Written by Rodney Bauman on July 22, 2016
Rebuilding an 8-Inch Ford Rear

You can take the boy out of the junkyard, but you can’t take the junkyard out of the boy. Despite modern-day catalog conveniences, some, like yours truly, stick close to our roots. Since all classic trucks run on used parts anyway, why not support our local junkyard—or the “bone yard” where old cars and trucks rust in pieces? Why not? Because the kinds of good, used parts we crave ain’t generally there anymore. Those yards full of front-wheel-drive foreign jobs don’t have much to offer the classic truck-o-haulic.

About a month back in the previous episode, we found a place that fills our area’s used parts void. It took a couple trips, but we now possess the necessary bits and pieces to put together a reconditioned 8-inch Ford rearend for our customer-friend, Danny Stinson’s second-series 1955 Chevy pickup. At this stage the axle housing is already installed with fabrication and cosmetics completed. Now it’s time to seek professional assistance with chores outside my own personal skillset. I’ll need help with the inner workings. That’s where my friend, “Guardrail” Willie Martin comes in.

As third-generation proprietor of Riverside, California’s Ed Martin Garage, Willie has seen his share of exploded rearends. As the story goes, he was personally responsible for several such explosions—as a street-racing teen. Willie’s father, John, fixed the first few, but when that got old he said, “I’ll do one more for you. You pay attention. You’ll do them all after this.” Fortunately for us, Willie is still rebuilding rearends at Ed Martin Garage today.

From here let’s ease on into the technical portion of our story. Along the way we’ll see some specialty tools, which aren’t so commonly found in the homebuilder’s garage. On the flipside, we’ll see tools we’re quite familiar with and others cleverly fashioned from items within our own reach. As long as we’re here, let’s take a tip or two as our guru of gears prepares us a pumpkin for our 8-inch Ford rearend.

02 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Established in 1934, Ed Martin Garage is Riverside, California’s second-oldest auto repair shop. It’s well outfitted and well kept. Notice the shine on the floor? How about the cleanliness of that drain-equipped bench top? You could eat off either one of them, and I should know. I actually do so on occasion, but that ain’t very technical.
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At this point our overhauled 8-inch Ford rearend is buttoned up and pretty much finished with the exception of brakes. We’ll cover that in an upcoming brake-related story, but before we end this one there’s a detail I’d like y’all to see.
30 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Here’s a little trick I wish I’d learned sooner. Axles are a heavy handful. They’re cumbersome, I’m clumsy, and one wrong wiggle could send a new seal’s garter spring deep into the housing where it might not be retrievable. As an ounce of prevention, let’s pack the new seals with wheel bearing grease.
29 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Back at the home-based shop the reassembly chores are pretty straightforward. The factory-original locknuts have already been painstakingly restored, but let’s also consider new Nyloc-type nuts. Used in conjunction with proper copper crush washers the nylon may function as a backup seal of sorts.
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Satisfied after scrutiny, Willie pronounces our pumpkin “prepared.” Now I don’t know about y’all, but that kind of talk makes me hungry. Here in Riverside there’s good food right down the road, so let’s do lunch. By the time we return our axles might have new bearings installed.
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Having been there so long, Ed Martin Garage is well equipped for working on older cars and trucks. This pintsize container of real, General Motors 1051196 marking compound is all of 50 years old, so obviously, a little goes a long way.
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25 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x990
In order to double-check backlash, a magnetic-based dial indicator comes into play.
24 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Next a spanner wrench is used to set carrier bearing preload and ring-to-pinion backlash to manual specifications.
23 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Torqueing the carrier bearing cap bolts to 1968 National Service Data manual specifications is a task for two hands.
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Sadly, our fumbling photographer has missed the shot I’d hoped for. If you’ll just take my word, this professional-grade 3/8-drive speed handle is a blur when Willie twirls it with one hand.
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Much like we would for main caps, rod caps, and so on, these carrier bearing caps were thoughtfully marked before initial disassembly. With the caps now back in position, Willie prepares to snug the bolts with a particularly cool tool.
20 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Just as we’ve seen before, Willie applies another liberal application of 80W-90 gear lube to new bearings.
19 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Some Ford ring-and-pinions come with visible timing marks, which our parts do have. In line with factory timing marks, Willie has transferred marks of his own to the outside of the ring gear. As a visual aid, this eases the ring gear installation.
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17 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440
As assembly progresses, Willie is now torqueing the pinion carrier to the prepared carrier housing. Again in accordance with manual specifications, he works in a star pattern, like we would when torqueing wheels.
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Here we see a new pocket bearing in place, but let’s not forget this new pocket bearing retainer. As Willie tells us, this part can be easily forgotten—especially in a busy shop with distractions from ringing telephones, fumbling photographers, and so on.
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For this step Willie uses an inch-pound dial torque wrench. With the tool pre-set to 25 in/lb, he’s now pulling back to 0 to confirm that rotating drag is in accordance with manual specifications.
14 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440For final installation of the pinion nut, the hole in the side of this impact socket is helpful as it enables Willie to visually gauge tightening progression.
13 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Throughout his career, Willie Martin has overhauled more rearends than you can shake a dipstick at. Even so, he’ll still employ a consultant. For double-checking assembly specifications, this well-used 1968 National Service Data manual is still the go-to guide.
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Before further assembly, our new pinion bearing receives a liberal coating of 80W-90 gear lube.
11 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440
As assembly progresses, it’s nearly time to set pinion bearing preload. First Willie installs a new crush sleeve. The crush sleeve works like a collapsible spacer—and oftentimes it’s called just that.
10 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x990
While we’re at the press, we might as well install some new bearings. At times like these an old inner race is a valuable tool. For this purpose an assortment of various sizes is kept handy.
09 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x990
This used part is showing some wear. Using the supplied collar-like installation tool, a stainless steel repair sleeve is pressed onto the sealing surface of our companion flange, or “yoke” if you prefer.
08 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x989
Where seals are involved, dry assembly is a definite no-no at Ed Martin Garage. Here Willie uses wheel bearing grease to lubricate the new pinion seal.
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By this time, obviously, the cast-iron pieces are shiny black, but this ain’t about paint so we don’t want to talk about that. Instead let’s talk about driving in a new pinion seal with a proper seal driver.
06 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x990
Welcome to California—where parts must be cleaned in a California-compliant manner. Here on the radar, this Mega-Mate cabinet washer is necessary equipment.
05 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Here’s a better view of the fixture, which swivels and locks in most any desired position. Taking a tapping in Willie’s left hand is another specialty tool. This repurposed wristpin works well for driving out the pocket bearing.
04 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440Here Willie is preparing to remove the carrier side bearings. As an extra added precaution the puller is firmly clamped in the vise, which helps keep it engaged on the bearing.
03 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x990
With our road-tested pumpkin firmly secured to a bench-mounted fixture, disassembly is well underway. This factory pinion-depth shim will be retained and reused later on.
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Rebuilt vs. New

