Auto Factoids for Week of Sept 19 2010

Yes I’m playing catch up with these. I’ll have another engine series coming up.  Enjoy. 

9/19/1970 – The Pinto debuted 

1970 Pinto

9/21/1895  Duryea Motor Wagon Company was created. One of the first companies in the US to build gas powered cars.  Their first was the one-cylinder “Ladies Phaeton”. 

a one-cylinder "Ladies Phaeton"

 9/23/1969 – Here’s a biggie….the debut of the Dodge Challenger. 

1969 Challenger (this is the TA)

9/24/1909    Virgil Exner was born in Ann Arbor, Mi   Who? didn’t just ask that!?!?!?!    Car designer for Chevy, Studebaker and Chrysler. 

Some of his work.

 Thanks for reading. 


Auto Factoid for Week of Sept 5 2010

Trying to play catch up with Auto Factoids:

9/7/1954 – Production of the Ford Thunderbird.

Ford Thunderbird

9/8/1903   Preston Tucker born in Michigan.

1948 the suicide doors

9/9/1935  Studebaker exports first cars to London.  They were Studebaker Commanders.

Studebaker Commander 1935

Thanks for reading.


Chasing Down Leaks – My ’70 Mustang

One thing I really hate is a leaky car.  I don’t like it when stuff leaks inside the car and I don’t like it when stuff leaks out of the car. 

I have a friend that alway says…”Hey…old cars leak.  That’s just what they do.”   To this I normally just respond with “Yeah…I guess so.”  I say this because he has pride in his work he does on his cars and I’m not going to poke at him about it. 

What I want to say is “Bullstuff!!!!” Not this day in age, there all kinds of reproduction parts and hoses that can be molded and even entire businesses that make custom hoses.  If it’s a gasket that’s leaking you can make your own, there’s all kind of gasket material on the market. 

If you remember back a bunch of post ago, you may recall my power steering issue with my C4 Vette.  Oh…yes…my poor old vette (which now has a new home), leaking everywhere!!!!.  I hated that, but it was all fixable, right down to having a place in town customize a power steering hose ( it didn’t actually get that far, the oddly shaped hose turned out to not be the issue.). 

The reality is that chasing down a leak is sometimes difficult, almost always time-consuming and the likelihood that it will be expensive is high.  So, no old cars don’t have to leak.  

What old cars do do (that’s just as funny to type as it is to say) is vibrate.  My ’70 Mustang is mostly stock parts, with the exception of polyurethane motor mounts, and it will shake stuff loose, is it a pretty raw machine.  A good portion of leaks can be attributed to that alone. 

A few weeks ago, I notice a dime sized dot of oil in my driveway….errrkkk….no I’m not a neat freak, my drive has spots (been meaning to get it power washed), but with my older cars I like to keep an eye out for issues.  So I climbed under the car and looked around and it appeared that the leak might be from the oil plug it’s self.   So I grab my 5/8 ” open end wrench and gave it a bit of a crank.  Now you have to be careful, especially with the type of oil pan I have (aftermarket chrome)  as it can get out of shape if you over torque the drain plug and really leak. I wiped down the pan so I could tell later on if there might be another leak. 

Chrome Oil Pan and Plug


A few drives later I noticed another dime size drip. Only this time  it was a bit further back.  OF NOTE:  My driveway is sloped, and pretty good incline at that.  This causes a bit of a problem determining exactly where liquid might originate, that whole gravity thing, ya know.  This drip did seem a bit further back then the last. 

Again I check the oil pan and this time the oil pan gasket between the engine and the block. Nope no oil.  So I go topside and start checking the  valve covers.  And sure enough there, there appears to be a leak in the rear of the left value cover.  Not really a big deal, looks like it’ll just need new valve cover gasket, this 302 engine is wide open in the engine bay with lots of room (nothing like the 84 Vette was to get to). 

Lots of room in this engine bay to work.


Valve Cover, you can see the bit of oil grunge along the bottom.


 I then recalled that FelPro gaskets were used and I specifically chose the type used on drag cars, designed so that you can pop the valve covers over between heats to make adjustments.  This particular set of valve covers that I purchased when restoring the car came with bolts that tighten with an allen wrench. 

