leather did have some spots that needed re-dying. The dye I bought online for $10 was a very good match after googling the color code. Other small interior projects included gluing some trim back into place and peeling off the hideous child safety stickers from the visors. I would really like an OEM style aluminum shift knob and e-brake handle since mine are peeling. To my surprise they are far from small priced projects, so they’ll have to wait along with my HID headlight dreams.


Random orbital from Griots is ideal for larger rides.
The random orbital stayed in it's box.  I used it alot on my '88 Carrera because of the deep scratches in it's paint.  The orbital is a good tool for the my Jeep too because it’s so damn big.  So far I'm doing everything on the Carrera by hand, its more personal that way.  Like massaging your woman I guess.

Turbo twists touched up with silver for now.
Trying to rationalize painting them black.
Wheel work was next. I cheated here and used the silver touch up paint from my Jeep. My standards are lower for these wheels because they are not in the best of shape anyway. Eventually I’ll buy a new set of OEM turbo twists or maybe have them refinished. I’d love black wheels like the Carrera GTS, but  prefer only an OEM wheel.. Perhaps I’ll learn of an OEM 993 wheel that actually came in black. For now these are just fine and I’m trying not to obsess over the imperfections.
The cleanest my Cobra ever got was in preparation to sell.
I'm told the current owner prefers to spend his time the track.
 I wasn't affraid to soil it, and it still cleaned up great.
As a guy who buys only used cars I've found a thorough detail can create obsession over flaws found when detailing. As a defense mechanism, its often wiser not to detail at all. I guess detailing can be an okay project provided the car has no big secrets to reveal under close inspection. Today I learned that the front and back bumpers have been used effectively and thus have small stress cracks. Also the headlights are a bit dingier than expected.   The secrets I discovered today weren't any big disappointment but I was kind of scared, since I felt the car was an unusual value.  That was a close one.

My motto is still "Stop Waxing and Start Driving." But it was a crappy day for a drive, it was my only day off  so I had to do something!  Otherwise it would have been laundry duty.