So, how about that cost comparison? OK, according to our catalog, the leading brand’s comparable rearend would have set us back about $2,100. Considering that rearend is comprised of brand-new components, the price ain’t bad at all.

In doing things our way, we sometimes choose the path of most resistance. Here we started with a worn out, used rearend, less brake drums for $150. At the end of the overhaul, before leaving Ed Martin Garage, I took a stool at the counter. At my own request a tally was taken. We have a total of $1,325 invested in the third-member overhaul, which includes new axle bearings, seals, and a gasket to go.

Now we ought to talk about parts and labor in our home-based shop as well. Let’s not count the cosmetics as new rearends don’t come painted our way, but let’s do factor in our own fabrication, assembly, earlier disassembly, and so on.

33 Rebuilding An 8 Inch Ford Rearend Part 2 660x440According to my calculations, we’ve saved our customer-friend some dough. In the end it’s not as much as we’d hoped, but since this particular old truck ain’t made of new parts, we’re pleased. With Ed Martin Garage nearby, we’d do it the same way again. If there’s no Ed Martin Garage near you, consider your options.
Source: hotrod.com
Posted in Interesting Stuff

Watch This Belligerent Screw-Blown Impala Bar Fight Through Rounds of No-Prep Racing

Written by Phillip Thomas on July 22,
2016 Contributors: 1320 Video
Watch This Belligerent Screw-Blown Impala Bar Fight Through Rounds of No-Prep Racing

The big-body Impala have been one of the go-to canvases for hot rodders for decades — they’ve been everything from family haulers to race day money-makers. Homewrecker Motorsports’1963 Chevrolet Impala, the Gudfar (Norwegian for Godfather), is not only a full-steel-and-glass heavyweight, but also one of the most belligerent no-prep machines we’ve ever seen. It’s a fresh build, so owner Jamond Haug, and his brother Todd, have more work to do to dial in the Impala’s stability, but the resultis spectacular to watch.

Video by: 1320 Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61xAPBv5fS0 

This Whipple R980screw-blown, BAE 540 ci billetHemi-powered Impala is an all-steel, all-glass, full-interior back-half carthat weighs in at 3,750 pounds. Hell, this monster is still street-legal, according to the state of Nebraska.The Haug brothers built the car in their garage with the helpful brains ofShannon Beeler at BDRC race cars and Blake at 417motorsports, and are using it as something of aweekend toy for no-prep racing and other shenanigans.

13724018 10207549052378517 5667709086830242763 O 660x495

With about 2,700 hp, Gudfar hustles down the eighth with ridiculous speed when it hooks. And, that “when it hooks” is the important part. This race was something of a shakedown for the Haug brothers, which brings the usual quirks. Despite the lack of traction, the Gudfar is still able to take more than a few wins during its initial showing at the Ozark Raceway Park and I29 Dragway no-prep events, where 1320 Video caught the spectacle. And while you could say that the Impala’s aircraft-carrier wheelbase helps keep it off the wall, you really have to credit Jamond’s driving for keeping it mostly straight while fighting the rear slicks.

Source: hotrod.com

Posted in Interesting Stuff

Fast, Loud, and Fun: Photo Gallery of our drive to Northwest Deuce Days

Written by Chris Shelton on July 22, 2016Contributors: Larry Chen
Fast, Loud, and Fun: Photo Gallery of our drive to Northwest Deuce Days

There’s nothing quite like it. The 1932 Ford—the so-called Deuce—pretty much set the stage for the hot rod as we know it. Its champions will rattle off a list of things that made the car special. It’s a one-year-only design. Its frame doubles as part of the body. Its grille seems to make most other cars of the era that much handsomer. Of course it’s all these things but we’ll argue that it’s a piece of hardware that gives the Deuce its place in the sun: its engine. In 1932 Ford bestowed unto its car the first mass-produced V-8 engine; the engine that powers our passion today.

