We can't help it: we get a new car and we just gotta make it our own. This sometimes includes distasteful and bad mods. But it's ok! We're allowed to learn from our mistakes.
MORE POWER (atx_travis)
The only reason that matters.
I discovered that only 1 barrel of the carb was being used primarily on my 1977 Corolla. So obviously, if I could make both butterflies open all the time then it would make MORE POWER!
Long story short, the throttle sticks wide open on the interstate at ~1am while I’m testing my theory. And I decide the best idea is to simply turn the key off as I’m slowly accelerating past 80mph.
There is a MASSIVE backfire, but otherwise no permanent damage done.
I believe that car was legitimately indestructible.
Truly, I have never seen this before.
Raceland coilovers. The tow hook was sick though.
Actually wait, maybe this wood fence...
NO NO WAIT. Has to be this 6" stack tip slid over my stock dual exhaust outlet.
Regardless, I did love that car.
Cold Air Intakes (Lokiparts)
Class act indeed.
Oh I just thought of one. My first car was a S10 blazer with many questionable modifications but the worst was probably the soup can air intake.
So back when Cold air intakes were the coolest things around I rigged up my throttle body injected blazer with a home made intake, as surprisingly enough nobody made an import style intake. It roughly consisted of a intake hat swiped from a TBI Cadillac from the junkyard, a cheap Autozone cone airfilter and as a means of connecting the two together. A soup can.
I genuinely wish I could go back and kick my younger self for that one. I have a picture of it somewhere but it will probably take a while to dig up as this was back in the film camera era.
At least your windshield was LIT.
I had a Rx7 as a “first” car and I was too broke to fix it let alone modify it. I still wanted to so I bought some LED windshield wiper squirters and hooked them up.
...I am so ashamed.
Ice Cream Man (Mazarin)
You cruel bastard.
This bad boy. A girl I knew in college needed me to help her with something on her car(so long ago I don’t even know what I did, this was around the early 2000s) but my reward was this... thing. At the time, I had a 97 Mitsu Galant that I entered in shows:
So I figured what the hell and wired it up. I had the sound box in my dash and the speaker/horn mounted just inside the grille. As I was buttoning everything up from the install, I hear faint music in the distance.
It was the ice cream man.
Not only did this stupid thing I just installed make animal noises, it had alarm sounds, made laser noises, AND had ice cream truck music. So I jumped in the car and started driving around the neighborhood, and to my twisted delight I saw very, very confused children(and some adults) with money in-hand, looking at this kid in a riced-out family sedan and wondering why their sweet, sugary god had forsaken them.
And on the drive back thru my neighborhood, I got the dirtiest look anyone has ever received from an ice cream man.
Parking Lot Soiree (Mr_Elliott_Man)
Not going to lie, I’m jealous of this van.
In high school, I drove a sky blue ford aerostar. The concept of the van was to make fun of car culture, but also to embrace it wholeheartedly.
It was badge-engineered to oblivion. Although the van started its life as an XLT trim level, our hot glue gun appended that to include Super-turbo-gs-lx-sx-4x4, and whatever else we could peel off of junkyard cars and purchase for a song. The only limitation on the automotive superlatives was the seam between the driver’s door and the front quarterpanel.
It had headlight strobes. Mostly for taco bell parking lot soirees.
It had an interior which left everything to be desired. We were surprised to find that not only was neon leopard print cloth incredibly inexpensive, but that when safety pinned to every seat, it glowed under the black light which blinked rhythmically with the four subwoofers.
It had features that no car had. Our favorite modification was a box fan blade bolted loosely to one end of a three foot long 2x4. The other end slid nicely behind the front license plate, while the fan blade spun furiously when the van approached 50mph.
It had pie plate hubcaps with real centercaps glued into the pie plates.
It had large racing stickers, which were made out of a generic vinyl lettering set. They included “go van go” on the hood, “wheat burner,” and “0-60 in 15.07 minutes.”
I will update with photos when I find them.
“Caution: Hot” (Todd Baker)
This, and I loved it.
On my 1982 Malibu 4 door, I mounted driving lights (out of sight) behind the front and rear bumpers, pointed to shine on the ground, and spray painted the lenses with flourescent green paint to cast a green glow under the car. I could not afford the neon that every one else was getting. It was 1993.
Please tell me the car’s name was Shadowfax and that it showed you the meaning of haste.
Ahh high school me...so full of hope..so idealistic...so freaking stupid.
I had a first gen ‘93 Eclipse I bought for $US500. I had to replace the struts on all four corners because it had more body roll than a 3 person canoe. That, unfortunately, is where the common sense modifications end.
Then came the ugly 20 inch rims, the headliner with the Mitsubishi emblem in foam with red string lights on the boarders, 7 color LED underglow from Autozone and finally, the crowning achievement...A wing that literally stuck out wider than the car. This wing made an STI wing look subdued and classy.
Did I mention it only had the 1.8? And was FWD? I seriously spent 4x what the car was worth just in fast and furious mods!
THE CAR MADE 98 HP FROM THE FACTORY.
ITS 0-60 TIMES WERE MEASURED IN LORD OF THE RING MOVIES (The best I could do was 15 minutes into “The Two Towers”)
The car later blew up as I tried to do a top speed run (Turns out the wing didn’t help...who knew?) and I blew both upper and lower radiator hoses SIMULTANEOUSLY in 4th gear doing 85.
Black Light (Wonderfully Disastrous)
Ignorance is bliss, friend.
