Monday, March 24, 2014

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A bad note

Today turned out to end on a bad note.

After watching an interesting caponeauto video (warning, salty language mixed in with good info) where he used Clean-Rite's Purple Power De-Ruster with great effect.  After seeing people on YouTube using vinegar or molasses (not endorsed methods here) to remove rust from car parts, it was nice to see someone who knows what he is doing.  Phosphoric acid is the base chemical you want for iron rust removal, and Purple Power has it.  So does Naval Jelly.  Other acids, like acetic acid (CH3COOH) the active acid in vinegar, get down into the pores of the metal as well as into seams and other places, and continue to rust out the metal.  Phosphoric acid reduces the rust and leaves a protective coating that allows you a bit of time to get some primer on the otherwise bare metal and stop the rust.

So, I set about to find this stuff, or something similar.  After discovering neither Lowes nor my local Auto Zone carry the product, I took a peek at the Clean-Rite.Com product page.
So far, so good, and there are several Advance Auto Parts stores close to the house, so I stopped by the closest one on Western Avenue.  They didn't have any and did not remember ever hearing of the product either.  I stopped by another Advance on Kingston Pike.  They did not have any either and they checked their online catalogue and the product did not come up at all.  Seemed strange.

Later I checked Pep Boys and they did not have any, but that was expected.  They were not listed by the manufacturer as a retailer of the product.  An odd thing there, they were sold out of Loctite Naval Jelly (all varieties) and just about anything else that contained phosphoric acid for rust removal.

Checked home depot and they had Naval Jelly, and some other stuff, but nothing that one could spray from a squirt bottle, which is the preferred method for killing the rust on my 1972 Charger.

Now, for the really bad note.  When I got home, I emailed the good folks at Clean-Rite.Com informing them that Advance no longer has their product in their store catalogue. Their response:
Vernell May
3:10 PM (1 hour ago)
to me 
They used to carry it but do not carry it anymore. You can get it from or you can order from me. 
Its $26.78 per case plus shipping. You have to send a check or money order in advance. We do not take credit cards. If you are interested let me know how many you want and the address and I will get a total. 
There are 6 quarts in a case and we do not break cases. 
Vernell May
Aiken Chemical Co.
864-968-1250864-968-1252 (Fax)
Well, no thanks Vernell, I don't need a case, just one bottle.  Sounds like you have known for a while that Advance does not carry your product, yet you still show them as a retailer for this product on your website.  I'll try some of that stuff I saw at Lowes and report on how it works.

Monday, March 17, 2014


When I get back to painting my car, after ALL of the mechanicals are taken care of, it is going back to the original base color, F-5 2461 Bright Yellow Green Poly as shown on the chart below.  The hood blackout, door louvers, and trunk lid stripe will be satin black.

Via the A Bodies blog.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Suspension Systems

Looks like I have settled on the <a href="">front suspension that will go under the Six-Pack 318 one of these days.  One of the problems with my car is the torsion bar system that came from the factory.  Instead of coil springs, it has long, heavy torsion bars and it does not handle very well.  This resto-mod is for a good handling street car, not a vehicle that restores bad assemblies to their original badness.
What sold me was watching installation videos for their system vs. others.  This one bolts in, literally, and replaces an assembly that unbolts, literally, from the vehicle.  Others required cutting and trimming of existing pieces or drilling extra holes.  With the options I want, it is a little less expensive than most of their competition too.  Less expensive is not the primary factor either, but it is a factor.  That was the last thing I looked at when making this selection.

Something others should know, a good place to start for your suspension selection is at your header/exhaust manifold selection.  Those parts take up a lot of room under your hood and could collide with the wrong suspension system.  A stock exhaust is less of an issue, but as soon as you decide you are going with something different you need to start checking other things.

I was in luck, since TTI offers headers of a style I like, with a finish I want too.  The plan is using their headers with bungs installed at ports 1 and 8 (farthest forward exhaust tube on driver's side, farthest back on the passenger side) for exhaust gas temperature readings.  Ceramic unpolished outer coating that, to me, has a stainless steel look, and an internal thermal coating.  I would prefer they were made of stainless to begin with and add the other coatings, maybe I'll find some others like that.

The lucky part is TTI lists some suspension systems that their headers will clear, and that is where I started evaluating those combinations.  They also inform their customers that steering and starter modifications need to be made to accommodate their product.

For the exhaust, that will be all stainless, ceramic and thermal barrier coated, all the way to the tips.  Might add a bung at the X pipe to pull O2 readings, even though it is not used by the carburation system.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Prepping for First Video

Getting pretty close to making my first video of this project, just vacillating over how to present the information.

