The Car Thread

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:45 pm

So, as you probably know, I got into a major crash in my ultra nice little Miata, it's a goner. I need a car now.
I've had a '79 Trans Am lying around ignored and neglected for 20 years or more. I've got a loft in my garage full of parts for it. It's looking like maybe it's time to screw the thing together.
The biggest question is whether I'll have to start drinking Coors.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Elliot » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:58 pm

No, the biggest question is how many of us understand the Coors reference?
(Hint: It was quite a Field trip.)
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Dec 28, 2015 6:02 am

I used to drive that Trans Am when I was about 25, in the '80s.
Now I'm 50 and I'll probably look like a mid-life crisis type.
It's a California model with the 403 Olds and 2.42 (!!) gears. Honestly it's not that fast, although it will cruise effortlessly at much higher speed than I care to go anymore.
In 2002 I got a Chevy crew-cab dually for hauling shit to BRC and put a 455 Olds into it. I have been wondering - couldn't remember - why I had a 455 Olds lying around. Now I remember, I was gonna put it in the T/A!
I've caught myself browsing craigslist for a 455 again lately. Even if you no longer want to go fast, you can't drive an old Trans Am that can't fry the tires at will.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Skuzzy61 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:31 am

Ahhh, the cars we wish we had back....in order of ownership

66 Mustang GT
69 Road Runner
70 Camaro Z28
69 Shelby GT500

It went downhill after that.

But things are looking up, from the car side of things. Coming back to it all in a big way. WOOT!
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:38 am

Skuzzy, you and I are the age that we were driving when all the now-valuable musclecars were dirt cheap, no one but a few of us gearheads wanted them, they were just "gas guzzlers", too new to be classics, just old enough to be depreciated.
Man... remember that? If a Chevelle was just a small-block Malibu not an SS396, it was a parts car, and even the SS was cheap. Not many people even knew what a Shelby Mustang was other than it had stripes.
I had GTOs, Camaros, Chevelles, all sorts of stuff. Even in the late '80s I bought a nice bright red '67 Camaro, 327 4-speed, for $2000. Gave it to my girlfriend. I was driving a beautiful '70 Monte Carlo that I'd paid $1300 for. And it was NICE, blue, perfect interior, 400, 12 bolt rear, Rallys with 265/50 Radial T/As, and about every option you could order.

That car ended up a parts car for a Chevelle. Too bad... sheesh... I mean, at the time, it just wasn't worth anything...

In fact that's why I have the '79 Trans Am lying around rotting that I'm gonna put together. All this time I've had it (since the '80s) it just wasn't worth any money. Not even enough to justify fixing it. Only recently have the prices for a nice one started to climb, meaning I can fix it up and not be down the toilet if I want to sell it and at least break even.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by ygmir » Wed Dec 30, 2015 8:12 am

I once had to choose between an Olds 442, and a Chevelle 396. I only had 500 bucks, and could not afford both..........
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Jackass » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:37 am

I'd have snatched up the Chevelle...
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Skuzzy61 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:07 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Skuzzy, you and I are the age that we were driving when all the now-valuable musclecars were dirt cheap, no one but a few of us gearheads wanted them, they were just "gas guzzlers", too new to be classics, just old enough to be depreciated.
Man... remember that? If a Chevelle was just a small-block Malibu not an SS396, it was a parts car, and even the SS was cheap. Not many people even knew what a Shelby Mustang was other than it had stripes.
I had GTOs, Camaros, Chevelles, all sorts of stuff. Even in the late '80s I bought a nice bright red '67 Camaro, 327 4-speed, for $2000. Gave it to my girlfriend. I was driving a beautiful '70 Monte Carlo that I'd paid $1300 for. And it was NICE, blue, perfect interior, 400, 12 bolt rear, Rallys with 265/50 Radial T/As, and about every option you could order.

That car ended up a parts car for a Chevelle. Too bad... sheesh... I mean, at the time, it just wasn't worth anything...

In fact that's why I have the '79 Trans Am lying around rotting that I'm gonna put together. All this time I've had it (since the '80s) it just wasn't worth any money. Not even enough to justify fixing it. Only recently have the prices for a nice one started to climb, meaning I can fix it up and not be down the toilet if I want to sell it and at least break even.
Oh yeah, and I forgot about the 65 Impala SS w/327, I was restoring, when the x-wife decided it would make a nice fire in the driveway, the day she left with her alcoholic truck driver. Sigh.

