Adjusting the Windshield Washer Spray on an Aston Martin DB9

Not everything on an Aston Martin needs to be complicated. One of the simplest (and essential) tasks we can perform ourselves is to adjust the Windshield Washer Fluid Sprayers so they are properly aimed.   While often overlooked, this is a serious safety issue when you consider it.   Being able to wash off debris that splashes up and obscures your vision while driving  is a real necessity.  Checking this should be part of every annual maintenance event, but it can even be accomplished road side when you discover they aren’t working as needed on a trip.   Let me show you how. Continue reading “Adjusting the Windshield Washer Spray on an Aston Martin DB9”

Aston Martin V12 Vantage Production Numbers – A Geek’s Guide

Can you remember when you last took notice of Jeremy Clarkson?

Shall I tell you? I bet it was the final feature of the final episode of series 13 of Top Gear, August 2009. Are you with me now? If not, take a 5 minute break and watch it here.

How on earth did JC record a full 4 minute mini feature film and yet managed only to utter 82 words. Has any other car before or indeed since, managed to virtually silence Jezza?

After highlighting the DBS V12 in AMQ Summer 2018 (read that article here), it is now time to look more closely at the V12 Vantage (VH280 to VH287B, six-speed manual 2010MY to 2013MY).  Same engine, same gearbox, same brakes, same interior. It is as near as makes no odds, the same car but in a more compact package. Continue reading “Aston Martin V12 Vantage Production Numbers – A Geek’s Guide”

Changing the Windscreen Washer Fluid Reservoir in an Aston Martin DB9

My DB9 would piddle washer fluid on my foot each time I’d top up the reservoir.   Kind of embarrassing [also reinforcing my Sweetie’s nick name for the car – Princess Piddles].  I knew she had the problem from the day I purchased her.  I saw the leak the first time I topped off the fluid, and in one of my earliest video’s I spotted a crack near the top of the plastic tank. As it turns out, a cracked tank is a very common issue with the DB9, Vantage and other Gaydon models. The leak was not catastrophic, it still held 90% of the fluid and certainly functioned, and I could have just left it this way indefinitely. But, you know me, I figured if it was a problem on my car, it might be a problem on yours, so covering how to change out the tank would help us all. Let me share a few of my tips as I show you how to tackle this yourself. Continue reading “Changing the Windscreen Washer Fluid Reservoir in an Aston Martin DB9”

Changing the Door Gas Struts in an Aston Martin DB9

I thought it was just another sign of getting older.  I was having a hard time getting out of my Aston Martin DB9.   I’d be seated in the car and it felt like I had to push the door open and hold it up while extricating myself from the car.  Turns out it wasn’t me, it was the Door Check Arm Gas Struts were getting weak.

The Swan Wing doors are one of the distinct features of the DB9.  The doors open ‘up’ at an angle of about 12 degrees, creating a Swan like look.  Unlike other road cars with normal horizontal doors, the DB9 requires Gas Struts to help open and hold open a door.

My car is 15 years old, and Gas Struts don’t perform well forever.  They have seals and begin to loose pressure very gradually (getting weaker).  You won’t notice it right away, but eventually the door may start to not hold itself open.  One day that Swan is going to bite you in the ass, and you’ll know its time to change them. Continue reading “Changing the Door Gas Struts in an Aston Martin DB9”

Changing the Hood Struts on an Aston Martin DB9

During my recent 1 year service I had the hood (bonnet) up while I was raising the car to get under her to drop the oil. There was a little wiggle/jiggle to the hood as the car went up. Then SLAM! The hood slammed shut unabated from full open. Holy crap – scared the jeebers out of me.

Other than raising my heart rate, this could have damaged a lot of things. The hood ‘stops’ are on the plastic front grill surround, it could easily have broken those off closing with such force. If I had left something sitting on the engine or slam panel (funnel, tools) it would have slammed hard against those and could have dented the hood (or my back!).

What’s going on here is that the two hydraulic gas struts that assist in lifting the hood, and keeping it open, are getting weak.  Eventually the seals begin to leak a bit and they no longer have the force they used to.  This is normal behavior as a car ages, and gets even worse as winter closes in. The good news is that replacing them is a fairly simple process and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Let me show you how. Continue reading “Changing the Hood Struts on an Aston Martin DB9”

Changing the Trunk Gas Struts in an Aston Martin DB9

SLAM! WTF?? The trunk (boot) lid on my 2005 DB9 was just hammering closed. It’s been like that somewhat from when I purchased it 7 years ago, but recently it wouldn’t even hold itself open any longer. At this point it changed from a nuisance to a hazard. Reaching in for something and the boot lid comes down on top of you. Continue reading “Changing the Trunk Gas Struts in an Aston Martin DB9”

A Chat with Steve – Interviewed by Bamford Rose

Mike from Bamford Rose

Recently I had a Chat with Mike from Bamford Rose.  Many Aston enthusiasts might already know Mike from his popular YouTube videos “Forum Chat”.   I did my best to learn some David Letterman interviewing skills and got to ask him about his background, his time at Aston, the origins of Bamford Rose, and what’s ahead for Mike.  You can find a link to that Interview here.

Mike wanted to turn the tables and have a chance at interviewing me.  In this video we’ll discuss a bit of my background, how I became a car guy, the origins of Aston1936, discuss a few projects, and learn a about a few of my favorite things Aston related. Continue reading “A Chat with Steve – Interviewed by Bamford Rose”

A Chat with Mike from Bamford Rose

Mike from Bamford Rose

Recently I had a great opportunity to have a Chat with Mike from Bamford Rose.

Many Aston enthusiasts might already know Mike from his popular YouTube videos “Forum Chat”. It was one of those videos that got me interested in what he had to share. I watched one, then two, and soon I was chain smoking them. They are a great source of Aston knowledge. Continue reading “A Chat with Mike from Bamford Rose”

Checking the Automatic Transmission Fluid Temperature in an Aston Martin DB9

Why the heck would you care what your Automatic Transmission Fluid temperature was in your DB9?   Most  DB9’s, DBS and Rapides between 2004 and 2014 were fitted with a 6-speed  ZF HP626 automatic transmission.  I’ve written an extensive article about the transmission here, and it also concludes that the transmission fluid should be changed at least every 8 years.   If you are going to change you transmission fluid (check out my video on how to do that here), or, merely want to check the level is correct (check this article), you need to do this when the fluid is between 30°C and 50°C with the engine running and idling.    Too cold or too hot, you’ll have an incorrect level.   Let me show you how you can check it properly. Continue reading “Checking the Automatic Transmission Fluid Temperature in an Aston Martin DB9”

Installing the Rear Subframe Crossmember in an Aston Martin DB9

The Aston Martin DB9 has a very cool drivetrain support system. At the front the engine and suspension system is all mounted to a subframe. At the rear the transmission, differential and suspension system is mounted to a rear subframe. Connecting the Front and Rear is the ‘Torque Tube’ that comes off the back of the engine and links to the front of the transmission. All together you can literally drop the entire power train out of the car by disconnecting the subframes. Why talk about this now?

At the rear of the car if you need to do some work on the transmission or suspension, it’s all mounted to that rear subframe. One component of the rear subframe is a lower crossmember that links the bottom right and left sides together making it more rigid, and also providing something to mount the rear plastic aerodynamic undertray to.  I had removed this cross member to perform a full transmission fluid, filter and seal service (check out my article on that here).  This article is about how to properly reinstall that crossmember after you’ve completed your other service work.

Continue reading “Installing the Rear Subframe Crossmember in an Aston Martin DB9”