Hardley Lives!

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Well, it runs.

After re-rigging the wiring and making a few more adjustments, I got ‘er to fire. She actually runs pretty decently, from what I can tell. Strong idle; no visible smoke.

But riding the thing is way down the road.

No brakes, for one.

Rear caliper seized and removed. Front calipers dry as Barbara Bush’s bush. Hasn’t been fluid in either for years.

But the immediate issue is the absence of the return (pull) cable on the throttle. Makes for all kinds of fun when you rotate the grip!

And that’s at idle.

But, progress.

Now for the other thing:

Donations are about 40 percent off with just a few days left in the month. This is not sustainable. I’m not bitching; no one owes me a living. But if I can’t make a living doing this, then I can’t do this. It’s just that simple.

It’s been a really bad month but there are still a few days left.

If you want EPautos to live, please help keep it alive. Your support is critically needed.

Thanks in advance…


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  1. swamprat,

    At the moment, I still have enough 5L containers of Mobil1 to last for about 1yr. I wont speak for others, but I have limited space available. I do not have room to store things that I won’t use untill next year.


    You make a fair point about contibuting for services you consider useful. This problem is not only here. If every vistor (that considered your site to be of value) contributed $2-$3 per month or about $30/yr, I am sure it would really help keep the lights on and the zombies away.

    I do not have any solution to your dilemma. (Hopefully your numbers improve enough to keep going. I enjoy the articles and the commentary by you and others. )

    • I bought a bunch of the stuff because had to change the oil, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid on 2 cars. That’s the reason the total was about $200.

      • Thanks, Henry…

        I’m not sure what’s gone south, but it seems as though things are just grinding down here… my buddy who owns his own shop was here the other night and he and I drank beer, talked about our wives (who’ve both flown the coop), being tired and feeling like nothing works anymore… we kind of half-joking talked about just saying the hell with it all, bungee-cording a bedroll to our bikes and forming our own Sons of Anarchy MC….

        • Man, I’m sorry to hear that. I never thought that would happen to you. She’s gonna be sorry, mark my words. Usually, its worse for the women the second, third and fourth time around. We live in an economy that is oversaturated with crap everywhere, and not enough good stuff anywhere. I feel like I could lose everything at any minute. I wonder if we would be better off in another country with the way things are going here. I mean, the news is more depressing than I ever remember. And the economy is almost as bad as it was in 2009 and could head south at any minute.

          • Me either. Which is part of the mind fuck.

            I feel a little better (if that’s the right word) knowing that it’s not just me. I have three other friends in virtually the same situation.

            We really have talked about forming an MC and just becoming nomads o’ the road!

            • Really sorry you’re having to go through that. I’m having problems at home as well. It’s mainly due to my anti-government stance and the consequences of that, though she has not left or tossed me out yet.

              In general women want security and lots of nice shiny things. Fighting/resisting tyranny, i.e. “bucking the system,” at the expense of those things is not part of the plan.

              The two of us are at an age now where she’s taking stock of her life and it’s coming up lacking, and of course she never lets me forget it’s my fault. Maybe it is – I’ve passed on a number of lucrative opportunities over the years due to my stance. Could have been very well off at this point instead of scrambling for a little bit of business here and there to survive. It does not bother me, but it eats at her. (Big battle with her now also is that I refuse to take part in Social Security or Medicare.)

              If I were a bit younger, ditching it all and living on the road in a camper or whatever would have a lot of attractions. (I’ve read there’s actually a little bit of a resurgence in the hippie movement and old VW buses!) Not sure I’d be able to pull it off at this point. Maybe I need to go back and rewatch the movie “Harry and Tonto” to get inspired…

              • Jason, I get more of that than i want to hear. She says I’m radical. Hell, that’s what she liked when she was 18. Living on the edge now ain’t to her liking and with me also just telling SS to get lost, more qualifiers and hoops than I want to jump, it’s ALL my fault. She doesn’t recall the decades of the high life and the crazy life that was part and parcel of it.

                Now I’m crazier than ever. Gee, who woulda thot?

                A friend is speaking of buying a new truck and having me take over payments. 5 days a week, $1500/day and only use a $100 of fuel per day had me thinking hard of going to the coast and doing just such and the old b&c can stay on the farm and do whatever it is she likes these days.

                There’s a pretty girl(or a few million)in every port and I’m not too old to dance.

