TheDrip

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Everything posted by TheDrip

  1. 1000 lbs behind a 2200 lbs car? Really slow. Roadtrips, homedepot, and even moving to a new house. Little car gets it done!
  2. Car is over 60k miles now, and still gets beat like a rented mule. I did finally have a "major" failure though. Bearings in the transmission had to be replaced. The final diagnosis is that the manual trans was not designed for high-rpm down shifting with heavy engine braking. Covered under warranty. For anyone who thinks the trailer hitch doesn't cause abuse, hook up 800 pounds to the back of your car and try driving some of the mountain passes in Colorado or California. 3rd gear, full throttle at 5000rpm to maintain speed. Turn the A/C off because you will need that extra 3hp. Dallas TX to Denver CO, and Dallas to San Diego with an 800 pound trailer. Neither was a pleasant drive. My car should be retired into a museum of automotive abuse!
  3. I recently rolled over 60k miles and had to replaced my coolant tank. The rear most nipple at the top of the tank had cracked and would whistle with coolant/steam when the car was hot. It seems this tank is going to be a common problem, as there are a number of reported issues with the plastic getting brittle already, and the dealer had quite a few in stock when I was there. For a part that was only used on 13-15 Chevy Sparks, I wouldn't expected the dealership to have a dozen on the shelf unless they're going through them pretty quickly.
  4. It would pull the weight, but that surface area would be killer. The air resistance trying to go down the highway would kill your mileage, probably have to drive in 4th gear. The side surface area would make being passed by a truck into a religious experience.
  5. I think Ich bought the battery I was trying to buy last week in SoCal. I ended up going to the Chevy dealer, battery was $147. No strange behavior in my car, started at the grocery store, didn't start at the gas station next door.
  6. It drove me crazy on my last road trip thinking about not having a spare tire with me. I bought a takeoff spare on craigslist, jack and lug wrench on amazon, and $20 in various hardware at Home Depot. An hour later, my trunk looks 100%, but my mind is at peace. Cut an 18" wood disc, drilled to bolt it to the stock 4 mount points, and 2 studs to hold the spare The spare sits toward the front of the car to make room for the jack at the back. If I ever have to change a tire, I will not be able to put the flat tire back into the spare tire well. It was a decision I made to be able to fit the jack under the floor. The stock foam sheet, and the red scissor jack tucked against the rear of the spare tire well, it gets held down by the tire. Spare tire held down with two wing nuts. Tools to the left, stock compressor and foam tucked into the spare just in case. Hardboard to provide a flat and sturdy trunk floor. Double thick in the middle over the wheel. and finally, a stock looking trunk. I hope I never have to see whats under that carpet again, but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy that it is there. Total investment was around $75. The snow brush lives in my trunk, I found one that matches Jalepeno Green perfectly (although my phone camera does not represent colors well). A good sunday morning, and a good rest of the life of my Spark!
  7. Since no one has answered, they were Goodyear Integrity.
  8. I've had about 800 pounds behind mine. Drive slow (like you have a choice). Brake early.
  9. My car has 52k on it. I've done the suggested oil changes and put an air filter in it a few weeks ago. I had a wheel bearing issue that was a factory QC issue out of the gate, and the whole A/C debacle everyone went through. I would have no qualms about buying a 50k mile spark for my wife. My car also has a pretty brutal life as far as Sparks go. 17" wheels and tires since 14k, lowered since 30k or so, also has a hitch and tows on a semi-regular basis. 85mph commute to work + stop and go at either end. #1 issue is the loose nut behind the wheel!
  10. I replaced the (now used) donut spare with a 175/65R14 tire mounted on the spare rim. Far from ideal, but if it saves me just once ever again, well worth it. New spare tires are 150-250+ depending on the size. My replacement tire is a sketchy chinese knockoff of a chinese tire, but was only $30. It fit in the spare well (early 2013 build), but now my jack has to live in the trunk space.
  11. 3 years later, totally worth it to do this work. Friday night, 11pm in the rain. I hit a pothole that bent a wheel and cut a tire. Spare had me on the road in 15 minutes, vs the convenience kit that would have had me waiting for hours for a tow. This little project paid for itself ten fold!
