Changing the Front Position Lamp Bulb in an Aston Martin DB9

I hadn’t even noticed that my DB9 had one of these until a reader of this blog asked me how to change it out.   In each headlight cluster there is a small ‘Position Lamp’ that is always on when the lights are on.  You can see it here in this picture.  If you peer through the glass when the lights are off, you’ll notice the bulb is actually BLUE, even though when it’s on it appears mostly white.  Like any bulb they can burn out, and eventually one of mine did.   Is it the end of the world?  No, but one you notice it all I can think of is that it’s a one eyed pirate.   Changing this bulb isn’t trivial.   As you can see it’s right at the very front most area of the headlight pod and there is no easy access to it.   As you will learn in this article, it’s 99% prep getting to it, and 1% changing it.  Read on to learn how. Continue reading “Changing the Front Position Lamp Bulb in an Aston Martin DB9”

How to Replace the Wheel Center Caps in an Aston Martin DB9

Rolling along slow in or out of the garage I could hear a quite ‘Rattle – Rattle – Rattle’ in my DB9.  Not like a loose nut and bolt, but a quieter shuffling rattle.  While I was washing the car one day I finally found the source – the Wheel Center Cap on one rim was loose, and could flop around making the noise.

Epoxy Repair to back of tabs. Yes, that is a Ford logo on there too.

The center caps are a beautiful painted piece with the Aston Martin wings on them, but they are still just made out of plastic.  They just press/snap fit into the center hole of each wheel.  13 years in the California sun and heat takes its toll, and the fingers on the back of the caps weren’t springy any more.  Each time the tires have to be changed they need to be removed, so that’s at least two or three times.  Worse yet, I eventually discovered the one in question had been damaged, and a quick fix with some epoxy employed to hold the cracked tabs in place.  DPO (damn previous owner).

Changing them is a pretty simple task, and here’s how to do it. Continue reading “How to Replace the Wheel Center Caps in an Aston Martin DB9”

EBC Red Stuff Brake Pads SUCK for Street use in an Aston Martin DB9

“Squeeeeeaaaaaallllll”   “Squeeeaaaal”   “Squeal”   You better get used to that noise if you are looking to run a set of EBC Red Stuff brake pads in your DB9.   During my recent full brake service I figured I’d try something new instead of running another set of Porterfield R4-S pads.  I looked around at the various options, and found the EBC Red Stuff pads were a fair bit cheaper, so I bought a set off Amazon.  The savings were notable, about $250 USD for both sets of front and rears vs. $370 buying Porterfield’s.  Big mistake – and one you can now avoid making. Continue reading “EBC Red Stuff Brake Pads SUCK for Street use in an Aston Martin DB9”

Inspecting the Sway Bar/Anti-Roll Bar Bushings in an Aston Martin DB9

Part of both the 1 year and 2 year annual service routines for your DB9 should be inspecting the suspension components.  The rubber bushings that hold the sway bar (a.k.a. anti-roll bar or stabilizer bar) in place can begin to wear out, and when they do your handling over bumps and in the corners can degrade.  Checking the bushings is easy enough once you have access. Continue reading “Inspecting the Sway Bar/Anti-Roll Bar Bushings in an Aston Martin DB9”

Personalized Plate AML 1936

When my plates were up for renewal I succumbed to the urge to get a customized plate.  I know there is a stigma surrounding vanity plates, I generally eschew plates like “MeBallr” and “HotStuff”.  I wanted to go with something related to this blog.  She’s now sporting her new California plate ‘AML 1936’ to go along with her heritage and this blog.  It’s the short form of “Aston Martin Lagonda DB9 car number 1936”, and similar to this blogs name Aston1936.     Continue reading “Personalized Plate AML 1936”

Changing the Rear Sway Bar / Anti-Roll Bar Bushings in an Aston Martin DB9

If you’ve inspected your rear sway bar / anti-roll bar bushings in your DB9 and discovered they need changing (click here to learn how), this article is for you.  The good new is that the process is pretty simple once you have access to them, but take note below of the special tightening procedure.  Read on to learn how. Continue reading “Changing the Rear Sway Bar / Anti-Roll Bar Bushings in an Aston Martin DB9”

Changing the Front Sway Bar / Anti-Roll Bar Bushings in an Aston Martin DB9

In another article I have already written about my pursuit to find and repair a “Creak-Squeak” from the front suspension of my DB9 that was driving me nuts.  During the investigation of that issue (which ultimately required changing the Front Upper Control Arms), I wanted to be sure the squeak wasn’t coming from my front sway bar (anti-roll bar) bushing.  If you’ve inspected your bushings (click here to learn how) and they need changed, this article is for you.  The good new is that the process is pretty simple once you have access to them, but take note below of the special tightening procedure.  Read on to learn how. Continue reading “Changing the Front Sway Bar / Anti-Roll Bar Bushings in an Aston Martin DB9”

The Paint on Early Aston Martin DB9’s SUCKS!

Click to see close up image and how chipped it is

My DB9 is a daily driver.  I drive about 5K miles per year, local roads only, no gravel roads, city and highway all the time.  I expect to get the odd nick and chip in the paint like any other car.  But, the paint on my 2005 DB9 is absolutely awful.  If you hit a mosquito with it at 5 mph it chips.  I find it frustrating of course.   I had hopes of using touch up paint to correct it, but on closer inspection during her bath today it seems pretty pointless.  Literally hundreds of tiny pin prick sized chips.  Right now she looks great from 6 feet away, but has acne if you are up close (see the photos). Continue reading “The Paint on Early Aston Martin DB9’s SUCKS!”

Aston Martin V12 Engine Cylinder Numbering

There are 12 cylinders in the V12 under the hood of my 2005 Aston Martin DB9, but I couldn’t find any reference to tell me which cylinder was number 1, and which was number 12.   Does it criss-cross left to right, right to left, or something else?  I scoured the official Aston Martin Workshop Manual – nothing (which is just plain dumb since they reference cylinder numbers within the manual).  I asked on the usual online forums and got a variety of kind guesses from a few people trying to help, and at the same time heard a chorus of people asking the same question.  You know me, this set me on a mission to find out! Continue reading “Aston Martin V12 Engine Cylinder Numbering”

Replacing the Front Suspension Upper Control Arm in an Aston Martin DB9

Suspension creaking over speed bumps

Creak – Creak.  Squeak-Squeak.  When I’ve been driving my DB9 in cooler weather (less than 60°F or 15°C) whenever I would drive over a speed bump, curb or significant bump I would hear a creaking, squeaking noise coming from the front end.  It would happen any time the suspension would have to flex significantly.   While faint and rare at first, over a year or two it was a constant and annoying companion.

If your car is suffering from the same creaking/squeaking issue, or if you need to change your upper ball joint (which is part of the same assembly and not independently replaceable either) then this article will show you what tools and parts you need, and all the steps to change it.   Continue reading “Replacing the Front Suspension Upper Control Arm in an Aston Martin DB9”