Monday, August 25, 2008

Jalopy: The Great American


The jalopy is technically a dilapidated vehicle, but this article shows that it’s really the old great achievements and engineering marvels, isn’t it? Some of you really know what I’m talking about. You lived through it all; I just have marveled after the fact.

The Jalopy Definition:

Some of you may already know what a jalopy is, and others may be scratching their heads waiting for this explanation. Either way, I’m sure you’ll know what a beater, a hoopti, or a dilapidated vehicle is. Most of us have owned one, but those old jalopys tell a tale that we all need to hear. We can learn from forgotten engineering ideas, which are hidden gems of our past. One of these forgotten truths will help you restore new life to your truck’s or car’s miles per gallon.

The Jalopy Treasure:

Sometimes we think that the newest is the greatest. Consumerism certainly teaches that to us, but the reality is that the knowledge that we can learn from the engineering feats gone by in The Great American Jalopy. Take a 70’s ford truck for instance. The engineering was so simple that the amount of design required isn’t even obvious. How could it be? There is hardly a thing under the hood. Well, one of the things that we learn from that old jalopy is that mechanic schools slowly breed the wrong information into the car industry on at least one count.

What was forgotten?

They had had a ground wire directly from the engine to the negative terminal on the battery, but new cars don’t have it! Sounds simple right? What value could that have? Well, one article from the Dessert News interviewing a major executive of Ford said that there has been very little advance since the 60’s and some would argue, that little true innovation has occurred since the 30’s. Excepting for The Great American Jalopy, and they could even use a new direct grounding wire, we need to get back to the basics with our modern car’s and we’ll have better success.

Why it works:

With the advent of more modern metal smithy, or metallurgy it was believed that the body of a vehicle could be the ground, that since electricity travels at the speed of lightning there is no requirement for energy to go straight back to the negative battery terminal. Those engineers should have known better than to teach this to the repair industry. The engineers should have known from their required science education is: resistance increases over distance excepting the use of super conductors. And who ever heard of a super conductor being in a car? Okay, okay, I read too many science magazines, but the point is that the old idea makes a tremendous difference on the jalopy with a direct grounding wire because even if it currently had a direct grounding wire it probably is worn down and has extra resistance, just like the newer car that may not even have the direct ground.

Suggested article to make your knowledge more rounded on the subject:

Now, honestly, to truly have your jalopy, new car, or truck balanced with an extra grounding wire new car you’ll want to listen to your engine as is indicated by middle of my 12 gauge speaker wire article, or if you'd like to understand from a scientific but controversial view read my spark plug gap article, but that information about listening to your engine is only a start. You'll do this if you really care about your truck's or car's miles per gallon. Feel free to click around to read your complete balancing guide to have your engine powerful like the muscle car’s of old; to make that jalopy have the power, smoothness and efficiency like it was young again (Or, wildly effect the performance of your newer ride!); maybe even to make you consider taking that jalopy title away from your car and return it to the feeling, the power of a well tuned engine. And understand this: spend less in gas! Also, there are a few more tips about this available through an unlikely source. Check out the 12 gauge speaker wire article! Return to home: Truck's or Car's Miles Per Gallon

New Article!
8 Gauge Grounding Wire

The Transmission Cooler Upgrade

The Transmission Cooler Upgrade

When you know something in theory it is one thing, but when you've upgraded your own car with a transmission cooler, it changes everything.

The feeling you can expect after installing a transmission cooler:

Last Saturday (now summer last year, and I still see benefits!), an automotive mentor and I installed a transmission cooler. The car was always smooth in it's shifting from one gear to the next, but after the transmission cooler, it was so smooth that you could hear the engine change pitch, but the feel of the gear shift was swallowed on all but the 1st to 2nd gear shift, unless the vehicle was accelerating quickly, then it was smoother.

Have you ever upgraded your tranny's oil from regular to fully synthetic and felt that incredible performance boost? The power of the vehicle goes way up because of the smoother oil, and the shifts are just a dream? Well, imagine making that difference twice and you'll know what a transmission cooler feels like.

A couple of tips that my mentor gave me:

You need to know which line from the tranny is going into the radiator as the high pressure versus the return. You always place the high pressure line to the higher side of the transmission cooler. That way gravity will help take the low side, with the now cooler oil back to the transmission. If you didn't know already know this: transmissions cool themselves via lines that go into a partitioned portion of the radiator. Initially, when the thermostat in the engine first opens up and the radiator fluid starts going through the radiator for the first time it'll actually heat up the transmission keeping the engine from heating up as quickly. In colder environments this is ideal as the tranny's friction will help the engine heat up sooner, but for short trips in a normal environment a transmission oil cooler will actually allow an engine to get up to the peak operating temperature sooner and the sooner an engine is at its peak temperature the better your mileage whether we’re talking about a car’s or truck's miles per gallon. Extremely cooler environments however can damage a transmission suggesting warming up a vehicle before driving or having a plug device to keep the engine warm. In most areas, as long as it isn't the dead of winter, a transmission cooler is an upgrade.

