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Great Cars Under $1000 – All-Star Profiles – Nissan 240sx

One of the most popular platforms in the tuning market. Whether you’re looking to go road racing,auto cross, drifting, drag, or just plain fast the Nissan 240sx is one of the best giant killers around.

Introduced in 1989 the 240sx has everything a great sports car should. Rear-wheel drive, independent suspension, disc brakes, and a light weight chassis. Extremely popular in its native Japan the 240sx has been well known among many for years as an ideal tuning platform. The one major drawback however as seen by many is that when it came to our shores in the U.S. Nissan loaded these cars with the KA24DE which by all means is a perfectly decent engine and has a lot of tuning capability, but considering that in Japan they were selling with the much more popular and more powerful SR20DET its hard to not feel like we got cheated a little.

Fortunately for us however one of the best parts about the 240sx and most Nissans for that matter is that they are amazingly good candidates for engine swaps. The most popular swap around is the turbo charged SR20DET, but people are also cramming in everything from skyline motors to even LS1 out of corvettes. The 240sx is just one of those chassis that can not only handle the new found power but also keep its great handling characteristics. Also due to the 240sx being such a hot platform for tuning there is basically an unlimited supply of parts from mild mods to full tilt race setups.

Tips on buying one: The first gen cars are going to be the ones that will fall into the sub-$1000 dollar price range and there are still plenty of un-modded cars out there to be found for cheap. However keep in mind that these cars are still sought after and a clean chassis will command a decent price. A good tip for those of you looking to do a swap already is to find an unfinished project that somebody else let bite the dust. Doing this can allow you to save some major cash on parts and maybe even have a good head start on getting the car where you want it to be faster. For those of you with performance in mind I would recommend staying away from the convertible models as they tend to be much heavier and have less chassis rigidity.

So if you are looking for your next tuner project its tough to go wrong with a 240sx no matter how many there are out there you can always have a chance to make it your own and have something that is fun to drive and different.

Car Hire – How to Select the Best Car Rental Company

When you are on holiday, the best way to explore the city or countryside is by car. This allows you the freedom to visit places that you want at your own convenience and time. But to make this experience pleasant, it is important that you get a car hire from the best rental company. You must focus on getting the best bargain and also the right vehicle for your travel.

Here are some tips that will steer you in making the right car rental selection:

Getting the best bargain for your money applies to a car hire too. Go through advertisements or online websites and pick out three to five car rental firms. Make a comparison between the costs and the services offered by these companies before making your final selection. Remember to read the fine print; most often, companies will quote a figure with hidden charges. So make sure that the amount quoted is inclusive of all charges to avoid nasty surprises later on.

Instead of just relying on the information available on a company’s website, make sure that you give a call to the customer service executive before finalizing the deal. This way, you will be able to gather more details regarding the cost, services offered, model and make of vehicle and also availability of special offers and discounts. A phone call will be able to clarify all your doubts and queries; the customer service provided will also give you a clue regarding the car hire company.

It is also important to clarify before-hand the charges that will be incurred for extra services. Some car rental companies can charge through the roof for drop-off services if the destination differs from your pick up point. Make sure that you discuss these before the contract is signed. Other services that will usually be charged extra include roadside assistance. This is an important service especially if you have elderly people travelling with you. So find out about the costs before-hand and sign the deal accordingly.

Enquire about the insurance policy offered by the car hire company. Usually, your personal insurance is more than enough to cover the rental car too. But it is important that you talk with your insurance agent regarding this before paying the heavy insurance fees levied by the rental firm. Keeping these tips in mind will help you book the right vehicle for your trip which fits exactly within your budget.

Getting to and From the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Track on Race Day

GETTING TO AND FROM THE TRACK – There are no motels within walking distance to the track. You will need some form of transportation to get to and from the speedway. You will also need a route and some idea of where you want to park. We will cover parking later on in this article.

Generally your options include driving yourself, taking a shuttle bus, taking a taxi or limousine, or flying in by helicopter. No matter which option you choose, you will likely end up walking a mile or two. If, however, you park in line on 16th street the night before the race and sit in line all evening, you will be among the first to be ushered into the infield of the speedway at 5:00 A.M. when the gates open on race day. If you have a general admission ticket (which means you simply get to sit in the grass somewhere in the infield), you can park your car and you probably won’t end up walking very far. Good luck getting out of the speedway before dark.

