Engine Harmonic Balancer

A harmonic balancer is connected to the front of the engine crankshaft and is designed to help reduce vibration. The harmonic balancer is comprised of two separate pieces, the first is the mass which connects to the crankshaft and the second is the energy dissipating element. These elements are separated by a rubber insulator. The mass is designed to absorb vibration created from the crankshaft while in operation.

Harmonic Balancer

Failed Harmonic Balancer

Almost all vehicles are equipped with a harmonic balancer. Due to the stress and strain that is placed upon the harmonic balancer the unit can sometimes crack or separate. If upon inspection the harmonic balancer shows signs of weakness such as cracks, missing pieces or misplaced insulator you will need to replace the balancer. To replace the harmonic balancer a special tool is required. A balancer that is damaged can cause excessive strain on the engine
crankshaft. In extreme cases it can require the crankshaft to be replaced as well as the harmonic balancer. If the harmonic balancer is exposed to oil it can cause the balancer to fail. Check for oil leaks to prevent failure of the harmonic balancer. Proper engine performance
can keep the harmonic balancer operational. The balancer can be overworked by a poorly running engine.

How a Convertible Top Works

A convertible car is a type of automobile which has a retracting or folding, soft or collapsible top. If the top is made out of steel, it is called as a retractable hardtop and not a convertible. A convertible top is made from a flexible material, such as vinyl or canvas, and is made to fit over an articulated folding frame which is made out of steel, aluminum or rigid plastic. The folding design of the frame is elaborate and can vary. An electrical retraction mechanism can be designed to fold and unfold the frame which is also known as a power top. Before a manual top can be lowered it must be un-fastened from the windshield frame before it is retracted. A Convertible car in Europe is known as "cabriolet" and a retractable hardtop
is known as a "coupe convertible" or "coupe cabriolet"
Convertibles are desired by many because of the look and the adventurous feeling it gives the passengers. Presidents and celebrities are featured riding in a convertible for the added exposure and easy access. Advertisements have always taken advantage of this instant factor of admiration and the association with the element of romance.
Convertible Top

Initially when convertible cars began to be manufactured they were made with two doors. Only a few cars had the option of four doors. The production of convertibles boomed in the 1950s to 1970s. Owning a car was more of a luxury at that time and was only used for special occasions. Tops have been made more durable and the plastic rear window has been replaced by heated glass which improved clarity. Structurally the vehicle top is the most important part of the car. The frame or chassis of a convertible car is built more rigid to keep the vehicle from flexing in normal usage. Convertibles cars weight more than fixed roof cars due to the added steel. The automatic convertible top system involves motors
, switches and sensors. The latching and unlatching is performed automatically.

Common Problems
Possibilities of failures and issues with convertible tops are vast. It is good practice to watch the top while in operation. Any kind of irregular motion or snagging is an indication of a malfunction and should be repaired.

Basic Maintenance
It is recommended that the convertible be hand washed. Special vinyl cleaner is available for cleaning vinyl tops. Warm water with mild soap should be safe for washing. If your water is hard, a water softener should be added to avoid spotting. Wax should never be applied on a convertible top. Soft tops should be protected using scotch guard and can be softened using a liquid fabric softener. The top should be cleaned in its entirety; spot cleaning can leave spots or rings. If the windows are made out of plastic, they should be cleaned on a regular basis with water and mild soap. Do not use an abrasive cleaner or cloth; they can scratch the plastic surface. Cleaning in a circular motion should be avoided and a side to side or top to bottom motion should be adopted. Never retract the top when wet without raising it at a later time to avoid mold. Mold can discolor the top and lead to replacement. The top should always be free of objects; even a small item such as a beach towel can damage the top.

How E85 Ethanol Flex Fuel Works

Designed as an alcohol fuel mixture this form of fuel is different from most others. E85 contains a much higher percentage of denatured fuel ethanol, hydrocarbon, and even regular gasoline. As the name implies the solution contains as much as 85% of the fuel ethanol. One major drawback to E85 is the engine
must be modified in order to actually handle running this fuel, as the popularity increases for E85 so do the number of gas stations offering the mixture.