Screw with allen wrench (or hex wrench).


 Just in case: 

Allen Wrench/Hex Wrench


Hexagon end of allen wrench


So I thought…to myself (really….can you think to anyone else?) “I wonder if they are all tight?”  Sure enough they were all loose.  Hence the oil leak.   I tightened them all down, wiped down the engine where I could reach and drove it a couple of days. No leaks!!!  Now I make it a habit to check those every so often.  This is BTW a good tip if you drive your muscle or vintage car.  

Now the latest leak, I noticed a couple of days ago.  I check the liquid laying in my drive (only about the size of a quarter) and it was power steering fluid.  I’m thinking oh…NO..not again!!!  I didn’t even look under the car and went straight to the computer and did a quick search for new power steering parts for my 70 Mustang. What I found wasn’t horrible, as in, well no retirement for me, got to fix up this ‘stang, but bad enough price wise to see if it was repairable. 

So I crawled under the Mustang (or hunk of iron, as my wife calls it…or maybe she was calling me the hunk  :^ ) and took a look.  Yup, there was a leak but it appeared to be coming from the flared steel hose fitting going into the power steering unit. 

Steel hose and the leaky mess.


A couple turns with a 1/2″ open end wrench and again wiped down area.   I keep checking back to see if any new leaks appear. 

I can say… right now…. that my 70 Mustang doesn’t leak….I don’t think!!! 

So now I stand corrected, sort of.  Old car do leak, hey new cars leak!!  However, they don’t have to stay that way.  


1.  Check under your muscle or vintage car for any liquid (hey…it’s ok if is just water from you AC..usually) on a regular basis. 

2.  Get under the hood and after your ooo’ss and aaahhh’s at your magnificent creation, tight things up. ( I always ooo  and  aaahhh!!!) 

3. Get the car up in the air “”SAFELY”” and check the fittings you can’t see or reach from the top side. 

4. Chase down the leaks and clean the area to make checking for a continued leak easier. 

Thanks for reading. 


Updates for Abandon Car Contest Submit Pic and Win a DVD.

I’m always interested in pic of abandon cars.

Next month the Ms and I will be taking a road trip through Northern AZ and New Mexico as well as  Southern Colorado and Uta.

One of my objectives is snap some pics of abandon cars as we travel around.

For fun I’m setting aside a couple of car related DVDs  for anyone that submits a picture of an abandon car, truck, motorcycle and the like.

You can email( the image to me, or post it on Facebook (Tim Sweet) or the Average Guy’s Car Restoration, Mods and Racing Group.

Just post your name, “general” location of the subject matter, and picture.  I’ll contact you privately to get an address for mailing the DVD.

That’s all there is  to it.

Thanks for reading.


MOPAR’s 318 Part IV

Sorry MOPAR fans, I got sidetracked.  Let’s continue with the Dodge’s use of the 318.

Dodge didn’t get a V8 until 1953.  That first engine was a Hemi with 241.3 cid and only 7.1:1 compression.  They called it the 241.  It was improved upon for the next couple of years and very cool names like, Red Ram and Super Red Ram.

Approximately 1956, Dodge began using the 315 with the Polyspheric chamber. (Here is the link from my earlier post on the Polysheric head:

It wasn’t until 1960 that Dodge began using the 318.  This was, again, the Polyspheric chamber, and it came in two versions in 1960, a 2 barrel and a 4 barrel, with 230 hp and 255 hp respectively (of course) and both a 9.0:1 compression (that pretty good compression rate).  The 318 was used in the Dart Seneca, the Pioneer and the Dodge Phoenix got the larger of the two 318s.

The 318 carried on through out the ’60s with  the horsepower hovering between 230 and 260.  Of note during that time was where the 318 was used.  I was surprised to find, such as, in 1968 the Dodge 440 Coupe used the 318 (not the 440, which even non-MOPAR peeps know about that one).

The most cars sold by Dodge was the Dart throughout the 1960’s.  There were actually 3 sub-models of the Dart, the Sencea which had 3 different trim levels, the Pioneer which had 5 different trim levels and the Phoenix which was the most upscale sub-model with 4 trim levels.  The engine options were either the 225 slant six or the 318.