Relying on the Shuttle to get you to the track is great. You simply show up at one of the designated shuttle locations around the city, buy a ticket, board the shuttle and it will whisk you through special access roads for quick delivery to the main gate of the speedway. If your seats are in the first turn, you have a short walk. If your seats are in the Northeast Vista, well you’ve got a couple miles ahead of you. The problem with this option is the return trip. When the race is over, the shuttles line up right where they dropped you off. Unfortunately there is a mad rush to get on the bus and you will be lucky to even get on, let alone snag a seat. It’s like boarding a bus in Saigon moments after the overthrow. You might have to leave your spouse behind, but you can get on the bus.

Taxis and limousines are likewise troublesome. They are great going in, but just try and find them for your return trip. By far the best way to get to and from the track is by automobile.

You can reach the Indianapolis Motor Speedway by car from the North, East, South and West. The route you take should be determined based on the location of your seats. If your seats are in the fourth turn, you will want to enter from the North.

Junk Car Removal – No Title, No Problem!

You would think that the world of junk car removal with no title would just be ripe for abuse. After all, without having the official paperwork that actually states that you own the car, any person could claim that any old abandoned vehicle was theirs, sell it for salveagable parts, or donate the car and fraudulently claim a tax deduction. But then there are those honest people who own an old vehicle outright but do not have the title to state ownership. Can you still get that junk car towed away from your property for good without a title? The answer is yes!

Order a replacement title

If you have a junk car that you would like to be rid of, one of the most obvious answers to your problem of not having the title is to get a replacement. In most states, you can order a replacement title as long as you have your vehicle identification number (VIN). Get your replacement title and then you can finally say goodbye to your old, unusable car. After you receive your replacement title for your auto, then you can go about making arrangements have your junk car picked up and removed.

Find a company that doesn’t require a title

Some people just may not want to go through the hassle of getting that replacement title, and that’s fine, there are ways to work around getting rid of your junk car without title in hand. The first is to sell your junk car via private bill of sale. If you can find a buyer, you can negotiate a private sale, describing the make, model, and year of the vehicle, the agreed-upon sale price, and legal signatures. Before going through with the sale, you will want to make check with an attorney to make sure that all of this paperwork is legit in the eyes of the law. Ending up in small claims court is a major hassle that can completely be avoided by doing your homework beforehand.

Another option is to completely outsource this process by going through a nationally recognized service, such as Junk My Car. You can get rid of your old clunker, no matter where you live in the United States or Canada. Simply call the hotline and an operator will walk you through the process. There is no fee for this service and you can generally expect to receive a call from a towing company within 48 hours to finally get your old automobile off of your hands. And to save yourself a headache, you do not need a title.

If you do not have a title, check the state-by-state Vehicle Documentation Guide on the Junk My Car website to review the steps you need to take to prepare for the vehicle removal process. If you live in one of the Canadian provinces, the information you need is also live on their website.

What Happens After You Schedule Your Vehicle To Be Removed?

One of the best things about using the Junk My Car service is that your car will be scrapped for usable parts. It doesn’t matter whether your car is wrecked, totaled, missing parts, or inoperable. While this is a free junk car removal service, you may interested in how you can earn cold hard cash for your junk car. If so, then you can consult their sister company, Buy My Wreck, and have them make you an offer. You can consult with an operator to determine how much your car may be worth, you will be emailed a purchase agreement, and upon agreement, arrangements will be made to tow away your used car for recycling. You can expect to get paid for your vehicle in some cases on the spot during pickup or, in some cases, no later than 14 days via check.

Unusual Uses For Ceramics

Just as in the field of plastics, scientists are coming up with new ways to use ceramic materials. They have already proven to be stronger than steel in many applications, and they have properties that make them the ideal choice in the automotive industry, aerospace technology, dentistry, and prosthetics. Long considered to be a material more suited for decorative pieces, it is now being found that ceramics can be used in many more ways than originally imagined. Since it’s introduction in primitive forms in ancient civilizations, ceramics has just started its journey to the edge of modern technology.

Some of the types of advanced ceramics critical industries in our society are employing are Alumina, Aluminum Nitride, and Silicon Nitride. These are being used, because they will remain their dimensional stability through a range of high temperatures, exhibit high mechanical strength, have superior chemical resistance, and give manufacturers the opportunities to design components that will offer the best performance possible.

As in the rest of the world these days, the aerospace industry is under pressure to produce higher performance and increased safety while faced with dwindling financial resources. This means that manufacturers of commercial and defense airplane materials as well as the space exploration sector are being forced to find new, reliable materials to meet the needs of their highly specialized applications. Ceramics are moving up to fill this void.

Architects are finding that ceramic materials have the ability to keep up with the developmental pace of human society and the needs of the people. Prior to the 1920s, architecture employed a lot of ceramic decoration; however, the Modernist era put an end to that practice. Now in the 21st century, however, more architects are incorporating ceramic artwork into their building designs. New products, such as Superadobe, are being developed to provide a more earth-friendly method of building.