I replaced the dome light with a blacklight in my first car (1985 Nissan Sentra Hatchback I paid 300 for). Needless to say, after turning it on, I rushed to get the interior detailed, wishing I had a biohazard suit the whole way there.
This is simply heroic.
I wish there were photos of what I’m about to describe. Long ago, I bought a 1989 Ford Escort GT for $175. It was a great little car, with plenty of get up and go coming straight from it’s 1.9L HO 4 cylinder.
The car was great, but it needed something. The silver racing stripes I’d added with a rattle can just didn’t do it enough justice. One day while sweeping the garage, the dust pan’s handle broke off, and that gave me an idea. After a few modifications, and some more spray paint, that little Ford Escort GT had a functioning hood scoop crafted from a broken dust pan, plumbed to the air box with dryer vent tubing.
I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a car as much as I enjoyed that 89 Ford Escort GT.
Sawzall (Arachnyd OH78)
That’s what being 18 is all about!
Yes. Yes I did. I modded my car with a sawzall. You see convertibles are awesome, but at 18, was too broke for convertible... So at about 2 am my dad runs outside to find me cutting off my damn roof with a sawzall.
This was of course my only car, and so there were some things I failed to consider...
1. Where to park a car with no roof.
2. How to drive a car with no roof to work or school if it rains... Or since this is Ohio... In the snow
3. How to someday sell a car with no roof
4. Structural integrity.
So yes, I cut my roof off with a sawzall. Technically it was probably the dumbest thing I ever did... But oddly I had no real regrets. I was an 18 year old with a freaking convertible!!!
Home Depot (Labcoatguy)
I did not know this was a thing.
Wire mesh grilles made out of Home Depot gutter guard material. To make it worse, I did it to two different cars.
“I Know Better” (Bigger Putz)
Your parents just didn’t understand you! Or zip ties!
I put a cone filter on my “It’s not beige it’s Champagne” Hyundai Elantra back in the day. Of course, people needed to know how cool I was whenever I popped my hood, so I did the rational thing and just removed the stock airbox completely and zip tied that sucker to the intake hose.
What do those silly Korean auto engineers know with their millions of dollars in research and development? I was clearly improving on their design and freeing up many, many horsepowers...
Problem: now the filter was just swinging around wildly because the hose was made of flimsy plastic and not secured to anything. Solution: more zip ties. I zip tied zip ties to zip ties to create a sort of Zipception under my hood to keep that glorious cone filter in check.
All was well until my mom asked me if the car was broken... moms just don’t understand...
...and neither did my dad who was fucking furious and made me change everything back to the way it was as soon as he found out what I did.
Teens In The Desert (Garrett Davis)
This is where innovation happens, everyone.
Out of high school, my buddy and I both had Jeep Wranglers we were building up, and this being Southern California, we of course were out in the desert doing stupid shit every chance we got. Something you could probably guess about the desert.... it’s hot as hell in the summer.
It’s OK, we had a fool proof solution for the heat: Misters.
What could possibly be more awesome than that? Sidewalk restaurants in the desert always have misters and they feel amazing, that would make our desert experience MUCH more enjoyable! So we went to Home Depot and bought everything we needed:
Pesticide jug with hand pump Thin rubber drip irrigation tubing Small mister nozzles (like for strawberry or tomato plants) Misc PVC pipes and fittings 1-fuckton of zipties An on/off valve Misplaced confidence in our engineering prowess
We strapped down the pesticide jug behind the driver’s seat, routed PVC up at an angle so we could reach back and pump the bottle with sufficient spraying pressure with an on/off valve just after the pump, connected and sealed the irrigation tubing up the B-pillar section of the roll bar and then ziptied it secure around the windshield and some to the rear roll bars for passengers, and then put in the misters at ~15" intervals around the whole path.
I’m not gonna lie, for like 15 minutes, it was the greatest thing in the whole world. Minimal leaks, the bottle actually held pressure very well with the valve shut, and maybe 5 pumps would be good for a solid 10 minutes of mist...
...And then it all came crashing down once we actually got to the desert and drove with them on. Just a quick rundown on automotive technology that we hadn’t considered:
Windshield wipers don’t work on the inside of the vehicle.
Once we got above maybe 15mph, the mist went everywhere but on us, and quickly misted up the inside of the windshield, with no reliable way of stopping it from doing so. I was trying to wipe it away with my hands, and then I grabbed a shirt from my bag in the back and tried to use that, but it set in quickly that maybe this plan wasn’t as foolproof as I had once thought.
I stand by the concept, though. Maybe one day I’ll have a dedicated rock crawler with only steel mesh for a windshield or something. Not sure yet. Hey, maybe I should patent this...
I really, really wish I took some shots of it before I ripped it all out. Oh well, have some teen antics instead:
That isn’t the most important thing there ever was?
Supercharging my perfectly great Lexus IS300. It was 2008: POWAAAA and BOOOOSSST were the most important things about a car. And like Brian Spilner, I wanted that Respect. I bought the blower second hand and fabricated custom piping. It never really ran right, but nobody was expecting a supercharger on a 2J, which made it interesting.
Then again, there’s a reason no one supercharges a 2J. It put way too much strain on the accessories and it had to idle stupid high to survive the colder months. I sold the “kit” at a marginal loss, less than a year later, and thoroughly enjoyed the car with basic bolt-ons for several years after.
I mean... I think it’s pretty funny.
On my 1999 Porsche 911, I changed the badge. Instead of reading Carrera on the back, it reads “Douche Carrera” in the Porsche script. Also, the start-up screen for the navigation on my Cayenne reads “Douche Canoe”