AutoFactoids for Week of 5/16/2010

Huge one this week!!! 

5/17/1868 – Horace Dodge was born in Michigan. 

5/19/1903 – The iconic Buick Motor Co. started business. 

And here is the big one..yup you know it, you’ve seen it, it’s brought  you  some of the best sports coverage ever…the GOODYEAR blimp took it’s first flight 5/22/1929. 

1929 Maiden flight.


Thanks for reading. 


Bowling Green Corvette Assembly Plant Tour…AWESOME!!

I attended the Bowling Green Assembly Plant tour today.  It was really!!!!! awesome!!!!!

Corvette Assembly Plant Bowling Green, KY


The walk from the parking lot to the plant was filled with the smell of new car.  They must pour it out of every chimney and window.

They were building the Z06’s, ZR1 and Grand Sports…a lot of Grand Sports!!! (that is a damn nice car!!!) Amazing!!!!    Sorry no pictures were allowed.

Seeing all the parts everywhere and the hanging panels and frames…was a sight to be hold.

The tour was pretty quick..well maybe an hour…but I could have hung there all day!!!  I lagged behind the tour group and spoke with a couple of the workers.

At one stop, where they fill the newly married body, chassy and engine with fluid, the tour guide was going blah, blah, blah and I was looking over the cars and one of the guys walked over asked me if I had one picked out yet.  He said they seemed to be selling a lot of GS’s.  I asked him about the fender stripes and he said they normally just get tossed in the back and the dealership installs them.  He asked me if I liked the wider body and I said what’s not to like!!!!

We watched them marry up a Zo6’s mufflers, while another guy stuck in the tail lights and then on to the chassy.  Tire position was at a stop.

Actually got to watch a new Grand Sport come off the line and run over the ‘suspension’ activation section (floor) and then into the section where they align the headlights.

We  got to see a Z06 enter the final test chamber where they run 200 + tests in two minutes.  This one passed.

It was MOST EXCELLENT!!!! (Wayne’s World).

The NCM was good, but the plant tour overshadowed it…by far.   I’ll post up pics from the  NCM in the next post.

corvettte assembly plant

Auto Factoids for Week of 5/23/2010

Few major milestones this week. 

Brooklyn bridge opened for traffic on 5/24 1883 and the Golden opened 5/27 in 1937. 

Race car driver Mauri Rose was born 5/26/1906 currently in the racing hall of fame, placed second in the 1927 Indy 500.  Actually won the Indy in 1941, but that was a tough victory, spanning two Maserati-powered Elgin Piston Pin Specials cars, after the first one had mechanical issues.  He tossed a fit and the car owners pulled one of the other drivers on the time from the race and give Rose that car. 

The Pin 

Elgin Pin


What powered that thing? 

Power Plant


The first Kaiser-Frazer was produced 5/28/1946 – cars weren’t sold until 1947. 

1947 Willow Run Plant

Mustang Hose Woes – The Cause of it all.

Sometimes old car parts break…that’s the nature of things old.  However, most of my Mustang’s parts are only 3 years old or so. 

So sometimes new parts break when they are used in a restoration along with existing older parts.  This was the case with the power steering hose failure. 

If you haven’t read my entire 130 posts thus far (why not???…toe tapping…toe tapping), you might not have picked up on the fact that my 70 coupe started out life with a 9.1:1 compression 250 straight 6 “power plant”. Now it’s a fire-breathing 302…ok…no fire..but a 302 none the less. 

I won’t go to all the trial and tribulations of the 6 to V8 conversion..right now..but soon, but here it’s necessary to share what I know.  It is not an uncommon practice to be swap out a 6 cylinder for more power.  You can quite often, pick up a 6 banger cheaper, than an a v8.  Just as often difficulties arise in the course of the improvement. eerrrkkkk…There are some people who believe it was blasphemy replacing the 250 – there weren’t that many made that year. There is a small group of guys that were a bit dismayed when I didn’t keep the 6. (I am  That group has done some amazing things with a 6 cylinder, that make my 302 ‘Stang look like a pedal car!!  I have their book so some, I’ll post up the details when I get back in town….End of eeerrrrkk 

After looking at the broken hose, which was bent and cracked near the flared end. 

Power Steering break point


Here is what I learned.  The 1970 coupe 6 cylinder has a different power steering package then does the 8 cylinder.  Specifically, the difference is the way the power steering pump is mounted and the length of the hose.  I recall when the part was getting installed, I was called to determine how we wanted to proceed when it was noticed that the hose, in order to reach the new height of the pump, could possibly come in continued contact with the control arms. This would cause a  rubbing between the two pieces against the rubber portion of the hose.  The decision was made to double the hose – by cutting a larger hose and enclosing the original in side and using ties to secure it. 

This worked just fine while the front end stayed …well old and sloppy.  Just recently I posted about replacing the upper control arms and in doing so, tightening up the front end and removing the slop that allowed the clearance to be  greater between the two parts.  With less space between them, the control arm came into contact with the hose and after several bumps getting in an out of my driveway the hose got crimped and then broke. 

Ordered another hose for a V8 and had it installed.  Everything functioning properly. 

Thanks reading. 


Mustang Hose Woes

I was about to start the pillar moldings mini project when I ran into a couple mechanical issues.

