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Switching car bulbs over to LEDs

Whether you are a member of the proletariat or frugal minded or a frugal minded member of the proletariat, a car can be a tremendous convenience in all aspects of life. Many in our shoes who drive, drives an old car with the hope of keeping it around until one can buy something newer and better. In my case, I’ve never daily driven a car that wasn’t at least 12 years old. On average the cars that I’ve daily driven were about 17 years old. And I have only driven Toyota Corollas (four!), except for three instances, because although they were bland they were that good in all the things they really matter: decent ride, ease of maintenance, fuel economy, good depreciation, reliability, safety, and a wide selection of parts. The Mazda we had was found lacking in some of those areas. But nothing good lasts forever, and even Toyota OEM light bulbs burn out.

Since the start of the year, I have progressively replaced all of my Corolla’s light bulbs with LEDs, typically with higher end Sylvania ZEVOs. So far, I have converted to LEDs: the instrument cluster, the dome light, trunk light, plate lights, all rearward lights. Still needing replacement: HVAC light, shifter light, headlights, the turn lights, and tiny lights in the ignition, ash tray, and the cigarette lighter (though I don’t smoke).

Some of my friends and co-workers have critiqued this project, on the grounds of cost. However, IMHO the benefits outweight the initial cost.


Pros

  1. Reliability: LEDs last much (much) longer than incandescent light bulbs, are more resistant to shock damage, and use less energy. ZEVOs are guaranteed to last a lifetime, at least the life of the car.
  2. Safety #1: As LEDs are brighter than incandescent light bulbs, they are safer than incandescent as they can be more clearly seen in most driving conditions. As quality LEDs can also be dimmed, just like incandescents, brightness-induced eye strain can be mitigated.
  3. Safety #2: As the rated lifespans for LED bulbs are vastly higher than that of incandescents, it is very unlikely that an LED indicator light will suddenly go out and then mask an active check engine light or other indicator light from the driver.
  4. Instant On: LED bulbs light up almost instantly, communicating to the driver and other drivers the status of his or her car.
  5. Brightness: As LEDs are typically brighter than incandescent bulbs, they more clearly and cleanly impart the status of a car to other drivers at ranges beyond that of incandescents.
  6. Psychology: A driver who is aware that his or her car lights will not burn out as they are LED bulbs, is a more confident driver even when driving an older vehicle.
  7. Energy: LED bulbs use very little energy. They will not realistically drain a car battery. They will even function in a car with high electrical loads (subwoofers) or perhaps one with a weak alternator. Electrical loads were already not an issue with my car, as I had already added one of the most powerful car batteries available, the MotoMaster AGM, but as I am looking at a Pioneer amp, a sub, rear deck speakers, and perhaps a Phaser cannon for my roof a big energy reserve helps.
  8. Replacement cost: Zero, especially when buying retail bulbs with lifetime guarantees from a big manufacturer like Sylvania.
  9. Knowledge: Learn how to replace a car part, acquire car knowledge, and gain self-confidence!
  10. It’s the Future: LEDs are the future and you better get in line.
  11. Cool Factor: I have LEDs and you don’t.

Cons

  1. Cost: Quality, retail automotive LED bulbs are more expensive than incandescent bulbs. However, the more expensive the retail LED bulb, the better the heat sink, the longer the bulb life, and the better the warranty.
  2. Limited Selection: Currently, retail LED car bulbs do not exist for each and every type of car bulb. As they are no LED dual beam headlights for my car, I bought Sylvania XtraVisions. As they are no retail bulb 74 LEDs, I bought a handful of homemade LEDs from a Chinese dealer for $3 a pair (about as much as a discounted pair of incandescent 74LLs). The homemade LEDs aren’t as bright or as attractive looking as the ZEVOs, but they do the job.
  3. Obsolete Vehicle #1: Older cars and the lenses for their signal lights were not designed for LED bulbs and their limitations, e.g. narrow, focused beam.
  4. Obsolete Vehicle #2: Older cars that were not designed with the light electrical load of LED bulbs in mind may also demonstrate hyperflashing, wherein LED bulbs flash too quickly.
  5. Obsolete Vehicle #3: Also, LED lights that won’t flash or LED bulbs that won’t completely turn off even when the car is off due to load resistance issues.
  6. Safety: LED headlights are known to blind other drivers, as they are very bright, focused light beams. This can be mitigated with proper headlight adjustment and by not driving with hi-beams on all the time.
  7. Low Heat: LED bulbs can’t be used to melt snow and ice off of a headlight or taillight lens as they generate very little heat.
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Car Project: 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, Part 1: Retrofit Ideas

Surprisingly, I found more retail parts support for the 1976 Eldorado than I did for the 1979 Mark V. The Eldorado has the benefit of a convertible option, too. A common issue I noticed with these ’70s cars has been converting the tire code, after searching for the original code, into something modern. This Eldorado’s tire code was “L78-15” that is now 235/75R15 and that is borderline light truck tire territory. And a further note: the 1976 Eldorado’s tires were slightly wider than the 1979 Mark V’s.

