West Coast Report 31st Edition by John Gilbert

From Here to Infiniti — A Royal Flush — Want to Get on TV?

The phone rang and there was a pretty little female voice at the other end — “Hi are you John Gilbert, this is Christy from Infiniti, and we have your QX50 ready for a test drive.”

Huh… this is John Gilbert, what’s a X-250, and did you say you’re from Infinity speakers? — “No, this is Christy, at Infiniti automobiles, you contacted us a while back with a request to checkout a QX50 from the press fleet to do a road test article.”

I did? — “Yes, you did… is this John Gilbert, the automotive journalist?” Yes, I’m John Gilbert, and I’m an automotive journalist. “This is Christy at Infiniti automobiles, and you requested an Infiniti QX50 to conduct a road test?”

OK, I think I know what’s happening here. There’s a motor-journalist up in Minnesota named John Gilbert that writes for a newspaper, and does some web stuff www.newcarpicks.com . How did you get my cell number, was it through SEMA? www.sema.org  I don’t remember Christy’s reply, but I could tell by her voice she was anxious to get off the phone, and call the other guy.

Now, all of sudden my brain starts to work. Gee, it’d be really cool to get my hands on a new Infiniti test car. Christy, I do road tests how’s about giving me one of those X-250s and I run it up to the Valley of Fire and then over to Death Valley? Hey, the SEMA show is coming up real soon, I could piggyback in an article about that too.

I wasn’t sure I was making a strong enough impression with Christy, so I laid on a little more steam. Christy, I’ve been a magazine editor five times, and have contributed to over 20 automotive titles.

I’ve worked with Ford, Honda, Harley-Davidson, and Victory many times.

I’m sure I’ve got as big an audience as that guy in Minnesota has.

I wish I recorded my phone calls, I’d like to review Christy’s reply, and confirm if I got the bum’s rush, or who knows maybe I’ll be getting an Infiniti QX50 to conduct a road test. I don’t usually get cocky, but my final words to Christy were if you decide you want to do something with the real John Gilbert, give me a call.

I can just hear “Minnesota” John Gilbert when Infiniti reaches him, and imagine if they mentioned they got a hold of me first. “Oh yeah-you betcha, that guy out in California is like an evil twin, a doppleganger to say the least. He’d probably drive your car through the Valley of Fire, over to Death Valley, and then end up in Las Vegas at the SEMA show.”

If anyone thinks once things get archived on the Internet they live forever, guess again “Little” Bubba. A year ago I found Zabriskie Point the movie in its entirety, and watched it all the way through. Today I did a search and all that came up was a crapper full of Part 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10…

Uh, in the interest of journalistic integrity I’ll try the search again, only this time use Google, instead of Bing. Bing-bang, wang-dang, the Klu-Klux-clang. OK, here it is you can find Zabriskie Point in its entirety using Google, yahoo!

Never referred to as a pointy-nosed stink-waffle, or any other derogatory nicknames, “Old Dinah” the steam tractor replaced the 20-Mule wagon train. TV show narrator Ronald Reagan went on to become the Governor of California, later President of the United States, and “Shut Down” was a song performed by the Beach Boys.

Gotta go, I think I hear Christy pulling up with my Infiniti — see y’all in Vegas!

—   John Gilbert

*As a sidebar, I’d like to mention I can’t recall the name of the young lady that called me from Inifniti, so I named her Christy. Also I have a tremendous amount of respect for the other John Gilbert’s work, and I hope he sees the humor in this. Infiniti really did call me first.*

 A Royal Flush

Tips for before Sandblasting

Its not on the newsstand yet, but I wrote a tech article recently for Street Rodder that features the Eastwood Master Blaster Dual-Blaster. The article Blast With Both Barrels was more about informing the DIY guy how to media blast on-the-quick, than it was about how to get your equipment prepared before you start. So, please follow along as I drink lots of coffee, watch TV, and crank out the following story about… Aw crap, where’s the “God stick” I can’t watch TV unless I have my “God stick.”

OK, I’m going to go brew up a big pot, and then we’ll get started. If you ever get a chance go sniff the air around the Folgers Coffee plant in KCMO while they’re roasting coffee. The only that smells better is riding a motorcycle, or driving an open car past a brewery while they’re brewing beer. Those are some of the good smells in life.

Speaking of smells, should I do a stain resistance test on the Infiniti seats by spilling Souvlaki sauce from the Mad Greek in Baker, CA? It’ll be on my way to Pahrump, to pickup a small-block Chevy motor, and throw it in the trunk. Dang it Skip, you said you drained the oil out of that motor. OK, no problem. Procedure #3812S, stain removal from an Infiniti trunk mat, adjacent carpet, and check for conspicuous absence of drain holes. Can you soda-blast carpet to get it clean, we’re gonna find out. (Mad Greek Baker, CA. Skip’s ’36 Plymouth behind my ’05 GMC)

I’ve been using this air-compressor to run a bead-blasting cabinet since it was new. The most voracious consumer of compressed-air amongst pneumatic tools is media blasting. So that means you have to make sure your air-compressor is up to the task, or you’re going to blow it up. Blowup means either you’ll burnout the electric motor, or cook the air pump because the air-compressor is undersized, or it hasn’t been properly maintained. If the air-compressor you have doesn’t meet the minimum output requirements specified by the blaster you intend to use get ready for some aggravation. The V-Twin direct-drive air-compressor shown here I’ve owned since 1983. I attribute achieving 30-years of trouble free performance to proper maintenance… most of the time.

