Category Archives: Drag Racing

Texas Thug Bradenton, FL Recap

Wednesday:

On Wednesday, I was one of about 30 people who ponied up $250 to rent the track, and I made six hits – as both the car and I hadn’t been on the track in almost six months. The first hit was without any weight or adjustments. I did a low 9.50s pass and my standard 1.33ish 60′. I didn’t feel like front end was coming up as high as it should, so I took 6 clicks out of the front shocks. The second hit was about the same numbers, but the front-end came up higher. The weather was real good Wednesday with the “Corrected Altitude” at about 75′. I knew that the weekend wouldn’t be near that good, and so the 9.5 Index wasn’t going to be a reality. The next Index up is 9.75. I Ioaded the weight boxes up with 200 pounds for the third hit.

HOLY CRAP! The front-end came up at least twice as high as the highest wheelie I’ve ever done. I haven’t gotten around to putting wheelie bars on the car, and I thought I was going to blow over – so I shifted to second early to bring front-end back down. Remarkably, I did a low 9.6 with all of the weight I could legally put in the boxes. I figured that to be a fluke. For the fourth hit, I put six clicks back into the front shocks. I went back out and did the second highest wheelie of my life – but I rode it out. The car did high 9.5s with all of the weight.

I realized that 9.75 was too far away, so I took the weight back out and figured I had to find a way to do a 9.39 at 75′ to be 9.50 at 2200′ on Sunday. I made adjustments on the four Idle mixture screws on the carbs and went back for another hit. I usually run 13.5 pounds of air in my slicks, but I must have mismeasured in the pits as one slick only had 12.7 pounds – so I equalized. The car did a 1.29 60′, which the previous best had been 1.32. I ran a 9.42, which was getting close. For the sixth and last hit of the day, I swapped the four stiff Orange metering rod springs in the carbs for more loose yellow springs. I also lowered the air in my slicks to 12.5 and got my 9.39 seconds with a 1.28 60′. The track shut down, so no more passes, but I felt good with a 9.39.

Thursday:

Thursday was the day that NMCA took over the track, and you can buy two hits fir $25., but I didn’t take them. I established credentials, teched the car i, and cleaned it up before putting it away. Doug & Anne Duell had a little soiree at their house for NSS racers Thursday evening.

Friday:

Friday we had a Time Trial in the Morning, and the first qualifying was scheduled at 2pm. We’re always the first class out in the morning. Again my air gauge screwed me up and when I got in the lanes and checked my air pressure, I only had 10 pounds in the left slick. So I had to make a hit with only 10psi. When I got back and shut the car off, I heard clunking. I wasn’t sure if it was the flexplate bolts to torque converter had loosened, the starter motor crapped out, or if a motor. Turned out to be flexplate. I fixed, put charger on car, and pumped up left slick to 15psi so I could check for leak. I then went inside to clean up and eat lunch.

So at about 1pm I’m having lunch in my coach, when I see Frees and Lang going down the track. I look and see that Duell’s car is also gone. I’d obviously missed the call. So I fly out the door, tear the charger off and head for the lanes without checking the tire pressure, weather station, or weight in the boxes. I’m getting dressed while driving and hoping I’d have time to check to adjust air in slicks, as I knew I last had 15# in one and 10# in the other. However, As I got to the lanes, Brent Wheeler was last and pulling up to stage as a solo, as he’d blown both front tires in the previous run. It was line up or turn around. So I’m still putting my gloves and neck brace on while doing my burn out, knew one slick had 150% if the air of the other, and was next to someone with new tires and wheels on his car. My launch sucked, I had to make big corrections, and broke out with a 9.49+.

Back in the pits, I put the car on the lift and Doug put his death grip on the flexplate bolts.

Saturday:

Saturday morning I take the car out of the trailer at 6:45am to get ready for our 8:30 call to the lanes. I’m a creature of habit who puts his hoods pins on the studs they pin on when open, and put in on when I close the hood. The night before when we were doing the TC bolts, Doug opened the hood, put the pins on the bench, and also closed the hood. I knew I had to put the pins in, and told myself to do first thing in morning. I didn’t. While taking car down return road pretty fast, the hood opened an blew off.