Yep, those days were all about scavenging parts from $300 Mustangs and $200 Road Runners. Heck, I bought my Road Runner for $400.00. 383 with a 4 speed! Bought another one for parts and paid $150.00 for it. Today, what it is worth.

Yeah, we could have been very rich if we had managed to hang on to them. A friend of mine still has his 71 Mustang Mach I. It was his first car. It looks like it just came off the show room. He says he is going to be buried in it.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Captain Goddammit » Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:29 pm

Yeah... I have no intention of ever selling my '55 Bel Air. I've had it since I was 23.
It's not worth as much as I thought it would be by now - it seems GM really stamped out SHITLOADS of the things, they aren't that rare even 60 years later. But it's just not for sale.
Now, I'm not stupid. Offer me a lot more than it's worth and here's the title and keys. But I don't intend to put it on the block.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by ranger magnum » Thu Dec 31, 2015 8:44 am

Cap, you need to will that 55 to me when you hit that dragstrip in the sky. Don't get me wrong.....the world is far more enjoyable with you in it, but I promise I will love that 55 like you do!

Didn't know about the crash. What happened? I raced a spec miata for 3 years. Won back to back championships in it. Best handling car I've ever had. It was an early 1990 unit. Actually it was one of the first 200 built, as it didn't have a finned diff cover.

Do the TA! with a 455.

Skuzzy I collect Impalas. Currently working on a 65 SS 396 rag top. The body is on my rotisserie, and the frame and underbody parts are ready to go to the powder coater next week.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Elliot » Sat Jan 02, 2016 12:29 am

I had a 1932 Ford model B five-window coupe (model B = four banger). Bone stock, barn find, and it ran. We actually drove it a little bit. European edition with skirted front fenders and a small difference on the hood sides.
Early 1970s.

If I had put that car in a hermetic can then, what would it have brought at auction in Scottsdale today?

But no point at all in thinking about it.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Skuzzy61 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 3:27 am

ranger magnum wrote:Cap, you need to will that 55 to me when you hit that dragstrip in the sky. Don't get me wrong.....the world is far more enjoyable with you in it, but I promise I will love that 55 like you do!

Didn't know about the crash. What happened? I raced a spec miata for 3 years. Won back to back championships in it. Best handling car I've ever had. It was an early 1990 unit. Actually it was one of the first 200 built, as it didn't have a finned diff cover.

Do the TA! with a 455.

Skuzzy I collect Impalas. Currently working on a 65 SS 396 rag top. The body is on my rotisserie, and the frame and underbody parts are ready to go to the powder coater next week.
That 65 SS was a beautiful car. Mine was only a 327, but they just looked gorgeous. And in black, they looked so bad!
Elliot wrote:I had a 1932 Ford model B five-window coupe (model B = four banger). Bone stock, barn find, and it ran. We actually drove it a little bit. European edition with skirted front fenders and a small difference on the hood sides.
Early 1970s.

If I had put that car in a hermetic can then, what would it have brought at auction in Scottsdale today?

But no point at all in thinking about it.
True. But then you look at the cars today and wonder how many of them will be collectible and how many will still be running in 25 years? I like what electronics have done for engine management, but that seems to be the Achilles heel of cars as well.

I think the 65 SS was my favorite. Oh, I forgot about my 65 Ranchero. It was a bad ass hot rod, until my brother totaled it. The 65 SS was probably my favorite as it was my first true restoration project. It was ready for paint when the X decide to use it to make smores. Sigh....
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Elliot » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:27 am

I agree that electronics has been a godsend to engine management. If we were all driving pre-electronic cars today... imagine the pollution. Same with fuel efficiency. Cars used to outright reek of gasoline fumes 24/7, and the exhaust was even worse. We gave it no thought -- it was normal.

But cars have more malfunctions in the electric system(s) than in all the rest of the car combined -- or at least it seems that way. It's pathetic. No excuse. If airplanes had this much electric trouble, there would be on airline industry. We would all travel by ships and trains when not driving.

