"The Relay" Online Newsletter
December 2018 Issue
This is the monthly online newsletter for the car club council. All car hobbyist events are listed on this site under "Calendar." Just click on the link above to view the list of car shows and other activities.
The National Climate Assessment (endorsed by NASA, NOAA, the Department of Defense, and 10 other federal scientific agencies) dropped a bomb on Black Friday. A report was issued that stated that climate change could eventually cost the economy hundreds of billions of dollars per year, and kill thousands of Americans.
We have spent billions of dollars on climate change and so far I don't see any change in the climate. If man can indeed alter the climate/weather we sure aren't doing a good job of it. And how does this affect the car hobby? Look at all the changes the government has forced on us and the auto industry. Some of these changes were done because of climate change/global warming.
I want to ask a question - who invented/discovered/found global warming? Back in the late 70s and early 80s all the news magazines were talking about a coming ice age and how the average temperature of the planet had dropped. What happened to change from ice age to global warming? The short answer is a coal strike in Britain.
There was a big coal strike 1984 - 1985 (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UK_miners%27_strike_(1984%E2%80%9385). Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher and a couple of her advisors came up with a plan to punish the union strikers - the plan was taken from a scientist that no one believed because instead of a coming ice age this guy was saying carbon dioxide was causing warming - something that no scientist believed at the time but now apparently some do.
You can search online (don't use Google that alters results to suit Google's handlers) "Margaret Thatcher invented global warming to end a coal miner strike". There is no doubt that global warming research began in earnest in Britain after Thatcher began talking about it. Then the money began to flow to scientists to prove global warming was real.
A conservative politician came up with a way to punish union strikers and now liberal politicians have adopted it to help control people. The point of this is that you can't always believe what you read or see on TV or the Internet. The world wide web has a ton of information but a lot of it is false. I bring this up because some people state things that are false just to get people to do what they want. Recall that the reason this council began was to fight a car clunker law (10% of cars - old cars - produce 90% of the pollution - this was just made up by someone and passed along as fact for years). The General Assembly (as well as many other states' legislative bodies) had passed a law that would allow industries and companies to continue polluting the air as long as they paid to have - in many cases - non-running old cars crushed. Yes, this does sound dumb but not dumb to the people who came up with it - they could continue to pollute and not pay to clean up their industry. Global warming/climate change/climate disruption sounds just as dumb to me. However the news media and politicians with the exception of Trump assume climate change is real and you are an idiot if you don't believe in it.
Over the holiday season if you have time take a little over an hour and check out this movie "The Great Global Warming Swindle" which aired on British Channel 4 in 2007: www.youtube.com/watch?v=52Mx0_8YEtg&feature=youtu.be. And have the best holiday season ever!
Dues Are Due in January
Council dues are due every January. Please have your club or organization send a check for $10 for the council dues. Make the check out to CCCCVA and mail to Fred Fann, 15628 Rowlett Road, Chesterfield, VA 23838. If you have any question about the dues or if you'd like to find out if you club has paid them email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for being a member!
Our next meeting will be Monday, January 28th at 6:30 PM at Cesare's Ristorante & Pizza 13301 Rivers Bend Blvd Chester, VA 23836, phone: 804-530-1047. Click for driving directions. The General Assembly will be in session and we will discuss all bills of importance to car hobbyists.
See all the photos
DMV Response on Truck Vehicle Type on Titles
I have gotten a response from DMV on vehicle type on titles. It is below. I know some people have had fire trucks and flatbed trucks titles as pickups. If you need help with getting your truck vehicle type correct on your title contact Fred so I can get you in touch with someone at DMV to correct.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your concerns. In July 2016, the Virginia General Assembly changed the requirements for personal use trucks. The amended definition of pickup or panel truck and trucks required vehicles to be reclassified for registration. Pickup or panel trucks are defined as a “pickup truck” for personal use with gross weight of 7500 pounds or less. Firetrucks or flatbed trucks in excess of 7500 pounds are defined as trucks. The weight of the vehicle is the one of the determining factors of what type of truck is being titled and/or registered.
