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The Hoonigans Go Deep With Cleetus McFarland's Insane 'Vette Kart: Video

The Hoonigans Go Deep With Cleetus McFarland’s Insane ’Vette Kart: Video

No body, no problem!

How about stripping a Chevrolet Corvette down, strapping in a 7.0-liter LS, and going after some world records for manual Corvettes? Sounds like an insane project to you? It sure didn’t sound too daunting to Cleetus McFarland, the creator of "Leroy The Savage."

"Leroy The Savage" is, at its core, a Chevrolet Corvette C5 that was stripped of its bodywork and was able to run the quarter mile in 11 seconds with no other modifications. Then came an LSA supercharger and other mods that brought the time down to 9 seconds. McFarland then smelled blood and reckoned his creation could go after some records on the dragstrip and one thing led to another.

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Halo Superfan Builds Himself a Life-Size Warthog: Video

Halo Superfan Builds Himself a Life-Size Warthog: Video

All it needs now is a gun turret

Fans of the Halo action video game series will instantly know what this vehicle is, but for those who don’t, here’s the short version: it’s called the M12 Force Application Vehicle, affectionately known as the Warthog, and it was a vehicle exclusively relegated to the virtual world, until a fan decided to make one in real life.

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And We Thought Drones Were Limited to Flying!

And We Thought Drones Were Limited to Flying!

This time they are taking over cars, and with open source software too!

Drones have been a small staple in our existence for the past few years. What started out as an expensive (depending on your perspective) toy for the rich and shameless, can now be had by anyone with $20 in the bank and a desire to drive household pets absolutely crazy. But, the definition of “drone” is set to change in the future with the introduction of the StreetDrone One. SteetDrone is an organization led by Mike Potts and Mark Preston, the latter of which has done extensive work in Formula E and has even worked with McLaren. These two men look to “accelerate and democratize the development of self-driving, electric vehicles.”

Self-driving cars are coming, no doubt, but the problem with autonomous technology and even electric cars is that development and testing are expensive – leaving development and testing of these new technologies in the hands of the large, wealthy automakers. But, that’s not the way dreams come true, is it? Hell, brands like Apple, HP, and even Google all started in someone’s garage, but with the insane cost of development and testing, there’s no chance a “little guy” could ever develop a true autonomous system without an excessive amount of money. StreetDrone One looks to change all of that by providing an affordable test bed that allows you to implement your own self-driving software and test it in the real world. Ultimately, it will bring autonomous development to the masses instead of leaving it in the hands of large automakers.

What we’re talking about here is a car, based on the Renault Twizy, that comes ready for programming so coders like you can see just how well your autonomous programming works without relying on computer simulation.

keep reading to learn more

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Learn How to Obsessively Clean Your Car's Wheels: Video

Learn How to Obsessively Clean Your Car’s Wheels: Video

We’re not talking about $10 clean here.

Have you ever wondered what goes into keeping a car looking better than new? For most of us, cars are a tool of life, but there are some people out that literally spend an entire day each week to cleaning and perfecting their car inside and out. To put it into perspective, the $100 details offered by your local car wash make your car like clean and misguidedly like new, but a real, obsessive detail will set you back hundreds of dollars and at least a day’s worth of time. One part of obsessive detailing means keeping your wheels clean. It can be extremely difficult if you have to drive your car in the winter and don’t have winter wheels, but the guys over at AMMO have put together a video. describing just what goes into keeping wheels car-show clean as well as the brake system and the wheel wells.

You’ll want to watch the whole video to get the full gist of what you’ve got to do, but in short, there are multiple steps to cleaning your wheels that will seem obsessive to most, but a necessity to the few who take pride in having the cleanest and best looking cars out there. And, if this seems like too much to you, that’s okay – it’s not for everybody. But, if you have a really nice car that you like to show off, and you do a lot to keep the body and paint in awesome condition – I’m talking about mirror-like shine – then you probably want to go to the extent of excessively cleaning the wheels, wheel wells, and brake system. Even if this kind of obsessive car care isn’t for you, now you’ll understand why someone who is that into it will freak out over a small scratch or some dirt when it wouldn’t make you think twice.

With that said, go ahead and click play, then let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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What are Ball Joints and When Should They be Replaced?

What are Ball Joints and When Should They be Replaced?

A basic introduction to ball joints

Ball joints are vital components of a car’s chassis and suspension system, and are subject to wear over the life of a vehicle. To put it simply, ball joints are used to allow the front wheels and tires to pivot on a vertical axis as you turn the steering wheel one way or the other. Believe it or not, you’re body has built in ball joints as well. Just think of your legs and arms. One end of your arms and legs have a ball of sorts, that sits within the cups of your hips and shoulders. Even this are subject to wear, as sometimes humans have to undergo shoulder or hip replacement. The same idea carries over to the cars that you see on the road today.