Most kits miss a little of what you need for a transmission oil cooler upgrade. It may be necessary to have a few extra clamps and metal tubes that can be used to splice two lines together, but Mishimoto makes a decent kit, which looks better than most I've presented at AutoBravado over the years, not to mention that it's less expensive by half then what I paid for mine.

Likely efficiency effects and other positive side effects from your new transmission cooler:

The engine actually gets up to the optimal running temperature more quickly now that part of the heat isn't just getting removed from the radiator’s coolant side and transferred to the transmission fluid side of the radiator. Once warmed up, the engine actually runs a little cooler, which puts it at the exact temperature necessary that has attained my record highs in getting good car's miles per gallon. When I haven't driven for a couple hours the engine also starts warmer than in the past so it retains the right temperature longer and strains less because of a smoother shift between gears. A smoother shift in gears means less of a beating is put on the engine and a longer lasting gear box means savings down the road.
Remember AutoBravado's goal: The Car's or Truck's Miles per Gallon: We all want better numbers, but do we really know how to get them? Let us learn that to get results is to have fun! There are tricks that it took many mechanics decades of experience to figure out and perfect. The car’s or truck’s miles per gallon of the vehicle you own relies on more factors than most mechanics even know about. There are always new factors that are discovered on this amazing subject of your car’s miles per gallon. It is this website’s commitment to stay ahead of the discoveries and keep you well informed. Whether you’re after a little more power or you’re after better efficiency did you know that some solutions will do both for you? It is a basic concept of physics. If the engine is singing the sweet song of being tuned and other factors are in place, it will, by the laws of physics, require less fuel to get the same results. Don‘t worry you don‘t need to know physics, it has been already been figured out for you by! Click here for the most recent article.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NGK Spark Plug Advantage

The NGK Spark Plug Advantage,
as compared to Bosch, another leading competitor.
Both have their advantages, be educated as to which is best.
(Or check out my newer article about Iridium Spark Plugs which I prefer now.)

The moment I got my hands on these NGK spark plugs I knew there was something different. Not having looked at Champion’s recently, the stud that has electricity to prong that goes through the core of the spark plug is large, which allowing for imperfections or impurities in the design of the iridium or platinum plug makes for a less reliably perfect arc of electricity of the appropriately distanced gap. You see, if the stud is wide, and if electricity will always follow the path of least resistance you can’t prove that the arc will actually be the .044 gap that most car’s and truck’s engines require. Note: it is necessary to look up the gap specifications for each vehicle. The shortest electrical path therefore, is not guaranteed as it could go to one part of the stud or another.

Additionally, lightning, or a controlled spark in your NGK plug, is the means for delivering that all important catalyst, which allows for combustion. So, part of the NGK spark plug advantage is that it has a small stud. Having had lightning as part of AutoBravado’s study and education. Lightning appears to want, for a lack of a better verb, to want to strike objects that are either pointy, or gradually rounded to a ball. Sorry, folks, that means our heads our shaped just right to get hit by lightning, but don’t you fear, electricity likes the shortest path with the least resistance and we are hardly like metal being low resistance and we being of high electrical resistance.

The NGK Spark Plug, if looked at with careful attention is ideally shaped. Auto Bravado has observed this in his studies with the Hansen planetarium. From the beginning, my promise has been that the collected experience here will tell you what is best and keep the physics out of it, but knowing a bit can really help you make the right choice wether it’s best to buy NGK Spark Plug’s or one’s made by Bosch.

The NGK Spark Plug and the Bosch each have their own advantages. For example, the Bosch is a bit more rounded with its point being protected made of some durable material, while the NGK spark plug is more pointed. The NGK spark plug has more resistance, a believed component for best operation of Japanese made engines by many in the industry. The NGK spark plug advantage over the Bosch is durability. As time goes on the prongs will slowly wear away. In Bosch’s protective sheath the platinum end goes deeper and deeper as it wears allowing for no reliable way to maintain the original gap. As discussed on the spark plug gap page, occasionally going through your engine and having everything re-gapped, makes replacing your NGK spark plugs have the advantage over Bosch’s design. You see, lacking a protective sheath, which gave Bosch the rounded shape and also takes away from your ability re-gap the Bosch as the electrode wears down. A gapping tool can’t measure below the surface of the protective sheath. This is the chief durability advantage of the NGK spark plug. No protective sheath means that as it wears down you can just re-gap it.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dodge Hemi Spark Plug Wires

We want the best for our spark plug wires for our Dodge Hemi’s, right? This is where to find your Dodge Hemi spark plug wire’s depending on which type of electrical system you are after.

