What is the sound of one piston slapping?
What is the sound of one piston slapping?

A lot is going on in life and at least for now, most of it is good!

TDI

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I know my car’s problem is a boost leak. You can hear the hiss under acceleration. I long thought that the hiss was normal. It’s not. Codes for underboost and I’m waiting for a weekend day warm enough to start locating where the hiss is coming from. I’ll just follow the spray of oil from one of the tubes!

To celebrate 4,000 daily driven miles since I got it, I decided to get rid of the steelies and worn out tires that were on them.

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Before

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After

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The wheels are 17s off a Dieselgate car. So the guy told me, damaged wheels get replaced during the refurbishment process and end up on the secondhand market. All four wheels have a little curb rash on them but I don’t really care.

The tires that are on the steelies? The fronts were new, but the rears...oh god.

Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates
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Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates

The car is 90% quieter, handles much better, and seems to accelerate better, too! But most importantly, it’s safe. I definitely need to refresh some front end components (these were absolutely on the front considering how new the tires that were on the front were) and get it an alignment.

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This thing will be the perfect road mile eating monster after I fix the boost leak.

Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates
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Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates

Plans for this car? Eh...well it’s definitely no longer a Gambler car (the logo is Plasti-Dip). It’ll get a tow hitch and do all the towing stuff I’d normally do with the smart. I’m also going to continue improving it. Get the Chinese market headunit with bluetooth, some LEDs, some RGB, and freshen those headlights.

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The higher detailed stuff about my Passat’s journey will be over at Out Motorsports

Speaking of the smart, it’s fine! The backyard mechanic that changed my belts didn’t plug back in the alternator...

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Road Trips

I’ve spent a couple weekends of this month helping friends bring home some cool diesel powered rides. First was this E-350 high roof van with a tuned 7.3 Powerstroke and a custom interior. The previous owner used it as a stunt bike hauler. We spent a day going out to Des Moines, Iowa for it!

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Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates
Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates
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The other was this awesome F-350 ambulance in northern Michigan. It’s powered by a 7.3 IDI, has surprisingly little rust, and all of the electrics work! This was a wild two day trip that included driving this through a full blown snowstorm.

Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates
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Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates
Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates
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Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates
Illustration for article titled TDI and Life Updates
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Plans With Miss Beetle

I goofed up with the TDI. It was supposed to be my Gambler car and it’s not. More stable changes inbound.. Gone will be 3 two wheelers. Thus far that’s one of the two free scooters, plus the Vespa project (shop-teacher has first dibs). I already sold off the trailer as well.

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Something I desperately wanted out of a partner is someone who is willing to do a Gambler 500 with me. I’m envious of the happy Gambler couples out there. It broke my heart to leave my partner at home because it wasn’t for them. This desire would only grow because I basically plan to do 1-2 Gamblers a month and the Gamblinball Run (a Gambler style Cannonball) this year, so a lot of weekends away from home.

My new girlfriend actually seems somewhat excited at the idea of doing Gamblers with me. For now she can’t do rallies outside of Illinois but the fact that she even wants to join me on them is monumental. It hit me how we could make it even better: Combine our favourite things into one! I asked her for her dream cars and received stuff like the Prius, a couple electrics, and the Beetle...mmmm, she even likes the stupid cars that I like!

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We decided we’ll have our own rally car. The target vehicle is a manual TDI Beetle. We’ll paint it up like an EVA from Neon Genesis Evangelion, ready it for offroading, and she’ll also learn how to drive in it. She’s never driven a car before and she’s all kinds of excited for this plan. It’ll be my car, but she’ll learn how to drive with it and be my copilot. :)

This car isn’t going to be brutally injured like the Festiva. There’s no way I can hit up 1-2 Gamblers a month and drive across the country if my rally car’s being beaten up.

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(If you have negative comments about my hobbies you should probably keep them to yourself, thanks. Not your problem, nor your place.)

Foreclosure

*Sigh* During the trip home from Michigan I learned something interesting. This whole time my mom has been trying to keep the property. She’s not living in the property so it’s not like she loses anything by letting it go. She’s 17 months behind on payments and trying to keep the house.

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I suddenly understand the lender’s frustration. She won’t give up the house and she won’t make payments. The lender keeps trying to force her hand by intentionally making her hilariously upside down on the loan (something bizarrely allowed by the awful contract). And yet, she insisted on keeping it. The lender has been moving forward with a plan for foreclose then come after me with a deficiency judgement.

Sorry, I’m changing the game.

I found out the lender doesn’t actually want to foreclose and doesn’t actually want a deficiency judgement. They just want the property or money. They aren’t getting the latter so they want the former. Illinois Mortgage law does in fact allow me to just sign over the deed to the mortgage company and that’s what they want.

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It...it really grinds my gears that all of this stress has been entirely unnecessary. I’ve been operating under the assumption the entire time that my mom wants to rid us of obligations to the house, but here she was trying to keep a house she can’t pay for. And mind you, the only reason she’s 17 months behind is because my brother isn’t paying. Oh, and she asked me to cosign a mortgage on the house she’s living in right now. Is this real life? Right, so not a single person in this family is an adult. Got it.

I made it clear to everyone that I’ve lost my cool. If they want me in their life they ought to stop being ridiculous. Once this foreclosure is over there’s nothing stopping me from packing up and disappearing, never to be seen again.

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I’m now one step closer to ridding some toxicity from my life.

Surprises

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A lot of my dreams are soon to come true! An unnamed Jalopnik journalist will be spending some days with me in a couple weeks. The fruits of which will be a lot of awesomeness. This has been a plan two years in the making and up until now it just kept being delayed and delayed. But it’s happening, it’s finally happening!

On top of this, I’m slowly getting my foot in the door when it comes to auto/moto press. The Chicago based members of the Out Motorsports crew have a dinner with Mazda PR next week and I’m getting involved with motorcycle press as well. I always want to do more with my writing and who knows, maybe I’ll turn it into something more than just something I do for fun! I’ve stopped trying with YouTube for now. I love writing but hate video creating, filming, and editing...so everything about videos.

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My current goal is to start reviewing cars and bikes, like the CX-5 Diesel! Aside from this year’s embiggening challenge, most of my more detailed car/moto pieces will be at Out Motorsports.

2020's started off a little rocky, but it’s beginning to shape up in a better direction!

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