The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 is a mighty tyre. There’s a reason they’re the tyre of choice for cars like the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, Mercedes-AMG GT R and the new Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 ZTK: not only are these semi-slick, track-friendly boots spectacularly grippy, they also help feedback and sharpen up the turn-in to each corner, mostly thanks to stiffer sidewalls. However, these attributes are offset by a lot of downsides. A stiffer sidewall means a harsher ride, while the way the compound is tuned - combined with a reduction in tread - results in a big drop in wet grip. So, should you or should you not run a tyre like the Cup 2 all year round? That’s what Tyre Reviews set out to do, using an E92 BMW M3 as a test subject with a set of Michelin PS4 S hoops used as a comparison point. And even with a modest amount of torque on offer from the car’s 4.0-litre, naturally-aspirated V8, driving in damp conditions on the Cup 2 takes a lot of concentration. So it is a … [Read more...] about Is It A Terrible Idea To Run Semi-Slick Day Tyres All Year Round?
Do you ever hear a watery sloshing noise when you pull your car up at the kerb, or at traffic lights? Maybe it’s just the petrol tank… or maybe it’s several gallons of water hiding inside your bodywork. Owners of first-generation Volkswagen Touaregs, as well as the Audi A7s and Porsche Cayennes based on the same platform, have been reporting vast quantities of water getting caught inside the chassis. Videos of the draining process have been picked up by Jalopnik, and they’re jaw-dropping. In the first couple of clips you can see the insane amount of water that flows freely out of an early Touareg and a MkI Cayenne. How exactly the water is getting in there seems to be up for debate, but it builds up over a period of years until there’s a small child’s worth of extra weight swirling and sloshing around inside your car’s hollow bits. The problem on these cars isn’t limited to the hollow sills. More videos are out there showing the small … [Read more...] about Watch Gallons Of Trapped Water Drain Out Of Early VW Group SUVs
Engine blocks are often the forgotten heroes of internal combustion. People focus on camshafts, pistons, forced induction, air intakes and even cylinder heads before thinking about the poor old block. But there’s a lot more to the humble block than meets the eye. The myriad fine points of their design make for a fascinating lesson. Sit back and enjoy an impressively simplified take from YouTube channel How a Car Works on the genius of how an engine block works. … [Read more...] about Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Engine Blocks
Given that I have boxes full of automotive switches, lights, clocks and other electrical accessories pulled during All You Can Carry junkyard sales, and given that not all of that stuff gets consumed at my notorious Car Parts Boombox Building Parties, I always have plenty of high-quality electrical hardware on hand when I need to do some low-voltage electrical project in my garage.In my role as the very dignified Chief Justice of the 24 Hours of Lemons Supreme Court, I travel to racetracks all over the country, reviewing new cars and dispensing my unique brand of justice. Many 24 Hours of Lemons cars have arrays of LED driving and off-road lights bolted on, and when they crash into each other (which happens frequently at tricky, crowded tracks such as Sonoma Raceway or New Hampshire Motor Speedway), these lights get knocked off. At the end of each day's race session, the wrecker crews pick up all the busted-off car parts they can find -- e.g., bumpers, mufflers, starter motors, giant … [Read more...] about To control your 12-volt garage work lights, hit the junkyard
If you’re really, really serious about going sideways, you might want to think about fitting your car with an ‘angle kit’. As the name suggests, it’s all about giving you an increase in steering angle, opening up a new world of heroic drifts that simply wouldn’t be possible with a stock setup. If you’re curious about exactly how an angle kit does this, and what goes into fitting one, you need to give this guide from Chris Fix a watch. He already managed to give his Ford Mustang an extra nine degrees of angle using a ridiculously easy mod that involved removing the steering rack limiters, but now the man’s fully committing himself to the drift gods. As he fits an angle kit to the car, we get an intriguing look at exactly how the kit works. It centres around cut steering knuckles that allow for the extra angle, and modified control arms that give room for the tyres to turn in to a much greater degree than before without catching. While ChrisFix … [Read more...] about Here’s How You Give Your Car ‘Shopping Cart’ Steering Angle
That sickening bang that shudders through the cabin of your car when you hit a pot hole at speed is one of the worst things a driver can experience. But could you ever hit one hard enough to make an airbag deploy? That’s the idea of this experiment, which involved repeatedly smashing a naked E-Class into a crater-like holes in the tarmac. The first few runs were actually too fast, the door-less Mercedes merely skipping over the imperfection as a result. Switching to a series of holes to unsettle the suspension did the trick, and yes, the passenger-side curtain airbag does eventually go bang. Our favourite bit though is seeing the front-left wheel wildly smash back into its arch - there’s something weirdly satisfying about the violence of it. Unsurprisingly, a chunk is eventually knocked out of said wheel during run number four, which also burst the tyre. Dramatic stuff, but we can’t help wonder what this test might be like if repeated with bigger rims on lower … [Read more...] about Can You Hit A Pot Hole Hard Enough To Deploy A Car’s Airbags?