Naturally the car garners a following, some say even a cult following. For decades now acolytes the world over would meet for impromptu celebrations of the car. Deuce days they usually called them. One such event, a gathering of friends in a village at the southern tip of British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, has grown—nay, figuratively exploded—into an event that literally closes down the center of Victoria, the island’s crown jewel.

004 1932 Ford Deuce Days 660x440

Held every three years, Northwest Deuce Days attracts enthusiasts the world over. The 2013 event boasted nearly 500 1932 Ford entries (the event hosts a secondary event for ’51-and-earlier vehicles which pushed the total to more than a thousand cars). Given the distribution of 1932 Fords, Northwest Deuce Days is really a driving event masquerading as a show. The event’s organizers led by promoter Al Clark host a number of on-road events like tours and, appropriate for a car considered the backbone of the street-rod movement, a poker run.

When we heard that Roy Brizio gathered a small tribe to make the journey to Mecca we knew we had to make plans to meet up. A proponent of long-distance driving, Roy surrounds himself with a pretty hardcore crew of road eaters. Among them this year, Top Fuel engine-building icon Ed Pink, speed-parts magnate Vic Edelbrock, SO-CAL Speed Shop’s Pete Chapouris, patrons and collectors Bruce Meyer and Richard Munz, and racecar drivers Danny Sullivan, Tom Gloy, and Ed “The Ace” McCulloch.

We dusted off a Deuce of our own and met up with the crew in Portland, Oregon. From there we took a combination of freeway and highways up Washington’s Olympic Peninsula to Port Angeles, embarkation point for a two-hour ferry ride to the heart of Victoria.

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To say it was a way-bitchin’ time is a huge understatement—these guys charge hard. We really wish you could’ve been there to go with us, but Larry Chen’s photo account is hands-down the next best way to make the journey. And keep checking in; we’ll follow up with event coverage over the next few days.

Source: hotrod.com

Posted in Interesting Stuff

Check Out the 1972 Plymouth Road Runner GTX 440+6 Chrysler Swore Never Existed

Written by Arvid Svendsen on July 13, 2016
Check Out the 1972 Plymouth Road Runner GTX 440+6 Chrysler Swore Never Existed

“One well known Chrysler legend denied that the car had ever been built”

The Clean Air Act of 1970 probably helped us breathe better, but it also killed the muscle car momentum that had been building for at least a decade. Low-lead/no-lead fuel mandates resulted in lowered compression ratios, primitive emissions equipment, and decreased horsepower by 1972, a downward spiral that only got worse as the decade continued. Yet despite repressive government regulations, one illegal, coyote-asphyxiating 1972 440+6 Road Runner flew over the Mopar nest with a powerplant worthy of its high performance heritage.

Russell Morgan of Washington, North Carolina, is a serious Mopar hunter. His first car was a 1971 Dodge Super Bee. He says, “My family members were Plymouth and Dodge people, and that’s how I got into them. While I was going through college in the mid to late ’70s, I studied Mopars. I memorized how to read the serial numbers and learned everything I could about Mopar muscle cars. I loved it. I had a jump on so many others because of my family’s involvement with Mopars.”

When Russell graduated college in 1978, he got a job that entailed driving 2,000 to 2,500 miles per week. “In my travels I would find these Mopar muscle cars that people no longer wanted. My buddy Randy Feagle and I would spot these cars sitting around in driveways and garages. Remember, this was in the days of the gas crisis. People stopped driving gas guzzlers, bought economy cars, and didn’t go back. The cars were just sitting around, ripe for the picking.”

Russell adds, “I never cheated anyone. They didn’t have to take what I offered them. But I was buying cars 10 cents on the dollar. I bought a 1970 Hemi ‘Cuda in about 1981 for $480. It was the poster child Hemi ‘Cuda: red, white vinyl top, Shaker hood, elastomeric bumpers, four-speed transmission, and a Dana rear. $480!”

03 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Front 660x440

It was around this time when Russell found our featured car. He says, “There was a big salvage yard in Effingham, South Carolina, that had a bunch of junked muscle cars and muscle car parts. The owner and I got acquainted. He was a Ford guy, but he loved all the old muscle cars. He would let me look around his yard and buy parts. About 1983 or 1984, I saw this red 1972 Road Runner GTX sitting apart from the other junkers. It had an electric sunroof, an Air Grabber hood, a short-block was in the car, the radiator was gone, and it had no rotors. The car had the RM23V2G code in the VIN. I knew the V Code was a Six Pack. I thought to myself, I didn’t know they made a Six Pack in 1972.”

“Three 440+6 cars are known to have been built for 1972”

Few did. It was in 1971 that Plymouth offered the GTX as a separate model for the last time. It was also the last year for the 426 Hemi. For 1972, the GTX would be an option package on a Road Runner with a 440 motor. Chrysler factory materials for the 1972 models printed in spring 1971 indicated that the factory had planned to offer a 440 Six-Barrel motor in the 1972 Road Runner GTX and the Dodge Charger. But for years, most Mopar people had concluded that a factory-built 440 Six-Barrel Mopar was stillborn prior to any 1972 cars being offered to the public.
As of this writing, three 440+6 cars are known to have been built for 1972. One is this E5 Rallye Red Road Runner GTX, another is an E5 Rallye Red Charger Rallye, and the last is a Top Banana Yellow Charger Rallye. (Apparently in 1972, one could own a E5 Rallye Red Charger Rallye, with Rallye wheels and a Rallye dash.) All three were made in August 1971, very early in the production run. After the three known cars were built, the 440+6 motors were canceled for 1972 production. For the rest of the model year, the 440 four-barrel motor was the top dog available in the Road Runner GTX.

