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Cars > Crazyfast79TA’s Garage > Blog

 

Tentetive Plans

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Thank you motortopia friends (all 2 that responded) for supporting my plan to ditch the S-10 for now in favor of rebuilding my Nova! I think I've finally got the paint-job idea narrowed down to Black and white, or white and black. I want to use the "Yenko Deuce" stripe but I don't think I'll use the Yenko name. I don't want to be accused of trying to fake a Yenko. I just like that stripe. So tell me folks. which should I do?

Planning Again! Oh Boy!

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Yep, I'm thinking again. Don't worry I won't hurt myself. lol! I've got too many irons in the fire right now so something has to give. I think I'm going to delay the V8 S-10 project and keep that 350 for my Nova. I'll get the Trans Am running again and maybe, just maybe fix some rust on it before summer. I'm going to jump back into this Nova when I get the T/A tidied up. I'm so sick of looking at this car just sitting here in pieces and all the plans that run through my head. Besides, I think it would be much cooler to have a classic muscle car than a hot-rodded small truck.

Jessica's Room Is Done!

By Crazyfast79TA

It took all summer and into the new year, but it's done enough for her to move into it! I used all my time and money to get this room remodeled and presentable for my step-daughter. She's the daughter I always wanted but never had until I married Michelle. She was 12 when I married Michelle so she wasn't a little girl but she still means the world to me. We traded off our 4x4 Chevy truck so she could have her Sport-Trac like Michelle has. It's an older model but still really nice. She deserves nice things. I think she knows how much work I put into this room and what I sacrificed to do it. I really want her to know how special she is to me. She picked out the colors and Michelle painted it for her after I got all the drywall work done. Bradee (Michelle's second son) laid the carpet. He's coming back to do the stairs. The walls were so uneven and poorly finished I had to tear out a lot of the old walls and put up new sheetrock. Bradee helped me tear out one of the walls and add closet space in the area that used to be attic space above the living room. It's a tight space but it's storage space that wasn't there before. I also added recessed lights in the peak where I could and track-lights where I couldn't. I had to run a new power circuit and switches, this house is so old that it didn't have any ceiling lights. Previous owners added ceiling lights in the kitchen and downstairs bedroom and also a bath fan and light. It's like this house was built by the Flintstones. Now I can get to work in the garage! Yippee! Now that it's winter and the garage is so hard to heat. Isn't that about normal? Oh well, I'll deal with it.

It's That Time of Year Again.

By Crazyfast79TA

It happens every December. Christmas. I used to look forward to it so much when I was a kid. All the cool toys Santa would bring me and the family time together. Then I grew up. Things got different. Family moved apart and started their own families. Older members are no longer with us and our own children don't even acknowledge us anymore. Even though it's supposed to be a joyous time, I'm having trouble getting in the mood. I still remember one of my favorite gifts. I wanted a Bandit Trans Am for my Tyco race track. Mom wouldn't promise me one because they were too hard to find and cost too much when you could find one. But one day I got home from school before Mom and Dad got home from work and I started snooping through closets cabinets and drawers all over the house. I happened to find the right drawer with a prize inside. There was my Bandit Trans Am! I was so thrilled! I almost couldn't contain myself! I had to put it back and wait. I didn't care if I got anything else. I can't remember getting anything else that year. That Christmas morning took so long to get there! When I opened that gift I had to act surprised. I could tell how pleased Mom was with getting me the right gift. That Tyco car meant so much to me that I kept it safe and sound away from any possible harm. I still have that car! It's still in pristine condition and I keep it on a shelf by my bed. I had no idea how much of an impact that movie (Smokey and the Bandit) would have on me. I wanted a real Bandit but could never find one I could afford. A guy that I worked with told me of a plain-jane '79 trans Am. The owner dug it out of a snow bank for me to look at. It wasn't pretty but it started right up. The price was good so I bought it and drove it home. As I started working on it and scrounging through salvage yards looking for good parts I found a '77 Firebird that had the quarters rusted off and the floors too. The bumpers were in perfect shape and so was the interior panels. I turned my plain-jane '79 into a '77 Bandit. I've had that car for 15 years now. It seems like when I get feeling down I think about that Tyco car on my shelf and the real car in my drive-way. I still feel down about other things in my life, but then I remember the gift my Mom got me and how pleased Dad was when he first saw my Bandit. I told him the story of what it was when I got it and the determination (which I got from him) I had to make it what I wanted. There are things wrong with it now and I don't have the money to do anything. My S-10 still needs work and no money for that either. I've had a bad year and I'm really feeling down. I hope next year goes better for me. I don't really know what's ahead. Yeah, it's that time of year again when my moods go up and down.

