Early October 2018 Shop Updates

Been working in shop more than posting this week, as I’ll be spending next week at the lake with family. I usually live at the lake Friday through Monday and at the shop Tuesday through Thursday – but after being gone two weeks racing, I had a shop thrash going on this week.

I picked up the rear bumper to my Magnum XE (I point out XE as I also have a black 79 GT) and installed.

The ten year old and squeaking serpentine belt was replaced with a shorter one that was required after changing the heads from iron to Edelbrocks. I took the car for a hard drive (110 mph to) to test the belt. While that’s good, the brakes were mushy and won’t lock up. They’ll have to be dealt with when I get back.

Almost 20 years ago I put the above Dakota Digital gauges in a custom dash panel for my Magnum XE. To me the Kool Factor has gone away. I ordered a Kustom set of gauges that I’ll install into a stock dash panel, after I scuff, sand, and paint flat black with plastic adhesive paint. I’m still thinking about what to do with the “Idiot Lights” on right side of dash panel, as the gauges handle that monitoring.

If you have a 75-79 B Body and want my old Digital dash panel with gauges, lights, and switches, its yours for $300.

Moving off the XE and on onto the Magnum GT. The leaky valve cover gaskets were replaced as was the sticky brake light switch that keeps draining the battery. I’ll detail and sell that car as part of my new “Reduce my foot print and make more simple” philosophy.

The 81 Imperial I’ve had since 1986 (I restored with a 380hp 360ci, street strip trans, 8.75″ with 3.55 gears…) had the AC, Power Seats and power antenna fixed. Found a gas leak when it was filled with 93 octane, and replaced the line. The gas tank and straps were new when I restored it many years ago. It now runs perfect and has zero issues. It too needs to be detailed so I can put up for sake when I get back.

The leaking gas tank in my 58 Dodge Pick up was repaired, and it too needs to be detailed and sold. Also in the photo is my trailer of three yards of mulch I picked up yesterday. That’s to keep my Shop Rat busy next week.

Speaking of the Shop Rat, he washed the Coach (above), sanded and painted the tongue of my old Aluminum trailer with POR15, and cut 2′ X 4′ shelves from 3/8″ plywood to replace shitty stock particle board shelves that have bowed and broken.

I put together a milk crate with two bottle jacks (one of them air) operated, an impact wrench, and sockets in my Stacker trailer. I have 150 psi air supply from the coach. I mounted a 50′ air reel to the compartment connection to reach the trailers. I’ve used once the air setup to change a Stacker tire, and it is now a no problem 10 minute job by me alone – compared the PITA Dallas and I use to go through.

I fixed the trunk seal on the Thug, and the Rat washed it. Waiting on the rear glass from Proglass. I’ll be tearing the trunk down over the winter for another coat of spatter paint and clear, and to polish the aluminum. The car also needs to go on the lift for the Rat to scrub the underside and for me to inspect and tighten suspension. I really hope to have the Screamin Woody ready as primary car for Bradenton, and for the Thug to go to back up duty. Maybe Dallas will run once or twice next year as his car is kn need of a total rebuild as he’s working too many hours to deal with it.

Speaking of Screamin Woody, the underside was painted and the rebuilt rear end and 4-link reinstalled.

The high HP 383 that will be going into my 60 Plymouth Post Street car is now finished. The engine compartment has been cleaned, scuffed, and is ready for Petty Blue paint. It will ultimately be wrapped to look like a sun bleached Petty NASCAR that has been left outside since 1961.

One of my all time favorite cars is a 1967 AMC Marlin. It is the rarest of the three years Marlins were made, and the only year made on AMC’s full-size Ambassador platform. The 65-66 were built on the shorter Rambler Rouge platform. They looked weird being that short of a fastback.

