Archive for August, 2010

FWD sucks

August 27, 2010 7 comments

How many times can you say, hear, or see it written that FWD sucks before you start buying into it? It’s a pretty common occurence to hear the exact – or some variation of – those words. FWD sucks! Why would you buy an FWD if you wanted to go racing? I’m shouting because everyone else is shouting!! FWD? RRRAAAARRRRGGGH!!!!

(I don’t know what we’re yelling about!!!)

Get off your high horse. Have you ever tried to track a FWD car? Tried to track one that is built with enough intelligence to address the shortcomings of an FWD platform? Have you ever even tracked your own RWD/AWD car? If the answer is ‘no’ to any of those questions, you’re just bandwagon shouting about something you don’t know anything about. The more times you answered ‘no’ the less your words mean anything.

(Why on Earth would anyone race an FWD? Oh, the Speed World Challenge Realtime Acuras win more than any other platform? Fluke obviously)

Here is something that we can all agree on: An FWD powered car is slower on the track due to the inherint physics related shortcomings of the drive wheels being the turning wheels as well as the braking wheels. That is where fact ends and people spouting ridiculous things out of their mouths begins.

(What you’re saying is simliar to what I assume this fine gentleman is saying)

Havng driven every single driveline layout (with the exception of RRWD) I consider myself decently versed in the basic handling mechanics of the different options. Now, being that I haven’t driven an AWD or RWD at track speeds in a car prepped for those things I cannot and will not try to talk smack about any one of them or compare them to my own. All I can tell you is the anecdotal evidence I have from looking at lap times, what place each layout came in, what is popular on the top levels of racing. Unfortunately, that same anecdotal evidence that I (and everyone else) already know about, is being taken and regurgitated as if it is the word of car gods. No regard taken for anything other than a snapshot and a blurb in a magazine, but suddenly FWD sucks and should be eradicated.

(How the hell did you make that ridiculous jump??)

I’m going to finish this post here and I’ve intentionally clipped away some of the seething anger I had original written down. Again, like my original post about FWD/AWD/RWD it’s not about which one is ‘better.’ The intent of this post is to point at people talking about things they’ve read or heard about without actually knowing anything about the real world. I can already feel the comments section about to explode, but I’m prepared.

– Steve hates smack talkers. Is available to settle it at the track

Categories: Cars, Steve

Who knew hot tubs were funny?

August 25, 2010 1 comment

The premise of the movie “Hot Tub Time Machine” is stupid; I’ll just come out and say it right here in the opening paragraph. Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…holy hell this movie was hilarious.

(Way funnier than I expected. Way funnier than it look. Almost funnier than pancreatic cancer.)

I didn’t have high hopes for it and much like The Goods: Live hard, sell hard I didn’t even think I’d really even see it. Thank the sweet sweet god of funny movies though as when this came up on my girlfriend’s Netflix queue we sat down and laughed our faces off. Hilarious interactions, ridiculously implausible happenstance, forever repeatable one-liners and quotes…damn, this was TOTALLY worth it!

Wait…this is  a blog about cars? Crap.

– Steve has car related content coming. He promises…kinda

Categories: Random, Steve


August 16, 2010 3 comments

Checklists for ordering and scheduling out steps are awesome. Full stop. Awesome. Most of the time work needs to get done on a car there are a lot of different things to do, some dependent, some time consuming, some simple and easy. A checklist helps keep you in line and focused on the most important steps of the day. Also, when you’ve finished a step you get the pleasure of crossing it off the list. This may sound trivial, but there’s no better way to understand what you’ve accomplished than looking back a list and seeing all the crossed off items; sometimes you need that little boost to help hammer out the remaining work items.

(Simple checklist taped to some place easy to read/edit/admire. Great way to keep yourself on track)

Checklists give you the unique ability to make sure that people are doing the right thing too. If you’re working with a group, team, or crew all at the same time you’ve got to make sure everyone is doing the right thing. Once you’ve got your list and have assigned the tasks to different people, it’s always important to have them cross out completed items and then mark their name or initials next to the item. This helps the group know what has been done already and also who completed it so that questions can be asked and work can be tracked.

(Wrong kind of ‘check’… right kind of ‘Czech’)

It may seem like a silly little step to take when you just want to get in there and get your hands dirty, but having a clear project plan saves you time and effort when trying to tackle a lot of work. Next time you start a big project take a few minutes and run through the list of things you need to get done. Write down the steps, tape the sheet somewhere convenient (yet out of the way enough to not interefere), and get to it!

– Steve….check

Categories: Cars, Steve

San Vegas and Las Diego…or something like that

August 12, 2010 1 comment

Mediocre is going to go on another quick trip this coming week so look forward to the one post I just finished writing and scheduling, but nothing else. No witty comment replies or endearing jigs danced upon request. I’m going to hit Vegas for my girlfriend’s birthday and then San Diego for my yearly nerd conference/liver punching binge so I consider that more worthy than checking the intertubesnetweb.

