If it\’s got an engine. . .

Dorri probably likes it

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If it’s got an engine . . . has moved

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on July 31, 2007

Please visit us at www.ifitsgotanengine.com.  The new home of If it’s got an engine. . .


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Posted by ifitsgotanengine on August 6, 2006

For those of you who haven’t been watching the X-Games, you’ve really missed out on some excellent action.

Most incredibly, Travis Pastrana won the Gold medal in the Motocross Best Trick category with a double backflip (see video). Travis also went on to beat Colin McRae in the Rally event and still has the Freestyle Motocross event to go.

Executive Car Service provides corporate Dallas car service and luxury DFW International airport transportation throughout the Dallas Metropolitan area.

On a somewhat related note, while I was watching the X-Games, I saw this Mountain Dew commercial. Well worth a watch, but not as good as this one.

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Been away a while

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on May 13, 2006

Sorry for the serious lack of posts lately. I’ve been swamped at work, not to let up for another two or three weeks.

All is not lost, however. Check out the Carnival of Cars. Enough automotive blog links to satisfy you for weeks to come.

I will be back!

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Distracted Driving?

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on April 25, 2006

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the results of the NHTSA‘s recent study on the causes of accidents. It seems that driving while distracted – whether using a cell phone (hands-free, even), eating, etc. – is more dangerous than speeding.

Think about that for a minute.

I had read it, but it took some prodding by Mark Tapscott to get me really thinking about it. He asked:

“…then why should law enforcement continue to devote so much time and resources to speed enforcement? And shouldn’t insurance companies penalize distracted drivers more than speeding drivers?”

Both very valid questions. When was the last time you were ticketed for distracted driving?

Executive Car Service provides corporate New York limo service and luxury JFK International airport transportation throughout the New York Metropolitan area.

The study can be found here. I haven’t looked into it very deeply yet, but here are some preliminary thoughts.

  • 2,000,000 miles by 100 cars = 20,000 miles per car per year.
  • 82 accidents out of those 100 cars = 82% chance of accident every 20,000 miles driven.

That’s crazy! I average ~25,000 miles per year and have only ever had one accident, 14 years ago.

  • Drowsiness is a significant problem that increases a driver’s risk of a crash or near-crash by at least a factor of four. But drowsy driving may be significantly under-reported in police crash investigations.

I suspect it is under-reported because you’re awake after you crash (which is when the police are there). I don’t see any way to correct this.

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As an aside, I have updated my links section. Some of the sites had moved (Ben’s Car Blog and The Garage) and now my links reflect this. Also, I have added Tapscott Behind the Wheel. Be sure to check them out!

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I can’t drive fifty-five!

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on April 3, 2006

Because nobody will let me.

Let me back up a bit.

Spending 10 years in the Navy gave me the opportunity to live all over the country. This (Salem/Seneca, SC) is the only place I’ve lived where I routinely get stuck behind someone going less than the speed limit.

And I’m not just talking about three or four mph, here. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t get stuck behind someone who refuses to accelerate to within 10 mph of the speed limit. I used to think that they were just being extremely careful, until I noticed that they drive slowly through the stop signs as well.

While I’m on the subject, there are some other idiosyncrasies I’ve noticed.

In Quitman, Mississippi, most drivers seem to take a dashed center line as a challenge. I got passed by more people there than anywhere else.

In Saratoga Springs, NY (and, I suspect, most of the Northeast) if someone is at a red light waiting to turn left, they will invariably dash across in front of the oncoming traffic when the light turns green.

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Where are all the cool convertibles?

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 30, 2006

So my wife has a good friend coming to visit for a week or so this summer and she casually mentioned to her “maybe Dorri can round us up a convertible”.

No problem.

Except that I can’t find any affordable and attractive convertibles.

Unless it’s a Miata.

I did a quick Autotrader.com search for convertibles in the $4500 to $6500 price range and came up with:

About a zillion Chevy Cavaliers/Pontiac Sunfires
A whole bunch of Chrysler Sebrings
Many Chevy Camaros/Pontiac Firebirds/Ford Mustangs
Quite a few Saabs
One Aflfa Romeo (which I considered)
And too many Miatas to count.

Makes me wish we had a safety inspection program here comparable to the British MoT here.

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Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 24, 2006

Warning: Not (really) automotive related.

I just got back from a week of firefighting training at Gaston College in North Carolina. The NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) requires nuclear plants to maintain a fire brigade on-site, and my company fulfills this requirement by training its Nuclear Equipment Operators as fire brigade members.

I learned a lot this week, but most of it can be summed up in a very few short words – I do not want to be a fireman.

I’m not in good enough shape.

I did learn one thing automotive this week. Gasoline gives off flammable vapors anytime it’s above approximately -40 F. Diesel fuel doesn’t give off flammable vapors until it’s heated to 120 F. Our instructors had to use a propane torch to light the pit fires we were fighting, and they had to hold the torch on the diesel fuel for 10-12 seconds to get it to burn.

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My thoughts on Bruce Crower’s six-stroke engine

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 18, 2006

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read this first.

Four Stroke:

  • Piston moves down, drawing air and fuel into cylinder
  • Piston moves up, compressing air and fuel
  • Spark plug fires, causing mixture to explode, pushing piston down
  • Piston moves up, expelling exhaust gasses.
  • Cycle repeats

Six Stroke:

  • Piston moves down, drawing air and fuel into cylinder
  • Piston moves up, compressing air and fuel
  • Spark plug fires, causing mixture to explode, pushing piston down
  • Piston moves up, recompressing exhaust gasses
  • Water is squirted into cylinder, flashing to steam, pushing piston down
  • Piston moves up, expelling exhaust gasses and steam.
  • Cycle repeats

While I haven’t done any calculations as to the amount of energy that can be gained by utilizing exhaust heat in this manner, I am confident that it will result in greater efficiency gains than BMW’s method.

I also know just the engine to use as a test mule for this project. The Honda CVCC engine. The test engine needs (at least) three valves – fuel intake, water intake, and exhaust. Most three-valve engines operate both intake valves from the same camshaft lobe. Not the CVCC. It has three cam lobes for each cylinder – intake, aux intake, and exhaust. All that would be needed to convert this engine to six-stroke is a new camshaft and timing belt pulleys (to slow the cam down to 1/3 engine speed). The carburetor even has a separate section for the aux intake. I haven’t looked closely at it, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to convert it to atomize water in that venturi and fuel in the main venturi.

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More GM woes

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 15, 2006

I know that talk of GM’s financial situation has been all over the internet recently, but I tend to dismiss the vast majority of what I read online.

There are very few bloggers that I feel know enough about large-scale finance to really have any idea just what GM’s financial situation really is.

Joe Sherlock is one. He owned and ran his own business, and is a successful author of business books. Now he blogs over at The View Through The Windshield.

He (along with several of his friends) thinks that GM will file Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

This is a big deal. If you have any interest in American automakers, you should read his latest post.

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One for the road

Posted by ifitsgotanengine on March 6, 2006

I never really bought into Taurine, Ginsing, and the like, but I still partake of various energy drinks during road trips. I think the caffeine and sugar gives me all the pick-me-up that I need. Red Bull, Full Throttle, Sobe Liz Blizz, I haven’t found any that I don’t like.

While I was driving back to South Carolina from my house in Warm Springs, GA yesterday, I stopped at a gas station and found Tab Energy. Being me, I had to try it.

It was ok.

Later yesterday evening, during the Oscars, I saw a commercial for it. I wonder if I’m the only person on the planet that didn’t know that Tab was marketed to women?

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