17 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Profile 660x440

Looking back on that fateful day in the salvage yard, Russell recalls, “Always on the hunt for cool parts, I asked the owner how much he wanted for the Air Grabber hood on that red 1972 Road Runner GTX sunroof car. I bought the hood for $150. I took the hood to a swap meet in Charlotte, North Carolina. A man came up to me and asked me what car had that hood. I told him it was a 1972 Six Pack Road Runner GTX, and he said he had been looking for that car for years. He then asked me where the car was, and I said, ‘I ain’t gonna tell you.'”

Russell immediately put the hood back in his truck and headed to the yard the next Monday. The yard’s owner had a clean title for the car and factory literature from 1972 that showed the Six Pack motor offered in the Road Runner GTX. The title confirmed the RM23V2G in the VIN as an authentic two-door hardtop (RM23), 440+6 (V), 1972 model (2) assembled at the St. Louis, Missouri, plant (G).

What happened next might go down as one of the great Mopar buys of all time. “He sold me the car with a clean title for $150,” says Russell. “He knew exactly what it was, but he knew I was a Mopar guy and that I would appreciate this car.”

Upon purchasing the car, Russell began researching its history. One well-known Chrysler legend denied that the car had ever been built. When that Chrysler official was pressed, Russell was essentially told that the car was bogus. Undaunted, he continued to search for answers.

As the car became more widely known among his Mopar brethren, many attempted to buy it from him. One phone call led to the acquisition of a genuine set of three N.O.S. 1972 440+6 carburetors with tags and correct date codes for the August 1971 build. Amazingly the carburetors had originally been designated by Chrysler for installation on the 1972 Six-Barrel motor. That information strengthened the case for the car’s legitimacy.

11 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Air Cleaner 660x440

After further digging, another well-known Mopar historian admitted that the 440+6 motor had been scheduled for 1972 models but was canceled early in August 1971. Apparently the engine did not meet emissions standards for 1972. This reputable source explained to Russell that if Chrysler admitted the existence of his 1972 V-Code Road Runner GTX, it could result in trouble from the EPA. Russell was warned that if the wrong people found out about the car, someone might actually take it away from him.

How the car ever made it into public hands remains a mystery. One theory is that the V-Code Road Runner GTX was an executive car that was built despite the corporate edict for its cancelation. Another suggests that when the 440+6 was canceled, someone simply sold the car as a 1971 model. Others speculate that the real reasons for the death of the 1972 440+6 motor were sagging sales and other financial concerns. The cancelation to build the cars simply arrived too late to the factory, thus allowing a few V-Code 1972 cars to be built and sold. Regardless of how the car came to the public, Russell had established his Mopar as a real-deal factory creation.

On April 1, 1995, Russell sold the car to Larry Dantonio of Chicagoland, a 1972 Road Runner aficionado. Larry says that he always found it ironic that he purchased a car that “never existed” on April Fool’s Day. He owned the car for a number of years as part of a strong Mopar collection of B-Bodies. His accumulation of rare and N.O.S. parts towards the restoration of the Road Runner GTX played a vital role in the car’s status today. However, a decision to focus his energies on drag racing with his family led to the car’s sale.

01 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Front Three Quarter Alt 3 660x440

The rare Road Runner GTX became a part of the Brothers Collection and was masterfully restored by Magnum Auto Restoration in LaSalle, Illinois. At $150, it might be considered one of the better buys in muscle car history. As an escaped bird from the oppression of government regulators, it is undoubtedly one of the great triumphs of muscle car lore.

At a Glance

1972 Road Runner GTX
Owned by: Brothers Collection
Restored by: Magnum Auto Restoration, LaSalle, IL
Engine: 440ci/330hp Six-Barrel V-8
Transmission: 727 TorqueFlite 3-speed automatic
Rearend: 8-3/4 with 3.55 gears and Sure-Grip
Interior: Black bucket seat
Wheels: 15×7 Rallye
Tires: G60-15 Goodyear Polyglas GT
Special parts: Electric sunroof, AM-FM radio with cassette, V Code, N96 Air Grabber hood

02 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Rear Three Quarter 660x440

If you ordered a 440 engine in a 1972 Road Runner, you automatically received the GTX emblems. Total 1972 production of Plymouth Road Runners was 7,628 units. This particular car is rare not only because of the oddball 440 Six-Barrel motor but also because of the unusual options like that factory electric sunroof.

04 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Engine 660x440

The 1972 440 Six-Barrel motor was largely a carryover from 1971. The engine featured a 10.3:1 compression ratio, a high-lift camshaft, Hemi valve springs and dampers, hardened exhaust valve tips, and specially selected and Magnafluxed connecting rods.

05 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Air Grabber Hood 660x440

The vacuum-operated Air Grabber door opened up when the accelerator pedal was mashed. Here is a look at the beautifully restored and functioning factory setup inside the hood.

06 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Carburetors 660x440

The three Holley two-barrel carburetors were discovered by Russell Morgan and are absolutely correct for a 1972 440 Six-Barrel motor. They were sourced from Chrysler and feature numbers unique to 1972.

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08 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Cassette Recorder 660x440

The beautiful black interior includes bucket seats, console, Strato Vent ventilation, and full Rallye gauges. The highly desirable cassette recorder is mounted on the console, with microphone ready for dictation. Joe Mannix would have loved this car.