            • Well, here’s my take .. .I’ve seen it happen 100’s of times.. chick stays married for x numbers of years to dude. She decides she’s had enough and wants to leave for some stupid shit reason. She leaves and joins up with some other dude, a better “catch” on surface. He talks nicely, takes her out to dinner, does all of that crap and then she finds out that either he has mental issues or he drinks too much. I don’t know. Either way, most of the time, they’re too hard headed to know the difference. Stay in shape, sell your crap, take to the road, and nail a couple on the way. Good luck mate. Email me if your travels take you to texas.

        • I mentioned here a few years back that I had checked out of the mainstream, left the cubicle engineering job and moved to the boonies. I left my entire life behind and moved 300+ miles from everyone and everything I had know for the previous 25 years. It’s not easy but I still feel better for it.

          I had paid off everything, bought my spread cash and now spend only what I have, drive a 20+ year old truck, grow some veggies and shoot some meat. Occasionally I pick up the odd design job. It’s not SOA, but it is liberating.

          One thing I did find, and I don’t know your exact situation, but cutting ties with a majority of those I knew was one of the best things I have done. Until I got away from the burden of dealing with their (self made) problems and expectations, I had no idea how draining they had been on my time and energy until I bugged-out.

          Sometimes a big life change is a good thing.

          P.S. remember I mentioned doing ‘onsite mobile motorcycle repair from a van’ a while back? Give it any more thought?

        • eric, a few years ago I was doing surveys for the USDA and called on a farmer, a guy who looked to be slightly older than me but turned out to be 70 and looked better than most of my 50 year old friends. He was living alone in a house with little furniture his ex had probably taken and he didn’t give a rat’s ass. In fact, he said he’d suffered his whole life from allergies(and his wife too I’m sure)so his entire house was bare concrete floors where he’d ripped out all the carpet. He said he didn’t intend to replace it with anything. Now that’s my kind of guy. It’s just regular in Mexico and I have no problem with it, just a rug at the edge of the bed for cold mornings.

          He’d had the duct work cleaned as well and the kitchen counter told the story of a change to smoothies and other more healthy eating.

          He acted like he had a whole new outlook on life and appeared to be very healthy. Sometimes, this is just how it goes.

          Well, I have to cut some wood and cook a small porker a friend trapped on my place and brought to me to butcher. Wild hog is some of the best eating you’ll ever have. It really is “the other white meat”.

    • Thanks, Mith…

      Yeah, it’s a dilemma.

      A very common one. I have discussed it with a number of other Libertarian writers (including some names I could drop but won’t) and most of us have tracked the same trajectory. Began our careers within the MSM; made a good living, enough to risk going out on a limb and flying solo. Only to find out the hard way that just keeping the proverbial roof over our heads is incredibly difficult compared to the often high-paying MSM gigs we gave up.

      The sucky thing is none of us (the guys I know) give a shit about getting rich. If we did, we’d have stayed within the MSM. Many of us could have earned (or did earn) solid six-figure salaries, but it meant whoring for Team Red or Team Blue. So we left, to write not just honestly but also about the unmentionable things. And we’d be pleased as a corn-fattened hog to do it for enough to pay the bills – maybe fund some side hobbies. Nothing extravagant.

      Unfortunately, that’s damned hard.

      Even for (to drop one name) a brilliant writer like Joe Sobran (whom I knew). The guy could have had it all, but tried to live an honest life instead.

      He died broke and – save a few friends – alone.

  2. My friend, Flat, who is an old Harley specialist would rip out the wiring harness and chopper wire it. Rebuild or replace the brake calipers if they are severely corroded and you might be OK.
    I used to sell Harleys in that era and hid behind the parts counter when a customer came back with his new bike. That way I could try to figure out a plan to fix whatever broke. I believe that the Harley factory sabotaged all of the bikes driving down sales so that they could buy the factory back cheaper from AMF. I have no other explanation for why all of the Harleys broke down repeatedly at that time. The Kawasaki bikes that I sold in 1978 rarely ever had a problem.

    • Hi Dr J.

      Yup, that’s the plan.

      I’m gonna get rebuild kits for the calipers/master cylinder so that the bike can stop. Then functional push-pull cables, so the bike will not go when you don’t want it to.

      On AMF: They installed open/exposed electrical contacts directly opposite the battery, literally an inch or two away from the battery terminals/cables. Very easy for them to meet – and spark. It’s the most poorly engineered wiring I’ve ever seen. And that’s the factory stuff!

      • eric, too bad about Amsoil. You took me to task a couple years ago about them but I wouldn’t budge. I’ve found it to be a hard sell but people willing to research synthetics won’t have a hard time sorting the wheat from the chaff.

        Not only has Amsoil reduced oil consumption in every engine I’ve changed over but one(and if he’d let me go with it a second round that engine would have probably quit using too). The oil pressure varies only negligibly from cold to hot and heat doesn’t ever seem to be quite the issue it was with other oils.