I need to cover the details of how a Rallye package differs from the other 1972 Charger variants.  Found several examples of how folks out there mixed and matched various details from different years and made some pretty cool cars.  Not exactly my style, but hey, if it is your car do what you like.  Let your custom freak flag fly!

Need to show how I am changing the appearance too, like the black stripe along the bottom that is also a rustproofing precaution.  On that item, maybe in a different video, show what happens when you use a perfectly good, even superior product in the wrong manner and how bad results follow.

Not sure where the pictures the previous owner gave me have gotten lost to. Probably died on an older computer.  Still have plenty of my own pix from when I was doing the body work.

Of course, there are some features I want to build in that are far in the future.  Luckily, these features are getting cheaper and better over time.  Things like a full surround video recording system, or climate controlled bucket seats.

Right now, the first big expense is going to be in the transmission.  I probably have a cracked hub in the torque converter and that is where the transmission fluid is leaking.  So, new converter when I get the planetaries, clutch packs, and other gizmos upgraded.

Still working out how, or even if, I am going to toss this project onto Fund Anything.  I think it would be a fun show if presented right.

Scouting Machine and Transmission Shops

Hey you people, thanks for stopping by!

Yesterday and today I went on a couple of field trips to places that specialize in some of the work I cannot do myself: Transmissions and Engine Machining shops.

One of the downsides about being around the Knoxville area is that it is not really MOPAR country.  The predominant hotrods around here are Ford and GM, so my trip ended up being a bit of a detective story mixed in with a fact-finding mission.

I started off prudently with a Google search for machine shops in Knoxville, and that was not as productive as you might think, especially since I drive around without any of that newfangled Global Position System stuff in the Jeep.  Over on Middlebrook Pike I decided to stop in at Machine Fabrication & Supply and see if they had a good machine shop to recommend.  We had a nice chat about all manner of other stuff too.

However, we had to run down the names and locations of several shops that were no longer in business, along with my specific needs.  Since I am not building a race car, a place called Eagle Racing Engines was probably not the place for me to waste anybody's time with. What I need is pretty basic: Line honing, boring, and cylinder clearancing.  the guys suggested B&R Automotive on Chapman Highway.

B&R has the right look for a machine shop anywhere: Open and lots of engine blocks with a busy staff.  I chatted with them and got a very good feeling that those fellows knew what they were doing.  They also filled me in that when I bring my engine to them, they want it taken down as close to just the block as I can get it, as well as bringing any parts I want them to install, like the crank.  They also do heads and other aspects of heavy duty engine work.  However, their main line is big engines, like industrial diesel engines and such.

B&R referred me to Performance Products on Callahan road for rotating assemblies and such.  Their resident MOPAR guy said PP had the best deals on rotating assemblies.

So, today after doing my duty and driving my mother-in-law to several of her appointments, I got back out and checked around some more.  First stop was Transmission World, which has the other "right look" for their type of business.  Lots of customer work parked outside, and the inside was pretty clean too.  They also had a 1972 Charger up on an indoor rack, which is just gravy really.

Spoke with the manager, Jim Ray, and he was familiar with what I want to do with my Torqueflite 904 transmission.  A very positive sign for my first transmission shop stop.

Next up, drive across the county to Performance Products.  We had a good long chat while the guy behind the counter tried to find the rotating assembly.  Bad news, he had them in the catalogue for every MOPAR V-8 except mine.  We chatted about various other stuff, like good head manufacturers vs. bad ones and the like.  Through the conversation he mentioned Hensley's and asked me if I knew of them.  I didn't by name, but by the location I think it is a place my late uncle Jim used to talk about all the time.  I almost didn't go there right away, but I said "what the hay" and set a course for Clinton Highway.

Paydirt!  When I arrived, I got to talk to Ken Hensley himself and he took a good 30 minutes out of his busy day to talk to me about this 318 Six Pack project.  Through decades of experience, his shop knows how to clearance a block for a stroker, he had immediate suggestions for the right heads, cam, and intake manifold, as well as a strong reasoned opinion on EFI vs. Carbs.

I was still deciding between MPFI and a Holley Six-Pack setup and now I've decided: Holley.  For heads and intake, one answer: Edelbrock.  I mentioned the negative things I'd heard about Edelbrock's recent history and he explained every concern to my satisfaction.  So when I get to the heads and intake, I will be going Edelbrock and Hensley's will be smoothing out the ports.

Now that I have that decision made, I have a fuel line to clean out or replace so I can get my engine running again.  Going to try the carb cleaner method first before going for a replacement.

Please, help me keep my Pirate Dinghy afloat and donate with the buttons on the right.