The vehicles affected by the 2016 legislation were reclassified as pickups, required standard license plates, and no longer qualified for truck license plates. Customers with vehicles affected by the change received a letter notifying them of the requirements. The vehicle type is determined by the use and the weight.
Below I have included Virginia Code §46.2-100 that defines “Pickup truck or panel truck” and “Truck”.
§46.2-100 - Motor Vehicle Definitions
"Pickup or panel truck" means (i) every motor vehicle designed for the transportation of property and having a registered gross weight of 7,500 pounds or less or (ii) every motor vehicle registered for personal use, designed to transport property on its own structure independent of any other vehicle, and having a registered gross weight in excess of 7,500 pounds but not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
"Truck" means every motor vehicle designed to transport property on its own structure independent of any other vehicle and having a registered gross weight in excess of 7,500 pounds. "Truck" does not include any pickup or panel truck.
We would like the opportunity to assist your club members if they believe their vehicles have been titled as pickup trucks in error. In the meantime, we will certainly remind staff processing titles of the importance of capturing the correct vehicle type.
Car Hobbyist News
It’s the holiday season so we don’t hear much about car legislation at this time of year. The General Assembly meets in January and already there have been some pre-filed bills. And they’ve been what you would expect – bills on gun control and on elections and counting ballots and recounts. These topics are talked about on the news and they end up becoming bills in the Assembly. Before the internet was on phones I used to say you will see bills introduced that come straight from newspaper headlines. There are a couple of auto-related bills that were carried over from last year plus a couple of pre-filed ones. Nothing for us to worry about so far but as always we will monitor all legislation to insure nothing slips by us. The VAACC website (Virginia Association of Car Councils) lists all the auto-related legislation and you can go to it, look through the bills and click on them to view their status. As I have in the past I encourage everyone to go to the LIS – Legislative Information System and view all the bills. You might be surprised by some of the bills that get introduced. You should also check and see what bills have been introduced by your delegate and senator.
I was asked at the last council meeting to contact DMV about the use of the word “pickup” on titles. The titles in Virginia have vehicle type on them such as sedan, pickup, convertible and so on. The problem is that people who own trucks that are not pickups get the pickup vehicle type on the title. I have asked DMV employees about this and have been told that the computer will only allow “pickup” and not allow “truck”. This gets to be a problem is you are trying to sell a panel truck, flatbed truck or fire truck to someone out of state. They think something is wrong with the title because most fire trucks are obviously not pickups. I emailed the DMV commissioner over three weeks ago and have not gotten a response. I plan to contact his office. I have no clue why some person or persons at DMV thought it was a good idea to call all trucks pickups.
It seems like the price of everything is going up except gasoline. Oil prices have been down quite a bit lately. This is because supply of gasoline is outpacing demand. In Europe a lot of drivers own diesel powered cars. In fact crude oil that can be converted to diesel is priced higher than refined gasoline! In America our fracking produced light crude best used for gasoline production.
Check this quote from Bloomberg: “In Europe, gasoline is now worth less than the crude used to produce it — a bizarre scenario last seen back in late 2011. Today in the U.S., and also in Asia, refiners’ profits from gasoline production have collapsed.”
What this means for us is that gasoline prices should continue to decline. Now if we can only get more gas stations that sell ethanol free gasoline. As I wrote last month President Trump has asked the EPA to work on a rule to allow E-15 gasoline year round. This is to help out corn farmers who have been hit by tariffs. Right now E-15 is not sold during the summer because it produces more pollution. We will wait and see what the EPA does.
The council wishes you and your family and friends a wonderful holiday season.
The photos are from the Walmart Show that was held on a cold, windy day. This is a Chevelle.
EPA Awards $4.7 Million to Curb Diesel Pollution in Mid-Atlantic Region
Press release from the EPA ~ Fred
PHILADELPHIA (November 13, 2018) – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced funding for three clean diesel projects totaling $4.7 million to reduce air pollution from aging diesel engines in the Mid-Atlantic region. The funding will go to the Maryland Environmental Service (MES), the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association, (MARAMA) and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (WashCOG).