        I absolutely won’t buy a different brand filter till I make sure Amsoil doesn’t have the one I want. Their filters are well above everything else and that includes their air cleaners, well worth the money and I’ve never had to replace one.

        Oil is just one of those things people are unreasonably biased about and very few can give you reasons other than “well, that’s what I’ve always run” or something similar. Well, try running Amsoil after you see the difference on paper and you’ll find out there’s a good reason for that difference. Still, they balk and I just don’t understand it.

        I’d make a comparison to women but it wouldn’t really be germane and probably end up being a bit vulgar. MY point is, don’t settle for less if you haven’t sampled it. You only take a chance of not being happily surprised and nothing else(as opposed to something like women).

        • Well-said, Eight.

          I’m sorry to lose them as an advertiser, but I will continue to be a customer. My 40-year-old muscle car deserves only the best!

          The sucky thing is if only 10 or 15 people here had bought oil/filters through the ad, we’d still have the ad.

          It’s the same ongoing problem. Thousands of people visit EPautos regularly every month. Only a handful support the site.

          It’s tragic – because if even 50 percent did, it would only take a couple bucks from each (literally, a couple bucks) for a site like this to be a living for not just me – but a staff. I could afford to pay ooorgle to be the site’s tech support guy. I could pay freelancers for articles. And I could do projects – like update an old VW with some modern gear to prove that one could design and build a 60 MPG car for less than $10,000.


          There could be an almost unlimited number of such sites, catering to an almost infinite variety of tastes and needs.

          Instead, EPautos (and nine out of ten other sites online) depend on the support of maybe 5 percent of their audience to stay afloat – and usually just barely.

          Which means most eventually close shop.

          Which means, less diversity of “content” – and more of the same MSM same-same.

          Much as I love this site and doing what I’ve been doing – especially the political-philosophical stuff – I am like most people forced to deal with economic realities. If I got an offer to go work for some big MSM outlet, I’d be tempted. Not gonna lie. It’s tiring just barely scraping by – and this month, we’re not even doing that.

          • eric, I can’t PROVE to anyone Amsoil is superior….but Amsoil can on paper and if you never try anything you can’t verify it. I don’t understand what people think they have to lose. Yep, all synthetics are more expensive but run a piece of equipment without enough oil to have a steady supply and you’ll have bearing problems RIGHT THEN. But Amsoil will give you a huge amount of protection if that happens. And you’ll notice the lower temps on most engines too or at least more oil pressure when the heat is on. But you have to TRY IT to realize it. You can lead a horse to water……

            • Yup!

              Of particular concern to me is the fact that my TA has a flat tappet camshaft; it’s critically important to have the necessary friction modifiers as well as top-drawer characteristics generally when you are dealing with an ancient engine like mine – and want it to remain a living thing and not 500 pounds of scrap iron.

              455 blocks and cranks ain’t getting any cheaper…

          • Well, I bought about $200 of Amsoil as soon as it got on your site. I am going to get more as well. I drive 30k miles a year and it doesn’t take me long to rack up enough miles to change. I do it about every 10,000 miles.

            It’s too bad that we are such a bunch of tightwads or that the economy is so bad that no one can break loose a buck or two. I would be unhappy to see ericpetersautos.com go off line. Maybe I will have to up the ante a little.

            • swamprat, Amsoil oil and filets are good for 25, 000 mile with a filter change for the most part, car-wise. I have changed over some of my friends cars who do a great deal of mileage in their work. They figure up that Amsoil has saved them big bucks. mostly to the tune of 3 times the amount of savings per oil change or maybe slightly less.

              They have a 25,000 mile oil change interval when you regularly use your car which these guys do. And they couldn’t be more happy with their service. Mostly Japanese cars and American SUV’s, they realize a huge saving. But more than that they get great service from their rides and easily put 200K to 300K miles and still have a good, solid engine and now they’re sold on the transmission fluid also as well as the air cleaners because the trannies last forever with Amsoil.

              Anyone who doesn’t believe this, just change to it if you have a problem and the Amsoil transmission fluid will literally stop seal leakage, o-ring leakage and return their shifting to like new.

              My wife’s car has some transmission problems two years ago. I changed to Amsoil since I had never bothered with nice, bright, red transmission fluid. Amsoil returned that transmission back to performance of 100,000 miles previously. Now I would never have believed it possible without experiencing it.