Medicine is an area where the use of ceramics is making a huge difference in a great many lives. The use of ceramics in constructing artificial joints has been under development since the 1970s. The procedure experienced a great deal of publicity in 1999 when golfer Jack Nicklaus received a ceramic-on-ceramic hip replacement, and these hip joints finally were approved by the FDA in 2003. The chief advantage of using a ceramic hip joint instead of a more traditional metal one is because of the increased life expectancy of the joint. Hip recipients can expect to get as much as 20 years of use from their ceramic joints.

The automotive industry has always been a venue for the use of ceramics. Even the earliest models used ceramic spark plugs as well as glass windows. More recently, cars are being made with ceramic honeycomb supports for the catalyst of catalytic converters, ceramic oxygen sensors to help optimize combustion and reduce exhaust, and ceramic brake shoes and rotors, all of which reduce the weight of the vehicle while providing high performance. It is very likely that ceramics will soon be used in internal engine structural parts as well as for valves and valve seats and ceramic fuel cells.

Ceramics are on their way to becoming the super material of the future as scientists discover different properties and uses for it.

Do You Owe the IRS Back Taxes? Settle Your Taxes With an IRS Debt Settlement Plan

When you Owe the IRS, it’s easy to Pay Back IRS Taxes if you are aware of all of your options. You can get your economic affairs back on track with an IRS Debt-Settlement plan. Though they may not be common knowledge, these tax debt relief programs are available to everyone and are provided by the IRS. Below are just a few IRS Debt Settlement programs that can help you Pay Back IRS Taxes when you Owe the IRS Money.

Non-Disclosure Installment Agreement: This particular option to pay Back IRS Taxes applies only to debts under $25,000, and you must agree to pay the full amount that you Owe the IRS. Under this plan, your time period to Pay Back IRS Taxes is set up over a maximum of 5 years but cannot extend further than the collections statute expiration. For example, if you Owe the IRS and there is only 1 month left under the statute of limitations, your time period to Pay Back IRS Taxes can be no longer than 1 month. Interest and penalties continue to accrue during your repayment period with this IRS Debt Settlement plan. You can, however, pay above your installment amount and have that extra payment amount applied directly to the principal on your Back IRS Taxes rather than to the interest.

Another benefit of this IRS Debt Settlement Plan is that all assets, income, and expenses (including spending habits) are protected and remain private. Without the need for financial disclosure, there is reduced paperwork, and your case to Pay Back IRS Taxes can be completed within as little as two weeks.

Partial Pay Installment Agreement: This IRS Debt Settlement plan can apply to any size debt possible that you could Owe the IRS, unlike the Non-Disclosure Agreement. It does, however, require financial disclosure, and your monthly payment to Pay Back IRS Taxes is based on this disclosure. The three types of plans to this IRS Debt Settlement agreement are:

Affordable Payment Plan: This is aimed at those who Owe the IRS and want an “affordable” monthly payment. Keep in mind that there may be a huge difference between what the IRS deems “affordable” and what you deem “affordable.”

Affordable Settlement Plan: If you owe Back IRS Taxes but do not qualify for an Offer in Compromise (discussed in detail in the following section), but still want to settle for less than what you Owe the IRS, this IRS Debt Settlement plan may be for you.

Asset Protection Plan: This plan is for individuals that owe Back IRS Taxes and are primarily concerned about the IRS seizing certain assets, such as a house, automobile, retirement funds, etc.

Offer in Compromise: An Offer in Compromise is not an easy option to qualify for when you have Back IRS Taxes. However, if you do qualify when you Owe the IRS money, it can potentially reduce your tax debt by tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. If the IRS accepts your offer, you must pay the amount agreed upon within 30 to 90 days of that acceptance and remain 100% compliant for 5 years. This particular IRS Debt Settlement plan requires full financial disclosure of your assets, income, and expenses. The IRS compares your settlement offer to their calculations of what you are actually able to pay, based on the financial information you disclosed. This takes into account all assets and equity, even if you’re not able to access it. For this reason, unless you are absolutely broke with no chance of being able to pay what you Owe the IRS, you will not qualify for this IRS Debt Settlement Plan.

If you Owe the IRS, it’s important that you are fully informed of your IRS Debt Settlement options to pay Back IRS Taxes. Keep in mind that these are just a few of the payment options that are available to you. Know your rights, be aware of your options, and get out of IRS tax-debt now.

