What's new at the Donovan Dodge Garage?


 Decided on a what's new page to help out people who visit my site time to time, make it easier to keep track of updates and such.  Be warned though I'll be pulling out the soapbox from time to time.  Bizarre stuff indeed.



Year 1999 news Year 2000 news Year 2001 news

Year 2002 news Year 2003 news Year 2004 news Year 2005 news

(Some links maybe broken due to site changes)

"I sang in my chains like the sea"

Welcome to the 2006 edition of the Dodge Garage news.



A pair of amusing ads via "www.hotair.com"

My buddy Hugo Chavez is in the second.


Remember, money spent at Citgo goes directly into this asshats pocket.

Plugging a book on Communism, how sweet! Remember another commie at the UN??

"We will bury you"

So.. why are you giving these guys your business? Commies bad, wake up America!

Updated the Caravan automatic to manual swap page with some information from some van owners.

Updated parts for sale page.

Some cool links-

Ace of Spades HQ (news and humor)

Peter Callesen (page of someone who does interesting art with paper)

Labor day update: Headed down to Kentucky to visit my friend Ken Adler in the Durango and catch some awesome fireworks! The trip was uneventful and the Durango pulled in 18 mpg going west through the mountains of Pennsylvania and 20.6 through the flats of Ohio! Not bad for a lumbering SUV tooling down the highway at 70 mph. The fireworks were most excellent, something like 6 million bucks worth fired off in 29 minutes! Kudos to Ken's wife Patty for hooking us up with bridge passes so that we had a front row seat to watch.

Leah gets some practice driving while were there!

A trip through Ohio would not be complete without a stop at Summit Racing for a picture!

The green truck just came back from the body shop to fix some minor dents and dings and it is looking much better. Frankly I have been trying to make up my mind which I like better but I'm finding it to be a difficult task. The Durango is clearly the most comfortable for me to drive, handles a little better (stiffer springs and 17" wheels) and carries buckets of personal stuff with ease not to mention 7 passengers in a pinch. The downside is it is heavy and doesn't make a very good trash hauler when making dump runs. The truck on the other hand hauls stuff like no ones business and will incinerate the tires at a moments notice if provoked which I find rather amusing... enough so that I'm thinking of hanging a turbocharger off the 5.2 engine for even more fun.

I guess for the moment both will stay till something changes, if gas prices were lower I'd consider selling the Spirit to get down to 2 "daily drivable" vehicles again. 


Removed a few pages not to be completed, removed some parts for sale off the sale page.

Hanging out with Jon at the Bank St. Cafe.





Went out to catch a friend from work who plays for a Black Sabbath tribute band Friday night who is really, really good, check out this video clip of them playing! If the player will not run in the page, just click on the image above to launch in a new window.

Note: A few people have inquired about the Spirit, MPG isn't really the issue as the car pulls down 27 city and 33 on the highway, I'm just in the mood for something new.


I'm considering opening a forum section of the website to help other techs working on late model cars. I run across odd problems at work and was thinking of posting them weekly for other techs to read about so they could have a leg up when a problem arrives at their shop. Thoughts?

Picked up another late model truck, working in a dealer can be hazardous for your driveway ;-) As much as I like the Durango it can't carry payload like the old van did, when this 2-wheel drive 1998 Ram was traded in I could not resist. It has 135,000 on the clock but you would be hard pressed to tell it had half that number of miles on it! It's equipped with a 5.2 (318,) 46RE (727 with overdrive and lockup,) and a 9.25' rear with 3.55 gears. So far all I have done is fix a few minor things and gave it a good cleaning but I'm tinkering with the idea of installing a turbocharger since there is so much room under the hood unlike the Durango.

I need to find a posi for it though as it will smoke the right rear tire for dear life all through first if provoked.

Considering replacing the Spirit R/T with something else, the car is approaching the 5 year ownership mark. Typically a vehicle is good for 5 years of ownership here before I get bored with it and start looking for something else. I'm considering a Neon for back and forth to work but with gas prices being what they are, Neons are going for ridiculous amounts of money right now.

Since I'm rambling along...

Just finished a great book on the battle of Gettysburg entitled "The Killer Angels" I highly recommend it.




1) As you can see the Durango is looking a might better now. It has 17" R/T rims with Firestone Firehawk tires, factory running boards and fender flares, rack crossbars on the roof and Mopar driving lights. In the "GO" department it has a cold air intake, ported 50 MM throttle body with knife edged throttle shaft, 1.7 roller rockers, Superchips 3715 computer reflash and a highflow muffler. I still have to install a shift kit when I get some free time...

Frankly I'm not overly impressed with the mods vs amount of motive power. I don't know if the thing is just an ark or the 318 doesn't respond very well to mods. I'm to the point where I'm just going to let it be and tinker with something else. Short of installing a 360 or forced induction I'm just not impressed.

