STREET MACHINE NIRVANA: DU QUOIN RECAP
OFF THE BEATEN PATH WITH
Q&A WITH THE RING BROS
PUBLICATION OF XCELERATION MEDIA
Vol. 1, No. 3
TIPS FOR YOUR TRANSMISSION
DRIVEN’S RACE WAX
HEAVY METAL ART WITH JAMEY JORDAN
STOPPING EASIER BOOST YOUR BRAKES
WIRING WOES 5 STEPS TO SUCCESS
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How’s your garage look?
eing an automotive writer gets you into a lot of different garages. Whether working on a tech story, shooting features here and there, or just hanging out with buds, we get to see behind the doors of a lot of shops. What’s interesting is seeing how your peers work and keep their garage area. Are they complete neat freaks with coated floors and scratch-free cabinets like some over-funded professional race shop, or just the opposite with puddles of oil, halfcleaned parts, and a single path around the shop that leads you from one unfinished project to another pile of parts? Where do I fall in that range of garage organization? I’d say somewhere in between, leaning closer to the unfinished projects and parts, though I really want to be a tidy, well-lit shop. It doesn’t need to be immaculate like a show room, but it would be nice to Controlled clutter, when done right, makes a shop somewhere you walk through and not want to spend a Saturday. worry about tracking grime on the office carpet. I’d settle for a floor where you could impose a five-second rule for dropped chips, but it’s just not there yet. It’s not even at a one-second rule. As I’ve gotten older, I know I’m becoming more OCD about tools and shop condiMy head would explode in this garage, but tions, but I don’t know I love to see guys that work like this and know exactly where everything is! if it will ever get to the status of a clean, organized shop. I will settle for a controlled chaos, or maybe methodical clutter. There are excuses, I mean, reasons for not achieving a concourse shop. For starters, it takes a lot of time to get a shop cleaned up, and if you have multiple projects in various states of disarray, it’s nearly impossible to go through everything. For those of us with a regular job, time organizing the shop is time away from actually working on your rod. Which would you choose? One area that does actually stay pretty well organized is my toolbox. Back in my dealership days at Bowman Chevrolet in Clarkston, Michigan, I did learn to clean and put most every tool away at the end of the day. When you’re working flat rate and making money with those instruments, you better know where each one is — time spent looking for a tool will cost you. Still though, I don’t see my garage area getting the same kind of attention just yet. Maybe after the Chevy II is together… SRL Todd Ryden email@example.com
Staff Group Publisher Shawn Brereton Editorial Director Todd Ryden Senior Tech Editor Jeff Smith Tech Editor Richard Holdener Contributors Tony Candela Brandon Flannery Dan Hodgdon Louis Kimery Barry Kluczyk Josh Quellhorst Chris Shelton Rick Sosebee Dave Wallace Manufacturers Advertising Dave Ferrato 504.237.5027 Brett Underwood 704.896.1959 For advertising inquiries call 901.260.5910.
Hailey Douglas Jason Wommack Zach Tibbett
Street Rod Life is published quarterly to promote the growth of street rodding as well as recognize the parts and services from participating manufacturers. The magazine consists of dedicated information from partner companies with the mission of disseminating unfiltered editorial on companies, products and services directly to street rodders and fans. Editorial content and advertisements for each issue can originate from partner companies participating in the magazine. Street Rod Life is a hybrid of content that was originally published at StreetRodLife.com and original content that was created for this quarterly print magazine. Magazine distribution occurs through direct distribution from parent company Xceleration Media, its partner companies, and marquee events throughout the year. Street Rod Life is a property of Xceleration Media. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without written consent from Xceleration Media. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA.
Cover ON THE STREET MACHINE
Warren Ekery’s ’34 Ford Coupe is ready for the street or the strip.
NIRVANA: DU QUO
IDENT CRISISITY RING MASTERS
Q&A WITH THE
OFF THE BEATE
PATH WITH RICHANRD CHILDRESS
PUBLICATION OF XCELERATI ON MEDIA Vol. 1, No. 3
TIPS FOR TRANSMISYOUR SION
HEAVY METAL ART WITH JAMEY JORDAN
PRODUCT REV IEW DRIVE N’S RACE WAX
STOPPING BOOST YOUR EASIER BRAKES
WIRING WOES 5 STEPS TO SUCCESS 7/21/15 10:56 AM
INSIDE... STREETRODLIFE.COM Vol. 1, No. 3
STEPPING OUT OF THE BOX A NASCAR-inspired ’56 Chevy
14 RUMBLE IN MID-AMERICA 36 RACE OR RODS 42 BACK WHERE IT BELONGS 46 GET IN THE RING 60 BUILDING A BUBBLE 74 HORSEPOWER REUNION
01 FIRE IT UP 04 RPM REPORT 06 DIGITAL DETOUR 07 SOCIAL SPIN 10 VIDEO PLAYLIST THE 12 INPASSENGER SEAT
Du Quoin is getting its groove back
A ’34 Ford goes from street to strip A ’50 Merc finds it way home
One-on-one with the Ring Brothers
Persistence pays off with this ’62 Bel Air Early rods unite at Beech Bend
Garage cleanliness? The rodding scoop Cool sites to surf
Socialize with SRL
Take a break and watch
Dave Wallace on Greenbrier wheel stands
64 CLUB SCENE 88 PUT IT TO THE TEST OF 89 LIFER THE MONTH Continental Cruisers Driven’s Race Wax
100K miles in a roadster? Meet Jim Shelton
94 HIT THE ROAD
Where you need to be and when to be there
96 BEHIND THE DOOR Just a few collectibles and rods
Even more features, videos, & event coverage
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
30 BUILT TO DRIVE
A ’40 Deluxe that’s ready for the long haul
56 MASTER OF DISGUISE Making an LS look old-school cool
82 OFF THE BEATEN PATH
Richard Childress takes us on a trip
66 TOWING VINTAGE TIN
Cars aren’t the only things being restored
20 28 TOO NICE TO SELL 34 GIVE ’EM A BOOST 40 MITTLER’S METAL MASTER 70 WIRING WORRIES 80 TRANSMISSION TIDBITS 86 GETTING THE RATIO RIGHT 90 RACING THE CLOCK LOWER THE PRESSURE
Now you can regulate fuel flow for old carbs JEGS helps keep a rod rolling
Not all brake boosters are the same Jamey Jordan knows metal
Five pitfalls to avoid when wiring
Things to consider with your automatic
Parts Store ’65–’72 F100 Disc Brake Conversion Kit Master Power Brakes....50 Deluxe Tire Pressure Gauge JEGS............................................ 51 Ultra Low Pressure Regulator Aeromotive................................ 51 Ford FE Twin-Disc Clutch Kits Advanced Clutch Technology...... 51 ’60–’64 Full-size Ford Wiring Kits American Autowire.............. 52 Halguard Fire Extinguisher H3R Performance.......................... 52 Billet Stacks & Snap-In Stack Filters Inglese......................... 52 Air-Operated Valve Holder Powerhouse Products...................... 53 Valve Spring Compressor Crane Cams..................................... 53 Complete ’35–’40 Ford Truck Chassis Total Cost Involved........ 54 Ignition Cable Sets Vintage Wires............................................ 54 Voodoo 383 Stroker Crank & Rod Kit Lunati........................... 55 XR-i Ignition & PS20 Coil Kits Crane Cams Ignition................. 55 Master Electrical Terminal Kit CE Auto Electric Supply............ 55
Proper air/fuel ratio makes happy engines Behind the scenes of an engine builder challenge
NEWS HOT TOPICS INFO
Photo Mike Harrington automotive-photography.net
Goodguys crowns Street Machine, Street Rod of the Year Goodguys wrapped up its PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, with one of the highlights being the crowning of the Street Rod and Street Machine of the Year. This year, all of the finalists were wrangled into one giant hall and was quite a scene to behold. Everywhere you turned there was another absolutely incredible rod.
By the end of the day, there could only be one winner in each category and the title of Street Rod of the Year (presented by Classic Instruments) went to the ’37 Chevy of Chuck and Diane Rowe. Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop built the beautiful, black rod that is powered by an aluminum McLaren big block with winning Chap-
Join the XM Enthusiast Club
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
Goldman Customs. The Arctic white fiberglass convertible sits low over a Roadster Shop chassis with pages of modifications throughout. Congratulations to both the owners and builders of these incredible cars. Be sure to check out a Goodguys event near your area to see more. IMPRESSIONS ON THE NEW GEN6 CAMARO
TIM McCREADIE TELLS IT LIKE HE SEES IT
ARE YOU LEGAL?
THE DIRT TRACK RACING MAGAZINE
BECAUSE YOU DEMANDED IT: PREMIERE ISSUE OF POPULAR WEBSITE
DEBATE BIG PERSONALITIES
THE UNTOLD STORY
MEGA EVENTS ESSENTIAL GEAR
THE ROCKABILLY LIFESTYLE
PUBLICATION OF XCELERATION MEDIA
LARRY DIXON: AND HE WALKED AWAY
HOW HE ENGINE GOT SO RAD IS
GEAR TO GIVE YOU AN EDGE
VOL. 2, ISSUE 1
VOL. 1, ISSUE 2
TROY THINGSYOUR TREPANIER
TECH TIPS FROM INDUSTRY LEADERS
WIRING TERMINAL DO’S & DON’TS HELMETS – PROTECT YOUR HEAD
3 DIFFERENT WAYS TO DO A ’32
THE RIGHT TIME
AUTOMOTIVE LIFE POTEET’S COLLECTION
PARTS YOU PARTS YOU
PUBLICATION OF XCELERATION MEDIA Vol. 1, No. 2
* TURBO CAM SWAP * LS NITROUS BOOST
WHO WON THE RIDLER
SAVED BY MOONSHINE
ENGINE TECH PUBLICATION OF XCELERATION MEDIA
KEEPER OF THE KEYS
Robert Yates in his own words
PLUS: OIL MYTHS DEBUNKED * DETROIT SPEED * TORQUE VS. HORSEPOWER
YATES ON YATES
VOL. 6, NO. 1
PUBLICATION OF XCELERATION MEDIA
International Model UPCOMING EVENTS YOU JUST HAVE TO SEE! by day – gearhead bySEASON night. Emily Williams is the
TALKS ABOUT HIS CAREER
RACING NEEDS YOUR HELP
CALL TO WWW.GEARHEADS4LIFE.COM WEB PRINT VIDEO SOCIAL ACTION
WILD TIMES IN AUSTIN! LONESTAR ROUND UP
CRATE HOT RIDES
HEADS-UP WITH STRANGE ENGINEERING
VOL. 1, NO. 1 • GHL2015-1
The wait is over. We’re now offering subscriptions as part of joining the Xceleration Media Enthusiast Club. When you join the club, you’ll receive a one-year subscription to our magazine, a t-shirt, license plate, and will be able to receive new product information and specials. Check out the full-page ad on page 79 in this issue.
arral Can Am heritage. The car also is dressed with a long array of details and features such as suicide doors, custom wheels, a G-Force trans, and more. As for the Street Machine of the Year (presented by Optima Batteries), the title went to Sonny and Debbie Freeman’s ’67 Corvette built by Mike
MIXED BREED T-BIRD + COYOTE
HOW TO INSTALL PHANTOM IN-TANK FUEL PUMP
WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU? ROLLER OR FLAT TAPPET
NEWS HOT TOPICS INFO
IGNITED: SEMA public after-party The Specialty Equipment Manufacturer Association (SEMA) Show is a tradeonly event held at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the first week of November. We’re sure you’ve heard the stories and have seen the pictures of the in-
Ethanol legislation There’s quite a stir in the hot rodding world about the harmful effects of ethanol-blended fuels and the Specialty Equipment Manufacturer Association (SEMA) has kept a watchful eye on new legislation and regulations about ethanol use in the states. There is currently legislation in a number of states to change or amend laws requiring the use of ethanol-blended fuels. Check the SEMA Action Network website for pending laws that affect our hobby in your state at semasan.com.
credible cars, products, announcements, and launches that take place behind doors that only industry insiders are allowed to enter.
Well, after four days of closed-door business, the SEMA Show will roll out of the giant vestibule and cruise across the street to kick off the SEMA Ignited show – which is open to the public. The one-of-a-kind event kicks off at 3 p.m.
on Friday, November 6, and runs until 10 p.m. If you want to see the most amazing collection of hot rods and customized vehicles, this is your chance. Check out semaignited.com for details and information.
Your car can be on a JEGS cover How would you like to see your car or truck on the cover of an upcoming JEGS catalog? It’s possible with their Make Your Car a Star Cover Contest on the JEGS Facebook page. All you have to do is load up an image of your rod along with some information and specs, then start getting votes.
You will also get a vote when you share the contest info on your own FB page, along with when your friends enter through your post. JEGS will tally up the top 10 projects with the highest votes then select one winner to be announced in October.
Keep up to date with automotive news and recent trends at StreetRodLife.com. STREETRODLIFE.COM
SITES APPS FORUMS TRENDS
DIGITAL DETOUR Searching for quality information through the vastness that is the world wide web can be a bewildering experience! We searched out a few sites and forums that have been useful and even entertaining to us recently. Here at Street Rod Life, we’re constantly wading through all of that nonsense and have come up with some of the best sites, apps, and other resources to help you make it to the show. If you have any favorites that could help your fellow rodders, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Websites Motor Geeks
Putting a motor together can be daunting for some, but thrilling when you fire it up for the first time. This website is packed with building details, wicked builds, and information on porting, head designs, and what works in the real world.
Find Your Ride
When you have the itch for another classic vehicle, hard-to-find part, or just want to do some virtual window shopping, this is the place to go. Trucks, sedans, muscle, convertibles, bikes, parts, and everything in between have a price. You can search by state or see events too.
The Buick Nailhead engine series is one of the coolest looking vintage engines — backed up with loads of torque. This site is packed with tech info, specs, and parts to get your Nailhead running strong and looking good. There’s even some Cadillac parts too.
Looking for original owner stories or history on Buick vehicles? This site is loaded with great articles covering Buicks and their diehard owners. Links to other sites are here as well in case you don’t find exactly what you wanted.
Forums The ABC’s of AMX
’32–’53 Ford Fans
If you’re into AMC rides, you have probably already found answers or parts on this forum. From early history, vehicle discussions, cars for sale, and even Jeep information, it’s just a click away.
This is the landing page for the Early Ford V8 Club of America and includes Lincoln and Mercury — even tractors — and pretty much anything else Ford related. You need to register, but that opens up a forum that is heavy with participation and information.
If low budget, rusty rides are your calling, check out this forum and register to be a member. Building tips, era specific threads, “Under $3k club,” and photos of cool stuff you might be afraid to ride in.
The desire for forced induction can be confusing to some since turbo choices and system designs are virtually never ending. If you are considering putting a hair dryer on your motor, this forum has veteran turbo masters that can suggest ideas and technical information.
Street rodding news at your fingertips Street Rod Life has made it as easy as possible for you to receive the information you are looking for in the format you feel most comfortable with. Whether you get your information on a laptop, tablet, or your phone,
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
we’ve got you covered so you can get the latest street rod information straight from the source. Our content is updated daily, so check often with Street Rod Life through any of the social media options on the right.
FACEBOOK TWITTER MULTIMEDIA
Be Social! Find us on Instagram, and hashtag #StreetRodLife on all your favorite car show photos, racing shots, and just plain ol’ cool stuff that we all dig… or give us a shoutout @StreetRodLife to share something. We might even repost it.
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
We’re at the peak of the summer with shows and races happening every weekend. One of the largest gatherings took place in July at the Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. This shot shows just a fraction of the participants. Check out the variety of rods.
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
RACING PRODUCTS ENTERTAINMENT
VIDEO PLAYLIST Video Playlist consists of interesting videos we came across on the Internet. Whether historical, funny, dramatic, or technical, we thought they might be of interest to our street rod community.
Scan QR Code to watch now!