Barry Dorn saw it happen and carted my hood back to my pit. Doug and Bruce Lang helped me rivet the pieces together and I used a roll of duct tape to tape it to the car. Good guys are all of the NSS Racers.

We finished just as they called us for the second qualifying, and I squeaked out a 9.514, which was good for third qualifier.

The track was horribly prepped for the last qualifying, as they’d made 300 street tire passes and only did a cursory rub before sending us down. I spun horribly (as did everyone), and was bumped to 4th.

That put me against Brent wheeler in first round Sunday.

Sunday:

Bottom line was I was a first round runner up, as Brent put an .018 light on me that I couldn’t overcome. So we loaded up and made the ride of shame off the track, for the 1100 mile trip home.

Epilogue:

Back home, the car’s had it’s oil changed, slicks swapped, car washed, a couple small repairs, and the hood is halfway ready to go to painter. the bracing has been done, and tomorrow the cleanup layers applied and sanding. Painter gets tomorrow night, hopefully.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

3000 Mile 1999 Viper GTS For Sale

As a young adult with dreams of great financial success, I read Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich”. One of the big points of the book is to have a huge goal, which is unattainable by most, and to reward yourself hugely for obtaining it. You then put a visual reminder of the reward somewhere that you are constantly reminded of the goal and your reward.

In 1996 I set another such a goal, which was the second big goal I’d set and promised myself a big reward for hitting. In June 1998, I achieved that goal, and my reward had been a new Viper GTS. I Immediately went to the Dodge dealer and ordered a black with black interior with a stripe delete. Because of a strike causing a shortage of the front body work of the car, it took 13 months before I picked the car up.

I have put less than 4000 miles on the car since. The car looks and drives like brand new. 1999 was by far the very best year of the Viper. This car holds a lot of sentimental value to me. However, I’m now in my mid sixties, and in a mode of reducing the things I just don’t need. I have 31 cars, trucks and motorcycles; and I just don’t need near that many – so everything is for sale, some priced to move faster than others. This is the car I least want to sell, but I will for the right price. That price is $60K FIRM.

Below is a gallery of photos just taken of the car. It is in Flawless condition. Click the small photos to view the full size version. Some browsers will require a right-click to open in a new browser.

If you are interested in purchasing this car, call or text me at 713-899-7704. Don’t bother offering less or a trade, as I’m not interested.

Shop Goin Ons – EOM February 2019

Leaving Sunday evening for the NMCA race in South Florida, so a lot of the last week was spent getting the Motorhome (Not driven since October), Stacker and car ready. Loaded the car and golf cart today as it appears to have had the only two hour window of no rain between now and Sunday.

Getting my Magnum GT ready to sell, and the only real sore spot was the front seats.

I bought some dye from autoleatherdye.com, watched the video, and taught my shop rat how to do. He dabbed on six light coats to get to here.

Next he needs to scrub the dye off the buckles, apply the Semi-gloss topcoat, and finally the conditioner. The pictures don’t do the job justice, and it will look pretty damn good when finished. I ordered dark green dye and self-leveling crack filler to do the seats on my 64 Imperial.

My Magnum XE (Ginger) has had a ton of retro-mod upgrades over the years. Motor, 8.75 Rear-end, stereo, convert from column shift to factory floor shift, new carpet, addition of power windows, headers and 2.5″ dual exhaust, modern leather seats, and a new dash and custom gauges. Click here to read more. This week it was new wheels and fabricating the missing console plate out of 1/8″ aluminum plate and black wrinkle paint to match the dash. The AC leak was fixed and recharged, and the turn signal issue from the gauge upgrade fixed. Also added a deep trans pan with temperature sender to go to the gauge. I normally wouldn’t have an oil temp gauge, but I had an extra hole to fill when I did the gauge panel.