2) The other project I have been tinkering with is my '83 Honda Magna. After a 6 year hiatus I dusted it off from sleeping in the shed and started cleaning & replacing parts. It has new clutches, clutch slave, clutch and brake levers, rear tire, turn signal stems, battery, choke cable, and rear shoes. For other odds and ends I turned to Ebay and picked up mirrors, handlebars, kill switch, left foot-peg and shifter and one or two other pieces. One problem with the old Honda's was everything aluminum was clear-coated and corrosion gets underneath and has to be stripped.. So I picked up some buffing wheels and abrasives from Lowes and have been teaching myself how buff and polish aluminum. The bike is really starting to look presentable now and I'm pleased with the results. I think this winter I'll strip it down to the frame and get all pieces that are only accessible with major disassembly. 

I enjoy riding again and when possible have been riding to work, pity it has been raining fairly regular for the last 2-3 weeks now!

3) So the last thing Zarqawi saw before he died was a US soldier eh? I can think of nothing more fitting then for him to know before he shuffled off this mortal coil. 

Good riddance.

4) Some fun stuff for the old-timers-

My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn't seem to get food poisoning.

My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter AND I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in icepack coolers, but I can't remember getting e.coli. 

Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then. 

The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system. 

We all took gym, not PE... and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked's (only worn in gym) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can't recall any injuries but  they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.

Flunking gym was not an option. even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym. 

Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.

We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything.

I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself 

I just can't recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations.

 Oh yeah..! . and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed! 

We played 'king of the hill' on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of Mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn't sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked. Now it's a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat. 

We didn't act up at the neighbor's house either because if we did, we got our butt spanked there and then we got butt spanked again when we got home. I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck. 

To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family How could we possibly have known that? We needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn't even notice that the entire country wasn't taking Prozac! How did we ever survive?

(Thanks to Don for passing it along)


Way to cool link-



Doing a bunch of spring cleaning, the parts for sale page has been updated. 

As you can imagine parts from the red Daytona are there, I'll be cleaning the garage today so more might be posted later along with some pics.



I'm afraid the red Daytona is gone as well now.

In other news...

Cindy Sheehan & Chavez

Venezuela Dictator Vows To Bring Down U.S. Government

Venezuela government is sole owner of Citgo gasoline company

Venezuela Dictator Hugo Chavez has vowed to bring down the U.S. government. Chavez, president of Venezuela, told a TV audience: "Enough of imperialist aggression; we must tell the world: down with the U.S. empire. We have to bury imperialism this century."

The guest on his television program, beamed across Venezuela, was Cindy Sheehan, the antiwar activist. Chavez recently had as his guest Harry Belafonte, who called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world." Chavez is pushing a socialist revolution and has a close alliance with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.

Regardless of your feelings about the war in Iraq, the issue here is that we have a socialist dictator vowing to bring down the government of the U.S. And he is using our money to achieve his goal! The Venezuela government, run by dictator Chavez, sole owner of Citgo gas co. Sales of products at Citgo stations send money back to Chavez to help him in his vow to bring down our government.

Take Action

Please decide that you will not be shopping at a Citgo station. Why should U.S. citizens who love freedom be financing a dictator who has vowed to take down our government?



Saying goodbye.

Thanks for the memories old friend, you will be missed. The van's new home is in Lansing MI.


Just a quick note- A friend of mine points out that I mention plans for buying a Dakota and clearly pictured below is a Durango! But funny things happen... I was about 24-48 hours from sealing the deal on a Dakota club cab with V6 and manual trans when the Durango shown below was traded in at work. The price was irresistible and the vehicle is in excellent condition except for a few minor problems and as a bonus it already has a class III hitch =)

Some "bling" parts already on order as is a 5 speed ;-)

Bryan Lugert gets a doughnut for figuring out the reference at the top of the page! Some good guess' from everyone, but nothing to do with being a lounge act.


The new tow vehicle of the Dodge Garage.

(Yes mods coming soon, anyone with 17" R/T rims for sale?)


Support Denmark


An answer a friend of mine sent me-

"So what you are saying is that you have come to grips with either death, God or possibly both?"

I came to grips with death decades ago, it is just a part of life that cannot be avoid. Still very sad when someone I know passes away (famous or otherwise) but it does remind me of my own mortality. Sooner or later.. everyone's number comes up.

God.. well I have not been a very spiritual person in general but feel I have lead a good moral life- Treat others as you would like to be treated, help the world when you can, look out for your family and friends, have certain values that are never compromised, be honest, improve yourself, etc. 

Now as I get older I do perceive certain aspects of life that make me curious... that are spiritual in nature. Time will tell... More later as it is getting late.

The concept of fate I have been giving a lot of thought of late as some odd events have happened in the last few months... Time will tell there as well.

But so far, no one has guessed what "I sang in my chains like the sea" refers to.

The big "40" is in March, perhaps I'll tell you then =)

No, turning 40 doesn't really bother me. Matter of fact physically I'm in almost the best shape of my life while enjoying the confidence that experience can bring. 

Note I say can ;-)


Yes, still busy as heck but in other news my turbovan is for sale, see pics here.

Interesting- No one has figured out the reference above yet  ;-)

The van is being replaced with a nice Dakota, I'll post pics when I pick it up.


Lots to talk about today but for once can't quite think where to start! I'll try again later.