Du Quoin was a blast
The guys over at our sister publication Gearheads4Life put together an awesome video to recap the Du Quoin Street Machine Nationals. It has lots of horsepower, cool cars, and even some cool aerial shots! bit.ly/GH4Lduquoin
Jalopy Showdown throwdown
Vintage drag action at the Jalopy Showdown last fall in Beaver Springs, Pennsylvania. youtu.be/3ZhYTpYtwIg
A caterpillar buggy’s growth
It started out a bit bigger than most project vehicles and donor cars, but it turned out to be one unique rod! youtu.be/27rx7bATskc
This T-bucket packs a punch
You’ll never guess what engine is in this T-bucket! youtu.be/7Bv9Wr-SeEE
Great point-of-view ride
Cruising around the northwest in a Model T with a blown 303 Oldsmobile. youtu.be/zHpZ2oJYHL8
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STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
Following the Rolling Bones
An oldie but a goodie when it comes to YouTube, but how can you not sit through this well done video about the Rolling Bones Hot Rod Shop build. youtu.be/-oDDORPXTgI
ONE EVENT LEFT FOR 2015!
Sept. 26â€“27 | Springfield, MO Ozark Empire Fairgrounds
with Dave Wallace
A reason to hide keys from new drivers Editor’s Note: We’re smiling ear-to-ear to present a column from noted drag racing historian, author, and all-around fun guy Dave Wallace. Dave was the founding editor of Petersen’s Drag Racing magazine, a former Hot Rod staffer, editor of Hot Rod DeLuxe, and is a member of the International Drag Racing Hall of Fame.
es, the photo is real and untouched, not counting the fading and thumb-tack punctures suffered during decades of bulletin-board exposure. It was made from a 35mm slide that I shot in my Sepulveda (now North Hills), California, neighborhood in 1965 (nearly a quarter-century before Photoshop was invented). I was 15 years old. Don Baker, the driver, was the first friend in my grade to turn 16 and get a driver’s license and the only vehicle occasionally available to him was the family van. Don was driving me home the fateful night that the 80-horsepower, rear-engined Greenbrier accidentally revealed an exciting capability not listed in Chevrolet dealers’ brochures. In the dark, this intersection looked no different than hundreds of others across the San Fernando Valley’s flat floor. Unseen were the deep drainage channels bordering both sides of Noble Avenue (background) that created severe “double bumps” on Rayen Street. Unsuspecting motorists who failed to slow from typical 35-to-45-mph speeds here were in for a quick series of surprises. Entering the first gutter instantly compressed a front suspension; exiting the second dip suddenly released that stored energy upward, fully extending the suspension and guaranteeing a hard landing. The van hit the double bumps that night hard enough to slam our unbelted bodies, in rapid succession, forward into the unpadded dash, upwards into the headliner, then deep down into the bucket seats. Somebody said, “Did we just do a wheelstand?” The only way to tell would be a backup run, with me observing from the prone position as Don raced past. Sure enough, the front tires did appear to briefly leave the asphalt! We determined to document the action on film during daylight hours. I wish I could say that we dished out this abuse just once more for the camera, got the shot, and the Greenbrier lived happily ever after. The fact 12
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
however, is that I exposed an entire roll of transparency film late that afternoon, one crushing wheelstand per frame. Lacking both photographic talent and a motor drive, I had Don repeat the tortuous process until I ran out of film. What you see is not even the highest altitude achieved; rather, it’s one of my few exposures that was in (manual) focus and contained both the entire truck and its shadow. What you don’t see is the “between-rounds thrash” necessary to keep going. These flat-six Corvair engines were notorious for tossing fan belts, even in everyday driving. One especially hard landing separated the spark-plug wires from a cylinder bank. Another ripped the main fuel line loose, shutting off the motor and spraying the red-hot engine compartment with 29-cent leaded. Only much later did we realize how dumb-lucky we were not to burn the Baker family’s transportation to the ground. The front suspension did wear out prematurely, for reasons never understood by either the Chevy dealer or Don’s dad. His eldest son was lucky that vehicle “telematics” were not yet available. Had the Greenbrier been equipped with one of those tattletale black boxes now finding favor with manufacturers and insurers, Don might still be grounded by Mr. and Mrs. Baker, 50 years later. SRL
Here Today. Here Tomorrow. Transmission companies come and go, and rarely manufacture their own parts. With almost 50 years under our belt we’re not going anywhere. We’ll be here tomorrow to stand behind our products and we’ll even refurbish transmissions and torque converters that we didn’t build. We manufacture most of our own components and staff our toll-free Trans Help™ line five days a week. Over the years TCI® has built and developed more high performance torque converters and transmissions than any local shop ever could. Each and every one goes through our legendary Triple Testing process and we continue to invest in technology to provide cutting-edge products that will last. Our success is not only based on dyno numbers, but repeated customer loyalty built through years of personal one-on-one contact. We think big, and act small.
TRANS HELP™ 1.888.776.9824 • TCIAUTO.COM
STREET MACHINE NATIONALS
u Quoin, Illinois, was known as ground zero for the street machine and pro street movement back in the late ’70s and early ’80s. The gathering, fueled by huge rear tires, blower whine, and multiple Holleys, brought out the best-of-the-best builders and visionaries with cars from Scott Sullivan, Rod Saboury, Matt Hay, Rick Dobbertin, and a teenage Troy Trepanier. Not only were the cars crazy and over the top, but so were the antics of the participants and downtown cruising throughout the area. Sure, an event of this scale is great for a community’s income, but when tens of thousands car-crazies show up in a town with only a fraction of that number of residents, things can get overwhelming. After a 13-year run things finally reached a boiling point and the event was pulled from the fairgrounds in 1998. Fast forward to 2013 and the Street Machine Nationals returned once again to the historic Du Quoin State Fairgrounds where the rumble of horsepower and the wisp of high-octane exhaust fumes wafted through the air. With three events back under its belt at the storied venue, the Street Machine Nats is going strong and growing. An incredible weekend unfolded for street cars of all sorts from traditional rods to modern day muscle cars. There was a gathering of pro street legends with a few new guys joining the ranks. A stellar burnout contest took place with exploding tires and screaming rpm, along with a Miss Street Machine contest. The fairgrounds offer an extensive pathway to take an afternoon lap or two to take in all the action through your windshield and to give a nod to crowds. A great way to spend a weekend with your car and a few thousand friends. We’ll be back in 2016. SRL streetmachinenationals.net
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
The citrus pearl ’50 Mercury of Rick and Connie White really caught our attention, especially when we saw it cruising downtown, around the fairgrounds and all over. Rick told us he built it to be driven and he’s proving that point. At left, Xceleration Media Publisher Shawn Brereton presents Rick the Street Rod Life Editor’s Choice award that was custom-made by Fastlane Metalworx!
This ’55 Pontiac Safari wagon sports true Poncho power topped with the only intake it should have, a factory tri-power. Plus, the lucky owner, Bob Jones of Whittington, Illinois, gets to grab gears with a stick on the floor.
Keith Ward is the lucky owner of this ’50 Mercury he calls Destiny. The old girl has had a little nip and tuck here and there (everywhere) including a 4.5inch chop, frenched headlights, flared skirts, shaved handles, and a rounded hood to name a few. Dig the DeSoto grille and front bumper, the baby spots, and Lake pipes. A 302c.i. Ford is backed by a C4 trans and 9-inch rear.
Danny Phillips’ rare ’72 Trans Am sports a 4-speed and A/C.
If you like blowers, Du Quoin is the place to be! STREETRODLIFE.COM
Yes, you’re not seeing this ’65 GTO backward! Les Schwenk is the original owner of the Bergundy Baron and has been racing it since he bought it! In fact, that’s original paint on the car. We’re not sure when, but at some point in its racing career, Les got creative in the location of the engine and it steamrolled from there!
Prior to the Nats we posted a Gearhead Powerpack Giveaway contest on the Street Rod Life Facebook page with the win going to Joe Mitchell and his ’55 Olds. Joe’s Dad was a car guy and racer who had one “back in the day.” He always told Joe about the car and wanted to have another one. The duo found one from a Craigslist ad in South Carolina and brought it home. It took 2–3 years to get the Olds on the road, but his Dad was able to see and drive the car before passing. Joe has a great family heirloom and different cruiser to enjoy. Over the weekend the original Rocket 324c.i. engine gave up the ghost and spit out a freeze plug. It’s a good thing he won a bunch of gift certificates from the COMP Performance group to help build a new drivetrain for next year. For even more pics from the SMN search “Du Quoin” at StreetRodLife.com.
Troy Russell built his ’62 Bel Air in a two car garage and noted that this is driven and has never been on a trailer. The car rides on a custom chassis balanced with Air Ride components while two turbos huff into a well prepped LS6. Troy was awarded the Gearheads4Life Editor’s Choice Award. Troy also built the stroller at the left for his nephew!
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
The burnout contest brought out a long and varied group of participants from a late model GTO to street rods, farm trucks, and classics. When the smoke literally cleared, Lenny Hickenbaugh, took home the charred title in his sano â€™69 Camaro.
In a sharp contrast from the nearby gathering of pro street cars was this time capsule of a ’59 Biscayne. The plain-Jane Chevy sports its original interior, 235c.i. inline-6 with a 3-speed manual trans. The shade is a factory highland green metallic and it was noted by the owners, Tom and Pam Sabo, that the car has 4 x 55 air conditioning.
As much as we dig vintage engines, it’s cool to see such a smooth cruiser with late model power. Tom and Teresa Elmore’s ’54 F-100 has a 4.6L from a P71 Police Interceptor and the AOD trans to make it a great cruise on the highways. The old pickup also sports 4-wheel discs, power steering, windows, and 3.73:1 gears.
Head over to StreetRodLife.com and search “Du Quoin” for even more pictures from the Street Machine Nationals.
Our former whipping boy, err, intern, is now full time with us and held down the subscription booth while protecting the cool Street Rod Life Editor’s Choice award created by the guys at FastLane Metalworx.
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
Tony Netzel made the long haul from Duluth, Minnesota, with his ’61 Belvedere. He’s had the car for over 20 years and they’ve been through several incarnations together. This time around the car is a scorching green with twin turbos feeding through a factory long runner cross ram intake into a 496c.i. Mopar engine. Tony was granted the Power and Performance News Editor’s Choice Award.
SEE NEW PRODUCTS • EXPLORE NEW TECHNOLOGIES • EXPERIENCE NEW TRENDS • MEET MANUFACTURERS
REGISTER TODAY: www.SEMAshow.com/SRL
NOVEMBER 3–6, 2015 LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER LAS VEGAS, NV
RODS RACE TECH FOR
Aeromotive’s new low-pressure regulator has racing roots 20
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veryone loves seeing vintage multiple carb setups on hot rods of all sorts … except the guy trying to tune and keep those carbs dialed in. That’s because today’s blended, low-quality fuels are not very carburetor friendly. If you haven’t run a multi-carb setup before, imagine having two or more needle and seats, fuel line connections, complicated linkage to synch, as well as mixture screws and adjustments. It’s a lot to take in, but the cool and wow factor still outweighs the tweaking and tuning for the most part. The fuel pump and control experts at Aeromotive have taken a step to help hot rodders feed the fuel to their carbs more consistently with a new low-pressure regulator. Having a consistent fuel pressure set for your application will ease tuning variances that occur from pressure differentials. Generally, you’ll see Aeromotive components on the quickest, fastest Pro Mod and Pro Stock cars in racing and the technology behind its Ultra Low Pressure Regulator has derived from its racing A4 Regulator. The A4 was developed for race engines running with a throttle stop, such as in the NHRA index classes like Super Street (10.90 ET), Super Gas (9.90 ET), and Super Comp (8.90 ET). A throttle stop is used to purposely slow a car down to not breakout of the class index and works by snapping the carb butterflies nearly closed for a moment. As you can imagine, that wreaks havoc on fuel pressure, which is where the A4’s soft-seat technology comes into play. After numerous requests for a low pressure regulator, the techs at Aeromotive looked at the A4 and developed one that can be adjusted between 2–5 psi. The new Ultra Low Pressure Regulator is housed in a precision-machined billet housing and features similar valve and poppet technology, combined with a low-pressure spring and diaphragm assembly. The Ultra Low Pressure Regulator is ideal for classic side-draft and downdraft carbs. It features a -6 ORB inlet port and two ORB-06 outlet ports for ease of plumbing and mounting. There is also an 1/8-inch NPT gauge port and a sturdy mounting bracket included. It’s cool to see a company so embedded in higher end racing and technology use its experience to bring something needed and helpful to the rodding community. SRL Source: Aeromotive, aeromotiveinc.com
For engines running multiple carbs, Aeromotive’s new Ultra Low Pressure Regulator can be set to maintain 2–5 psi for consistent fuel pressure.
Aeromotive also offers the fitting adapters and accessories to complete your regulator installation.
Through the use of Aeromotive’s soft-seat sealing technology along with a lower pressure spring and diaphragm, you can adjust the fuel pressure down to the requirements of many vintage carb setups. STREETRODLIFE.COM
INSPIRED Brett Cygan’s ’56 Chevy was inspired by stock cars and a cardboard box
Words Barry Kluczyk/Photos Todd Ryden
ar builds are often inspired by a variety of influences and that’s certainly the case with Brett Cygan’s 1956 Chevy 210. A collision shop owner and longtime NASCAR fan who’s dabbled in stock car racing himself, he carved a decidedly oval-track aesthetic into this classic Chevy. “Besides always being an enthusiast of the competition in stock car racing and road racing, I always like the purposeful look of the race cars,” Brett says. “I wanted to incorporate that look into this car, but in a contemporary way. I didn’t want it to 22
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look like an old stock car, but a contemporary car with that classic Chevy styling.” The project began about five years ago, when Brett bought the admittedly rough shoebox, although it would take another couple of years before he could fully dive into it. He started with the hard part first: the bodywork. “It was tough,” he says. “It was rusty and needed just about everything under the skin. I hadn’t had a lot of experience with that type of metal work, but I got the tools and worked it out. Whatever I wasn’t satisfied with, I tore off and re-did.”
Beyond the basics such as floor pan and trunk panel replacement, Brett also tackled the custom design cues. That included things like a hand-fabricated firewall, front inner fenders, the cowl panel, smoothed bumpers, and more. The car even incorporates NASCAR-style hood hinges for a more authentic presentation. The most striking of the exterior elements is the large front air intake built into the front bumper and the splitter beneath it — items unquestionably influenced by modern stock cars.
“I don’t think most people would think a splitter would look good on a ’56 Chevy, but I think it’s very well integrated and the overall effect with the other elements on the car is very strong,” Brett says. No argument there. That the handformed splitter is black and mounted below the bumper keeps it from being distractingly obtrusive, while simultaneously complementing the unique exterior colors. Brett has always liked orange, which explains the contrasting roof color, but what exactly is that primary exterior color? We’ll let him explain.
“I wanted something totally different and unique, but I wasn’t finding it in any of the color books I had,” he says. “I finally used one of those color-analyzing cameras for matching paint on cars and used it on a cardboard box.” The resulting analysis ultimately provided him with the recipe for a totally custom mix that he sprayed himself. To be honest, the photo reproduction on our pages doesn’t really do the unique hue justice. It looks more like tan in print, but that’s not exactly correct — it’s browner. Look at a cardboard
box that you receive parts in at home. That’s the color! Brett also used that trick camera on pieces of bare metal to help determine the color of the exterior trim on the car (and to think we thought a handheld code scanner was a nifty addition to the toolbox). Complementing the banked-ovalinspired design of the car is a set of billet aluminum wheels from Hot Rods by Boyd — 18x8 in the front and a massive 20x12 in the rear. There’s also the requisite set of big brakes, including 13-inch front rotors and 11-inch STREETRODLIFE.COM
For even more pics on the car search “Cardboard Chevy” at StreetRodLife.com.
rear rotors, both clamped down with four-piston calipers. The competition theme also carries over to the interior where SCAT Enterprises’ PROCAR front seats, a Driven microfiber-trimmed steering wheel, and a NASCAR-style long shifter convey super-speedway style. They’re mixed with a few more street-related amenities, such as a Vintage Air climate system, a Classic Performance Products (CPP) tilt steering column, and Dakota Digital’s gorgeous VHX series instrument cluster insert, which replaces the original gauges with modern instruments mounted behind a contemporary, analog face panel. The electronically triggered instruments are necessary to mate with the engine controller for the Chevrolet Performance LS376 crate engine based on the 6.2L LS3. Used in cars like the C6 Corvette and Gen 5 Camaro SS, the engine features a factory cam swap, with .525/.525-inch lift and 226/236 degrees duration, which helps push horsepower from the standard 430 to 525. “They use the ASA Hot Cam, which is designed for circle track racing,” Brett says. “It really makes big power at higher rpm, but at low rpm it has a rougher idle quality that sounds awesome.” Those exhaust qualities are amplified with a fabricated NASCAR-style exhaust 24
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The Chevrolet Performance LS376 crate engine pumps out 525 horsepower. The sanitary serpentine belt setup is from March, and mounts the AC compressor higher for greater frame clearance. The LS swap headers are from Doug’s, but engine’s internals are untouched. The Hugger Orange accents complement matching accent paint on the exterior roof and the interior.
system, giving the car an aural signature that backs up its track-ready demeanor. The exhaust system flows out of a set of Doug’s LS swap headers. And because no self-respecting stock car would hit the track with an automatic transmission, Brett made sure to equip his cardboard-colored shoebox with a manual box. It’s a TREMEC T56 Magnum, which uses the guts of the TR6060 gearbox used in the C6 Corvette Z06. It channels the LS376’s torque to a Currie 9-inch rear axle fitted with 4.11 gears.