There was some work done on the the Screamin’ Woody. The fuel system’s AN -10 hose was run to the front of the car, as was some double-ought battery cable. Stopped short of running under the hood as that needs to be freshened up with new paint.

Turned the shop rat loose with some sand paper to scuff it up. Need a couple days of 70+ degree weather with no rain before being able to paint. Ordered the rotating and bearings for the wagon’s motor. The block is done, so assembly will start soon. Getting down to home stretch.

Wheeled my 60 Plymouth into the bay. While it doesn’t look like it, a lot of work has been done in this car. Click here to check out it’s story.

Its getting all new front-end parts. Then then engine compartment will be painted Petty Blue. Then the trim will get removed, body wet sanded and spray with clear. Then a bad ass lowdeck and 5-Speed stick installed.

Finally it goes to the wrapper to get wrapped to look like Petty’s 60 Plymouth in the woods in back of his shop for last 55 years.

So other than a little cleaning of the shop and some parts that I’m selling/sold; ordering new parts and shipping sold parts – that’s most of it for this last week.

Drag Pak #42 For Sale

This 2009 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak is as picked up from the factory. In 2009, “Connected Racers” applied to be able to buy the 100 Drag Paks built for 2009 to compete in NHRA’s Stock and Super Stock Indexes. I got #42, which is a grey interior 6.1 set up for stick shift.

Everytime one of these pops up for sale, a lot of ignorance winds up being posted. These cars are not streetable, they have a part number instead of a VIN, and when you pick up from the factory — you still have to complete the car to race in the Class/Index you want.

Below are a couple of links that might save those who don’t know what the car is a Hell of a lot of embarrassment when they start proclaiming their ignorance in posts.

“Many of you have seen Leah Pritchett’s Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, decked out with Demon themed graphics. However, many people think that particular car was from the latest batch of 2015 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak models. However, the car she runs is actually the very first 2009 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak ever built.

Factory Supercar Champ Leah Pritchett with my dog Buster & I Last year

Nicknamed “El Bandito” the car started life as a 2009 Dodge Challenger Drag Pak equipped with the 6.1-liter HEMI package. In fact, there were three engine choices for the 2009 Drag Pak edition. 6.1-liter or 5.7-liter HEMI or 5.9-liter Magnum® Wedge—as well as manual or automatic transmission choices.”

I bought this car as an investment in 2009, and put into a bubble for 25 years. 10 years later my goals have changed and I’m in the process of selling off my car collection. I offer For Sale Drag Pac 42 for the exact $42,000 that I have in it — and will throw in the bubble. Click the below thumbnails to see the full size version. In some browsers you have to right-click the photo and open.

$42,000

Money in the bank. Keep in bubble for another 10 years.

1970 Plymouth Superbird V-Code 4-speed For Sale

Rare Combination

  • B5 Blue
  • White Bucket Seat Interior
  • 4-Speed in a Console
  • V-Code 6BBL (6-Pack in Dodge Speak)
  • Tic-Toc-Tach
  • 0 Miles since HemiTyme Restorations performed it’s Rotisserie Restoration
  • A few modifications from stock – all of which are reversible
The car is in the NE Corner under a flannel cover and in a air bubble

Click on a gallery photo below to see full size. Some browsers may require you to right-click and open. From the 10th Row down — you will see a mixture of photos from before (car was solid and the restorer wanted to know why I wanted to restore it) and during the installation.

I bought the car in 2003 and immediately dropped off with Ken Pressley at Hemityme Restorations. Ken (now retired) restored nothing but show winning Winged cars. At the time I also had a Petty Blue Superbird and a Green Daytona in line at Ken’s shop. There were a total 5 Superbirds ahead of this car for restoration, and I knew then it would be close to ten years before I got it back.

Hemityme Restorations in Conway, AR about 2012
The Petty Blue V-Code 4-Speed I sold for $225,000 a few years back

I liked this better than the Petty Blue V-Code 4-speed, so I decided I’d sell the Petty Blue and make this my driver. MAin reason was the rarity of this combination vs. the Petty Blue which was Hemi Orange until 1973 and the block being a factory replacement.