We all would like to have the best, but some of us need to be cost effective, durable parts, which still perform. Some of you came here for the best of best despite any financial cost. If that’s the case you can simply take’s top pick for the best Dodge Hemi spark plug wire, which is Bosch's Dodge Hemi spark plug wire or you read on and make the informed decision that some of you are after.

The practiced age old advice I’d give to the money conscience, but well-informed consumer is to replace any vehicle’s, including the Dodge Hemi’s, spark plug wires with what Bosch makes for their ignition set. Lifetime warranties, a fairly low ohms of resistance, with Opti-Layer Mag technology which provides the following: stainless steel Mag winding (allows for longer and stronger electrical burst), a Kevlar reinforced core (protects the electricity carrying component from breaking with all of the heating in cooling in today’s engines), a layer of insulation for electronic interference protection, and the age-old goody of being sealed in silicon to keep the elements of the world out.

The Dodge Hemi Spark Plug Wires from Bosch bottom line:

What I'm about to say is necessary to the bottom line even if it's tough to understand. Think about it, they have technology to not allow other electrical or magnetic forces from getting in the way to a free flow of electricity for best combustion. This technology critical and proven by AutoBravado's experience, ohms of resistance, and interference tests.

Why the Dodge Hemi Spark Plug Wires from Bosch are better than some more expensive sets, which are custom:

If you’d like to understand why having electronic shielding, which is often not as nice in a custom set, for the best results in the Dodge Hemi spark plug wires it is actually pretty simple. A professor of science in a university one day noticed that his compass for another show of science earlier in the day changed its alignment every time electricity flowed through an electrical circuit that the compass happened to be above. Electrical components like your Dodge Hemi spark plug wires put out electromagnetic energy, which not only will create a small magnetic pulse, but converts back into interfering electrical energy in another wire. Despite this interference it is best to not just remember to replace one of your Dodge Hemi’s spark plug wires at a time, but to keep them from crossing and have them aligned one after another, which prevents, to put in another way, electrical bleed over, versus reinforcing electro-magnetic energy from one Dodge Hemi spark plug wire to the next. To learn more about how to test your Dodge Hemi spark plug wire’s click on the text link, or to learn how you can adjust the overall truck’s electrical resistance lower by reading up on the Jalopy and 12 gauge speaker wire pages.

Note: I used to have this totally amazing affiliate that sold the the best cold air intakes (for your Dodge Hemi too) by K&N on this article, because they're the only company that'll produce cold air intakes that have ready to go plug-ins for all your sensors and what you need to have your vehicle running legal. Also, I recommend K&N cold air intakes because from the industry experts, they are the only company that tests their design to be sure it'll actually help the car have more horsepower. AutoBravado's public statement is a commitment to better truck or car miles per gallon, but many of those things make our cars have more power and more fun too!

Email me at if you find a great place to get K&N cold air intakes or leave a comment on my blog about any of your experiences that fit with the article on that page, for example tell me about your Dodge Hemi spark plug wire experience, I appreciate all of your input!

12 Gauge Speaker Wire

An alternate use you wouldn’t expect for high grade 12 gauge speaker wire:

To those of you who don’t just want to buy what you’re after and you want to see how this relates to theme of this site - your truck’s and car’s miles per gallon - the 12 gauge speaker has more uses then you would ever think of. Sure, it will help you with the sound of your stereo over what comes with the common theatre style stereo in your home. Sure, most car’s sound will be much improved especially of you use a sound specific type of 12 gauge speaker wire like gold, which excepts less interference then the standard material from other electronic sources, but there is still one more use, which won’t be obvious to most of you.

The reality is, is that most 12 gauge speaker wire increase your truck’s or car’s miles per gallon too. Splitting the two sides of the 12 gauge speaker wire apart near the engine you can bolt it down to a close proximity of to of the engines cylinders. Once this is accomplished run the more conveniently conjoined wires to the negative terminal of your battery. This additional ground will increase power and reduce the electrical resistance for your spark plugs/timing systems to work a top performance. It even will get some fuel injectors to run stronger. Some of you may want to be more careful with the gas pedal after this upgrade! Repeat this until all of cylinders have a 12 gauge speaker wire connected to bolts near each cylinder. When running your engine after this upgrade it is a good idea to listen to each cylinder with a heavy metal tool to listen for each pitch being the same uniformly. If it sounds duller one that means it’s weaker; conversely if it’s a brighter sound it’s running stronger or faster. You may have to look into replacing those specific cylinder’s spark plug wires to get them running at peak efficiency, or you may need to look into the spark plug gap measurements. One or the other is off.

