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Everything posted by WillMartin

  1. WillMartin

    Paint flaking off

    There's all kinds of paint flaking off my TC now. I figure it will flake off for a while, then I'll just get the whole thing repainted. Maybe white, maybe not.
  2. WillMartin

    GOT IT!!!

    They are? I don't think the headlights on my Gen 1 are all that great.
  3. I have been driving vans for a long time. The stigma of the van driver is a stigma to embrace. All the "free candy" sign jokes are a little stale. Besides, I go for a different demographic. My sign says "free champagne." It works great. It gets chicks who would have been in the ocean in a Subaru Brat to like me. Every time. Try it. You will see.
  4. Actually, the Scooby-Do van was probably a Chevy or Dodge, not a VW. And, the chicken tax didn't seem to put much of a dent in VW van sales. Of course, they had seats in them or were campers, but never mind that. The Subaru Brat was just one of those things that should never have happened. That one should have just made the obvious left turn into the ocean and turned back into oxides. The odd thing is that I was looking for a used Promaster City (same chicken tax dodge as the TC) or a used Metris when my TC came along. The issue was interior dimensions. I have some pretty specific requirements, and the second generation TC doesn't quite pull it off in the rear opening. The first gen was too short until I figured out that I can put the front wheel of the bike between the seats and it fits. So, no need for the others. I suspect a Metris would be a stronger vehicle over the long haul, but if I never need that strength, then the TC I have is plenty good for my purposes. The longer I live with it, which admittedly not very long so far, the more I like it and the less I want a different van. My van is a cargo van without windows in the sliding doors. In an ideal world, it would not have been so completely converted, but it was. It has a backup camera now. Side windows are necessary, even with fisheye mirrors, so they are the next modification. It's a 2010, so the paint is peeling off the roof now. New paint is in the future, sometime after the windows. Maybe yellow instead of white. I still like it and will keep it for however long it lasts.
  5. My TC sat for a lot of its life, which means the springs got some surface creakiness. The creaking is going slowly away now that it's getting a bit more exercise. Some of it may have been some surface rust on the brake drums as well. The motor is mostly smoothing out, too. Machinery needs exercise. Or maybe I'm just getting used to it.
  6. Define low mileage. It means different things to different people. My 2010 makes all kinds of creaks and groans from the rear axle area. I don't know what those are, but they don't seem particularly dire. There is plenty of thrumming and creaking from the slab sided body and some light clunks from the sliding doors if I"m going over a really rough patch of pavement. Like everyone else, I would be concerned about the front end noise.. If the price is right and the mileage is low enough, then it's worth taking a bit of a chance. That's what I did with mine - body damage, but TCs have some quirks which make body repairs less straight forward than you would expect. As I found out.
  7. I have already done that to him. He used to say "Jeez, dad, that's lame!" when I told a really bad dad joke. Then I would tell him it was genetic, and he would get really angry and say he took after my wife, not me. Now, I have my revenge. I was somewhere with his then girlfriend, and said something. She got a funny look on her face and said "my God, there's two of them..." Yep, it's genetic. He knows it for sure now.
  8. I'm not quite a senior citizen, and my wife has a Prius. Going slow in the right lane and getting flipped off by old ladies doesn't bother me. They flip me off for other reasons when I'm on the motorcycle. No such thing as a happy medium in my world. When I turned 50, my son told me I was officially a geezer. He's got a year to come up with another one for when I turn 60. Then he's really got to work on it for 65 and 70.
  9. WillMartin

    Want to see $5K damage toa TC ?

    I don't have pictures, but my TC had front end damage when I bought it. It cost about $2500 to sort out - new hood, fender, front bumper, and headlight. I thought it was expensive. Now I think I got a bargain on top of the lower price I paid for the van because it was bent.
  10. I just got 28 mpg on a fairly long trip out of town and back. That included some stop and go. I think my TC would get close to 30 mpg if I was ever to get on the freeway and set the cruise control for 60 mph and just putt along. I will probably drive to Los Angeles one of these days, and will find out then.
  11. WillMartin


    Absolutely. We did the same thing in the 1960s and 1970s. Brakes were made of balsa wood and tires were vinyl back then, too. It's a miracle any of us survived it. They don't build 'em like they used to, and I'm grateful for that, having owned and driven some truly awful old cars.
  12. WillMartin