How Not at Fault Accidents Affect Insurance Premiums

When one drives a car, there is always a risk of an accident. A not at fault accident means a driver gets into an accident and is found not at fault for the incident. Many drivers think that if they are in an accident where they are found not at fault, their insurance premiums will not be affected. Unfortunately, this is not always true.

Many responsible drivers found not at fault for an accident may still see their insurance premiums increase. Insurance companies establish their premiums on risk-factor, meaning an insurance premium rate is determined by the risk of a driver getting into an accident. As a result, even if you are found not at fault for an accident, your risk level will be increased by the car insurance company. Each insurance provider will have their own set of policies, but in general, they look at the driver’s risk of getting into an accident and adjust their rates accordingly.

The number of accidents a driver is involved in will affect the insurance premium, even if one is found at no-fault for the accidents. Most insurance companies will conduct their own investigation into an accident to find out who they think was at-fault. There are many insurance companies that state that if a driver has maintained a good driving record, and is involved in an accident where they are found not at fault, they will not raise the driver’s premiums if it is their first not at fault accident. In other cases, particularly if a driver is involved in a number of not at fault accidents, the insurance company will consider that although one is found at no fault so many times, the driver seems to have a driving problem so they will raise insurance premiums.

The insurance companies also look for cases of accident fraud which is when people get in car accidents on purpose to file a claim. As well, there are insurance providers that take the seriousness of the accident into consideration when deciding if they should raise one’s premiums. For instance, if a car backs into you, your rates won’t increase, but if there is an accident that totals the car, you may see your premiums go up.

Not at fault accidents can also affect insurance premiums in cases where the other driver who is found at fault may claim that you are the one at fault and take the case to court. Your insurance provider is normally involved in the case which ends up being quite expensive for the insurance company. As well, even if you are not at fault after an accident, but you have a previous violation such as a speeding ticket, your insurance premium may go up.

The increase in your premium may take place because the second accident puts you in a higher risk category. As well, if you receive a discount on a device you use in the car such as a motorized seatbelt, and you were not wearing it at the time of the accident where you were found not at fault, the insurance provider may take away the discount causing your premium to go up.

Any type of accident can cause your auto insurance premiums to go up. In order to protect yourself in the event of an accident in where you are found not a fault, ask your insurance company about their no fault policies.

Mitsubishi Outlander and Freelander 2 Comparison

Mitsubishi has a good track record in the SUV market and Land Rover have built their brand on off roaders so how does the new Mitsubishi Outlander fair against the Land Rover Freelander 2?

The Outlander has seven seats as opposed to the Freelander’s’ five, but the third row of seats or ‘bench’ in the Outlander is only really suitable for children as leg room is limited and it has been criticised for being uncomfortable. Both compact SUVs have 60/40 split rear seats but which has the most space? The Outlander has three rows of seats in a 2-3-2 configuration, and offers 220 litres of space with all 7 seats up, 541 litres with just five seats up and 1,691 litres with all but the front seats folded flat. The Freelander 2 has a maximum capacity of 1,670 with all rear seats folded and 755 with seats up. Both have impressive maximum capacities but the Freelander offers more useable space when all five seats are up. A 7 seat Freelander is expected sometime this year which should add extra versatility to the range.

The Freelander 2 is being touted as the cleanest Land Rover ever built, with the new eD4 2.2 diesel engine with start-stop technology producing 158 g/km of CO2 and 47.2 miles per gallon. This is however for the 2WD version, the 4WD drive model produces 45.6mpg and 165g/km. The Outlander isn’t far off those figures, the 2.2 litre diesel engine giving off 169 g/km of CO2 and offering 43.5 miles per gallon. The Outlander’s new diesel engine is also more powerful than the Freelanders- producing 174bhp as opposed to the 150bhp generated by the Freelanders 2.2 diesel.

The Freelander has been criticised in the past for being unreliable and shoddily built but the new Freelander 2 has been said to feel really solid, and handles as well as you’d expect off- road tackling even the trickiest situations with ease but is equally as competent on road. The Outlander apparently also handles very well, and is especially agile for a 4×4 thanks to the firm suspension.

So how do they compare price wise? The Freelander entry level S model starts from £21,995 whilst the top of the range Freelander 2 HSE will set you back £32,995.00. The Mitsubishi Outlander costs from £22,099 for 4WD models and from £23,349 for 2WD drive versions, with the GX4 starting from £28,599.

Both look very sturdy but the Land Rover has the edge, even with the recent style upgrade the Outlander is still rather ‘bland’. As yet I am undecided if will be visiting my local Mitsubishi dealer in Somerset or heading to my local Land Rover dealership, as both have their plus points and their pitfalls.