Ball Joints don’t have a generalized replacement schedule, as they are commonly replaced only when they fail or are found to be worn to the point of needing replacement. Over years of use, the pivoting ball hidden behind the dust boot of the ball will wear down and become “loose.” This means they have a lot of play in them and could eventually separate altogether if not replaced in time. It’s important to stay on top of this as a ball joint failing while you’re driving could lead to an accident.

So, now that you know what they are, you’re probably wondering what signs to look for. Keep on reading to learn more about them.

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How to rotate your tires

How to rotate your tires

A general guide to rotating tires

Believe it or not, rotating tires is an important part of car maintenance. Even modern vehicles with all-wheel drive bias most of the power delivered from the engine to one set of wheels most of the time, with the secondary wheels only receiving a large portion of the torque when needed. As such, the primary drive tires will inevitably wear more than the tires that free-spin or receive little torque most of the time. So, to get the longest life out of all tires, the tires should be rotated every 12,000 miles or so. For most modern cars, rotating the tires at every oil change is ideal.

The recommended method for most cars is now to rotate the rears to the front and the fronts to the rear, always on the same side. But, each car is different and yours may call for a different method, like crisscrossing the tires. This is usually noted in the maintenance section of your car’s owner’s manual as well, but if you’re unsure, contact your local dealer before attempting this procedure. If you routinely take your car to an oil change shop or your local dealer, they’ll normally rotate the tires free of charge or for a small fee (typically around $10 - $20, depending on your location.) But, if you change your oil yourself, it’s also time to tackle the tire rotation too, but don’t worry, it’s much easier than you think and will ultimately save you money in the long run.

With that said, let’s dive on into the basic procedure and what you’ll need to get the job done right.

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Maintenance Procedures You can do Yourself and Save a Little Cash

Maintenance Procedures You can do Yourself and Save a Little Cash

Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty every now and then

Owning a car certainly has its benefits, but it can be somewhat expensive to keep up on maintenance. Some of us have been doing our own basic maintenance for years, while others are afraid of messing something up and would rather leave that to the “professionals.” I emphasize the word “professionals” because if you routinely hit up an oil change location or any random garage, you may be trusting your ride to technicians without formal training. These techs are often pressed to race the clock, as well.

In all fairness, I spent a couple of my younger years as a Valvoline tech and received plenty of on-the-job training. Still, there’s nothing like doing your own maintenance. You can actually save yourself a decent chunk of money performing some basic maintenance yourself. And, in doing so, you’ll also get to know your car better and have a nice sense of accomplishment when you’re done.

In this article, I’ll cover some of the basic maintenance procedures that can be done with minimal tools and a little bit of elbow grease. Of course, every make and model are different, so it might be a good idea to invest in a manual for your vehicle. For the most part, however, each process can be summed up in general, and it just might give you the confidence to try it yourself. Some of the topics I’m covering are really basic – like changing an air filter, for instance – but even something like changing your own transmission fluid could be within the realm of your abilities, and you didn’t even know it.

So, let’s take a gentle first step into the world of performing your own car maintenance.

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Five Tips for Trailer Maintenance: Video

Five Tips for Trailer Maintenance: Video

Springtime shake-down for your RV and trailer

Owning a boat or recreational vehicle can be extremely rewarding. You can hit the road without leaving the comforts of home or head out on the lake with the family. However, there are some critical steps to take to ensure the safety and proper working order of your equipment.

The Fast Lane Truck put together five quick tips that should help folks get a handle on what needs to be periodically checked before rolling on the miles. These are the unsung top maintenance tips that RVs and other trailers need performed, yet are often overlooked.

Some of these items include the tires; checking for dry rot, tire pressure, and age. Axles and wheel bearings are also critically important. Without the proper amount of grease, bearings will cease and fail, potentially causing a host of terrible events, including losing a wheel.

TFLT also dives into the world of RV ownership with the laundry list of maintenance points. This includes draining and flushing the RV’s water line system, especially in colder climates where an antifreeze solution is used to preserve the lines. On-board batteries are also critical. It’s important to check connections and water levels on the batteries. Of course, other checks should be make, including an overall inspection of the exterior condition of the RV, looking for potential issues with the roof, gaps in the aluminum, or anything else out of place.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, it does serve as a great place to start.

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How Do You Hypermile?

How Do You Hypermile?

In just the last week, we’ve seen three separate fuel economy records fall and go permanently to rest. Probably the biggest and most important, the record for non-hybrid fuel consumption on a long-distance trip. After trekking across 48 states and 8,233 miles, the driver of a certain bone stock 2015 VW Golf diesel managed a truly stunning 81.7 mpg — in a car rated for 32 city and 44 highway mpg. And who, might you ask, managed this incredible feat of skill and determination? Why, that would be Wayne Gerdes — the very man who coined the term "hypermiling" so many years ago.