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The 15×7 Rallye wheels are shod with Goodyear Polyglas GT G60-15 tires.

10 1972 Plymouth Road Runner Gtx Rear Detail 660x440

The chrome exhaust tips were optional. The taillights and side marker lights were revised for 1972.

Source: hotrod.com

Posted in Interesting Stuff

Inside this Old Gas Station is a Treasure Trove of Vintage Speed Parts

Written by Evan Perkins on July 14, 2016Contributors: Dominick Damato

Inside this Old Gas Station is a Treasure Trove of Vintage Speed Parts

On a sleepy street corner in Strong City, Kansas, one building stands out. It’s not brightly colored, crumbling, or of a peculiar design, but it magnetically catches the eyes of any passerby with even the slightest inkling of a passion for cars. Under the shadow of a restored Standard Gas sign, sprawled out across the oil-stained property, is an epic offering to the gods of speed matched in both stature and range.

As the HOT ROD crew passed through, en route to the Wichita leg of Power Tour 2016, the familiar sound of roaring V8s echoed down Main Street as the faint smell of tire rubber wafted on the breeze. This was a phenomenon we had become used to over the course of the week: enthusiastic local hot rodders lining the curbs in towns on the official cruise route, enticing muscle-car drivers to spin their tires.

It was that fluke of street rod serendipity that caused us to stumble onto one of the coolest vintage speed part collections we’ve seen in a long time. And yet, it wasn’t what it seemed.

As we approached the station for a better view of the burnout action, a row of oil and paint cans line the station windowsill, many of their tattered labels bearing now-defunct branding. Two frog-eyed Sprites shared the front driveway with a ’55 Chevy gasser, and an IMCA Modified racer, while bits and pieces of all four cars dotted the ground. A Model-A hot rod, flathead-powered and all, is visible through period-correct window grime. “This place must be ancient,” we thought. It was as if time stood still, and only rust came and went as it pleased.

We rounded another corner, approaching the open garage bay; a garden hose snaked out, supplying burnout-box water to the whooping gearheads joyfully coaxing tire smoke from passing drivers. Through the door, much to our surprise, the hot rodder inside didn’t fit our hastily conjured mental image of who “should” have been inside. There was no old man, no grumpy gearhead ready to chase us off the property. In his place stood a young man in a clean shirt and blue jeans, a smile lined his face like the lines of rubber rapidly accumulating outside.

His name is Seth Schroer. And, the cornucopia of speed parts, Americana, and all other manner of cool stuff inside his garage isn’t the forgotten accumulation of antiquities it initially appeared to be. You see, Seth didn’t score the barn find of the century when he bought this old service station, this is his personal collection of cars, parts, and memorabilia from America’s golden age of speed.

Hot Rod Power Tour Schroder Vinage Speed Shop 28 660x440This is Seth’s ’27 T roadster on a Model-A frame. It has a ’39 transmission, ’38 Merc’ motor, and a ’48 Ford rearend. Seth still races the car, nicknamed the “Kansas Tornado;” original black-pipe roll bar and all.

“My old man had a mechanic’s shop and a salvage yard forever, so that kind of gave me a head start on getting some of this stuff back in the day,” said Schroer. “I buy all kinds of old parts just anything old.” That “stuff” consists of several hemi’s, vintage go-karts and mini-bikes, machinery, gas pumps, a bonafide ’27 Model T drag car, and more assorted antique iron than could possibly be counted. Schroer’s collection is so broad it sparks the question, “What isn’t he into?” To which he jokingly maybe not responds, “I haven’t got an airplaneyet.”
Seth’s collection extends across the street, too. Yeah, that’s a real-deal Candies and Hughes hauler. He uses it to take his ’27 T to the track.

From the artwork on the wall to the unopened parts boxes on the shelves, Schroer’s man cave is the real deal. Midway through our exploration, a wall-mounted, rotary-dial phone rings we’d be surprised if Schroer owns a cell phone.

Schroer’s day job is at his machine shop, his weekends are spent at the track with his IMCA Sport Modified car, but his weeknights; those are spent here. “After work I just come in here and enjoy myself,” he says. “Most everybody my age has left, but I always kind of liked it here.”

Hot Rod Power Tour Schroder Vinage Speed Shop 78 660x990

“Here” is a place of remembrance, a place that’s walls are plastered with respect for those that paved the way. Pinned to a corkboard, a page torn straight out of HRM from the 1957 Bonneville Speed Records pays tribute. The Perry Boy’s Class B Roadster holds the top spot at 168.7 mph.

Source: hotrod.com

Posted in Interesting Stuff

Wow! 572 Hemi GTX With A Stick Is The Perfect Driver!

Written by Brian Lohnes on July 13,
2016 Contributors: Peter Linney
Wow! 572 Hemi GTX With A Stick Is The Perfect Driver!

There’s an old saying out there that people like to repeat. The most common variation is, “you can’t go home again.” In many cases it may be true but when applied to the 1967 Hemi-powered Plymouth GTX of Alberta, Canada’s Bruce Erickson, it falls completely apart. Erickson’s car is not only a trip home mentally but also physically to the start of a love affair with cars and things mechanical. We’re guessing every time he hits the key and fires up the 572-inch Hemi he feels the same way he did in 1967 when he signed the papers to own a car that would ultimately shape his automotive tastes and interests for years to come. But we’re skipping ahead.