“With all that power and 4.11 gears, the car really gets up and moves, but with the LS engine and a six-speed, it’s a great combination for driving,” Brett says. “Twenty mpg on the highway sure beats five mpg from an old small block and a Turbo 350.” Not surprisingly, Brett rounded out the contemporized Chevy with more modern suspension components. A quicker-ratio steering box from CCP gives the car a more controlled, confident feel behind the wheel, while CPP also
supplied a set of tubular control arms that are matched with QA1 coil-overs and a thick stabilizer bar — items that original Chevy NASCAR racers would have killed for. At the rear is an adjustable four-link setup with coil-overs and a stabilizer bar. CPP 2-inch drop spindles contribute to the racy stance. “I’ve owned a number of muscle cars and other modified cars over the years, but this is the biggest project I’ve ever tackled,” Brett says about the three-year project. “I had an idea in my mind about what I wanted it to be, but it evolved as the project progressed. I’m thrilled with how it turned out and plan to put a lot of miles on it.” He is also quick to credit his teenage sons, Cole and Alex, for assisting in the build, and we’ll give a nod to Brett for involving the next generation of enthusiasts in the hobby. Here’s to hoping they’d rather work on a rusty shoebox Chevy
than spend every minute texting. Brett’s wife Robyn also gets kudos for keeping the house in order while he and his sons spent the final couple of months sequestered in the garage. “It was a thrash in the final months to get it done, but we did it,” Brett says. “Apart from the interior, we did all the work ourselves, that includes maybe 1,000 hours of bodywork, and I don’t know how many block-sanding. It was hard work, but very satisfying.” It is perhaps a cliché to say the results speak for themselves, but in this case, it has never been a truer statement. Brett transformed a rusted relic into the stock car-inspired shoebox of his dreams, which prompted an all-new restoration business out of his St. Jacob, Illinois, collision center: Xtreme Muscle Cars. Bring your inspiration and your own cardboard box and Brett will do the rest. SRL STREETRODLIFE.COM
The cars terrific stance is enabled by a modernized chassis and suspension, which features CPP two-inch drop spindles, a four-link rear suspension, and coil-overs at each corner. Brett opened up the rear inner fenders to make room for the massive 20x12 rear wheels, which tuck nicely beneath the unaltered rear fender openings.
Modern amenities, including air conditioning, power steering, and a modern instrument cluster live harmoniously within the confines of the Chevy’s classic cabin. The vinyl upholstery includes a mix of light and dark gray, accented with orange. The dark gray material features an ostrich skin texture that was stitched by Auto Designs by Sebastian.
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With its aggressive cues such as the front splitter and distinctive primary color (inspired by the hue of a cardboard box) this ’56 Chevy 210 looks like no other Tri-5 on the road or track. All the original bright work has been refinished in metal-tone paint. What hasn’t been altered are the classic lines of the vintage shoebox.
had an idea in my mind about “Iwhat I wanted it to be. I’m thrilled with how it turned out and plan to put a lot of miles on it.
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A custom ’50 Ford that was too good to flip
hen you drive through the streets of Brooklyn or Long Island, New York, you’d be hard-pressed to find a classic car amongst the herd of late-model commuters. Tom Braunworth is helping to change that view. Tom and a good friend try to bring classic cars and automotive memorabilia to the big city. Over the last four years, they’ve taken vacation trips through the Pennsylvania Poconos, while planning stops at several estate sales along the route, in search of cool collectibles and cars (20 cars have been found so far). 28
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When they find a classic, they get it road-worthy and set it out on a friend’s car lot in New York. It’s a fun way to bring some hot rod heritage downtown while making an extra buck. On one of those trips Tom came across a beautiful pearl white and blue scalloped ’50 Ford at an estate auction. “The prior owner had a body shop and this was his pride and joy,” Tom recalls. “He passed away, but I was able to talk to his wife and she told me about how much fun they had in the car. They drove it everywhere.” It was snowing on the day of the auction, with over six inches piling up by the
Words Josh Quellhorst Photos @sasdesignsny
time Tom and his buddy were able to seal the deal on the coupe. They fired up the custom and drove it 50 miles east with no wipers or defroster. When they reached the their destination, the coupe was once again parked and left until spring. Several months later as the Northeast was beginning to thaw, Tom pulled the cover back on the ’50 to prep it for sale. He pushed the coupe out of the garage, opened the door, and sat behind the wheel to take it all in. “The interior was so cool, I just fell in love with it,” he says. “It was just something special. I knew I couldn’t sell it.”
just fell in love “Iwith it. It was
just something special. I knew I couldn’t sell it.
He immediately called his partner, while still sitting in the coupe, and asked what it would take to buy him out of the car. Luckily, his friend understood the connection (as most car-guys would) and an agreement was made. Tom took the car to his garage in Long Island for some detailing, an oil change, and a minor tune-up. That’s all that was needed to get the coupe on the road. Tom enjoyed the entire summer cruising around New York, taking part in a parade at Coney Island, and other area car shows. If you listen close as the coupe rolls by, you may hear the clown horn and whistle. It was a great summer of car shows and cruising fun until it ended with a bang — as in an engine BANG. “While having some fun doing donuts and drifting the car around a huge parking lot, the engine dropped a valve and bent a pushrod,” Tom says. It was actually the day before he planned to store the car for the winter, so it wasn’t that big of a disappointment. In fact, Tom viewed this as an opportunity for an engine upgrade. Over the next few weeks, he paged through a JEGS catalog selecting the parts needed to assemble a new small-block Chevy. “Luckily JEGS helped me out and had all the parts I needed to build a new engine for the coupe,” Tom explains. By the time you read this article, a fresh small-block Chevy will be under the hood, nestled between the ’50s fenders. A set of World Sportsman II 72cc heads are bolted over the cylinders, with a COMP Cams Thumpr bumpstick controlling the valves. An Edelbrock EPS black intake is topped with a 600cfm carburetor and a set of ARP fasteners tie it all together. To highlight the engine and to keep the accessories running smooth, a polished aluminum March Performance serpentine kit was installed. Long-tube headers send the spent exhaust fumes through a pair of Thrush Glasspacks, giving the ’50 a period correct rumble. The coupe has been rolling on a set of 14-inch steelies, but Tom has a custom set of 18x7 and 18x8 Rotiform CBU three-piece wheels being machined.
Tom Braunworth thought he was going to flip this estate-sale-find custom, but instead found something special about the car and had to keep it. Good call.
JEGS had the parts Tom needed to rebuild his SBC, including an Edelbrock intake and carb, a COMP camshaft, and ARP hardware.
There are also plans in the works this coming winter for an air suspension. Tom has many other updates planned for the Ford in the coming years. “My eventual goal with the car is to do
a Coyote motor swap and get that Chevy motor out of my Ford,” Tom says. “I’m already looking over the JEGS website to see what parts I’m going to need next.” SRL Source: JEGS, jegs.com
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
Lifelong street rodding couple has deluxe accommodations
ilberto Porras has never built a car to tow around on a trailer, instead he drives the wheels off of them. If you live and drive in the vastness that is the Southwest, your rod needs to be built to be reliable, yet easy to work on should you ever find yourself on the side of Interstate 10 or 25. A case in point is Gilbertoâ€™s latest project, a bright blue â€™40 Deluxe Coupe. The car was finished in June of 2014 and in just over 12 months has accumulated nearly 11,000 miles.
Words/Photos Todd Ryden
The original coupe body is bolted to a TCI chassis with parallel springs and a Currie 9-inch out back. Dropped front spindles produce a perfect hot rod stance.
Seat time is easy to add up when you travel from El Paso, Texas, to California (twice), Santa Fe, New Mexico, Austin (twice), and into Chihuahua, Mexico. Building this ’40 was no small feat. The body was far from perfect so Gilberto took the time to straighten and rework the vintage tin and filled spots with lead wherever needed. Once deemed straight and worthy, the coupe was painted the original Pepsi blue with a DuPont Chromabase sprayed by Chamizal Body Works. (Pepsi has had only two shades of blue, and this is the original shade.) Gilberto enlisted a TCI chassis along with a tried and true small-block Chevy and overdrive automatic knowing full well the distances he planned to run this rod. The interior was one area he left to the experts and had Tin Aguilar stitch the Glide
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seat, door panels, and headliner to form a comfortable yet classic styled interior. Note the hidden accessory panel for the shift indicators and interior climate controls. Gilberto has a soft spot for ’40 Fords and actually owns another coupe. Softer yet is his appreciation for Model-As. He built one that was channeled and lowered when he was 17. Gilberto admits this first attempt at a hot rod was not really safe to drive and far from the cars he has assembled 50+ years later. He also owns a Model-T Touring Coupe, a closed cab pickup, a ’56 210 Chevy, and is working on a ’32 Vicky. The Pepsi blue ’40 may have taken 10 years to build, but at the rate Gilberto and his wife of 42 years, Leticia, are going, they’ll have over 100,000 miles on it in no time. SRL
The magnolia leather cabin is set off with blue piping throughout the interior and trunk. A Glide front seat and opera rear seats provide a comfy ride for everyone.
Since Gilberto and Leticia spend a lot of time on the open highways of the Southwest, a 330-horsepower crate small-block Chevy and 700-R4 driveline were chosen. They also kept things simple with a Holley 650-cfm carb, Pertronix distributor, and Street and Performance headers. For even more pictures on Gilberto Porras’ car search “40 Deluxe Coupe” at StreetRodLife.com.
Dig the hidden A/C controls and shift indicator LEDs. Details like this keep the interior looking classic and carry on the hot rod vibe.
BOOST GIVE YOUR BRAKES A
Master Power Brakes can assist in making your stops easier
s fans of older cars, it’s safe to say the majority of our rods and projects were originally built with manual brakes. When these cars were new, power assist was generally noted as an option that many buyers neglected to select on the build sheet. Besides, there were more important options such as tri-power intakes, Positraction rear ends, and an FM radio. Many street rods or older builds opted to retain manual brakes due to space requirements or to keep things simple and clean to the eye. However, if you’re running a four-wheel disc brake system, consider that it takes approximately 900–1, 200 psi for the brakes to work as designed, so unless you can squat 300-pounds all day, power assist is a nice feature. The goal of power-assisted brakes is to simply ease the pedal effort required to apply the brakes in a safe, effective manner. But this does not always equate to improved braking. A booster must be selected to match your brake system, otherwise your brakes could be far too touchy and difficult to manage, or conversely could be mushy or slow. The most popular way to add power assist to your brake system is through a vacuum booster. This round, bowl-like assembly fits between the master cylinder and the pedal assembly. A line connects to a manifold vacuum source on the engine to assist with the movement of the pushrod into the master cylinder with the help of vacuum and atmospheric pressure. 34
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This cut-away shows the dual diaphragms, push rod, check valve, and inner workings of a booster.
There are several items to cover when selecting a brake booster: are you running drums or discs, do you need a singleor dual-diaphragm, what diameter master cylinder, and more. To get the skinny on power assist, we gave the experts at Master Power Brakes a call.
Typically, an engine needs to be able to create a minimum of 17 inches (or more) of vacuum and will vary between 18–22 inches depending on the manufacturer and system.
Master Power Brakes offers a number of direct bolt-in master cylinder/ booster assemblies such as this model for a ’54 Ford Crestline.
They explained that the ideal size configuration for a vehicle’s power-assisted brakes is one that offers good modulation. Modulation refers to having a range of stopping capabilities, meaning you can alternatively softly apply the brakes to bring the car to a gradual stop, or apply the brakes swiftly to stop on a dime in an emergency situation. The engine’s vacuum capability is important to consider when selecting a booster, as well as the space confinements. Smaller boosters may fit better, but they require a stronger vacuum signal from the engine, compared to their larger diameter counterparts. A single-diaphragm booster works well with drum or disc/ drum systems, but for four-wheel discs a dual-diaphragm design should be used because it provides more assist thanks to the dual chambers. Master Power Brakes provided an example of a customer
Boosters come in a number of sizes depending on the application. This unit is a dual diaphragm, 8-inch diameter.
who needed help with a half-ton ’72 Chevy C10. Trucks from that era are larger — and heavier — which means they require more stopping power. The truck had factory front discs with a manual setup and he wanted to upgrade to power-assist. He was planning on using a single-diaphragm, 9-inch booster but that would have been on the verge of assist. MPB explained that an 8-inch, dual-diaphragm booster would provide more assist than the larger diameter single unit, which would be better suited for a heavy, disc/drum vehicle. Stepping up to power-assisted brakes is a great move for safety and ease of driving with improved pedal feel. If you have any questions about how to upgrade your rod to power assist, we urge you to give the guys at Master Power Brakes a call, or check out the useful info on the website at mpbrakes.com. SRL Source: Master Power Brakes, mpbrakes.com
tuc SIN THEK
This ’34 coupe is suffering from an identity crisis
Words/Photos Todd Ryden
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Wheelie bars and a chute tell of the car’s drag history, as does the 9-inch rear end. The chassis was built at Don Hardy Race Cars in the early ’90s with the goal of making the ’34 a 9-second street rod.
hat happens when you start building a ’34 coupe into a strip/street car, sell it to someone who builds it into a show car, then you buy it back a few years later? Do you leave it as is or try to return to your original build? That’s the dilemma facing Warren Ekery with his ’34 Ford. His dad, Leon, plucked the bare body from a swap meet nearly 30 years ago and worked on the coupe while lugging it around Lubbock, Texas. Keith Fox at Merlin’s Rod and Custom chopped five inches off the roof and welded in fresh rockers and a few patch panels. When it was time for a chassis, Leon made the trip over to Don Hardy Race
Cars in Floydada, Texas. While at Hardy’s shop, the coupe, surrounded by Pro Stock cars and V8 Vega conversion kits, received a tube frame and room for a big block. Once back in Leon’s hands, it was ready for the strip with a little street action as well. The car ran consistent 10.00s but never dipped into the single digit ETs — the goal of the project all along (remember, this was before big nitrous and turbos). Leon eventually sold the car to a friend in 1995 who stripped it down and painted it a wild purple. It also received a set of billet wheels, detailed with chrome pieces, and was prepped for show life. Several years later, the car was on the market and Leon jumped at the
chance to buy it back. The purple body was immediately shot rattle-can orange, the wheelie bars and chute were bolted back on, and a set of Halibrand magnesium 16x13 wheels with slicks and 10-spoke ETs were added up front. It was a way-back machine with a big block and pretty much like the primer-on-primer coupe he built 25 years ago. Time marches on and the 5-window has yet another name on the title, Warren Ekery, Leon’s son. Warren has plans to get the ’34 dialed in with the EFI conversion on the 8-stack a bit more and get it back to the strip to show his dad some single-digit ETs then drive it home. SRL
The top left photo shows how the ’34 Coupe looked when Leon Ekery brought it home from a swap meet about 30 years ago. The top right picture shows how it looked when he sold the car in 1995. When he bought it back a few years later the car had been painted purple.
The big block (originally a 502c.i.) now boasts 510c.i., and was built by Tim Glover and Nicky Fowler of Scoggin-Dickey in Lubbock, Texas, back in the early ’90s. The plan was to always have a kick from boost or nitrous assistance, so the compression was made pretty low. Regardless, 510c.i. of rat power with an EFI-converted Crower mechanical induction system is pretty stout.
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The interior has gauges and the legal necessities along with roll up windows. Until Warren decides on just what the ’34 is going to be when it grows up, this is the way it’s going to stay. Function over form at its best.
