CMA, you need to Open your Mind to In LINES.if I’d put the street tires on it, it would make for some entertaining stuff...with the drag radials on, it’d be like watching re-runs of Perry Mason.
Offer stands if the cold blooded Gila needs heat someday. I am at the point here where I need both heat and AC. Your climate and constitution may vary.there’ll be no changing of the mind...Unless I start driving the Monster in the great white north.
As usual for me, an epiphany pops into my head at some wee hour of the night. This was one of those. I sorta solved the lack of a heater issue in the car, but it’s far from high tech. All I had to do was change the placement of the two shutoff valves, and just like that, water now flows through the heater core. The previous way had a shut off valve at both the inlet, and outlet of the heater core, and water flowing out of the head was either diverted back to the factory inlet at the thermostat housing, or into the heater core ( at least that’s how I thought i did it). Turned out that the “ T” i put at the inlet was just allowing water to flow right back into the water pump anyway.
This time around, the shut off won’t let the water go back to the water pump inlet if the other one that routes to the heater core is opened. Why i couldn’t see this in my head the last time is beyond me, but it works now. Unfortunatel, it’s not exactly easy to get to the valves,..but I figure what the hell,...if I plan to drive the car on a particularly cold time of year ( which i really won’t anyway), I jack the car up, slide under it reach up there and push one and pul the other to change the course of the water. Once it’s warm enough to not need heat, i’ll put it up again and change it back.
The benefit is that hot water isn’t under the dash at all in the summer, so it’s a win for me.
I changed a bunch of stuff this time around, the header uses no gasket, and all of the oil lines got re-done. Unfortunately, the turbo oil drain line leaks at the main fitting, and it’s kind of a bitch to get to...so..The Monster got me.
While driving it I knew it was leaking, because i could smell it..If anything could be considered good out of this was that the oil leak dripped on the exhaust header, which instantly burned it off, so, I don’t have a disaster under the car to mop up.
It was getting late while driving, so I turned on the headlights,...After maybe a couple of minutes, I get blasted with smoke pouring out from under the dash,...Just as quickly as it smoked the placed up, it was gone...I knew a circuit just melted itself off of what was shorting..
I turned immediately around, and headed back. When i got it in the garage, from what I can tell, the little 30 amp relay that the headlights were wired to failed, and internally shorted. A new relay fixed the problem, but that required I take the freakin dash top off to check everything..
Again the car beats me down..
After writing this, I started a “noise” campaign with American Racing. I figured if The “squeaky wheel gets the grease”, I wasn’t just gonna squeak,.... I was going to hammer, bang, rattle, hum, whine, whirr, and clank so freakin loudly, they’d dump a whole barrel of grease on my squeaking wheel to make it shut the hell up.This morning I’m shopping for tires. Ultimately, I’ll be shopping for wheels too, but hear me out.
Im gonna need the drag radials if I’m to have a prayer of handling the anticipated power.
* Anticipated power....NOT the before turbo upgrade tiny wheezer power,..the post upgrade “ soul sucker” ass pounding power I’m expecting from the current spooly boy that’s bolted onto the engine presently.
That said, I also have to consider the risk that driving hundreds of miles on drag radials pose, given that they are intolerant of even the dampest of roads, and absolutely suicidal to drive on if I was to get caught in a rain storm.
So, that brings me to tonight’s topic for my op-ed.
I was looking to see who made the biggest ( widest) tire to fit a 17” rim..It appears that every “ regular” street tire is gonna be a 315......And it just so happens that I have 315’s stacked up in my basement.
I also have an extra 17x11 wheel sitting down there that is supposed to be in-concentric. When I ordered the wheels awhile back some may remember that the first set was out of round beyond the acceptable 2/10” that American Racing deemed in tolerance. When they sent me the replacement pair, one was also found to be out of round beyond spec, the other was close enough. Because of the hassle, they told me to keep the bad wheel. The new one got here and consequently got put into service.
That left me with the one,.....lonely,...out of round wheel, and two 5 year old, but full tread remaining 315x17 Sumitomo tires,...sitting downstairs like so many cast off misfits from the island for misfit toys.
So,..I called wheel dude today. I asked them if they had improved their process to where I could feel confident that I wouldn’t go through what I did last time trying to get a round wheel from American Racing.
” Nope, the process is exactly the same. And I just want to go on record that if you’re expecting a perfectly round wheel like what you’d get from a cast wheel, these ain’t gonna be what you’re looking for. These wheels are intended to go on muscle cars, and street rods, and not intended to be driven at 90 mph.. I also want to tell you that if you buy these wheels again, we will not exchange them like we did last time”
Keep in mind that these wheels cost 515.00 ea. For 515.00 you are told not to expect the level of perfection that you can get from a set of Chinee Torque Thrust wheels that you can almost get 3 for the price of this.......one.......wheel.
What kind of sense does this make?
I take the wheel to a local tire store. I tell them to put the wheel by itself on their balancer and spin it. If it looks out of round, and you don’t think it’ll balance out, do not mount the tire to it. If on the other hand, it looks like you’ll be able to get it to balance,...mount it.
They call me tonight to tell me that everything is good..The mounted tire runs true.