Please note: If this was the case before the upgrade get your engine running right and learn more about how on the previous two links before finalizing this upgrade. Whenever you upgrade your grounding system remember two rules: connect it to the negative power terminal of your battery and if that added ground throws off the balance of the engine, you need to install more 12 gauge speaker wires to where the engine is sounding duller.

Here is the regular use of 12 gauge speaker wire and the advantages of different materials, clarity versus power:

Gold is the obvious first choice for the best 12 gauge speaker wire, but that isn’t the whole story. Some wire let’s more power get through to the speakers for more sound, while others, like gold provide clarity. If you’ve ever had a cousin, brother, sister, or anyone else in your life who’s spent a lot of time listening to loud music, then they probably want the 12 gauge speaker wire for the loudest sound possible rather than the clarity. They may think they can hear the improved quality of sound via their gold 12 gauge speaker wires, but the reality is they spent more money than their going tone deaf ears need. Let’s talk about the better cheaper materials for them. It makes a great gift and saves you money!

To see the newest Auto Bravado article, or see a list of all articles available on the right, either way, simply click on highlighted words above, or consider the history behind behind this article: Jalopy: The Great American.

AutoBravado's Spark Plug Wire's Perspective

Spark Plug Wires:

Do you want the gateway to efficiency, or poor gas mileage?
Do you want to know the electrical path to cooler running engines? Who wants a hot engine, which leads to engine damage?

Many go for the cheapest wires, if that’s what they can afford. If you don't cheap skate your electrical paths, the engine won't cheap skate you.. Others will spend the money on whatever is more expensive hoping that it’ll work better. Cost can have a reflection on quality, but wouldn’t you want to know for yourself what makes a spark plug wire good?

Spark plug wires and their several points of quality or considerations:

How good is the warranty? Is it limited or lifetime? If they’re sturdy enough limited is good enough, but sometimes there are very nice spark plug wires, which are less sturdy that could use the lifetime warranty.
How many ohms of resistance? This is the best way to know if a spark plug wire is good, but sometimes you just have to buy the more expensive components and it’ll get you less electrical resistance. As a rule you'll get less ohms of resistance in your spark plug wires if they're installed as much as possible in parallel to the other wires coming to the distributor cap. (Have them join together as they make their way through the engine compartment to the distributor cap.)
Is it of sturdy construction? When you pull the boot off, will the wire be torn asunder? This is more likely to be the danger if the spark plug wire is unnaturally thin. Now you wish you had a lifetime warranty didn’t you?
Know by the performance if you've made an improvement:

This might sound incredibly goofy, but there are uncountable times the people have bought the better spark plug only to have a down grade in performance and not notice. A critical component to knowing if it’s right to your car is have a feel for the car before the work is done and test whether you notice the difference. We’ve all known the people who just don’t have the sensitivity to know whether their new spark plug wires have even made a difference. That’s why countless stores across the nation will sell lower end spark plug wires and totally get away with killing the nation’s gas mileage, and murdering your car’s performance.

If you are one of those people who don’t have the sensitivity to know whether the car is any better or not after your work is complete. You may either rely on more observant friends, or you may do a couple simple tests. Before the work is completed test how fast your car accelerates over a short period. For safety, it may be wise to invite a friend to work the stop watch. Some might say, test the 0-60, but that’s a sure fire way to catch a cops attention.

The Test:
It is a whole lot easier to just drive a little slow on the freeway, say 55 miles per hour, and at a designated point and accelerate in a manual transmissions 4th gear (2nd to highest), or turn off an automatic transaxle‘s overdrive. If your car doesn‘t have an overdrive, just punch it.

Conditions for your test:
Have the outside temperature equal for both test (affects the gasoline/air mixture).
Have the engine temp. approximately the same
Use the same section of road both times.

Test those new spark plug wires! Please, remember to install them one at a time to keep you from mixing up the order.
You’re ready to find out your 55 to 65 time!

I've heard some mechanics say that they don't even bother with the spark plug gap, Read this article and learn how important this is really is. Or, read up on Auto Bravado's review on Bosch's Spark Plug Wire line in the Dodge Hemi Spark Plug Wire page.
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