“Taking steps to reduce emissions from older diesel engines rates among some of the most cost-effective measures we can take to improve the air we all breathe,” said EPA Regional Administrator Cosmo Servidio. “These grants are prioritizing clean diesel activities to areas that have complex air quality challenges in the Mid-Atlantic region, so they can help reduce health and environmental harm from diesel emissions.”
EPA’s Clean Diesel Program provides support for projects that protect human health and improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions from diesel engines. This program includes grants and rebates funded under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA). DERA funding has supported nearly 25,000 cleaner buses across the country for America’s schoolchildren.
Cumulatively, this funding will result in overall lifetime emissions reductions of more than 1,013 tons of ozone-forming oxides of nitrogen (NOx): 58.7 tons of particulate matter (PM); more than 240 tons of carbon monoxide (CO): 724 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2); and, will save more than 91,000 gallons of fuel.
Maryland Environmental Service (MES):
EPA will provide $2.5 million to the port of Baltimore to assist MES in its efforts to reduce diesel emissions and exposure at the port. This project will replace or repower cargo handling equipment and drayage trucks, as well as marine engines on the pleasure vessel, The Spirit of Baltimore, which will improve air quality by reducing harmful emissions by 37 tons of PM, 398 tons of NOx, 165 tons of CO, and 724 tons of CO2, as well as saving 64,450 gallons of fuel.
Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association (MARAMA):
The agency will provide MARAMA with more than $1.3 million to provide incentives to dray truck owners serving the ports and railyards of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Wilmington, Delaware for voluntary early replacement of 40 drayage trucks with older (1997 – 2006) engines. Replacement trucks will have model year 2013 or newer engines with the latest particulate and NOx reducing technology. This initiative will reduce emissions by 197 tons of NOx, 11.5 tons of PM, 75 tons of CO, as well as air toxics in areas that are not currently attaining federal health-based air quality standards.
Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (WashCOG):
EPA will provide WashCOG with $882,000 to partially fund the repowering of four diesel propulsion engines and four auxiliary engines on two marine passenger vessels. These vessels are currently operating on the Potomac River in Washington, DC and surrounding communities in Maryland and Virginia. The retrofits will result in reductions of 418 tons of NOx, and 10 tons of PM.
For more information about the DERA program, visit www.epa.gov/cleandiesel.
1954 Chevy hardtop
Vehicle Under Construction Insurance
Do you have a vehicle under construction? Usually such a vehicle has no insurance so if something happens like a garage fire you are out all the time and money you invested in your project. Some companies offer insurance for vehicles under construction and even have coverage for tools and towing the project to shops. Hagerty is one of those companies and you can get complete info at this link: Vehicle Under Construction (VUC) Coverage
Gas Prices - How Low Can They Go
Oil prices have declined for a record number of days which has allowed prices at the pump to go down. Here are some quotes from a Bloomberg article:
"Once the oil industry’s star product, gasoline is now losing oil refineries money in Europe and has plunged in value against diesel, its main competitor.
How did this happen? Here’s a run-through of what’s taken place in a more than $1 billion a day business and how the world’s oil refiners might respond.
The simple answer is that gasoline supply has massively outpaced demand. That’s illustrated in data from the U.S. — by far the world’s single largest gasoline consumer — which shows stocks at record seasonal highs since the start of September.
A second issue is the kind of crude oil the world is pumping. Where output is growing fastest, notably in the U.S., the extra barrels have tended to be lighter and therefore rich in gasoline. By contrast, the supply of diesel-yielding oil from the likes of Venezuela and Iran has been more constrained."
Keep in mind that in Europe they use a lot of diesel where in America our preferred fuel is gasoline. Check out this stunner from the same article:
"In Europe, gasoline is now worth less than the crude used to produce it — a bizarre scenario last seen back in late 2011. Today in the U.S., and also in Asia, refiners’ profits from gasoline production have collapsed."