  12. I added another 'bad idea' achievement to my record. 16' lumber with my spark+ tiny trailer!
  13. Big Brakes for the Little Spark --------------------------------- Here I lay down the tale of how I toiled night and day for weeks on end, simply to equip my spark with (unneeded) larger brakes, or, how I learned to love the bomb. **NOTE: Sorry for the giant pictures, this board won't let me specify image dimensions for thumbnails, it will take some time to go through and replace them all. Give me a day or two! These are me memories of the last 3 weeks or so, working for a couple hours each day on the weekends, and the few minutes I could sneak in on week days after work. I think writing this thread took almost as long as all the CAD work put together! But really, I thought i would lay out the process I used and went through fitting larger brakes to my spark. With no specific purpose other than to do it. The Spark's brakes are exceptional, and put it in braking territory of sports cars of recent years past. Motortrend gave the spark a 60-0 stopping distance of 116ft when they tested a '13 model. This puts it on par with early mid 90s Corvettes, Acura NSX, RX-7s, and all but the newest Miatas. Not the best of the best now, but certainly more the sufficient for an economy car. So why do it? Because I think I can. My basic approach was this: Using the stock caliper, just pushed 'out' from the rotor centerline to account for the larger disc. Find a rotor with the same wheel bolt pattern (4x100), and a large enough increase in diameter to make the relocation bracket design easier. Mock up designed with 3d printed plastic parts to verify fitment. Produce the design in steel once it was verified.
  14. I lost access to Fuel, Tire pressure and Oil Status when my trial of full featured OnStar Expired. The only thing I can access now is the fob functions in the app, nothing else.
  15. Edit: I can do the fob functions, but nothing else.
  16. The app dies with the short full service trial. It is not part of the basic package. Or my on star is totally gone.
  17. The rotors are still vented like OEM, just 2MM narrower overall. Two "discs" with ribs in the middle. The maximum disc thickness for the new rotors is the same as the minimum thickness on the OEM rotors. I'm taking it off today and putting it back as stock until I can address the issue of the disc wandering axially under heavy braking. Working on a new drawing for integrated concentric rotor and wheel adapters.
  18. THEY'RE ON! I DROVE IT! With the 205 rubber, the OEM brakes wouldn't lock up enough to trip the ABS on clean & dry pavement. These new brakes STOP THE CAR. with ABS activation, I leave witness marks coming to a stop from 60. I had a little more grinding to do on the caliper bracket than I initially thought, just to clean the outside diameter of the rotor, nothing structural. I have one expected issue, and one put-the-OEM-back-on for now issue. The expected issue is a low pedal. The full thickness of the replacement rotors just barely falls into the minimum thickness spec of the OEM rotors, so its like driving around with worn rotors as far as pedal position is concerned. Brand new pads and only using them to 1/2 wear would fix this right up, or 1mm spacers behind the brake pads. The put-it-back-to-stock issue is a different story. Not expected. The rotors are "squirming" just a hair off center under hard braking. Even with a concentric ring to keep the rotor centered up (the center bore is larger than the chevy part) the rotors are moving just a hair. The concentric rings are plastic and I'm betting that when I pull it all apart tomorrow, they're smooshed out of shape. Easy fix is metal rings, but the dimensions are odd. I'm going to whip up a drawing for an integrated spacer for the rotor and spacer for my aftermarket wheels. Also I will machine out some little spacers for around the studs. The mini rotor has 16mm holes around the 12mm studs, too much play. All in all, quite successful. Minor hiccups are addressable! 5 Miles on the brakes, and a few 45-0 and 60-0 panic stops to test it all out The picture is *after* driving the car. Hoorah!
  19. And another update on my car. 3k miles into driving it lowered, and the front no longer rubs. The little plastic nub has worn away enough that it never touches the tire anymore. I also just changed tires, still a 205/40R17 Hercules. I went from the Raptis WR1 to the newly released Raptis R-T5. The new tire leans more towards a high performance touring tire than a strict performance tire. The upside is the shoulder is more rounded, and I no longer have a rub in the rear end either! So lowered with B&G springs on 205/40R17 on 17x7 +38 wheels, and no rubbing at all. It is possible after all.