Burt Reynolds Sells His Bandit Trans Am

By Crazyfast79TA

This past weekend Burt Reynolds sold tons of his movie and personal memorabilia at auction. The biggest ticket was the Bandit Trans Am. $480,000 !!! If I thought I could get 5% ($24,000) of that amount for mine, I'd sell it in a minute! Last year somebody asked how much I'd sell it for. I told them $10,000 and they walked away from me.

I'm Still Determined To Have Something Fast Next Summer!

By Crazyfast79TA

I don't know which it will be, the S-10 or the Trans Am. Both will take a lot of work to make fast. The 400 in the Trans Am has a valve-train (I believe) problem that will require at least a new cam and lifter kit. I'm not sure what the entire issue is until I tear into it. Then I believe there's still an issue with the carb. A rebuild should fix that. If the cam change isn't the answer then maybe it will get the Chevy 350 instead of the S-10. The S-10 is a bigger project. It will need a trans built for it. I have a TH700R4 that has something broken inside. Then I'll need a fuel pressure regulator, electric cooling fans, headers and some kind of exhaust fabbed up. I'll have to figure out all the necessary changes for the wiring harness to make everything (or at least the essential stuff) work without a computer or 4.3. Then it's a used rear end with a limited slip or a new Auburn differential to make it a posi rear end. It all sounds like too much work but I'm looking at dollar signs. I'm flat broke right now and don't have the extra cash to throw at ANY projects. So it all sounds like "pipe-dreams". I'm not happy right now but that's okay, I'm still healing from my hernia repair surgery and can't really do any of this kind of work until after Christmas or possibly New Years. So yeah, for right now I'm bummed out. Maybe I could bust out my model cars and hobby stuff and build some more plastic dreams! I've got a lot of cold weather ahead this winter and don't want to work in a cold garage. I've done it before but it takes a long time to get the garage heated up. There's still a lot of work to get the garage ready to work in. Electrical work, insulation, and wall and ceiling sheeting. To do all this there's a lot of things to move which I can't do right now so it all has to wait.

Plans Have Changed Again

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

That's right, I've had other projects come along and made delays for this one. I'm working on another V8 S-10 and my Trans Am is broken. I was hoping to have this car done for this summer but it's clear that isn't going to happen. The S-10 may be done but not the Nova. So it's going to get the frame bolted back on, throw a front clip on it and bolt the rear axle under the car and roll it outside. I'm going to make more room in the garage to work in. Clear out some other stuff and put the Nova parts on the shelves and in the shed. It's kinda sad but necessary.

Using Healing Time For Planning

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

It's been over a week since my hernia surgery and I'm still sore but still moving around. I'm taking it easy but working at getting back to work. I've been planning on this S-10 for a long time and doing some small things to move the project forward. Today I was out digging through my parts and checking on stuff for the S-10. I measured my Nova rear-end (12 bolt posi) and determined it was 4 inches too wide at the spring perches and 6 inches too wide overall. So I guess I'm going to have to scrounge the salvage yards for a 10 bolt posi unit from a Camaro or Trans Am or dish out cash for a new unit. Good news about the 4.3 starter I thought I couldn't use, I just have to change the flywheel. I have a smaller 153 tooth flywheel behind the 350 but in the trunk of the Nova I found an old 168 tooth. I'm not sure where I got these flywheels from but I'm glad I didn't throw out what I wasn't using! I just hope the 4.3 starter has enough torque to start my 350. The waterpump and serpentine belt system will bolt on the front of my 350. The fuel system only presents the problem of needing a regulator. I found one from Summit that will drop the pressure down for the carb and has a return port. I can tap it into the factory fuel system and use my Holley. Patriot has the headers for the truck. There's also a dual exhaust available but I'm just going to use downpipes and glass-packs for now. Duals will come later as money become available. The 4.3 radiator will cool the 350 as long as I use electric fans (when I get the money together). I'm looking at the bottom line to get this truck together and running. So far I'm looking at 1: engine mounts (fabricating my own) 2: fuel system (using factory system with pressure regulator w/return) 3: starter (using factory 4.3 unit after changing the flexplate to 168 tooth unit) 4: ignition (using HEI unit I had in my '87 tapped into factory harness) 5: cooling (using 4.3 radiator with electric fans and factory 4.3 serpentine belt system) 6: exhaust (Patriot headers with downpipes and glass-packs, duals will come later 7: miscellaneous wiring (tackle as I get into wiring. The gages aren't a problem, the ignition shouldn't be either, just the speedometer sender in the trans and the cruise control) This is going to be a tougher swap than the '87 was but not impossible! The toughest thing I'm dealing with is money. I have to pay bills before I can play. I am an adult you know. Too bad kids don't think about growing up and what grown ups do for them.

