How to Make Your Car Audio Sound Amazing

Southwest Engines

Creating an amazing car audio experience doesn’t have to be overly complicated!

Getting the best sound in your car is a tough job, but it’s not as hard as installing a used engine or trying to re-align the alignment with no experience. In fact, getting the best possible tunes out of your car stereo is often a simple matter of making small but meaningful adjustments.

Put in a Good System, With Aftermarket Speakers

The first thing a dedicated audiophile needs to do is remove the cheap sound system that came with a car and put in something with more power and a smoother sound. A sound system is a lot like a tattoo; you get what you pay for. If you’re serious about good sound you don’t necessarily need the most expensive system out there, but do your homework and make sure that other users are pleased with the performance a given model has delivered.

Use Sound Deadening Material

Doors are, it turns out, terrible places to put speakers. All the noise from the road, the roaring of the engine, and the vibration can screw up the sound. Putting sound dampening material around a speaker can help shut out the outside world and let the music flow much more clearly. As with the speaker, don’t skimp on the material; if you buy cheap stuff, it won’t keep out as much white noise.

Add an Amplifier, and a Well Built Sub Box

Most car speakers that mean business have a subwoofer, but if the box isn’t keeping out air flow that can be a serious problem. Make sure that the sub has as close to an air tight box as possible, otherwise there can be interference that leeches out your sound quality. Additionally, don’t be afraid to add an amplifier into the mix. While it might not seem really necessary at first glance, there’s a huge difference between the sound one hears without an amp, and the sound one hears with an amp.

Don’t Let Your iPod Go From Digital to Analog

Most music lovers keep an iPod or similar device on hand to plug into their stereo. What you might not know is that there’s a digital-to-analog converter that changes the binary information into music signals. This isn’t really that much of an issue when you have headphones on, but it can leave the music in your car sounding off kilter and low quality. So use a USB plug if you can, and try to avoid this conversion process altogether. The end result will be a stronger, bolder sound with practically no additional cost or effort on your part.

When you need a new engine to go with your amazing car stereo, call us here at Southwest Engines for a quality used motor.


2014: A New Attitude For The New Year

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Make 2014 a great year with these simple goals to focus on!

We at Southwest Engines owe a lot of our success to a good attitude. Optimism, trust and perseverance are perspectives rather than short term goals like many New Year’s resolutions. You can may need to practice these ideals more often than you want to admit but you will get more out of having them than you can imagine. Here are some simple ways to start.


Be Nice.

Maybe leave an extra large tip for a server or write a nice comment about a coworker. If a friend needs a loan or something from your toolbox, don’t hesitate to give. The happiest people are the ones who learn to enjoy giving and enjoy seeing happiness in others. It never hurts to have a few favors to call in either.


Be Honest.

Being truthful is a good personal and business philosophy. This does not mean simply not lying. It also means admitting the whole truth. Making excuses for bad choices will prevent you from learning from the experience. It makes life more complicated and stunts trust in others, if you cannot be honest with yourself.


Try Something New.

Find a new hobby or restart an old one. Join a dedicated group to help get more experience and make friends. New interests and new experiences give you many health benefits. These include lower blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight and may reverse or prevent brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.


Keep Things Simple.

A friend wanted to be organized. They bought bins, shelves and every self-help book on organizing. The clutter is still a running joke. No matter your goals or needs try to keep them simple. A good rule of thumb for simplicity: if you cannot explain it or justify it to a six year old, rethink your plans.


Move Forward.

Forgive and forget. Abandon regret, fear, anger, revenge and anything that you do not love about your current perspective. It is not helping you to hold onto these so don’t.


We hope these ideas help you in the next year to become even more happy and successful.  Happy New Year!


Quick Tips If You Have to Drive in Bad Weather

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The best option is always to avoid going out in conditions when there is ice, snow, rain, or heavy fog

Have you ever opened your garage door to zoom out for work and been surprised at the weather?  Snow, wind, poor visibility not to mention the cold, can all make your commute seem dreadful.  Or perhaps you are already on the road and an unexpected storms sneaks up from nowhere and bam!  You can hardly see where you’re going.