The idea of driving a car for maximum fuel economy isn’t entirely new, but it did catapult into notoriety some years back with the birth of hypermiling. As our newest extreme motorsport, hypermiling quickly (and quietly) found a home among engineers, scientists, and other people who enjoy talking about things like adiabetic efficiency and the First Law of Thermodynamics.

That might not sound like the most exciting company in the world — but there was a lot of science, a lot of technical stuff and a lot of trial and error in the beginning. All very science-y. But now, after many years and many records fallen, hypermiling’s anorak forefathers have finally cracked the code of how to regularly double the average car’s gas mileage with driving technique alone. In truth, the specifics are all still very technical, and techniques will still vary greatly from vehicle to vehicle, and road to road. But here’s a basic primer to get you started on doubling your fuel economy with nothing more than patience, brains and precision driving.

Continue reading for the full story.

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This Man Built A 1959 Ferrari 250 TR From Scratch: Video

This Man Built A 1959 Ferrari 250 TR From Scratch: Video

Many of us dream about owning a classic Ferrari, especially from the iconic 250 lineage, which includes cars such as the 1962-1964 Ferrari 250 GTO, the 1958-1960 Ferrari 250 California, or the Le Mans-winning 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. Unfortunately, these vehicles change owners for tens of millions of dollars, which puts them out of our reach. This was also the case for Peter Giacobbi, who ofted asked himself what his boyhood heroes Juan Manuel Fangio and Graham Hill experienced when they drove cars like the Ferrari 250 TR. He obviously couldn’t afford a real Ferrari but he didn’t give up and built his very own 250 TR from scratch.

He started off after he found a handmade aluminum body replica of the car. He then copied the chassis, had the dashboard and the instruments made, and sourced several other body parts. Though some things are different from the original, his 250 TR has many original parts, which he got from Ferrari owners. Because he couldn’t find an original 3.0-liter V-12, he used a 4.4-liter unit and modified it to resemble the 250’s.

Owning just a replica might be upsetting to some, but not to Giacobbi, who says the car helped him realize that his boyhood heroes were actually supermen. “They’re not only heroes, they’re supermen to have driven at the high speeds for the distances they did is an absolute miracle," he told Petrolicious. Check out the video above for more on this story.

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Enter To Win a "MAKEcation" From Craftsman

Enter To Win a "MAKEcation" From Craftsman

The typical gearhead knows a thing or two about getting down and dirty under his vehicle. Oil changes, brake jobs, spark plug swaps, and water pump replacements – it’s all done in fun with a grand sense of accomplishment and ownership when the task is done and the tools are wiped clean.

It’s that sense of accomplishment after a job well done that Craftsman will be instilling in the participants of its annual MAKEcation event coming this September 24 through 27 in Brooklyn, New York. The event plays host to several skilled artisans and craftspeople who will guide and coach attendees through a weekend-long workshop where things will be made and spirits will be high. Craftsman’s MAKEcation is basically a DIYer’s chance to sharpen her existing skills and learn some new ones.

Best of all, you can win your trip for free!

Yep, Craftsman is giving away spots to its MAKEcation event. All you need to do is register as a Craftsman Club member, then enter to win. (Enter Here!) It’s that easy. What’s Craftsman Club, you ask? Think of it as a manly version of Pinterest combined with forums that cover a variety of topics, from home repair and woodworking to blacksmithing and of course, automotive interests. What’s more, Craftsman Club members get super-deep discounts and coupons on Craftsman gear through the “Deal of the Day” program.

The deadline to enter for the MAKEcation is fast approaching. All entries must be in by July 31, 2015.

Continue reading for a DIY tip

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2016 Ford F-150 Will Get All-New Pro Trailer Backup Assist

2016 Ford F-150 Will Get All-New Pro Trailer Backup Assist

Ford has just thrown a curve ball at its competition. For 2016, the F-150 can be optioned with an assist feature that makes backing trailers an easier chore. It’s called the Pro Trailer Backup Assist and it utilizes the F-150’s new electronic steering system to remove the counterintuitive steering required when reversing with a trailer.

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2016 Ford F-150 Will Get All-New Pro Trailer Backup Assist

2016 Ford F-150 Will Get All-New Pro Trailer Backup Assist

Ford has just thrown a curve ball at its competition. For 2016, the F-150 can be optioned with an assist feature that makes backing trailers an easier chore. It’s called the Pro Trailer Backup Assist and it utilizes the F-150’s new electronic steering system to remove the counterintuitive steering required when reversing with a trailer.