  20. The brackets are just 1018 steel. Plenty strong for this application. As far as painting the caliper red, they're not actually coming off the car. One of the great things about just relocating them out, I never touch the hoses, so no bleeding at all. If I ever get a wild hair, its really not much work to get this car apart and paint the calipers. I still don't know that this will drive well and may end up having to take it all back off. With the donated prototype printing and machining and finding rotors at a discount, I'm only into this project for $75. $150 if you include all the tooling I bought along the way, but that was all things I should own anyway.
  21. We're getting close now. I receive the machined steel brackets in the mail, looking terrific. The brackets were not completed, I still needed to tap the holes to 12x1.25. I practiced some on scrap steel to get a reliable tapping setup. Using my cheap Chinese drill press as a tapping stand worked great. I used a c-clamp to prevent rotation, and a couple of spring clamps to hold the bracket down, but allow it to self center on the tap. A pair of channel locks to turn the drive pulley made the work easy, and I installed the drive belt crossed over on itself to drive the spindle in reverse. Manual tap, but power un-tap saved quite a bit of time. The end result was 10 very straight, very nicely tapped holes. Primer and paint is next, then on the car. I should be driving around the only 12.5" braked Spark this weekend. I also slapped new tires on this morning to give the best first impressions of the brakes that I can. My tapping rig. 100% pure potato camera used. And the brackets themselves, bolted together as they will be in the car, and all lined up letting the cleaner flash off before primer and paint.
  22. Guaranteed they give you free time. There is an ongoing promotion for buyers of used cars to receive 6 months (I believe) OnStar simply by calling in. As far as fixing it, the previous owner may have been wearing a tinfoil hat and pulled the fuse or unplugged the unit under the driver's seat.
  23. I've got a project going to fit larger front discs on the car. I'm not expecting any performance gains at all though. What are your objectives with the disc brake swap? In a car this light with so much front bias, the 9" drums are more than sufficient for anything you can do on the street. You would really only begin to see issues in you're on a track lapping. If the end goal is appearance, then ignore all the performance talk, and start designing your own. I have not seen any straight forward rear disc brake swaps. As for the lighter weight struts and shocks, you really can't go much lighter without going with coilovers. The performance advantage there has very little to do with decreasing the mass involved. Remember that struts and shocks are only half unsprung weight, so a weight change of 5 lbs in a strut is worth the same improvements as a 2.5 lbs change in wheels. For lighter wheels, you may find yourself in wheel heaven. Look into 1st gen Miatas and early (02-06) Mini coopers. The same bolt patterns, and much more performance oriented platforms means more performance parts out there. Miata and Cooper guys stay with 15s or 16s for best performance, 17s is really only for looks on those cars. I'm definitely not saying don't do anything to your car that you want to, I'm saying have a goal in mind, and do the mods that make the most sense for that goal, rather than my approach of "well hell, its cheap enough, why not" There is a long thread on my front brake project, which goes along with 17" wheels/tires and lowering springs. I have no visions of my Spark as a race car, I just have the ability to do these things, so why not.
  24. I've driven 12 hours straight normally cruising about 75-80mph. My daily commute includes a stretch of 25 miles I do at 85mph. The car will take it, but say good by to your gas mileage. At 85mph cruise, I get about 28mpg. At 55-60mph I get over 40. 5 spd 2013 car. 85mph = 4500 RPM.
  25. And we finally have some progress! I found a friend who was willing and had the time to machine the parts from steel. Here is a better rendering of the assembled product (minus bolts) from Fusion 360. And photos from my friend of the raw pieces fresh off the Mill! I will be tapping the 12-1.25 holes when they get here, as well as painting. There are a few notches in the outline, they were run using off-cuts, and the outline just barely intersected with holes in the material. He also posted a machining video of cutting the outer profile of one of the pieces. I'm geeking out over all this. I figure maybe one other person in the entire world would be interested in this product, so it definitely won't be going into production, but I will hang on to the drawings just in case.