At this point, it doesn’t matter if you’re driving a brand new vehicle or a vehicle that’s been outfitted with a quality used engine from our warehouse here at SW Engines.  What really matters is how you drive and what you do.

The best option is always to avoid going out in conditions when there is ice, snow, rain, or heavy fog.  However, sometimes that can’t be helped.  So here are some important tips to help you get to where you are going safely.


1. Drive Slow.  You need to increase your following distance with the cars in front of you.  If the road is wet or icy, it will take longer to come to a complete stop.  You might be late and feel stressed to get there but it’s most important to arrive safe and sound.

2. Have your headlights turned on.  You want to increase the ability for other drivers to see you.

3. Brake Slowly.  If you begin to hydroplane, take pressure off of the gas pedal and begin to brake slowly.  Do not turn or swerve your steering wheel.  If you react by turning or swerving, you could lose control of your vehicle and even flip over.

4. Follow Tracks.   If visibility is poor, follow the path of the vehicle that is in front of you.  The tires from their car will compact the snow down and help give a clearer path to drive.

5. Avoid Water on the road.  If you see standing or running water on the road, avoid it and look for a higher route.  Flash flooding can happen with no warning and well before any alerts can be given.

6. Pull Over.  Don’t be afraid to pull off the road If conditions are scary and you have a hard time even seeing in front of you.  Find a safe area to pull over, and then listen to the weather stations and see if you can wait it out.


With all the traveling this winter season and through the holidays, the folks here at Southwest Engines ask you to remember to buckle up, slow down and be safe.



Tips To Be More Happy – It’s the Gratitude Approach

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Gratitude Attitude


It’s not just a religious gesture anymore, now science has shown a link to expressing gratitude and feeling happy.  Undoubtedly this is due to the characteristics of gratitude lining up so closely with a sense of well-being, or feeling good.  And not only how they line up, but how feeling and expressing thankfulness can impact our health positively and our ability to handle difficulties.

So feeling truly thankful for not only gifts we’ve been given, but for life itself and all that we have and experience may have awesome long-term effects, but it certainly doesn’t come easy for everyone.  In fact, one study shows that men have a more difficult time getting a handle on gratitude.  Feeling burdened with gifts they may receive instead of accepting them as no-strings attached acts of love, is truly hard for some guys.

Here at Southwest Engines, we’ve found some ways we can all try today to show our gratitude more:


  • Smile.  It’s easy and it’s effective.  Smile at yourself driving in the car.  Smile at everyone you meet.  It’s the simplest gift you give those around you and it makes both of you feel good.


  • Appreciate People and Situations.  When anyone does something for you, say “thank you” and be specific with what they did.  Even little things are great to acknowledge.


  • Opening Praise.  We so easily throw out those sarcastic remarks to people, just to jab or get a laugh.  Try curbing your impulse to jab or critique and give a few words of praise instead.  See what happens in one day when you praise instead of critique!


  • Give Back.  Now that you are expressing thanks more, take the next step and try giving in return.  Give back to society by helping people around you in need, and helping in your community.  Look for those you can help every day.

Genuine gratitude requires a certain amount of vulnerability and emotional openness that can be quite awkward for some folks, and so it takes time to purposefully recognize all the things in life that we should not just take for granted.  Yet the benefits far outweigh the feelings of being uncomfortable at first.  Try increasing your gratitude and your happiness today, and see how it affects those around you.



They Call This: The – Death – Road


The North Yungas Road is the most dangerous roadway on Earth

Probably every driver is aware of a road in their area which has risky features that might make it seem to deserve the nickname “Death Road.” But it is doubtful that many could compete with the North Yungas Road in La Paz, Bolivia.
There are many who claim that the North Yungas Road is the most dangerous roadway on Earth. It is extremely narrow at only 3 meters wide (about ten feet) and has frighteningly tight hairpin turns and difficult to navigate passages. Worst of all, it has no guard rails or other protective barriers to prevent you from plunging 800m (about half a mile) down a sheer cliff. To make matters worse, because it is unpaved there are frequent dust clouds in the summer that reduce visibility. In the winter, there is often fog and heavy rains that can cause mudslides and falling rocks.

