26 February 2011


Yesterday went to the Big 3 Parts Exchange just before dark,
which was probably a good thing.

When my wife and I go shopping,
we have an "imaginary dollars" game.
Figuring how much money we could have spent if we had the money or space.

Well yesterday I could have easily spent $5280.

$5 G's of goodness

These have always been out of my reach.
Well they're out of my reach cause I don't want to sell the good stuff I've got anyway.
But this thing made me consider it. Briefly.
Although I am considering it now that I'm typing this.

1950 mercury

Most of the parts were inside, the fenders, window trim and stuff.
This would be a fun car to build.
I'd piss people off and set it on our '90 lincoln towncar frame though!
(without all the electrics though)
Oh man that would rule...

A couple years ago I would have jumped on this too.

$280 of time sucking work

I can't believe this was going for only $280.
The left door was toast though,
and it wasn't just seasoned surface rust like tres huevos.
If I didn't have 3 other project bodies lying around it would be mine.

There was a bunch of parts,
but I'm so loaded with parts that it was good just to know the asking prices of stuff I have!
I spent a total of $0 real dollars
but $5280 imaginary dollars.

Last night it rained so hard that the parking lot flooded,
and the swap meet was cancelled!
Now, guy with the '50 merc, go home and stash that body away,
I'll start flipping stuff!


25 February 2011

big 3

Down here we are lucky to have one of the best car related swap meets around -
"The Big 3".
There's always some cool stuff,
and its a bummer to not go with a big wad of cash.

toys for the kids

Last year we went and it was totally pouring.
It was ridiculous, but fun.
I'm talking little rivers crisscrossing the lot, 6" or 8" deep!
Good times.

Sloppy's Pick of the Show

This was pretty cool too.

expensive toy

The place has everything,  even boats.

aluminum albatross

Usually there's a mini car show inside the show too.
This one looks like a good daily driver.

daily driver

But this one would hold the whole family,
in style.

big pimpin

I need one of those.

The best day for scores is Friday.
The best day to make money is Saturday.
The best day for deals is Sunday.
The best day for meals is Saturday,
the Bean Bandits usually host a BBQ.

bean bandits bbq

Typically I have very little money to blow,
but there's always something - tools, parts.

Of course I never take pictures of peoples piles of parts!

Anyway, see ya out there.


23 February 2011

scary pictures with ed and andi

Was digging around my computer files and found these pics.

Ed had a 29 pickup at the shop he was screwing around with,
and since he knows all the pinup girls he helped setup a photo shoot.
It's a good thing to have a '40 ford coupe lying around!
I thought it was funny cause of all the toolboxes I had they chose that red one,
which actually (still) holds my metric stuff!

I've seen some filmwork done and there is alot of repetition,
getting the perfect "take".
This was the first time watching a professional model shoot though,
and the photographer - Ama Lea - definitely knew her stuff.
What tripped me out was the model, Andi,
she had carefully choreographed poses.
I just took it for granted that models look like they look,
but they must spend hours in front of a mirror, practicing.

It was funny,
she strategically covered the steal your face sticker on the quarter window!

You may recognize some of Ama Lea's other photos,
you'll definitely recognize some of her models.
It was good to see she's still doing her thing.
Check them out here...

Ama Lea Photo

click on the "portfolio" link and there's a bunch of pics.
Some of it is truly scary but there's some good stuff in there too.



22 February 2011

cheap steering wheel

This is a "what I did over the weekend" post.
Actually it's a "what I did sunday night" post.

fakey bmw race car

Now that I think the overheating problem is solved in the BMW,
I've got to make a push to make the thing more presentable or at least driveable.
Than I can make the choice on what to do with it.
With gas prices getting to be $4+/gallon,
it's a good option for local transportation.