Here are a few pics:

1960 Dodge Dart Phoenix

1960 Dodge Dart Pioneer

1960 Dodge Dart Seneca (I love the fins!!!)

At the beginning of this series I mentioned that I had 1970 Dodge Dart and that it did have the 318 with a manual transmission.  There was only one version of the 318 for 1970 and it was has 230 hp and 9.0:1 compression with a bore and stroke of 3.91X3.31 in.  That made for a pretty quick car, as light as it was.

Well, I bet you can guess what comes next. Yes a sharp decrease horsepower. By 1972 the 318 was reduced to 150 hp and by 1975 the drop was to 145.  1976 was the last we saw of the 318 used by Dodge.  The 1976 Dodge Dart was the last year for the Dart, but it went out in a big way being offered with a Police Package Code A38.  One of the options in this package was the 318 and it regained some of its muscle to the tune of 220 hp.

This concludes the series on the MOPAR 318.   If you’d like to offer up an engine to see more information on drop me a comment here or email me at

Thanks for reading.


dodge 318 performance

Mom & Pop Racing Teams Highlighted

This site is getting a lot of hits and as all of my readers know  it’s not a commercial in I don’t sell anything, nor do I have sponsors.  I do it for fun.

A few months back while I was surfing the web I ran across a web site that offered to find small “Mom & Pop” racing teams sponsors for their companies.  I read the site and I thought it was a really cool ideal.  Then I got to thinking, which is often a laborious effort, and more times than not ends in some sort of less than optimal situation, I’d like to do something like that. Small draw back…..oh you know what’s coming…..Average Guy, Average budget….hell most of the time I can afford my this hobby of mine either.  So there won’t be any cash involved. (Hear that?!?!!??!  That’s the sound of internet browsers slamming closed!!!)

Well if you are still with me, here is what I’d like to do.

I’m going to add a portion to this site called “Mom & Pop’s Racing Corner.  I’d like to feature the small racing teams from anywhere in the in the world from time to time.  What’s in it for me?  Nothing.  What’s in it for the racing team?  Some recognition outside their local areas.  Maybe you get noticed pick up a sponsor or even a couple fans!!!

So if you want to play here is what I need:

1.  Name and size of your racing team

2. Details on the vehicles you race…i.e., cars, and trucks (other types might be considers but NO…ABSOLUTELY  NO…..LAWNMOWERS!!!!..unless they are really cool) like engine, mods, horsepower, transmission, you get the idea.

3. Type of racing (oval, drags, drifting)

4. A brief paragraph (or longer if you desire) on history and resent racing results and even next event you are going to attend.

5. Include some way for a reader to contact you. (email, facebook or other social media)

6. Include some pictures. At least one of your vehicle. It would be really cool to show the drivAdd an Imageer(s), owner(s), pit crew, engine builder, stuff like that.

I’ll select one every two weeks or so, depending on the response and run the information in that corner.

It’s going to be fun to introduce these small racing teams and learn more about their cars and their type of racing.

You can drop me a comment here and I’ll get back to your or just email  me directly at with your information.

This should be fun.

Thanks for reading


My Coupe taking of from the line. Before the new paint!!!

The New Vette & Missing the Crossfire

Before you judge me…LOOK!!!!!

2007 Corvette


Side view

Another View

And one more…..

The LS2

Yes the 1984 C4 Crossfire has a new home.

But  in its place is the 400 hp LS2 powered 2007 Corvette.

She has a 6 speed manual trans mission, Z51 suspension, leather and power everything, key-less entry and starting and a host of other cool stuff.  I’ll go into more detail in the next post.

I thought I’d miss the ’84 more then I do, it will be going to a good home and hopefully will stay a Crossfire.  The ’84 goes with twice as many miles on it then when I bought it, lots of new, original parts and some improved and a really awesome stereo, it’s a better car then when I got. It deserves to be a show car and not a daily driver/grocery getter/race car (drags and auto cross)/show car.  But it did them all very well, with the trophies to prove it.  It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot about that middle ground technology that was a huge advance from the older cars, a first of its kind in many ways and a stepping stone to technology that is in the replacement Vette.