The death toll on Death Road is considerable, with an average of over 100 people a year who are killed while trying to traverse it. However, the road has its defenders, who claim that many of those who plunge to their deaths are drunk drivers whose impaired driving skills has more to do with their deaths than the road itself.

Strangely enough, the road’s reputation for high mortality is actually an attraction for some drivers. Death Road has become something of a tourist attraction, with an estimated 25,000 people per year who specifically seek out Death Road in order to test their driving skills. Not all of them drive down the road, as some travelers prefer to go via the safer means of riding a bicycle. Death Road is actually uniquely well suited for bike travel, at least going one way, as 40 miles of the road are completely downhill. Still, bicycling does not make the road completely safe, as an average of a dozen cyclists are killed each year.

You don’t have to drive on Bolivia’s Death Road to experience dangerous driving. You could be driving on the world’s safest road, but if you experience mechanical problems like engine failure then an accident may occur. If your engine is old and in need of replacement, visit SWengines, the best place to go to find used motors for sale. That way if you decide to take a drive on Death Road, at least you won’t have to worry about your engine!


The Top 5 Silver Screen Super Cars

You look for used engines because sometimes, your old car is worth more than just money. You’ve had experiences in that car that you’ll never forget, and you want to keep it running not only for the transportation, but for the memories.


And there are other cars that you grew up with that hold a special place in your heart – the movie cars. These used motors may have been old and clunky, or sleek and futuristic. Whatever they were, the cars were at least as much a character as the people in the movie. We’ve found a few of the most popular to share something about your favorite automotive actors with you.


The Bullitt Mustang was Known for the Best Car Chase in Movie History

#5 – Mustang

  • Movie: Bullitt
  • Year: 1968
  • Make: 1968 Mustang GT 390 Fastback
  • Engine: 390 cubic inch FE V8
  • Owner: Bullitt
  • Famous For: Best car chase in movie history
  • Fun Facts:
    • Bullitt used close-ups of the driver to add realism; it’s the first movie to do so.
    • Two cars were used for filming the chase; the primary car was so beat up by the end of filming that it had to be destroyed.
    • The Mustangs were modified by Max Balchowski to have stronger springs and shocks, braces on the inner fenders, and to coax a bit more power from the engine.
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The 1969 Dodge Charger for the “Dukes of Hazard” was Originally Found in a Junkyard

#4 – The General Lee

  • TV Show: Dukes of Hazzard
  • Years: 1979-1985
  • Make: 1969 Dodge Charger R/T
  • Engine: 318, 383, and 440 CID V8s were all used.
  • Owners: Bo and Luke
  • Famous For: Lots of jumps, car horn sings “Dixie”
  • Fun Facts:
    • The car rarely survived the 150 jumps in the series. By the end, the show had gone through about 300 cars. Seventeen still exist.
    • To keep the nose up during jumps, the trunk was filled with sand or concrete.
    • In later seasons, the studio would use old jump footage to save on cars.
    • The car used in the first episode was found in a junkyard. It was refurbished and sold for $110,000.
used motors

James Bond’s Aston Martin DB5 was Known for It’s Cool Gadgets like Missile Launchers and tire Slashers

#3 – James Bond’s Aston Martin

  • Movie: First introduced in Goldfinger
  • Year: 1964, 6 through 2013
  • Make: Aston Martin DB5
  • Engine: 3,995 cc Inline-6
  • Owner: James Bond
  • Famous For: Spy gadgets for missions
  • Fun Facts:
    • In the books, Bond has an Aston Martin in Goldfinger but uses a Bentley in the rest of the series.
    • Gadgets on the Aston Martin include:
      • Revolving number plates
      • Tyre slashers
      • Machine guns
      • Gas and oil slick spouts
      • Passenger ejector seat
      • Missiles, lasers, and more
used engine

