While You Were Away #16 - July 24, 2016

More Tantalizing Tidbits to Satisfy Your Automotive Cravings

We'll Start Off With Some "BIG" News of Our Own
Thanks to new visitors, loyal followers, readers and subscribers, our analytics report reflects they have read almost 30,000 Garagistry Blog articles in the last 30 days. We've also broken all but one previous daily, weekly and monthly totals in the same time period.

So again a big "THANK YOU". To paraphrase a line from an old TV commercial, "Keep readin', we'll write more!" Also if you missed our weekend posts, here ya go!
Another Addition to our Article About Upgrading Your Classic With Fuel Injection
To date we've covered some "tricks" to simplify the conversion and reviewed a few new products to help your effort, but today we are going to talk about a safety device. 

While a fuel injection conversion likely includes some type of computer controlled fuel shut-off should the engine in your Classic stop running, but if the engine remains running after an accident, the electric fuel pump could be spraying fuel somewhere it shouldn't.

Most, if not all, modern cars include an additional device which will stop the flow of gasoline. It's an inertia activated fuel pump shut-off. Our research uncovered many "rodders" simply strip the parts out of a salvage vehicle or buy an OEM style switch from an auto parts store, but these require the installer to have access to a factory wiring diagram. We found several online forums who's members have posted part numbers, installation ideas and even wiring diagrams.

But if you want to add an aftermarket switch specifically designed for an FI conversion or for use anytime an electric fuel pump is integrated, we found several suppliers who sell such a part. They are about $65 and come complete with everything you need.

Farmers Demand Right to Fix Their Own Dang Tractors
Dan Nosowitz for Modern Farmer - July 18, 2016
Source - Modern Farmer
While we automotive enthusiasts were recently granted a reprieve allowing us to fix and modify our own cars, we were surprised to learn farmers can't work on their own tractors.

In a 2015 letter to the United States Copyright Office, John Deere, the world’s largest tractor maker, said that the folks who buy tractors don’t own them, not in the way the general public believes “ownership” works. Instead, John Deere said that those who buy tractors are actually purchasing an “implied license for the life of the vehicle to operate the vehicle.”

But what this has meant is that tractor owners can’t repair their own tractors—and if they do, they’re in violation of the DMCA. So, if a machine stops working, its owner can’t pop the hood, run some tests, and find out what’s going on; he or she is legally required to take the tractor to a service center (one owned by the manufacturer, since that’s the only entity allowed to analyze the tractor’s issues).

Activists for the Nebraska Fair Repair Bill, which was rejected by the state senate last year but will probably be reintroduced next year, have set up a few resources to check out if you’re curious about just how frustrating it can be to be denied the right to repair your own dang tractor.

Candylab Expands Model Car Toy Line-Up
But you may want to keep them for yourself. We covered these great wooden toys about a year and a half ago, but newly minted versions have caught our attention again. Here's an overview, or use this link to visit the Kickstarter campaign. To order your own, go here. Oh, one more thing...tell 'em Garagistry sent you.

Tesla Update - Nothing Negative, Just The Facts
Frankly, we were hoping for a non-Tesla week, but there's too much going on.
  • First, Consumer Reports Urged Tesla to Disable "Autopilot". 
  • Next came a similar recommendation from Morgan Stanley analyst, Adam Jonas:
"The name 'Autopilot' could create a consumer expectation problem and a potential moral hazard. When you hear the word 'Autopilot,' you may think of technology for commercial airline pilots which temporarily relieve the human operator from using the aircraft controls. 

In fact, Tesla Autopilot is meant to be a driver assist and when activating the system, the driver is presented with a warning that is meant to keep his hands on the wheel at all times to ensure safe operation of the vehicle. 

Unfortunately, some drivers may be tempted to explore the novelty factor of the system in ways that expose themselves, fellow passengers and other vehicles on public roads to great danger."
  • This was followed by the chairman of the U.S. Senate committee overseeing auto safety issues requesting Elon Musk  to brief the committee on a fatal May 7 crash involving its Autopilot software.
  • In response to Consumer Reports, a spokesperson said Tesla isn’t budging, though they appreciate the “well-meaning" advice.
  •  CEO Elon Musk then told Dow Jones the company has no plans to disable its Autopilot system in its cars. 
  • There was no information available to determine if Musk has agreed to meet with senators.
Source- Steve Jurvetson  Creative Commons 
"New Master Plan" Unveiled
As a popular subject, most people have heard the basics. But if you haven't, aided by the controversial plans to acquire SolarCity, Tesla plans to build a network of rooftop solar panels, expand its car offerings to include trucks and urban mass transit, perfect the cars' Autopilot function and allow Tesla owners to rent out their cars when they're idle.

The investor community responded to the new plan as noted in these quotes from last week.

"Elon Musk's new master plan will test the Tesla shareholder faithful and his missive fails to address several more immediate concerns — not least how to finance his ambitions."

"Musk’s Master Plan Misses the Mark on Tesla Profitability, Investors Say"

"Tesla CEO outlines an ambitious agenda for his company's future. As appealing as it sounds, executing on the plan involves significant financial risk."

"We believe 2016 is a critical year for Tesla to prove financial performance and maintain investor confidence."

"If part one of Elon Musk's master plan was like putting a man on the moon, part two is a lot more like colonizing the galaxy."

Do you think this is what investors are thinking?

If so, their sentiments reflect concerns in Tesla's ability to address current conditions and complete previously announced objectives before branching out with additional hypothetical plans. Again, we offer Mr. Tesla best wishes in his efforts. And as we said before, "If it was easy, everyone would be doing it."

More 3D Printing Devoted to Classic Cars
Freshmade 3D president and COO Christopher Tomko has partnered with Hahn-Vorbach, a restoration company near Butler, PA, guys that have been doing this for years.

"The big deal is, you're really cutting out that machining process," said Paul Vorbach, president of Hahn-Vorbach. "You still have to design things and you still have to do some finish work, chrome it and perform more hand fittment. You just don't have to make ten thousand of these things to recoup your machining costs."