Whether it focuses on a super-exotic Porsche flat-12 or a humble Mazda MX-5 1.6-litre lump, we love a good engine rebuild timelapse. This particular one is on the more ‘ordinary’ end of the scale, given that it centres around a 1972 VW Beetle’s flat-four, but rebuilding was far from an easy job. “It has led a hard life, with a hodge-podge of parts from various years and some obvious mechanical and cosmetic shortcuts taken over the last five decades,” as the video description puts it. With that in mind, many of the original parts had to be binned and replaced, including the magnesium block, which was dumped in favour of a shiny new one made from aluminium. 30,000 photos were taken during the build, which came together to make this amazing video. … [Read more...] about Here’s A VW Beetle Engine Being Meticulously Rebuilt In Six Minutes
Project cars can be painful, painful things. Taking on an extensive restoration isn’t for the faint of heart, but if it’s not for you, perhaps this will give you an idea of how much work can be needed for a big rebuild job. It’s the work of Jeff, an Australian man who’s almost irritatingly talented. As his 18-month, 1973 Porsche 911 RSR project plays out in this four or so minute video, we see him rebuild the engine, refresh and repaint the bodyshell, fabricate a roll cage, and even build and trim interior panels from scratch. Is there anything this guy can’t do? The car isn’t finished yet, as the rebuilt engine still needs to be installed. We heartily recommend you head over to his YouTube channel - Home Built by Jeff - to keep an eye out for the conclusion, and to take a closer look at what’s been done to the car up to this point. Via Jalopnik … [Read more...] about Watch An 18-Month Porsche 911 Restoration Play Out Over 4 Minutes
It’s been awesome watching Colin Furze turn a rusty old E30 convertible into a driveable hot tub, but as you’d expect, it wasn’t all plain sailing. In his latest video, the inventor and YouTuber reveals that the first test drive didn’t go so well, with the brake master cylinder unexpectedly pumping water into the engine. Furze also shows how he managed to get water neatly trickling out of the heater vents, and assures viewers that the E30 used for the project was a bit of a dog which - from the sounds of it - was beyond saving anyway. I’m sure most of us can agree that being turned into a hot tub and gaining YouTube fame is a much better fate that going to the scrap heap. … [Read more...] about Converting An BMW E30 Into A Driveable Hot Tub Is Predictably Difficult
Having a car with a massive turning circle can be an utter pain. Most of us probably just accept a lack of steering angle as an unavoidable quirk of a car, but - depending on the steering setup - it can be stupidly easy to get a little more angle. As detailed by ChrisFix, it’s sometimes as simple as removing a pair of steering rack limiters. They’re essentially little plastic spacers that restrict steering angle, although taking them out could give clearance issues. There are simple solutions for that though - you can either change to a different wheel with more offset, trim down the existing spacers/make your own to give more angle but not so much that the tyres catch anything, or install wheel spacers. The more you know… … [Read more...] about How To Get Way More Steering Angle The Easy Way