Utility Trailers – So Many Types to Consider

If you are thinking about purchasing a utility trailer, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed by just how many types and styles of ones that are available. There are just so many choices. How do you pick the one that is best for you?

To best decide which trailer will work the best for you, you need to evaluate what your needs are. What will you be using it for? If you will only be using your trailer to randomly transport objects or your personal possessions only on fair-weather days, then a flatbed trailer or open topped trailer may work well for you. Flat bed and open trailers are light weight, so that you don’t use as much gas pulling them or place more wear and tear on your vehicle. These are also the least expensive (around $1000-$25000).

However, if you plan to use your trailer often and there is a chance you may find yourself, and your possessions, suddenly caught out in the rain or other bad weather, you may want to consider an enclosed style. An enclosed trailer will be more expensive (around $1500-$5000), but probably not more expensive than replacing your possessions if they become damaged by the weather. They are also heavier and less aerodynamic, which means more strain on your vehicle and increased gas usage to haul them.

Next you should think about what you are likely to be hauling. Will your cargo be fairly lightweight or will it be heavy? If you plan to only haul cargo that weighs less than 3000 lbs, then you can probably make due with a single axle model. These use only one central weight bearing axle and usually do not have breaks (though single axle trailers with breaks are available).

On the other hand, if you plan to transport loads in excess of 3000 lbs, then you most certainly need a tandem axle trailer. These have two load bearing axles and almost always feature breaks. In fact, many areas legally require that tandem axle varieties be equipped with independent breaks.

Finally, you should think about loading and unloading. Trailers come with a variety of rear doors and gates that facilitate different types of loading and unloading. Ramp doors are probably the easiest for loading and unloading, especially if you are hauling large objects that require the use of a dolly, or are transporting a motorcycle or automobile. Ramp doors fold down to provide a ramp that can be used for loading and unloading.

However, ramp doors can be a hassle if you use the trailer to regularly carry items that you keep on the trailer long-term, such as tools for a contractor. If your use will require you to be in and out of the trailer often to get and return various items, then you may find that it is inconvenient to have to wrestle with a cumbersome ramp door. For this type of use, a trailer with a double or single door is much more practical.

Repowering Your Golf Cart Engine Using a Kohler Rebuild Kit

Small engines, like those in your standard golf cart or mower, can receive excessive wear when they aren’t properly maintained, and this wear can result in both a loss of power and an increased likelihood of electrical systems failing when attempting to use an electric starter. You can eliminate the potential problem by replacing your engine using a small engine rebuild kit that replaces your older flat head engine to a Kohler small engine.

There are dramatic improvements that can be made should you choose to install a Kohler Command-11 in your golf cart instead of some of the other small engine options that are available on the market today. To better understand the advantage of choosing the Kohler engine for your upgrade, consider the following information.

Improved Power

By choosing a Kohler Command-11 small engine rebuild kit, you can experience an increase in power over what you received from your old flat head side valve engine. This increase is due to a variety of features, including the 11-horsepower overhead valve on the single-cylinder engine. Overhead valve engines tend to have a longer life, lower fuel consumption, lower emissions, and even less noise than their side valve counterparts. They also experience a reduced amount of carbon buildup which could reduce your cart engine’s power. In addition, this Kohler small engine will stay cooler than some older engines due to its two-quart oil capacity and its pressure lubrication system which is designed to ensure superior cooling of engine components as well as providing ample lubrication to help prevent engine wear. The Command-11 also features a disposable oil filter much like you would find on many larger engines.

Manual Start Features

In addition to offering an increase in power, the Command-11 features a manual start option in addition to the standard electric starter available on your Club Car Carryall. This manual start recoil system serves as a useful backup to your standard equipment, allowing you to be able to get your cart’s small engine running even if the electric startup system is malfunctioning or beginning to fail. Having a manual backup available on your engine could mean the difference between being able to get back to where you started from and having to call for help.

Full Conversion Materials Available

If you’re considering purchasing a Kohler small engine then you are going to want to use the easiest process possible. Kohler had this in mind when developing the Command-11 upgrade for the Club Car Carryall I and II. The conversion kit includes a variety of new components, including the engine itself, a muffler system, the mounting plate for the engine, a drive belt, a starter generator belt, and even a choke cable so that you won’t have to worry about having older parts that might wear out before the core small engine components do. The repower kit has been designed with ease of installation in mind, allowing you to essentially drop the new engine in and have it ready to go in record time. After all, you want to be able to spend your time using your cart and not having to toil away endlessly at getting a new engine installed.

~Ben Anton, 2007