Every car in Massachusetts is rusty. Whether you have a 1955 Lincoln Capri or a 2010 Chevy Camaro, in the North East, your car’s destiny is rust. Now, if the nice cars are rusty, just imagine what the vehicles in our junkyards look like. They are absolutely horrifying at best. In the time that it takes to remove a junkyard fender, it often erodes itself back into dirt right before your eyes. Bolts? HA! After 1 year (so… 2009 models at this point), all bolts become permanent. At the 2 year mark, the bolts don’t even look like bolts anymore. They become round rusty buttons that can only be removed by breaking the head off with Vise-Grips. It is truly an awful experience. Thank goodness for torches, Sawzalls, sharp drill bits, and tetanus shots.
Arizona cars on the other hand, are better in every possible way. Rusty cars (New England style) just don’t exist out there. What they consider a junkyard car is usually “flawless” in my opinion. The nicest cars I personally own aren’t as clean as what is found in their junkyards. It’s quite sad really. Over the last few years, I have had the pleasure of working on several classic cars from the South West, and I laugh like the village idiot the entire time I work on them because I can’t believe that the bolts come out. Underneath the AZ cars, the original hydraulic brake lines and parking brakes cables are often still there and working. It is a gearhead fairytale.
Let’s do a comparison, to see who the real winner is. Massachusetts on the left, and Arizona on the right. Ding Ding Ding. FIGHT!
Sure enough, Arizona wins with a KO, as expected. If you want to restore an old car, just buy a rust free body from someplace dry. It will save you thousands of dollars, trillions of hours, and a Tetanus shot.
Like any car enthusiast, I often find myself scouring eBay Motors for cars and trucks that I can’t have. While doing so, I stumbled onto a fleet of Jaguars that looked noteworthy. Apparently they were collected between 15-25 years ago, and haven’t really been touched since. The thing that I find most impressive is that a bunch of them are “racked” up high in a warehouse of some sort. You need to be a truly dedicated & motivated gearhead for those kinds of shenanigans. I mean how cool would it be to be able to look up at project cars while you work on others? Anyway, the starting bid is $200,000, so get out your wallets.
Here is what the auction includes along with misc parts:
Recently I acquired an automotive engine wiring harness that needed some serious love and attention. The previous owner had apparently stirred the dirty pot of electric gremlins, allowing them to surface from the deepest, darkest bowels of the vehicle. After seeing it with my own eyes, it became my obligation to write a “how-to” on how to successfully breed automotive electrical gremlins. The previous owner of this wiring harness had perfected this lost art, and I didn’t want the information to become lost again for all eternity.
Step 1) Use Scotch Locks to splice a few extra inches of wire in. That’s not what they are intended for but hey if it works, it works.
Step 2) Now solder some frayed wires together with zero flux or penetration. If possible, just “plop” a dab of solder on the 2 wires, but not too much, this isn’t not meant to hold for more than a few days.
Step 3) Cut open a few important wires, run them through a blender, then leave them open to the elements. This will allow for sparks, fire, and other forms of excitement.
Step 4) Add T-Taps, lots of them. The goal here is to damage as many wires as possible, and this will get you well on your way. Remember that moderation is not a word in your vocabulary.
Step 5) Find a connector that goes to something important, like a Mass Airflow Sensor for example, and cut it off. Now, ever-so-gently twist the wires back together. As soon as that is complete, pull them apart again, and lightly twist them back together in the opposite direction. Don’t bother shrink wrapping them or taping them, it won’t be necessary.
Step 6) Your car won’t run soon anyway, so why not start early by ripping off the fuel injector connectors. One? Nah, go for 2 or 3, at least.
Step 7) This is the final step so pay very close attention. Find a ground loop connector, preferably with multiple wires going to it. Now grab the nearest pair of wire cutters, and cut the entire thing off. Quickly put the loop in your pocket, and do whatever you need to do to make sure it is never associated with the wiring harness again.
If you want to successfully breed electrical gremlins in your own (or maybe a friend’s car), these are the steps you need to take to complete the process. Completing every step won’t be necessary because just one of these steps will cause endless hours of enjoyable electrical gremlin chasing.