And this: "The situation for gasoline has gotten so bad it’s now practically the same price as high-sulfur fuel oil -- a waste product made by refineries that’s normally sold to power generation and shipping industries -- flouting market norms. Along with low gasoline prices, recent gains in fuel oil values as global supplies tighten have helped to decimate this spread."
Finally: "Oil companies rarely comment on such commercially sensitive operational details. But until either supply is reduced or demand picks up, gasoline is set to remain refiners’ problem child." Who knew this would happen. It will be really interesting to see how low gas prices can go.
Blue Chevy pickup
Repair Mistakes & Blunders
From Rock Auto
Back in the '70s, friend "Bob" and I decided to drop in on friend "Dave." When we arrived, Dave was at his work bench taking apart the carburetor of his Ford LTD. In the carb business, many say that "everybody blames the carburetor first," so we asked Dave what the problem was, and he said the car would not start. We then asked if he had checked for spark. A bit sheepishly, he said he had not. Bob and I immediately sprang into action.
Bob went to check the spark at the plugs, while I jumped in to crank the engine on command. When Bob gave me the nod, I hit the ignition, and imagine the surprise on all three of our faces when the engine roared to life, with no carburetor and fully unthrottled! The open fuel line pumped fuel directly into the manifold and the engine took off unfettered.
Well, it turned out that the problem was the carburetor. Our lesson that day was to pay attention to open fuel lines!
Alan in Florida
Discovery Rebrands Velocity As Motor Trend Network
If you're like me you watch a lot of the Velocity channel on TV. Beginning in November Discovery (owner of Velocity channel) has changed the name to Motor Trend Network. If you watch Velocity then you've seen the ads about Motor Trend.
“No other global media company has the content, and both the TV and digital platforms, to deliver what auto enthusiasts want than Discovery,” said Michael Lang, CEO of Motor Trend Group and President, Digital, Discovery Networks International & Eurosport Digital. “This rebrand of our JV into one, over-arching single brand, Motor Trend, continues Discovery’s long-term digital ambition; underscores our commitment to serve passionate global auto-related superfans with the world-class content they crave; and provides OEMs, buyers and advertisers with an unparalleled one-stop, 360-degree branded environment to reach this coveted audience segment across all screens and platforms.”
The JV’s Motor Trend OnDemand digital product will continue to be available to consumers on mobile and connected devices as the Motor Trend App, and available online at MotorTrend.com.
The Motor Trend Group will unite its direct-to-consumer digital product, television channel, YouTube Channel, and top digital sites including Hot Rod, Roadkill, Automobile, Truck Trend, Super Street and a New Car Buyers Guide in the U.S. Its cross-platform offerings include a branded content agency (Motor Trend Studio) to serve OEM and aftermarket clients with branded digital content offerings, and the management of many live auto-focused events around the world.
The Motor Trend Group also will afford advertisers the ability to buy multiple verticals together, including digital and linear, creating a multiplatform 360-degree advertising offering.
“The Motor Trend Group is the only place where advertisers can buy across linear TV, digital and social media platforms, live events and branded content to carry a unified message reaching potential car buyers and an affluent male audience,” said Jon Steinlauf, Chief U.S. Advertising Sales Officer for Discovery. “We also have the very best, most robust offering of automotive content to feed audiences’ passion for the genre.”
Expanding its global footprint, Motor Trend will launch a free-to-air digital terrestrial TV channel in Italy later this month, providing Italian audiences with new, original content, and the only TV channel totally dedicated to the world of cars and motorbikes. Last December, the Motor Trend App launched on Amazon Channels in the UK. Both of these markets are planned for future roll-out of Discovery’s direct-to-consumer Motor Trend App, with more markets globally planned starting late 2018.