              I have taken industry magazines since 1972. Some, produced by a company that had everything to gain were actually pretty accurate and others that just reported things happening in the industry reported more non-biased results. But even back then, when synthetics were barely heard of and weren’t really on the market, the companies that made lubricants were touting them as being a future, better alternative.

              it’s not only Amsoil but every company that has made synthetic lubricants that have convinced me by publishing results of large fleet data showing what filtration systems such as LuberFiner and others could accomplish with their superior filtration and and lubricants. I’ve even used oil mixed with graphite that was way superior, especially in the flat tappet engine.

              I’m no expert for certain. But I know what has worked better than what I had been using. The real change though is real world experience and the good guys I’ve changed over that have kept records and even made spreadsheets to show how much money they have saved and how long their equipment has lasted. Those are real world result, no hype, no person with something to gain by sharing their results.

              I’ve used several synthetic lubricants. They were all superior to petroleum lubricants. But Amsoil has stopped more leakage and blowby and oil useage than any other lubricant I’ve used(and I’ve used just about all of them). Another really big advantage though is that screw up thing where somebody runs something low on oil and nothing bad happens. Look down there and see and oil gauge jerking and juking around when it’s grabbing a little bit of oil now and then, it will save that engine. it will save that transmission that way low and being work hard.

              I wouldn’t say this if I hadn’t experienced it myself.

              When Amsoil transmission fluid made my wife’s car come back from virtually dead and operate perfectly, I could only give it it’s due. The fact, for me, that I get not a hint of anything in my air intake with Amsoil air filters is great.

              i’ll admit the first synthetic I used was Mobil 1. The problem with Mobil 1 is they never say you need to add something like the Amsoil flush to your old oil to clean the engine for the first 20 minutes or so.

              When i changed my wife’s car to Mobil 1 i was horrified at the oil that i drained out after only a few thousand miles, dirty beyond belief. the next round of of Mobil 1 was much better.

              But the thing with Amsoil is their engine flush. It cleans the whee out of the engine. also using Amsoil oil filters hangs on to that crud it cleans out. Sure, you aren’t going to use a huge, superior lubricant first oil change but wait for that second round. And then the third round will stay very clean and your engine will use less oil(for almost everyone I’ve changed over), will operate cooler and show less change for cold to hot engine operations. And this will show up too in equipment with hydraulic fluid that keeps it running wel.

              I could go on and on with the benefits I’ve seen from Amsoil. And they only get better with it
              The poeple who’ll be surprised will the the ones who have always operated with something likeRotella T(a very good oil)and are satisfied and then get changed to Amsoil syntheticand become beliefers.
              I’m mystified as to why anyone wouldn’t make the change for at least one change but the better comparison is for a few changes. I’ve removed valve covers that show engines you could eat off of when they had previously been engines it would be hard to identify the individual parts in. And now that Amsoil hs been son to be better than other lubricants on a long term scale for various type engines, I won’t be going back till some other company can show me a clear advantage.

              I just wish everyone would give it a try. Not just one oil change but a few to determine what it’s advantages are over the long run. I won’t quit using it. And I’m radical about the best lubricant and protection. My lively hood depends on it

              • Yall all should come to my lively hood and have some of my filets…..hell yes I was tired. I had just got through with an multi-hour DOT session that culminated in my getting a business to open and let me use their tools and get some parts so I could fix the truck they were going to red flag had I not. And the boss wants me to haul another load, same roads today with that same tractor and trailer(they couldn’t find any owner for the trailer(and I had no papers on it)and the tag, although obviously new, came to back to some construction company in East Tx.)so I was getting some serious alcohol down when I wrote that. DOT guy made a point of telling me they’re now concentrating on working week-ends and obviously, back roads(he didn’t say that but didn’t need to) where I got nailed.

                I had spent the entire week driving backroad, even caliche and plain old dirt roads trying to get loads where they needed to go with an illegal truck. I’m sick of that shit.

              • Well I’ve been looking at Amsoil products, and apparently they don’t an ATF that VW will approve for the 6-spd DSG. Pity, I was looking forward to increasing the 40k service interval. I’m almost due for #5.
                Don’t seem to have an oil filter of their own either, Which is better, Mann or Wix?

          • Hi Eric, et al,

            I bought from Vic and told him that I was referred from your website. Sorry it was not enough. If you ever find yourself in the Chattanooga area, zip me an email…

            • Thanks, Giuseppe –

              I know at least three or four people did; apparently, that wasn’t enough to justify the cost of the ad, unfortunately.

              • I see it’s back. Or is my PC doing weird things?
                I haven’t bought Amsoil because I don’t change my own oil any more. My knees make it not worth my while. But I have found a neighborhood garage that uses ‘the good stuff’ and will be taking the TDI there.


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