    OEM tires and wheelspin

    I assume the Firestone tires on my van are OEM. They are five years newer than the van, but it was county owned before I got it, and I suspect they just bought tires every five years from the dealership. There's no way they could have been worn out from mileage. So, here's the question. I get a lot of wheelspin from a standing start on hills when it's wet. This is unusual, since I don't drive hard. Is this normal, or do these tires just suck?
  13. WillMartin


    It's a miracle I'm alive. As a kid, I rode around in the space behind the back seat, above the engine in my dad's VW bug. Those cars were about as useful in a crash as paper machet and there was nothing except the back window back there and a bit of the seat. Times change. When people say they don't build 'em like they used to, I say thank goodness!
  14. WillMartin

    the OH CRAP tote

    I carry a few wrenches that are left-over from my 1973 Chevy Oh, Crap kit, a booster cable, a first aid kit, and my cell phone. And a card for the AMA, who are about motorcycles, but also have a towing deal like AAA. I try not to know very much about the van's mechanical parts. What I need to know is how often to take it in for maintenance, and what I want maintained that isn't necessarily on the official list (transmission fluid).
  15. WillMartin

    OEM tires and wheelspin

    I don't know, and don't plan to find out. There are plenty of other tires out there that don't slice bread for you, but they cost less.
  16. WillMartin

    Help me decide

    It could always be worse. You could have been a close acquaintance of Lucas, Prince of Darkness.
  17. My TC was indeed a fleet vehicle. Monterrey County California owned it. It had just over 23K miles on it when I got it. There were plenty of scuffs in the interior and some ugly dents that I'll eventually fix all of, proving that if you don't own it, you don't necessarily care very much. But, it was mechanically perfectly maintained. I still changed all the fluids except the transmission fluid. That's going to get changed next time I change the oil. It ran a little rough when I got it, probably from sitting. It seems to like being run more, since it has smoothed out noticeably since I got it. I have put just over 2K on it in four months, so it's not like I'm turning it into a high mileage vehicle in any hurry. I am a year from officially qualifying as an old dude, and I drive the van like an old dude. The Daytona 675 does an indicated 170, and I have gone that fast on it. On the track. I won't admit what I may or may not have done and may or may not still do on a public road. The bike was made for that. The van was made to poke along in the slow lane. It isn't all that much fun to drive anyway. Better than the full sized van it replaced, but it's no sports car.
  18. WillMartin

    Pine tree pitch battle..best solution

    I have used Lemon Pledge with good results. That gets bugs and bird droppings off of paint and everything else. I haven't needed to remove pine pitch, but I would try it on that.
  19. Seattle is the land of snow wimps and minimum numbers of snow plows. Being from the midwest, snow doesn't faze me much, although I'm careful to avoid hills when there's snow and ice. I didn't know what to expect from the TC in this stuff, because I got it in October. I have to say it's a great little snow car. It was a surprise how well it handles snow, because the tires that are on it now are awful. It just powers through axle deep piles of snow, handles icy spots, and acts better in snow than it does on wet pavement. Go figure. So far, this little van has been making me completely happy to have bought it.
  20. The funniest (to me) lifetime no-maintenance item was the shaft drive on BMW motorcycles. BMW decided that they had engineered the perfect system and included no drain or filler on the shaft drive. 60K miles later, there were a whole lot of BMW touring bikes with failed shaft drives. BMW never admitted that it was an issue, but they did start putting drain and filler plugs on those again. German engineers are always right, y'know.
  21. WillMartin

    OEM tires and wheelspin

    Yeah, I'm not used to the kind of awe inspiring acceleration a TC is capable of. It's a truly intimidating performance beast.
  22. WillMartin

    Paint flaking off

    If your paint is going to come in contact with petroleum products, the usual stuff will not be any good. You can get catalyzed clear coat that solves the problem. It's expensive and you have to use the whole aerosol can once you start, since it will set up like epoxy. I figured this out when fuel ate the paint on my race bike's tank.
  23. WillMartin

    Ford Transit Connect meets Focus RS

    A mid-engine, rear drive TC would be the idea, as you say. It's only a matter of time before non-automatic vehicles and vehicles with gasoline engines are relics like steam tractors. Beats me how long before that happens.
  24. WillMartin

    OEM tires and wheelspin

    $1200 per tire? They should make me a better person for that price!
  25. You got good priorities.