26 April 2009

my car is no longer stealth. or, why i shouldn't do anything myself.

when i started the project Make Bug Faster, i knew i wanted it to remain understated, at least externally. i knew the gauges i put in would be a bit of a giveaway, but i told myself, "nothing else!".

i didn't want any of the modified grills, lowering (ugh), extra bits of body decor, spoiler, window decals, tinted tail lights, chrome tip exhaust, etc etc etc.

i even didn't want the underbody neon, if that can be believed.

but i did cave a little bit, when i decided i wanted it to be known that it was a diesel. save for the beetle, the other VW diesels all have a TDI badge. so i opted for an aftermarket one.

there is actually a color-coding to the letters, though VW applies this coding only in Europe (the US ones are always all-silver).

All silver: 90 hp
Red 'I': 110 hp
Red 'DI': 130 hp
All red: 150 hp

What VW does above 150, i'm not sure.

i ordered the red 'DI' before i dyno'ed, which was a bit of a leap of faith. i'd have felt silly if i hadn't dyno'ed at least 130 hp, and even sillier if it was above 150. but, i got it right, and after getting it washed and on a warm, sunny day, i put on my new badge.

first, i carefully lined up the D with the VW badge. then i put on the I, then the T. all by hand/eye, all being very careful. and when i was done, it occurred to me that the T and the I are of different widths, so the badge as a whole isn't centered. ugh!

the gf was "helpful":
it looks fine to me. you're the only one who'll notice. you and everyone who modifies their VW's.

thanks for that.

i'll do it proper if/when i go for 150 hp.

25 April 2009

Pontiac really going the way of Oldsmobile?

Pontiac is the #3 selling GM brand, behind Chevy and GMC. GM markets Pontiac as the "excitement" brand. i think the Solstice is not a bad looking car, especially the coupe (the first time i saw one on the road, i thought it was a Lotus [well, it *was* from a distance]).

Saab sold 21k vehicles last year, and Hummer just a few more. I couldn't even name a Buick model. Regal? do they even still make those? (for their sake, I hope not).

i've never owned a Pontiac, and never really intended to, but i think this is a mistake. what does GM have left that captures imaginations? Corvette and Hummer come to mind, but nothing else does. that's 2 models across 8 brands. pathetic.

i hear rumor that GM may keep Pontiac for niche models; maybe that's not a bad idea. the Dodge Challenger and, errr, the other one that starts with a C, seem to be popular updated versions. perhaps Pontiac should do a proper GTO. not the Buick-like one they did a couple years ago, but a proper job.

"routed detour"

i've always wanted this to be a palindrome, as well, but...

16 April 2009

Duane Pervis gets a mention

from CNN

"There's been a lot of unusual burgers," said Fieri, recalling his culinary travels. "At The Triple XXX in West Lafayette, Indiana, across from Purdue University, they put peanut butter on a burger. People order it, people like it and -- whatever floats your boat."

The Triple XXX has been serving unique burgers -- such as its Duane Purvis All-American. The sandwich is named after a Purdue football player who played from 1932 to 1934. "Add thick creamy peanut butter on the lower deck and you're in for the touchdown!" says the menu.

15 April 2009

drunk jeff goldblum

someone figured out that if you slow down an old Apple ad, you get a drunk Jeff Goldblum pitching apple products.


that old homepage.mac.com page is so amateurish-looking by today's standards, it looks like its own spoof.

thank you, bored person who figured this out.

14 April 2009

dyno results!

Impressive, overly impressive results from my dyno today. Before the big numbers, it turns out I am overboosting my turbo, and that's bad. And that's probably helping the torque numbers a bit. The ECU is requesting no more than 21.5 PSI, but the turbo is making 23 PSI. not good. That must be resolved.

Let's review the numbers.


HP: 90
Torque: 155 ft-lb

Best numbers today

HP: 137.3
Torque: 272.6

That puts the torque right up there with the Porsche Cayman S. Hells yeah. And I'm still getting 40mpg around town.

04 April 2009

"ultra super premium"

we shall see...

edit: actually, it's quite good. Green and Black's is better (more chocolate-y, and just a bit better mouth feel), but overall i'm impressed.


Life on Mars -- US version

What a rubbish ending to the series! I wasn't bothered by the Sopranos ending, I thought the Seinfeld ending was genius, but this ending is really kind of insulting.

i've seen only about 1 1/2 episodes of the BBC series, and it seemed much better to me. now having seen a couple episodes of Ashes to Ashes, it seems the BBC series of LoM ended very differently from the US one.

maybe the head writer never really liked the show at all.