So I finally bought a nice southern 67 Marlin about 15 years ago. I drove it for a couple of weeks and then parked it to wait for a restoration. This week it got pulled out to be made running, before being tearing down to restore. It had no brakes, so they were replaced. The fuel pump was missing – don’t ask me how or why. Anyway the 67 for a 343 ci was a one year only, and impossible to find. The 68 was also a one year only, equally hard to find. Both have the fuel filter as part of the pump, one on top and the other on the bottom. Everything I found on the internet says only option is to replace with an electric pump. I was able to find a new 68 for a 343, and it works perfectly. Why isn’t that on any AMC forum? So car runs great, except for a whistle from a failing carb to intake gasket. I ordered the gasket, but it had to be removed so I would order the correct one. Engine uses  Motorcraft 2bbl carb. The GM distributor had the points replaced with a Pertronix electronic, but needs the gasket I ordered to test it. Once the car has been taken for a drive, it will be torn down. Engine compartment, interior, trim,… I’ll sent car to be repainted Red (always loved red with Black top Marlins), chrome to chrome shop, detail engine and covert to 4Bbbl. I need to see what interior I can locate in black. Based on that, I’ll decide if I will change to black or keep gold.

So that’s this past week at the shop.

 

Underbelly, Rear End, 4-link, Tail Lights and Drifter

So last night I returned after 15 days of drag racing, dropping my Coach off for service, and visiting the “Outlaws” in Western New York. Click here if interested in more of the details on that. Anyway, after 4,000 miles of driving I was 30 miles from home when someone jumped in front of me as the Toyota that was in front of me (with one tail light and no brake lights) locked up the brakes. I had to lock up the brakes harder than I’ve ever had in a rig this big. So hard that the coffee maker in the coach flew into my wife. This morning when unloading the cars out of the stacker, the Genesis on the lift ripped the aircraft L Track out of the lift from that emergency stop.

So got the stacker unloaded and flipped the rig around and opened it up so my wife could clean out.

My shop rat will have a big job of washing 4000 miles of bugs off of it. Speaking of Shop Rat, while I was gone his main job was to take the under belly of Screamin Woody to bare metal, and to apply two coats of POR15 Silver and Black.

The clutch on my 1999 Kawasaki Drifter 1500 was replaced before I left. While the tank was off I figured it was time to change the color from that ugly Maroon, so the fenders got taken off. While I was having the Thug’s body damage fixed at Randy Standsbury’s in Louisiana, I took the bike’s sheet metal for bright metallic red pearl paint. That was delivered last week, and put on the scooter today.

Back to the Woody. The Ford 9″ was torn down, inspected and case painted before I left, and then reassembled today.

My Shop Rat stripped the Four-Link when I was gone, and I taped off ends and hit it with a couple coats of red.

The tail lights and fin trim is now back on the wagon.

I hope to have the rear suspension back in; and the rear compartment stripped, spatter painted, new fuel cell and weight boxes installed by the end of October. The goal is to have the car finished (still dealing with engine) by New Year, and well tested before Bradenton.

I also opened two weeks of boxes that came in while I was gone and mowed the 2′ high grass.

I wanted to paint the “Leaning Tower of Power” that came out of my 60 Plymouth today (Shop Rat made paint ready while I was gone), but only so much time.

Also ordered wipers for 46 Olds; Front and Rear seals for the Screamin Woody’s motor; rocker adjusters for the 383 Motor going into the 60 Plymouth; and brake master cylinder and fuel pump for my 67 Marlin.

Tomorrow is Doctor appointment day, then a weekend on the Lake. Monday I pick up the Magnum’s bumper from the chrome shop and hope to get quite a bit done Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the shop. So much to do, so little time.

Wheelie Bars, Trees, and Bumpers

At the shop Friday, I accomplished the following at the shop:

Last coat of red on the read end housing for Screamin Woody.

That was two cans of red primer and three cans of Banner Red paint. Also, cleaned, scuffed, taped off, primered and painted the wheelie bars.

Pressure washed the engine compartment of the 60 Plymouth after removing hood. The underside of hood needs to be taken down to bare metal and painted Corporate Blue.

The front suspension needs to be rebuilt, washed again, scuffed with brown 3M pads, painted Corporate Blue, and the front suspension painted POR15 Gloss black. The reason for Corporate Blue is that the car will get wrapped to look like the King’s 60 Plymouth (His first Top Rank NASCAR car) that sat out back of his shop for 50 years.

Headers are on the 383 that will go into the 60. Oil pan just came in. Still waiting on a push rod and a pair of adjusters to finish. Yes I’ll put a new Wix 51515 Oil Filter on it.

Bumper came off of my 78 Magnum – Ginger. It took a three hour drive with me to the chrome shop, to be stripped and re-plated.