So Sunday spent some time trying to clean up the wiring,
but then for some reason started screwing around with the steering wheel.
It had a cheesy cover on it,
but underneath it had old electrical tape,
the kind that leaves that sticky film all over your hands.
So all of a sudden I started peeling it off.
Definitely one of those times when you're thinking,
"why did I start doing this?"

roachy wheel

Underneath the electrical tape was brittle fake leather,
but underneath that was a decent foam base.
I had an idea.


Another thing I didn't like about the wheel,
was the riser made it stick out really far.


It was a quick and dirty job,
but this car is all about that.
Also sanded those nubs off the foam base.


While sanding,
I also ended up scouring the anodize coat off the aluminum,
kinda a brushed look.

tressostar wheel

This was the idea -
I've had this old Tressostar road bike handlebar tape lying around for about a year now.
I had ebayed it cheap,
cause its white and looks like bandage tape probably.
But this was the perfect project for it.
If it wasn't 11pm I would have considered buying some black tape,
or brown or green,
but at $5 a roll, that would have been $20 and I'd still have that box lying around.
Also it would totally defeat the goal of spending any unnecessary $$.
This is a junkyard car!

shellac wheel

Now I could have gone down to get some RIT dye or something,
since the tape is cotton.
But the sticky part was so weak already,
I talked myself out of it.

After rolling the tape on,
the next step is a couple coats of shellac.
Shellac is a strange thing.
It's a resin secreted by a scale insect called Kerria Laca.
It's almost like varnish, but its not, it's shellac.

The cotton tape + shellac coating makes a period 60's/70's italian road bikes.
So since this thing is a 1968 BMW 1600/2002, its perfect.
It's a strange grip too,
cause it feels sticky but doesn't leave your hands sticky.

Anyway after a couple coats of this stuff,
it looked like a cast.
Now I need all my friends to sign it!

cast-like steering wheel

Next time maybe black, or green or brown maybe!
I like it though but I also like crazy panel paint,
even if it is unfinished.

hippy bmw 2002

While pulling out extra wiring,
I also ripped out the dash.
Why, I don't know.
I'm going with the rally car style I guess.
I just got to get rid of that red paint.


21 February 2011

hurtlocker truck - shop cleanup

So last week my side mission was cleaning up the shop.
The goal is to get the tres huevos 40 in there.
Coincidentally another goal was to get the hurtlocker truck back on 4 wheels.
I love killing two birds with one stone.

There was alot of stuff lying around various places of the shop.
- frame, eng/tranny, fenders, body, rearend, front wheels, hood...
for lack of a better term, there was no feng shui.

little by little

It took a while to get back together.
The frame is still in primer,
and there were some holes to aug out,
and a little bit of sanding.
I'll leave the final sanding for later though.
Ken spent hours cleaning that dang engine and tranny too.


There's a couple key parts on order.
Unfortunately he tossed the rubber body mounts.
so the body is vaguely in position.
I'll wait for the mounts to come in before starting the actual fender bracketry,
for now the fenders are actually tackwelded to the body!
Don't worry,
this truck has alot worse issues than grinding a couple little welds.

charge it

I warned Ken to pay off his credit cards,
as now is the time to buy.
He found this nice aluminum tank from No Limit Engineering.
It fit perfectly in that hole in the rear of the frame.
Better have, the measurements were on there website catalog!
Expensive little bugger,
but I doubt I could have made it any cheaper, and be as clean.
Most importantly it has baffles and hopefully is made in the U.S.

trimmed tank

So far just trimmed the side ledge things to fit a little lower.
Tomorrow I hope to weld in some simple flatbar mounts.

pissed looking truck

Whoever designed this series truck was crazy.
The change in the first series 1954 and earlier chevy trucks,
to these '55 -57 chevrolets is very drastic.
They just look crazy, but in a good way.


Hopefully the truck will be close to this ride heighth.
The rubber body mounts will raise it a small amount,
and so will his DONK rims.
But there will be additional weight that should keep it close,
if not I'll have to lower the body mounts!

Anyway unfortunately its just mocked up like this,
but its nice having the shop cleaner.
I'll take a pic and edit it in here later on.


