Friday, March 30, 2012

Oh yes, what a great couple of days its been. Ive been so swamped working ive hardly had a chance to do much to the new pt besides drive it. Its nice cause I don't have to dry my hair in the morning! I have managed to paint the modesty cover and airbox. But its not done yet so I wont post a picture. Also ordered a k&n air filter and modified the airbox slightly. Maybe sometime next week I can finish it up.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Collection Grows

Okay, I think its safe to say I am officially addicted to PT Cruisers!

Today I aquired another PT Cruiser, a 2005 PT Cruiser Convertible.

Yep thats it right there! A beautiful blue. This PT is 100% Stock. It crazy to think its been exactly 1 year since I Purchased my first PT Cruiser "Petey". The decision to purchase this PT came from the fact that my fiancees car, a 1991 eagle summit, crapped out on us. It was easy to agree that our next car would be a PT Cruiser since I know so much about them.

My fiancee was then challenged with the task of finding a PT Cruiser that would fit our budget of $5000. Initially this proved difficult but one day driving down Capital BLVD in Raleigh, NC we spotted the PT that was soon to be ours. Sticker price was a little under 6k, which was ideally a fair price for a PT Base Vert that was in excellent condition.

We took it for a test drive and decided there was just too many questions about the car that were unanswered for the price asked for it. We took it back to the lot and spoke with the sales manager there. I managed to get the price down to $5600 including taxes (so roughly like 5k for the car). This was alright but with a timing belt change in the near future I still wasnt so sure on the car.

This place (L&M Auto on Capital BLVD. Raleigh) was absolutely amazing! When I got back in my car the body shop manager came out and spoke with me. He wanted to know what was the issue with the car. I told him every problem with it expecting him to just tell me that the cars are just "as is" and that it runs and drives, but he actually told me he would fix EVERY issue wrong with the car that I noticed. This floored me.

So after speaking with him over the phone (and while the building may not look like that of a lexus dealer, by talking with them on the phone it seemed more like speaking to a friend more than a Car place) they ended up replacing the timing belt, tensioner, water pump, 4 new tires, all new brakes, two new rotors... I could go on and on! It was apparent that they were set on making me extremely happy with the deal. There was no way I could pass up such an offer. I do not know if they would do this for everybody, but I can imagine not everybody would know whats not acting right about a car to request it to be fixed.

The worst part of all of this is actually buying the car and driving it away! While leaving the lot today in my new PT I felt like I wouldnt have a reason to talk with my new friends at L&M. I'm half tempted just to run into a tree so I can visit them again to repair the damage. Thats another thing, these guys do auto body repair too. I saw some of the things they were working on and these folks are top notch. They have a skilled team of workers (who have natural tans, im jealous!) and they complete work quickly and at a great price. The next time I need a car, or need paint or body work done I am going to visit these folks again!

So alas now I have a new car to work on. You can expect to be seeing plenty of posts about it on here soon. But until that time, I will just enjoy it and think of the great experience I had purchasing it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Say It Ain't So Pickled Petey! Say It Ain't So!

Peteys age is starting to show! When he was purchased last march he had 92,222 miles on him. Now hes got over 108,000 miles! Since my last post Ive been busy switching jobs and making a major move to North Carolina. Now that all this is done I will be able to focus more on keeping my Petey nice and happy.

However with the age comes repairs and theyre starting to show their ugly expensive heads (fortunatly around tax return season!)

The first noticable issue was the fact that shifting into reverse has become a pain. The amazing folks at PTCL (link to the right) helped me narrow it down to the Bushings. These bushings are basically rubber grommets that keep some rod thingy in place. The bushings eventually wear out and need replaced. This is supposedly going to cause my shifting to improve significantly! So of course I ordered my booger bushings (from Ebay). But ive been too busy to install them, so shifting into reverse is still a PITA until Ive got the time to do it. If it doesnt fix the problem then ill look into more expensive repair options but having performance bushings will be nice either way, and theyll never need replaced!