Healing Time Gives Me Time To Think

By Crazyfast79TA

Last Tuesday I underwent bi-lateral inguinal hernia repair surgery. So from Wednesday through Sunday Michelle had me sequestered in a cabin she rented up by Big Fork. 40 minutes from home and nothing to do but sort through pictures in my lap-top and watch TV. We didn't have internet service. I got caught up watching shows I wasn't even aware of. I knew about "Fast And Loud" but never saw "Fat And Furious-Rolling Thunder" or "Mis-Fit Garage" until last week. Some of those shows made me ask "how did guys like this get a shop going and how in the heck do they get to have a TV show?" Hearing the prices they pay for the cars they buy to flip and what they charge for the work they do on cars had me scratching my head and asking myself "is this for real? Am I that far out of the loop or are those numbers realistic?" Those shows and looking at pictures of my projects (past and present) made me want to get serious about opening my own shop. I don't want a TV series or the fame or money. I just want a shop where I can work on cars and do something creative and eak out an income to support me and my wife. I have experience with management (I was an assistant manager at Little Caesar's Pizza in high school and office assistant at Car Craft Collision). I was asked by a former co-worker from LaRiche Chevy that had opened his own shop and was looking at opening a second shop if I wanted to run that shop. That never got off the ground. The former shop manager from LaRiche opened a used car dealership and was trying to get a shop going and was asking me to join him. That never came together either. Then in 1992 I was doing side work out my little one car garage with potential of buying property in a commercial/residential area. I didn't think I could handle the debt involved. Looking back it would've been a safer risk than I face now. I was 25 years old, materials were cheap and regulations were easier to understand and comply with. Now I'm 48 and should be planning for a good retirement. Instead I'm dreaming of my own shop. I hope I can get my plans together and get my own shop going. I'm not out to put anybody down or hurt their business. I just want to see if I still have the talent I used to have or if it's been worked out of me or retrained out of me. I know it won't be easy but I feel it would be more personally satisfying. "Just give me a chance!" I pray to God just about every day. Maybe Dad's estate will settle soon and I'll get enough money together to have a start-up budget. It's not going to be a lot but just a little is more than I have now. I can make a little go a long way. I just need enough to get started. I'm using this healing time to think out a plan.

I think I'm Through Bitching About How Crappy The Van Is.

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Snow came Monday and driving to work was scary! I got off early because the truck we were supposed to start on still hadn't shown up at 11:30 so Bryan let me go early. I was set to look for new tires. I went to Grand Rapids Tire first. They quoted me $745 for a set and couldn't/wouldn't do any better. I only paid $975 for the van 6 years ago. Why would I want to pay that much for stupid tires? So I went to Tires Plus. They asked what I was looking for. I told them: "black, round, hold air, with good tread". They quoted me $545. I told them I only had $520 to work with. She came back with a quote of $519.42. We took the van there when Michelle got home so they could get the tires mounted Tuesday while I was at work and they even delivered it to me! It snowed more on Tuesday and when I drove home the van held the road like never before! It snowed more on Wednesday. The van did good again. More snow today. The van is doing good now! New tires, no matter what the brand. are better than old good tires!

I've Been Thinking Again, Really.

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

I know it's starting to get old but I'm seriously going to do a V-8 swap in the S-10. I was thinking of aborting this plan and just put the 4.3 back in. But a V-8 would be much cooler and more fun! I did it in my '87 S-10 and I still have that same engine and transmission. I was saving them for my Nova but it's still a long way from needing a drivetrain. The 350 is sitting down in the truck right now. I'm still working on the motor mounts. I'm not happy with the plates I made for it so new ones are being engineered. Fuel delivery and exhaust are still in the purchasing stages. I know what parts I need but I'm not sure where the money is coming from to get them. I spent all summer working on a remodel job on our upstairs rooms so no car work happened. When that project came to an inpasse Michelle shifted me back to the bathroom trim I never finished when she started on the upstairs job. So that's what I've been doing the past week or so. Of course cutting the trim and other wood required me to use my tablesaw that's out in the garage (right beside my S-10) so I've really been thinking (and scheming) about that project. This week I had to repair a bed-side on a Ford Raptor. That got me thinking about graphics for the bed-sides of my S-10. They will come when I get around to the bodywork once it's up and running. I finally got tires for the van from the money I saved up. I told Michelle once the upstairs and bathroom projects are done I'll be working in the garage. Even if I can't get all the parts at one time I can get them piece by piece as I need them for the next step in the project. It may take me all winter but that's okay. I'd rather spend my time in the garage working on my truck than sitting in front of TV or waiting on motortopia for entertainment.. I don't get much out of TV but what I do in the garage is something that shows accomplishment. Even if it's not show quality it will be something else I worked on. So I think I finally have a priority list made out.