Replacing an alternator in a Chevy Silverado Truck (GMC Sierra Truck, Suburban, Yukon, Tahoe) is easier than you may think. In this video, we show you exactly how it is done so that you can do it yourself and save a bunch of money. We currently have over 70 how-to videos that you can view on our 1AAuto Youtube Channel. Everything from headlight and taillight replacements, to door handles, to controls arms and weatherstripping. Check them out, Subscribe to our youtube channel or add us as a friend, and let us know what you think!
Over the weekend, I got to be a part of something extremely awesome that every gearhead needs to check out at some point in life. I brought a 66 pound round cut of 4130 steel to my brother-in-law so that he could machine it for me. Hey, that doesn’t sound that cool! I know, relax. Let me explain.
When you think of a metal lathe built in 1942, the first thing that comes to mind is “heavy”, and that is for good reason. It weighs around 4200 lbs and looks like an absolute man eater, but it has a gentler side as well. If it were an animal, it would be an agreeable triceratops with a luxurious fur coat. To give you a little perspective on what 4200 lbs feels like; just imagine the heaviest thing in the world. This particular lathe is at least 46 times heavier than the heaviest object that you just imagined. Yes, it is that heavy. The strange thing is that when it is in motion, it looks like smooth rotating perfection. Everything spins with surgical precision, and all the rotating parts intermingle with each other to create a beautiful symphony of metal cutting goodness. At the risk of sounding like a wimp (too late?), I found it to be quite soothing to watch. Then again, I love metal.
Let’s back up the story a bit, because you don’t even know why I’m doing all this work. I am making (really my brother in law is… ) an upper wheel for my English wheel. I wanted to have the greatest upper wheel in history, but I didn’t want to pay for it because I’m cheap. Thus, I am dead set on making it “myself”. We started with a round cut of 4130 steel that was about 3.5 inches thick by 9 inches in diameter, and weighed 66 lbs. The wheel will end up being as big as my English wheel can handle, which is totally awesome. By the time I am done, I will probably have a few hundred dollars into a really nice set of upper and lower wheels (called anvils). This sounds like a lot of cash money, but when compared to buying a nice set already built, I am saving hundreds.
In any case, we stuffed the giant hulk of steel into the lathe and got it spinning. The first thing to do was to face it, because it was apparently last cut with dull rock, an axe, a sledge hammer, or a maybe a grenade. “Rough” was the nicest way to describe it. Several hours pass and the face of the metal was like a mirror, absolutely flawless. Then we began on the outside of the wheel, which was apparently cut with the same prehistoric tools. Shortly into this cut, the cutting insert that we were using became dull, and we had run out of spares. So, we wrapped things up and made a game plan for Metal Day 2, which will take place in a few weeks.
If you’re a gearhead and ever have the opportunity to hang out in a machine shop, be sure to jump at the chance, because you may enjoy it more than you think. There is something oddly intriguing about giant machinery that effortlessly rips metal apart. Maybe I am alone here, but this stuff gets the adrenaline going for me. Just remember that if you don’t respect the agreeable & furry triceratops, he will gobble you up before you can say “Cool Lathe!”.
Saturday, February 27th is a big day, because 1AAuto.com has a product up on eBay Motors Daily Deal. It is a beautiful mechanic’s tray with dual rubber coated magnets. Although it looks like a museum piece, it is rugged to the core. We have used these ourselves in environments that make the average magnetic bolt tray cry for mercy, while the 1AAuto tray kept asking for more! With paint and construction this nice, the 1AAuto magnetic tray makes all other trays look inadequate. It could win a beauty contest while completely covered in grease, rust and mud. The magnets on the bottom are stronger than average and have no trouble holding piles of leftover bolts from any project. It is a great addition to any tool box, and will likely make your friends and coworkers jealous. For this price, it’s a no brainer, everyone needs one.
Once in a while at the end of the day, instead of washing my clothes, I just throw them right in the trash….because there is just no saving them….
Let’s slow it down and start at the beginning. You have a big day planned with your project car, and you will finally make some long awaited progress on it. You buy all the supplies you will need and come up with a game plan for a full day of activities. After much anticipation, the day finally arrives and it is now “go time”. You wake up before the sun rises, and you throw on some “work clothes”. Your “work clothes” were your good clothes last week, but you ruined them “just checking something real quick” under the car. You forget to eat breakfast because you are on an automotive mission and can’t be bothered. There is definitely no time for food, drinks, or banter of any kind, because it is Saturday and it is going to be intense. » Continue reading more of this post…