“Bruce planned on making his first new car purchase a 1967 Charger. Then a funny thing happened.”

The Mopar hook was set for Bruce Erickson as a kid. He was attending a parade in 1965 and his eyes feasted upon a then brand-new Valiant convertible that had the high-performance 273ci small-block and four-speed manual transmission. The look and the sound of that car set the wheels in motion, and as he scraped and saved his money, Bruce planned on making his first new car purchase a 1967 Charger. Then a funny thing happened. The GTX model was introduced and while it may have cost him a few more bucks, Bruce bought himself a 440ci, four-speed car in white with black stripes. For a short time, all was right with the world.

“There were six of us in the car, my buddy was driving, and we were going about as fast as that car would goThe motor blew up during that fiasco.”—Bruce Ericksen

We say short time because in the span of a year, Bruce had gone through two engines. The first one went out with its boots on, “We were in a bit of a high-speed pursuit you could say,” Bruce said with a laugh. “There were six of us in the car, my buddy was driving, and we were going about as fast as that car would go. It had slicks on the back and everything. The motor blew up during that fiasco.” As you could imagine, this type of news gets around, so when the car was brought to the dealer for an engine replacement, the dealer refused to warranty it. Thankfully, Bruce’s dad bought an engine for him from the local Chrysler parts house and after swapping it and learning a valuable lesson, Bruce was taking things a bit easier on the car. Then a second disaster struck when the factory block heater fell out of the engine while he was driving, and that led to the replacement engine being toasted. As an apprentice equipment mechanic, Bruce had the skills to fix the car, so he did, then promptly traded it in on something that he figured would not give him the issues that the GTX had.

For the next four decades, Bruce spent his time being a family man and a businessman, building a successful name as a John Deere dealer and admiring those muscle cars of his youth from afar. It was a long way from the parade that had gotten him so riled up as a kid, but while the flame may have flickered a few times, it never went out. In 2006, Bruce decided to attend the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Arizona to take in the action. That had the same effect on him as that parade did so many years ago, and while didn’t buy a car at the auction, he set about looking for a GTX to call his own again.

“The car I bought was far rougher than I thought, from the information I was dealing with,” Bruce said. Due to the fact that the car was going to need a complete transformation to get it to the condition Bruce was looking for, he actually built a shop before getting the car started. “I built a big 36-by-50 shop when we were living in Prince Edward Island so that I had lots of room to work on the car. It was a multi-year process to get the result you see today.”

One of the parts of the process that didn’t give Bruce too much in the way of headaches was the masterful bodywork done by the late Gerald Profit. He’s responsible for the fit and finish, the color, and the aesthetic beauty of the big ’67 GTX. “I met Gerald in 2006 and he was just an awesome guy who turned out fantastic work. This car really is a testament to his skill.” The paint color is the same used on the limited edition ’05 Dodge Viper Copperhead. The orange paint has that amazing copperhead look under the right light. This GTX is a real stunner.

With the bodywork done and the car painted, it was now time to turn attention to the engine bay and what would be powering the GTX. This is another interesting twist to the story. Bruce turned to his friend Frank Kirchner to do the work. As it turns out, Kirchner was the guy who happened to be driving on that night back in 1967 where the original GTX’s engine expired during the high-speed pursuit! Additionally, Kirchner had a career in drag racing, piloting the Canadian-based Automatic Radio funny car in the mid-1970s, actually replacing the legendary Gordie Bonin. “I had originally intended to keep the car 440-powered but Frank told me that for the money we should do a Hemi.” Things got immediately more serious from there.

“Rather than hunting down a stock block, an Indy Maxx aluminum piece was used. This water-jacketed beauty would keep weight down in the front”

Rather than hunting down a stock block, an Indy Maxx aluminum piece was used. This water-jacketed beauty would keep weight down in the front end and also eliminate the possibilities of having to “save” a factory piece with an unknown history before entering the shop. The build moved ahead with a load of stout parts like a stroker Callies crank, Eagle rods, a Crane cam, and 10:1 compression Diamond pistons. The heads were some of the first of the Mopar aluminum pieces to be offered and unfortunately a valve seat failure put a premature end to Bruce’s fun with the car, but it did not destroy the engine. “We got lucky in that when the valve seat came out it did not make a really big mess,” he said. “Rather than repair those and have it nagging in the back of my head that it would happen again, we went with a set of Stage V heads and they have been great,” Bruce confirmed. We’d have to agree, as the car makes 732 naturally aspirated horsepower and 717 lb-ft of torque.

Even with all the horsepower and the rowdy nature of the engine, Bruce did not want his ’67 GTX to be relegated to dragstrip duty only. He wanted to drive the car, and in order to do that comfortably he went with a basically stock interior. Legendary Auto Interiors was tapped to get the inside of the car back into the same shape it left the Plymouth factory in. Stock bucket seats provide the perfect place for Bruce and his passengers to relax in as they cruise. And cruise Bruce does. This thing gets driven a few thousand miles a year and since reliability is also part of the program here, the components under the car and behind the engine needed to stand up to the grunt.

“The automatic could not stand up to the power so I swapped it for a Passon 855 manual transmission.”—Bruce Ericksen

“I had an automatic transmission in the car when it was first completed, but that turned out to be a mistake,” Bruce said. “The automatic could not stand up to the power so I swapped it for a Passon 855 manual transmission. The Passon is great because it can stand up to the engine and it is a five-speed. The first four ratios are identical to an A833 and Fifth gear is a .70 overdrive. With the 4.30 gears in the Drivetrain Specialties Dana 60, I can cruise at 2,350 rpm at 70 mph down the highway.” The leaf springs were moved inboard on both sides of that big Dana rearend, and along with a set of CalTracs bars and subframe connectors, this GTX was modified to hook hard.