I Must Have ADHD! LOL!

By Crazyfast79TA

I've been making so many plans for our vehicles that I lost track of what should take priority. I need something to drive this winter since we traded off our 4x4 this past spring. Our van definitely sucks to drive in the snow but it's all I've got to drive for now. It needs new tires. That may make it better since it still has 2 of the tires that were on it when we got it 6 years ago. I did break down and I bought 2 decent used tires last spring. They still aren't great so I think it's time for 4 NEW tires. I may have enough saved up to buy a set so I'll price them out this week and see. Last year when I got laid off from Northern Performance and brought my S-10 home with a locked up engine and no transmission I planned on doing a V-8 conversion with the 350 and TH700R4 I had for my Nova. I had money invested in a CD account saved up to buy the parts for that conversion and get the body repair panels to fix the rust and damage areas. But when I bought the body pieces I needed, Jessica decided she wanted to get a Sport-Trac like her Mom so the remainder of my money went to pay the difference from the trade-in we got from our '97 Chevy 4x4. The V-8 conversion never got finished. Then late this past summer the Trans Am developed a valve-train noise. I decided to put my 350 in my Trans Am instead of the S-10. That project is still under consideration but not yet confirmed. Then I got the wild idea of doing a 4x4 conversion on our van. I found a '90 Chevy truck that would be a good donor for the needed assemblies but I don't have the money to buy that truck. A 4x4 conversion on the van definitely is not a project I want to start now. So the S-10 V-8 conversion is off, the 4x4 van conversion is off and the Chevy 350 into the T/A may be off too.. I've still got the 4.3 that was in the S-10 so I can put it back and get (or build) a transmission to back it up. I could drive that a lot easier than the van this winter. But there's still a ton of work needed just to get it running. Maybe the V-8 conversion is back on buying parts as I can afford to. Get a cam kit for the Trans Am and get it running by summer. I'm not sure which is highest priority right now, getting tires for the van or buying parts for the S-10 (whether for V-8 conversion or just to get the V-6 running again). I believe tires would be the easiest option right now. The 350 is sitting down in the S-10 right now but still needs a LOT of parts to make it work. I know how the 350 ran in my '87 S-10. That was my "Thunder Truck"! Doing a V-8 conversion in my '94 S-10 won't be as easy as it was in my '87. The '94 has all the bells and whistles and the '87 was a bare-bones truck. If I'd opt to leave all the goodies out and just make it fast, the '94 wouldn't be so bad. I'm sure I could make the gauges work and the A/C shouldn't be problem either. But the speedometer, transmission shift points and cruise control pose the problems. I'm sure they're all tied into the computer system. Using an older 350 poses the problem with the computer. I think I'm talking myself into stripping out the factory gauges and going all aftermarket. Of course all this costs money which I don't have much of right now. Maybe I could hack an old Monza wire harness in and use the instrument cluster from a Monza. I'll figure it out as I go! Just deal with the "hard parts" and get everything bolted together then deal with the tech stuff later. Get it running then the body-work will be a cake-walk! That's my forte. In the spring I'll deal with the cam problem in the Trans Am which shouldn't be too difficult. Get it done and out of the way then dig into the van! Gonna do a camper conversion and seriously thinking about a 4x4 conversion too. It won't be easy but man wouldn't it be cool! Winter driving wouldn't be a concern with 4x4! The right parts truck and it should go pretty smooth!

Plans For The Battle Wagon

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

I'm stuck driving the van yet again. The Trans Am is down (again) for the winter, the '97 Chevy 4x4 we had last year is gone and the S-10 still isn't done. I've been planning on making the van into a camper. Got some plans going. I found a van that I'd like to get and use parts off but the phone number on his sign doesn't work. I don't know how to get hold of the owner so it's off for now. Hopefully I can get things going before winter really sets in!

