Watch Out for FOD March 11 2019, 0 Comments
Starting my mechanical engineering career in the aviation field taught me some good habits. One thing that is obsessed over in aviation is FOD, which stands for both foreign object debris and foreign object damage. Foreign object debris causes foreign object damage. FOD is a big deal in aviation, because even something as little as a lost washer can migrate around inside the aircraft and possibly touch some wires and short them out. Maybe a lost screwdriver can jam up a control cable. Maybe a lost nut will bounce around in the cockpit during negative-G maneuvers.
We had strict rules and procedures for preventing FOD from being left on the aircraft. Many of these principles are also good practices in the garage.
Why Cutting Springs Is Okay (Kinda) February 01 2019, 0 Comments
I've heard internet experts and suspension salespeople alike say that cutting springs is a terrible idea. Almost all of us have come across the guy on the internet who aggressively tries to convince everyone that cut springs will cause you to crash your car into a group of disabled children holding golden retriever puppies.
I, on the other hand have a suspicion that cutting springs a modest amount can yield the benefits of a lower ride height and stiffer spring rate. Why would I have the temerity to question the authority and omniscience of the internet experts?
Are Genuine BMW Parts Better? October 09 2018, 0 Comments
My friend insists on using only genuine Mercedes Benz oil filters, spark plugs, fluids and pretty much everything else. Genuine parts and fluids from the manufacturer are usually more expensive, but my friend is willing to pay more to ensure the quality of the parts. Is this a situation where you get what you pay for?
Seeing Someone's Soul By Watching Them Drive September 20 2018, 0 Comments
"Give a man a mask and he will show his true face." - Oscar Wilde. Often, people feel hidden and anonymous behind the wheel of a car, somehow insulated from the outside world by the glass and sheet metal. You've probably seen people picking their noses at red lights, dancing wildly or belting out lyrics whereas in any other context, they would be too self-conscious otherwise do it in public. People tend to truly be themselves when they get behind the wheel. Over the years, I've seen more and more instances of people's driving habits giving unbiased information into who they truly are.
Why You Should Get a Dash Cam (Or Not) September 07 2018, 0 Comments
My friend was livid at the injustice of the situation. His Bimmer had been sideswiped by an uninsured driver. It was the other driver's fault, but he wouldn't admit fault, and the cops couldn't make a determination of who was at fault. My friend was stuck with the repair bill. I had casually thought about getting a dashcam before, but this was the first time I seriously considered getting one. So before buying one, I did some research. Can footage be self-incriminating if you are at fault in an accident? Are there any legal ramifications of getting a dashcam? What features are important? I ended up getting a dashcam and am glad that I made this purchase. I've even recorded an accident and several close calls within the first couple of months. This is a summary of the research that I did leading up buying a dashcam, and my experience of owning one.
Red Eye Garage Tip #9 - How to Increase Drill Accuracy August 24 2018, 1 Comment
When drilling a hole with a large bit in a drill press, it can be difficult to line up the drill bit accurately. The larger the bit, the harder it is for your eye to precisely find the center of the bit. Check out a technique that we use for drilling more accurate holes.
MORE Reasons Why American V8s Make Low Power for Their Size August 06 2018, 0 Comments
In our previous article, we talked about some of the reasons why American pushrod V8s have a hard time getting the most out of their displacement. We talked about redline limits, head flow limits, compression ratio limits, and variable valve timing difficulties. Now, let's talk about a few more nuanced reasons.
Project E36 M3 - Removing Kick Panels November 17 2017, 0 Comments
We had to remove the front kick panel on our E36 M3 while developing our aluminum dead pedals. This panel is the plastic one on the outboard side of the footwell that you will need to remove to access the speakers. These are also referred to as lateral trim panels in some parts catalogs. We couldn't find anything in the Robert Bentley shop manual, nor could we find much online beyond a few verbal descriptions. We took it upon ourselves to show you how they are removed.
Project E36 M3 - Removing and Replacing the Side Sill Panel November 17 2017, 0 Comments
Our side sill panel had been cracked from years of accidentally brushing up against them while getting in and out of the car. We couldn't find anything about removing and replacing these in our Robert Bentley shop manual, nor was there much information online. Nevertheless, we ordered the new parts, and got to work.
Austin Cars and Coffee - August 2017 August 29 2017, 0 Comments
I chased a DeTomaso Pantera through some curvy Hill Country roads, his American V8 roaring as my German inline six gave pursuit. In the morning hours, the typical Texas summer heat had yet to awaken, and our cars were loving the cool 95 degree air. We were both headed to Cars and Coffee Austin, where we would meet hundreds of other enthusiasts. Here are some highlights.
MIG vs TIG welds August 12 2017, 0 Comments
You may have seen products that feature MIG or TIG welded construction, but what are the differences, and which one is better? We'll explain some of the basics behind MIG and TIG welding and compare them. This is not really a guide for people looking to get into welding, but rather a guide for consumers who have never welded before and would like to know the pros and cons between MIG and TIG welds.