Type:

  • Full-Size Luxury Car / Personal Luxury Car / Heavy-Duty Luxury Cruiser / Land Yacht Supreme

Version:

  • The Convertible, that was last built in this generation in 1976.
  • Not a brown one or a green one.

Engine:

  • 8.2 L V8 x 1
  • Ideally, a modern V8 with the same or more HP and torque but lighter, smaller, that sips fuel and is relatively low on emissions.

Brakes:

  • Wagner – ThermoQuiet or better

Electrical:

  • Battery -> Group 78 AGM

Suspension:

  • Shocks -> KYB – Gas-A-Just

Wheels:

  • Tires -> MotoMaster AWII – 235/75R15 XL 109T

Audio:

  1. Speakers (Front Door) -> Pioneer – 6.5″ x 2
  2. Speakers (Rear Seat Side Panel) -> Pioneer – 6.5″ x 2
  3. Speakers (Dash Corner) -> Rockford Fosgate Punch P132 – 3.5″ x 2

Car Project: 1979 Lincoln Continental Mark V, Part 1

Retrofit Ideas

Type:

  • Full-Size Luxury Car / Personal Luxury Car / Heavy-Duty Luxury Cruiser / Land Yacht Supreme

Version:

  • Ideally, a 1979 Bill Blass Edition, or
  • The 1977 Cartier or Pucci, or
  • The 1978 Cartier or Diamond Blue Jubilee, or
  • The 1979 Givenchy or the Collector’s Series.

Engine:

  • Ford 6.6 L 335 V8 x 1
  • Ideally, a modern V8 with the same or more HP and torque but lighter, smaller, that sips fuel and is relatively low on emissions.

Brakes:

  • Wagner – ThermoQuiet or better

Electrical:

  • Battery -> Group 24F or 34R AGM

(more…)

Book of Lyrics

Last night, I finally began to collect my favourite song lyrics for a binder of them in my room. I thought for a while about the first entry, for a song that I felt should not only be preserved but proliferated. A great song is one that is worth re-singing again and again.

The choice was clear. I choose Gilbert and Sullivan’s “He is an Englishman.”

What am I reading right now? (2018-3-11)

I am reading a bunch of stuff right now, with several dozen things bookmarked and at least 45 items on one of my library cards.

Anyways,

  • I am reading chapter 3 of Junction Landlord, by Toronto activist and fellow York U alum Jessie Zimmerman.
  • I should be in chapter 2 of Dune Messiah but I haven’t checked in a while.
  • I started Noble House last month.
  • I’m trying to quickly start and finish Daisy Miller.
  • I believe I’m done reading the parts of Friedrich Nietzsche: A Philosophical Biography that I was interested in, specifically those about his university years and later professorship in Basel.
  • I have purchased the final available copy of Janice Kim’s To Live to Work: Factory Women in Colonial Korea, 1910-1945 that was on Amazon and I will read it once I receive it. Janice was my first professor at York University and has been a friend for over a decade.
  • I am reading Ontario labour law for one of my jobs.
  • I am always enticed to borrow a Toni Morrison novel from work, as we have a stylishly designed set. However, I always forget that I have a copy of Song of Solomon in a to read pile next to my desktop.
  • Bought a copy of The New Yorker after speaking to an associate at Chapters. Should’ve asked for her name.
  • >40 other books and movies in my room to read or to watch. I need another IKEA Billy shelf for these.

The Grey Cup and Other Things

Exhibition Stadium in 1959 [CNE Archives, Public Domain]

In the wake of yesterday’s Grey Cup, a few things came to my mind:

  • gridiron football in the snow is amazing
  • all future Grey Cups should be played in the snow
  • the last two times the Grey Cup has been played in the snow were both won by the Toronto Argonauts
  • the Maritimes deserve a CFL team or two
  • the CFL is the last North American major league that has resisted merging with its US counterpart
  • Canadian interest in NFL has steadily increased over the years while American interest in the NFL has declined
  • CTE remains is a huge issue that must be resolved
  • the CFL should see a viewership increase after this game, but
  • the CFL has seen its audience shrunk tremendously over the past few decades
  • the Argos used to have bigger digs than BMO Field

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My Notes for ST: DIS 1×06 “Lethe”