So I took a couple of liberties with this car to make it the fastest factory stock looking (to the average person — not you experts out there) Superbird. The original block was precision machined. The factory heads ported. The factory intake gasket match. The rotating billet stroker to 493CI. TTI Ceramic coated headers route exhaust gasses to 2.5″ factory appearing exhaust. The Radiator is aluminum painted black to fool the average eye. The clutch system is McLeod. All of this can be restored back to stock should you desire.

When the car was finished (better than ten years later), Ken took it for long ride to find and repair anything missed, detailed the car and I picked up to take back home to Texas. When home I drained the gas and put in a bubble — as my life had changed over the previous decade and I was no longer interested in having the car as a driver.

About four months ago I had someone claiming to be interested in buying — so I put in a couple of gallons of gas with stabilizer in the tank, changed the oil, rebuilt the front carb that leaked when I started. The prospective buyer liked the car — but not enough for us to come close to my price. As such I put back in the bubble and take out once a month to start — then back in.

Now I’m at the point in my life (mid-sixties) where I want to make life a little more simpler, and I’m selling most of my 31 car/truck/motorcycle collection. I feel certain that this car is the nicest Superbird available — and that the investment market on this car will skyrocket in the next recession as a hedge against cask and the stock market. Sadly, I’ll need to part company to this car and many others before then.

I’m Asking $220,000

Email me at DaveTheOldHippie @ Gmail.com if you’re interested, or forward to someone you think may be interested. Delivery can be arranged.

2nd Week February – Shop Work

The back of Screamin’ Woody had two (cutdown)
Aerospace Components battery holders, two weight boxes, fuel cell, and battery cables mocked up; taken back out; the compartment Spatter Painted and Cleared; the aluminum polished; and finally everything reassembled with fuel plumbed to Fuelab Pre-filter.

New Double-Ought positive cable to the front. New AN -12 braided also going from pre-filter to Fuelab pump, and then new AN -10 heading to front for the post filter & regulator.

Allante got it’s first power buff since it left the factory in 1993. I bought this car new in June of 1993.

Did some Spring cleaning on the cars in one of my warehouses. All walls and the floor cleaned, and all cars detailed in and out. The Superbird, Demon, Barracuda, Grand National, Drag Pak, Magnum GT, Marlin and 58 Pickup are for Sale. I also have a nice 2014 Ford Pickup for sale. I might even sell the Viper if enough money was waived in front of my face. It has sentimental Value and I have mixed emotions on that. It would have to be someone wanting the best 3000 mile 99 GTS available. I’ve posted an album of thumbnails that can be right-clicked and enlarged to full size. If you know of anyone interested in any of these cars, let them know. Below is my business card. Email or text as I don’t answer the dozens of unknown calls I get daily.

Last month I sold the Vitamin C to Dave Lewis in Oklahoma, under the condition that he kept it as the Vitamin C. He stripped the car down, did the minor bodywork needed and repainted with replication of the Original Graphics. Looks great.

A couple of years ago my 3000 mile Viper GTS had it’s fluids drained, battery and tires removed, and put in a climate controlled bubble. Last month we took it out, restored fluid levels, replace plugs and wires, replaced the battery, puts its wheels back on, and completely went through it. Broke it back it and then I ran it up to 140mph.

Turn-key 1968 Barracuda Tube Chassis Drag Car For Sale

The chassis was built by Jeffers, and the car was setup to run in True Street, where it would go on a 30-mile trip and then the NOS would be turned on for 3 8-second passes without touching engine.

I bought the car over ten years ago for my son to run. He made a couple low 11-second soft hits on motor only, and then we took it back to shop to tear down and restore. Click and hold photos in gallery, and the select Open to see large version.

After putting $75K into the car, plans changed – and the car was put into a bubble for next ten years.

Last month, the car was taken out of the bubble, filled with fluids, cranked up, tuned up, and driven a coupleof miles. I actually video’d the drive, but the video somehow got corrupted and plays in slow motion only. Below are photos I took on my phone last week. They don’t do the car justice!