Remember when we talked about going home again? While this car was being built, painted, and finished, Bruce and his wife lived in beautiful Price Edward Island, Canada. After it was finished they relocated back to their native Alberta, and they did it with the ultimate dream version of the car that he first fell in love with. “I guess I have returned to my roots,” Bruce said. We agree and he did it with a screaming 732hp Hemi helping to guide the way. You truly can go home again.

Source: hotrod.com

Posted in Interesting Stuff

There’s a Race Car Hidden Inside this Bare-Metal Hemi-Powered 1931 Ford Model A Coupe

Written by Drew Hardin on July 8, 2016Contributors: Wes Allison
There’s a Race Car Hidden Inside this Bare-Metal Hemi-Powered 1931 Ford Model A Coupe

When Sean McDougall brought his bare-steel, Hemi-powered Model A coupe to the March Meet earlier this year, he missed a lot of the racing because so many people (our own Dave Wallace included) wanted to talk to him about the car. Which was great. After having gone to Famoso for years without a car of his own—while the coupe languished in the shop, a project so daunting he didn’t know where to start—he loved being able to finally show off his handiwork.

Not so great was the number of people he overheard calling the coupe a rat rod. He got it; to a lot of folks, the combination of bare metal, big motor, radical chop, and low stance means rat. But there’s nothing ratty about this car. It is, in fact, the opposite of ratty. What you see here is a race car tucked within that vintage sheetmetal.

That approach came from Sean’s background as a fabricator and welder. Today his specialty is building headers and custom exhaust systems. But he cut his fabrication teeth on Stock Cars and Sprint Cars—and a few customized VWs—and still does race car fabrication work in between exhaust projects. So it’s no surprise that go-fast engineering found its way into his Model A.

He bought the car from a co-worker 10 years ago. “It was an impulse buy,” Sean admits, “and I really didn’t know what I was getting into.” The roof had already been chopped, but badly, so Sean decided to cut it out, along with the poorly done roof insert, and also remove the floors from where they had been welded to the quarter-panels. “Who does that?” Sean asks, shaking his head to this day.

But that’s when progress on the car stopped. “I was overwhelmed by the amount of work it needed,” he says now. “No rear axle, no floor, no frame, no roof. What was I thinking?”

The coupe sat for five years that way, until some well-meaning friends started bugging him about it. “They said, ‘It’s not worth anything apart,’ and were on me to get started on it again,” Sean recalls. Those friends, as it turns out, not only got Sean going, they were a big help in some key areas of the build.

He redid the top chop with a half-inch wedge, dropping the front a total of 5-1/4 inches and the back 4-3/4. There’s no visor over the windshield; he cleaned that up by fabricating sort of a flatbill over the front glass. But the visor’s removal revealed a styling feature of the Model A that Sean never liked: how the top of the windshield and the tops of the door glass don’t align. To fix that he lowered the windshield top an inch, sectioning the windshield frame in the process. He replaced the botched roof insert with the lid from a wrecked 1959 bubbletop Impala that was donated by buddies Broc Hopkins and Brycen Smith. They, too, are sheetmetal fabricators whose advice and support “kept me on track,” says Sean.

Another friend, Jeramiah Allen, helped Sean construct the chassis, a mix of traditional and race car tech. In front there’s a SoCal Speed Shop dropped axle, but it’s damped by QA1 adjustable shocks, and there are Wilwood Superlite disc brakes and Wave rotors at the ends of that axle.

When building the frame, Sean Z’d the front rails up 3 inches where they exit below the firewall, raising the crossmember (which is out of a ’32) while also lowering the body to help its hunkered-down stance. The effect is enhanced by the car’s underslung rear axle, which brings the body so low that the tops of the quarter-panels are almost even with the tops of the Firestone Sprint Car tires.

Sean built the rear ladder bars and fashioned long-radius hoops for the rear QA1 coilovers. That axle is a 1990s-era Winters quick-change out of a Stock Car, and ahead of the diff is a hand-built, 32-gallon fuel cell that’s protected by three driveline hoops built into the chassis.

Motivating the Winters QC is a gem of a Hemi. The 331-inch ’51 Chrysler motor was running when he bought it, but there were some issues, including scoring in one bore. Car builder Mark Wilson, a friend who Sean calls his “project manager” because he’s “kind of a mentor who would keep me from getting off-track or discouraged at a fork in the design road,” hooked Sean up with Lanny Trefz at LTR Racing Engines in Onyx, California. There, Lanny bored the block 0.030 over and handled the rest of the machining, while John Garrison massaged the cylinder heads, which were from a 354-inch ’56 Hemi.

“I told Garrison the car was for the street,” Sean says of the longtime drag-race engine builder. “I didn’t want a high top-end deal. But he guaranteed me 500 hp. He said he loved early Hemis and remembered when they used to get race motors from Detroit.”

The motor’s induction is a throwback to Sean’s VW-building days: four Weber 48 IDA carbs on a Weber intake, a system built by Jim Inglese. “I wanted Webers because I knew I could tune them,” he explains. “Everybody runs a blower. I wanted Top Fuel power but not via a blower. So Webers it is.”

