Sagging Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9

Difficult to ignore

It all started on hot sunny California summer day when I got into my DB9 after work.  Open the beautiful swan wing door, slide butt into supple sculpted leather seat, and then WTF?!  Why is there fabric on my head?   As you can see in my happy owner photo here my headliner sagged and was draping across my head.  Crap – something else to fix and I am not an upholsterer.

You can’t ignore this problem and it needs immediate attention else it will drive you completely insane as it flaps in the wind with the windows open, or just lays on you and your passengers head when you sit in the car. Continue reading “Sagging Headliner in an Aston Martin DB9”

Dealing with a Cracked Windshield in your Aston Martin DB9

Clack! Awww,  for fucks sake….

That’s exactly what the sounds were inside the cabin when a rock popped up behind a big rig on a local Interstate and bounced off my Aston Martin DB9 windshield.  At first while still driving I didn’t see any chips or cracks, but when I got home to check it out more closely the hit had been near the upper right edge in the black area.  It had already spidered out and a 7 inch split was winding its way out into the passenger area.  About the only good news (being a relative term) was that another inch to the left and it would have chipped/dented the A pillar, a substantially more difficult (and costly) proposition to fix. Continue reading “Dealing with a Cracked Windshield in your Aston Martin DB9”

Happy Birthday! Aston1936.com is 2 years old

Another year has flown by.  This weekend Aston1936 turned officially two years old. The mission has stayed the same since the beginning – share what I learn as I live with my (now 12 year old) DB9 so that other owners can benefit and perhaps take care of their dream cars with just a little less hassle and expense.

Stats

increasing-statsSince last year traffic on the site has nearly tripled.   Two major things happened to contribute to this.   I’ve been fortunate enough now to write for Aston Martin Quarterly Magazine (see the details here), and the “True Costs of a DB9” video I made went sorta viral on YouTube, getting over 100,000 views so far (was probably discovered as a cure for insomnia).   Amazingly 19,000 viewers have read posts 60,000 times.  Currently about 90 people a day view a total of about 250-300 posts.  Viewers are from 132(!) countries all around the world including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Japan and even one viewer from Turks & Caicos.  Just Wow. Continue reading “Happy Birthday! Aston1936.com is 2 years old”

Come to Cars & Coffee

Hello all you Northern California and Nevada Aston Owners!

Just a quick post to invite you to join me at the upcoming Sacramento, California Cars & Coffee on Sunday September 24, 2017.  The Sacramento weather seems to be cooling down a bit so I hope it will be a glorious Sunday to sip a hot beverage and kibitz and oogle over other cars.

It would be great to see another Aston at the event, often I am the only one. Continue reading “Come to Cars & Coffee”

Installing the PCV Valve Vacuum Assembly Harness in an Aston Martin DB9

If you’ve been replacing your PCV Valves on your Aston Martin DB9 to cure an oil build up problem in your intake manifolds (check out my other articles on this) it’s likely you’ve had your PCV Valve Vacuum Harness Assembly removed and in this article I will explain how to properly reinstall it. Continue reading “Installing the PCV Valve Vacuum Assembly Harness in an Aston Martin DB9”

Heading to Japan on Vacation

I am packing up the family and heading to Japan for the next two weeks (through August 12th 2017) .   Sadly we are leaving Princess Piddles (my DB9) behind to fend for herself while we are gone.

A considerable number of readers of this blog are from Japan.  If you are interested in touching base while I am in Japan please leave a comment on this article, would be neat to visit and check out your Aston.   I know Japan is a big place and its not likely we’ll be that close, but you never know.  I’ll be in Tokyo, Aikita and Kyoto during the trip.

While on the plane, I plan on starting to write the next group of articles on the interior headliner sagging issue, plus the removal of all the dash panels, etc.   Should be lots of good stuff in the coming weeks.  Stay tuned!

 

Hey Steve – Where are the articles?!

I haven’t posted as many “How To” fix it articles in the last few months (my apologies) but it was actually due to a deliberate strategy I had to try and spread the word about Aston1936.com and reach more readers/viewers.  Aston Martin DB9 owners are a global community, and there are only about 6,000 of us, so reaching everyone is a bit of a challenge.

When I learned that my first article was being published in Aston Martin Quarterly (AMQ) magazine that mentioned this Blog, I wanted to have something relevant for most ANY Aston owner to read wen they arrived, not a super specific article on how to change a DB9 marker lamp.   Broad appeal.   I also didn’t know exactly when the magazine would start to ship, and even then it’s a global publication and I would need to allow several weeks for it to make it to all corners of the world.

As you’ve probably seen (and are bored of by now), I put the “The True Costs of Owning an Aston Martin DB9” up as the primary article for almost two months.   I put a substantial amount of effort into that article, and in particular the Video on YouTube.   I actually included myself as a presenter (Jeremy Clarkson I am not), wrote a script, planned out the scenes, and drafted my neighbor Rob as a cameraman again.  About 20 hours of effort to produce the resulting 15 minute video.

Aston1936.com readership increasing

The results have been a pleasant surprise.   Readership of this blog definitely started to increase as the AMQ article hit the streets in late May.   In months prior about 50 people a day were visiting, and now its closer to 100.   In May over 9,000 articles were read.  I appreciate ALL of the readers taking the time to read my ramblings and hopefully getting some information to help them with their DB9 project.