Sure it’s loud, hot, and a bit twitchy over expansion cracks, but the car is road worthy thanks to an EFI conversion and mild gears. Street tires will be added in the future.
IT’S YOUR LIFESTYLE i t. Live
See It All Here
Mittler Bros and Jamey Jordan team up to offer the best in metal working tools
Photo courtesy of Hand Made Seat Co.
ou know Mittler Bros. as the company that helps thousands of builders and enthusiasts build better cars thanks to its high quality tools and components. There’s a good chance you’ve heard about Jamey Jordan and his Hand Made Seat Company. He’s the guy who made the bomber seat into an art form. What do you get when you team up a company that emphasizes quality, USA designed and built tools with one of the best guys crafting sheet metal these days? A signature series of specialty tools and dies. Mittler Bros offers the Jamey Jordan Signature Series of tools and accessories, including many of Jamey’s unique bead roll designs, punch and flare kits, and other tools to help you create the best metal panels for your projects. Jamey relies on Mittler tools to build his detailed bomber seats and custom artwork because he knows they’re built for the long run. We caught up with Jamey to learn more about his craft and the tools he works with.
The bead roller is Jamey’s favorite tool. “I use one every day and you can just feel the quality built into the Mittler bead rollers.”
Your seats are as much as works of art as your official artwork. Do you prefer doing the seats or the art?
The art gives me a chance to do something different, which is fun and a nice change. The seats take so much more work and can take quite a while to do, that sometimes I would prefer to be doing an art project! But at the end of the day the seats are more gratifying to see complete and in a car.
How did you team up with Mittler Bros?
There were some guys from Mittler Bros on my Facebook page and we swapped messages or info about projects now and then. I was in the market for a new bead roller and was planning to go out to SEMA, so I reached out to Mike Mittler, the co-founder and president. I suggested that I would come to their booth and do demonstrations during the show if they would work with me on a bead roller. After the show, I got my new power bead roller and worked with it for several months. I planned to review the tool and provide any feedback. The power bead roller worked great. The quality is there, you can just feel it. It’s USA designed and built. You know you’re buying a lifetime product with Mittler. I went back to Mike with a few suggestions on dies and forms, which eventually lead to us deciding to do a Signature Series line of Mittler tools.
A big part of the Jamey Jordan Signature Designs line from Mittler Bros is a number or bead rolls and accessories.
Do you have a favorite Mittler tool? The bead roller by far. I use it every day. It’s what I do and a big part of how I make a living, so it plays a pretty important role in the shop. It’s versatile and built to last.
What is it that you like about working with metal?
To be honest, it’s just what I know. I know guys who are great at tattoos, or at painting. I just picked metal. I was the guy who really liked working on cars and trucks and did a lot of metal work with my buddies when we all had mini-trucks. Air bags and wheel tubs all take metal work and it started from there I guess.
How many bead rolls, soft steps, grooves, and other dies have you done with Mittler?
Currently we have about 70 products in the Signature Series line with about 35 of those being different dies. There
are also other tools such as the power shrinker/stretcher, triangle punch and flares, and more.
For a guy who wants to start doing a little metal work on his street rod project, what would you recommend as the best Mittler tool they should start with (one or more)?
I’d have to go back to the bead roller again or maybe a metal brake. Mittler offers a 4-feet model that is perfect for garages and guys starting out. That size of a brake is perfect for a lot of builds and projects.
Do you own a street rod? If so, tell us about it.
I had a pretty traditional ’31 Ford sedan but sold it when I started the business, to get it off the ground. I’m saving for my dream car, a ’32 five window. SRL Sources: Mittler Bros, mittlerbros.com; Hand Made Seat Co, handmadeseatco.com
Heaven This ’50 Mercury returns home and is treated to a third life
robably more than a few of us have sold a car to make room for the next project. Or there is the unexpected curveball of life that may force the sale of a rod to deal with unforeseen circumstances. Either way, selling a car can induce regret or seller’s remorse that may take years to get over. Larry Douglas understands all too well the feeling of selling a car he thoroughly enjoyed, and vowed to have another 42
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one someday when the time was right. Turns out he was lucky enough to get that chance and his story about the “one that got away” has a unique twist. Larry’s story begins in 1964 when he came across a 1950 Mercury covered in green house paint that had been applied by brush, and was in need of a proper caretaker. Larry had been married all of two weeks when he found the car and Words/Photos Louis Kimery
Sent his understanding wife, Marsha, agreed they should bring it home and give the Merc a new lease on life. A year later, Larry had rebuilt the old Merc into a mild custom that featured all the latest trends of the day. A fresh blue paint job with a contrasting white interior and chrome reverse wheels gave it the right look, while a 327c.i. Chevy backed by a three-speed provided the go.
Larry used the car as his daily transportation for the next seven years, but unfortunately a financial set-back forced him to part with the Merc. He never forgot that car and was determined to find another one some day. The search ended in 1985 when he received a phone call from a friend who told him of the existence of a forlorn â€™50 Mercury stashed behind a house in Harrison, Arkansas. STREETRODLIFE.COMâ€ƒ
The third interior of the Merc (not counting the original threads) was stitched by Combs Auto Upholstery.
Douglas bought it sight unseen for $200 and his friend trailered it to Memphis for him. When the car arrived, Larry stepped out to inspect his new project. He opened the passenger door to reveal a drooping white headliner and a Sears’ automotive heater with the initials LBD carved into it. Amazingly, and without any prior knowledge of the car’s history, he had just purchased the same Mercury that he sold back in 1972! Larry feels that Divine Providence intervened to bring his old Mercury back home after 13 years. All the pieces were miraculously falling into place for the car’s second act. Support from area enthusiasts was strong, with many contributing parts and labor to help bring this one back from the brink. Larry raised the bar during the build by teaching himself the art of automotive restyling. He chopped the top 2.5 inches, installed a ’58 Impala roof vent, rounded the hood and trunk corners, installed ’59 Ford parking lights, and six ’59 Caddy taillights. The custom work continued with frenched ’54 Mercury headlights as well as a flipped and shortened ’57 Chevy truck grill mounted upside down and For even more info and pics search “1950 Mercury” at StreetRodLife.com.
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dressed with drawer pull knobs from a local hardware store. The hood was punched with 144 louvers along with 36 more in the gravel pan. G.C. Shortnancy painted the car with House of Color candy apple red, with ghost flames that were laid out and applied by local automotive artist Bluefoot. On the mechanical side, a 455c.i. Buick and TH-400 transmission were called in for power along with a narrowed Ford 9-inch rear end. The Merc was lowered 7-inches in front and 8-inches in the rear supported with a complete hydraulic system. Several years later another small-block Chevy was installed along with a more cruise-friendly 700R4 overdrive trans. The interior also received a slate of custom work with a walnut dash and console, full instrumentation, a stereo, and even a 7-inch TV. Tinted glass and wire wheels were the crowning touch and Larry enjoyed his long-lost Mercury for another 20 years. Eventually, inevitable signs of wear and tear began to show on the beloved Merc. At an Indiana car show in 2004, Larry conferred with legendary customizer Gene Winfield and they devised the a third act for the ’50. The Merc was towed across the country to Winfield’s shop in California’s Mojave Desert. A patch of black ice near Gallop, New Mexico, put the tow rig into the back of an 18-wheeler, but miraculously the Merc was spared from any damage. A U-Haul was deployed to finish the tow, and once at Winfield’s the transformation began. The car was converted into a hardtop and received flush rear fender skirts. Distinctive custom lakes pipes were also fashioned to exit from the front fenders and an adjustable air suspension system replaced the hydraulics. A ’74 Nova sub-frame was installed, along with custom engine compartment panels. A custom console spans the entire length of the interior. The car returned to its Memphis home where Winfield paid a visit to lay down one of his famous fade paint jobs using House of Color materials. Next, James Combs of Combs Auto Upholstery in Adamsville, Tennessee, stitched up the new threads for the interior and trunk. Just like in ’65, chrome reverse wheels were installed with a fresh set of wide-whitewall rubber, topped with custom painted Dodge Lancer hubcaps. These last rounds of upgrades were completed a decade ago but the car still
After running a 455c.i. Buick for a number of years, a small-block Chevy, and automatic overdrive found its way beneath the louvered hood.
looks like it just rolled out of the shop. The Merc has earned status as a family heirloom for the Douglas’ and will con-
tinue to cruise for years to come. After all, this one found its way home. It’s a keeper. SRL STREETRODLIFE.COM
& JIM RING
When you look back over the last 10–15 years of how muscle car builds have flourished with late model technology, one-offmachined custom components, and cutting-edge designs (with performance to back it up), the name of two brothers will come up: Mike and Jim Ring. The duo formed Ringbrothers and made a splash with their first official customer build at the 2006 SEMA show when their ’67 Mustang, known as Reactor, won the coveted Mothers Polish Shine award (their first of several). Since that time the shop based out of Green Spring, Wisconsin, has continued to deliver amazing builds that push, and sometimes step over, the boundaries of muscle cars. We were able to catch up with the brothers before the Goodguys PPG Nationals to ask a few questions about their builds and how they work.
You’re brothers, the last of seven siblings, who does what?
Jim: We’re partners in our business, and when it comes to building customer cars, everyone in the shop gets involved in the fab work on different levels and areas of the build. I do all of the wiring, brake lines, assembly, and a lot of the mechanical fabricating. Mike: I do the dirty prep work, fit and finish. We currently have two buildings, the front has the offices, body prep area, and paint booth, while the back building is where Jim is based most of the time. We’re just getting started on a third building where we’ll be able to house more fabricating, along with the assembly and parts side of the business.
Did you guys have your own hot rods to out-do each other, or did you join forces to build one? Was the rest of your family into cars at all? Jim: No one in our family is involved or really even likes car stuff. Actually, we grew up in Plain, Wisconsin, a town of 600 people and our dad owned a gas station. There’s not a lot of people to sell gas to in a town that size. In short, we never had a lot and cars were only a form of transportation 46
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to most people, but Mike and I just seemed to have always liked them. I had a ’65 Mustang Fastback with a 289 at one point. Mike: I built a Cobra Contemporary, mostly on credit cards. When it was finished, I sold it at the first show I took it to — only drove it a few miles. I wasn’t going to be able to afford to own it. Today, neither one of us has our own hot rod. We’re happy enough with our customer’s cars and probably don’t have enough time to do our own.
Is there a build that really sticks out as your favorite? If so, which one, and why?
Jim: I really like the Recoil ’66 Chevelle right now. Driving the car is just awesome. We were terrified about the
You’ve won several awards for muscle cars, such as last year’s Blizzard ’65 Mustang, the Mothers Shine Award, etc. Any plans to step into the medium of street rods?
Mike: Our focus has been muscle cars, primarily because that’s what we like and started with. We are in discussions with a client about building a rod but in our vision, it will definitely be a Ringbrothers-built street rod. Jim: If we do this project, it’ll definitely take us out of our comfort zone, which will be good for us as a new challenge. It should be fun. We just can’t talk about it quite yet. I’ll let you know this: It’ll be a ’49 vintage.
1965 Mustang, Producer
color, but it really came together and there’s more than enough cool parts and details on the car to draw your attention and bring you in. Mike: I have to give a shout out to the Reactor Mustang [a ’67 Fastback Mustang] since it has so much machine work and the car really kind of put us on the map. I also liked the Producer [a ’65 Mustang that won Goodguy’s 2012 Street Machine of the Year]. Really, it’s hard to say. Each one is cool, but Reactor does hold a special place.
Speaking of the Recoil Chevelle, is there any part on the car that is un-touched and OEM factory? Mike: Maybe the roof. Though we did remove the drip rails.
What’s your favorite part of a build for a customer?
Jim: Developing new parts and products on the car is my favorite part. We’re not afraid to color outside the lines to see what works — or doesn’t. We like to alter a car, but we understand that it still needs to be recognizable, especially for a muscle car. Mike: Figuring out the overall look and paint scheme of the car is fun and it changes all the time. We change the car a lot between the fab shop and fit/finish. Heck, we’ve changed paint colors when we had it in the gun!
Photo by John Jackson, NotStock Photography
You’ve done Mustangs, which are noted as a favorite car since you were starting out. There’s been Camaros and Chevelles, but there seems to be a Mopar missing in the mix. Is there something planned or one that you’d like to do? Jim: Funny you should ask. We have a ’69 Charger sitting in the shop that we’re just starting on. Neither one of us are really Mopar guys so this one will also be a bit out of our wheelhouse, though it is still a muscle car. Mike really has his work cut out for him with those gigantic quarter panels! Mike: The Charger will have a 6.1L Hemi for power and the body will have a lot of very subtle and smooth modifications that will probably be hard to even see. It’ll be recognizable as a ’69 Charger, but with a modern makeover and amenities.
1966 Chevelle, Recoil Photos courtesy Ringbrothers
At the SEMA show in 2006 you won the Mothers Shine Award with a ’67 Mustang called Reactor. How did business react after such recognition?
Mike: You know, I can’t say it really changed a lot. In this business, you need to keep moving forward and on to the next project and vision. No time to stop and rest on your laurels. However, with that said, it was amazing to be recognized with the Mothers Shine Award at the show and it probably did help get our name out there!
What words of advice would you give to anyone getting into the design or custom car business?
Jim: Make sure your wife or significant other has a good job that makes a lot of money!
1967 Mustang, Reactor
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Mike: He’s right! However, for young designers and builders, don’t try to emulate other cars and builders. You need to build what is inside of you. Do your thing and make it like you envision it.
Not only are you building incredible, cutting-edge cars, but you’re designing, building, and selling components from these builds such as hood hinges, cowl vents, and most recently bumpers, wheels, and spoilers from the ’66 Recoil Chevelle. Which comes first, the car build or the components?
Jim: In the beginning, a lot of the parts we sell came right from the builds and projects. If we design and build a cool bracket or hood pin assembly, we learned that we could adapt them for other cars and people building their own cars. Mike: Our mechanical components and accessories are built for a reason, or to help solve a problem. If we solve that problem on one build, we can offer it for others to use as well. Since we still run a full time body/repair shop, we get to see a lot of new technology behind the construction and
inner workings of newer cars. The different technologies used by the OEMs in builds from a simple bracket to a retainer can give us ideas and direction on our own line of accessories and components in our own builds or accessories.
What’s the story on the Winnebago? Jim: It’s a long story, but we were kind of wrangled in to that beast. It was horrible, we were stuck and spent far too much money on the thing. It was
supposed to be in decent condition and for use as a camper on some property. It wasn’t even worthy of that. Mike: I was almost going to cry over that thing. Once we tore it apart and got going on it, the project got fun and we have had tons of people talk about it. When they look in it and see the LS engine, the surround sound, and woodwork, they just smile. Jim: In the end, it was worth it… though it was a tough one to get through at first! SRL
The Ringbrothers Team
Mike and Jim Ring are the face of the Ringbrothers, but they couldn’t do it without a team of talented people who work hard to create, build, and enjoy pushing the limits on their projects. They send special thanks to: Lisa Wahl, Sales Manager; Mark Bechen, Project Manager; Matt Moseman, Product Development; Tammy Walsh, Office Manager; Jaime Hisel, Customer Service; Travis Fry, Collision and Technical Support; Chad Haggerty, Paint and Body Technician; Sean Hildebrandt, Fabricator; Jason Cox, Fabricator; and Dave Travis, Technician.
It’s In The Details... The extra effort that goes into making each and every ARP fastener is evident in the final product. There are those companies whose primary concern is having the lowest price. Obviously, this means compromising material quality and taking shortcuts in manufacturing. ARP, on the other hand, stakes its reputation on quality; using only the best materials, employing extra manufacturing steps to perfect each fastener, and having relentless quality control. Moreover, ARP fasteners are
manufactured entirely in our own ISO 9001:2008 and AS9100 registered facilities in Southern California. Look for the “ARP” stamped on each fastener as your assurance of quality. Check out our new 10-32 stainless steel 12-point bolts. They’re great for adding a finishing touch to your rod or custom. They, and over 250 other new products, are in the 2015 catalog available online or by request.
Get a FREE copy of the new 2015 catalog online
#10 12-point stainless steel
TOOLS ACCESSORIES STUFF
At Street Rod Life, we’re always on the look-out for new parts that will make your rod a little quicker, smoother, or simply cooler. This installment of Parts Store brings you a variety of great new products to hit the market. If you would like more information, follow the website or give them a call — be sure to tell them Street Rod Life sent you!