They jumped on stripping to bare metal and sent me these photos.

They promised it will be ready in three weeks. We’ll see! The huge full width  bumper mount will get wire brushed and a couple coats of black POR15.

While on the topic of Magnum, the radio (from a 99 Durango that I Installed 15 years ago) was pulled out and tested as it has it’s volume and reception goes up and down. It works bench tested, but in car its a big power draw. Testing still required to figure out.

And staying on the subject of my 78 Magnum, about 15 years ago I made a custom dash panel and filled it with Dakota Digital gauges. The tach has gone dim on me, and they’re not as Kool now as 15 years ago. Below is an old photo, as the column shift has been replaced with a floor shift and console.

So I bought a stock dash panel to fill with after market gauges.

The gauge holes measure two at 4″ and two at 2 5/8″. 4″ gauges are limited, and I’m two holes short for a full set if I couldn’t find a combo. While pricey, I did find what I needed.

I ordered them with a white face with black day face and green on black night face. Ordered a clock and a oil temp with same face and bezel to fill the 2 5/8″ holes. It rocked me about a grand, and will take 4-5 weeks to make. I’m sure there will be a lot of Dremel tool action to the dash panel to get them in.

The sheet metal was removed from my 99 Drifter 1500 and taken to Randy Stansbury for a 3-stage metallic red paint job. The clutch was rebuilt and drivetrain serviced a couple of weeks ago. Got the frame all purdied up while waiting on sheet metal to get delivered to me in Indy.

That’ my now almost 31-year-old son on the bike. Saddle bags, windshield and Baby Ape Hangers bars have been added over the years.

Red and black is my favorite color combo. I hope it looks good on this bike.

Finally the trees. At my little cabin on the lake, I had a 30′ Oak tree that died. I had a professional crew come out to take it down and grind the stump down. It was surrounded on three sides by a pool, patio and wrought Iron fence – so I wanted no part of it.

Also had three 30-gallon Mexican Fan palms planted.

All in all, I’ve had a pretty busy and productive week. The plan is to just rest this weekend by paying bills and reconcile checking accounts, catch up on some computer work –  and watch the Stros, Texans and NHRA. Monday we head to Indy for the Finals.

Screamin Woody’s Rear End, Loaded up for Indy Race and 60 Plymouth Engine

The last day and half at the shop I managed to clean, scuff, prime, and put two coats of Banner Red paint on the Ford 9″ housing for the Screaming Woody.

Despite two cans of primer and two cans of red paint – I need to hit it with another coat tomorrow. Then on to reassemble it. The chuck has been rebuilt and ready. Also need to do the same with the wheelie bars and four links.

My wife and I will be leaving Monday for the Finals in Indy. After the race I’ll be dropping the Coach off in Northwest Indiana for a week’s worth of warranty work and service. While that’s happening, my wife and I will drive to Western New York to visit her family. Since “The Thug” isn’t the appropriate car to drive that 400 miles each way, I need to bring another car. I washed up the SRT8, but it wound up being too wide to fit on the lift, with the mirror being  too close to the fender cabinet.

They only other modern car I own that is smaller is the Genesis Coupe that my daughter drives. So we got it washed up and strapped down on the lift. She’ll have to drive one of my trucks while we’re gone.

Then I loaded up The Thug. Since I’ve had a little trailer rash issue with that car, I went from four straps to eight straps – four crossed and four straight. I’m that paranoid.

I also wrapped the handles to the dumbbells, which I’d chopped the ends off for loose weight. I weighed them and threw them in the weight basket in my stacker.

The engine to my 60 Plymouth “Street Car” is almost fully assembled. Waiting on the oil pan, a push rod, a pair of adjusters, a valve cover breather, and a dip stick tube. Also have grind a little off the block for the Block Hugger headers to fit properly.

Polish, D-Rings, New seats, Engine Assembly and Paint

What does all of that have in common? It and more happened at the shop yesterday.

All of the aluminum in the truck of the Thug got polished up.

Before

After

I needed more loose weight as I’d been borrowing from 00Joe and Dennis Breeden, so bought a couple dumbbells and chopped off the ends.

Photo is upside down, they weigh 11.1 pounds each.