Model A coupe
What You Need to Know For a Rattle-can DIY Paint Job
From Hagerty by Mike Bumbeck
Aerosol or rattle-can paint gets a bad rap from the collector car cadre. But using a premixed factory match color in an aerosol can is a viable way for the do-it-yourselfer to finish up scratches, rust outs, color-match spoilers and trim, or go for the 1980s-perfect monochrome Euro look from wiper arms and mouldings out to the wheel centers.
Realistically, you’ll never get Pebble Beach-worthy finish without a paint booth and specialized equipment, but the much-maligned rattle can get the job done in a pinch.
After ruthless road salt, a few logs, more than a few brush and stick clearing sessions, and an occasional boulder bash, this 1989 Montero was left with some paintless and rusty spots that required some attention ahead of the annual New England corrosion season. Modern technology has made it possible to order up everything required to finish a touch-up task with factory color-matched paint in an aerosol can without the giant investment in compressors, dryers, paint guns, reducers, filters, and so on.
The first step is to figure out the factory paint code from the underhood VIN tag. I sourced an aerosol from an auto parts store a few years back, but this time around I turned to the miracle of the internet and paint code databases. I cross-referenced the code by year, make, and model on the Automotive Touchup website and placed the order. When the paint arrived, I hit one of the color match cards with the basecoat to make sure it was a match before starting in on any bodywork, grinding, and sanding.
Painting cars, houses, or anything else is 99 percent prep work and one percent application.
Scrub down the area in question with soapy water or degreaser. I figured dents and dings added some battle-scarred character to the Montero and focused on the rust spots. Say hello to your old pal Bondo, mix up some Tiger Hair, or fill any offending deep scratches or chips with body putty then sand it all down in stages. Keep sanding and work out to finer grits. Power tools are OK to start with but hand sand with the contour of the body on the way out.
Mask, prime and base coat
Mask off and prime. Sand the primer out your finest grit and then clean everything up. Some naptha on a microfiber cloth pulled all this gak off even though the area looked clean. Rattle up the basecoat paint can ball bearing for at least a minute and then lay it down. Spray in a parallel line, not a curved arc. Set up a raking shop light and watch for the paint and solvent to level out together and hit the wet look. Wait at least 20 minutes between coats. No more sanding. Hit things with a tack cloth between coats to remove any paint goblins.
Use a soft mask line to blend basecoat into the existing color. A hard masked edge will leave a ridge and read as two different shades. Basecoat clearcoat paint is at once forgiving and challenging. Clearcoat is the last part of the one percent and easy to goof up. Lay down multiple thin coats to avoid sags. Watch for the clearcoat level out wet and then stop. Wait at least 20 minutes between coats, tack cloth off any goblins, and then hit it with as many layers of clearcoat it takes for that deep finish. Wait at least 12 hours, use some rubbing compound if required, peel off all the masking. Presto.
I already had plenty of masking tape, paper, and sandpaper kicking around, but Automotive Touchup offered everything in the box finish kit or factory matched aerosol paint cans a la carte. Aerosol premixes can also be purchased at your local automotive paint supply or auto parts outlet, though walking in with a paint code that isn't from a Big Three classic product can be hit or miss.
If you want the best results, painting an entire car is a job best executed the proper way with a paint shop, but a can or two of aerosol works for a decent touch-up or color match with minimal investment. Rattle on.
1956 Chevy sedan
Voltage Drop Testing
Check the condition of the wiring and ground connections before rushing to replace a starter motor. How do you do that? Your trusty multi-meter can help.
Put the multi-meter probes at both ends of the large cable running from the battery to the starter motor. Switch on the starter motor and a voltage reading greater than 0.5 volts might indicate the cable is frayed internally or its connection points are corroded.
Resistance (ohms) is NOT the multi-meter setting to use. The reading will very likely be zero ohms when the multi-meter's probes are placed at the ends of a cable or on each side of a grounding point. Unfortunately, a zero resistance reading does not mean a cable or ground connection is in good condition. It just means that there is at least one tiny strand of functional wire left in that nasty old cable or one nanometer of relatively clean metal in that corroded grounding point.