Stop your F100 Master Power Brakes, ’65–’72 F100 Disc Brake Conversion Kit When new, the Ford F100 was thought of as a vehicle for utilitarian purposes only. Trucks weren’t counted on as daily drivers in the ’60s and they were designed that way too. Spartan when it came to comfort, as well as in overall design and function, they left something to be desired. Today however, F100’s make pretty cool cruisers and Master Power Brakes has a new disc brake conversion for the ’65–’72 2-wheel drive Fords. The Legend Series Kits are supplied with CNC-machined
hubs and caliper kits, so you don’t need to replace the spindle making the upgrade much easier. The kit is designed to accept factory 15-inch wheels with vented 11-inch rotors and calipers with a 2 15/16-inch piston for effective, even braking capabilities. MPB includes everything you need to make the upgrade including wheel bearings and seals, flexible brake hose, and hardware. Power and manual kits are available. mpbrakes.com 800.381.9772
Even more new products
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Accurate pressure JEGS, Deluxe Tire Pressure Gauge Stay calm under pressure with JEGS’ Deluxe Tire Pressure Gauges. Protected by a rubber cover, the gauge has a simple-to-see 2-inch white face with black markings and the yellow JEGS logo. This 45psi model displays pressure in 1-pound increments and includes a 45-degree air chuck with a 14-inch braided stainless steel hose that swivels to lengthen your reach. There is also a push-button bleeder valve to release excess pressure. Tire pressure is one of the most important aspects of your vehicle’s performance handling and the JEGS Deluxe Tire Pressure Gauge is a handy tool to keep in your garage or glovebox! Also available in 15-, 30-, and 60-psi. jegs.com 800.345.4545
Twin discs for FE power Advanced Clutch Technology, Ford FE Twin-Disc Clutch Kits
The low life Aeromotive, Ultra Low Pressure Regulator For rodders who love the classic Weber, Mikuni, Dellorto, Solex, or other side-draft style carburetors, Aeromotive now offers a high-quality, high-flow regulator suitable for these low-pressure carb applications. This new Ultra Low Pressure Regulator features a unique body that is designed to support high flow at very low pressure. Intended for multiple, smaller carburetors, the body features one ORB-06 inlet port and two (2) ORB-06 outlet ports, along with a dedicated, 1/8-inch NPT gauge port. The internal components are optimized to provide rock-solid, low-pressure control with a positive sealing, soft-seat poppet assembly. For low pressure regulation, this is the only way to go. For more on the Ultra Low Pressure Regulator see page 20. aeromotiveinc.com 913.647.7300
When you’re making serious torque with a Ford FE engine, Advanced Clutch Technology (ACT) has what it takes to put that power to the pavement. ACT now offers twin-disc clutch kits designed specifically for Ford’s ’64–’70 FE engine with assemblies for street-friendly manners through race-ready rods up to over 1,500 lb-ft of torque. Each kit uses two discs resulting in nearly twice the disc surface area compared to a conventional clutch design, which equates to improved wear characteristics, higher heat capacity, and longer life. ACT’s proprietary Positive Lift Floater system automatically compensates for disc wear, endurance, and consistent pedal feel. Three different clamp load designs are offered to deliver performance with a moderate pedal effort. You can also choose different disc combinations that feature high torque capacities and each of the kits are completely serviceable. ACT’s twin-disc kits include a CNC-machined and dynamically-balanced, forged chromoly flywheel to ensure smooth, trouble-free installation, and years of continued service. The systems are backed by a one-year manufacturer’s warranty as well. advancedclutch.com 866.795.0052 STREETRODLIFE.COM
TOOLS ACCESSORIES STUFF
Full-size wiring American Autowire, ’60–’64 Full-size Ford Wiring Kits American Autowire offers a big wiring kit for big Fords and Mercs. This complete harness is designed specifically to update the entire harness of ’60–’64 Ford and ’61–’64 Mercury full-size cars. The harness provides all of the wiring to update the factory components. It also includes modern updates such as its “cluster harness disconnect” system that easily connects to the factory dash or upgrades from Classic Instruments, Auto Meter, Dakota Digital, and more. The compact ATO-style fuse panel has an enclosed housing with mounting tabs for ease of installation and each circuit fuse is clearly labeled. The engine wiring harness features a heavy-gauge alternator lead and connections for the tach, water temp, oil pressure, and even an electric speedometer. New doorjamb, high beam, and ignition switches are supplied, making this a complete kit to make your wiring job easy. americanautowire.com 800.482.9473
Be a hero H3R Performance, Halguard Fire Extinguisher
Classy and functional Inglese, Billet Stacks & Snap-In Stack Filters Inglese Billet Stacks provide classy looks and superior performance for nearly any engine application. Available in four different heights ranging from 1.50 to 3.50 inches, these precision-machined stacks are designed for bolt-on fitment for all Inglese EFI (50mm and 58mm throttle body) and IDA carbureted engines. Designed with a radius that optimizes airflow, they are constructed so that complementing Inglese Snap-In Stack Filters fit on perfectly. The filters fit directly into the stacks without robbing horsepower, and keep out dust, dirt and other trash. Both the stacks and filters are available in single units or as a complete set of eight. inglese.com 866.450.8089
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Having a fire extinguisher in your street rod is an important tool to have and something you hope you never have to use. We like to use the mantra that “if you have one, you won’t need it.” However if you or a buddy need one, you’ll be happy you have a HalGuard unit from H3R Performance. The HalGuard line of extinguishers bring aviation technology to the street rod world. The agent used is an electrically non-conductive clean compound that rapidly turns into a gas. This attacks fires involving flammable liquids quickly and safely without leaving a damaging residue. H3R offers handheld extinguishers in 1.4- and 2.5-pound sizes and some really nice billet mounting brackets that are approved by most race-sanctions, as well as the NSRA. Don’t wait until it’s too late — do yourself a favor and travel with an extinguisher. h3rperformance.com 800.249.4289
Holding steady Powerhouse Products, Air-Operated Valve Holder The Air-Operated Valve Holder from Powerhouse Products is the perfect accessory when it’s time to replace valve springs or valve stem seals. Simply thread one end into the spark plug hole and attach the other end to an air compressor. Air pressure will keep the valve from falling into the cylinder, allowing you to easily work without taking the cylinder head off. With a heavy-duty 12-inch flexible hose and convenient two-step fitting for both 14mm and 18mm threads, access to both the spark plug hole and air supply is never a problem. powerhouseproducts.com 800.872.7223
Time saver Crane Cams, Valve Spring Compressor This tool is designed for removing valve springs while the cylinder head is installed on the engine. It has been proven to allow the installation of new valve springs in substantially less time than it takes using a conventional valve spring compressor. Simply use a ratchet or impact wrench to compress the springs. The compressor’s rugged heat-treated steel fixtures are precision CNC-machined to assure proper seating on the cylinder head and valve spring retainer. The Crane Cams Valve Spring Compressor is designed for small-block Chevrolet models and there is a part number to fit all production V6s and V8s, including late model LS1/2/6 and Vortec engines. Options for late model Hemis are also available. cranecams.com 866.388.5120
HYDRAULIC ROLLER & FLAT TAPPET CONFIGURATIONS
LUNATI® BOOTLEGGER CAMSHAFTS GIVE YOU THE MUSCLE FOR YOUR OUTLAW STREAK.
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This aggressive series of cams is designed for hot rodders who play by their own rules. It’s the most powerful series of street cams we’ve ever produced. Building on technology from the popular Voodoo® Series, these cams feature even faster opening rates, a controlled closing and far more area under the lift curve. With a 108˚ lobe separation angle and a 104˚ intake centerline, this extremely aggressive design provides tons of low- and mid-range power – perfect for back road adventures and stoplight-to-stoplight performance. When dyno-tested, Bootlegger Cams provide proven gains of up to 40 hp depending on the engine combination. Offering the perfect mash-up of today’s design advancements and old-school attitude, these are the perfect cams for harnessing your outlaw spirit.
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TOOLS ACCESSORIES STUFF
Total package Total Cost Involved, Complete ’35–’40 Ford Truck Chassis Finding a straight chassis for a ’35–’40 Ford (or up to ’41 truck) is nearly impossible. If you have one, making the proper updates to meet today’s expectations for handling can be time consuming and costly. So why not start fresh with a complete chassis from Total Cost Involved? TCI Engineering designed its chassis to provide comfort, drivability, and reliability — and even back it all up with a lifetime warranty, and 6-year/60,000-mile warranty on wear items (excluding brakes of course). Each chassis includes its hub-to-hub custom independent front suspension and a 4-link rear suspension. A complete drum/disc power brake kit is supplied, including the pedal assembly, brake lines, stainless hoses, and Wilwood propor-
tioning valve. A fresh Currie 9-inch rear end is supplied with your choice of gears and 31-spline axles as well. A chassis from Total Cost Involved will give your Ford a spot-on stance, smooth ride with superior handling, and safe braking capabilities. Also, with years of expertise in chassis building, it can custom tailor many options or accessories to fit your build. totalcostinvolved.com 855.693.1259
Woven wires Vintage Wires, Ignition Cable Sets Building a street rod today affords the luxury of combining new technology with old-school aesthetics. This is prevalent in nearly every aspect of a build with new chassis and suspension components, drivelines, and internal engine components. When you start getting into the smaller items and details is where things really get interesting. At Vintage Power, the goal is to blend the modern and vintage to create the best of both worlds and its latest offering is a new line of woven spark plug wires. The new wires feature a spiral wound, suppression core wire that is wrapped in a lacquer-cov-
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ered cotton braid. This core design features lower resistance yet suppresses any electrical interference so other on-board electronics are not affected. The woven braid over the 7.8mm plug wire is available in five different colors and patterns to match most combinations. Wire sets are available in direct fit as well as universal sets — they’ll even build a set made to your specifications! Now you can have cool, vintage looking wires with the internals of a modern performance wire. vintagewires.com
Feel the Voodoo Lunati, Voodoo 383 Stroker Crank & Rod Kit The Voodoo 383 Stroker Crank and Rod Kit from Lunati combines high-quality components with an affordable price. Each kit includes a 3.750-inch stroke Lunati crankshaft, 6.000-inch long “stroker” H-beam connecting rods, and premium main and rod bearings. Lunati crankshafts are made from non-twist 4340 steel alloy forging for strength and durability, and feature lightening holes in the rod journals for reduced crankshaft inertia and increased acceleration. The cranks are nitride heat-treated and finished with micro-polished journals.
Lunati’s Voodoo H-beam rods are also made from forged 4340 steel, CNC-machined, and fitted with ARP2000 rod bolts. Each Stroker Crank and Rod Kit ships with a premium main and rod bearing set. Main bearing kits are for a two-piece seal. Balancing and pistons are available upon request. lunatipower.com 662.892.1500
Smooth starting Crane Cams Ignition, XR-i Ignition & PS20 Coil Kits Get faster, more reliable engine starts with this kit. Simply remove the old points and condenser, install the XR-i on the supplied adapter plate, and run two wires. Everything fits under the OEM distributor cap to create a restoration-perfect “factory look.” The XR-i is the industry’s first points conversion to have a built-in adjustable rev limiter (4000 to 8000 rpm) and it’s fully sealed from moisture and dirt. Fully digital, it delivers pinpoint-accurate ignition timing and can provide improved fuel economy. Combine it with a cannister-style, PS20 Coil for 20–50 percent greater spark energy than stock. The kit is available for most 1950s through ’70s applications with single-point distributors. cranecams.com 866.388.5120
Big bin o’ connectors CE Auto Electric Supply, Master Electrical Terminal Kit We did some wiring recently and spent more time digging through loose parts bins and buckets searching for the correct butt-connector and ring lugs than the entire project should have taken. CE Auto Electric Supply offers a Master Electrical Terminal Kit with over 800 connectors and parts that will not only keep you organized, but will help you do the job right. Crimping and connecting wiring is not something you want to shortcut, because it will definitely come back to bite you — usually at the worst possible time! This kit, supplied in a sturdy, easy-to-carry case comes with a number of ring terminals, insulated connectors, snap bushings, butt-connectors, screws, electrical tape, and more. Get organized and have the parts to do your wiring repairs correctly. ceautoelectricsupply.com 602.999.0942 STREETRODLIFE.COM
Words/Photos Todd Ryden
Dressing a Gen III in Gen I accessories
veryone knows how popular the LS series of engines are these days. In fact, we see more LS engines in rods and muscle cars than big blocks and they’re even gaining on the venerable Chevy small block. As great as the third- and fourth-gen engine performs, they still just don’t look at home under the hood of a classic muscle car, especially one that leans more toward traditional styling. Those eight coils atop the valve covers are just impossible to make look good and sometimes a big engine cowl just doesn’t look right. If you choose to stick with the factory EFI, there’s just no way to disguise that intake manifold. We checked with a friend in the process of assembling a ’66 Chevy II with an LS1, but his goal was to detail the engine to appear as the rare L79 power package. This option was for a 350-horsepower 327c.i. with a solid lifter valvetrain, highrise aluminum intake, and a big Holley bolted on top. Simply spraying the engine Chevy orange helps with the process, but we found a few other components to really disguise the LS engine. 56
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First was the decision to run a cast aluminum carbureted intake manifold from Chevrolet Performance. The plan is to run a throttle body EFI system and the intake will really help alter the appearance of the engine, plus an L79 small block was topped with a unique dual-inlet chrome air cleaner that will throw off any casual passerby. We also found a set of valve cover adapters from Racing Head Service that would allow the use of the classic chrome 327 valve covers. While we were at it, we wanted the engine to be detailed sharply, so we used an accessory bolt kit from ARP. The polished stainless steel hardware with a six-point hex head really added a clean touch to the complete assembly. The LS to L79 conversion turned out better than we expected. The issue of mounting the coils still needs to be addressed, but that will be handled when the engine is test fit in the new Total Cost Involved front end. Just sitting on the stand, the LS79 transformation looks mighty good and certainly better than any Bruce to Caitlyn swap-over. SRL Sources: Automotive Racing Products, Inc. (ARP), arp-bolts.com, AEI CNC, aeicnc.com; Ground Up Restorations, ss396.com; RHS, racingheadservice.com
DRESSER The first step in the transformation was a coat of high-heat primer followed with Chevy-orange paint. The best way to paint any engine is to take your time and put several light layers of paint on, allowing them to dry each time. Is it just us or should every Chevy engine be orange? STREETRODLIFE.COMâ€ƒ
We replaced the factory lifter valley cover with a billet piece from AEI CNC and set about adding an oil fill tube. There was no CAD or scientific formula behind our plan. We found a 1.25-inch aluminum tube and marked a location with the intake installed. A hole was drilled through the nice new billet piece and a friend welded the tube in place at a slight angle to replicate the factory position. All in all, we were pleased with the results and shot it with a cast aluminum finish.
As far as the exhaust side of things, at this point we weren’t sure if we’d be running manifolds or headers, but we took the heat shields off the factory manifolds and blasted them clean. The end result is a vintage factory-appearance look and will look great on the stand for now.
Removing the coil packs from the valve covers is key in cleaning up the look of an LS engine. RHS offers a set of billet valve cover adapters that allow the installation of old school covers. It was kind of a shame to open the brand-new parts only to drop them into the sand blaster.
New valve covers were scored from Ground Up Restorations along with the correct opposing snorkel-chrome air cleaner assembly.
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The RHS adapters have a groove machined into their base to accept the factory seal. Mounting hardware and spacers are supplied to bolt to the third-gen center retainers while studs are also furnished for the retro-fit valve covers on top.
The Chevrolet Performance carbureted intake was torqued onto the engine with fresh gaskets and ARP hardware. A set of carb studs were also installed on top of the single-plane intake.
Fasteners: Not just for internals
ARP Fasteners are well used throughout the assembly process of the highest powered engines in motorsports. However, there are a lot more uses in a street rod than just inside the engine. Remember, it’s the fasteners that hold our vehicles together. Without them, there’s just a pile of parts sitting in the garage. It scares us to think about some big-store, off-the-shelf hardware being used for motor mounts or on the driveline and suspension. Here are a few other suggestions to consider using ARP fasteners: driveshaft to rear end, pressure plate to flywheel, accessory drive brackets, suspension through bolts and shocks, engine and transmission mounts.