Modified Hood Bird For Formula Hood

By Crazyfast79TA

I may have to change out my Pontiac 400 because of internal damage. I'll use my Chevy 350, a TH350 from a '76 'Vette and the 12 bolt posi rear end from my Nova. So I'll be test driving my Nova in Trans Am clothing. The T/A will finally act like a T/A is supposed to! I'm not going to try to get the shaker to work with the T/A hood with a Chevy powerplant so I'll be using the Formula hood that was on my parts car that I stripped. But I'll have to get the Pontiac driveline fixed and tuned for return when the Nova body is ready for it's driveline. But with the way things go that may be years from now! But here's the hood bird modified for the Formula hood.

Going To Getting Back To Work In The Garage Soon

By Crazyfast79TA

Well the upstairs remodel work I spent all my summer working on is finally drawing to a close. Paint, trim, carpet, then move Jessica's stuff up there and then I'm done with it! I have to get the S-10 running again (with it's original 4.3 and a rebuilt 4L60E) so I have something that gets a little better mileage than the van or the Trans Am. Then I get to tear into the T/A engine to find out what happened in there. If it's more than just a cam replacement then it' getting my Chevy 350 that's built to 1970 LT-! specs. THAT would surely wake up the old slow T/A! I'll also be freshening up a '76 Corvette TH350 trans to go with the LT-!. I'll paint my Formula hood and do another bird (modified to fit behind the scoops) and call it my "For-mule-a" for testing out my Nova drivetrain before the car is actually done. After those 2 projects are running I'll get the van in and get the rust and crash damage fixed. I also plan a camper conversion to make our camping trips a little more pleasant than an air mattress on the floor and food in a cooler. I want to make a bed frame that folds against the side wall and elevated off the floor. I should've bought that mini-fridge I saw at a garage sale a few weeks back. Maybe I'll find another when I'm ready for it. I was also thinking about added electric hook-up access for camp-ground power. If I could do what I'm thinking I'll have power outlets to plug the mini-fridge, a small TV, and a small heater for those chilly weather camping trips and actual lights instead of flashlights. Then there's the paint-job. I'm planning cheap and easy. Nothing fancy but something to make it look better than it does now. I call it the Battle Wagon so I'm thing along that line. Michelle won't let me do cammo so I'm thinking retired cop van. Why not? LOL! I still have hopes of opening my own shop this year too. I may be more serious about this than Michelle, but I know she will jump in and help me any way she can once I get it started. Big dreams for a little man. Gotta have dreams or else you're only surviving and not really living. Having dreams come true is something that's so hard to come by but so satisfying when it happens. Start out small and build up from there!

Battle Wagon Update Ideas

By Crazyfast79TA

We got our van shortly after we got married and drove the family to Valley Fair for Dustyn's birthday. Not long after that Bradee parked it in the woods trying to avoid hitting a deer. We sort of repaired that damage. After that we drove it to Ohio to drag my S-10 and a load of my stuff back to Minnesota. That ruined the transmission. We replaced that. We've been using it as a camper quite a bit. We just pull the seats out and use a blow up mattress. I want to do a proper camper conversion and fix the rust since it looks like we're going to keep it. It's not a good winter vehicle so I'd like to do a 4x4 conversion too. With the right parts truck it shouldn't be too hard. I think the best paint job would be a retired cop van look. Blues-mobile vanner style! lol! Ideas, ideas, ideas. Just gotta keep them cheap enough to do and usable enough to keep the van.

Re: I'm back with bad news that may produce something good.

By Crazyfast79TA

If I do the 350 Chevy into the T/A and make it a test mule This is the hood I'll use to make it a For-mule-A. It's another of my play on words that have more meaning than just what's written. I'll paint another bird on like I did for the first hood but I'll modify it to fit behind the scoops and stripe it to accent the scoops. Instead of the "6.6 Litre" or "T/A 6.6" it will have "For-MULE-a" in the "Formula" script.

400 needs some attention

By Crazyfast79TA

Friday on my way home from work there was a rattle in the valve train in my engine. It was accompanied by some sputtering and backfiring through the carb when I tried to accelerate. I don't know what happened for sure yet but I suspect it is a broken valve spring or a stuck valve. I've suspected a worn camshaft since it never really revved like 400's I've had in the past and it didn't have the guts I experienced before from Pontiacs. I'll tear into it soon but if it turns out to be more than just a worn cam I've got other plans that came in a dream last night. I wanted to get my Nova together for the Weekend Of Wheels car show and poker run for next year. Money problems this year has deferred the Nova project indefinitely. In the dream I had I changed directions for the 2015 W.O.W. event. The Nova won't be ready but parts of it are. The engine is ready except for the Holley carb. An easy rebuild for sure. I have headers for the Nova already. Next I have to change the fluid in the 12 bolt rear end and new brake hardware and shoes. I still need a trans for it but I have a '76 Corvette TH350 that needs freshened up sitting behind the garage. If the 400 in the Trans Am needs more than a new cam, all these Nova parts can be installed. It will DEFINITELY wake up this car and make it my Crazyfast79T/A again! Looks like I'll be driving the Battle Wagon sooner than I thought but at least the T/A will be spared from snow this winter! When it comes out in the spring it will be stronger than it came out when I finally got the 400 installed a couple years back.