The 1963 Volkswagen Beetle aka “Herbie” Could Really Do a Wheelie

#2 – Herbie

  • Movie: First appearance in The Love Bug
  • Year: 1968, 5 movies through 2005
  • Make: 1963 Volkswagen Beetle
  • Engine: 356 Porsche, modified VW Bus engines, 1835cc VW engines
  • Owner: Jim Douglas
  • Famous For: Anthropomorphic racecar
  • Fun Facts:
    • In Herbie: Fully Loaded, the bug got a top speed of 132 mph.
    • Herbie can really do a wheelie.
    • During the course of the original 4 Disney movies, more than 50 Beetles were used in production. For the 2005 Fully Loaded movie, 38 more cars were added to that mix.
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The DeLorean DMC-12 Was Chosen as the Time Machine for its Futuristic Looking Gullwing Doors

#1 – De Lorean

  • Movie: Back to the Future film series
  • Year: 1985-1990
  • Make: DeLoran DMC-12
  • Engine: 2,849cc PRV V6
  • Owner: Doc Brown
  • Famous For: Time travel
  • Fun Facts:
    • The DMC-12 was the only car created by the company.
    • In development, the time machine went from laser device to refrigerator before finally becoming a car.
    • The DeLorean was chosen for its futuristic looking gullwing doors
    • 5 DeLoreans were used in filming, as well as a “process” car, a DeLorean with an off-road VW frame, and a full-sized fiberglass model.

We love our cars, and seeing a car take on a life of its own is always thrilling. These classic cinema cars have made film history and become icons in their own rights. While your own car may not have instant worldwide recognition, sometimes it can be just as iconic to you of good times you’ve experienced. So enjoy your car and all the adventures it brings to you.



A Life Size Transformer From Scrap Parts

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Ingenious Life-size Transformer Made from Used Motor Parts


Anyone who spent a significant part of their life in the 80′s or, thanks to Michael Bay, the 2000′s saw the autonomous robotic life forms called The Transformers.  Every kid wanted the action figures and some wanted the real thing. For the latter, there is a strong market for engine and other used motor parts for sale that can help you put together a life size replica of your favorite Autobot.

The internet is buzzing about the impressive life size models made with simple tools and affordable , easy to find and accurate engine parts.  The premise behind the Transformers is they are mechanical beings.  It is simply a matter of giving us a call here at SW Engines, as we can source a variety of engine and car parts for you at very competitive prices!

There are many forums and blogs to look up for inspiration and even advice directly from other replica enthusiasts.  Do some research to get a check list for your choice of character’s anatomy. Decide if you want a model replica or a fully functional transformer. The models are very satisfying and will not be very difficult once you are started. If you have the time and resources and want the ultimate bragging rights, attempting a functioning transformer is a more complicated and rewarding project.

Make sure you have a sheltered work-space as this will take several weeks and possibly months to complete.  The methods is the same as rebuilding an engine but in a very different configuration which takes some imagination. You will need some assistance with lifting and holding parts as they are added, but there are plenty of Transformer fans to help with your new action figure.

“Used motor parts for sale” ads, scrap metal and junk yard cars are more options for getting parts cheap.  You can also write ads for parts you can’t find on your own.  Be sure to mention why you want them to increase your word of mouth networking.  Many people will be interested in selling parts to such a grand work of nostalgia and you may even get an audience when it is done.

For legal reasons it is best not to charge admission or do any profitable endeavors. These are trademarked images and it may not be legal if you do this for anything but personal enjoyment.  The satisfaction of having a ten foot tall Optimus Prime in the garage should be all the reward you need.


America’s Favorite Tow Truck: Mater!


Friendly-looking cars tend to sell a great deal better. Who wouldn’t love to buy Mater’s used engine?

