US-Cars in autum/winter

It gets snowy outside and wet and slippery. Yes…winter is coming. If you listen to your local radio station you will notice the rise of traffic jams caused by accidents. You don’t want to be involved in accidents as a active or passive member want you?

Always notice a US-Car is basically a truck with sport optic. Your brakes are not made to reduce speed efficiently. So reduce your speed even on a free road. With the Firebird on cold conditions 80 km/h was my maximum speed. I had enough time to plan my actions and break fast enough to avoid accidents.

Drive like you where on raw eggs.

Whats about the tires? I always used all weather tires on my car. They may consume more fuel (1 litre round about) but you don’t have to change them and they give you enough security in all weather and on all roads your US-Car should be in and on. Sure if you drive an Jeep or Hummer and want to go Offroad or on heavy snowy winter roads I would recommend to use snow tires. But on common roads all weather tires are my top choice.

Take care out there and happy Christmas.

Repairing the T-Top sealing

One topic driving a T-Top version of the Pontiac Firebird is the roof sealing. If you need to replace the sealing you should let do it by a shop. In germany the set of sealings needed costs around 2000-2500 Euro. But there can be an alternative solution: silicone. Silicone is available in black also and a good one is around 20 Euro.

And this is how its done and what you need:

rubber gloves
Terpentin, 100% alcohole or cleaning petrol
silicone and a silicone pump
waxxed paper
hand warm water

Silicone needs 36 hours to be completely dry. If you want to leave the car open you should park it safely in your garage. An alternative is given at step 4.

1. Identify the damaged area. Make sure the damage doesnt get worse if you poke gently. Make sure the sealing isnt dry or crumbly. If its so, you need to replace the sealing.

2. Soak a towel with some Terpentin and clean the damaged area from dust and fat. Use gentle, quick strockes and dont stay to long on one position. Also dont drip the Terpentin directly to the sealing. This will hurt the rubber and it becomes crumbly and dry. If there is some one else, he / she can prepare the silicone meanwhile.

3. Right directly after cleaning the damaged area fill up the damage with silicone. Also pump some silicone directly into the sealing. This creates a better boundry between silicone and rubber sealing.
Use a little bit more silicone than you tink you need.

4. Silicone needs around 6 minutes to create a skin. Put on a rubber glove and dip a finger in the water and form the silicone in shape of the original sealing. Now you need to wait until the silicone is dry. Dont touch it anymore. If you dont have a chance to leave the roof off place a waxxed paper over the repaired area. Than gently and without movement place the roof in position and lock it. Wait 30 minutes until the silicone had a chance to create a skin and starts to dry. Now the car is already useable or ready for the night. After 36 hours you can remove the waxxed paper. The silicone should be dry now (check the manufactorers notes – the time needed can differ).

Definition of a US-Car

Whats an US-Car? You may not mention but there are a lot of US manufactures on the german market. Did you mention Ford is a US company? They are so good integrated into the german market with smaller cars you may forgot Ford build maybe the most famous muscle car – Ford Mustang.

And thats what I call a US-Car. Of course it needs to be from the US, it needs a V6 or V8 (or higher) engine. And on the street you should hear and feel the engine. Thats what makes this cars famous. Its their presents on the street. You hear them from miles and their bulk makes them recognizable. Through their design they caches the eye. 10 years before there where much more US-Cars on german streets but now its a dying species.

The Pontiac Firebird was once the main model of Pontiac. Then, with a V6 engine it became the basic model – a so called Pony car. A “small”, “light” sportscar with a “small” engine. Fiero and Trans Am became the sport models with turbo V6 or V8 engines.”

So but back to the definition: At least 20 years old, V6 or V8 US produced sportscar – thats an US Car for me. Included are street cruisers which are not very sporty…but hey..we are family.