I’m now in reduction mode, if if doesn’t give me joy, I’m selling it. I’m selling this car for half what it’s worth and 1/3 what it would cost you to build from scratch.

$35,000 firm Beasley, Texas

email me at DaveTheOldHippie @ Gmail.com if you’re interested. The are only a few things I might consider bartering for. Click here for the list.

1972 Dodge Demon Drag Car For Sale as Roller

Winning NMC Class at Zmax in 2009

This car has a lot of history. It has been a Texas drag car all of its life. Even still wears the original 1972 Texas Inspection sticker.

The car was completely gone through in 2006. New Chrome Moly cage and floor (inside and under) stripped and repainted with POR 15. New alloy axles, race gears & bearings, Autometer gauges, 4-wheel disc brakes, Caltracs and paint. My son race it until the end of 2009, and then he moved up to the NSS Class, in a 65 Coronet for 2010. The car was cleaned and put into a bubble until last month.

The car has won many National Events in NMC since. The car has been in many magazines.

This Demon is now available for sale as a roller. Put a Mopar small block and transmission in it, and it’s NMC legal. The car is all metal and glass except for the fiberglass hood.

Put a modern Hemi in it, and run in NHRA’s new Sportsman class that runs old school cars with new school drive trains. Or easily bring back to Stock, Pro Street or Pro Touring.

Click and hold any thumbnail in the below gallery, and then click “open” to see full-size photo. These photos were taken on my cell photo January 2019.

$17,000 Beasley, Texas

email me at DaveTheOldHippie.com

There are only a few things I MIGHT trade for. Click here for the list.

What you see is what you get. It would cost you twice as much to find a Texas Demon near as nice, install the CM cage, alloy axles, 4-wheel disc brakes, gauges, rebuild the front end and 8.75 rear end, get the wheels a tires and then do the paint and body. This car might have less than 500 miles on it -but all at 1/4 mile at a time.

Below are some of the photos rebuilding this car, for your enjoyment.

And a few racing photos.

Shop Business – January 2019

I’ve been incredibly busy, mostly with starting a new business for my son and I, but some stuff has been completed at the shop. Some on the Texas Thug, some on the Screamin’ Woody, and some an some of the other vehicles I have. This will be the extremely condensed version, as even that will be a little long.

Vitamin C Sold

Yup, I sold the Vitamin C. It gave me 10 years of loyal service but it was time for another caretaker. I sold it to a 70-year-old drag racer in Tulsa by the name of Dave Lewis. He’s in the process of stripping it down and will freshen it up in the same Vitamin C theme.

I mentioned that I started a new business with my son. We sell, install and repair Blinds, Shades and Shutters. It is now running and my eldest son is now handling the day to day operations.

The Texas Thug has a new rear ProGlass window installed to replace the one that skated across the finish line at 140 mph in Indy last year.

The underside has been cleaned, the every nut and bolt has had a wrench put on it, and the valves run. Everything was looked over and appears well. The oil still needs to be changed and the car a good polishing. I had wanted to redo the inside of the trunk – but that might have to wait.

Not a whole lot of work has been done on the Screamin’ Woody. The block has been machined, but the crank had a crack – so I’m shopping for a new rotating.

I just bought a 4’X8′ piece of 1/8″ Lexan; stainless steel #10 buttonhead/hex drive machine screws and nuts; and some weatherstripping – so the windows are next on the list.

Years ago, I bought a Tube Chassis Barracuda and restored it. It’s spend about ten years in a bubble – until taken out last week.

Everything was gone through, filled with new fluids, carb rebuilt and a new battery installed. The car was started, tune and I took it for a shakedown drive. It’s now for sale, as I’m going with the Japanese Kondo philosophy of it doesn’t bring Joy – get rid of it,

The Demon that was Dallas’ first race car wasn’t so lucky. It’s ten years in a bubble cause a pin hole in number 6 cylinder. It took me half a day to tear down the motor and get the piston out.