If my Dodge Dakota were an airplane, I would be dead, twice. The Dakota has conked out "in flight" twice from ignition coil failure. Airplanes don't coast to the side of the road so well.

It's not the auto-makers' fault.

The least expensive new automobile now costs something like $17,000. It is loaded to the gills with power windows, six televisions and a VHLLHT (Very High Luminosity Large Hadron Transmongrifier). And it will coast to the side of the road sooner or later from an electric malfunction.

The factory could easily enough build a second flavor of this car with aircraft-grade electric systems. But for the car to sell for the same $17,000, it would have no televisions and such unnecessary frills. And I would be one of the very few people to buy one.

But people complain of their car being in the shop for a week because the mechanics cannot find an intermittent electric problem.

Today is Sunday, and you have been listening to my sermon. Now go forth and resume sinning. :mrgreen:
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:02 pm

Had it not died in a crash, I felt my Miata that I'd intended to keep indefinitely would eventually be forced off the road when it's electronics failed and couldn't be replaced.
I have been hoarding spare computers for it, my Dodge truck and a few others. I wonder if someone will begin making aftermarket stand-ins but I doubt there's enough people trying to keep old junk together, plus maybe there's proprietary issues.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by ygmir » Sun Jan 03, 2016 5:29 pm

I'd see a market for analog replacements for computer controllers:
set or adjustable parameters, set values and such.
Sure, it'd cut back on economy or power, but, would not fail like a computer from a short circuit.
I bypassed the auto shift in my Dodge W350 auto, by using a floor mount dimmer switch. now it goes in and out of O.D. when I ask., and no throttle position sensor to malfunction at 100 bucks each.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by mgb327 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:07 pm

Well, I used to build some cars, hence the mgb327 moniker. Spent way too much time on the car-show circuit. Built some customs and then got into the FED rail nostalgia drags, BB454. I have been happily show-car free for 5 years ....up until New Years Day. Sheesh. Tomorrow I will get some photos of it, have not had time yet to even look at it much in the daytime. Bought it at a high-end antique auction, they had 7-8 show/collector cars in the sale.....It is a 1979 Corvette, fully customized. Two-tone candy-apple red, major body "changes". Nothing stock on it except the interior looks normal. 40,000 miles, everything works. Small block, certainly not stock. Since the man that had it built is deceased, I can't find out what they did to the engine. I can see the headers, alum manifold, different carb and dist., and some other non-stock stuff. I have no idea what they did to the guts, cam/compression-wise. T-Top, red leather, gills all over. Heavy on the ground effects. Tomorrow is my day to really look it over and give it some road test time. I am stoked, it is a blast to drive. Tomorrow night I can drop a photo or two here, it is certainly "not normal".
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by ygmir » Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:01 pm

............it is certainly "not normal"..............

*shock*
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Elliot » Sun Jan 03, 2016 9:55 pm

Two words: Mark Hamill.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Skuzzy61 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:27 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:Had it not died in a crash, I felt my Miata that I'd intended to keep indefinitely would eventually be forced off the road when it's electronics failed and couldn't be replaced.
I have been hoarding spare computers for it, my Dodge truck and a few others. I wonder if someone will begin making aftermarket stand-ins but I doubt there's enough people trying to keep old junk together, plus maybe there's proprietary issues.
The problem will be the lack of chips to make the after market parts with. By the time these electronically saturated cars are classics, the actual chips you need to make the boards with will no longer be available.

Even so, I am doing electronic ignition and fuel injection for the Cobra. It is all after-market. The reasons being;

1) I have seen too many carbureted engines boil over, after being parked, due to the blended fuels we are stuck with. The lower boiling point is a real problem for carburetors and high performance engines.

2) With the engines all moving to roller cams, the drive gear for the distributor is no longer cast iron. The steel gear on the camshaft are wearing out the distributor drive gears too fast, in the aftermarket, to make them reliable for anything other than drag racing. This problem mostly applies to older engines which had very little oil around those gears.