One of the most important areas to beef up the hardware is at the flywheel, pressure plate, or flexpate. ARP offers a flywheel package for most applications and stresses following the installation requirements including the proper torque, use of Ultra-Torque, and to not use washers. New ARP hardware was used for the exhaust manifolds and the water pump.
ARP fasteners were also used on the down tubes of the new Total Cost Involved front end assembly. This connection endures a lot of weight and stress. Looks and strength are a tough combination to beat.
Just because we’re going for an old-school, retro look doesn’t mean we’re not taking advantage of modern technology. A FAST EZ-EFI throttle body system will fuel the LS1 but no one will really know what lurks beneath the L79 air cleaner! For even more information and additional pictures on the conversion search “converting to L79” at StreetRodLife.com.
It is extremely important to follow ARP’s installation and torque recommendations. Ultra-Torque Assembly Lubricant is designed to help achieve the correct torque and stretch of its retainers. STREETRODLIFE.COM
It’s hard to look away when this ’62 Bel Air rolls past
hroughout time, the laws of attraction have pretty much been the same: have a great looking body, accentuate the curves, show some sparkle in your eyes. Add a touch of strength with having what it takes to back up your talk with the walk and you have the cherry on top. When it comes to Rick Boothe’s ’62 bubble top, he nailed that winning formula. His Chevy has it all with the looks, the stance, the heart, and the attitude. It’s hard to look away when the car rolls past. “I wanted to buy a new Camaro Super Sport, but since my wife and I had too many vehicles, we knew something 60
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had to go,” Rick recalls. “I had a real nice street rod that a friend wanted to buy, but he twisted my arm to take his ’62 Chevy on trade. I was born in 1962 and had always wanted to do a car from the year I was born, so I went ahead with the deal.” The car was pretty much together, with new floor pans and trunk floor, along with a 409, but was not running. Rick figured he could take the car apart again and finish the rebuild in a year or so. As the project rolled on, he realized it was going to take a lot longer. “I didn’t realize how many parts and pieces there were on a 1962 Bel Air,” Rick explains.
Words/Photos Rod Short
As with any do-it-yourself resto project, there are always trials and tribulations and Rick experienced his share (a little worse for wear at times). Luckily he had the help and support of his wife, Wendy, to help him get through it … and for medical attention. “After putting new door skins on I mashed a finger while adjusting one of the doors,” Ricks says. “That cost me a fingernail and it hurt a lot, too. After that, I was using chemical paint stripper and got it in my eye. Good thing I was already blind in that eye as I wound up having a chemical burn — even wearing safety glasses. Then, while I was installing the
Coming or going, Rick’s bubble top looks good thanks to the popping Viper Blue Pearl and Billet Specialties wheels. STREETRODLIFE.COM
The highly detailed small-block mill is accessorized with chrome and polish surrounded in the sea of blue sheet metal.
didn’t realize how many parts “Iand pieces there were on a 1962 Bel Air. ” 62
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A/C hoses, my hand slipped and I cut my middle finger to the bone on the back side of the grille.” Rick healed and the project marched on. A new front bumper from Classic Industries is accentuated by a custom chin spoiler, which Rick crafted himself. Derrick Denton shot the car in PPG Viper Blue Pearl and Allen Staton helped with re-fitting all the body components after the car was painted. Rick did much of the custom interior work with additional help from Kevin Jones. The dash raises the eyebrows of those that come in for a closer look as the instrument cluster is actually from a ’59 Impala. Seats from a 1999 Cavalier were treated with light gray leather and coordinated with the door panels. A custom console separates both the front and rear seats and there are some unique details such as the metal medallions on each seat. Underneath, the ’62 was treated to updates and upgrades as well. The front end was dropped down four inches with new spindles, air bags, and adjustable Viking shocks. Classic Performance Products provided the front disc brakes and rear air bags to lower the rear ride height by three inches proving the ideal and subtle rake. Billet Specialties rims are wrapped in Nitto rubber creating the eye-catching rolling stock.
The cabin is finished in gray leather with four bucket seats and a full-length, custom console. Note the ’59 Chevy dash.
For motivation, Rick opted to pass on building the 409 that came with car and stuck with a tried-and-true GM Performance 350 crate engine topped with an Edelbrock intake and Holley Street Avenger. Goodies from Billet Specialties provide show quality looks, while a set of ceramic-coated Hedman headers with Borla X1R mufflers deliver a tone that makes you look. Rick finished the detailed engine bay with a custom cooling shroud that conceals a four-core aluminum radiator. Creating an attention-grabbing car is never an easy task and this bubble top fought Rick through most of the drawn out building process. A little struggle or challenge just makes you work harder and in the end, the satisfaction of cruising your car is even that much more rewarding. “I finally got it finished and took it to its first Super Chevy show where I had a good weekend,” Rick says. “It’s always cool to get attention at a show and get trophies, but the most enjoyment comes while driving the car down the road. The ‘thumbs up’ you get and the people you meet who appreciate all of the hard work that goes into building a car makes it all worthwhile. Everything in life comes at a cost, but the enjoyment I’ve gotten out of this car has far outweighed all the pain and suffering that came with it.” SRL
Everything in life comes at a “cost, but the enjoyment I’ve
gotten out of this car has far outweighed all the pain and suffering that came with it.
he Continental Cruisers club, located in District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, was formed when two like-minded Continental fans bumped into each other at a local show. Ivan “Vice” Read, who owns a ’70 Mark III, was checking out Harry Goins’ 1969 Mark III at a show and their initial conversation lead to the forming of the Continental Cruisers. Everything just clicked between the two as they talked about their cars, the backstories, and the joy of cruising a Continental down the avenue. That was five years ago and today they have the region’s largest classic Lincoln club that is made up of passionate owners and fans of the car. Member cars range from a ’59 convertible up to an ’88 limo, as well as several suicide-door models and more Mark IIIs. The majority of the rides are factory originals with light mods here and there, along with custom wheels. To add a little versatility there are also members with off-brand cars including a ’67 GTO, ’70 Torino, a Marauder Interceptor, and even a ’36 Chevy coupe. 64
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The family-oriented group enjoys cruising, of course, helping out in their communities, and supporting other car clubs and events. They’ve volunteered at the Wounded Veterans Show hosted by the DC National Guard and the Unity Thunder Car Club, the Continental Race for the Cure cruise night for the American Cancer Society, as well as the Ford Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. At the recent 2015 DC Armory Show nine members of the club won awards, including first place for Best Classic Car and Club Participation. The Continental Cruisers Car Club has also been awarded Best Club Participation at the DC Armory Show for three consecutive years. The mission of the group is simple: Provide a venue where Continental fans and owners can get together and share their love of cars in a family-friendly club that supports the community and uplifts other clubs and enthusiasts. With the help of core members including B-Money, JC, Illinoise, Rick, Calvin, Hawk, and Kaiser, the club is set to grow their membership and share the fun of cruising a Lincoln. SRL
Continental Cruisers President, Ivan “Vice” Read (left), cruises a ’70 Mark III with a custom paint job and a one-off steering wheel. Club VP, Harry Goins (right), drives a restored ’69 Mark III that was his dad’s car, who at 90 still cruises with his son now and again.
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Vintage cars aren’t the only things seen on the roads these days Words Todd Ryden/Photos courtesy of the owners
intage trailers have a lot in common with street rods, which is why we thought it would be fun to show a combination of the two. In fact, we found that trailer aficionados are just as enthusiastic and passionate about their projects as car people. Plus, there’s quite a crossover within the two communities as you see many nice trailers being towed with old trucks, tin woodies, and vintage rides.
Like car shows and cruises, the vintage trailer hobby has many rallies and shows where enthusiasts show off their projects, but instead of cruising, most of these shows involve camping. Think about that, you never have to leave the show grounds or have a hotel night since you stay in the trailer. Very convenient.
(Top) Dawn Bastian tows her ’66 Serro Scotty trailer with a ’66 Chevy II. The 13-foot Scotty has been updated throughout and Dawn has towed it all over the country from her home in Goodrich, Michigan. This picture was taken at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Michigan.
The trailer is a ’56 VaKaShunEtte and is owned by Nate and Angel Cork of Plainwell, Michigan. The pickup, a ’57 Chevy, belongs to Angel’s parents, Butch and Pam Starner. Nate and Angel, along with the help of Butch, rebuilt the trailer from the frame up. They did the interior with Russian birch and custom maple cabinets. It has an induction cooktop, flat screen with surround sound, and has been recognized with several awards.
Travel trailers took a stronghold across the USA in the post-war era when there was a surplus of materials, manufacturing capabilities, and the desire to travel the country. The trailers provided the freedom to hook up your car and hit the road without worrying about motels and afforded the convenience of having your “home” right behind your car. By the ’50s, towing a caravan across the states was a common vacation for many families. In the heydays, there were loads of trailer manufacturers but only a handful
of these brands operate today. For collectors, this is a great feature as there are so many variables in styles, shapes, and sizes, however the uniqueness can bite you in the butt when it comes to finding the right parts to restore one. The web is a great source for trailer enthusiasts to work together and help with direction or components. It’s a tight-knit group that wants to help each other enjoy and have fun with their projects. Also similar to rodding, a smaller aftermarket has popped up with res-
toration shops and parts manufacturers reproducing parts. As a matter of fact, just like a ’32 Ford, you can now buy a brand new trailer modeled after old classics. We gathered a handful of cool trailers and their tow rods for you to get an idea of the variety of trailers and cool stuff that’s out there. SRL For more information on vintage trailer fun, check out: tincantourists.com, nationalserroscotty.org, littlevintagetrailer.com, oldtrailer.com, myvintagetraveltrailer.com.
Special Thanks to the Tin Can Tourists FB Fans.
If you’re going to tow a vintage trailer like this work-in-progress ’47 Tourette, you really need a cool tow vehicle like this ’71 Suburban.
We’re not quite sure, but there may be a law in Texas stating that if you plan to pull a vintage Airstream, it must be with an equally cool Cadillac. If there is (and there should be), Chris Yelland is covered with his ’68 DeVille towing his ’53 Airstream Wanderer. The 472c.i. Caddy engine has no problem tugging the 18-foot trailer from his hometown of Mission across the Lonestar State.
Tin woodies make great tow rigs for vintage trailers and Mike and Gretchen Simonski’s ’53 Chevy is a perfect example of that combination. Their old wagon is outfitted with a small block coupled to a heavy-duty 4L60E overdrive trans making a great highway roller. The trailer is actually a new re-issue modeled after the 1961 Shasta AirFLyte. STREETRODLIFE.COM
The Blotske clan heading out on Route 66: son Taylor, Kaitlin, Jeanine, and Chad.
Route 66 in a ’49 Merc with a ’48 Tourette
Editor’s Note: We learned about the Blotske family and their once in a lifetime trip across the country in their Merc with a teardrop trailer through a friend. And once we talked to Clark Griswold, err, Chad Blotske about their story, we knew we had to share it with you — through the eyes of his 17-year old daughter, Kaitlin.
uring the summer of 2014, my family and I embarked on a Grapes of Wrath adventure across Route 66, also known as The Mother Road. On the morning of our departure we hooked up our 1948 Tourette Teardrop Camper, with a classic “California or Bust” sign attached to the back, to our 1949 Mercury Sedan and drove from Atlanta, Georgia, to Chicago, Illinois. For the next two weeks, I spent my days riding in an un-air-conditioned back seat while making many stops between Chicago and Santa Monica to embrace the history of old town America. From the great heights of the Willis (Sears) Tower in Chicago, the Arch in St. Louis, and the Grand Canyon, to unique stops such as Meramec Caverns, Cadillac Ranch, Pops, and Santa Monica Pier, I was able to experience and see many new and beautiful corners of America. Don’t let the once smooth sailing road fool you though! The rough roads ripped a shock off our car in Oklahoma and the intense heat caused vapor locking in Arizona and New Mexico. Although not funny at the time, one can’t complain when the problems make for good stories. We also had the chance to meet a lot of nice and interesting people along the way (many from all over the world) who came to make the same trip we did. Those we came in contact with got a kick out of the Mercury and Tourette 68
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For more pics of the Blotske’s trip search “Route 66” at StreetRodLife.com.
camper, based on the number of people who asked to take pictures with them. Overall the trip was an experience that I will never forget, especially since
the family bonding time in the car resembled that of National Lampoon’s Vacation. SRL
— Kaitlin Blotske
George Davis of Appleton, Wisconsin, pulls his ’67 Silver Streak Sabre with a ’66 Chevy van. George pulled the trailer from a farm field and located the van just a couple miles from his house. The vintage suitcases atop the van are a nice touch!
Peter Fullerton of Bisbee, Arizona, has a unique travel rig, a ’67 Scandia motorhome. The rig was built by Scandia Iron Works of Minneapolis, on a ’67 Chevy 1-ton chassis. Originally it was equipped with a 327c.i., but now sports a 350 with a 400-TH trans. The Scandia is a work in progress but Peter has it mechanically ready to go with a new kitchen, interior, and full insulation. He’s also added front disc brakes, a bigger sway bar, power steering, and a Dana 70 HD rear end.
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Jackie Jernigan was bit by the vintage trailer bug big time and owns several. Currently, she’s using a ’65 Mercury Colony Park wagon with a 390c.i. FE to tow the ’62 Commanche. The car is largely original and this summer she went back to the original steel wheels and hubcaps. The Commanche was her first trailer and sports a nice birch-paneled interior with a cool vintage vibe and accessories.
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Things to consider, review, and do right to avoid electrical issues
t’s OK to admit that the wiring and electrical system of your rod just may not be your forte. The very thought of wiring sends many enthusiasts into a head-spin, but if you skimp on the quality of your electrical system installation from the beginning, you’re going to have bigger headaches down the road. The electrical system in a vehicle is the one system that can affect the operation of everything: power accessories, air conditioning, the charging system, and even performance (think ignition and fuel pump). I’ve seen people so incredibly frustrated with electrical issues that they nearly walked away from the vehicle altogether. It doesn’t have to be that way. 70
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When I’m called on to help a rodder diagnose a problem they’re unable to resolve, I’ve learned that most often the cause seems to be electrical related. I see many of the very same problems with cars built in driveways, backyard shops, and even by professionals. Let’s take a look at the most common pitfalls so you can understand why and how to avoid them during your next build.
There are some outstanding wiring harnesses available from the aftermarket, but proper installation and important accessory connections still must be planned. Chances are that things will
Photos by Tony Candela
When selecting an aftermarket wiring harness, be sure to pick a kit that will support all of the accessories you plan to run. Will you have power windows, air suspension, antenna, or an electric fuel pump? Plan ahead.
Most vehicles we’re working on have wiring that is at least 40 years old. Chances are the wires have been spliced and contacts are questionable. Not to mention, is a 40+-year-old system capable of handling the requirements of modern accessories? Probably not.
Words Tony Candela Photo by Mike Morgan
change during the build and you’ll splice or add-on accessories down the road. You need to have a goal and make a plan for your wiring system. A wiring project will fall into one of the following three scenarios: (1) You’re doing a restoration and will be replacing or repairing the wiring harness to OEM specifications. (2) You intend to retain the OEM wiring harness and will be installing aftermarket components that it wasn’t designed to facilitate. (3) You’ll be installing a completely new aftermarket wiring harness that provides additional functionality over the OEM harness it’ll be replacing. Before electing to retain the OEM wiring harness in a classic vehicle you should inspect it to be sure it’s safe to use. Does the harness show evidence of numerous repairs, splices, etc.? Evi-
dence of this will be most commonly found under the hood and under the dash near the steering column and fuse panel. Is the fuse panel past its prime? Inspect the areas where the fuses snap into the fuse panel. Are they rusty or corroded? If so, you really should have a look at the rear of the fuse panel to inspect the integrity of the connections of the wiring. If you see signs of corrosion, oxidation, or even rust, you are looking at potential intermittent electrical issues or even a fire hazard. Replacing a 40-year-old hacked up wiring harness in a vehicle with a freshly appointed interior and $15,000 in brand spanking new paint is not going to be cheap or easy. What is easy is planning ahead and doing the install before assembly. Which would you prefer?