20 February 2011

segue sunday -saltyballs to DJANGO

What can I talk about here that pertains to these...


My grandmothers (nana) meatball recipe,  (my dad's mom's italian)
jumped a generation and now taken over by my wife.
So good.
If there ever was a comfort food for me, this is it.
The spaghetti sauce with meatballs, oh man.

But what better music to eat spaghetti to than this.
We've got these 5 ennio morricone songs on our Itunes,
the kids love them.

1- fistful of dollars

There's a scene when there in the old man's cabin,
and its shaking from the train.
So trippy.
Couldn't find it on youtube though.

2 - for a few dollars more

Out of the Clint Eastwood/sergio leone series,
I like this movie the best.
Lee van Cleef has this badass colt s.a.a. revolver.

YouTube - Clint Eastwood vs Lee Van Cleef!!

3 - the good the bad and the ugly - ecstacy of gold

Tuco was a hotrodder.
YouTube - Tuco's pistol
I doubt you could interchange the different brands,
but its fun to watch.

4 - the good the bad and the ugly - the trio

Yeah doubled up on this movie. oh well.
YouTube - The Good, The Bad And The Ugly - Showdown

5 - the mercenary - L'Arena

Ultimate showdown -
Ripley's believe it or not Jack Palance vs the clown guy.
Kill Bill II ripped this song off.

the missing 6th -

If we're going to segue into the great spaghetti westerns,
than I gotta talk about arguably one of the best,
sergio corbucci's 1966 DJANGO.

Of course it has the worst english voice overs ever,
and some of the most unrealistic gunfights,
But its just a badass flick,
brutal and violent, with Franco Nero and a hot Loredana Nusciak.
Way better if you can find the italian version.

Impossible to find the english or italian theme song to download!
Oh well.

If it's raining where you're at,
go grab one of these,
you won't be disappointed!


18 February 2011

Papa's Shed - penetray color wheel

So my grandmother (Nana) has been bugging us about cleaning up Papa's shed.
He died a couple years ago and she's been trying to clear out all his treasures.

papa's shed & truck

She had warned us that the gardener was going to be taking a bunch of stuff,
so yesterday my brother and I went to check it out.

*good thing Nana's doesn't go on the computer.
She would be really upset of that picture with all the junk outside!

treasure chest

In his later years,
he would hang out here for hours,
listening to the ballgame, tinkering with stuff,
talking to the people walking up and down the alley...

papa's treasures

Yep, this is it.
What were you expecting?
It was just a garden tool shed!
Full of the typical paint, nuts/bolts, car fluids, bug poisons...
But hey, what's that down there...

penetray motorized color wheel 

If you know anything about 60's car shows,
you'll know what this is!

deluxe model

Not quite sure why he had this,
there was no electricity back there.
He did have a knack for picking up cool stuff though.

150 watts of fun

Fortunately the light bulb worked.
Now I just need to build a show car!

My wife was on one of her mekimusic tears,
usually means she was thinking about her family...

So you're wondering about that old green pickup?
We'll talk about that later.


17 February 2011

1968 bmw 1600/2002 - back to basics

A couple months ago,
I posted something about a P.O.S. BMW 1600 I thought I scored.
For some reason it seemed like a good deal,
it was a running registered car ya know,
I could handle it, right!?

stool time

Well the main problem was overheating.
I had swapped out the radiator and fan already,
and also did the points, timing and valve adjustment.
Everything was wrong enough to seem like it should be the answer
to the overheating problem.
But no.
I'd drive the 2.5 miles to the shop,
and it would be fine than all of a sudden shoot up super hot.
The same thing going home, fine, than like 4 blocks away, super hot.

