The Truth About Cars » Upgrade The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 20:01:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Upgrade Super Piston Slap: Holiday Purchase = Holiday Project? Sat, 29 Dec 2012 15:08:00 +0000 Sajeev writes:

The holidays, no matter your religion (or lack thereof), is a time when many a car freak has the downtime to think of something they’d really want.  Another car?  Maybe.  More cars?  Possibly.  But I suspect many a Piston Slap reader is all about doing something to their car over the break. Here’s one of my projects: the Talking Lincoln Mark VIII, or MK-T for short. 

As a somewhat newly-minted homeowner I’m doing less house chores, getting back to my brand of idiotic brilliantly obscure modifications.  My Cougar is full of them, one is here, now it’s time to do the same to my Mark VIII: replace the outdated/bricked HomeLink receiver in my sun visor with something newer (rolling code) and cooler. I knew of the newer part (voice recorder, from a 1999 Mercury Mountaineer) for years, but didn’t know they came in charcoal…OMG SON…until last week.

And there’s the rub: the charcoal Homelink hasn’t arrived yet because I found it on eBay the Friday before Christmas.  Lesson Learned: if you want to tackle a project, don’t fart around with the presents to yourself.  Make sure they arrive well before the holiday. 

Yes, I’m so pumped that I actually printed out the eBay photo to help mock-up the visor. Now let’s wrap up the lonesome rant with the abbreviated procedure to make this happen:

  • Remove sun visor from car.
  • Watch YouTube video, grab screwdrivers and hope for the best.
  • Crack open visor like a clam.
  • Disconnect, remove pointless HomeLink module.
  • Verify factory module’s casing is similar to the one printed out from eBay. Sure enough, it is. Even the new one’s speaker isn’t obstructed inside the visor!
  • Verify wiring harness is the same. It certainly looks that way…PLUG & PLAY, son!
  • Turn into a 4 year old boy, get excited because you are a moron.
  • Hit “Buy It Now.”
  • Get new one, pop off charcoal trim and separate it from the rubber buttons. Paint it black.  Be okay with half the buttons being charcoal, the alternative (factory tan, factory gray or black paint of dubious durability) isn’t worth it.
  • Consider re-using the bottom of the original’s casing, as it has a provision for a mounting screw. Or not, depending on what happens when it’s installed.
  • Cut visor’s headlining material to allow for the extra buttons of the new part.
  • Install into sun visor and plug-in factory wiring.
  • Connect visor to in-car wiring and see if it works.  Fingers crossed. If it’s bricked, oh well…so was the factory part. And this looks cooler, right?
  • Re-tuck visor’s headlining material, pulled back and messed up by my brilliant actions. Snap the visor “clam” shut again.
  • Reinstall into car and program to the new garage door opener.
  • In His Master’s Voice, consider what mean things to program in the recorder.

And with that, I hope you all will consider tackling an automotive project next Holiday. And share it with us, below.

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FoMoCo, Lincoln Dealers Face Off Over Buyouts And Upgrades Mon, 25 Oct 2010 13:37:16 +0000
With Mercury going the way of Olds and Pontiac, Ford has made much of its intentions to turn its struggling Lincoln brand around. Ford has promised a $2b investment in Lincoln’s product line, and is pushing for the closure of 200 or so Lincoln dealers in order to concentrate the brand’s weak sales at its most successful dealers. But that’s not all. Ford is requiring the surviving Lincoln dealerships to invest heavily, as much as $2m per store, to stay on board the Lincoln Revival Express. But, according to Automotive News [sub], the Lincoln dealers are starting to wonder if they’re being asked for too much. One dealer tells the industry paper

They told us there would be no new products for about 24 months. I don’t know how the stand-alone Lincoln dealers are going to make it, especially those dealers who have to spend $2 million on their upgrades.
Ford has offered several Lincoln stores between $300k and $1.5m to give up ideally-located franchises that they refused to upgrade, but it seems that few dealers are simply rolling over. In fact, the dealer who was offered $1.5m rejected Ford’s offer, calling it “very low” for his profitable franchise. And that’s the polite response. A dealer who was offered less tells AN
“Insulted” isn’t a harmful enough word to describe it. It’s asinine. I’m getting my numbers together and going back. I’m not going to accept this.
Ford, for its part, says the “status quo is not an option,” a position that puts the factory and dealers in place for a nice round of brutal negotiations. And since Ford lacks to the tools to force its entire network to update, it will either have to pay up or live with at least a few remnants of the status quo. And as long as Lincoln’s products remain largely status quo, that’s probably the way it should be.
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