Tech Tips

*New* Harbor Freight Jack Stand Recall

July 2020 Update:
Harbor Freight added a fourth jack stand to their recall list. This jack stand has been recalled because of the weld splitting (breaking). This new recall is for the Pittsburgh 3 ton jack stand number 56373.

The May 2020 recall applies to three-ton and six-ton heavy-duty steel jack stands with these 3 item numbers:
56371
61196
61197

The number on the three-ton units can be found on the label at the top while the six-ton stands have their numbers printed in the yellow section of the label found on the base. These jack stands carry the Pittsburgh Automotive brand name. These jack stands have the potential to disengage their support pawl under shifting weight, causing the stand to drop suddenly. Based on the NHTSA filing, the recall applies to approximately 454,000 jack stands made between 2013 and 2020.

Harbor Freight urges anybody in possession of affected jack stands to return them to a store in exchange for a gift card equal to the current shelf price of comparable models. Any unsold jack stands covered by the recall have been removed from stores. Owners may contact Harbor Freight customer service at (800) 444-3353 or email: recall@harborfreight.com

MGB/GT A/C Installation by John Rachow

1974 MGB/GT Chrome Bumper.
On a summer day in North Carolina this is one HOT ride. That’s why I decided to install air conditioning in it.

I bought a used MOSS Motors A/C kit off Craigslist. The MOSS motors kit is specifically manufacture for MGB’s. The previous owner had removed it from an MGB/GT after only one season of use. He had everything packaged up in original boxes, and had all the hardware bagged and labeled. A new drier was included with the sale.

Installation began with the draining of coolant and removing the radiator and core support. This allowed for removal of belts and alternator. Installed compressor in alternator location, new brackets above compressor. Reinstalled alternator and belts.

Reinstalled radiator support and radiator. Also installed new fan shroud for more air flow through condenser and radiator (recommended by MOSS). To accomplish this oil cooler needed to be relocated, and new location for oil lines below radiator support. Oil line holes will be used for A/C lines.

Next moved on to the installation of the evaporator in passenger’s side foot well. Mounting bracket used existing holes in firewall. Installed evaporator (twice), A/C lines had to be connected before mounting and passed through firewall. Mounted fan and compressor switches. Next installed four A/C ducts and vents, limited space back of dash.

Location of Relays and fuses in the wiring harness found and mounted. Connection of power wire to starter terminal made. Wire to keyed fuse made. Ground connection made. Temperature probe mounted in radiator, completed electrical work.

Installation of A/C lines from condenser to compressor, from condenser to evaporator, from evaporator to compressor were made.

Filled radiator with water and antifreeze. Topped off oil because of cooler relocation.

Once installation was complete (approx. 15 hours), I had Gary Nye of Basically British, charge the A/C system. Have not had the opportunity to really try it out yet but it does blow cold air.

So now being a HOT ride, it is also a COOL ride.

2019 – Ten Millionth Mini Produced

Mini Cooper plant in Oxford, England Commemorates the Ten Millionth MINI produced.
Article written by Alex Tock, August 24, 2019 – Bimmer Life

MINIs have been rolling off the production line at the plant in Oxford for over 60 years now. From 1959 until 2000, 5,300,000 of the first series were produced there, and in that time, the world transitioned to embracing the then-unique transverse front-engine, front-wheel drive layout first made fun and nimble in a MINI. After 2000, when BMW revitalized the marque, the model, which had been reinterpreted for a new century, also began being produced at the site, which celebrated its 100th anniversary back in 2013. In the time since BMW has owned MINI, several million more have originated from BMW MINI Plant Oxford, as it is officially known, and earlier this year, the milestone of 10,000,000 units was reached.

MINI had been planning for the occasion for a while, and also honored decades of production with a 60th Anniversary model. It was one of these special editions that was the 10,000,000th unit produced, and soon after rolling off the line, it came face-to-face with the first one ever made. This meeting was followed up by a convoy which led to Bristol, where thousands of MINI fans celebrated the uniquely British brand’s history at the International Mini Meeting on Sunday, August 11.

BMW MINI Plant Oxford has been around since 1913, and produced various Morris models from then up until 1958, the year before the BMC Mini arrived. During the early 1960s, Plant Oxford employed nearly 30,000 people who worked to produce a myriad of different models. Over the years, the facility has constructed vehicles for wide array of British marques, including Wolseley, Riley, Austin, Triumph, Rover, and Sterling among others, in addition to Honda.

Beyond complete, finished vehicles, Plant Oxford has also built complete knockdown kits that were then sent around the world to countries that lacked a developed manufacturing base. During the late 1960s, roughly 40% of the plant’s was consumed with building knockdown kits, which would be subject to final assembly in 21 other facilities around the world. From 1913 to 2013, the plant produced 11,650,000 vehicles.

Over the decades, plant staff has declined considerably from a high of 28,000 during the early 60’s. Today, BMW MINI Plant Oxford is a central component of BMW’s manufacturing presence in the U.K., working with the Hams Hall engine factory, which BMW built shortly after committing itself to MINI, and the stamping facility in Swindon. As recently as 2013, a staff of 3,700 worked to produce 900 MINIs daily. In 2016, production at Plant Oxford totaled over 210,000 units. – Alex Tock

[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]

About The Author – Alex Tock
A member of the San Diego Chapter of the BMW CCA, Alex Tock is also a prolific writer for the popular car auction website Bring a Trailer, and moonlights as an operations administrator for a local small business. His current garage includes a 135i Dinan S2 and a 1985 325e coupe, but something new (or old) is always on the horizon. Alex enjoys light wrenching on his fleet, drinking local San Diego beer, and sharing his passion for all things automotive, mechanical, and technical through writing.

Link to Bimmer Life online magazine article
Bimmer_Life

NC Emissions Inspections Change

As of December 1, 2018, vehicle emissions testing will no longer be required in 26 North Carolina counties including: Henderson, Haywood and Rutherford counties.

Emissions inspections remain a requirement in 48 of 100 North Carolina counties including: Buncombe county.

Vehicle safety inspections are still required for registration renewal in all 100 North Carolina counties.
Exemptions:
Vehicles manufactured prior to 1995 are exempt from emissions inspections.
Vehicles more than 35 years old are exempt from annual safety inspections.

“This change is only possible because of the strides we’ve made in improving air quality throughout the state of North Carolina,” said Assistant Secretary for the Environment Sheila Holman.  The process to remove the emissions inspection requirement in these counties started more than four years ago. The Division of Air Quality determined that ending inspections in these rural counties would not negatively impact air quality or interfere with the attainment status or maintenance of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards.
For more information:
NC Department of Environmental Quality Certification Letter
NC Division of Air Quality Inspection and Maintenance page: Inspection / Maintenance Program
NC Division of Motor Vehicles: Emissions & Safety Inspections