Ok, so maybe the thermostat is plugged or stuck.
Nope, boiled it and it was ok.
I tried flipping it on craigslist.
(this was the same time I sold the speedway bike)
Got some punk kids who couldn't drive a stick and offered half,
it was great they were so baked.
And a couple other restorer idiots all couldn't drive a manual transmission. Crazy.
I like not being a desperate seller, (very rare!)
cause its fun to say,
"you know what, I don't think this is the right car for you"
"you know what, thanks for wasting my fukking time"
"Nah, you don't get your deposit back 4 days later"
(all  different people)

So I decided to keep it a little longer.

beer + rattlecans + off early = 

I thought I was a pretty good troubleshooter,
but this is my first beemer and there is some trippy german engineering,
but also some trippy tweeker re-engineering!

Anyway one night I'm driving home and again its too hot,
so I decide to check the timing again, with the timing light.
Of all things the positive clamp grounds out,
and blows the whole electrical system.
The fuses looked ok, and no wires were fried,
but there was no power.
I figured there was a hidden fuse or short, but couldn't find it.
Than I ran out of time, had to get Chief ready for GNRS.

Well you know how your mind starts festering over little problems?
Since I had no time to look at it, the solutions got crazy.
Besides rewiring the car, changing timing chain and plastigaging the 2002 engine,
I even considered throwing in a chevy 350/4 spd I have laying around!

Last weekend finally decided to work on it,
since it was blocking the garage I had to push it back and forth up the alley.
Piece of $hit.
Than I see that some a$$hole stole the 2011 registration sticker.

I decided to move the battery to the original spot by the radiator,
someone had put it in the trunk, with a 15 foot battery cable.
While I'm taking the ground strap off,
I realize the ground strap is attached to the body with a tiny rusty lag bolt,
straight to the sheetmetal, paint and all. No contact.
After putting it back in its stock position, the electrical worked!
Easy fix.
Glad I didn't tear out all the old wiring!

So I go to start up the engine,
and its running okay, other than the exhaust leak.
Than I notice something.

weber 32/36 water activated choke

This is what the carb looks like after it was running for almost 10 minutes.
See it?
If you did you win.

The reason why I liked this car,
why I could see through the fact that the interior was cut out and tons of stock parts were missing,
was that someone had hot rodded this thing,
big brake kit, new brake lines, bigger 2002 engine, ('68 came with a 1600),
no smog, new tires, weber carburetor...

These 32/36 weber progressive carbs came with a water controlled choke,
and the whole time the water wasn't hooked up!
It always had a weird smell to the exhaust,
but it didn't smell like it was too rich, but I guess I didn't know.

wired choke

It took about 5 minutes to remove the choke, plug the water outlet,
and wire the lever to stay open.
That was it.
No more overheating.

So now I'm not sure what to do -
Keep, sell, fix it up and keep or sell...
I've already started on this crazy panel paint that my wife hates -
Enough that I never finished it!
I also found the junkyard 5-spd overdrive tranny to swap in,
that would be a good house-garage project,
especially since there's tune's in the garage now!

The best thing is its driveable,
so for now it will wait.


16 February 2011

wall of sound III - glutton

I've been holding out on this one...

After the sale of the speedway bike,
I was jonesing for a louder system.
That 60w realistic amp wasn't bad,
but it couldn't handle 8 hours on (volume level) 6+,
with the loudness button.

december 2010

So the craigslist hunt was on,
and I found a capable replacement.
Listed only as "kenwood stereo" with a picture and a price.
Not even a model #!
So after a quick call,
picked up an original owner Kenwood kr-7600, about 85wpc.
Thanks Dom!

kenwood kr-7600 receiver & sae 180 equalizer

The guy bought this back in 1978!
Even had a packet with the owners manual and original receipts.
Back then these 2 components were almost $900!

Of course I had to tear it apart first thing.

2 12000 uf capacitors

I knew it meant business after seeing those 2 12000 (uf) capacitors.
Those basically store the output energy, like batteries.
The realistic only had 2 6500 (uf) capacitors!

