Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Winter 2013 Camaro Project

As the temps here in Michigan continue to drop, I think I may have already parked my Camaro for the last time this year.  It was a much shorter season that past years, with my car only being on the road for the month of August and part of September, and only making a few big shows.  Thankfully, the major improvements are now complete, and all that is left is the little stuff to knock out.  Then, I should be ready to race early in the 2014 season.  It's been a long road back to the track, but I think I will be ready to go.  Here is the list of items I need to purchase or complete in order to be ready to go for next year.

1. Hooker Super Comp Headers - My Hedman headers fit like garbage, so this upgrade is much needed.

2. Mickey Thompson 275/60/15 ET Streets - I need to hook, and these sound like they'll do it.

3. Sound Deadener/Carpet - This car needs quieted down and more family friendly, as I'd like us ALL to ride to car shows/cruise nights next year.

4. AFR Valve Covers - My chrome ones are getting beat up/rusted, and I hate chrome. A nice set of AFR black covers would look nice.

5. TH400 Trans rebuild - I still have an occasional slip from 1st-2nd, so I think its time to freshen up the trans.

6. Plugs, wires, plugs, cap, and rotor - I can't recall the last time I put new wires on, plugs are seasonal, and cap and rotor usually just comes with the package.

7. AFR stud girdle - technically, I should have already had this.  Consistently running the valve train to 7,200 rpm's at the track though definitely warrants it.

8. Torque convertor flush/rebuild - Since I'm going through the trans, I may as well send the convertor out to Coan and have it inspected.  Plus, a roadtrip to Coan sounds fun.

9. Roll bar padding - Quick easy addition, and will keep my head from bouncing off the bars.

10. BBC engine mounts - I only recently realized I never replaced my sbc mounts on the frame, not realizing they are actually different.

11. Leaf spring pads/u-bolts - Seems I overtightened the poly pads last year, and split one.  So, I'm going back to the rubber ones, as they don't split.  U-bolts should be replaced too.

12. Trans fan - I have a cooler already, but a fan seems like a good idea for when I'm in dead stop traffic.

13. Flex Plate - I think the flex plate is equally responsible for my starter issues, as it looks like the starter did a number on some of the teeth.

14. Brake Proportioning valve/distribution block - When I switched to manual brakes a few years ago, I neglected to plumb in the distribution block, and it sounds like its something that'll help braking.  Wilwood makes a nice/clean all in one combo.

15. 5 point harness - need to be strapped into this rocket ship.

16. Headliner - One of the finishing touches I've been without.  I may even be able to reinstall the one that came out.

17. Starter rebuild - As I said, the starter has been acting up.  I don't care to be stranded.

18. Fan shroud - My mechanical flex fan took care of most all of my cooling troubles, but at a dead stop, the temp creeps up.  I think a shroud would fix that, though I may also add a small pusher fan as
well, for added insurance.

19. Gas tank straps - I may clean up and repaint the ones I have, but either way, I don't like the black straps against my silver galvanized tank.

20. Oil pan gasket - Replacement is long overdue from a few years ago, as I've grown tired of the random, untraceable thus far, underhood oil spray.

21. Gauge bevels - Angled bevels for my dash gauges, along with new rings on my gauges.  They've got a little beat up over the years.

22. Cover wiring - I have a stock load of convoluted tubing and zip ties, and plenty of wiring that needs covered.

23. Repaint the trunk/underhood - Both have started flaking and need some attention.

24. Rubber Hoses - These hoses may go back 15+ years, so I'm on borrowed time.

25. V-belts - The belts are likely as old as the hoses, so a set of replacements and a set of extras are

26. Secure fuel line/power cable - There are still a few areas that need better secured, and I may need to by more fuel line/fittings to reroute a section.

27. Battery Kill Switch - I have a switch, which I may install, but was leaning towards the push/pull lever activated style.

28. Remove fan relay - With my mechanical fan, I may not need one of the relays...unless I go with a pusher fan, then both relays will stay, the other for my trans cooler fan.

29. Oil Filter Adapter - Either a new one, or I may simply plug the bypass.  I recently noticed some unexplained oil fluctuation at both highway speeds and under heavy throttle.  Oil levels remained fine, so plugging the bypass would at least rule one possibility out.

30. Axle Studs - A longer set of studs that reach passed the end of the lug nuts.

31. Roll Control - A must have for smokey burnouts.  Thankfully, I already have it, it just needs installed.

So, there is the list.  Not too intimidating, and not too overly costly.  In fact, about 3 of the purchases account for 1/2 of the total cost.  Headers, tires, and sound deadener/carpet.  My plan is to start knocking out some of the easy stuff early on, and pull the engine/trans in the next couple of months.  I would LOVE to have everything back together and on the road by May at the very latest.  A full season of car shows, as well as hitting the track early in the season, and perhaps semi-regularly for the whole season.

Shakedown at the Summit - October 4-6, 2013

Here is one event I'd LOVE to go check out.  I'm actually off that weekend, but it's already set to be one busy weekend for me.  Rest assured, if I manage to make it, you'll hear all about it.  This is the type of racing that keeps the sport alive in my opinion.  Thankfully, our friends over at Bangshift.com will be offering FREE live streaming of the event.

For live streaming - Bangshift Shakedown at the Summit

For information on the event - Shakedown at the Summit

Monday, September 09, 2013

2013 Frankenmuth Autofest

Bright Red Mopar

This is the second year we've hit the Frankenmuth Autofest.  It's an amazing show, with so many cars that it's really hard to see all of them.  I know there were more than a few rows we simply skipped, as my body was starting to tell me "I'm tired of walking!"  My parents and in-laws also attended, and agreed, this show should be on our annual list of must see shows.  While I didn't drive my Camaro this year, I think I may have to drive it up next year.  If for nothing else, at least one of the days.  I have relatives that live nearby, so I could possibly leave the car there over night.

My wife would take one.

Slammed/tunnel rammed rat rod

This car was amazing.  What you can't see are the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of rivets.

This is without question, the nicest 2nd gen Firebird I have ever seen.  I'm not sure if it was all original, or restored, but it looked as though it had just rolled off the line.

Nice Impala.



This is the #1 car my wife would love to own, and it's also #1 on my list of cars I think my wife should own.  That's just one of the reasons I love her so much!




Chevy Powered Porsche.  I'm sure there are a few Porsche snobs pissed off over this one.

Nice Mach 1



One of the nicest colors at the show.  It was a candy paint of some sort.



Almost exactly like my dad's old Charger.  Yes, he's kickin' himself.  Sold his in 1981 for $1,600...rust free.

If I were to own an SUV, it would have to be like this.



Is it just me, or do these tires need a little attention?  A little tire spray would do wonders.



Good lookin' Firebird!

A hemi powered Olds.  Yes, hemi powered.


Ford Torino





My favorite wagon at the show.

My friend Rod Calvin needs to add these horns to his 41.

Sweet Caddy!



Built by Dodge, I've never seen one of these.

Ok, so maybe there was a tie for 1st place for my favorite wagon.



Custom van...straight up 70's with an exclamation point.



I'd ride this short bus.

The photo doesn't do the paint on this car justice.  One rich red.





What a cool rig!







I'm not sure what people are thinking when they paint a vehicle this color...or multi-color.  To each their own I guess.

2013 Frankenmuth Autofest