It’s one of those deals where the sum of the parts are worth more than rebuilding the motor for it. I’ve already sold the heads, intake and rocker assembly. The car was been detailed and I’ll be listing for sale.

Next up, my 64 Imperial Convertible.

I’ve had a full size Chrysler convertible since the 70s. First a 67 Newport, then a 64 300, then a 65 300, and then I bought this from the original owner in her 90s about 18 years ago. I stopped driving it about 10 years ago. So in the last couple of months all of the brakes, brake lines and master cylinder was replaced. Gas gauge sender replaced. The carb was rebuilt. The power window switches disassembled and reassembled. The convertible pump system rebuilt. A brand new complete factory exhaust system installed. Brand new tires. Odometer rebuilt. The AC system rebuilt. The paint was power buffed. The leather conditioned. All off the dash chrome meticulously polished. Right now I’m waiting for the power steering pump to return from the rebuilder. Then the only thing left is redying the carpet when it gets a little warmer. I’ve really loved getting reacquainted with this car again. It’s a blast to drive.

In 1964, I remember the Mustang, Barracuda and Marlin fastbacks coming out. I loved all three of them. When the 67 Marlin was released on the fullsize Ambassador, it looked so much better than the smaller 65-66 versions on the compact Rouge chassis. There were very few made and all of my life I’d only seen a picture of one, and never one in the wild. About 20 years ago, I started my quest to find one in good original condition. About ten years ago, I ran into a man with a large car collection who had this car from Florida in it. He was dying of cancer and selling his collection off, and I bought this car. It had electrical issues, so I had in the back of my warehouse and planned to restore it to Red/Black with black Interior some day. That day never came, so the car was pulled out, the electrical completely redone, the ignition replaced with a Pertonix, the carb rebuilt, new battery, and new tires. The car runs like a Champ, but I’ve decided to keep it original and find a new caretaker for it. I’ll not drive it enough with my busy life.

The Leaning Tower of Power and 3-on-tree that was in my 60 Plymouth Post car was pulled in favor of a bad ass 383 that was recently rebuilt for it. When I drove this car home from Arkansas, I had it over 100 with that engine and skinny ass 25-year-old tires. I’m looking to put a 4/5/6-speed that has overdrive. That car is a keeper.

I’ve done a lot work on that car, which is a topic for another day. The point for this post was that I Cleaned the engine up and hit it with some Slant 6 blue. I’ll wrap and store it for a future project.

Finally, two of my Magnums had a lot of work done on them. I’ll be keeping the big block XE that is now exactly how I’ve wanted it for years. I just bought some new wheels for it. I’ll take it next week to get tires swapped over. I love the look of the Keystone Klassics on the car, but the Uni-lug design keeps having the nuts loosen up.

The rare 79 GT with E58 Cop motor has been completely gone through, detailed and I’ll be selling.

The shop has actually been busier than that, but I hit the important stuff and that catches me up.

Shop Goin Ons Last Week November 2018

I just bought a business franchise (more on that another day) so for the last three weeks I’ve been busy with doing Due Diligence, traveling to meet the Franchiser, meeting with my lawyer and accountant, setting up the business entity, and other business crap – so my time at the shop has been a little limited.

Today I dyed the door panels to my Magnum, as they were looking pretty ratty. So I took them off


Wiped down with wax and grease remover, scuffed, and masked off the courtesy lights and trim.


I generally start with two light coats, and then one wet coat. That worked well for the hard plastic and carpet, but the soft vinyl would have parts that looked like it was soaking it up. It was splotching with parts being gloss and parts being flat. I thought I’d must done something wrong in prep, but it finally came out OK by the time I’d hit the soft vinyl another six or seven times with a wet coat, waiting about 2-3 minutes between. It took a full 12oz can for first panel.

Same deal with second panel. I made sure I’d rubbed off all of the wax and grease remover, and let it air dry for an hour. However, same deal. Hard plastic and carpet looked good after two light and one wet coat, but I had to keep hitting the soft vinyl with more wet coats where the dye dries into a flat splotch. When the soft vinyl finally was a consistent gloss, I had just enough left in the can to give the entire soft vinyl an even wet coat instead of just dressing up the splotches. So figure a can per door panel.