See those older wood sansui sp-1500 speakers on the top photo?
Well the Kenwood blew the woofers within a couple songs.
I still used them by cutting the woofers out and using the midrange/tweeters
since the huge Technics speakers (sb-7000) were so bass heavy.
Didn't sound very good though!

This was right when Chief got accepted to the GNRS,
so I knew there was going to be some heavy shop time.
I needed better speakers.

My wife thinks I'm losing it sometimes cause I compare Craigslist hunting
to that movie "The Matrix".
You know the dudes that are watching the computers with those symbols looking for patterns?
It just reminds me of that cause if you search correctly the things you need appear.

So about 9:30pm one night this ad pops up - klipsch speakers.
No pictures, just a price OBO and a phone number.
Being so late I didn't want to call so I texted him,
and set the deal up for the next day.

white van speakers

Have you ever heard of the "white van speaker scam"?
Basically its 2 guys that say they were shipped extra speakers,
and they'll sell them for cheap.
Now they sell them on craigslist too.
Check this link for the brands...

White van speaker scam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Right outta high school these guys scammed me for 2 pairs,
fortunately the ATM limit was only $200 back then!
The cases weren't bad just the speakers were junk,
fortunately Radio Shack sold replacements and I used them til they were stolen!

Because of this,
I'm wary about used speakers.
However it was obvious the guy bought them new,
and these were, well, awesome.

what's wrong with this picture?

Klipsch Quartets - these things have an insane sound.
I heard things I never knew were in certain recordings!
Well this setup lasted about 2 days.

klipsch quartet

While listening to this show...

Grateful Dead Live at Fillmore East on 1971-04-28 : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive

One of the speakers took a dive.
It was like slow motion, I was about 10 feet away!
Fortunately it didn't rip the speakers or break the cabinet,
just the cheesy molding on the bottom.

modified klipsch quartet

A couple grade 8 bolts fixed it up no problem.
Weird thing is if you look closely I had tied it up on that shelf,
but somehow with the crazy bass it just slid down.

battle scarred klipsch quartet

Well so much for the resell value!
These things thump,
I doubt I'll ever get rid of them...
Check the 10" woofer in the back as well as those crazy horns.

wall of sound - version v?

With everything secure,
this system powered me through the whole RPU build for GNRS.
It sounded great with only the Klipsch speakers, crisp and loud,
and just enough power for both speakers at the same time.
Since Chief was stuck on the other side of the shop,
loud was more important than distortion free.

Can you tell where this is going?

About this same time I had found something called a Sansui 9090.
To many it's one of the best receivers ever made.
Well it was way out of my price range, over $300,
especially with all the brake lines, spray paint and stuff I still needed.

Anyway I had contacted him early on,
and found out he was a photographer for Surfer magazine - Rob K.
Than the ad disappeared so I figured it had sold.
After the show I was selling an old longboard,
and noticed the Sansui was for sale again.

sansui 9090 receiver

Yep, I'm an idiot.
This thing is huge.
Remember those capacitors on the Kenwood?
On the Sansui they're hidden underneath that board somewhere.

sansui 9090 nudie

Besides making a little money on the deal,
the best part about this machine is parts were rebuilt by Quadbob,
the Sansui master who I wrote about in an earlier post.
It's rated at 110wpc but they were known to easily push 30 watts more.

holy chit

So this is it. I'm done.
This thing frigging cranks both speakers, loud and clear,
and not even past 4 on the volume control!
There's something about the sound too,
it's a fuller sound, even on the lower volumes.
Amazing for something from 1977!

Now the realistic is used for the TV/DVD in the house,
the Kenwood is in the garage with some freebie speakers I found,
so nothing went to waste.

sansui qrx-5500a

Well, might as well add this other Quad Sansui I use for the computer!
It's been a chore and I've really learned how to use contact spray cleaner.

jake & open sansui

If you're ever thinking of upgrading your sound system,
try searching for some of this old stuff.
It's pennies on the dollar for real quality -
Just be picky and look for stuff that's been taken care of,
and research the model online before you buy.