Hydraulically Actuated Clutches FTW!

A few weeks ago, I began preparing my truck for future upgrades because when I start making real horsepower I don’t want it to explode into a million pieces.  Project #1 was upgrading injectors to larger ones (650cc).  I won’t actually be using this extra fuel yet, so for now I had to tune out about 30% of the fuel to make it run at a normal air/fuel ratio.  Once the injectors were in and tuned properly,  I took it for a ride down the street.  Much to my surprise, my truck felt amazing!  It felt that way right up until the clutch started slipping and smoking. :(  I knew that I was getting close to the limits of my clutch, so I immediately started project #2, which is where this story really begins…. (more…)

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Car Builds: Before and After Pictures

When building or restoring a car, you absolutely HAVE to take pictures.

Here are my top 7 reasons why:

1) Without pictures, nobody will ever believe that you did any of the work (unless it’s terrible, then they will believe you 100%).

2) You will never remember how things originally went together. That extra bag of bolts needs a home!

3) You can hold the photo up against your car and say “look guys, before and after”.

4) It can remind you where you came from, and how you got to where you are.

5) You can look back and laugh at the horrific work you did toward the beginning of the project.  Remember when you couldn’t weld?

6) You can post them on the internet and show off all of your work to the world.

7) You don’t realize it at the time of the photograph, but there is always weird stuff going on in the background. It is fun to look for!

If you are saying to yourself “This guy is right, I don’t have any pictures of my cars…”, grab a handful of camera right now and go take some pictures.  I promise you that you will appreciate it down the road.  Just imagine how cool it would be to see all the cars that your parents had throughout the years.

Got before and after pictures?  I want to see them! Post them up or Send them to me: jnutt@1aauto.com

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See! Rust isnt so bad after all.

Most car enthusiasts hate rust with a passion, because once it starts it never seems to go away.  However, growing up in Massachusetts, you quickly realize that cars without rust don’t exist in our area, and rust is just a part of life.  Naturally, I want to do everything in my power to have a rust free car, and last summer, I found some rust hiding in the deepest darkest regions of my 1964 Chevy Impala.  Describing where this metal came from is somewhat tough, but I’ll do my best.  Ok, imagine a 1964 impala (sweet right?), now open the gas filler door.  You see the filler pipe with the gas cap on the top of it.  Surrounding that pipe is a piece of metal that is welded to the inside of the outer wheel house.  This is THAT piece!  Naturally water collects in there and rots out the whole area.  I wasn’t having that so I tore it all out and began the rebuild.

First I removed it from the car and evaluated the situation at hand.  The outer perimeter was completely rotted out and needing replacing.

Not pretty from any angle
Edges rotted out

I then cut all the edges off of it and began making replacements from flat sheetmetal.  You can see where I welded the new pieces in on the back side in the next picture.  With some of the compound curves, there is some metal stretching and shrinking involved.  This can be done with hammers and dollies if you are really good, or you can buy yourself a metal stretcher & shrinker to make the job 1 million times easier.  In any case, new pieces were then welded in and ground down to make them pretty again.

Back side before the welds are ground down
Looking complete again.

Front side after some grinding

Then I decided that the easiest way to clean it up completely was to blast it with some extra fine sand.  So blast I did.


With a little bit more massaging after this picture, it was completed, and then spot welded back into its happy home.  See, rust isn’t so bad after all!

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