Also ive ordered a whole lotta Lights to change up the outside of my cruisers look (Brought on by my drivers side low beam light burning out!). So ive ordered all LED lights for the back lights (reverse, brake, turn, and 3rd brake) and new headlights (same as installed before the GP Thunders) as well as chrome turn signal bulbs for the front. The one ive installed more recently is the tail lights. I found that the stock bulbs on my tail lights actually make them look pink instead of red at night time. So I got some red LED lights off ebay for a few bucks a peice. The result, Check it out!

After changing them I noticed that there was what appeared to be water in the lower brake lights, both of them in fact, right and left. Upon attempting to remove the water I realized to my horror that the stock bulbs MELTED the tail light so now theyve got a permanent appearance of rain in light! I have since contacted the person I ordered from and am awaiting a answer, hopefully replacements will be offered and theyll make a note of this defect on the page they sell them from.

Also today I was sitting idling in a parking lot when I heard a weird noise... Bubbling in fact! I looked and noticed Petey was headin in the RED! I quickly turned him off and ran under my hood and noticed that my coolant thermometer was reading into the red, after letting it sit and cool down I drove around and no overheating or bubbling noises (so I think luckily it was only boiling coolant vs exhaust bubbles!) Im assuming im suffering from the ever popular dead fan issue which seems to happen on alot of PTs. This issue will be repaired soon once the income tax check arrives!

Till then, Fingers Crossed!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Strut Your Stuff Pickled Petey!

After much wait I decided to finally order a strut tower bar. This bar allows the pt cruiser to better handle sharp curves and turns by keeping my strut towers fairly Parallel to one another.

The strut tower ordered was a polished metal texture, that wouldnt do for my red themed PT! So upon arrival I went crazy sanding it with some 2000 grit sand paper to make it not so shiny anymore.

I used some of my left over engine enamel (which is great since its hot under the hood) and I painted it completely red.

Installation was extremely easy, Not too much effort was needed to unscrew the nuts on the strut tower and place the bar on them. As far as torque is concerned Crewzin from PT Cruiser Links informed us forum goers that the nuts should be torqued to 25 foot pounds. Simple as pie!

In terms of changes while driving, It is extremely handy on the tight curves of the mountains. Its certainly worth the measily 20 buck investment.

Heres a picture of my engine compartment. The strut bar is at the top of the photo.

Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions you may have below. Also you can subscribe to my blog on the right side towards the top of the blog so youll never miss any of my posts!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

It Should Be A Sin To Look This Good!

Alas after a long while of relaxing without doing any car related things, im finally back in the groove.

Today I washed, clayed, and did all that other great stuff that you do to a car you really love. Petey has never been this clean before and you wont believe how amazing the clay bar is...

Im now a believer in the power of the Clay!

But also today I finished up a project ive been wanting to do for a while.

Back when I installed my shelf under the drivers seat I also purchased a rear view mirror from a 2001 pt cruiser. This rear view mirror had map lights on it. I decided that I would tint these red to create some mood lighting where I normally couldnt secretively get a red glow.

My PT has a overhead area with map lights already, so using this rear view mirror allows me to have red tinted map lights while still retaining all the original white light so I could actually see if I needed to.

In the picture above you can actually see both sets of map lights.

The red tint is actually vinyl, Ive never had the pleasure of working with vinyl before but needless to say it was very simple! To tint the lens all I had to do was stick on the vinyl and use an exacto knife to cut it to the perfect shape! The red vinyl I used was scraps sent to me from my buddy Danny (and his PT Eve) from way out in San Ant Tex!

To wire the new mood lighting I just tapped into the wiring in the overhead map lights... nothing too difficult at all!

Since Danny sent me enough vinyl I went ahead and made the cubby light red as well.