It works by a hand-operated knob mounted low on the center console. When the transmission enters reverse, the system becomes operational. The driver simply rotates the knob left or right – in the same direction he or she needs the trailer to go – and the electronic system takes over the steering. The Pro Trailer Backup Assist removes the need for the driver to counter steer the truck – a task that can sometimes befuddle the best of us.

Ford hasn’t announced how much the option will cost, but figure around $500. Likewise, Ford has not announced any other vehicles this system will be offered in, but it’s a sure bet Pro Trailer Backup Assist will come on the next generation Super Duty pickups due out as 2017 models.

The Super Duty will feature many of the same advancements found in the 2015 F-150, including its aluminum body and its all-new interior. Yes, Ford will no longer offer such separate interior designs between the half-ton and heavy duty trucks. This falls in line with both General Motors and Ram, as neither automaker offer separate interior designs.

Expect to find 2016 F-150s hitting showroom floors in the fall of 2015.

Continue reading for the full story.

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Travel: Climb Dance the Summit of Pikes Peak For Just $12 Year-Round

Travel: Climb Dance the Summit of Pikes Peak For Just $12 Year-Round

All this talk of gorgeous HD Point-of-View driving videos reminds me of a knockout drive to share here as part of a travel article.

The four videos show the high-def ascent of the Pikes Peak Toll Road outside Colorado Springs, Colorado. Taken earlier this summer by none other than this grinning goon.

The car of choice for this adventure is the only car for the job, in my opinion. My cherished but battered 2005 https://www.topspeed.com/cars/subar...Subaru Legacy GT manual Wagon.

This is the car that I mention in my bio as currently non-functional in garage ion the updated TopSpeed Team page...

It is still needing a big electronics overhaul to come back to life as spunky as it was when new.

But watching the clouds roll by while the upgraded turbo spins furiously and boost spikes as high as 19 PSI.

Climbing Pikes Peak takes about 45 minutes and costs about $12.00 per car. It is mostly tourists driving very slowly, with double yellow no-passing zones all the way to the top.

But on that rare sunny day, the only things slowing you down are fear of heights and the thin atmosphere at the 14,000-foot crest of the peak.

Click past the jump for the next four videos in this series, in order, going up and coming down the legendary Pikes Peak in all its high-definition glory.

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TopSpeed Recommends: STA-BIL Fuel Treatment Before Winter Storage of Classic Cars

TopSpeed Recommends: STA-BIL Fuel Treatment Before Winter Storage of Classic Cars

Wintertime is quickly approaching, and the last thing you want to do is drive your $250k supercar or $52 million classic racer through snow, slush and salt. So, unless you live here in sunny Florida or Southern Cali, your only real option is to load you precious in a storage garage, and park it for the season.

The issue in storing a car for months on end is that the fuel system can get excessive moisture in it, causing rusting in the tank, and the fuel-injection system or carburetor can get gummed up from oxygen attacking the fuel. You could drain the tank, but then you run the risk of even more water infiltrating the fuel system, plus the rubber seals in the fuel system, which are designed for constant contact submersion in fuel, can dry up and start leaking when you fire up the engine for the first time.

So, you may be in a panic now, but we do have a solution. Fill your tank 95 percent full with your favorite fuel and add the prescribed amount of STA-BIL “Storage” Fuel Stabilizer to the gas tank. After adding STA-BIL to the tank, run the car for a few minutes to circulate it through the fuel system. Then, your good ol’ girl is ready for hibernation. Come springtime, when you crack open the storage unit, you will be instantly greeted by the old familiar rumble of your car’s engine without even a hint of a stumble from bad fuel, varnish or water in the system.

What’s more, STA-BIL is good for storage periods longer than just one season. In fact, it will continue working hard to keep your car’s fuel system in top shape for up to 12 months.

Additionally right now, STA-BIL is offering fans on Facebook a chance to win an $800 storage shed and STA-BIL product by simply sharing a storage tip, experience or nightmare here and a simple “like” of their Facebook page. Good luck!

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DIY - Changing Only Your Oil Filter

DIY - Changing Only Your Oil Filter

If you drive your car hard, then chances are you are worried about your engine more than most drivers. Forums are filled with horror stories that will transform the biggest fanboy into a doubter at the drop of a hat. Most of us change our oil on a regular basis, some people waste their time with 3,000-mile oil changes, but I prefer to inspect my oil filter very often, and especially after each track day.

If your engine is constantly nearing its redline, then it will like shed bits of various metal components, which is actually fairly normal. Though this is a normal thing to happen, these contaminants can get caught up in the filter and restrict the oil flow just enough to cause damage at higher rpm.

Few racers know that you can actually change the filter without doing a complete oil change. So you can keep all but about a half-quart of the good oil in the engine and get a fresh filter — I prefer Purolator — in there to keep it all flowing as it’s supposed to.

Click past the jump to see how it’s done.

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