I just wanted to let you know
how happy I am to do business
I just received
my order the other day, and it's
not the first time I've purchased
items from you guys. As always,
the parts were exactly right, with
much better pricing than anywhere,
and great service as well.
I recommend RockAuto
to everyone I talk to!
Henry in Florida
you would like
featured here, e-mail us
Maryland Heights, MO
Annual Antique & Classic
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RT66 PT Cruisers
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Classic Car Show
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Falcon Club of America Pacific
Cool Northern Nights on the
Show N Shine
Park Moto Expo
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Set up a Wholesale Closeout RSS feed
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another way RockAuto helps you
your car will ever need.
Monroe Brake Pad Rebate
$20 with your qualifying
purchase of one (1) set of Monroe® Ceramics® or
Monroe® Dynamics® Premium
Monroe Brakes "Fuel Stop" is
a mail-in cash rebate promotion.
Forum Of The Month
are probably wondering why another
site when the Internet is full of
There are many good
brand specific sites out there, but
primarily to Dodge, Ford and GM and
not focusing on a single brand,
take a reader out of their comfort
zone which allows for further
education. The big three are in the
midst of what some call the "Diesel
benefits us as consumers, you can
bet each manufacturer is keeping
eye on what the others are doing.
The same goes for discussing upgrades
experiences with other owners, you
may pick up a great tip from
TowRig.com community members are
typically interested in 3/4 and
1 ton light duty trucks used for
recreational and business towing;
everything from towing a boat to
a Bobcat. Topics discussed include
performance and aftermarket accessories;
choosing the right tow rig (hitches,
sway control, etc.); choosing the
right trailer; and proper trailer
loading. Dodge, Ford, GM and other
tow vehicles are compared and have
their own forum threads. Towing
competitions, tires, and other
topics of interest to the towing
community are also covered.
If you are the
administrator or member of a forum
and you would like to see your
website featured in an upcoming
newsletter and receive a discount
code to share with your members,
Repair Mistakes & Blunders
happened quite a few years ago but,
it still makes me chuckle to think
it. This fellow that I worked with
(we'll call him Tim) came into work
with two strange marks on his forehead.
The marks were about two inches long
and one inch apart, they resembled
a staircase as viewed from the side,
and looked quite tender.
I asked Tim what
happened and he proceeded to tell
me that he had replaced the exhaust
pipe on his Subaru Brat. He explained
that the pipe had a huge nut to retain
it and the only thing that would
fit the nut was a large pipe wrench.
So while lying on his back with the
wrench inches from his face he pulled
with all his might and when it broke
free...you guessed it...the wrench
and its serrated teeth made a nice
gash on his noggin.
Tim said it was
a bugger of a job and he was proud
that he got it done. After thinking
about it for a little while I asked
him why there were two marks, he
just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well
I had to tighten it back up!".
Mike in New York
Tell us about
your most infamous auto repair
blunder. Use your woe to help others
avoid similar mistakes. Please
email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Include your mailing address and
shirt size (large or extra large)
and we will mail you a RockAuto "Do
it yourself?" t-shirt if we
publish your story. The story will
be credited using only your first
name and your vague geographic
location (state, province, country,
continent, etc.) so you can remain
are inflated. Air filter is new.
Engine is in tune. Heavy tire chains
are out of the trunk. I drive smoothly.
What can I do next to increase miles
per gallon (mpg) and maybe even beat
the EPA mpg rating?
A real “hypermiler” might
start with a car like my wife’s
Mazda 323 and try to eke out 37 mpg.
Tackling a car with crummy mpg seems
like it might be easier. 12 mpg is
the EPA rating printed on the window
sticker for my 1979 Chrysler 300.
Lots of room for mpg improvement
and I know just the place to start!
The ’79 300
came with a shorter axle ratio than
the stock Cordoba it was based on.
A shorter axle ratio means it takes
more turns of the driveshaft for
every turn of the rear wheels. More
spins of the driveshaft means the
engine is revving faster. At 60 mph
(97 kmh) my 300’s engine is
at about 3000 rpm. If I installed
a taller (2:1 gears are taller than
3:1) ring and pinion gear set in
the differential then the engine
might only do 2000 rpm at 60 mph.