This was done by taking apart the light fixture (Super simple), then removing the bulb and sliding out the blue peice of plastic they have there. I then used the blue plastic as a template and cut out a rectangle of red vinyl and just slid it into the slot the blue plastic used to be in. Then I reassembled the light and viola!

Heres the finished product. Sadly cameras like to do odd things to pictures, but trust me, the cabin area glows a nice red color. I have red LEDs in the center console near my shifter installed by Morkeste but I didnt turn these on so you could see exactly how the lighting I did today looks.

Im very happy with the way things are going and believe it or not, my exterior LEDs finally arrived! So be prepared to see Petey glow in the dark!

Feel free to leave any comments or suggestions! Also you can now subscribe to my blog by simply entering your email address at the top of the right side menu. That way you'll never miss a new post!

Special Thanks To Danny (AKA WolfmanG from and his PT Eve for sending me some red tint scraps!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cruizn' Clarion X

Yesterday was Cruizn' Clarion and It came and went so fast I wish it was everyday!

It was so wonderful to meet many other PT lovers like myself and it was also nice to be able to get tons of great ideas for future mods.

But enough talking, heres some pictures from cruzin clarion of Pickled Petey and Arcane with a description here and there. (There arent any pictures specifically of other PTs as I dont have permission from the car owners to post them here on this blog!)

Arcane and Petey sittin side by side. If you look closely between us youll see the ricers started getting jealous of all the PT's and started calling all their Ricer buddies in their hondas to have their own mini show! HAHA!

Pickled Petey started out in a crappy spot all alone, so no one really saw him. But next year hell be right in the center!

ahh yes... I love my nicely painted UIM!

The tires and calipers are one of my favorite parts of the whole PT.

That outlet looks so awesome. Thanks Morkeste!

We moved the subwoofer around so people could get a look inside the box. I love this angle as it shows off the car nicely.

Morkeste and Arcane won a Peoples Choice award (WOOT!), and while I didn't I still left feeling like a winner! Hopefully in the next year I can get to know some of the people there so I can socialize more. Im looking forward to going again and I cant wait to see what I can do in that time!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Finishing Touch!

In the rush to get ready for Cruizn' Clarion I have tried to do as many little projects as possible! Ive flushed and drained all the coolant and added fresh new Zerex coolant, as well as done several small painting jobs.

Included in those jobs was my hatch struts. These things were all rusty and were in need of some serious love. So I went to Lowes and got the torx screw to remove the struts. Whilst my Fiancee, Emma, held the hatch up I unscrewed the struts and we closed the gate carefully.

I proceeded to sand the struts till they were nice and smooth and I cleaned them off very well. Since I had tons of left over caliper paint I decided to use it on these struts. Thus they are now painted red! It adds a nice sporty look to them overall and im very glad I decided to paint them.

Another small painting project was my reverse lights. Ever since I got my new tail lights the reverse lights just stuck out too much. To fix this issue I lightly misted them with VHT Nightshades until they were a close match to my replacement tails.

Heres a picture of the struts and the finished reverse lights.

Among the biggest thing I had to get done was the power inverter. With help from my friend Morkeste we managed to wire up my car to have AC power with the flip of a switch! Pretty sweet right?!

To do this we had to first find some nice locations for the outlets. I picked out under the radio and on the cargo net cover. The inverter is in the cubby where the cargo net goes.

Once that was figured out we had to dremel everything nicely. Morkeste did an excellent job making the install look super clean.

Along with running the outlets we also decided to install some LEDs in the center console (soon to be expanded) as well as installing my Amps volume knob. So without further wait, heres a picture of everything installed.

Yes your eyes dont decieve you, theres a new shifter knob on the car as well, and I love it cause it makes shifting seem so much more smooth versus the old cue ball. Also I love the location of my switches! If you look below the radio you will see the outlet in the center. It looks like it belongs there. Once again Morkeste did an excellent job there.

Now its time to sit back and wait... Cruizn' Clarion is in Two Days!