About a week ago the Mustang began squealing when pushed to high revs.  That normally indicates one of several problems.

1. It could be a water pump

2.  It could be the power steering pump

3.  It could be a pulley

4. It could be a bolt that was holding the alternator bracket to the engine worked itself out and was in contact with the fan belt.

5. It could be a combination of the any of these.

Now the Mustang did, every once in a while, drip some fluid from the power steering control value but it wasn’t a huge deal.

Well, Saturday I went to start her and the battery was dead.  It’s over 3 years old and I had left the lights on the day before and had to have it jump started.  So off to the auto parts store I went and pick up a new 3 year battery and stuck it. When I started the engine up, it made the squeal and I decided I needed to fix this, before the pillar molding.

So with a neighbor revving the engine I noticed the bolt protruding from the water pump/block ( it passes through left side water pump housing in to the block).  With the revs the fan belt would flex and briefly hit the bolt.   This bolt was “custom” made when we were fitting everything up to reman’ed long block and was about 7 or 8 inches long.

It took a bit to get that back in place, had to loosen up the alternator’s other two supports and toss a little loctite on the threads and she was good to go…..almost…..

Yeah….option #5 above was the correct answer BTW.

Started it up and there was still a squeal – not the same squeal but clearly an ‘accompaning’ squeal.  Shortly after that a power steering hose let go and well liquid does what gravity  make it do and I spent the afternoon cleaning the driveway.  So there went my allotted time for Saturday.   So replacing both hoses seem the best way to go and they’ll  be in today.  Right now it’s at the shop down the street, I had no time to undertake this task at the moment, will be traveling the next couple weeks.

One of my travels takes me to the National Corvette Museum.  I’ll spend an entire day there which include the assembly plant tour.

Thanks for reading.


Auto Factoids for 5/9/2010

Tough finding something historic for this week in May.

I do have a blurb on GM.

On May 10, 1923 they named Alfred P. Sloan as corporate president.  They didn’t just pick from the streets.  He was actually, a draftsman for a bearing company, Hyatt Roller Bearing.  That company eventually merged with a few other companies with United Motor Corporation.  Sloan became the president of that and shortly after that they were purchased by GM.

He served GM from 1923 to 1956 in some manner including board chairman.

Thanks for reading.


V8 Reference Book

I grab every book I think is useful in any of my hobbies.  I happened to be at the mall the other day and had some time kill and wonder down to Borders books store.  Pick up a book entitled “Ultimate American V-8 Engine Data Book” 2 Edition  by Peter Sessler, published MotorBooks.

This book has engine identification codes, component casting codes, internal dimensions and specs, and power and torque ratings.

It goes back as far as 1952 and covers Fords, GM, Mopar, and AMC, Packard and Studebaker.  It includes big blocks and small blocks.  There is a lot of information.

I learned from this book that all of the engines possible for the Corvette in 1984 were rated @ 205 hp.  The CFI was the main power supplier, but it also had listed a couple TPI’s (engine suffix code ZFC), TBI (engine suffix code ZFJ – supposedly for export only) and a 4v for California (engine suffix code ZFF).

They also inform you of the transmissions that go with the engines.

There are listings for cylinder heads parts or casting # as well as intake and exhaust manifolds as well.

I think this one is worth the  $30.00.

This is a great transition to introduce an up and coming feature for this blog.

I love engines…(duh).  To me the history of development, what was used when and where and maybe even why can be fascinating.  I’ll be tossing out specs and the like and hopefully some, ” I would have never guessed that” information.  Now, I don’t have this all in my head, it will be researched stuff or some experiences. (My 1974 Torino was a good case study..tell you the story soon).

Thanks for reading.


Auto Factoids for week of 5/3/10 The First LeMans

Yes..I know I missed a week.  But here is what I missed sharing 

4/28 – Ferruccio Lambroghini born in Italy 1916 

4/29 Ford makes it 50th millionth car in 1959 

Here a big one  5/1 American Motors was formed 1954 – The merger of Hudson Motor Company and Nash-Kelvinator – bring us the great muscle cars – the AMX  and Javelin (my favorite – I was introduced to Javelin in high school, when a girl friend’s father get her one as her first car.) 

5/2  Chevy becomes part of GM – 1918. 

5/3 Willys Jeepseter phaeton hits the market in 1948 

1948 Jeepster


5/3  The Gold Packard’s we given to dealers as part of Packard’s 50th Anniversary 1949 – 2000 were produced. 

Golden Packard 1949


5/4 Milestone in car racing, the first (24 Heures du Mans) 24 Le Mans race was held in France, in the town of ….wait for it…… Le Mans 

5/6 De Soto is released to the public – 1928 – by Chrysler. 

1928 De Soto


Chrysler didn’t stop there…the next day in 1928 they bought Dodge!!! 

Thanks for reading. 


Abandoned Cars – Contest – Win a Hot Rod DVD…First Winner

We have our first winner.  Jeff G sent in this abandoned car.  Great Pic!!!!! 

Location Nogales AZ - Submitted by Jeff G.


Clearly this beauty could not be restored, as is the case with most neglected cars.  So what be came of it…. 

It became ART...and a BQQ grill.


Thanks Jeff.   DVD is on its way.