I’ve heard from a lot of guys (pssstt…when I use the word “guys”  I mean all genders….just wanted to be clear ) that really miss driving their older Vettes, there’s really nothing that can capture the rawness of that kind of driving.  I’m bit luckier then those guys because I can still jump in to my ’70  Mustang (thanks to a very understanding better half) and get that feeling of old school nothing but metal and tires driving.  I think that alone makes it easier to let the ’84 go.

Thanks to the guys up at Dynamic Crossfire Solutions in Chandler, Az ( and all the guys in my Corvette club – Arizona Corvette Enthusiasts (ACE), they helped a ton with my learning curve…HEY  GUESS WHAT GUYS….I’m going to have a bunch of new ‘stuff’ to learn.

So get ready loyal readers, (all three of you!!!!).  I’m going to take my average skills, average tools, and now below average budget and take on new technology.

But where to start????!!!!????

I’ll be back to you on that.

Thanks for reading.


Corvettes Classic and New-ish

Well, I’ve been preoccupied over the past week with …ok…don’t shoot me, you classic car lovers…….working a trade for a 2007 Corvette with my 84 Corvette.  Yeah, I know..WTH???  

I know, I know.  I love my 84, it’s unique and the value has increased since I’ve purchased it.  But there is a desire to upgrade.  This isn’t the first time I’ve considered getting another Vette, I actually considered a trade for my Mustang for a second Corvette. 

I have to admit the recent troubles with my 84 does play a small part of the desire to replace it.  And this 2007 Black on black C6 with 4oo plus hp, with a 6 six speed manual trans, with only 40k miles.  Still under factory warranty.  But the price was just unbelievable.  The original deal fell through because we couldn’t agree on a good price for my Vette.  But it looks like I might have a second shot at it tomorrow. 

Even if, it’s hard to get rid of my first Vette and there is always the concern that you’ll regret it later.  So I figured, I just add a third car to my stable!!!!!…..oh….that’s funnier then you might think….considering  how UNDERSTANDING my wife has been with my current stable of classics….but even I know that’s way…yea…way too much for even a saint such that she is.  “Love you cutie”  (just in case she gets really bored and actually decides to read my dribble.) 

So I’ll catch you all up by the end of the weekend.’s what we are looking at.  Drop me a note and let me know what you would do!!! 

2007 Vette Trade or not too Trade????


Another view...give you or not to trade???


I have a fun give way coming up  as well as some more auto factoids and a quick fix for my Mustang. 

Thanks for reading 


Corvette Consternation Part 3 Fuel Foley

Let’s recap for a minute: 

1.  Rack and pinion failure 

2.  Power steering leak 

3. Electrical system failure 

As you know the electrical system failure was the alternator and it was replaced. 

A now the story continues…… 

I picked the car up and it started fine, even had power to flip the lights up (it could do that when I dropped it off) and I drive two miles home.  It ran just horrible. No power at all.  That was worrisome. 

Now the ’84 Vette has  a very simplistic computer that controls the fuel injectors and it does take a bit after a “power outage” for it to get the mixture correct.  This should happen after a couple of miles.  Well by the time I got home there was no change in the how utterly horrible it ran.  So I took it for another spin and still no change. 

So I disconnect the battery for a few minutes and then tried it again…still the Vette could barely keep idle and giving it gas made it shake and the idle dropped to 400, 500 rpm.  So I thought ..ok..I’ll drive it to work in the morning and see if the 10 + miles will straighten it. 

Next morning, a Volkswagen bus filled with 40 people could have passed me like I was up on blocks!!!! 

Ok…at this point I’m getting a little bit…P.O.’ed…(that’s short for… know what it’s short for!!)  I call up my guys and I explain my displeasure.  My take was that they should have test driven the car and that they have had the damn (that’s short for @#$@#%%!!!!!) thing enough to know that it wasn’t running right.  I expanded on my thoughts in person when I limped the car back there after work..which was not a great day…which might have contributed to my disposition.  Sorry Sean, but you ya know noting but love…its all good dude….Sean later told me I hurt the only “feeling” he had…I told him to get over it.  They had a new guy there and he was the one that test drove it after the electrical work. 

