Chevy S10 Trucks, S10 Blazers, GMC Jimmys, and Sonomas eat ball joints. Being in the biz, we knew this, and we also knew that our customers could benefit from an installation video. One thing lead to another and BAM! – A beautiful 1AAuto Ball Joint How-To Installation video was born. With the right tools, and the right patience, this job is very doable in your driveway.
Growing up, while my middle school classmates were yapping about the newest R.L. Stine books, I was deciphering the differences of a 1933 Plymouth PC vs. PD vs. PDXX. I was not normal, and never got into the “normal kid” books. Instead, I swooned over low production numbers throughout the pages of the “Standard Catalog of American Cars 1805-1942”. The classic designs, unmatched style, and the rawness of old cars was the only interesting thing that I could find in books. Needless to say, many years have passed and I still never read any “normal” books, but I have managed to acquire quite an automotive library. Old books, new books, automotive design books, tuning books, service manuals, and enough car magazines to fill the Grand Canyon twice. With all of that, I bequeath to you “Jeremy’s official list of must-have book’s for your Gearhead hangout.” (Notice I capitalized “Gearhead” this time because I feel it is something to be proud of, and deserves that big first letter.)
In no particular order:
1) “Standard Catalog of American Cars” 1804-1942 AND 1946-1975 (These are great to reference, and win / lose bets.)
2) “The Hemi in the Barn” by Tom Cotter (This book is amazing, you must read it.)
3) “The Cobra in the Barn” by Tom Cotter (This book is equally amazing, you also must read it.)
4) “Classic Customs and Lead Sleds” by Bo Bertilsson (Filled with the most beautiful lead sleds you will ever see.)
5) “Maximum Boost” by Corky Bell (This will change your life. If you like forced induction, eternal happiness will be found within.)
6) “Street Rodder’s Chassis & Suspension Handbook” (Someday I will build one, and you will too. This might prevent us from screwing up.)
Every car has a price, but the owners “value” is often far different than the price that reality says it’s worth, especially with car enthusiasts. Maybe we’re crazy, and yes, we are dreamers, but how do you put a price tag on something that you have thousands of hours of work into? Just the thought of selling my cars makes me want to sob hysterically. Well, today’s the day in the wonderful world of imagination. A nice young fellow walks up to you with a blank check, and says “I want to buy your car, and it will go to a good home. How much do you need to get for it?” How do you respond?
Me? I know my 1964 Chevy Impala is probably only worth a few grand in reality, but 2010 is our 13th anniversary together and I would really like to drive it one of these days. Thus, the “how much money would it take” to pry it away from me, would likely be in the $15,000 range. I have a solid $10,000 in sentimental value whether you understand it or not. 🙂
Over the years, I have had the opportunity and pleasure of working on a wide variety of cars and trucks. The ones with hydraulic suspension systems were some of my all time favorites. It combined huge amounts of electricity (8-10 Car batteries in 1 vehicle) and the unimaginable power of hydraulics. The hostile symphony that appeared when these two forces came together made for months of non stop entertainment. We bounced cars around, lifted 1 wheel off the ground for “3-wheel motion”, dragged them around, and laughed hysterically at just how ridiculous it all was. Looking back, it was some of the most fun that I have ever had working on cars. It was endless work, tons of money, long days, late nights, and I enjoyed every single second.
Pictured above is my friend Chris’s old 1989 Chevy truck. The amount of work put into that truck by he and I was unmeasurable. From what I understand, it’s gone from the earth for good, but the lessons learned from that truck will be around for decades to come. Mental Note: 8 car batteries in parallel will liquify and throw a wrench more than your expect.
While meandering across the wide wide world of web, I accidentally bumped into a blue car. I stepped back, and the first thought that popped into my head was “Why the heck are blue cars so dang awesome?” Sure the blue car was a Bugatti and all, which certainly helps its case, but I think the blue color is the key player here. Am I wrong? Is blue not the most glorious color for all vehicles? Could I have discovered an ancient secret? Did the Egyptians know about this? I bet they did. Lay your eyes upon this phenomenal display of blue cars found on the internet, and try to tell me that blue isn’t the hottest thing since the sun.
If you had unlimited funding, and were forced to own a car from the year that you were born, what would it be? For me, the year is 1982. As you may or may not remember, this was a black hole of automotive design, horsepower, handling, and overall driving excitement. Luckily, one manufacturer didn’t care what the other guys were doing, and stuck to what they do best, building fantastic sports cars. That company’s name is Porsche. The model that I would procure is the 930, and I would obviously need it with the twin turbo ~300 horsepower engine.
Oddly enough, I found the exact one I want on eBay today!
This week I wanted to bring up an important topic that we all need to think long and hard about. Love for Monte Carlos. Yes, the Chevy Monte Carlos that were built from 1970-1988 were a beautiful bunch of machines, even the sadly forgotten 1973-77 models. They all had giant engines, huge fenders, heavy doors, and tons of luxury options. If you have never driven in one, I would compare it to sitting on a sofa that is strapped down to an erupting volcano. To celebrate the true wonder that the 1970-88 Monte Carlos are, I have gathered a youtube video of each generation doing an elegant burnout, as only a high class Monte Carlo could.
Between 1970 and 1972 the Monte Carlo shared a large number of parts with the Chevelles, but for some unknown reason (to me), Monte Carlos don’t seem to rot out like the Chevelles and Malibu’s do. Is it because beauty doesn’t age? Could it be because Monte Carlos are so full of magnificence, that rust cannot possibly break them down? Maybe it is because they are so uncommon that deterioration itself wants them to last forever? Whatever magical presence it is protecting these cars from rust, it deserves a high five. With that, I give you elegant burnout number one!
I always felt bad for the 1973-77 Monte Carlos. They were always the ugly bunch that nobody seemed to want. They still had huge engines, and more class than you would know what to do with. What people don’t seem to realize is that with one of these land yachts sweet rides, you have every single automotive option on earth for an unbelievable low price. You have buttons that control other buttons, and switches that control knobs. You have seats that move in like 879 directions, carpet that is 6 inches thick, and enough cigarette lighters to light 40 stogies at once. The trunk is big enough to sneak 10 of your closest friends into the drive-in, which makes for 18 total passengers. What is there not to love? As you may have guessed, this body style is the perfect candidate for elegant burnout number two!
The 78-88 Monte Carlos are unmatched in beauty and grace. If these cars had a decent engine and transmission in them, they could have been the greatest vehicle ever built (……..by Chevy between 1978-88). The downsides to these cars were the asthmatic V6 and V8 engines that GM loaded into them. Chevy claimed 165 horsepower, but I assure you that it felt more like donkey power. Yes, I would rate them at approx. 14 donkeypower. People in horse drawn carriages would easily pass these cars in a race. The interiors were slightly less plush than that of the 73-77 body style, but still high class compared to most. Overall, the great looking body makes up for the lack in power. You buy one of these cars to look awesome, not to go fast. If you swap the engine for maximum greatness, you end up with elegant burnout number three!