Category Archives: Random Cranks

Deal Breakers

What you see below is the 2007 Acura TL Type S.  I will in no way deny that it is an attractive car.  It is also fairly quick, coming from the factory with a 3.5L V6 cranking out two hundred and eighty six horsepower through a five speed automatic or a six speed manual transmission.  While I don’t think it sounds as good as my VQ, it has a nice, adult tone that can be controlled with your right foot and a bit of maturity.  It’s a tone that has that classic Honda induction sound reminiscent of the NSX.  Acura’s angled design language creates a menacing look without being over the top like a WS.6 Trans Am, but stays away from the beige jellybean shape of other offerings from the Land of the Rising sun.  Like most Acuras, it is loaded with all the good technology bits.  It rides on what are, in my opinion, some of the best looking stock wheels you can get, and from the factory they are wrapped in Bridgestone Potenzas.  All in all, the TL Type S is a very capable vehicle, strong and reliable in an attractive wrapping.  And I wouldn’t spend a single penny on one.

If you drive it backwards all the time...

That is properly quick.

I have always said the N54 powered 335is have had an insane amount of potential and once someone figured out the fueling issues and created a proper single turbo set up that would work, the 335i would be ready for serious power.  The one thing that has been holding the 335i back was a twin turbo set up that was horribly inefficient above the 400whp range, and a direct injection set up that might limit fueling needs for high horsepower applications.

In the race between Vishnu Tuning (of Evo building fame) and Horsepowerfreeks (who made their name in cranking out M3s with over a thousand horsepower), Vishnu came in first.  It isn’t really a surprise, as they have been in the 335i game since day one.  While pricey, their Procede ECU is one of the best to use for tuning on the 335i with full meth integration.  It is such a system that even HPF has mentioned they’ll be using it for their single turbo 335 application.  After a long wait and many days of e90post members biting their nails, the numbers are in.  The Vishnu single turbo 335i puts down near as makes no difference 630 wheel horsepower (the proper number is 627, but I round up because I like even numbers).  Torque is at 477 ft lbs.  This is all done on pump gas + meth (my only dislike), so a race gas or E85 Map would be interesting to see.  According to Shiv, the turbo on this map still has about another hundred horsepower in it.

Oh, did I also mention this was on the N54B30s stock bottom end?  Well now I did.  Check out more of it here at E90Post, but make sure you watch the vids first!

*That all being said…I’d still rather the E46 M3.

Heart and Soul

She don't look like much kid, but she's got it where it counts

There she is.  My orient metallic blue over sand E46 325i.  I loved that car.  There really wasn’t anything all that special about it.  It was a stripped down budget special: no sports package or premium package or cold weather package and no nav.  Didn’t even have Xenons.  It did have a sliding glass moonroof and the Harmon Kardon sound package, but really nothing very fancy at all.  By the time I got rid of her, she had the basics: a cold air intake, Shark Injector tune, and Dinan roll bars.  At one point she had some eBay headers that I got rid of because I didn’t know anyone who could get her to pass emissions for me, and every now and then I got stupid and used a hook up to help pretend I was a race car driver and run Pilot Sports, and I also had two Decepticon stickers under each side mirror.  Like I said, really it wasn’t anything special.  The two cars I’ve owned since her have been faster, probably handled better, with a cheaper aftermarket and were easier to work on.  I would give up the Z in a heartbeat to get that car back.  I have fully donned my flame suit, and I am prepared to say it: that car had soul.

What the hell happened to Character?

I make a good deal of noise regarding the Toynadissan Camcordima.  For those not getting the joke, I simply feel that at this point in time, pretty much everything that comes out of the Asian Big 3 is the same.  Once you remove the sports cars and the SUVs from the line up, there really isn’t a point in choosing a Camry over an Accord, or an Accord over an Altima, or the Altima over the aforementioned Camry.  None of them are bad cars, not at all.  However, all three are pretty boring.  Sure, there isn’t really anything wrong with a fuel sipping reliable boring car for day to day work.  There isn’t anything right about it either.  To be fair, the Japanese aren’t alone.  I’m sure we’ve all been stuck behind a zombie driving a Chryfordvy Taurpala 300.  The sad thing is that it wasn’t always this bad.