So then,....I have to order another wheel tomorrow...515.00 with more or less a “ buyer beware” warning as to the quality of the end result...and 4-6 weeks to get it here.
On one hand, I’d be tempted to say fck that and cut bait, and sell off all four wheels to “ole’ buford” so’s he can put em on his Starsky n Hutch edition Gran Torino with the leaf spring shackles and air shocks...
On the other hand....For 515.00 Ill have two sets of matching rear wheels,..one with a set of street tires, and one set with drag radials.
Blah Blah Blah.....After writing this, I started a “noise” campaign with American Racing. I figured if The “squeaky wheel gets the grease”, I wasn’t just gonna squeak,.... I was going to hammer, bang, rattle, hum, whine, whirr, and clank so freakin loudly, they’d dump a whole barrel of grease on my squeaking wheel to make it shut the hell up.
When I started this, there was no direct way to talk to American Racing directly. Any questions/ orders/complaints had to be done through one of their dealers. They did have an e-mail link though.....for potential customers looking for a “ dealer near me”.
Since that was my only path,...I went down that road.
This email is a service from Wheel Pros. Delivered by Zendesk
Jan 6, 2021, 7:52 CST
I find it amazing that your company cannot be contacted directly. I bought 4 AR 500 wheels through Wheels for less in Or around Jan 2019. (2) 17x8, (2) 17x11.
When I got them, the two rear wheels were out of round beyond your 2/10” spec. I sent them back, and two new wheels were ordered. When I get the new ones, One was still beyond your spec, and one was acceptable. Wheels for less had me keep the one wheel, and again replaced the defective one. I finally got a usable wheel months after placing my original order in December.
I called Wheels for less yesterday inquiring as to whether or not your process had improved as I was considering adding two additional rear wheels so that I could have street tires, and drag radials mounted. His reply was laughable:
” Nope, the process is exactly the same. And I just want to go on record that if you’re expecting a perfectly round wheel like what you’d get from a cast wheel, these ain’t gonna be what you’re looking for. These wheels are intended to go on muscle cars, and street rods, and not intended to be driven at 90 mph.. I also want to tell you that if you buy these wheels again, we will not exchange them like we did last time.”
So much for your warranty.
He goes on to tell me that I could not use the criteria that BMW uses when balancing a wheel, that these wheels are not intended to go on a car rated to travel at triple digit speeds, and the precision machine that a BMW dealership uses will never certify one of the AR wheels as acceptable.
Hint...I know that the Hunter wheel machine at My BMW dealership is no different than any other Hunter machine that can be found in any major tire store.
Is this the quality standard you stand by?
Sent from my iPad
Expecting nothing in return, I was surprised, when I get a response back from Wheel Pros ( now a group that American Racing among other brands call home). They apologize, they tell me that that is not who they are, and tell me that the dealer I used is not exactly one of their suggested outlets..They go on to tell me that they’ll do whatever they can to earn back my business.
I tell them to ship me out another wheel....it’s that simple.
They can’t, I have to order it from one of their dealers, and give me the list. I tell them that that is hardly going above and beyond my expectations. Customer service dude tells me that he can’t do anything for me until I place the order.
So i bite....I call a local tire store from their dealer list. I give dude the specs, and he tells me that he’ll have to call me back with an ETA.
He does.............4 months.
I tell him that summer will be freakin over by the time that wheel gets to me ( exaggerated I know), and that I’m in contact with Wheel Pros direct, and I’ll have to get back to him.
I send dude another Email.
Jan 13, 2021, 18:54 CST
There are unresolved issues. I complained early on about the experience, and all Luke could do was tell me that he was sorry, but could neither discount, or expedite a replacement wheel order that I am wanting to replace. I appreciate that he may be restricted by what he can do at his level, but in my business, when a client has had a bad experience similar to the one I have detailed in the last few messages, “ I’m very sorry, but....” isn’t a solution to solving my past or current issue. I was kinda waiting to place the order hoping that he would come through with better news, but it appears I’m barking up a tree. Obviously, you think it’s better that I blast this company for its lack of quality control ( as per my personal experience) or it’s lack of customer service in lieu of that experience.
If you want to fix this, get me a freakin turn time that isn’t 4 months, so that I can put the other set of tires on the car.
Sent from my iPad
He tells me to “place the order“, and he’ll see what he can do. So,....I place the order.
Yesterday, I get a call from Vulcan Tire and wheel,..( the dealer) who tells me that my order has “ finally arrived”.
Finally? it’s only been 3 weeks.....when you first took the order they were telling you 4 months..I consider 3 weeks the same as overnight.
See.....There’s a reason for the saying “ if it’s to be, it’s up to me”.....it’s the only way things happen.
Won't know till tomorrow when I take the tire to the dealer, and have it mounted.Blah Blah Blah.....
Is the wheel ROUND? That's the big question! Or is it equally not as round as the earlier attempt?
Check the wheel before mounting the tire. It can be done on a Hunter balancer (the option is in one of the menus).Won't know till tomorrow when I take the tire to the dealer, and have it mounted.
Then back home where I'll swap the drag radials off for the street tires, and go out again, to see if I can kill myself when I lose control....