Car Enthusiasts Forums

Over a long period of time, I have read and posted on a lot of different forum groups. All of them have been car related and either in the category of trying to provide someone help from my own knowledge or obtaining information about something that I am working on. There can be a wealth of information on some of them but others sometimes make you wonder where the car hobby is actually headed. It is the latter that has me really concerned.

Small Block Chevy – Jeep CJ5

Bad information is sometimes worse than no information at all, especially if it leads someone down an expensive path of mistakes with their own project. But like most things in this world, it seems that if you repeat it often enough and long enough then somewhere it becomes truth. Trying to challenge these “truths” can be quite the undertaking, almost to point of being Quixote in nature. I do try however whenever I can to gently and nicely straighten out someone’s misinformed mindset. Maybe if I just save one? I am never really sure that I am successful but at least I get an “E” for effort I suppose. As an example, one of the more entertaining rants followed another forum poster’s extremely well done installation of a remote filter and oil cooler installation. I have actually used this information to provide this upgrade to my own JDM (Japanese Domestic Manufacturer) vehicle along with two others. Uninformed individuals swore up and down that this upgrade would destroy the engine, that the engine’s oil pump would break and that the cooler oil would wreck havoc upon the engine. Overall, a lot of nonsense. Anyone that has a sports model of these vehicles, one that has an oil temperature gauge (whoa, wait a minute – the manufacturer thought that an oil temperature gauge was important on a sports model – maybe there is something to this?) understands that keeping the oil temperature within a certain range is important to the life of the engine. It doesn’t take but a small amount of vigorous driving to push the oil temperature upward very quickly. Hotter oil is thinner and therefore more at risk of allowing that dreaded metal-to-metal contact that is so detrimental to the internals of an engine. But according to those other individuals, the pump was never designed to push oil through lines and coolers and such, it would surely snap the oil pump’s driveshaft at the worse possible moment. But did any of them notice that the factory offers a kit to do the same exact thing? That the factory does not offer a bigger, heavier oil pump? Maybe we can put two and two together? Nope – doesn’t happen. This information about the install was posted about 5 years ago and to this day still gets negative posts in response.

And that leads me to the next thing in this hobby. While I certainly understand some hesitation in trying something for the first time or the thought that if this messes up, it’s going to be expensive to fix – I don’t see a lot of people venturing into the unknown. And I am starting to see this as a cultural thing. I don’t want to buy that aftermarket hot rod part without being completely convinced that it is going to fit perfectly without me having to do anything else. This appears to be the mantra of the new style hot rodder. Even the ones that should know better have suddenly picked this up recently. A post I just read last night was along the lines of, “I want to put a Chevrolet LS engine in my classic mid-50’s Chevrolet, but I don’t want any problems and I see that no one makes the pre-bent fuel supply lines now.” “What do I do now?”  Well, I guess your quest for a late model powered mid-50’s vehicle just came to a screaming halt. To me, there is something wrong here but I am often reminded that this is “okay”. And I guess it is in the general sense of things. Inside, I am sorry this person cannot proceed however maybe it’s better that they didn’t bother too. I don’t have the answer, I am just happy that I am not that type of person.


Just Something Free – Hot Rod T-Bucket Chassis Plans

The Internet can still be a cool place to be sometimes. While browsing around, I found these free T-Bucket chassis plans. They were last updated around 2008 and some of the information such as part numbers might not be correct but the idea is that they give you a good basis to get started if this is something you are interested in doing. And even if a T-Bucket isn’t your cup of tea, the ideas presented might still help you out with your project.

Click the link below for your own free copy.

Free – Hot Rod T-Bucket Chassis Plans


Trailer Project – Round 4

A quick update on the trailer project.

With good weather in the forecast, I was able to make some plans for the trailer and stick to them finally. As I previously mentioned, everything that sits in the trailer has to be placed outside so that I can work on the interior. Then when I am done for the time being, I load it all back in again. So it was everything out and after going through and plugging all of the various holes in the flooring with caulk, a good sweeping and in some cases a little bit of scrubbing, the floor was ready for it’s new coat of paint. Admittedly I did not use the more expensive rollers to paint the walls or floors but let’s call them medium-grade. I think the two of them cost me about $5 total. On the walls, I used one with a lower nap that is intended for smooth surfaces but for the floor, I got the heavier nap so that all of the rough surface area would be well coated with paint. This is after all just your basic 3/4″ sheathing plywood. The paint went on really well and I was happy with the coverage it provided. Front to back and with a heavy coating, the floor took about 2/3 of a gallon. I have enough leftover to coat the ramp door area and for multiple touch-ups.