Underestimating current requirements of accessories
Recently, I had a radiator manufacturer call me looking for advice on an overheating problem a customer had with a recently purchased radiator. The customer had measured 18.5 amps being delivered to each fan at idle. I knew right away we had a problem as I have the same fans in the shop. I put one on the bench and determined that particular fan drew 18.5 amps at 11.7 volts. But, at 14.4 volts it drew 23 amps. That’s a substantial difference, especially with two fans. STREETRODLIFE.COM
The alternator should be one of the last things you purchase for your project. You need to determine all of the electrical loads that an alternator needs to support. Do you know the current demands of your rod?
Do you know how much current your alternator is putting out at an idle?
Knowing the true electrical requirements of accessories is key in planning your electrical system. Electric fans can use a lot of current, and also note the A/C and blower motor needs.
The customer had greatly underestimated the real current requirements of the pair of fans. The 18.5 amps flowing to each fan was simply a reflection of the actual voltage available to the fans. As it turned out, the customer had to rewire the fans accordingly and install an alternator capable of more output current at idle. This resolved the problem. There was nothing wrong with the fans or radiator! Most manufacturers of high draw electronics provide specific information in regards to the actual current requirements of its products — be sure to read the instructions.
Powering aftermarket components
In the above example, we discuss a pair of electric fans that require 46 amps between them with the correctly sized alternator. So, where in the heck do we get that kind of current in a ’65 Ford Mustang with a 45-amp alternator? The obvious answer is that we can tie all of the heavy power wires from the fan relays directly to the battery and we’re all good, right? Well, that does beat the heck out of trying to source power for the fans from the OEM fuse box that wasn’t designed to supply anywhere near that kind of additional current. What it doesn’t fix is the fact that we still have a 45-amp alternator. If you want the fans to work properly, you’ll have to upgrade the alternator accordingly. In addition to upgrading the alterna72
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Matching the alternator with the current demands of the entire electrical system is important. Simply picking the highest output alternator is not necessarily ideal, you must know the low speed output of the unit as well.
tor, you’ll also have to upgrade the alternator’s wiring. Finally, you really should consider a clean, safe, and serviceable way to source power for the fans from the battery. This all leads back to planning.
Misunderstanding the charging system
In any vehicle with a properly functioning charging system, the following will all be true: The battery is the source of power for all accessories when the engine is not running. Current flows from the battery, through the accessory, and then returns to the battery ground terminal.
The alternator is the source of power for all accessories when the engine is running. Current flows from the alternator, through the accessory, and then returns to the alternator. Think about that for a second. You can buy the largest battery that you can fit in the battery tray and it still has absolutely no bearing on the operation of the accessories while the engine is running. The alternator maintains a surface charge on the battery in addition to powering all of the accessories when the engine is running. This can require between 3–10 amps depending on the type of battery. Remember, there are actually two voltages present in a vehicle with a 12-volt charging system: 12.6 volts are available from the battery when the engine is not running. This is the resting voltage of a fully charged 12-volt battery as it has six 2.1-volt cells wired in series. (6 x 2.1V = 12.6V) Up to 14.4 volts are available from the alternator when the engine is running. Voltage is the force that causes current to flow. The laws of physics (specifically Ohm’s Law) dictate that current flows from the place with the least resistance, which happens to be the place with the highest voltage potential, the alternator. As long as the output voltage of the alternator is greater than the voltage present at the battery, no current will flow from the battery to the accessories. The battery is simply a load to the alternator when the engine is running, no different than the headlights, electric fans, or any of the other accessories. Incidentally, it requires a minimum of 13.4 volts to allow a charge. If you measure below 13.4 volts at the battery terminals with the engine idling and all of your accessories on, the alternator is not properly sized to handle the demands of your electrical system.
Neglecting the return path
We’ve covered a lot of ground so far (get it?) and will now tie it all together with one last area of the electrical system that is commonly overlooked: The ground path. How important is the ground path? It is one of the most im-
The ground circuit is one of the most important parts of the electrical system and with today’s electronic demands it is best to err on the side of “over the top.”
portant circuits on your rod, especially when you look at the increasing number of electronic accessories we’re adding. To grasp the importance of a ground circuit, let’s review the path through a typical electric fan circuit with the engine running. From the alternator: • Output stud of alternator to battery positive terminal • Battery positive terminal to fuse • Fuse to fan relay • Fan relay to fan motor Return to the alternator: • Fan motor to grounding point on core support • Core support to inner fender via mechanical connections between the two • Inner fender to battery negative terminal via ground wire • Battery negative terminal to engine block via large ground cable • Engine block to cylinder head • Cylinder head to alternator bracket • Alternator bracket to alternator Think that bus transit system of a ground path can be improved? You bet, but that’s going to be for another issue. SRL About the Author: Tony Candela is the author of two automotive electronic books, Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems, Automotive Electrical Performance Projects as well as a book on covering fuel injection installations, EFI Conversions. Check them out at cartechbooks.com For more pictures and information about what to look out for search “Electronic Pitfalls” at StreetRodLife.com. STREETRODLIFE.COM
HOLLEY NATIONAL HOT ROD REUNION
Words Louis Kimery Photos Shawn Brereton, Louis Kimery
f you dig old school drag racing, street rods, and customs with a dash of car culture history, then you need to blaze a trail to Beech Bend Raceway for the annual nostalgia-fest that is the Holley National Hot Rod Reunion. This tribute to hot rodding’s past has become a Father’s Day weekend tradition. Sure, you could wait and see who gives you another new necktie or fire up the barbecue for Dad’s day, but wouldn’t you rather pack up the gang and hit the road for the kind of automotive adventure that speaks to your inner gearhead? Beech Bend Raceway, located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is a classic venue that has been around since 1961. Like many of the race cars in attendance, it has all the latest in safety equipment and technology on hand, but there is a distinct vintage vibe that can be felt everywhere at the track. From the unique covered grandstands with 100+-year-old baseball stadium seats, to the tiny 1/3-mile bullring oval track just behind the drag strip, the whole place is a kind of time-warp experience that fits in perfectly with the sight and sound of front engine dragsters and blown gassers. The Reunion is part of the NHRA Hot Rod Heritage racing series. It’s serious business to the competitors that come from far and wide to race, so you’ll see some great heads up racing. There is also a big swap meet, and a “memory lane” where all manner of restored and surviving drag race machinery is displayed. Many of the biggest names from drag racing’s past make appearances at the reunion, adding to the historical significance of the event. Each year, the NHRA acknowledges pioneers of the sport with an honoree reception at the Sloan Convention Center on Friday evening. Not coincidentally, the parking lot 74
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outside turns into a giant cruise-in party culminating in a mini-cacklefest of drag racing machines being fired up. This year, the roster of nitro-burning fuel dragsters was expanded to six cars. Event Director Steve Gibbs orchestrated the proceedings like a symphony conductor, and the cackle of the monster dragsters was music to the ears of a very large crowd of onlookers. June 16–18, is already on the Beech Bend 2016 schedule and we suggest adding it to yours! It’s Father’s Day weekend — do what you want and plan a cruise to Bowling Green. SRL
David Pope’s nod to his old modified production ’55 looks mean just sitting still under Beech Bend Raceway’s tree-lined show area.
Straight-axle, fiberglass front end ’55 Chevy in two-tone primer hangs the skinnies to the cheers of the crowd. For even more pics search “Hot Rod Reunion” at StreetRodLife.com.
Chuck Leonard’s beautiful ’56 Chevy Nomad caught everyone’s attention.
Jason Graham Hot Rods brought out this perfect chopped, stacked Hemi-powered Model A sedan.
Even the hotels get in on the action! A half dozen vintage fuel dragsters fired up under the portico of the Holiday Inn on Friday night to great applause.
STREET ROD LIFEâ€‚ Vol. 1, No. 3
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Ed Kasicki’s ’33 Willys was torqued up and twisting just enough to hang a tire on the launch.
Preston Davis was back in the saddle with his Southern Pride AA/DA.
Tasha Graham’s ’49 Merc was chosen for a Top 50 award and made a lap down the 1320 under the lights.
Even more Hot Rod Reunion pics
@StreetRodLife.com In the Top Fuel finals, Tony Bartone got out on Bill Dunlap, but Dunlap drove past with a 5.733 at 251.95 mph pass to take the win.
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
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Follow these tips from TCI to avoid making rookie mistakes
nstalling a transmission goes way beyond simply bolting it in place. After making a few rookie mistakes ourselves, we asked the guys at TCI to share a few tips to help us get it right the first time. Here’s what they had to say. Read the instructions. We know that sounds simple enough, but many people fail to take a minute to look them over. Most guys rip into the transmission like a kid on Christmas morning and throw all the paperwork in a pile with the packaging. Don’t do that. They contain the answers to most tech questions. Check for proper converter “pullback” using a straight edge across the face of the transmission and measuring per instructions. Once installed there generally needs to be 1/8- to 3/16-inch gap between the flexplate and converter before bolting the two together. It should rotate freely. Do not “cinch” the transmission to the block with the bolts. Make sure the torque converter is in the proper location 80
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The instructions are included with your transmission for a reason ... to be followed.
and push the transmission to the block. Improper converter positioning can destroy the pump. Remember that it’s easiest to install the converter before sliding the transmission under the car.
Proper detent adjustment on 700R, 200R, and AOD transmissions is critical! Failure to do so will result in rapid transmission failure. Follow the instructions carefully for proper ad-
justment and shifting. When changing from a factory carb to a Holley or an Edelbrock, a Geometry Correction Kit must be used. This corrects the throttle geometry for proper kickdown and detent. Mopar TorqueFlite transmissions need the OEM bellcrank assembly for the kickdown linkage or a cable kit from Lokar. The kickdown linkage controls both line pressure and shifting points, and improper adjustment will result in failure of both. The vacuum modulator of the transmission must be connected to a manifold vacuum source. The modulator controls the shift points of the trans and is set at the factory, but can also be adjusted to suit your application. Speaking of shift points, you can adjust the GM TH350, TH400, and 700R transmissions by modifying the governor with a special kit. Different weights are available to control when the transmission shifts to suit your needs. When in doubt, install your old governor to use as a base set of shift points.
Clean the drive shaft yoke before installation. Accumulated dirt can damage splines, clog internal lubrication passages, and damage the transmission. Be sure to flush the cooler lines and fill the system to the correct level. To do so, place the car on level ground, run it long enough to achieve operating temperature, cycle the car through all the
gears to fill the internal passages, and then recheck fluid level. Also a proper trans cooler is a must for reliability and longevity. Heat kills; remember that. And finally, if you need help, call someone! The Tech Lines are open for YOU. Trained professionals are standing by to assist you.â€‚ SRL Source: TCI, tciauto.com
Exploring Montana with RCR
couple of years ago, I had the chance to ride along with Kawasaki’s Jon Rall on an adventure in the great state of Montana. I knew we would be spending three or four days with a legendary NASCAR team owner, but little did I know the destination was to be a beautiful Montana ranch home owned by Richard Childress. Richard is a true outdoorsman who loves sharing his experiences about hunting and his beautiful property with everyone who will listen. As a lifelong fan of racing I was excited to be invited along. Rumor had it that we would be able to do some trout fishing on the local river. It was a two-hour ride from the airport to our final destination and the incredible views along the way simply had me bound in silence. This would be the first time I had ventured this far northwest — I just could not believe
how breathtaking it really was. The mountains seem to dwarf anything I had ever seen in Northern Georgia. Nature roamed wild along the roads, stepping right out near the truck at times. Arriving at the Childress home, better known as the Grizzly Meadows Lodge, the landscape just kept getting taller. As we turned off onto a small dirt road, I noticed a group of antelope running into the hills. The beautiful home is set right in the shadows of the great Yellowstone National Park with perfect views from any side. Pulling into the covered entry, Richard and his property manager, Jack, stepped out to greet us. Jon stepped out of the Chevy Tahoe and introduced us. Jon actually worked for the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) team in the early ’80s and has remained close friends with Richard through the years.
We had all been either stuffed in an airplane seat or riding in a vehicle for hours, so it was time to get out and stretch our legs. However, that would change after a short discussion of what to do for the evening lead Richard to suggest a quick fishing trip on the river below his home. Without hesitation it was game on, so we loaded back into
Words/Photos Rick Sosebee
the truck and headed down to the local store to purchase our fishing license. Just like any spontaneous adventure, sometimes you have to deal with the unexpected. As we pulled up to our spot along the creek to fish, we noticed we had a flat tire. It was the instant reaction of the RCR team owner though that reinforced the fact that we need to take time to enjoy life. “We can fix that tire later, it’s time to fish right now,” Richard said. As Richard, Jack, and I headed down
to the river, several of the Kawasaki guys were kind enough to fix our flat tire. Richard and Jack love to fly fish. If you have never witnessed anyone doing this in person, it is an art that requires plenty of practice. Using a regular rod and reel, I happened to catch the first rainbow trout of the day, without even realizing it. The line felt as if it was stuck in the rocks of the Yellowstone River, but I guess with the river’s pace and the fish’s desire to go the other direction, the tension on
the line seemed stronger than I had expected. Even though the fish was not going to set any records, it was very exciting. Standing on the banks of the Yellowstone, I stopped for just a minute to take in the majestic views of God’s creation around us. Off to our right was an incredible mountain, known to the locals as Dome Mountain, but it was the big rock known as Emigrant Peak that really caught my eye. Having never experienced this type of scenery, it was just breathtaking.
Richard Childress doing what he enjoys most with his time off: fly fishing. STREETRODLIFE.COM
When he’s not at the track or race shop, Richard Childress is right at home in the Montana wilderness that surrounds his Grizzly Meadows Lodge.
Rick Sosebee shows off the first catch of the day, a rainbow trout.
Some say this is Paradise Valley and I can see why it has gotten this name — I wanted to stake a claim right there in the rocks. At this point it was getting late and the sun was setting, so we headed back to the ranch for dinner. The next morning it was time to get out on our Kawasaki ATVs and a couple of Teryx side by sides to explore the land around us. Richard had a perfect spot to show everyone. Little did we know we would be stepping into his passion for this property and the history of the outdoors around us. As we pulled our helmets off at the first stop, Richard began to tell us how the land was once occupied by a band of the Shoshone Indian tribe, known as the Sheepeater band. These Indians lived on this land for hundreds of years and left a few signs of their existence behind. As we stood around in awe, we were treated to a story of how these Indians would build eagle traps on the property. There are approximately five of these traps still there, including one we were standing right in front of. Richard went on to explain that the Indians would set out these rock bowls, for lack of a better term, and lay down in them. They would cover themselves in branches and use a small rabbit or similar game as bait. As the eagle dipped in to grab the prey, the warriors would grab the bird’s feet and pull its tail feathers to be used in their headdresses, among 84
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other things. This was just one of the many fascinating stories Richard would share with us. After riding the mountains around his home, we slipped back to the lodge for an amazing dinner, and listened to even more stories about the house and property. The Childress family has put in a conservation easement around their home so the wildlife cannot be disturbed by any other building or construction in the area. With large herds of elk roaming free, it’s like living in a National Geographic magazine. I had a difficult time sleeping each night due to the sheer anticipation of what I was going to experience next, but I knew it was necessary in order to keep pace with this group. I rushed out of bed as the sun started to peak over the hills and into the window of my room. I was simply amazed at how fast the weather can change. Going to sleep after a beautiful spring day, then waking up to almost eight inches of snow, was just an awesome experience. Watching the skies light up over the mountains. I made my way out on the front porch and sat quietly listening to the many sounds of real nature just below the tree line. Elk were standing near the house and I felt like an explorer many years ago seeing these creatures for the first time.
Heading out across the acreage, we found ourselves near the border of Yellowstone National Park. With a race driver and team owner behind the wheel, it wasn’t long before we were drifting the Teryx’s through the massive snowdrifts. Richard took us across the hills to see another side of the property and as we rounded a corner, we stopped to watch yet another herd of elk cross in front of us. Richard says the elk come out of Yellowstone each year to walk the hills around Grizzly Meadows. The feeling that we were in the elk’s house and seeing real nature right before us was something I will never forget. This adventure started out as a fishing trip for me, but turned into a true transformation toward an appreciation of what the wild outdoors has to offer. I will never forget the knowledge shared by my time with Richard, nor will I forget the passion he has for history and the preservation of it. This is a big, beautiful nation we live in and I hope to see a lot more of the land we call America very soon! SRL Raised in rural Northern Georgia Rick Sosebee is an avid hunter and is an off-road Powersports Adventure/Lifestyle writer for Outdoor Life magazine, as well as several other ATV industry magazines. Rick enjoys wrenching on ATV’s and Side-by-Sides, as well as his Chevrolet 2500HD Duramax Diesel.
