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Showing posts from September, 2011

The CNG Project

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Introduction to a New Ongoing Series After months of planning and parts sourcing I am finally at the point where I am ready to begin a new project. This will be the conversion of my Lexus to CNG.   As you may or may not know, CNG stands for compressed natural gas. When I am done with this project I will be able to run the engine on either gasoline or CNG. The engine will be able to switch back and forth between the two whenever necessary. The car being converted. The reasons for doing this conversion are many. Some of these things are related to the advantages that CNG provides over gasoline; I have written on this subject before. On the practical side, CNG at the local station where I live goes for about $1.25 per gallon compared to the September 2011 price of gasoline at $3.52 per gallon. Obviously CNG is cheaper but more than that the price is also stable so a year from now it will be about the same, and if some crack pot dictator in the Middle East goes on a terror the price of n

The Best Cars Ever: Toyota Corolla

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Another Entry in the Ongoing List of Amazing Cars 1968 Toyota Corolla In 1968 Toyota introduced a new car to the U.S. market that like other cars in the Toyota line up used a version of the word “crown” for its name. Toyota first came to the United States in 1958 and the first sedan they had to offer the American market was called the Crown. This car didn’t sell very well and after a few years was discontinued. The Next sedan released in the U.S. was the Corona. This is the Latin word for crown. This car sold very well and in 1968 Toyota introduced the Corolla which derives its name from the Latin word for small crown. The Corolla was essentially a smaller version of the popular Crown.  2000 Toyota Corolla  Today the Corolla is the longest running “import” sedan sold in the United States (the longest running model from an import company sold in the U.S. is the Toyota Land Cruiser which came to the U.S. on the first boat from Japan when Toyota arrived on our shores in 1958). Globally

The Latest Line on Brake Linings

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For all of you that are adventurous enough to do a little work on your own car. One of the things that you might have tried, or may be willing to try is replacing your own brake pads. In many cases the hardest part of replacing your brake pads comes during that moment that you are standing at the parts counter at your friendly neighborhood auto parts store. After they look up your parts based on make and model, they will usually ask you what kind of pads you prefer. You might answer this question by telling them that you want the new kind of pads. Of course this goes without saying. What they are referring to is the composition of the friction material used in the pad. Not all pads are equal, and just because they fit on your car doesn’t mean that they are the best thing for it. Your choices are usually semi-metallic, organic, or ceramic, but there are a few more choices for some makes and models. Semi-metallic pads are the cheapest, and last a long time. They are composed of a materia

Says One Thing, but It’s Really Something Else

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With the global economy being what it is, every car on the road is made up of bits and pieces that come from all sorts of companies all over the world. Many cars are exactly the same under the skin because they are made in the same factory by the same company. Sometimes these cars carry nameplates that that are part of the same corporate family. Sometimes one vehicle platform may carry nameplates from two or three different corporations. Through some joint operating agreement all companies sell slightly different versions of the same vehicle. The biggest reason for doing this is to save money. R&D of any new product is very expensive and time consuming. Many times they will use this “badge engineering” to produce vehicles that appeal to different demographic groups. Sometimes one manufacturer will lack expertise in one area so they outsource the design or development of a particular model to another company that is really strong in that area. The following is a list of some of the