  • Michael Burnham and Cadet Tilly enjoyed one of my favourite dishes, breakfast burritos, just the way I like them—with extra salsa.
  • Lots of original Star Trek references, from the USS Enterprise, to the Constitution-class heavy cruiser, along with Sarek, Amanda Grayson, and Spock.
  • Admiral Katrina Cornwell’s ship was not shown, just mentioned.
  • The series is being more ambiguous with regards to the food slots… is it a replicator, a protein resequencer or a high-speed elevator?
  • A lot of the episode was filmed at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto… and on a day that I wasn’t there!
  • Stamets was pretty weird this episode. Probably some reference to “The Enemy Within,” except that his evil/aggressive/snarky self is trapped in his washroom’s mirror.
  • During a rewatch of the previous episode, “Choose Your Pain,” I have doubts about the fan theory that Ash Tyler is just Voq in disguise because, if so, then Ash’s/Voq’s fight with L’Rell would have been unnecessary… unless he was also brainwashed to believe that he was human as a sleeper agent. But given the traitor is still a traitor rule, e.g. Dune‘s Dr. Yueh, how can Voq believe that he can lead a unified Klingon Empire if he dishonours himself by becoming a human, as the Klingon augments were also dishonoured?
  • Also, didn’t Voq suck with weapons? Ash Tyler is a pilot/rifle-god.
  • Ash also has no problem with eating un-fresh human food, unlike Kurn.
  • Klingons under Kol are spreading the use of cloaking devices.
  • As lots of online commentators have mentioned, the story arc versus episodic format of the series has left a lot to be desired with regards to character development. It’s episode six and we’re just starting to get a glimpse of Saru, but still know nothing about Keyla Detmer. Rmr. “The Naked Now” was TNG’s third episode.
  • I briefly thought that the idea of showing Lorca with a Phaser on him, after hearing that he had effectively set up his former friend/lover Kat Cornwell, was to show that he was considering suicide. He was probably just that paranoid.
  • Should’ve mentioned it earlier, probably spoken of by now, but why wasn’t “Garth of Izar” mentioned among Starfleet’s best captains? Kirk supposedly studied his exploits at Starfleet Academy so I guess was he retconned. Maybe, in the brief period between Kirk’s studies and the time of Discovery, Garth has already fallen into disgrace.
  • Who volunteered for the spore drive this time?

Star Trek: Discovery – points of interest

The Federation-Klingon War of 2256:

  • Never heard of it before Star Trek: First Contact changed everything.
  • Could be considered a minor conflict in retrospect, like the 2372–73 war from DS9.
  • Total Federation casualties after six months of fighting in 2256 are a few thousand shy of the losses suffered in 2367 at Wolf 359.

The Klingons:

  • Klingons, at least those in the House of T’Kuvma, are cannibals. Klingons are also now bald.
  • Entirely new Klingon bird-of-prey design that is armed with both torpedoes and phasers rather than disruptors.
  • Cloaking devices exist, but are extremely limited.
  • The House of Kor has made an appearance but no sign of either the House of Mogh or Duras, yet.
  • The Klingons are apparently winning the war against the Federation despite the lack of cloaking devices, no centralized government or command-in-control, and their habit for ground and melee combat.

The Federation:

  • Force-field technology is widespread. Replicator technology is also available. J.J. Abrams-style bridge.
  • Hand phasers seem to operate like the J.J. Abrams movie phasers.
  • The Shenzhou was a member of the Walker-class, an older exploration cruiser.
  • Starfleet crews abandoned their ships after the Battle at the Binary Stars, rather than self-destructing them.
  • The Europa is a newer, quad-warp nacelle design, undoubtedly related to the Miranda-class.
  • The Discovery and Glenn are members of the brand new Crossfield-class of experimental science vessels designed to develop the quantum spore-based FTL drive.
  • Given the simulated combat drill in 1×04, the Crossfield-class Discovery seems to have weaker shields than the Walker-class Shenzhou as the latter was able to withstand more photon hits.
  • Once again, Starfleet crews are torturing animals for the sake of FTL travel.
  • Still no sign of the Constitution-class.

Problems transferring digital music via iTunes

My sister and a few of my co-workers have mentioned to me about the problems that have had with moving their digital music collections, that are usually played through iTunes, between devices.

I usually give one of two answers:

  1. Don’t use iTunes (I don’t)
  2. Google it (this is probably the solution)

Sometimes, I am also then asked about what I use instead:

  • foobar2000
  • Windows Media Player
  • CDs
  • Audacity
  • WinAmp 2.95
  • RealJukebox 1.0
  • cassette tapes

Project: Daily Driver 2018

Repairs:

  • Rust, Rust, Rust
  • New O2 Sensor

Planned Acquisitions

  • Snow Tires – Pirelli P Zero FR
  • Alloy Rims by Enkei or Konig or OEM
  • Power Stop Z23 Evolution Sport Brakes
  • Speakers – 2- or 3-way
  • Amplifier
  • Stainless Steel Muffler
  • Floor Mats