This was the start of a 3 day, all hands on deck, WTH…(that’s short for “What The Heck” >wink?<…I didn’t want to push the envelope with the “bad words”, because I would have had to add “put the kids to bed ..I’m about to use some adult verbiage”) is wrong with this car!!! 

I’m thinking it’s still electrical, computer was F ‘ed (short for “fried”) or there was a short somewhere.  I ended up at the garage a couple of nights after work poking around a bit – Tim Sisk the guy that runs the places is good about that.  

So here is what was happened. 

 It appears that the evap system that is supposed to take the fumes from the gas tank for emissions was filling up with fuel every now and then.  This system is supposed to push the fumes through a canister filled with charcoal and remove some of the harmful particles.  Of course it doesn’t stop there the “cleaner” fumes then are pass back into the intake manifold to be “re-burned” and sent out in the world through the Vettes exhaust system.  This simple hose highway runs along the entire length of the car and isn’t designed to handle fuel.  

The end result was fuel running through the hose design for only fumes, traveled the hose highway all the way to the front of  the car,  filling the charcoal canister – which wasn’t designed to hold gasoline.  Once full the gas has not where to go but across the engine, just following Avenue Hose, and dumping fuel directly in to the intake.  That’s the cause of the poor (understatement) idling and running. The car was drowning in fuel. 

Canister - now rendered useless.


How does this happen? Well it occurs when too much pressure builds up in the fuel tank.  The venting of the fumes is supposed to prevent that. Once the pressure builds, which doesn’t take long with a full fuel tank, the gas has to go somewhere, so it takes a trip up the evap hose. 

Now, here is where a guy starts to wonder  WTH (short for….) am I doing with a one off car???!!!  Really the 84 Vette is a one off production year.  There were not ’83 Corvettes sold and although it has the same basic engine as the ’82 Covertte crossfires, nothing else was the same, and the ’85 Vette was an entirely different animal.  This leads to a fairly significant lack of printed knowledge on the system..this many years out.  Why do I mention this?  Because it’s tough to find the knowledge after this long and the newer repair books treat the ’84 systems as ..”oh’s not the same as the ’85 or the “L83 (my engine) is similar.”  Gee..thanks for that.  But it is different and it’s not similar in many ways. 

Here is one.  

The fuel tank on ’85 Vette has what is called a check valve with allows vapor to travel through it, but if fluid enters it, a small ball is pushed by the denser liquid to a point where it will block the hole.  There is a diagram of that in many of the new  repair books.  But there are none for the ’84, and no, upon actually view the parts, you aren’t going to see anything that looks like the ’85 check valve. 

Ok..armed with is knowledge, I showed up at the garage and share the info.  This left us all scratching our heads.  There seemed not logical reason for pressure to build up. There is only the fuel pump down there (that we tested in a bucket of fuel and worked as it should)  there was only one other fuel delivery system was the “limp home” system which use the oil sending unit to push just enough, when the tank was low or fuel pump failed, to get you home or a repair shop. 

This lead into the third day, at which point the fuel module was removed from the tank again and it was discovered that there was indeed a check valve. 

There is a check valve built-in to the fuel module, it had a piece something (appeared to be plastic or maybe rubber) lodged in it large enough to keep the ball in a position where the it increased the pressure so much that sent it shooting fuel out up the vacuum line.  It was incorporated into the system in a way that was not conducive to separate replacement.  It was cleaned and that solved the problem..well most of it. 

The canister should be replaced find one it not easy. Right now we replaced the PVC valve with a right-angled and the canister is no longer in the flow. 

For my 84 that’s not a problem since there is no sensor that checks that and the car is running great. I’m not sure but I think she’d even pass emission, unless they were to visually see that it wasn’t connected. 

Of course I’m a big tree hugger and (you can tell because the Mustang gets 4 gallons to the mile ..hey that’s what dead dinosaurs are for!!!!) so I’ll eventual get it replaced. If I can find one.  In the mean time I’ve re-routed the  hose to protrude under neigth the engine so the fumes don’t fill the engine bay. 

Some pics: 

Hose Highway with Canister


End of the hose that is supposed to travel on to the Intake, now routed under the car, temporarily.


So there you have.  Good thing there wasn’t a car crusher in towing distance….nah…I love that car. 

Thanks for reading.