Its not a good idea to put just any lubircating oil into the sump of an air-compressor pump. Back before the age of Internet searches I figured Mobil 1 10W-30W synthetic would work fine as a lubricating oil. I always kept clean oil within the Red Bullseye, and things worked great. In preparation for the Street Rodder article, and my recent acquisition of the Eastwood Master-Blaster I knew I was going to push things to the limit. I found the oil specifications for Campbell Hausfeld compressors online, and was pleased to discover that either Mobil 1, or Royal Purple was recommended by Campbell Hausfeld. Automotive oils that are not synthetic are not recommended. Royal Purple advertises its products reduce operating temperatures, so I dug out my Craftsman digital thermometer to see if I could prove, or disprove its claim. This photo shows the cylinder head at room temperature.

Here’s the cylinder head temperature at its highest point before the oil change.

My compressor is set to shutoff at a touch over 150-psig. Just before the compressor shutoff I took the temperature reading shown above.

There are lots of good reasons to drain the moisture (bilge water) from the air-compressor tank (receiver) every day that it is used. Tank corrosion (rust), and the increased odds of contaminated air are two reasons.

All that’s needed to change compressor oil is a tool to remove the crankcase drain plug, and a funnel to pour the oil back in.

As things go this is not a lot of moisture to be drained from a properly maintained air-compressor. Get ready for a flood if its been awhile since you drained your compressor. Have a bath towel ready to mop it up.

Why guess at it if the oil you chose will be sufficient? Royal Purple refines a lubricating oil formulated exclusively for air-compressors.

It looks easy here, but its a royal pain to pour oil into a Campbell Hausfeld Freedom II compressor. Draining it wasn’t a lot of fun either.

Overfilling the crankcase of an air-compressor pump results in excess oil being pumped into the air tank thusly contaminating the air. Thusly, I like that word, it sounds like Something a guy named Sylvester would say.

Not exactly a UL Lab, I’m not sure my test methods were as controlled as they should have been, but here’s my highest temperature with Royal Purple in the crankcase. Higher cylinder head temperatures generate more condensation in the air supply. When it cools off it turns into water, and that’s where the water you drain out comes from.

I’d owned this Webster regulator / moisture trap since I bought it new at Silver Automotive Ltd. in Calgary in 1973. In my attempt to overdrive the Master Blaster, and see what happened to cylinder head temperatures I blew the poor thing up, RIP. It whistled like a bloated roadkill cow gut-shot with a Savage 30-30. I disassembled it, and discovered a ruptured diaphragm. I checked with Grainger if they sold replacements. No chancee Nancy, the sales guy offered me the most expensive SOB I could have ever imagined, and I damn near plunged through the glass door running out of the joint.

Slow-forward two days, and here’s the cheapest thing I could buy locally. I got the thing from Harbor Freight, appearance wise its crap compared to my old Webster, but its rated to 160 Psi.

It doesn’t matter how much trust you have in your air-regulator there should always be a shutoff valve in place to relieve air pressure from the regulator diaphragm. Notice I installed a quick-connect that bypasses the regulator to deliver full-pressure.

Capable of mixing, or switching from soda to abrasive media merely by opening and closing valves the Eastwood Master Blaster comes standard with a built-in moisture separator. Moisture from any source in the air supply causes clumping of the media. Think of clumped media as you would constipation.

Eastwood offers a selection of funnels with built-in screens to filter media before as its poured. This 8-inch top funnel works great for pouring media into the blaster.

Larger top and bottom opening; this funnel works perfect for pouring media into storage containers at a faster rate than the 8-inch funnel featured above. Please note it is important to store media properly so as not to attract moisture, or other foreign elements that will diminish the enjoyment of Eastwood abrasive blasters.

Want to Be on New Gearhead Reality TV Show?

Auto Designers here’s your chance to compete on a new reality TV show, and follow in the footsteps of famous designers like Chip Foose, Harley Earl, and Homer Simpson, creator of the Homer. The producers of the show “Project Runway” and creators of “The Real World” and “Keeping up with Kardashians” are currently casting for a new show with the working title of “Revved Up.”
 Revved Up will feature approximately 10 skilled auto designers as they compete to impress one of the country’s leading car manufacturers. The winning auto designer will receive a six-month consultancy with a specialty-vehicle manufacturer, a new car and a $100,000 consultancy payment. 
Please note: you must be at least 21 to enter this competition.

Want to Be on New Gearhead Reality TV Show?

If you wish to enter, e-mail autocasting@bunim-murray.com, along with your name, phone number and city in which you live. To be considered, all submissions should include several recent photos showcasing your auto design work and a short bio. E-mail submissions must include “CITY” in the subject line.

Leave a Reply

Back to top button