So, if I want to build a reliable, dependable high performance engine (yes, I know it may seem to be a conflict of terms) it is going to be one with a carburetor or a distributor. Hopefully the aftermarket keeps cranking out the electronics for this stuff.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:10 am

When I swapped my '86 GMC dually to a '98 Vortec 7.4, I put on an early intake and an Edelbrock carb. I was going to BRC in that truck and I didn't want anything I couldn't fix anywhere. I kept a rebuild kit for the carb in the truck.
It's a roller cam motor but GM sells the correct distributor drive gear to work with the steel cam. I did have an HEI on it, but that's simple enough and I kept a spare distributor in the truck too. One 9/16" bolt and a few minutes and I can swap it.
I believe that the old stuff is more reliable, and if I was going to have a breakdown on the road I'd greatly prefer to be in an old simple rig.
I meant to buy a no-computer 12-valve Cummins truck. I bought the computerized 24-valve only because the truck was SO nice and it had everything. I'm considering back-dating the engine though.

Electronics make engines work a lot better - until they make them not work at all. And that's a problem when you're driving them way out of town.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by ygmir » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:44 am

yeah part of why I keep my 93 Dodge W350, is the simple analog Cummins.
I built a jeep once, put a vortek v-6 in, but had an old HEI GM distributor built for it, and changed it back to a carb, for the same reasons as Cap'n: Simplicity and on the road/trail repairs. I was going to go all the way back to points, but the guy who built the distributor convinced me that by just keeping a spare set up, it's very unlikely it'd go bad, too, if the original failed.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Skuzzy61 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:42 pm

I like simple. I really do. I wish I could go with a carb on my Cobra, but having watched several owners scrambling as they realized the fuel was boiling out the fuel bowl was enough for me to not consider it.

The problem occurs after a hot run and stopping. There is just no place for the heat to go.

The steel on steel disti/cam gear works, but not as long as the old cast iron gears do. We have had them melt down in our Cobras due to the lack of lubricity steel has versus cast iron. Plenty of crash engines because of that stupid gear.

Of course, the solution is not to build the engine to 99% of its rated stress, but then....why bother with a Cobra? Most of the fun is driving it with the gas pedal. :)
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Elliot » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:01 pm

Skuzzy61 wrote:...
The problem occurs after a hot run and stopping. There is just no place for the heat to go.
...
In my day... ;-)... this phenomenon was called heat soak. Perhaps still is.
At least, open the hood.

In my garage sits a car belonging to my brother, with a 350 Chevy and conventional HEI ignition -- and a no spark condition. I haven't looked at it in months, but I do want to get it running.
Primary suspect is the power supply. This car originally had breaker points, and I expect the juice still goes thru a ballast resistor. The wiring is the worst I have ever seen. Turn on the ignition and the parking lights come on. :lol:

When I eventually get back to it, I reckon I will try a wire -- with fuse, yes -- straight from the battery. But I don't even know which terminal on the HEI it goes to. The previous butcher may perfectly well have done that wrong too.

I'm just kind'a thinking out loud. There must be 40-eleven websites with this info, and testing-procedures. But I will listen to the simplest version if it comes along.

(You don't want to know that the car is a 1973 Datsun 240 Z, bought sight unseen on eBay -- from Florida.)
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Jan 04, 2016 4:34 pm

If you have the electric connector part of the distributior toward you, it's the one on the right. The one toward counterclockwise. If the connections on the HEI are on the driver's side of the motor, it's the one closer to the firewall.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by ygmir » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:59 pm

Skuzzy61 wrote: The problem occurs after a hot run and stopping. There is just no place for the heat to go.
I recall running a very thick (asbestos?) gasket/spacer between the carb and intake, and it really helped. like half an inch thick.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Ratty » Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:01 pm

More like felt.
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by ygmir » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:40 pm

Ratty wrote:More like felt.
me, or the carb? because, if me, I have a "girlfriend visiting while I lay under the car changing the oil" story........ :wink: :wink:
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Patsh » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:43 pm

ygmir wrote:
Ratty wrote:More like felt.
me, or the carb? because, if me, I have a "girlfriend visiting while I lay under the car changing the oil" story........ :wink: :wink:

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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Elliot » Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:43 pm

Thanks, Cap'n!
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Re: The Car Thread

Post by Thecatman » Mon Jan 04, 2016 8:15 pm

ygmir wrote:I have a "girlfriend visiting while I lay under the car changing the oil" story
or is she changing the oil?

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