According to studies conducted by marketers people tend to buy cars that have a personality. Friendly-looking cars, by and large, tend to sell a great deal better. If there was a competition for the friendliest car though, then the all-time winner might be Mater, the beater with an engine of gold.
Big Screen, Little Screen

Tow Mater, later Sir Tow Mater, is a secondary character in the Pixar film “Cars”, but he later went on to star in “Cars 2″, as well as in a spin-off series “Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales”. In the first role Mater is the slightly bumbling, hometown boy that the race car Lightning McQueen befriends, and in the sequels Mater takes on roles ranging from a secret agent to a giant slayer. A vehicle of varied talents, Mater has become something of a household name due to the success of both the first film and the subsequent runs on the “Cars” franchise.

What’s Under the Hood?

At first glance Mater looks like just another beat-up tow truck, albeit one with eyes and a trademark drawl provided by famous comedian Larry the Cable Guy. However, while it’s a little hard to pin down precisely where Mater came from, fans and car lovers alike have been hitting the books to try and trace the automobile’s ancestry. The results that people have found are pretty hodge-podge, but when they’re put together into a complete picture, it is Mater to the life.

The core of Mater comes from a Haulitail Hook’Em, though there is some argument among people as to whether the model is a 1951 or a 1957. However, neither model accounts for Mater’s most prominent feature, aside from his love of tractor tipping. That is namely the big arm on the back that supports the cars he tows. That arm and assembly belongs to Mater’s other parent, a 1951 International Harvester L-170. These vehicles were part boom truck and part Chevy 3800, with a healthy dose of one ton wrecker. Though he might be animated, the designers had to take inspiration from real autos in order to put together Mater’s precise look, from the way his chassis curves back to the discoloration of his side panels. Tracking down precisely which makes and models went into his look proved a bit of a challenge though, even for those who have a huge love of cars real and animated.



Can Your Car Be Your Mobile Office?

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Using your car as a mobile office may save you money


When people think of the state of Georgia, chances are good that the first words that come to mind are not “government invention”. However, Georgia decided to try something unique by getting rid of the physical office space used by their parole officers, and assigning said officers to a car as a mobile work station. The question that lots of people are now asking, both in the private sphere as well as in the public one, is can this really work?

The Upsides

On the one hand it’s true that Georgia has saved a lot of money up front by getting rid of all the overhead that comes with renting buildings, buying real estate, or any of the other things associated with traditional, static offices. It keeps employees in the field, and it helps to make sure that the job’s getting done at the ground level. Also, thanks to mobile technology, it’s possible for those using their cars as mobile offices to maintain access to databases, to file reports, and to communicate with superiors all across the board. In that instance the idea of a mobile office run out of a vehicle is actually a pretty safe, sane idea.

The Downsides

On the other hand, driving isn’t free. The cost of gas is definitely something to consider, particularly if individuals now have to drive more than they would have had to with a static office. Employees need a vehicle that’s big enough for them to do all of the necessary work their jobs entail, and which will support all of the equipment they need to bring into the field as well. Upkeep is also an issue, and unless business and government employees want to keep a constant eye out for “engine for sale” ads then a mobile office might not be the best idea.

Does it Save?

The question, at the end of the day, is whether turning one’s car into a mobile office saves money. Does the cost in vehicle upkeep and fuel, as well as the cost in technology and the sheer inconvenience of being on the road all day, every work day, balance out the costs that would otherwise be spent on a static office? Or, in the event that individuals don’t have an office at all, is using a car as an office cheaper than simply going and finding a physical office to set up?


Ten Best Fall Foliage Road Trips of 2013

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Hudson Valley in New York                          (Pic by Dutchess County Tourism)

According to the, we’ve got ten pretty awesome road trips for 2013 showcasing some amazing autumn colors that you may want to consider taking before winter sets in.  Whether you’ve got a new car or your classic cruiser with its used engine, plan your date, pack  your gear and don’t forget your camera!  For maps and more pics, check the link above.