This used to be considered a DD. Very few cars will ever be as cool as this...

Car Porn – Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder Edition

In my dream world, I live in Hawaii on a boat, preferably something like an Fellows and Stewart Air Sea Recovery Boat or a restored Elco PT boat.  My dream garage is a climate controlled hanger not too far from the marina where I keep the boat, and is fully equipped with tools, a lift, a fair set of extra parts for the cars, and of course the cars themselves.  But this is not the only place I live in my dream world, as I also have a country estate in England, which is only reached by taking a flight from Heathrow in my personal Hawker Hurricane MK IV(I like it more than the Spitfire, bite me), land on the lawn of said estate, and hop into one of these for a drive:

I'll take mine in BRG as well...

Defining the Indefinable

So I changed my mind.  Today at work, I was approached by a coworker who is in the market for a new vehicle, and knowing my proclivity for cars, asked which of his choices I thought to be better.  Of course, I had my opinion on his two choices, but truthfully I stood there at a loss.  Instantly, I thought back to Steve’s article earlier this week and found myself trying to honestly answer the question of what better actually means.  In theory, Steve was right: there are no ties in comparisons; one must be greater than the rest.  Yet that begs the question of how to honestly derive which vehicle in a given comparison is better?  What does better mean?  How do we define which is greater than the other in any given comparison.  What I am about to do is show you that any easy answer you come up with is wrong.

Comparisons

I was sitting in Church on Sunday and the pastor was talking about comparisons. He used an example that showed how comparisons affect each of us and explained that doing so can only lead down two paths. Quite simply put, the road of comparisons has a fork in it and you must take either the path of pride or the path of envy. Hear me out though, I’m not trying to get all evangelistic on you but I think this relates to cars probably better than anything else he could have talked about. We’ve all seen them; magazine covers with pictures of the latest car comparisons. That’s easily the #1 topic for auto magazines.

To what degree of certainty…?

There I was, the truck’s front end stuffed into 5 feet of water. Miles away from civilization and in deep, DEEP, trouble. Water poured into the footwells and I killed the engine. I knew I attempting to get out of this one my own would result in failure to do so and engine failure due to hydrolock. My co-driver and I climbed over the seats and bailed out the back doors since they were the only ones still above water. As we stood there in disbelief, a tiny Martin Lawrence appeared on my shoulder and said, “Shit just got real.”

Prior to "The Incident"

What’s in a name?

Challenger, Supra, GTO, Skyline…all car names that bring back fond memories for gear heads. It’s not the badge that made the model significant, but rather the car itself. But as time marches on it’s the name that sticks with us and not the vehicle. Truth be told, I’ve never even driven any of the previously mentioned automotive deities. I drove a Supra once but it was a non turbo so it doesn’t really count. Yet for most people the names have, attached to it, all kinds of feelings and preconceived ideas regarding performance and beauty due to a phenomenon we refer to as nostalgia. There’s a synonym manufacturers use to describe it; brand equity.

Hey baby...what's YOUR name?

Can Automotive Enthusiasts be United Enthusiasts?

I’m gonna pick on one of our readers here.  See, she never got my dad’s old lesson of never say something on the internet that you don’t want used against you.  In a conversation about selling her vehicle (a Mazda RX8) for whatever reason, she said something generally along the lines of “If I wanted to hang out with douchebags, I’d buy a BMW.”  Now, that Facebook thread has been deleted, but I saw it, and I started thinking.  I was going to write something for today about how people view certain brands and why some automotive brands are simply aspirational.  But the more I thought about it, the more I felt I needed to write something else.

Not pictured: A BMW driver. Pictured: Awwwww, little man is stuck in the mud.