As an added afterthought, I thought of something else I could do to make my T/A a little more unique. I've got the Formula hood from the parts car I stripped out. I'm not sure how the shaker would fit with a small block Chevy under the hood so I could straighten out the dents and ripples in the Formula hood, paint it black and do another bird on it. Since I wanted to build my Nova to be used as a test mule I could combine that idea with the use of Nova parts in my Trans Am with a Formula hood and call it "For-mule-a" I'm sure I could get one of the local graphics vendors to make the nameplates for me. What do you think of that?

Giving Up On The S-10

By Crazyfast79TA

I've come to the conclusion that I just don't have the time or money to play with this toy now. I've decided if I'm going to build a hot-rod I'm going to build the one I REALLY want done. The Nova. I've had it for so long and planned so many things for it but kept putting it off for the right time. I feel it's do or die time. I'm going to return the S-10 back the way it was and just drive it stock and shift my efforts to the Nova! It won't be easy but it will help with my morale. Getting this car done for next year is my goal! I feel if I'm going to work on something it better be something worthwhile! Yes, the S-10 would be cool, but the Nova is higher on the list! So everything I had planned for the truck will be shifted over to the car. All my "extra" time and "extra" money will go toward the Nova. For me it will be much more rewarding! The S-10 is still getting the bodywork done and a new paint-job, but it's going to be the 4.3 under the hood and just jet black paint. Nothing fancy, just nice. It was fine before with 190 H.P. so why do I need a 300 H.P. 350 in it? The Nova deserves the 300 H.P. and a flashy paint-job!

I Wish My S-10 Was Done!

By Crazyfast79TA

Went to the weekly cruise in at the DQ tonight. There was some cool cars there. I couldn't park by them because there wasn't any spaces left so I just parked in the normal customer lot. People still stopped by my car and to check it out. I checked out an S-10 in the lot with the classics. It had a 6 point roll cage, fuel cell in the bed, traction aid devices and big tires. It reminded me of "Thunder Truck". When he fired it up to leave I was a bit surprised by it's sound. It had such a smooth idle with no rumble. My 350 had more lope and rumble when it was in "Thunder". That's the same 350 I'm putting in my '94. I'm gonna have so many people scratching their heads! The truck is going to look totally stock, but not so. I've got things planned for this truck that I've seen in other newer trucks. Things that weren't on or in S-10s. But it's going to be so subtle people will wonder if it came that way. this winter I'm going to be real busy!

Car Show / Swap Meet / Poker Run Time again!

By Crazyfast79TA

It's something all the car folks around here look forward to. It used to be put on by the 2 car clubs in town but one dropped out because the members are getting too old to do all the work. The city stepped in to keep the Sunday Show at the fairgrounds and the swap meet the entire weekend. The other club puts on a really good show (that's judged fair) and has a participant poker run after a good chicken dinner. Along the way on the poker run they have stops where you receive cards that you trade in for a poker hand. There is also spots along the way that the hot-rodders get to show what their machine will do. It's fun if you can do a righteous burnout, not so much if you can't. I've been on the run twice and neither time could I produce smoke or put rubber on the quarters. This year I plan on changing that. When I got the car running while I was working at Northern Performance Brad used his "top-of-the-line" timing light to set the timing right on spec. Telling the truth, I never trusted a timing light. I always tuned them "by-the-seat-of-my-pants" method. It worked on my Chevelle, Monzas, and S-10. The engine runs okay it just doesn't have any guts to it. I've got a week and a half to get something figured out without taking the car out of service on week days. If it's not timing it could be carburetor trouble. Easy fix? Maybe. I've got 2 Holley carbs in the garage. One is on my 350 that's sitting in my S-10 and the other was rebuilt years ago and used on my '72 LeMans. The one in the S-10 needs freshened up and the one that was used on the LeMans is in a zip-lock bag in the trunk or my Nova. This week-end I'm going to try them out in the T/A with the adapter plate I used on the LeMans. If they don't work I'll try a rebuild on the Q-Jet on the 400. If it's not a carb problem it must be a cam problem. If that's so, then I guess I'm stuck just going for a cruise without any burnouts.