(Las Vegas: Also known as “how Steve spent a ton of money without actually buying anything”)

I’ll be back in a week and getting prepped for some end-of-August track time, but there should be no Medicore interruption otherwise.

(San Diego: fewer casinos, but probably more booze and debauchery. We’ll see.)

Oh, and if anyone has a spare liver they’re not really using, I’m sure I’m going to need a new one by the end of this trip. No, I’m not kidding.

– Steve can almost hear his liver crying in anticipation

Categories: Random, Steve

Track jitters

August 9, 2010 5 comments

Mildly shaking hands, nervous energy, waves of adrenaline, storms of impatience, twitches from stress, minor hints of fear, and a feeling of general euphoria are the standard menu for things going on in your body when you’re sitting in the paddock before your first lapping session of the day. Have I done all my prechecks correctly? Did I remember to take everything out of the car? Is there enough fuel in the tank? These and other questions shoot through your head as you wait and wait until you’re told to get to your car and be ready to be released onto the track. You know it’ll all be fine when you actually get into the car and are strapped in, but right now you’ve got the track jitters.

(Different kind of jitters. Vaugely relevant; slightly more fun.)

This is your body’s pre-flight shakedown and internal self-check to make sure that all systems are normal. It lessens a little bit as you get more and more used to being at the track, but there always remains a certain level of an excited state of being as you wait and mentally prepare for hurling your chunk of rubber, steel, paint, and meat (that’s you) around the track at speeds you don’t often see. It’s normal, it’s annoying, it’s exhilirating, and above all else it’s violently addictive.

(Addiction made manifest)

One thing that you notice when you haven’t been to the track in a while is that you start to get irritable and cranky. Temper flares and you find yourself more and more inclined to start slowly upping your speeds on the streets (never a good idea). It’s pretty much a one-to-one relation between a track addiction and a meth addiction except you get to keep your teeth and don’t suck as much dick in the back alley just to score more track time.

(Meth rots your teeth, but helps improve your blowjay skills…)

Opposed to the normal addiction advice you usually hear I’m going to recommend that you feed that addiction. You’ll get the jitters in the morning as you wait, but then you’ll get your fix and will be happily on the track until the session ends. Then it’s just a matter of waiting to get your next fix; too bad the first one isn’t ever free.

– Steve said “as much” and not “you don’t”…think about it

Categories: Cars, Steve

Korean cars

August 4, 2010 3 comments

Here’s pretty much all I know about Korea as a whole. There’s a North and a South, Starcraft is their national sport, and my grandfather punched a bunch of commies there back in the 50’s. South Korea – or the “US’ nerdy little cousin” as I’m going to refer to from now on – has two different car companies that export to the United States; Kia and Hyundai. For the most part they’ve been sort of like “the other white meat” of the Asian car companies and for appreciable reasons such as low build quality and imitative design. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but it turns out that the other white meat is friggin’ delicious recently!

(North Korea: Commies. South Korea: Starcraft)

Hyundai has been on a balls-out adventure to start giving the ‘big players’ bloody noses right in their own homes and for the most part, they’ve been succeeding. Rear wheel drive two door coupes have been on the decline recently and what was once dominated by the Nissan 240sx, Honda S2000, hell even the Toyota Supras have now faded to a single Asian company making two door RWD coupes; Hyundai with their Genesis. Not only is Hyundai pumping out the only RWD coupes within a reasonable price range, but they’re actually quite badass. 2.0T inline 4 version as well as a monster 3.8 V6 version? Whoa…The Koreans make cool cars?

(Very cool looking, two interesting powerplants, and a great price point? Well done Hyundai)

Kia, who is notoriously lower end of the market and derivative design-wise, has also put out a pretty sweet lookin’ little diddy that they call the Forte Koup. While it may be slightly derivative, it speaks directly to me and what I like in a little two door FWD coupe and I’m seriously considering taking a test drive in one. It’s a bit Civic Si, a bit Scion tC, and a bit of whatever South Korean magic they’ve got. The result is pretty sweet looking and powered on par with the other coupes in that price bracket.

(Kia Forte Koup. Pretty cool lookin’ little entry into the FWD 2door coupe market)

Today when I was on the highway I looked over my shoulder at a very sleek and upscale looking sedan which I assumed stereotypically to be a German made luxo-sedan. Imagine my surprise when I looked again and saw the Hyundai logo on the butt end. Holy crap…what market are these guys not battling in these days?

(Looks better in black, but don’t all luxury cars?)

Right now, I’m on team South Korea. They’re kicking ass both quietly and loudly in all the basic price brackets and in my opinion they’re completely changing their image. I will give Hyundai the lion’s share of the praise, but you can’t deny that Kia is making some major improvements in their flagship cars and their outward image. Just like my Ford article a while back, I’m not paid or sponsored or getting anything out of this post…just wanted to give credit where it was due.

– Steve still doesn’t think Starcraft is all that interesting

Categories: Cars, Steve