Recent statistics have estimated that in the United States alone there are approximately 800 gas stations that are selling the E85 ethanol to the public. However, other countries in North America such as Canada are lacking in the expanded usage with only one Canadian station selling the fuel to the public. Other countries such as Sweden and various other European countries have already widely embraced the usage. Engines are designed to handle any form of fuel ranging from standard gasoline to 85% ethanol. In order to handle the conversion there are several adjustments that must be made including changes to the fuel lines, the fuel pump and the rest of the fuel system.
Common Problems and Solutions
The biggest problem and concern that E85 ethanol creates is the fact that in a world where gas mileage is very important it generates approximately 25% fewer miles per gallon than traditional fuel. While many vehicles are looking for ways to break 30 MPG effectively and even as much as 60 MPG when using hybrid vehicles this can seem like a huge step backwards.
However, while E85 ethanol fuel provides fewer miles per gallon it is cheaper per gallon by approximately 10% around the world. As research continues, it is estimated that the new fuel mixture will lower the price per gallon to make it much more competitive with standard gasoline's. However, at this point because of the dramatic loss in mileage combined with only a small reduction in price it is more expensive to use E85 ethanol on a per mile basis.
Overall, E85 ethanol has no special considerations necessary for extra maintenance. As you would need to change a fuel filter on a standard gasoline vehicle it is still required on a flex fuel vehicle. Never allow a mechanic shop that is inexperienced in E85 ethanol systems to do the service on your vehicle. There are significant differences in the E85 fuel system from a conventional fuel system that could cause potential problems. Keeping your E85 ethanol flex fuel vehicle running in top condition is as important as a conventional fuel vehicle.
Service Description for E85
How Does it Work / Ethanol e85
Check Manufacturer Specific Ethanol e85 Questions and Answers
Related Subjects

How an Odometer Works

The odometer is a device that informs the user on the miles traveled by a particular vehicle. An odometer is designed in two types, mechanical and electronic. The readout of the mechanical odometer uses 6 rolling disks with numbers 1 through 9. Electronic odometers give you a digital readout of the mileage. Digital odometers are usually part of a larger digital display panel in newer vehicles, odometer displays are usually under the speedometer. 
The odometer has been around since around 27 BC. It was first description was by Vitruvius, a Roman writer and architect. His odometer was a chariot wheel four feet in diameter turning 400 times for one Roman mile. There was a 400 tooth cogwheel that turned one complete revolution per mile. This cogwheel engaged another wheel that dropped pebbles one by one into a box. The distance traveled would be measure by counting the pebbles at the end of the trip. Odometers have been used by the ancient Chinese, by the mile markers of Alexander the Great and even Benjamin Franklin. Modern inventors like William Clayton who has created odometers that where separate gears that controlled each digit that we know today.
When purchasing a car the odometer informs you on the wear and tear the car has been through. The main problem with mechanical odometers is that the dials can become worn and the gears can strip. Since the odometer is an internal item there is no preventive maintenance needed. The odometer is equipped with a trip meter call a trip odometer that allows the user to check the mileage of any particular distance separate from the main odometer. The trip odometer can be reset by the user.

Odometer Fraud
One of the most common automotive scams involves the odometer. By rolling back the mileage a buyer can be tricked into thinking there are fewer miles on the vehicle than actually are. Here are some tips to let you know when you are dealing with a car that might have the odometer rolled back:

  • Look for fingerprints on the inside of the plastic cover over the gauges

  • Make sure the numbers on the odometer are lined up straight

  • When you test drive the vehicle, see if the odometer sticks

  • Check the maintenance record of the vehicle

  • Look for service stickers that may show actual mileage. These are on the inside of the door or under the hood.

  • Check the car's title to see if there are any corrections on the mileage.

  • Ask the repair facility for warranty records, this can be checked from their computer system.

  • Check the date to see when the title was issued. If the title date is recent then the new title might have been created to hide a mileage change.

  • Look for wear on any place in the car that someone would have contact with. The steering wheel or arm rests are good examples of this. Does the wear match the odometer reading?

  • Consult an independent car information website like

  • If you are still in question about any vehicle have it inspected by a local garage. A trained technician can give you an evaluation of the car. These tips and tricks will protect you from this type of fraud the next time you go to buy a vehicle.

    Tokyo Auto Saloon 2010

    This time Tokyo Auto Saloon arrived @ Makuhari Messe for their 
    Pictures of the models of Tokyo Auto Salon 2010 ( TAS ) by SpeedHunters :

    Besides that, Pictures from Dzeus VIP Style Forum:

    Silvia/AE/DCM Gathering Jan '10

    Silvia/AE/DCM Gathering Jan '10
    Source by:

    Fotografia De Lyzard's



    Top Secret Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R 1200HP

    Mr nagata is attempting 200mph on a tokyo speedway with his modded top secret Nissan Skyline R33 GT-R with a 1200 hp and he's attempting the top speed run in the tunnel. Check it out ya'll.

    This Skyline GT-R Specification:
    Engine: 2700cc, 24 Valve
    : 2 Garrett T67 Turbos
    : 3 Bosch Fuel Pumps
    Performance: Max Power - 1200 bhp
    Quarter Mile - 9.6 secs
    0 - 200 mph - 23.99 secs