The Myth of the Bottleneck May 03 2017, 0 Comments
Before I ever cracked open a fluid dynamics book or performed flow analysis in a professional setting, I falsely believed that if you were to improve the flow of a system, you would always be limited by the most restrictive feature in the system so that improving the flow anywhere besides the most restrictive feature would be fruitless. So in other words, if your muffler was the most restrictive element of your exhaust system, deleting your catalytic converter wouldn't yield any gains. This idea of a bottleneck was reinforced by internet "experts".
Engine Oil Analysis 101 February 17 2017, 0 Comments
We recently sent a sample of engine oil out to a lab to be analyzed to look for coolant in the oil as a symptom of a failing head gasket. The test came back negative for coolant, and we later found a tiny leak on an inaccessible side of the coolant reservoir. What we didn't expect was all the additional information we got about the health of our engine. Honestly, we regret not doing this earlier. Here is what we did and this is what you can gain from having your oil tested.
Red Eye Garage Tip #8 - Head Lamps January 26 2017, 0 Comments
If you wrench at night as we often do, good lighting is one of the things that can really make the job go easier. Having a well-lit garage or several flood lamps is ideal, but situations aren't always ideal and sometimes even great shop lighting can't reach the darkest depths of the engine bay or transmission tunnel.
Headlamps are great for getting light exactly where you are working, but some are better than others. I have tried a few different styles over the years, and this is what I think of them.
Porsche Cayenne (9PA) Front Wheel Bearing Replacement January 17 2017, 9 Comments
Our Porsche Cayenne 9PA parts and people hauler started to have a whirring sound coming from the front axle that was speed dependent. It was time to remove and replace the front wheel bearings. We'll show you how we removed and replaced ours.
Red Eye Garage Tip #7 - Machining Polyurethane December 28 2016, 0 Comments
We received a set of control arm bushings that needed to be shaved down to fit. We hope you're never in this position, but if you do get stuck and have a lathe, here is a trick to have up your sleeve. We've never machined polyurethane before, but this is what we learned.
Repairing and Customizing Our Creeper August 10 2016, 1 Comment
Our creeper had served us for several years before suffering a major crack as a result of plopping down on it one too many times. We prefer repair over replacement with most things, and this was no exception. While we were at it, we decided to throw in some upgrades to make it more durable and to make it ours.
Product Spotlight: M20/M42 Intake Adapter July 06 2016, 0 Comments
Unsatisfied with the offerings on the market for our M42 engine, we took it upon ourselves to create a properly engineered AFM adapter. Our AFM adapter provides a smooth transition that helps the flow to transition from a round to a square cross section smoothly.
How We Make Our BMW E30 Door Panels December 31 2015, 1 Comment
There is a lot of love and attention to detail that goes into making our BMW E30 aluminum door panels. Here is an inside look at what goes into making them.
Why American V8's Make Low Power for Their Size December 03 2015, 11 Comments
Why do large-displacement American V8s generally produce less horsepower per liter of displacement compared to their European and Japanese counterparts? A common answer is that American engines are tuned to favor low-end torque instead of top-end horsepower, but that answer is vague and only half true. Large displacement American V8s are typically pushrod engines, and this engine design has characteristics that make it more difficult to produce high horsepower per liter. There is a sliver of truth that American engines are tuned for low-end torque, but it that not entirely accurate. Once set on using a pushrod design, it's not as if the engineers at General Motors could easily have chose for the engine to have high-end horsepower instead of low-end torque. The engineers have some ability to shift the peak of the torque curve up and down the rpm range, but the general vicinity where torque peaks is largely already determined by the engine architecture.
As we talk about the reasons why American V8s make relatively low horsepower per liter, we'll compare the LS3 out of a 2008 Corvette with a S65 out of a 2008 BMW M3, since this pair provides a good comparison. Both were built around the same time, and both were designed to be put in performance cars. The LS3 was one of the best American V8s at that time, and the S65 was one of the best German V8s at the time. Both engines produce similar power figures, but use different approaches to get there.
Adding War Paint to a Welding Helmet September 18 2015, 2 Comments
We recently added some war paint to our welding helmet. Graphics on a lot of helmets on the market are a little too busy for our taste, so we took matters into our own hands.
Product Spotlight: Coaster Set September 03 2015, 0 Comments
Upgrade your man cave, garage, or living room with this Red Eye Garage coaster set. Here is an inside look at how these are made.
Red Eye Garage Tip #6 May 20 2015, 1 Comment
If you've ever used automotive touch up paint before, it usually comes in a bottle with a built-in brush on the cap. This brush is typically too big and leaves blobs of paint on the car. The objective is to fill in the crater of the paint chip and nothing more. Buying a set of small paint brushes from the local craft store for a few bucks can vastly improve your results.
Red Eye Garage X Winding Road Racing January 08 2015, 0 Comments
Winding Road Racing is a race shop that carries all kinds of gear for automotive enthusiasts and track day junkies. They have teamed up with Red Eye Garage to offer the highest quality apparel to the automotive community. This is their brand new showroom, and you can see some of our apparel hanging out on their rack.
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