Random Thoughts... [Automotive Edition]

Matt2000

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I knew it was going to be another bloody Volvo. One with catastrophic rust hidden away clearly wasn't enough. It's not like I'm above such a thing though.

I'm doing an ~8 hour, 400 mile trip tomorrow but in the Tesla so it should be generally uneventful. I'm going up to the Yorkshire Dales for a mini roadtrip with a friend, I'll be taking in the sights and sounds (and probably smells) of Hawes among other places with less interesting names. The end of the interesting route is the Scotch Corner supercharger.

It's a route one of the Land Rover magazines uses, minus the off road bits as the Model 3 isn't quite up to that.
 

jack_christie

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Waymo goes wrong. Tries to turn into blocked lane, then blocks free lane and even drives away from driver assistance crew!
 

93Flareside

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I think a bearing in the wagon's rear end is going, I was cruising down a road that varies between 35mph and 55mph depending on which town you're in (seriously, fuck you Bull Valley there's nothing to hit). Around one of the gentle curves where you're holding the steering wheel at maybe 15 degrees, I felt an oscilating shake that's seperate from the usual shake. I didn't feel it in the steering so it's not the front, I felt it in my seat.
 

Blind_Io

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Could also be a bad bushing or control arm.
 

Perc

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I think I got some sort of a seal of approval from a rival DIYer at the recycling center today. We were both dumping our recycling into the various bins when he commented on my trailer.

Somehow this feels like I unlocked an achievement.
 

93Flareside

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I think I got some sort of a seal of approval from a rival DIYer at the recycling center today. We were both dumping our recycling into the various bins when he commented on my trailer.

Somehow this feels like I unlocked an achievement.

I never once thought a trailer looked good, bad yes. But that's because you'll sometimes seem them with bent axles from being overloaded or missing lights.
 

CraigB

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I never once thought a trailer looked good, bad yes. But that's because you'll sometimes seem them with bent axles from being overloaded or missing lights.

There's definitely good looking trailers. Ones where the engineering and construction makes it look complete and not 100% homemade by a guy with three teeth and 47 tattoos (a very high tooth to tattoo ration BTW) and put on mobile home axles (yes, this is a thing; no, don't do it).

For example, here's a typical home made car hauler that I just found on Facebook Marketplace:

182337821_5430154357056386_7703987403156850432_n.jpg


Note the mobile home axles.


Compare that to this factory built trailer that even has a tilt bed for easier loading of vehicles:

186566668_10226105824652449_7096122290852326047_n.jpg


186027738_10226105827052509_6031230477569180763_n.jpg


Now, this is not to say that all home built trailers are ugly, but in my experience most are.

Reminds me of a trailer a racer built that a buddy of mine borrowed. While it looked very nice, it was missing a very important set of components to make it work right. Springs. That's right, he had built it with axles welded straight to the frame. Pulled like udder crap...
 

Perc

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I’ve rented an articulated lift a couple of times. They have the axles welded to the frame and yeah, it’s terrible.

My own trailer has a rubber torsion axle. It’s pretty bouncy when empty but pulls well fully loaded.
 

Perc

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Most basic household trailers around these parts do have shocks and actual leaf springs.

B067D191-6C1C-41A6-8101-0B12C27033D4.jpeg
 

Blind_Io

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Our 3-rail motorcycle trailer has been heavily modified over the years. It started out as a Yacht Club with no decking, had some things welded on to hold the ramp and some track stands by the former owner, who also added a wood deck. Suspension is just some leaf springs.

Once I bought it the trailer was completely re-wired, I cut off the trackstands holders since they didn't work with my stuff, new spreaders were added on the tongue to hold the center motorcycle in the correct position, and the rotted wood deck was replaced with steel diamond plate (which also helped strengthen the chassis. This year I added 4 tie down points to strap down a fuel can (not pictured, since I added it last week).
IMG_20210126_145120521_HDR.jpg


IMG_20210126_145140803_HDR.jpg
 
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93Flareside

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I very much doubt that NHTSA and USDOT would allow in-car ads. The consumer backlash to that as a stock "feature" would be extreme - I know I would immediately scratch any car with that off my list of possible purchases regardless of any other features, costs, or performance figures.

In unrelated random thoughts - I'm severely disappointed in how many 4WD vehicles you can really modify for off road driving. After the Moab Meet and the Xterra's second mid-trip breakdown in a row, I'm realizing that I need a newer and more reliable vehicle. The problem is I want to go a different direction; I'm done with the overland thing and want to focus more on technical off road challenges. Part of that is because all the overlanding I've done, I could do with a more hardcore off road build by throwing a water jug in the back, the other part is the Broverlander Instagram thing has really soured me on the whole idea. I'm sick of seeing Tacomas with $10-20k worth of shit bolted on driving their commute every day with maxtrax, a roof top tent, and a half dozen rotopax strapped to the sides.

I'm realizing that if I want to go up in tire size - which I do, the X really struggled on 33" tires on some trails - there's almost no options out there aside from Jeep. The Wrangler Unlimited is crazy expensive for what you get, but a 4Runner TRD Pro can be as much as $10K more than that. I'm not sure I want to buy into a FCA "American Leyland" product, but I might not have much choice. The only other modern vehicle I know of that can run 35"s is the new Bronco, but it's not out yet and Ford is having serious issues with that 10-speed. All the lego-bits that I want are there, but Ford won't bolt them together the way I want: V6, Manual Transmission, Sasquatch Package. I can get the Manual and the Sasquatch, but only with the 4-cyl and I honestly am not confident that little high-strung engine will last running desert trails at < 5 mph without cooking the turbo.
If It's in warranty..... I get the headache of it crapping out would be annoying though.
 

NecroJoe

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When an auto maker redesigns a car from one generation to another, and they say "torsional rigidity is improved by 50%", are those claims kind of bull-shit?

It seems like if you were able to find 50% more "performance" in any aspect, it either means there was some newsworthy technology/process/material improvement, or they just left SO much on the table with the previous design, due to either cheaping-out, a bad design, or...?

The specific example is the new GR 86, where Toyota specified that "50%", but it's something that happens all the time.
 

EyeMWing

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When an auto maker redesigns a car from one generation to another, and they say "torsional rigidity is improved by 50%", are those claims kind of bull-shit?

It seems like if you were able to find 50% more "performance" in any aspect, it either means there was some newsworthy technology/process/material improvement, or they just left SO much on the table with the previous design, due to either cheaping-out, a bad design, or...?

The specific example is the new GR 86, where Toyota specified that "50%", but it's something that happens all the time.
Chassis torsional rigidity you could meaningfully improve 50% rather trivially.

Strut top braces and harder subframe bushes will generally do it
 

NecroJoe

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Chassis torsional rigidity you could meaningfully improve 50% rather trivially.

Strut top braces and harder subframe bushes will generally do it

But a car maker should know, that, right? For such a trivial "upgrade", why would they have decided to NOT include that from the start for the previous version?
 

EyeMWing

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But a car maker should know, that, right? For such a trivial "upgrade", why would they have decided to NOT include that from the start for the previous version?
Serious ride quality tradeoffs. Given how stiff the old 86 was without either of those things, that's not a trivial concern and I suspect this thing now falls into 'what is this shit, a homologation special?' territory.
 

NecroJoe

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I suspect this thing now falls into 'what is this shit, a homologation special?' territory.

Amusingly, every GR 86 comes with a free N.A.S.A. (no, not NASA...) track-day. Not quite the same thing, but a teensy-tiny step in that direction.
 
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