I think it came out looking pretty good. The gloss makes the soft vinyl look a little loose, but I’m hoping that between clipping back to the door and the door handle that it will tighten the look a little.

Last week I sold the Jerico DR4 that I use to run in my Red Coronet (I’d since converted to an automatic and gave to my son Dallas), and yesterday I ran to my old shop to bring it and some furniture I had stored there back to Beasley. I crated the transmission and wrapped it to be picked up.

BTW, if anyone needs a Long Pistol Grip V Gate shifter – with a button and Jerico Rods – I have one for $350.

Monday I took my 64 Imperial towards my bank, about 45 miles away, then I was going to replace the 25 year old tires. Almost there I started to smell something burning, so I pulled over. When I stopped I saw smoke rolling out from under the hood, so I turned off the motor and threw open the hood expecting to see a fire. It turned out the clutch on the AC locked up and burned up my belts. I cut the belts off, still had a water pump/fan belt – so I headed home without an alternator. Fortunately I made it. I have a mechanic friend working about 10-15 hours a week to help me get my cars ready to sell. He flushed the system and installed a new compressor, dryer and belts – converting to R 134. Still waiting on the expansion valve before the system can be charged.

So I took the Imperial for tires. The kid got the right side off and started hammering on all of the nuts on the left side with 160psi. When I saw him get the penetrating spray, I knew what was going on and went to tell him all Mopars before 1971 were left hand thread on left.

He had to take a breaker bar with a jack handle to break the nuts loose, but also broke a 9/16-18LH stud.

As a side note, I spent 3-hours trying to locate a LH stud and nut, and found Dorman stopped making years ago. They’re now made out of Unobtainium. I ordered 10 Right hand studs and nuts to convert.

After leaving the tire shop, I went to get a couple quotes to replace the exhaust. They were both about $1000.  The price didn’t too much scare me, but the both refused to flange and give me new from the manifold back. They both wanted to stub, and I’m not doing $1000 to attach to  55 year old pipes. So while I was finding that you can no longer get LH studs, I did find and buy new stock exhaust system with resonators for $600 shipped. I also ordered new Gabriel shocks front and back.

Speaking of tires, I got  new set of tires for my 67 Marlin. I was going to restore, but I’m just too busy to have another project, so I’m getting it running good, fixing everything, and selling. My mechanic bud spent about 25 hours fixing all of the electrics. It was butchered, but now all straightened out. All of the brakes straightened out, and motor now has an electronic ignition. Waiting on  wiper arm and a brake hose, and then it will be ready to detail and list for sale.

Back to the Magnum, I made a gauge panel (see a previous post) and my mechanic bud is in the middle of wiring it in.

If anyone is interested in the Dakota Digital dash I had in it, its yours for $100 Fits all 75-79 B Bodies.

That’s pretty much it for this episode of “As the Shop Turns”. I’ve been so busy with this new business (lots more to do before I go for two weeks training January 7th) and the lake house, the shop has been a little neglected.

Shop – 1st Week November 2018

Last week at the shop, time was mostly focused on a “Fall Cleaning”, organization of the shop, and getting my 67 Marlin running and driving right. The 67 Marlin is a very rare car, one I spent almost twenty years looking for the right one. AMC made the Marlin for the years, 65-67. In 65 & 66 it was based on the compact Rambler Rouge/American, making it look pretty weird being that short. However, in 67 it was on the full size Ambassador platform.  I bought this car about ten years ago and put it in the corner. A couple of weeks ago I pulled it out of the corner to start its restoration, which starts with getting it running right before tearing it down.

The brakes were replaced, and parts (carb gasket, starter, alternator  fuel pump, Pertonix electronic ignition, battery…) ordered. Gas was drained and fresh gas put in; car finally was started and running Tuesday.