UPDATE 7/20/14: I worked on the T/A a little today. I got the oil pressure gage hooked back up. I did a small adjustment on the carb today. It helped a little. What did more was a twist of the distributor. The adjustment I did on the carb had to be undone because the timing adjustment made it pop back thru the carb. I still have some fine tuning to do but I know I'm on the right path, I got some rubber! I got this week to get it running better than last year.

Had a mini "Connonball Run" yesterday

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Attended a wedding of my step-son's friend yesterday. The entire groom's side of the wedding party were hot-rodders. My step-son got his '56 International pick-up rat rod running for this. Garrick had his '74 Charger running before the wedding but couldn't get it running for the "Cannonball" to the reception dinner. Also in the run was a supercharged late model Mustang Cobra, a Hemi Ram truck, the father's diesel Dodge with my T/A rounding it out. Sad thing about it, I belonged at the back. My T/A was so pathetic! It's not the same with this Pontiac 400 as it was with the Olds 350. I don't know if it's only a bad carb or if the cam's wore out, too. I just know this engine is the weakest hot rod powerplant I've dealt with. Even the 305 I had labeled as "5.0 Liters Of Junk" on the aircleaner in my Chevelle was more of a powerhouse than this 400! This one doesn't run like the 400 in my '73 LeMans did. That was the most "beastie" stock engine I ever owned! This 400 came from a '75 Trans Am. I should've gone through it completely before putting it in my '79 Trans Am. Now that it's my only running vehicle I can't tear into it. I don't know what I'm going to do for the "Poker Run" after the annual "Weekend Of Wheels" car show at the end of July. The T/A has proven itself weak the last 2 years and then this last attempt nailed it. The S-10 is not even near ready. This summer is a bust for me. No fun in it for me. No money to do anything with and no time to do anything even if I did have the money. Working on the upstairs room remodeling has taken most of my time. Buying Jessica's Sport-Trac took my project money. And working on the Peterbilts at work has taken all my strength and desire to work at home. 2014 is a bad year for me.

Should I Shout or Whisper?

By Crazyfast79TA

I want my truck to stand out but I was thinking "subtle stand-out" with a paint-job like my S-10 model with the Toyota wineberry pearl over Honda black pearl. But I've been thinking lately, what if I copied the paint-job on my '87 "Thunders-Truck" S-10? It wouldn't have the same effect as it had on that truck with the "Wild-Side" Choo-Choo Customs bed but it would stand out. I don't really know what I want to do with it. Plain black? Wineberry pearl over black pearl? Mighty Mouse- Red over Yellow? I get the feeling that no matter what I plan, it will change as I attempt it. I planned on rebuilding the transmission at first but got delayed and the rebuild kit got used in the van. Then I brought the truck home and found the engine was locked up so I started with the V-8 swap. Midway through that I found out the V-6 wasn't locked and thought about putting that back in. Then I said "Heck with it! I'm V-8ing it!" I had money saved up to get all the body parts and materials to fix up the body and also enough to buy the parts to hot rod it too. But after ordering the body parts we helped Jessica get her truck and that took up the money for the hot-rod parts and the paint-job material money. Now I'm stuck saving up again. So I think a lot. A LOT! Help me out with some advice!

Still Waiting And Saving Up!

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

It's been over a month since I cashed in on my CD account I was saving up to build this truck into a nice little hot-rod. Instead of all the money going to my truck I helped my step-daughter get her own Sport-Trac like Michelle has. It's a little older but still in great shape. But that's part of the reason my S-10 is waiting. It's been waiting for years, what's a couple more months? I'll keep tinkering as I can. I did get the new radiator support, tailgate, cab repair panels and bumper end cap. I just need a new air compressor to do the bodywork and paint-job. I still need more money to get the cooling fans, fuel pressure regulator, headers and dual exhaust to do the mechanical portion of this project. I'm still a few hundred short of the needed dollars to do this.

Drop Back And Regroup!