Instead, set the multi-meter to read DC volts and measure voltage drop while the circuit is under load (the starter is switched on). If the circuit is not switched on then there will be no current flowing and zero voltage change. Use a Remote Starter or have an assistant turn the ignition key to switch on the starter motor and consecutively put multi-meter probes at both ends of cables and across ground connections while watching for significant voltage. It varies, but a voltage greater than 0.5 volts is considered to be significant on most vehicles.
Some example tests:
Put the multi-meter probes on the battery positive terminal and the thinner wire (S terminal) on the starter solenoid. If the voltage reading stays greater than 0.5 volts when the starter is switched on, then there could be a problem with the ignition switch, a relay, wiring or some other component in the ignition switch circuit.
Put the multi-meter probes on the battery negative terminal and the metal body of the starter. A voltage drop greater than 0.5 volts could indicate corrosion or a contaminant like engine oil is preventing the starter body from making a good ground connection with the engine. Perhaps the battery terminal connection or ground wire between the battery and the engine block is corroded or loose.
Voltage drop testing can also be similarly used to test alternator, radio and other circuits. Frayed wires, corroded connections and failing relays add resistance to the circuit, thereby creating an unusually high voltage across the failing component as electrical current flows.
Crowd around a 1936 Ford sedan
Stuck in a Snowstorm
A young woman driving a car became lost in a snowstorm. She didn't panic however, because she remembered what her dad had once told her. "If you ever get stuck in a snowstorm, just wait for a snow plow to come by and follow it.” Sure enough, pretty soon a snow plow came by, and she started to follow it. She followed the plow for about forty-five minutes. Finally the driver of the truck got out and asked her what she was doing. And she explained that her dad had told her if she ever got stuck in a snow storm, to follow a plow. The driver nodded and said, “Well, I’m done with the Wal-Mart parking lot, do you want to follow me over to Best Buy now?"
Support the RPM Act
Sign at this link: www.votervoice.net/SEMA/campaigns/45394/respond
2017 marks a new session of Congress. Bills that did not become law at the end of 2016 must be reintroduced for consideration.
UPDATE TO THE RPM ACT - click link below
Protect Your Right to Buy Ethanol Free Fuel
Below is a link to Fuel Testers - a website that is opposed to more ethanol in gasoline and would like to preserve our ability to purchase gasoline free of ethanol.
So long 2018 show season
DMV Titling Information
As promised I have a document about titling antique vehicles posted below for download. This contains information from the DMV speakers at the August 2015 meeting and some other information that I hope you will find useful. If in doubt about anything email or call the DMV administrators in the document; I have their contact information listed. And for the millionth time be sure to check to see if the VIN matches the VIN on the vehicle before buying it. This can save you a lot of trouble - just ask anyone who has purchased a vehicle without a matching VIN. There is also valuable info on purchasing an older vehicle from a non-title state. If you are thinking about buying a vehicle from a non-title state be sure to read it. Link to the document: Antique Vehicle Titling and Registration. I also have a bill of sale for use in buying or selling an antique vehicle: Bill of Sale; and a bill of sale for use if the signatures need to be notarized: Bill of Sale.
You may also find these links useful. The following link goes to the National Insurance Crime Bureau where you can put in a VIN that will be checked for fraud and theft at no cost. The link is www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck. You should do some research on the vehicle you are thinking about buying, check the VIN to make sure it matches the vehicle and of course make sure the VIN on the vehicle and title match.
The next link goes to Stolen Car Reports, another free service. At this site you can register a stolen vehicle. You can also search a zip code, city or area for the vehicles that were stolen from that area. The link is www.stolencarreports.com/report/Search.
Antique Plate Info Flyer Online
The council delegates have approved the flyer with information on antique plates and a link to it is online here: flyer opens to a new window. Council members and antique owners may print the flyer for their own reference or distribute it to those who own or are considering registering a vehicle as an antique. It will remain on the site for an undetermined time. Council delegates will review the effectiveness of the flyer at a later date.
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