Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blacked out 2010 BMW X5 M

The other M twin. Basically the big brother to the M3 below. For 2010, BMW finally makes an "M" version of the X5. This one got the same blacked out treatment as the M3 it shares a garage with. All the lenses were tinted and the chrome grilles and side vents were painted matte black. The stock 20" M wheels got a matte black powdercoat finish to match.

The "Before" photos for comparison.

I don't usually like showing "in process" pics, but it's amazing what you have to do to get the headlights off of one of these things.

This matte finish powdercoat is really a nice alternative to gloss.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blacked out 2010 BMW M3

So, what do you do when you already have one of the hottest cars on the road? Make it better. The stock BMW M3 comes stock with a lot of really nice parts. The problem is that they're stock. The same parts and the same style that everyone else has.

In this case, an injection of style and attitude comes from simply cleaning up the factory style by blacking out all of the factory supplied parts. It's dramatic, but you don't really notice what's been changed unless you compare the before and after photos.


In the front, the headlights and front reflectors were tinted and the chrome grilles were painted matte black. The lighter tinting on the headlights allows them to remain completely functional.

In the rear, the stock taillights were tinted. The lighting still shines through the tinting when the lights are active, but this really cleans up the look at the rear.

The trademark "M" fender vent/blinker light inserts were painted matte black and the indicator light was tinted.
The stock "M" staggered lightweight 19" wheels were powdercoated a matte black finish.
These are the before pictures for comparison. A few touches make a lot of difference. Even on hot cars, stock = boring.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mazda3 ipod input.

Sometimes it's the little things. Anyone that's ever had an ipod will tell you it's the greatest invention ever...and if it's an iphone you'd fight someone that tried to take it from you.

If your car doesn't have a way to play it, it's super-frustrating. Fortunately, if you're clever enough there are ways to modify most factory car radios to do what you want them to do.

In this case, parts from 3 different companies were used to make it happen. First, you have to convince the factory radio that it's connected to an Alpine CD changer. Then, you have to convince the Alpine CD changer port to be RCA connectors instead. Finally, you add a cable that converts from RCA to an iPod dock connector to get line-out from the iPhone. That way, you get the best possible sound and it even doubles as a charger. Problem solved.


As seen on MTV's "Cribs". Really.

Monday, November 2, 2009

50Chevy wheels.

Chopped and 'bagged '50 Chevy traditional rod.

Here's a neat way to update your style without breaking the bank: Powdercoating. These wheels started out a rusty chrome. The new powdercoat finish is super-durable and has lots of style. A set of clean wide-whites completes the look.

After powdercoating.

Whitewalls ship with a blue coating to protect the white,
but you can already see how cool this is going to look.
Ironically, with the air let out of the bags you
don't even see most of the wheels and tires!
Shout-out goes to Scott @ Pirate Customs for cleaning up the
bodywork and shooting the flat black paint.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Order from Chaos.

Here's an interesting project that has a lot going on. The wiring in this '69 Chevy truck was made up of 40 years of bad decisions. The best way to fix that is to remove every scrap of wire from the vehicle and replace it with new. Making that more interesting in this case was the fact that most of this truck had been changed, modified, or replaced. That means engineering on the fly to make everything work together.

The new gear included:

* Custom Autometer gauges
* New Vintage Air a/c
* Newer engine
* New ididit steering column
* Late model bed/taillights
* radio/speaker relocation to the headliner

The original mess

The new Painless wiring harness
Order from Chaos
The back of the Autometer gauge panel has plugs for easy servicing.
The Vintage Air box sits behind the glovebox
The bulkhead connector on the firewall means the cab can come off easily.
Here you can see the a/c connections at the firewall and the new serpentine setup for the a/c compressor and high-output alternator.
The condensor for the a/c sits in front of the radiator behind the (heavy!) stock grille.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beware the carts.

If they get some momentum going, they can really do some damage.

- Posted using the miraculous iPhone

Bad Decisions.

Every now and then, you run across something that just makes you shake your head in disbelief. Believe it or not, this picture was a starter wire that someone thought was ok. Yes, that is 5 different types of wire within the span of 18". No, that is not ok.

- Posted using the miraculous iPhone

Saturday, October 10, 2009

...there's an app for that.

Mobile too. Amazing.

- Posted using the miraculous iPhone

The First Post.

I finally managed - with a web-smarter person's help - (thanks E) to get something posted at the site. Nothing fancy, but enough to get some info out there and a way to contact me. I'll post projects and news on here occasionally, along with the odd random thought.

Hit me up if there's something you need.