Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Got up this morning motivated to DO something..... Ah, stimulate the U.S. economy, yes! No, I did not get my 'bama check but throwing caution to the winds, I took the '34 down and ordered a new front carpet to replace the one I cut up when I installed the saginaw 4-speed.
That accomplished, I decided to go look at a Craigslist piece on the way home. Of course the unit is old and used, but so am I!
The seller was very courteous and I procured the unit at a very fair price. I still need pulleys and a service kit but its better to be blown than naturally aspirated (I remember someone telling me that!).
The search for an appropriate body for the '32 is not progressing well at all. I guess that I must be the only one who thinks rusted out field trash is not the jewel of the month. Maybe fiberglass???? not sure yet.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fun Stuff

A few years back (50???), when we were kids, there was a large chrome plater in East L.A. When we learned of it, we promptly removed everything imaginable from the "A" and took it down to them in a box. We were sent to the back door where they chuckled at us, took the box, and told us to come back in a week. How cool was that??
The chrome fan blade was my pride and joy and I had to have one again. I sent my NOS '54 blade to Tom in L.A. and he had it plated at Superior Plating in Pomona. These people do very fine show quality work. I would not be concerned over their workmanship...ever. The bottom line is that I am now cooler than ever!

The little cheapie Ebay air cleaner that I had was probably adequate but after several cruel comments from friends??? I stepped right up to the plate and upgraded the intake system with a cast aluminum unit that is no doubt worth at least a 0.50 improvement in E.T. One can justify anything.... it simply requires a little thought and too much free time. 

Not being experienced with the cooling characteristics of the 34' Chevy, I can now discuss the summer drive. Summer here is 105 to 115F with asphalt temperatures of 150F+. Considering that the fan is running slower than normal (1.1 times crank speed) I feel that the new radiator core is doing the job. Heavy traffic or long signals result in the engine coming up to 200F but 1/2 mile at 25/35 mph brings it back down to the thermostat (180).
I believe that the addition of the grill retarded the cool down time and sped up the heating at a signal.
I must emphasize that we are able to cool down 700 lbs of cast iron 20F in 1/2 mile. That seems appropriate to me.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Radiators n' Stuff

I was actually amazed that the 77 year old radiator worked as well as it did with the later engine setup. Consider that the 235 has twice the power of the original 207 and then add the supercharger and operate it in the HOT dry desert climate with the water pump/fan slowed 30%...... impressive!

With the Harrison radiator warrantee expired 76 years ago, I guess the leaks that developed in the middle of the core are not an indication of poor quality.
It was time to renew the cooling system.

Reviewing all the options, copper tube/fin, aluminum tube/fin, vertical flow/cross flow, and original V core, I discussed this with a very experienced radiator guy. Hands down, he recommended recoring the original with the most efficient core available which is the V core original design. It worked perfect after 77 years, and it will do the job better than anything else now!

Just a hint, changing the radiator in a 34' is a project. The radiator sits in the shell and the shell is supported by the core support, ugh. Everything comes out at once. 
Since most of the bugs are worked out of this car now, it was time to install the grill that required so many hours.

My original grill was painted silver with alternating fins painted black. The grill surround was badly rusted chrome. The grill was uniformly lightly pitted and the chrome shop said it would not polish. The surround was trash.

The grill was media blasted and then powder coated chrome silver with two coats of clear on top. Nice!! I had the surround media blasted and then hand sanded it until all the chrome and copper and most of the pits were gone, then etching and building primer and hours and painted with the grill shell. It actually came out very nice.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It's been a while, but I haven't been slacking off.
Once I had all the parts in hand, it was a matter of replacing the flywheel ring gear, resurfacing the flywheel again, and building another saginaw 4 speed.

This entails removing the rear shocks, sliding the axle back, then the transmission,clutch and flywheel. The rear shocks were not functional and were severely gummed up with some kind of goo that nothing but lacquer thinner would touch. After two days of soaking in a mixture of lacquer thinner and acetone, I finally got them apart to determine that the housings were worn out. they would have functioned as designed, but would have leaked badly.
I fabricated  some new bolt on mounts and the Monroe Gas-Matics bolted right on.

The ring gear appeared good when I assembled the system (chewed that up). I originally used a new rebuilt clutch set that came with the first motor (I knew better!!) and replaced that with a NEW LUK set this time.
The saginaw is now the single ring unit with 2.54 low, 1.80 second, 1.30 third, and 1.0 fourth, and how sweet it is! Nicely close ratio, and low is a pleasure to drive. I highly recommend this trans with the 4.10 axle ratio and 27" tires.

I rebuilt the single ring Saginaw (1), then rebuilt the 2 ring that I took out (2), sold that one and then built another 2 ring for the same guy out of two cores (3).
This approaches "WORK", bad, very very bad!

Everything works great. I really enjoy it when a plan comes together.

It is impossible to install the 4 piece hood by yourself without an overhead hoist! Yesterday I disassembled the hood and installed the top half today with leather tiedowns. Kinda interesting eyeballing the hood ornament without fans and supercharger pulleys spinning around. We'll try this for  while and see if it is what I want.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Retirement is GREAT!!!