I bought an aluminum trailer from Jim Bailey, but since his car was much shorter, I didn’t have enough angle for front straps, and damaged the paint on the Thug. Yesterday I cut 3″ holes through the aluminum floor and took a high speed bit to it to shape for 6,000 pound recessed D-Rings. A few bolt holes, carriage bolts and impact wrench to drive nuts on and I’m now good to go.

Moving onto my 1960 Plymouth, the Leaning Tower of Power was pulled in favor of an approximate 450 hp 383 that was in the Thug when it was a street racer 15 years ago. The 383 was assembled as far as it can go until another parts delivery arrives. Also found a bent push rod a two bad rocker adjusters, so they were ordered.


Also painted and wrapped the low mileage and strong 6-banger that came out of the Plymouth, before putting it into the shed.

I bought a set of like new black leather seats from a 2-door BMW and installed into my 78 Magnum. They looked great in the car but my “Full-Figured” ass  was too wide to be comfortable. So they were yanked out in favor of new leather aftermarket, which took 3.5 months to get here.

Wrapped these seats, which are for sale. If you have a Muscle Car with black interior, there’s nothing like the comfort of modern power seats.

These are the aftermarket leather seats. No power, and they have a satin look to them, which maybe leather conditioner might shine up, but they’re very comfortable.

Also found a couple of hours to mow my 5 acres and wash Zero turn.

Fixin to head out to the shop for another very full day.

Brought Texas Thug Home

As previously reported, the Thug acquired a trailer rash, and I’d took it to my buddy (Randy Standsbury) in Louisiana. He was to fix the damage, redo the bumpers, paint the underside of the hood, and apply the door decals I had made.

So Wednesday I left at about 4 am and headed into the Louisiana swamps. I arrived at Randy’s at about 8:30 and looked over the car before loading. Randy did a great job.

I strapped the car in and headed back to SE Texas. I stopped 60 miles up the road for diesel and DEF, and checked the straps- they were loose and I gave them a couple of cranks to tighten. I stopped another 80 up the road, and again gave a couple of cranks. And yet when I got home, the car had moved over and acquired another little rash.

I ‘d just bought this trailer from Jim Bailey, and he’d towed a Drag Pak, which is far shorter.  I’ve ordered a 3″ metal hole saw, 4 6,000# recessed D-Rings, new straps and I’m gonna fix this problem!

In the stacker, I bought new straps eliminating the short strap, and some 3-stud D Rings for the aircraft tracks. Twenty years of trailering cars, and I’ve never had the problems I’m having with this car!

All nuts and bolts under the car have been checked and tightened and the oil changed. Monday the slicks come off the car to get washed on both sides and polished and rotated to other side. I’ll polish the aluminum in the trunk and the Lexan before loading up for Indy.

In other shop news, the 81 Imperial has been taken out of a 12 year hibernation, had its gas drained, the carb rebuilt, the oil changed, and new master cylinder and wheel caliper installed. I’ve owned the car since the mid 80s, I restored it about 15 years ago with a high performance drive train (380hp 360ci/street-strip 904/8.75″ rear end with 355 gears), but its time to  move on with a lot of these  cars I never drive.

When I bought the Texas Thug in 2001, it was a street racer with 17″ street slicks, a solid lifter/aluminum head 383 that had just been rebuilt, and a V-Gate shifted 4-speed. When delivered I took for a quick ride, and it was scary fast for such a small displacement. I took the car to Mark Artis at Texas Thunder Performance. He needed the 4-speed pedals for Big Red Ram. He took the big brake pedal, engine and transmission that was in Big Red Ram and put into that car – and then back-halved with a 4-link. It was my bracket car, later getting a 540ci with tunnel ram and a pair of 1180 Dominators.

So the engine that was originally in the car has been wrapped and stored for nearly two decades. I’ve pulled the Leaning Tower of Power and Three on the Tree out of my 60 Plymouth (another of my keepers) and will put a bad V-8 and 5 or 6 speed in it. I had my engine guy disassemble the 383 (heads and oil pan) and verify that it had been a fresh rebuild. He says the bearings look new and you can see a cross hatch on the cylinder walls. So I cleaned, primered and painted the short block so that it can be reassembled.