YouTube Statistics

The YouTube video on the True Costs has been the real surprise.  Most of my videos get viewed maybe 100-200 times (which I think is great), probably by actual DB9 owners tackling the maintenance task I am describing.  But, as of today, the True Costs video has been viewed over 76,000 times!  The video has been watched for over 600,000 minutes (that’s over a year of minutes)!   Great for the ego to be sure.  [Maybe it was discovered as a cure for insomnia]  What was also interesting was the 100’s of comments left by viewers (and some foul mouth trolls), 99% of which were constructive and positive.   Nearly 1,000 people are subscribed to the Aston1936 YouTube Channel now.  Won’t they be surprised when my upcoming PCV Valve videos get posted next.  I suspect my Subscriber count is doomed to dwindle.

But, the AMQ edition has fully circulated around the world now, and my brush with YouTube fame is waning, so its time to get back to the business of this Blog, helping others learn how to look after their own DB9’s.  I am going to try and get back into the habit of publishing an article per week.

I have a slate of articles I am getting ready in the weeks ahead (where the repair work is already completed along with filming), and they will include:

  • Sad man with Cracked Windshield

    Changing your PCV Valves (the final bits of the series)

  • What is costs to fix a cracked Windshield (including a time lapse video of the repair)
  • Removing/installing all the Leather Dash Panels
  • Removing/installing the Rear View Mirror
  • Removing/Installing the Headliner
  • Repairing a sagging headliner
  • Leveling the GPS cover on the Ski Slope of the Dash
  • Repairing the leather end cap on the drivers door
  • Snow Foaming your DB9

Also in the works for the future I have a few articles I am gearing up to under take:

  • A Brake Job – new Pads, Rotors, Caliper Bolts and Wear Sensors
  • Getting new tires – what the options are, differences, etc.  Bridgestone (OEM) vs. Michelin vs. Pirelli.
  • How to change every light on the car, and while I am at it change over to LED bulbs (including links to buy the bulbs online).
  • Changing the door/wing mirrors to the newer, improved design that was included on later models (that experience less wind noise).   The black plastic base on mine are starting to look like crap.
  • How to touch up small chips in the paint (the paint on these cars is weak and prone to chipping).

If anyone out there is interested in sponsoring the parts for some of these projects, please reach out and leave a comment.

If you are interested in these upcoming articles please leave me a comment below, it might help me prioritize the order I get them released in.

Thanks for reading!

Aston Martin Quarterly Magazine

If you are a registered member of the Aston Martin Owners Club (the AMOC) you receive a few magazines each year.

  • The small “Aston Martin News” guide with the latest from the various AMOC chapters around the world and other articles about news and events
  • The “Vantage Point” magazine that includes feature sized articles
  • and finally “Aston Martin Quarterly” (AMQ) the glossy coffee table style magazine.  Published four times per year, it contains technical articles, historical items, factory news and reports of Club activity from around the world. The Quarterly is a full color publication of, on average, 80 pages.

Astons on the Web

Back in December 2016 I suggested to AMQ the idea of putting in a series of articles about information on the Internet about Aston Martins.  My experience so far with this blog (and others like it on the Internet) is that once the owners ‘discover it’ they are very grateful that the resources exist.  Maybe AMQ would be willing to help get the word out pointing at some of these sites. Continue reading “Aston Martin Quarterly Magazine”

The True Costs of Owning an Aston Martin DB9

The notion of owning an Aston Martin DB9 is tempting.  The allure of the curves, the power, the feel.  You become infected wondering what would it be like.   I’m a life long car guy and I’ve reached 50 years old and can finally indulge a bit. [Insert mid-life crisis jokes here – but I love my Sweetie of 27 years and still have all my hair – life is good]  I can’t afford to go drop $250K on a new DB11, but I can generally afford a new luxury or sports car.  I’d been carefully watching the used market prices on early DB9 models dropping for a few years until I finally succumbed back in 2013.

If you have or are about to take the plunge,  you will (or should) inevitably be thinking:

 Can I afford this car after I purchased it?

That’s a good question to ask before you commit, particularly if you stretch to just barely manage the purchase.  Is it myth or truth that it takes a fortune to run a car like this?   After living with mine for three years now, I can share the naked truth with you. Continue reading “The True Costs of Owning an Aston Martin DB9”

The True Costs of Owning a 2009 Acura TL

Prior to getting my DB9 my last new car was a 2009 Acura TL w/SHAWD and Tech Package.   Essentially a top of the line all wheel drive 4 door sedan with 307HP.  This was a great car that I very much enjoyed.  The only knock against it was the homely ‘beak’ design of the front end.

Being that this is a website about my Aston Martin DB9, you might be wonder why the heck I am waxing on about an old girlfriend.  I have done an in depth ownership cost analysis of my DB9 (see the costs here), and I wanted something to compare it to that was more mainstream like my Acura.  I had all the same data available to me so I have worked out the complete and exact costs of ownership for my TL. Continue reading “The True Costs of Owning a 2009 Acura TL”