Installed My Cold Air Intake

I'm continuing to make my way through the Make My Car A Race Car plan, and until today I had: Upgraded the brakes Installed a great big intercooler Installed a stiffer rear motor mount (courtesy of Jake, who was nice enough to replace my cracked charge pipe while I was in Europe, and also install the mount so it wouldn't crack again) The next step was to install my cold air intake. Why a cold air intake? Well, because I can't really tune the thing with the stock intake, and that's the goal. This is the last real "performance& »

Prague, Our Last City In Europe

I began my day in Prague with, I’ll admit, some trepidation. This was the first place I’d been that wasn’t explicitly… western, and lacking the Romantic and Germanic word forms I’m used to, I really couldn’t understand anything. Usually, I can hazard my way through what something means, but when the word for “attention” or “warning” is “pozor”, well, you’re kinda screwed, Kit was leaving that day, so I got up early, and headed out with him to explore the city before anyone else was up. It did not rain once the whole time »

Pilsen, A Pleasant Detour On The Way To Prague

After the tremendous 8 hours that was Oktoberfest, we awoke the next day to venture out of Germany to the Czech Republic, where we’d spend the last day of our trip. Jason had returned Peugeot Van the day before, and he met us at the Airbnb in our new Mercedes-Benz van. Was it better than the old, crappy van? Well, the engine and suspension almost certainly were, but the interior was… somehow worse. Kit, who was riding in the front seat, in the middle, at least didn’t have to worry about having the shifter hitting his left leg, »

Munich, Where Oktoberfest Happens

After our brief sojourn to Castle Wolfenstein (probably), we continued on our way to Munich. If there's one thing I've learned in Europe, it's that for whatever reason English-speaking countries totally bastardize names for no good reason. For example, Munich is spelled München in Germany, but for whatever reason we anglicize it to nonsense. Why can't we just use the right spelling for things? I can understand if we're talking about a completely different alphabet, like cyrillic, but I don't get it for most words. Anyway, we followed all the München signs to Munich, and got there in the evening. »

That Castle That Fairy Tale Castles Are Based On

We went there! On the way from Bamberg to Munich, we went and visited Neuschwanstein Castle, the castle that a lot of fairy tale castles are based on. It was a bit of a drive out of the way, but it gave us a good opportunity to see the Alps, as well as one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. This, and the subsequent drive to Munich, would be my last drives of the trip, since we'd be turning in Van #1 in exchange for a different van more... suitable for the Czech Republic? Anyway, we had some pretty »

Beer and Castles and Meat in Bamberg

Today we spent the day in Bamberg, Germany, a city that is, in its entirety, a UNESCO world heritage site. It deserves it! The section we're staying in is the "new" city, and sure enough it feels like a modern city. BUT just a kilometer or two away lies the old city, and going there is like stepping back in time. This section avoided a lot of the damage that destroyed other German cities during WWII, and it shows. You're walking along city streets and you're like "oh, these must be historical re-enactment sites, like Plimoth Plantation& »

We Explored A Cool Old German Castle

I got up early during our last day in Köln, so I could go for a run. With all the walking we've been doing, I haven't had the energy to run like I should be, but I am trying to do it every other day. Our Airbnb was only a couple of kilometers from the Rhine, so I decided to make my way over there, since I figured it'd be flat, and I'd have room to go at an easy pace. Once I got there, zero regrets. The river was very pretty in the dawn light, with commuters, runners, and »

Bruges, Brussels, Aachen, and Köln

On the 5th day of Europe Trip 2017™, I find myself in Köln, in an Airbnb. Everyone else is out drinking and/or eating... somewhere, but after 5 days of being around other people, I needed a little bit of downtime. Perfect opportunity to write about the past couple of days! So that's what I'm doing, while drinking seltzer, and sitting next to a fan. After spending the day in Amsterdam with Kit, we made our way to Bruges on the train. Technically two trains, since we stopped and changed in Antwerp. Trains are exciting The plan was to arrive »

Made It To Amsterdam

So, I've finally made it to another (mainland) continent. Flying out Wednesday night at 10 pm, I arrived first in Frankfurt, Germany, after a 6 and a half hour flight. I'd never flown on a wide body jet before, and it was pretty comfortable! I slept probably about 2 hours total, which isn't bad for me, honestly, and read while I wasn't asleep. In Frankfurt, I got a coffee, irritating the German man serving me. Or maybe I just thought we was irritated, since all Germans sound angry all the time. On the second leg of the flight, Frankfurt -& »

A Big, Shiny New Intercooler

All of my new parts came 2 weeks early (thanks Cobb!), so I decided that this weekend I'd get to installing them. I ended up ordering a Bigger intercooler Cold air intake Rear motor mount Cat-back exhaust The first three are performance modifications. The stock Focus ST is pretty great, but it runs a little hot, and if you were to try and tune it (which, I am, with a Cobb Accessport), you need to upgrade some of the components to let in more air, and cooler air. This is where the intercooler and the cold air intake come in. »