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ENGAUGE FAST gauges and meters provide tuning benefits
nless you’ve been living under a rock in the woods on a different planet, by now you know that electronic fuel injection is not only one of the hottest topics in the rodding world, it’s also the wave of the future. Even some of the most old-school carburetor enthusiasts are begrudgingly getting in on the action. To put a spin on one of Steve Jobs’ favorite phrases, fuel injection just works. What street rod lifers might not be aware of are the variety of gauges and meters out there designed to complement and better tune that impressive new fuel injection systems. For those that still aren’t sold on EFI, these gauges can also help tune-in a carbureted car as well. FAST is known as a leader in self-tuning and race-ready fuel injection systems and related components, but it also man86
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ufactures gauges and meters for a variety of fuel delivery systems. FAST’s Digital Air/Fuel Meters are available for gasoline, diesel, methanol, or E85 fuels and give users the power to read two wideband 02 sensors, or to average them together for maximum accuracy of the engine’s air/fuel ratio reading. Complementing and compatible with these meters is the FAST Digital Air/Fuel Meter RPM Module, which monitors and records engine rpm data. This information can be overlaid with air/fuel ratio readings to let the driver know if he is too rich or lean in a given rpm range. The analog FAST Wide-Band Air/ Fuel Gauge Kit features a classic-styled white face and combines an accurate 2 1/16-inch gauge with a Bosch wideband oxygen sensor and standalone
sensor control unit. It is also backlit for night viewing and wired so it powers up whenever the engine is running. All these gauges and meters allow tuning to become a much simpler process. “The old way of tuning would involve pulling out the spark plugs and reading them to determine if the mixture was too rich or too lean,” says FAST Technical Specialist, Matt Maxwell. “Several sets of spark plugs and a large investment in time would be required to perfectly tune an engine. “On the other hand, a Digital Air/ Fuel Meter gives an instantaneous readout of the mixture in tenths of a point of air/fuel ratio. Spark plugs no longer have to be removed and re-installed or replaced during the tuning process. “Also, there is an art to reading spark plugs properly, which can take years to
GED Words Dan Hodgdon/Photos Todd Tryden
perfect, where a meter or gauge displays an easy-to-interpret number.” Either the analog or digital gauge is a good choice for a street rod, but the digital meter would be easier to take off a vintage car if you are going for a period-correct build. It attaches easily to the windshield with a removable suction cup system. The analog gauge is made to be permanently mounted, making it a good choice for the resto-mod crowd. Rich Bryant of Bradley, Illinois, has a twin turbo ’65 Chevelle that features a FAST Digital Air/ Fuel Meter. He uses it to better tune his blowthrough carburetor application. “Running a boosted car, I don’t want to run it lean so [the Digital Air/Fuel Meter] helps a lot being able to monitor exactly what’s going on with the motor, and if I notice something that’s not quite right I can make some adjustments,” Bryant says.
“I probably initially had the car set up way richer than it needed to be, so it helped me make some adjustments and add some different jets to bleed the lower end out.” FAST’s Maxwell also points out that the FAST XFI Touch Screen Dash with Data Logger can be used with, or in place of, conventional dash gauges on EFI or carbureted systems to provide a more accurate measurement of what’s going on under the hood. FAST offers a line of MaxJet Preci-
sion Carb Jets for Holley carburetors as well. These jets allow a tuner to more precisely dial in an air/fuel mixture than is possible with standard jets. So while FAST may be known primarily for its line of fuel injection systems, throttle bodies, and intake manifolds, the brand also is aware that the street rod world features a variety of setups and ideas about fuel delivery. After all, creativity and individualism are what street rodding is all about. SRL Source: FAST, fuelairspark.com
Want to learn more about EFI? Head over to StreetRodLife.com. STREETRODLIFE.COM
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IN THE FIELD
It worked well under the hood on the inner fenders, polished billet aluminum, rubber hoses, and even the tricky matte-finish of the valve covers and air cleaner.
From plastic headlight buckets to custom paint, the dust and bugs went away without streaking.
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I’ve been around car shows and races all my life. A spray detailer that works in direct sunlight on 90-degree days that doesn’t harm various surfaces like plastics and rubber, and cleans glass and chrome along with the paint is essential for any enthusiast. While I had my doubts on the direct sunlight aspect, our 95-degree test day at noon in the Deep South with a midnight blue/black car put it to the test. I am a believer… and it smells nice, too.
Race Wax was developed when NASCAR switched to vinyl-wrapped cars, so it was no surprise that it worked great on the decals of this Dirt Modified. BUY ONE ($10)
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STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
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Brandon Flannery is a globe-trottin’ automotive photojournalist, content developer, and certified shop rat now living in Hernando, Mississippi, with a herd of projects and a daily-driven ’73 Satellite Sebring known as The Blue Goose.
Jim Shelton Even as lifers go you’d be hard pressed to find someone with Jim Shelton’s credentials. A second-generation gearhead, he grew up under the influence of a Studebaker and Hudson fan. “Dad took me to the dealership to show me the new step-down cars,” Jim says. He was six years old. As a teenager Jim took up with a group of hot rodders. A series of cars followed, among them an early example of a Chevy-swapped ’39 Ford coupe. He cut his teeth in a series of racecars culminating in the seat of a Top Fuel Dragster from 1966 through 1969. As a career, Jim embarked on a 37-year span in car sales, a trade that gave him a global perspective of automotive design and quality. Though he stopped racing formally, he took up goJim Shelton karts, underwent Formula Ford driver schooling, and even prepped another street car, this time with an emphasis on handling. Trips to rod runs rekindled a flame for all cars early. In the late ’90s he indulged in a ’32 Ford roadster. Dissatisfied with the performance, he committed to build another, along the way submitting his machine as a mule to various vendors to test products during his travels. Upon retirement from car sales, Jim has embarked upon a whirlwind of road trips that many street rodders could only dream of taking. To date, his roadster has racked up over 100,000 miles while treading on nearly every state (even up to Canada) over the past 10 years. Though well traveled, Jim says he sees no end of being on the road. “I have this wanderlust,” Jim says. “It’s something else I got from my father.” They’re traits he passed on to his own offspring: me. — Written by Jim’s son, Chris.
Photo courtesy of Dallas Gregory
Words Brandon Flannery Photos Todd Ryden & Brandon Flannery
Behind the scenes at the Du Quoin Engine Builder Duel
s car guys, I think we all fancy ourselves to be pretty handy around a tool box. Like the father in the movie A Christmas Story, we harbor secret dreams of being in the pits of the Indy 500 or slinging wrenches in the heat of competition. In the real world, we know that things aren’t as speedy if you have other things in life to specialize in. However, the COMP Cams Engine Builder Duel can give folks like us a chance to live out our dream (or at least earn a nice reality check). For those not familiar with the program, teams of two are pitted against each other to assemble, fire, and run a small-block Chevy for 30 seconds in the shortest amount of time. I was asked to be a “spotter tech” for the competition at the Street Machine Nationals in Du Quoin, Illinois, and was both excited and nervous. While I had seen and helped emcee the competition in the past, being responsible for teams of two people furiously assembling an engine is a “whole ’nother ballgame.” What transpired was a weekend of fun and adventure, and I’d like to share 90
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Prior to competition, the engines are disassembled and the parts carefully laid out for easy assembly.
a few speed secrets that I learned to help those of you who might be interested in competing at future events. First, we had a great group of contestants for the weekend. We had teams of kids enrolled in the Southern Illinois University’s Automotive Technol-
ogy Organization. A group of four classmates went head-to-head in the first round. The engines are labeled with COMP and FAST valve covers and air cleaners, to separate the teams. They are mounted on engine stands, and dismantled to the block, but the crankshaft,
It all starts with a stripped block. Only the crank, flexplate, and four rod-and-piston assemblies are installed.
Only hand tools are allowed, so the use of a speed wrench is imperative. Two torque wrenches are preset for the rod caps and head bolts for accuracy.
flexplate, and four of the rod-and-piston assemblies are left intact. Teams must install four pistons and torque the rod caps, install the oil pump, pan, oil filter, and starter before turning the block over. The timing gears and harmonic balancer have been
slightly reamed out to slide on and off easily and the keyway slots fixed so they only go on one way. With the cam installed and timing dots lined up, the timing chain assembly goes on next. The pre-assembled heads get torqued into place, followed by the
lifters, pushrods, and the rocker arms. This is also a good time to dump the oil in the lifter valley, making sure that you have installed the cam retainer and front cover first, of course. One of the biggest areas of concern is how to set the valves. They are hydraulic and only need around a half-turn of preload to run the engine and get the money. By far, the fastest way to do this is to drop the rocker arms into position and gently screw the locks down just until they touch. Nowâ€Ś this will seem out of place to some of you, but bear with me. Rotate the crankshaft 90 degrees. Some of the valves will have moved. Run your hands down the rocker assemblies, and GENTLY tighten any poly locks that are loose, so they are just touching the rocker. Rotate the engine another 90 degrees, and once again, go down the row of locks and screw down only those with slack, until they just barely touch. Repeat this process two more times and stop. Take the 1/2-inch wrench and tighten each and every one a half turn, and then tighten the poly lock with the Allen wrench. What this does is snug each one down through the cycle and add a halfround of preload. It also positions the engine into top dead center firing for the STREETRODLIFE.COMâ€ƒ
number one cylinder. If you removed the timing cover, both timing marks would be in the 12-o’clock position. This is extremely handy when lining up the rotor button on the distributor, which has been clearly marked. The intake goes on next, and the FAST EFI connections are plugged in. The valve covers, labeled plug wires, headers, and air cleaner follow. With a double check of the fuel and electrical connections, the main switch is thrown and the engine is fired to life, with everyone hoping all goes well. Sounds easy? Think you could handle that? The current record time as of this writing is 20 minutes and a few seconds. Most folks average above 30-minute mark. Trust me when I say 20 minutes is flying and takes some serious planning. In Du Quoin, the students did quite well. The first pair of teams were competitive, and finished only four minutes apart. The losing team had only assembled Ford engines in the past, so that was a pretty impressive margin to say the least. The second set of teams weren’t as close, but they had a lot of fun, and a few mechanical hiccups that reminded everyone just because the engine is assembled doesn’t mean that it’s right. Sometimes competitors have to backtrack to solve problems. 92
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Sunday’s shootout was one for the record books. Tony Mifflin and Kenny Hale are two buddies who have been assembling engines for over 30 years. The pre-competition banter between them and the younger students was comical, with the “older guys” of Team FAST reminding them that “age and wisdom” were going to prevail. Team COMP had previously competed on Saturday and were confident that their “practice run” had them within striking distance. When the clocks started the “old guys” of Team FAST were a blaze of wrenches and orchestrated strategy. Their final time of 24.57 came with-
Calvin Cohring and Dan Wereminski (on the right) beat out classmates Mac Morehead and Ryan Hoelscher by a scant four minutes. That was good considering Mac and Ryan are Ford guys who had never assembled a Chevy!
in minutes of the record, and if they hadn’t had issues seating the distributor, I am pretty sure they would have won it. They were impressive to watch and fun to listen to. In the end, there were no real losers. Each winner receives a $250 product certificate, and each runner up gets one for $125. The students put their winnings into their school’s fund towards a C10 drag truck they are building, financed solely through donations and fundraising. Their winnings totaled $1,700, and that will buy those cool kids a lot of go-fast parts. The COMP Cams Engine Builder Duel requires no prior experience, doesn’t cost anything, and is open to anyone. We’ve had teams of friends, dads and sons, husbands and wives, and even a grandfather and granddaughter! The duels are held at various events around the country, so if you see one, sign up and see how you do. It’s a lot of fun, and you’ll be glad you did. SRL
The students of SIU’s Automotive Technology Organization had fun and won $1,700 in CPG product certificates that will be put towards their Chevy C/10 drag truck project.
Source: COMP Cams, compcams.com
To find out where the next competition will be search “Engine Builder Duel” at StreetRodLife.com.
Age and wisdom before youth and beauty! Kenny Hale and Tony Mifflin came loaded for bear and did very well, coming within four minutes of our national record. These guys weren’t playing around!
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SCHEDULES EVENTS PLACES
HIT THE ROAD It is go-time! Fill the cooler, hit the key, and get on the road! There is a long list of cruises and great events to take in across the country. If you have anything to add to our list, let us know at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tri-Five Fest The Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals is a weekend long celebration of all that is the iconic ’55, ’56, and ’57 Chevrolet. The event takes place the historic Beech Bend Raceway with non-stop action including an autocross, drag races, car show, and swap meet.
thetrifivenationals.com August 14–15 Beech Bend Raceway Bowling Green, Kentucky
Fall Street Machine Nationals High performance street machines and rods return to the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield, Missouri, for a weekend of cruising and fun! September 26–27 Ozark Empire Fairgrounds Springfield, Missouri
Holley LS Fest If you’re a fan of the Chevy Gen 3 or Gen 4 engine, or even considering making the move to LS power, you need to attend the LS Fest. Drag racing, autocross, swap meet, 3S challenge, show cars, and more. September 11–13 Beech Bend Raceway Bowling Green, Kentucky
If restored muscle cars are your thing, seeing them in action on the drag strip is a lot better than looking at them in a parking lot or museum. Head up to Mid-Michigan Motorplex for the Pure Stock Drags. September 17–19 Mid-Michigan Motorplex Stanton, Michigan
STREET ROD LIFE Vol. 1, No. 3
Hot Rod Drag Week
Pure Stock Drags
This is the 26th annual Nostalgia Day held by the Altamont Cruisers with hundreds of cars on display in downtown Livermore. The event is a fundraiser for the Tri-Valley youth and sounds like a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon! September 27 Livermore, California
It’s already sold out for participants, but if you live near any of the tracks or the route between these four drag strips, you should get out to see some great racing and side-ofthe-road thrashing! September 13–19 Gateway Motorsports Park Madison, Illinois Lucas Oil Raceway Indianapolis, Indiana Great Lakes Dragaway Union Grove, Wisconsin Cordova International Raceway Cordova, Illinois
Not able to attend a show? Want to see which cars were at what events? Not a problem. Head over to StreetRodLife.com and check out the Events tab for coverage, pics, and more.
The asphalt jungle is a noisy place. Make sure you’re heard. The streets are full of commotion and it’s easy to get run over unless you make some noise. The hard-hitting Thumpr™ Series from COMP Cams® will give your hot rod or street machine an aggressive note that lets them know you mean business. More than all bark and no bite, they were specifically designed to create impressive horsepower gains and broad torque curves while maintaining streetability. From mild to wild, Thumpr™ offers three levels of thump to suit any engine: Thumpr™, Mutha Thumpr™, and the Big Mutha Thumpr™. Though nostalgic-sounding in note, the designs are compatible with the latest in valve train advances, including COMP® Beehive™ Valve Springs, Ultra Pro Magnum™ Roller Rockers, and Magnum Pushrods. EFI-compatible versions are also available. You choose the engine, Thumpr® will make it roar.
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Behind THE DOOR Like many life-long rodders, Dick Confer grew up around cars since his dad owned a garage and junkyard in Michigan. He started building a ’51 Plymouth with an early Hemi in 1957, which was promptly replaced with a ’53 Chevy and a straight-6 after several discussions with local authorities and Dick’s father. Dick, a retired GM engineer, has built many more cars over the years and as you can see, has amassed quite a collection of automobilia and other cool stuff. As an NSRA Safety Inspector for 28 years (25 as the Head of the Michigan State Safety Division), Dick has seen a lot of rods, parts, builds, and shows. Here is a peek at just a slice of his collectibles and street rods.
Gas pumps, air pumps, parking meters, and more… we could have spent a weekend in this garage.
This ’37 Ford Club Coupe has been on the road for years including two trips to the top of Pike’s Peak.
This ’66 LeMans droptop is 100-percent numbers matching and still has the original interior.
How about a 454c.i. ’69 Chevelle wagon.
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Published on Jul 28, 2015
The blockbuster Fall issue of Street Rod Life is now available. Checkout all the great event coverage from the Street Machine Nationals, an...