Well, I am probably going to piss off a few people, hoping more than a few but at least a few. Time and time again, I hear all of us old hot rodders lamenting the fact that the younger generation isn’t all that fired up about the cars and bikes and stuff the way we were. They’re more interested in drinking water out of a chemically produced plastic bottle and sticking their noses in some social media crap that evaporates faster than rain drops on a hot sidewalk. Honestly after my last few days of dealing with them, I am happy they aren’t all that involved. Now having said that, I understand and I see a lot of young guys and gals working on their stuff, making it better and best of all having fun with it but as far as numbers go, it’s not even close to the crowds of people we used to have in the “old days”.
I know I have mentioned something about it before but I do tend to frequent car forums however I am now reaching a point that I am just about done with them. I have never seen such a group of people that read something or hear something or whatever, none of which have ever even lifted a damned wrench to try out what they’re talking about but suddenly through the power of the Internet, they’re f’ng experts on the subject. Most of them I find cannot read more than two sentences of any length simply because everything since kindergarten has been feed to them in small little tiny bites and it overwhelms them terribly to have to read and comprehend that third additional sentence. I am not sure, maybe it’s just the drugs or something but how the hell can you fix anything when you simply cannot fathom the act of troubleshooting? Not only that but when you only read the first two sentences of a post but now you want to go and on about how wrong the poster is or how fouled up the engine is going to be if you do this or that and they simply have no clue about any of it. It’s all based on some weird ass thought that their buddy gave them and instead of thinking it through, they just accept it as truth. Not long ago, I had some idiot on a forum tell me how installing a larger filter on my Nissan 3500 cc engine was going to “break my oil pump and ruin my engine” because that oil pump wasn’t designed to push oil through that big filter! Wow pal, every heard of fluid dynamics by any chance, how about pressure relief valves – guess not? Bottom line is that a larger filter simply filters for a longer time than a smaller one, and it also aids in the cooling of the engine because there is additional oil involved.
This latest forum blast that has me writing right now was a discussion on camshafts. After several back and forth posts on the subject, it finally occurred to me that once again I was dealing with people that simply do not have a clue and there was no chance in hell that there was any chance of educating them. We had some guy going on about how another one was looking at a camshaft with a touch more valve lift on it and that he had better check valve to piston clearance or he would be really sorry. The problem that I had with the conversation is that we were talking about a camshaft that was going to provide about .320 inches of total valve lift. On a small block Chevrolet engine this amounts to a camshaft that was in your grandma’s car, it’s not exactly HIGH performance. Hell, unless we have a camshaft that is going to push the valve to .500 inch of lift or more, we don’t even bother to do any checking. You are going to have plenty of clearance. Then the supposedly expert person on this said that you have to check the clearance or you could smash the intake valve. Again in a small Chevy engine the piston is chasing the exhaust valve as it is closing – that is what you worry about when things are getting close. I guess my new designation for these people is going to be Internet hot rodders or as we really like to call them – wannabe’s.
There are those individuals that truly understand that you are attempting to help them with their issue or questions. Those people are the ones that I am always hoping to reach because I really think that this is a great hobby and can be a lot of fun. I feel sorry for the ones that simply don’t think their information through and try to scare the living daylights out of somebody that is maybe just getting started with cars and engines. There is enough in this world to worry about without doing that kind of damage but I am rather sure that these people do not understand they are doing so.
Last tip for this day. I got a question about a car that keeps blowing one of the low bean headlights. They had replaced it twice already and it had failed a second time. I told them to look for a high resistance issue. I didn’t go into a lot of detail about where to look but figured they would ask if they were unsure. High electrical resistance normally occurs at connection points and in the case of a headlight, the first place to look would be the headlight electrical connector and if not there, then you follow it upstream to the battery and ground sources. Corrosion, loose wiring connections or electrical terminals that are worn out or loose can cause high resistance. The high resistance will cause the headlight bulb itself to overheat and like a fuse, it will fail when that resistance becomes more than the filament can withstand.
I also told them you should always replace headlights in pairs, if one is gone the other is sure to follow shortly. It’s just a time issue.