At the other end of the combustion process are zoomie headers Sean fabbed with pieces from SPD and help from his friend Brian Hulsey. “I designed them and welded them out, but it takes more than one guy to hold everything together while you tack it up, and an extra set of eyes to see if stuff is crooked is critical,” Sean says. “I thought about making Sprint Car pipes since so much of this car is like a Sprint Car, but they’re sort of boring. And when I was a kid, all of my favorite Hot Wheels cars had big chrome engines with zoomie headers.”

When all the engine work was done, the Hemi pumped out Garrison’s promised 500 horses, 503 to be exact. That’s a lot of power for a car that weighs 2,300 pounds. “But that was a track tune,” Sean says. “It’s closer to 420 now, with 10.8:1 compression and running pump gas.”

And it delivers on Sean’s wish for Top Fuel power. “It’s my own vintage-Hemi-powered Model A burnout machine. When you roll on First gear and sing the motor into a burnout for 300 feet, it sounds just like the floppers at Famoso. The pipes and Webers make this car magic to drive.”

001 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Front Three Quarter 660x440A lot of serious work went into the build of Sean McDougall’s Hemi-fied Model A, but Sean calls it “fun, pure nonsense.” That’s why he’s nicknamed it the Malarkey Coupe. “You get in it and all kinds of malarkey starts to happen.”
002 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Engine Overall 660x440Like so much of the car, the engine is a mix of old and new tech. The 331-inch Hemi out of a 1951 Chrysler is dressed with Imperial valve covers from an old East Coast drag car and topped with state-of-the-art Weber carburetion from Jim Inglese.
003 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Weber Carburetors 660x440Direct linkage means all eight throats open at once. “On the highway, you just crack those butterflies open and it will cruise like an airplane,” Sean says. The debris screens are Sean’s handiwork.
004 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Zoomie Headers 660x440Sean fabbed the zoomies with a diameter of 2-1/8 inches, the same size as the Hemi’s ports. “I told Garrison he couldn’t go crazy with the ports because the headers were already made.”
005 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Spalding Flamethrower 660x440The N.O.S. Spalding Flamethrower had Ed Iskenderian’s name on it—literally. It was still in the box addressed to Isky’s shop, wrapped in newspaper from 1959, one of two Isky had for testing engines back in the day. “If I didn’t have the box I wouldn’t have believed it,” Sean says. “I am so honored.”
006 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Front 660x440The gennie 1931 grille shell was chopped 6 inches to fit the car’s tidy proportions. Four-inch dropped axle is from SoCal Speed Shop; QA1 shocks damp a Super monoleaf spring.
007 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Rear Suspension Winters Quick Change 660x440There’s some very trick stuff under the louvered decklid. Sean fabbed the hoops for the QA1 coilovers, the ladder bars, and also the massive 32-gallon fuel cell. Note that the axle is underslung, which helps the coupe’s stance. The Winters quick-change came out of a Stock Car with an offset centersection that Sean had to rework.
008 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Roof Windshield 660x440The coupe’s top had been chopped, but badly, so Sean started over. In the process he formed the flatbill-like ridge over the windshield, in place of the Model A’s visor. Removing the visor, though, drew attention to the fact that the top of the windshield didn’t align with the tops of the door glass. So Sean lowered the windshield an inch and then sectioned the frame so it would still fit the opening.
009 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Pinstriping 660x440The Model A’s body is bare metal, with “remnants of primer, lots of scars, and new welding,” Sean says. There is a bit of striping, choice highlights rendered by another buddy known as the “Flyin’ Hawaiian.”
010 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Interior Overall 660x440Sean took a race car approach to the coupe’s interior: Make it as light as possible and very functional. “Like a street-legal speedway bike.” One advantage to the minimalist approach: “You can hose it out!” Sean says.
011 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Seats 660x440Sean fabbed the seats from two pieces of 0.080 aluminum and made the bead-rolled “cushions” from 0.040 aluminum. Those belts are custom snap-in numbers from Irving Air Chute.
012 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Steering Wheel 660x440Sprint-Car-style steering wheel is a custom job fabbed from an aluminum hoop (with finger reliefs machined into the back) joined to fabricated spokes. Note the serious bend Sean had to put into the Hurst lever to get it away from his leg. Shifter rows a 1970s-vintage BorgWarner Super T10.
013 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Under Dash 660x440Tons of cool fabrication work here: Hand-built and bead-rolled dash holds vintage Stewart-Warner wing gauges; Healey heater control “wingnut” to the right of the dials controls brake bias. The column drop is the small end of a Mickey Thompson Hemi connecting rod. The box under the dash holds the battery; next to it are twin Bosch coils, and just below them is an hour meter. Red pedals are a nice touch.
015 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Rear Three Quarter 660x440Along with the other friends mentioned in the story, Sean wanted to acknowledge Ross Geissel for “helping me with the final assembly and keeping me hydrated on those Saturday nights.” And a special thank-you goes out to his wife, Teresa, for all of her support and understanding through the long build process.
016 Mcdougall 1931 Ford Model A Driving 660x440It took five years of on-again off-again work for Sean to finish his Model A. Or, at least, get it to this point. It may not be finished. There could be paint in its future, “something light, like maybe VW Pale Blue.” He has a ’32 grille shell tucked away and the dashboard out of a shoebox Ford. “If I painted it, put the grille and dash on, took the Sprint-Car tires off and put 7.50s on it, it would be a totally different car.”
Source: hotrod.com
Posted in Interesting Stuff