Hudson Valley, New York

If you crave sweeping vistas, meandering roads and lots of barns, this is the drive for you.  Stated as “some of the most beautiful land you’ll ever set your eyes on.” by Samantha brown of Travel Host.

Deep Creek Lake, Maryland

You can enjoy two foliage heritage tours in Maryland at the Deep Creek Lake and view some breathtaking scenes before you jount back to the visitors center.  This is a superb 90-minute loop

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Totally worth the drive before October ends is the Harper’s Ferry.  Bring the kids and catch the Jefferson Rock hike to enjoy the view looking over the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Route 112, New Hampshire

If you want some incredible pictures, take Route 112 west past the small fanciful town of Woodstock on to the Beaver Pond at Kinsman Notch.  The little side roads to explore is the best part.

Route 7, Vermont

The height of the colors in the stretch of the valley north of Bennington, you will find many maples and birch trees to take your breath away. Best in mid October, so plan your trip soon!

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Wisconsin

The designs of Frank Lloyd Wright are perfect in the Fall and actually quite mind-blowing when set against the developing foliage.

Twain’s Great River Road, Mississippi to Hannibal, MO

For those who love Tom Sawyer-like adventures, it isn’t hard to see where Twain found his inspiration when you drive down the Mississippi to Hannibal

Ricketts Glen State Park, Northeast Pennsylvania

When the birch and sugar maple trees begin to turn that dynamic orange, yellow, and red – that is the perfect time for a drive down Route 29 and Rout 487 through the Rickets Glen State Park.  You can see a total of 22 waterfalls and stunning trees over 200 years old.  Bring your camera for truly dazzling photos. 

Skyline Drive, Virginia

One of the best fall get-aways would be the Skyline Drive in Shenandoah Natl Park.  You will fall in love with the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the many overlooks for snapping pics. 

Lake Wallenpaupack, Northeast Pennsylvania

Cruise along Lake Wallenpaupack for some of earth’s most yummy eye-candy, and pause in Hawley for some lunch before you take the hour long scenic boat cruise around the lake for some of your best photos ever.  



How To Increase Your Cars Horsepower for Cheap

Southwest Engines

Consider installing a high-flow air filter or an after market air intake


If you can afford to buy a Maserati Granturismo or 2014 Porsche Cayman sports car you won’t have too much concern about “horsepower” or that idiot in the next lane that lowers his car window and yells: “Hey sport! You wanna race?” On the other hand those more sensible car owners and drivers may wish to have a chat with the experts here at Southwest Engines for a more affordable and professional opinion about ways to increase horsepower in the vehicle they already own and drive; sounds like good advice, huh!


All that said we would like to present 5 ways for a person wanting to increase their horsepower and get the job done right the first time so they’ll be able to fool the next “clown” at a stop light who challenges you to a race saying: “You think that old clunker can beat this clunker, pal?” One fact about increasing horsepower in older vehicles is knowing whether it’s a V8 or V6; like a Lincoln Towncar. Most V8 engines will get a power boost from a true dual exhaust and an “H” pipe. Also keeping your car running smooth and in good shape can always boost power too. What we’re saying here is that no matter what kind of car you have, you can always add a little or a lot of horsepower increase, but eventually it will come down to time and money.


The folks here at Southwest Engines say that as a rule, you start with the components that are farthest from the engine and work your way inwards. For most cars you’ll start with the air intakes. So the cheapest and easiest ways to increase your cars horsepower boils down to this:


#1 – Clean all the junk out of your car reducing its weight
#2 – Clean out or pay someone to clean out the engine and air intake (may be a DIY job)
#3 – Go up “one” size in your spark plugs
#4 – Get MSD coil packs for your make and model vehicle
#5 – Install the following: A high-flow air filter or an after market air intake.


Install a “high-flow” converter or “turbo muffler” or both. Avoid getting the biggest since it may reduce performance. You might also consider removing the air silencer for more power and sound. Plus keeping your car running cool and well tuned can always boost your horsepower as well.