Thursday, June 21, 2012

Back on the Road

 After getting the distributor re-installed, once realizing it was off by a tooth or two, she fired right up.  Surprisingly, the engine idled at 750-800 rpm's without even touching the carb.  I think it will need a little adjustment, as once I put a timing light on it and backed the timing down to real world numbers, it no longer wants to idle without a little throttle.  The engine miss that nagged me last year seems to be gone, but a new miss arrived arrived a 10 mile drive, which I suspect is from the carb being slightly rich.  Until I learn whether this carb comes with reusable gaskets, I'm going to leave it alone, and order up a gasket kit if need be.

I'm sure you're wondering how she's running.  This past winter's upgrades made a HUGE improvement.  I would venture to say in the 50-100 hp range of improvement.  It was fast before, but now, it's ridiculously fast!  I would still say the combination is in the 700-725 hp range, but I feel that the previous system, including the carb, was starving the engine.  I also feel that it likely wasn't the carb causing the engine miss as much as it was my $12 paper fuel filter, which allowed large enough particles to get to the needle and seat.

With it up and running, I decided to take it up to work and show a follow co-worker, who is also into old cars, though more of a streetrod kind of guy.  After stopping by work, I swung into Doc's, a local mechanic a few doors down from work.  Doc has his own little toy, a 69 Chevelle that runs 9.30's on the motor! He's gunning for 8's on the engine, and then will add the laughing gas.  I really need to go watch his car run one of these days.

I still have plenty of finishing touches.  I bought sheet metal to make dash mounting plates in order to mount my speedometer and tach.  I will also need to mount my ignition switch, headlight switch, and toggle switch for one set of fans.  The headlight switch is my greatest concern, as it's a monster, and won't fit where the factory put it due to the roll cage.  Due to it's size, my options are somewhat limited.  I also have a slow coolant leak from an intake fitting, and oil mist still coming from my engine breather, which leads me to believe that a factory pcv system just isn't going to work on this engine.  All this stuff is minor things, with the bulk of the work accomplished, and the wife done teaching for the summer, it will be much easier to wrap things up now.

I can't foresee any reason I won't be at this year's downriver cruise, which is 9 days away.  Sadly, as will be the case for most of the summer, I have to work that day and will only be able to attend for 1/2 a day.

Monday, June 18, 2012

2012 Gratiot Cruise Coverage - Eastpointe


This past Saturday I attended the 2012 Gratiot Cruise - Eastpointe.  I've attended this show probably 5+ years now, though have yet to make it with my Camaro.  I'm usually a few weeks from the car being ready, and the Downriver Cruise is often it's first cruise of the season for it.  Just the same, I still attend the Gratiot Cruise and take plenty of pictures.  This year seemed a little lighter than usual, but I also only had time to stay until 2 pm, and things seemed to be getting busier as the day went on.  That said, I've attended the show enough times now that the cars seem to be getting a bit repetitive.  I recognize not only the same cars I've seen in the past, but can even recall where they were parked the previous year.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, next year I'm going to try and attend Motor Muster at Greenfield Village instead...and convince the in-laws to do the same.  If I can adjust my winter schedule a bit, I'd like to start making these May/June shows with my car next year, instead of not being ready until late June or early July.  For now, enjoy the pictures from this year's Gratiot Cruise, as there were still plenty of awesome rides.


 Arguably the nicest AMX, or even AMC product, I've ever seen.

Dare to be different!  Very nice job on an otherwise forgotten era of Cadillac.

A more classic boat.

You don't see many of these, especially considering this is a 1983, well before you could order a 3rd Gen without a top.  While it looks ok from a distance, a closer inspection leaves much to be desired in regards to craftsmanship.

 Nice Ford.

 Starting to see more of these old birds, and camaros too.

A different type of bird.

 Everything looks good in black!

 Couldn't do this out in Cali.


File this under different.  Can't say I like the side exhaust, but other than that, they took an otherwise hideous car and made it....well, we will call it acceptable.

Don't seem to be a lot of Fieros left, and this one had a supercharged 3800 for motivation.

Freighberger says it's a face so ugly you have to love it.  Me, I've always loved it.

One of the nicest streetrods I saw.

All patina'd out!

They were bland, didn't sell well, but are destined to be classics.

More Photos From 2012 Gratiot Cruise - Eastpointe

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Other Car Shows this Weekend

A couple of other car shows happening this weekend:

Greenfield Village Motor Muster

Detroit Yacht Club Antique Boat and Car Show

Gratiot Cruise - June 16, 2012

Just a quick reminder that the Gratiot Cruise is this Saturday.  If not for my wife, God bless her, I would have let this one slip right on by me.  While my car won't being making it once again, I hope to be able to enjoy the show during the morning and a little afternoon before having to head into work.  Next year, I vow to have my car ready in May, or at least June 1st at the very latest.

Gratiot Cruise - June 16, 2012

About to fire her up!

Ok, so maybe I'm not ready to fire her up right now...but, if I had gas, she'd be ready to go.  I'm trying to hold off this year until everything is ready to go, instead of jumping the gun, starting her up, and not finishing tasks such as proper routing of fuel lines, securing wiring, etc.

The clamp kit I bought from Jegs  to secure my fuel lines and power cable turned out to be a pile of shit.  The clamps were fine, but the threaded inserts were total trash.  After a few attempts, with results that left the inserts either spinning inside their holes when tightening the bolt, or the insert coming apart while trying to get a nice, tight, pressed fit.  I resorted to some 10-24 screws, nuts, and lock washers I had to secure the power to the pinch weld down the side of the car.  I am however still left with the issue of securing the fuel lines, as well as both fuel and power to the frame near the wheel well.  I'm going to try and stop at the nut and bolt hardware place around the corner to see what other options will work with my clamps.

Other than that, I need to readjust my fans, as they all seem to be a little tight in the shroud due to the housing distorting slightly over the winter.  I also need either a few sheets of metal or plastic to create a backing to mount my speedometer and tach to.  Both are installed and wired up, but both are also simply sitting unsecured in their respective pods.  I also need to wire up the interior power gauge lights, which is just a matter of plugging in the bulbs and connecting a couple wires.

Ready or not, I'll probably fire the engine tomorrow, just to hear her rumble.  She should be on the road within a week, and ready for the Downriver Cruise at the end of the month.  Sadly, once again I will will not be making the Gratiot Cruise with my Camaro.  I need to work on my sense of urgency come next winter, as all too often June just about comes and goes before I get the Camaro on the road.  Granted, I only miss a show or two, they are shows I'd like to have my car at.  At least come come winter the planned projects, a trans rebuild and new rear end, are no where near the calibur of projects I took on this winter.  With a little luck, I'll be able to return to the track in 2013!  Until then, stay tuned for video with a little rumble to it.