 

 

I want to restore the car in red with black roof and interior. I did a little walk around the car to document the before and have a reference. My Shop Rat felt it was a great time to discuss where he put the six thermostats from my lake house, that I replace with Nest thermostats.

 


A month earlier, we were working to get my 64 Imperial convertible (also not running in ten years) running again. I took it for a little ride to figure out what still needs attention. I’ll be getting new tires, exhaust soon; and bought the caret dye to redye seats.

I treated the Thug to a new car cover, and I ordered a new Pro Glass rear window – which ought to be at the shop by Monday.

The majority of my time was cleaning and organizing the shop.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Shop – Deep Clean Going On

In the last year, I’ve had mechanic help come in now and then to help out. Between he, I and my shop rat – things start to get out of place with good used parts, new parts, and complete garbage laying around – instead of put away properly. Getting stuff done has taken a priority to organization and putting parts, tools, and supplies away. Currently I’m going through the shop and putting stuff away, and trying to improve organization. Yesterday I spent the first couple of hours putting good parts away, and bad parts in garbage. There was a lot of both. Then I started reorganizing the electrical crash cart, which was a total mess. I got rid of the bad short wires thrown in the cart and wound up good short pieces, sorted and bagged connectors which, somehow got unsorted. I put switches and fuses; shrink tubes and relays; and connectors in cases.

I still have six other crash carts to straighten out, but this was the worst of them. On my stacker, the door cabinet was mounted very low because of some plates I used to mount a puck lock system.

It interfered with the golf cart when loaded. So it got mounted higher today after cutting a relief hole in the back.

Also in the stacker, the aircraft cargo track that got ripped up when I had to lock up the brakes with a car on the lift – had a new one cut, edges ground smooth, bent to fit beaver tail, and screwed down with new screws, lock washers and nuts.

The Magnum has been sitting for a couple of years. Recently the gas was drained, carb rebuilt and car running and tuned before replacing the carpet and seats. It drives great, but brakes were horrible. Originally it was suspected to have been the master cylinder – so that was removed and inspected. It was fine and the brakes bled and adjusted. Brakes still sucked so car was jacked up and both rear wheels still turned while brakes were applied. Since the they bled fine, it is suspected that the pistons are froze up inside from sitting so long – and ones are on the way.

Also in the “spent a lot of time and money fixing the wrong items” department, the hydraulic clutch on my 99 Drifter 1500 motorcycle was slipping. It got replaced last month. Now it has a slight delay engaging. Bleeding didn’t help so I bought a used master cylinder and a rebuild kit as new is made of unobtainium. It was rebuilt and put on, but same issue existed. the slave cylinder was bled, and same thing. The hose between the two was removed. While 150 psi of air was introduced at one end, less than ten psi comes out of the other end – meaning 20 years has degraded the hose and its collapsed. It too is made of unobtainium, so I’ll have to take someplace that can take a hose with banjo fittings.

So a lot of hours were spent wasting time yesterday. Heading to the lake for the weekend, so thrashing resumes next week.

Fall Cleaning in the Shop

I spent last week at my Little Cabin on the Lake, mostly turning it into a smart home. While I was gone, I gave my Shop Rat the task of doing a Deep Fall Cleaning of the shop. He started in one corner of the building and moved clockwise cleaning/washing walls, purlins, garage doors, shelves and the floor. Below are some photos of his work.

He was also tasked with spreading three yards of dark mulch.

When I returned Monday, I took the coach to the Spartan shop (120 mile round trip) to fix oil leaking from lug nuts, opened a ton of packages of parts needing to get thrown on cars, and mowed the five acres – which had gone wild from all of the rain. It was kinda muddy still, but there was a forecast of another week of rain, so it was mow now or wait a couple more weeks.

Finally, I took some photos of the rust detail on a 60 Plymouth I bought ten years ago to part out, but have decided to just sell as is instead.

The rest of this week I intend to further organizing the shop while having the shop rat detail the inside of the stacker. Then back to work on the wagon and my street car collection.

October 12, 2018 – This Week’s 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.

 

Home Again, Naturally

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.

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.