Finally, for 40 years I’ve always had a Chrysler convertible. In the 80s a 67 Newport, in the early 90s a 64 300, and late 90’s a 65 300. Almost 20 years ago, I bought a 64 Imperial Crown Convertible (my Dream Car, besides a 65 300L 4-speed convertible) off a 90+ year old lady who had received it new as a gift for her 50th birthday. I drove if for years and then it developed a lifter noise about 15 years ago, so I parked it. These are fairly rare cars now. Only 900 were made and Haggerty estimates that less than 200 exist in any condition. The best ones sell for $80k+ and ones like mine $30k-$40k.

Well the gas was drained, carb rebuilt, lifter noise fixed, new brakes on all four corners, new wheel cylinders, new master cylinder, and new brake lines. The top pump fixed an levels topped off. Also the fuel sender was replaced as it read empty. Yesterday I took for a 50 mile shake down ride. below are the videos.

I order new carpet and an Electronic ignition conversion kit. After that will be new tires and wheels, and exhaust system. The interior is in great shape, but a little over due for leather conditioner. Some of the interior chrome could use a good polishing. The paint is good except for a little bleaching on the trunk lid. I might see if I can get that repaired and the rest of the car power buffed. I’ve also considered getting crazy and wrapping in the same shade of green, but with wood grain side panels. The AC is worthless, and I looking at my options, including maybe installing a serpentine bracket system with modern AC/Power steering/Alternator.

That about brings things up to date with the shop happening.

Vitamin C NSS Racer For Sale

1963 Belvedere Post car with 440 Max wedge (I’ll explain)
Proven and consistent car that will do a 10.75 every time with my full-figured ass driving.

  • Ladder Bar
  • Tubbed
  • Dana 4.34 gears
  • Strange axles
  • Fairly new 31×10.5w slicks
  • Victory Driveshaft
  • very well engineered underside
  • The (2) 12 volt batteries pictured have been replace with (2) 16 volt Turbo Start Batteries
  • Transmission has all of the good stuff except rollerized. Steel drum, super sprag, hardened… only 9 passes on transmission
  • 8″ ATI Tree Master. 9 passes since ATI rebuilt
  • Carbon Fiber Trans shield
  • B&M Ratchet Shifter
  • B&M Flexplate with ARP Crank and FP bolts
  • TTI 2.125″-2.250″ Headers Coated
  • Painless Switchbox

The Engine has less than 100 passes:
Was a 413 Max wedge. The block became too worn out for race duty, so a reconditioned 440hp block was prepared to replace. Reused the max-wedge heads, crank, rods, and bought the correct type Probe domed pistons for the cylinder size.  Charlies Oil Pan. Assembled by Damon Kuhn at Diamondback Engines. I recently replaced the A&A cross ram intake and original type valve covers with a Mod Man and aftermarket valve covers to make it easier to run the valves with Harland Sharp Max Wedge Roller rockers. Car didn’t get faster or slower with it, and I can put back on if you prefer. Just takes a little longer to remove valve covers.

If you are into NSS racing, you know this car has been racing and winning since the 80s. One of the most recognized cars out there. The 35 year old lacquer paint has been crackled for 20 years, and that’s part of its personality.

Ready to race and win right now.

$22,000 firm ready to race
$14,000 firm as a roller

This is in Beasley, Texas – one town south of Rosenberg on the Southwest Freeway/I69.
There is someone at the shop M-F 8am-4pm.
I do not do the Message Service thing real well. For an answer, it is best to text me at 713-899-7704. I don’t answer calls from unknown numbers, so text your questions.
There are only a few items I’d consider trading for. www.moparstyleracing.com/forsale/wanted
If you’re a broker or a scammer, don’t waste your time.

Little Odds and Ends to Bring Everyone Up To Date

So the Texas Thug is at the body shop having it’s “Trailer Rash” fixed, paint touched up, a better job on the bumpers, and to paint the underside of the hood. I’ll be picking it up tomorrow.

The underside of Screaming Woody has been scraped, sanded, and scuffed.

Painting starts tomorrow. The sheet metal in silver POR15 and frame and cross braces in gloss black POR15. The rear end and 4-link has been disassembled, cleaned, and scuffed. They’ll be painted in gloss red. Hopefully, rear suspension to Screaming Woody will be re installed by end of the month.