“As I moved things back into the trailer, I positioned a lot of it along one wall so that I could keep the front work area clear,”


The air temperature was in the mid 70’s and the drying time for the paint was just about an hour. I let it sit for about 4 hours before walking on it and there was no problems. As I moved things back into the trailer, I positioned a lot of it along one wall so that I could keep the front work area clear, this will allow me to get that area finished up without having to move a lot of stuff around. In that area, I am working on two items. One is getting the pegboard in place and the other is getting all of the new wiring done. I found some short pieces of 1/4 x 2 inch wood that I  mounted for the pegboard to attach to and allow the peg hooks to fit properly. I also pulled new 110v cable in for all of the connections. Taking measurements I needed to cut the pegboard down to 42″x95″ for it to fit correctly. With that done and about 20 sheetrock screws it was in place. Now I have a place for some often used tools and small parts packages. Back to the wiring, with moving the cabinet to the front of the trailer it necessitated re-thinking how the electrical system in the trailer was going to be powered. I ran cable from the breaker box down to make the connection with the box where we plug in the generator power. Then I had to run two circuits from the breaker box to the new switch/outlet box which will control the light over the workbench and feed the rest of the lights and outlets in the trailer. I am using the peel and stick wire molding along with a couple of new outlet boxes. I don’t really trust the sticky side to stay in place, so a few more sheetrock screws on the inside of the molding will keep it where I want it. A double outlet box was mounted on the pegboard and the wiring from the breaker box was cut down to the outlet and switch. From the top of the outlet box the wiring runs up to the workbench light fixture, then over to the side wall and back to the original trailer wiring. With everything connected that finishes the 110v wiring part of the project.

Next on the list is getting the carpeting on the sidewalls and then the forward part of the trailer. I will be using a spray glue on the sidewalls along with some small carpeting staples. The carpeting on the floor will be stapled along the edges to keep it in place and of course I will re-use the aluminum trim strip where the carpeting ends. There are also 1″ angle strips that run along the edges between the walls and floor that keep the sides tidy. I also have some 2″ inch strips of vinyl that will be put at the rear of the trailer where the main door is, these should hold up to the weather better along with covering up some of the areas in the wall where the vinyl covering has come loose. One area that had me stumped for a bit was the lower part of the cabinet and the support box I built for the toolboxes. I think I am going to take a left over scrap of carpet and cover that area to give it a uniform look.

IMG_1193Putting the carpet on the walls required finding a special trim piece to cap the carpet for a finished look. I found this in 8 foot strips at, and the stuff arrived in a round shipping tube complete with fasteners. I am going to go about 47-48″ up from the floor, make a couple of marks and then run a line of 1″ masking tape to used as a guide for mounting the trim strips straight. The carpet is 12′ wide so I will cut 4′ pieces and glue/staple them in place. I will probably need to come up with another piece of trim to cover where the carpet joins together, unless I get a really nice fit.

That’s about it for this time. I have a bit more to do with getting a couple of the cabinet doors working correctly, putting in the radio/speaker system and figuring out where a few items are going to be located. It’s coming along nicely and I think I will be happy with the finished trailer when it’s done.



Mustang – Left Turn, no maybe the Right Turn?

Progress on this Mustang project is slow, well maybe slow is not the exact word – almost at a halt would probably be far more accurate. Recently my son decided to move to another house which meant we needed to pack up everything and that included the Mustang of course. Good news is that we were able to finally drag a lot of the leftover stuff to the curb and dispose of it, bad news was it was a real pain to get the car moved from one location to another – and it was only about 2 miles between them.

Just to keep it short, it took us three attempts to finally rent one of those small tow dolly deals to even start getting the car moved. Our first two shots at it and both of the dollys were broken and could not be used, then we had to wait a few days which meant we had to borrow a pickup from a good friend. Then all the tires on the car were flat so it was a nice little drill to remove, inflate and replace them. Getting it ON the dolly was an experience that I do not want to repeat, nor was getting it off the dolly and into it’s new home. But at the end of the day or week – it was finally there.

So, left turn, right turn? In the last post on this project I talked about switching the 302 from fuel injection to carburetor. That still left us with the stock Ford AOD mess of a transmission, so after some searching around a GM Powerglide can be used by installing an adapter plate – okay. But then it was kind of why stop there, we were already talking about stroking the little 302 to get more cubes out of it but we were still short of a normal 350 Chevy engine without all of the extra work. So – and here is where the Ford purists will start screaming – I decided to go the whole deal – a small block Chevy and Powerglide transmission – no adapter plate required. Yes, motor mounts have to be built – not a biggie and a transmission mount too – again, no biggie. Bottomline is that I can build a stout little Chevy in my sleep at this point, we have spare stuff and it allows us to share information among all four of the race cars. I also have the small block Chevy – complete motor – so the costs just went down significantly.

Early hot rodders used to swap powerplants to gain an advantage over the competition. I am not sure we are really doing that here but it makes sense to me to stick with something we know and have on hand. Plus I believe we have just made a major leap forward in the progress on this project.

hot-rod-engine-swap-liftThis picture courtesy of Hot Rod Magazine shows a ’50s rodder swapping a Cadillac engine into his fairly new 1956 Chevy.