March 31, 2010

wrx in Marin

Filed under: cars — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 10:00 PM

Marin Part II:

As you may recall, I brought the WRX to LIC to diagnose because the third cylinder was misfiring. You should also remember that I rode up to Novato to pick it up. Car was ready to go when I arrived.

Had they fixed the problem? Maybe. They assured me that my motor was perfect and that the problem was definitively electrical related. They swapped the coil 1 and 3 to see if a faulty coil was causing the misfire. In the process, they discovered that both cylinder 1 and 3 spark plugs, which were replaced by SpeedElement 8 months/1500miles ago,  were only hand tight. After tightening the plugs and swapping the coils, the CEL cleared and the problem went away. LIC was fairly confident that the plugs were the root of the problem so I picked up the car to drive home. If the CEL returns with a cylinder 1 misfire, we will know who to blame.

On the way back to SF, I snapped a few photos of the WRX. I haven’t taken pictures of my car in a long time!

But drive it much either. Driving your car, seeing it reflect off other cars and buildings really makes me want to more buy wheels for it.

Looking at the car also makes me want to lower it more too. I have a new set of coilovers with rear camber plates s hopefully there will be more lowness to come.

Give me back my front lip!

Ok time to go home.


March 25, 2010

Me versus RAV4. Winner? Draw.

Filed under: cars, cycling — Tags: , , , — nekoball @ 8:04 PM

After two years of incident free cycling, I finally had my first “run in” with a car. Literally. Yesterday, Wednesday after work at 6:30PM, I was heading Southbound on Moffett Blvd. in Mountain View taking the same route I take everyday to get to and from Caltrains and Moffett Field. I was riding the Felt at a relaxed Z1 pace and had my hands placed at the corner of the tops. I crossed the Middlefield intersection while the signal light was green for the left turners so I cleared all the cars that were continuing on Moffett. Looking down the road, there were no cars, but I noticed a group of cyclists heading in the opposite direction. They made a left turn into the plaza and were likely headed for Los Portales for a post ride bite. After noting the riders, my mind either zoned out or I looked down because as I approached this driveway, a white/silver Toyota RAV4 suddenly turned right in front of me AND STOPPED.

With my hands not on my hoods or drops, I couldn’t grab a handful of brake so I swerved to the right into the parking lot. I heard “F****CK” come out of my mouth and “wOOOOOOH” out of one of the other rider’s right before my leg ran into the RAV4’s fender/tire and bounced off. Yes bounced off.  Luckily, the RAV4 left enough driveway for me to ride into the lot otherwise I would have either 1.) ran straight in it or 2.) ran into a curb and endo’d…

Slightly in shock, I looped the parking lot and rode back to the curb. One of the cyclists suggested that I come in for a beer, which wouldn’t have been a bad idea had I not been on my way to meet up with Thomas. The RAV4 had driven off somewhere else in the parking lot, and since I did not really have anything nice to say to the driver, I just rode off lucky to get away without incident.

In retrospect, after totally cutting me off, the RAV4 probably had to stop to yield to the other cyclists going through the parking lot-right in front of my path of travel. I was probably a bit zoned out too, but I suppose I got off lucky… Lets hope I’ve hit my car incident quota for the year.

PS: Did I really write that much (and spend that long writing) about a 10 second incident?

March 10, 2010

sadface suby aka 3rd cylinder misfire

Filed under: cars — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 10:06 AM

Last week, I drove the Subaru to work because I had my lactate test in San Mateo after work. It was raining heavily and 101 was arguably flooded on some sections. When I got to 92, I noticed the power dropped and was very jerky and rough at lower rpms. I exited as soon as I could, but once I got to local roads, the symptoms disappeared. I continued driving locally to confirm that the car was fine, and when I was convinced so, I headed into work.

The car then proceeded to act normally until I exited and the same symptoms returned, but this time the CEL also came on and was flashing. I parked it for now.

Later in the afternoon, Jeffrey took a look and check the code: 3rd cylinder misfire. A bit of researched indicated that the problem might be either water/intake related, plugs/wires/coil related, or worse case-motor related. After we cleared the code, we test drove it again. The car was fine and the CEL did not return.

On the way home, passing by San Mateo again, the CEL DID return and showed the same symptoms again: jerky power, loss of power, rough idle. I hobbled home and parked it. I planned on leaving it for a couple days to see if the symptoms still remained.

On Saturday, I fired up the car, and the car was still acting the same. Time to let a pro check it out… On Tuesday, I made an appointment with LIC, and today I had the car towed up. Let’s hope it’s not something major…

Sad pictures to follow:

boi boi~ 😦

February 21, 2010

a different sti limited wing

Filed under: cars — Tags: , , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 7:31 PM

Back in 2002, Subaru Japan came out with a STI limited model that few people know about.

I believe this version had slightly more power than the regular STI, but more importantly, it came with a rear wing extender. The extender was different from the Zerosports wing extender and the various other clones that it has spawned because the extender was one piece that extended across the length of the trunk. By chance, I scored one off eBay, in aspen white.

Originally, my car came with a stock wing, but I traded the wing and trunk away shortly to go for the stripped down Spec C look. At one point, I even traded away my V7 STI wheels for V8 STI wheels. I got bored of that fast and again traded trunks to get the stock wing back so I could add my wing STI limited wing extender.

In 2007, Subaru released another “STI limited”, but this time it was for the USA market. This model toned out some of the more aggressive exterior features to appeal to the “mature” audiences. Around this time, I was wanting a wingless trunk again, and I thought this “STI limited” trunk lip complemented a wingless trunk well.

Unfortunately, wingless trunks have been in fashion lately, so everybody else has been wanting one too. Luckily, my friend was parting out his car and I snatched his trunk and STI limited wing. I installed it right away.

So clean! I’m not convinced I won’t get bored of this look, so I kept my winged trunk and spoiler and I can swap back anytime.

January 28, 2010

the miata i didn’t buy

Filed under: cars, photography — Tags: , , , , , , , , — nekoball @ 6:04 PM

I drove around with Jeffrey after dinner scoping out spots to shoot. Some spots had potential, but we ended up in the ubiquitous parking lot complex. We experimented a bit with only two 580EX and this is the result.  The lighting pretty much sucks, but its my first real attempt at lighting a car. A dirty black car. I touched it up a little in PS, but I couldn’t get the two highlights to clone out without it looking terrible.

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