Nov 25

New Helmet for Aidan

Didn’t turn out exactly like I had envisioned but pretty satisfied.
Learned a lot doing it.


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Oct 04

Cup Holder ver 1.03

Updated cup holder and is much more functional, also looks a little better.

  • Made the bottom board longer for additional stability during turns.
  • Made bottom shelf a little wider and longer so that it would rest on the lip of the existing center console. The also enable me to attach the shelf to the console with some industrial velcro.
  • Used larger and longer bolts to raise the top shelf a little higher. Lager bolt also allow me to remove the fifth center bolt.
  • Covered the entire thing with vinyl wrap, this definitely cleaned up the look.

ver 1 03a ver 1 03b

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Jul 15

Bob’s Burgers, Westminster

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Status update

I’d purchased an iSaddle Super Mini ELM327 V1.5 OBD2 OBD-II Bluetooth CAN-BUS Auto Diagnostic Tool a little over a year ago to play with and I have to say it was fun for awhile. Could read engine status, compute mileage etc but nothing spectacular so like most toys it was forgotten after awhile.

Last month I finally got around to deleting the Torque Lite app from my phone to free up a little space……….well wouldn’t you know it. This week I get a Check Engine Light. Well now I have to buy the Torque Pro app and I used it this morning to check the code and it’s reading the PO442. 

Wasn’t able to clear the code, hoping I’m just doing something wrong and will be able to figure it out. At least it showed me that it’s a minor problem and can get it repaired later. Little peach of mind

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Aug 27


Replace all of the interior lights with LEDs, 2 map reading and 2 dome lights. So far I haven’t needed any resistance and the LEDs put off a lot more light with no heat.


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Aug 25

Last vent repaired!

4 Fully Functional Dash Vents


Finished repairing the last of the four dash vents. I saved the easiest for last, the driver’s side, and it was much easier to remove and reinstall. HOWEVER, getting the fins to stay in the ring while trying to fabricate a working solution to interconnect them all was a little bit more of a problem. After 10 years the pieces were just too worn but I was able to use some bubble gum, bailing wire, and 100 mile and hour tape and now I have a fully functional vent that no one can tell was put together with wire :-) Should last for another 15 years, hopefully the car will too!


The Element is the first car I’ve had since the 69 Camaro that I actually enjoy puttering around with. Lot of fun.

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Aug 22

Center Air Vents


Like all used cars, the Element needed a little work and one of the things that needed to be repaired or replaced were the air vents.  The horizontal and vertical fins for all four air vents are loose and the airflow can not be directed. So…………

Seemed like a simple enough problem to fix, 4 days and two fabricated parts later it’s finally back together.

First problem appeared when I removed the two center vents. They both come out as one unit and as I was removing them from the dash, I heard something fall back into the dash. This turned out to be the piece that connect the right center vertical fins together. Then, as I was removing the wiring the hazard light connector broke. Once I was able to remove the center dash section I was able to see that the left center vent fin connector was also broken.

I have to make two small pieces and I’m thinking no big deal. While standing in the kitchen taking a closer look to get a general idea of the vents work, I just happen to see this little tab. Just like any four year old, l push up on it and BING, 14 different pieces are all over my kitchen floor. I pick up the pieces and call it a night.

Takes me a little while to figure out which fins go where and how the side connectors work. Then it takes a couple of days of trial and error to find a material that works well when I fabricate the vertical fins connector. Once I found the “right” material it’s only about a 20 min job, while watching tv, to make and connect the fins.

Little super glue on the warning light connector and 10 minutes later, it’s done!

Now to get the sides vents working!

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Aug 04

Interior Work Today

Upholstery Repaired!


Found a little shop in Costa Mesa “Leo’s” and was able to get the seats repaired at a very reasonable price.



Driver's seat before

Driver’s seat before

After Driver

Driver’s seat after repairs

Passenger seat before

Passenger seat before

Passenger seat after repairs

Passenger seat after repairs


Took about 5 hours and cost less than decent seat covers. Now to clean the seats and treat with some scotch guard.


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Jul 24

Nerf Bars

Nerf Bars


Finally got the Nerf Bars installed, had to pick one of the hottest days of the year but got it done.
The first side, drivers side, was a bear. Couldn’t get to one of the bolts to tighten, one nut came stripped, and being the first side I thought I wasn’t ever going to get finished.

Took a break before I started the second side and wasn’t sure I was going back out and finish today! Forced myself to after getting something to eat and drink, I was starting to crash and had the shakes.

Anyway, got the second one done without a hitch and it told considerably less time.

I like the looks, but really got them to make it easier for Linda to get in and out.


Installed 7/24/14

Installed 7/24/14


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Jun 27

Couple of items

STILL loving the Element :-)

Checked everything under the hood and other than changing the air filter alls good. Hard to believe the cars in as good of shape as it is (knock on wood).

Installed an OBD II engine diagnostic gismo and it’s working pretty well. I’m still going through various android apps to see which one I like the best, but this sure was a lot cheaper than the $100 + solution.


Seats had some wear, drivers side closest to the door was starting to crack and a seam on the passenger’s side had ripped. I purchased some tape at REI that’s for repairing tents etc. Put the tape on so it wouldn’t get any worse and ordered some seat covers from Coverking. The tape worked like a champ, especially on cloth, and the covers are suppose to fit well so I’m looking forward to those being delivered and putting them on.


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