My race in Norwalk last month ended before the first round of Eliminations when the new MSD starter fragged trying to start the car to go to the lanes. I thought I’d try MSD, but I’m back to Powermaster after driving cross country to break this way.

Naturally, you can’t buy a cast nose to fit it.

Cleaning up some lightweight work in last week:

  • Pulled the Slant 6 from my 1960 Plymouth. Going to clean and paint under the hood, and then a pretty bad-assed Low Deck and 4-speed will find their new home there.
  • 1981 Imperial was tuned up and AC fixed. Next week I hope to have buffed out the paint and take photos to list for sale.
  • 1958 Dodge pickup had its throw out bearing replaced and clutch linkage repaired. It too will have it’s paint buffed out, glamour photos taken, and listed for sale.

  • Recovered the seats on the golf cart a couple of months ago. Making a cushion back, for the top cushion of the back seat, to hide the seams and staples.
  • Greased the bearings on the stacker.
  • Cleaned and repacked bearings on open trailer
  • Cleaned, repacked bearings, and installed new seals on enclosed trailer.
  • Mowed 5 acres today
  • Took 17.5″ Stacker tire to Discount Tire to use their cage to inflate and let beads seat

Tomorrow I drive through Tropical Storm Gordon to bring back “The Thug” at Randy’s from Louisiana. Have some work to do to get it ready for the Indy race later in the month. Much of the next few weeks will be spent getting the Vitamin C, 81 Imperial, 78 Magnum, 2014 F150 and 58 pickup ready to list for sale. And as previously stated, hope to have underside of the Screaming Woody finished this month.

In Today’s Episode of “As The Shop Rocks”

Thug was loaded into the stacker, and its ready to head to Norwalk, Ohio next Monday afternoon. I really needed the shop space it was taking. Cars are parked and stored everywhere until I can get furniture (sold my house in Katy Monday) sold that taking up valuable car space.

The clutch pedal on my 58 Dodge Pickup wasn’t engaging. Pulled the bell-housing off, and the throw-out bearing was literally held on with bailing wire. New parts ordered and that will be fixed so I can sell it, as part of my Make life easier with less stuff plan. Sold a very nice Little Red Express for $35k Friday. I’d had that truck for a long time, as I’ve had this 58.

Took the motorhome to get inspected, and then to the DMV to renew tags for it, my 64 Imperial convertible, and Ole Blue – my 94 Harley. Moved a bunch of cars around, to keep them all covered while I work on getting my 12-car garage back by selling furniture in it.

Pulled the rear suspension out of the wagon “The Screamin Woody“. My shop rat will spend the next week cleaning it and the underside of the car so it can be inspected, fixed where needed, and painted before reassembly.

Moving on to my 1999 Kawasaki Drifter 1500. removed the fenders and tank, which I’ll take to either have painted or wrapped. Still deciding.

When the bike is just started, the hydraulic clutch engages right at the end of letting the lever out, and there’s no adjustment. When the bike gets warm, the clutch slips. Bleeding didn’t help, so the clutch was taken out and inspected. The 8 discs were a little worn but in spec. However the three retaining springs were flattened out and not in spec. Since the discs were only $13 each, I figured I’ll replace them as the bike will be in my garage when I die. It my only bike I can ride in shorts without getting a muffler burn. Unfortunately, the parts won’t be here until next week.

This morning, my ac unit on the other side of the wall from my bed woke me with the racket it was making. Outside it was rocking like an out of balance washing machine, and worked its way off the foundation. One of the blades broke off, breaking two other blades. I called my home warranty and was told the ac repair guy would call an schedule within 24 hours. No calls today. August in Southern Texas means they’re backed up, and we’re sitting in front of fans.

Finally, the 46 Olds Street Rod got a new set of plugs, wires and cap. Its ready for interior, but I don’t have an interior shop lined up. The one I was using screwed me the last time.

Tomorrow the plan is to put the Vitamin C in my other trailer and move a 1960 Plymouth Project from the back row to the lift bay. The leaning tower of Power and 3-on-tree will be coming out and replaced with a BB Mopar and 4-Speed. It’s interior i already done in Navajo Indian blankets, and the exterior will be a funky Southwest look. The underside has also been cleaned, painted and rebuilt. It has an 8.75″ axle from a 68 Chrysler.

So much to do, so little time!