Less engine rpm would mean higher
gas mileage. Swapping the ring and
pinion gears might get my car up
to 15 or 16 mpg, a 25% improvement
Reducing the load
on the engine by getting rid of drive
belts is a popular hypermiler forum
topic. I need the fan belt to turn
the water pump, but removing the
fan blades and installing an electric
radiator fan might make a miniscule
increase in mpg.
What about taking
the belt off the alternator and installing
a deep cycle marine battery? Unfortunately,
marine batteries are just not a panacea
for cars. A deep cycle battery might
be rated to run a 25 amp boat refrigerator
for hours, but the hundreds of amps
needed to start a car engine would
throw the battery ratings out the
window. No one knows for sure how
many minutes the car could go before
the battery and engine conked out.
Deep cycle batteries are also much
heavier, starting at about 40 lbs.
Like regular automotive
batteries, the less a lead acid deep
cycle battery is run down between
charges the longer it will last.
A deep cycle battery discharged only
20% should last much longer than
one routinely discharged 50%.
Even if I pretend
a car is the same as a boat refrigerator,
battery manufacturers don’t
claim that their lead acid deep cycle
batteries last longer than about
200 deep discharge cycles under good
conditions. If I drive 200 days a
year then in five years I would go
through five $80 marine batteries
instead of one $60 automotive battery.
I think I’ll leave the alternator
The air conditioner
belt just spins a simple pulley until
the A/C clutch is engaged so there
is no reason to mess with the A/C
Decades ago I drove
an old Dodge Monaco for over a year
without any power steering belt.
I was not a hypermiler. I just did
not want to bother replacing the
pitman shaft seal on a badly rusted
car headed for the junkyard. Driving
with the power steering disconnected
is not the same as driving a car
with manual steering. There was a
lot of sloppiness in the steering
with the absence of hydraulic pressure.
That might not be so noticeable with
rack and pinion steering. Turning
the wheel was a chore and the effort
eventually distorted the steering
wheel covering. However, it was a
great upper body workout. I am older
now and want to keep my 300’s
My 300 has aluminum
wheels and is a reasonable 3800 lbs.
(1724 kg). Replacing the cast iron
engine block with aluminum would
reduce vehicle weight but that big
of a change might not be in the true
spirit of a hypermiler. I could definitely
increase mpg by removing all non-essential
weight like the trunk lid, carpet,
passengers, radio, etc.
aerodynamics could lead to better
mpg at least at high speeds. The
1970 Plymouth Superbird was also
a Chrysler B body. With a lot of
work and duct tape I might be able
to attach an aerodynamic Superbird
nosecone on the front of my 300.
I will look for Superbirds next time
I am at the junkyard. But if I find
that fantasy junkyard, then that
Superbird might also have a 426 Hemi
to donate and my plans to be a hypermiler
would be thwarted.
1965 Volvo PV544
I got the opportunity to purchase
metal timing gears from RockAuto
for my 1965 Volvo PV544, I jumped
at the chance to upgrade from the
pressed fiber (I am not kidding)
stock gear that the Geniuses at Volvo
insisted on using in their B18 1.8
liter engine. While it indeed made
for a quieter engine, it certainly
does not lend itself to longevity.
I finished my restoration
project in June of 2007 and continue
to look for ways to improve the driveability
and reliability of my 43 year old
car. It is now cosmetically stock
and the modifications I have made
do not detract from the looks of
the car but certainly do help it
mechanically. I have installed a
later model 1968 Volvo 4 speed transmission
with a 4th gear overdrive unit. This
allows me to cruise at interstate
highway speeds without the engine
sounding like it is going to fly
apart. Plus I get 30mpg or more in
the process. Installed a Volvo (Bosch)
55 amp alternator in place of the
stock generator. Why fight progress?
Installed an electronic ignition
to dispense with the points and condenser
part of the distributor mechanism.
Also installed an AM/FM radio from
a 1968 Volvo to replace the stock
antique AM radio which apparently
only picks up talk radio and Hispanic
music here in western Missouri.
was a two year ordeal using two cars.
One complete (if you include the
rust), and the other a wreck, from
the firewall forward. It was down
to bare metal on 100% of the car
and a transplant of the engine, suspension,
and radiator from the rust bucket
donor vehicle to the former badly
bent one. End result? You can make
a “silk purse from a sow’s
ear”. If you are willing to
spend enough time and money on it!
Phil in Missouri
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