My days are full... you have to keep busy.
I finally received the close ratio (single ring) saginaw with a 2.54-1 low gear. As usual, this wasn't the low milage, clean, one owner that it was supposed to be... but 1st gear and 4th gear were very nice! I found an excellent source for saginaw parts at M/R Racing. These people KNOW saginaw and if they tell you that they have a very good used gear, it's an EXCELLENT used gear. Reasonable and fast shipping (found 'em on Ebay).
I replaced 2nd and 3rd gear and both sliders as well as the brass, then installed the Patrick's main shaft and the new bearings/adapter from the 2 ring trans. I will end up with an extra good 2 ring transmission to sell.

A new (not rebuilt!) clutch, flywheel ring gear, and surfacing will put this Chevy back together correctly. A great deal of cleaning and a revision of the rear shocks will get me back on the road.

I feel that I actually won one! Disassembled the 327 in the roller to a short block and found virtually everything is new. This engine has less than 3k miles on it I am sure! The heads are fresh with the .194 valves and are the large chamber which will be perfect for a 1-5 psi blower.
I assembled the engine with some new stuff and added a rebuilt turbo 350, then stuffed it back in the chassis.
The 1930-31 model A coupe is the body that I want to use but I have not located a suitable unit at a decent price yet. At $4.00/gal. for diesel, you can't drive to Tennessee for one.
I will keep looking, there are lots of them out there.

New program: Inheritance Reduction

I would not want my girls to stress out should I have the big one.

My Other Ride

In my other life, this is my pride and joy. I have actually owned this 1973 Scout II longer than any other vehicle....EVER!
Obtained this vehicle from a customer for an invoice he was unable to pay. Believe me it was a real dog but I needed it and the Scout II is a very strong unit.
This one was a 258 six with a T90 three speed and a single speed bicycle chain transfer case. I sold the six, then sold the transmission, and chucked the t-case in the dumpster.
When it went back together, I installed another used Jeep 258 with a Jeep truck T-18 four speed (6-1 low), dana 20 T-case and a track-lok rear differential. Fortunately I was able to add power steering and an old but decent Meyers 92" plow. I am able to push through up to 30" of fresh powder or 10-12" of older snow.
This is a must to get to snow camp in the winter.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Busy Now!!

Would you look at what rolled into my garage when I wasn't looking. I now have additional "stuff" to search Ebay for. This looks like a "shop til ya drop" situation.
Actually, I have never owned a project this clean in my life!
Still waiting for '34 chevy parts and plan to rework the clutch and 4 speed when all is in hand.
I might add that the other half of this entity is not as thrilled with this new addition as I had hoped.
Oh well.......

Click on picture

Friday, January 28, 2011

We Bad!!!

Evidently the published formulae for supercharger boost are summarized with "assemble and instrument the unit, then test and change pulleys as necessary" ???
Installed a smaller 3.4" pulley (2.9 lbs.??-1.69 pulley ratio) and tested. Now reading 1.7lbs. and WOW!! This is a definite power boost.
While I don't feel that that a change from Radial TA's to BFG drag radials is necessary at this time, I was impressed with the power increase.
The MP90 is flowing about 260 cfm at 6760 rpm and is now starving above 3000 engine rpm due to my expert surgical mod's to the junk Edelbrock 500. This seems to be quite evident as the boost drops off above 3000 rpm. We need a Holley 0-8007 390 cfm with vacuum secondaries.

Just click the image for full sized view.

Now with 1000 miles on the installation, a few clutch bugs have shown up and the Saginaw transmission ratios are no fun to drive. With the 3.11 low and 4.10 rear axle gearing, I need to shift before crossing an intersection and can start in 2nd gear with better results. I am going to change to the single ring Saginaw gear set with the 2.54 low gear. I will rip it all apart in a couple weeks and take care if all of this at one time.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


After 6 years of an occasionally stressful education by Dad (Boss-metal man), Ray and Alfonso (4EVER FOUR), Gary and Larry (street rods), my past is evidently in control. I just cannot continue the concept!
Growing up with Dick and Tom didn't help!
It would require $2K to have the wires cleaned, powdercoated, new tires-tubes-liners-hubcaps and I just don't like the look, period. Whitewalls...ugh!

The supercharged 235 fits nicely under the hood, the saginaw is invisible except for the shift knob, but this cannot go on.

I ordered a set of special smoothies from Gary McLean
in Fresno, Ca. (15", 6 lug, 4 1/2" fronts, 5 1/2" rears, 3 1/4" max back space) that bolt right on the '34. BFG Radial TA's large and small. Reasonable pricing, long wait, but they fit!
Just the change of wheels results in that street look that I had to have. The brakes are
working better and better and the smaller tires improve them even more.
The car steers and drives so much better with fresh rubber on the ground.

Now if I just knew how to paint...I'm going to learn!


The original concept on this project was based on Larry's 1931 Model A coupe (at 15, I was more than impressed) in 1960, in East L.A. His Model A was all black, stock height, with 16" black Kelsy Hayes wires and 600.16 blackwalls. Appearing like a stock Model A, under the hood was a trick flat head V8 with aluminum heads and an aluminum single 4 barrel intake. Very clean sleeper. At 15 years, I was in love with those polished aluminum heads and chrome acorn caps. I was NOT impressed with the orange, used 265 Chevy V8 in my Model A.
A few years later, I visited Larry at home where he was involved in installing a Chevy small block with dual quads in the A.
Last summer, I visited Larry again during a trip through the Northwest. In his garage sits the Model A (a garage find!!!). After 50 years, he still has the car. Even though the car has not been run in 30+ years, I think he may put it back on the road.
Absolutely AMAZING!