By Crazyfast79TA

After reviewing my whole project plan I've decided to drop back and regroup. I'm accepting delay now and the real possibility that I won't have my S-10 done for this summer. It's a bummer for sure but not the end of this project. It just refuels my desire to do it better than my '87. My '87 was done in stages. The first one out of necessity when I broke the transmission and couldn't afford to replace it with a junk-yard unit. I was working as a pizza delivery driver and couldn't afford to have a downed vehicle. I had the 350 and TH350 from my Monza sitting in my garage. It was 1992 and not many guys in my hometown were V-8ing their S-10s yet. I was the 5th and knew I couldn't do it like the other four did with kits. I had to improvise and be creative and cheap. I had a buddy that had a scrap yard behind his shop that allowed me to dig for the parts I needed. I got it together in less than a week for a total cost about $40. Maybe it wasn't done right but it worked. Thunder Truck was born. It had a growing reputation and plenty of challenges. I didn't lose many but I ended up breaking the transmission case. I replaced it with a 700R4 from an '83 Trans Am GTA. Now it was fast with overdrive. It deserved a paint-job now. So I painted it red. I got a new IROC hood that they were throwing in the scrap bin at work because it was damaged and couldn't be sold as new or sent back to GM. I couldn't sell it so I cut it up and grafted the IROC louver section into an S-10 hood and added Buick Park Ave hinges for a custom flip forward hood. When I went through hard times and was losing my Cameo that I rebuilt after a terrible crash. Instead of getting a used stock box I got a Choo-Choo Customs Wild-side box. I wasn't letting that box go with a re-poed truck so I pulled it and put on my '87. Time for another paint-job! Red and yellow with a silver lightning bolt. After I married my first wife she had a Ranger she bought just before we started dating and we talked about having 2 trucks and no car. The Ranger was newer and had a stock box for hauling, so I decided to sell my S-10. I didn't let my 350 and TH700R4 go with it. I kept them since 2001 waiting to get my Nova done but that hasn't happened. Then divorce happened in 2004 and everything fell apart in my life. I had my Trans Am as my only vehicle when she left and took her Ranger. I got my own Ranger that turned into a P.O.S. I traded it off to get my '94 S-10. I didn't have plans to V-8 it until I broke something inside the transmission and I'm having trouble finding a replacement. My 350 is still here but the 700R4 still has something broken in it. 700R4s are easier to find here in Minnesota than a 4L60E 2 wheel drive transmission. I figured out the motor mount situation and V-8 S-10 headers don't cost much more than standard Chevy headers now. This truck already has an electric fuel pump with a return line. I just need a pressure regulator to cut pressure down for my Holley. I'll have to get electric fans for cooling. It all costs money and takes time to save up that money. Summit will save me some money by having free shipping on orders over $99. I can order the parts one by one as I get the money. I may have "lost" the $700 I already had saved up, but I'm still working so I still have money coming in. I just have to be more selective on my spending habits until the S-10 is done. I can build it in stages but won't be years between each stage. Weeks or months but not years. It will be done and done right on the first try!

Going Nowhere Fast!

By Crazyfast79TA

Like everything else I try to plan, either delayed, dropped, or changed. This one has portions dropped, others changed and it's all delayed. Seems like I had a good plan. I had the money saved up to do most of the work and get most of the parts. I started working but got pulled off for other "life" issues. Winter was bitter cold and spring took forever to arrive and once it did my money had evaporated. I wasn't sure what parts to order first so I got the body repair parts ordered. I ordered them from autobodyparts.com. I got an order confirmation e-mail, with a note that I would receive a shipping confirmation e-mail in 2-4 days. I never got that e-mail. I e-mailed them asking about my order. No response. I e-mailed them complaining about not getting a response. No response to that. I was staring to get pissed. The parts came Wednesday. I opened the boxes and checked them out. Tailgate, check. Radiator support, check. Left mirror, check. Right mirror, check. Right bumper extension, check. Right cab corner, check. Left cab corner...where's the left cab corner? Check the packing slip. There is no packing slip! Why isn't there a packing slip? What kind of yah-hoos am I dealing with? I e-mailed them asking about my missing part. Checked my e-mail Thursday. No response! Now I was really pissed! No e-mails telling me when the parts are shipped. No e-mails to tell me a part was missing. No e-mail apologizing for the inconveniences. So I called them Friday asking about my missing part and to complain about the un-professional communication tactics they practice. The associate I talked to explained that the e-mail system is automated (by motortopia?) and he checked about the emails I had sent them. He said the e-mail address they had for me had a misspelling for my e-mail address. How could that be? Every e-mail I "reply" to automatically enters the e-mail address so how could they get it wrong if it was truly "automated"?. Sounds like they just didn't want to admit to human error. Anyway, the left cab corner was not available from their regular supplier and they couldn't locate another supplier so they just refunded my money for the part, not including shipping. But I found another supplier myself and I got the cab corner coming. So now I'm wondering if I should've ordered my mechanical parts before the body parts? Could Summit screw up like that? They never did before (to me) and neither did Jeg's. When I got parts for my T/A from National Parts Depot Ames and Performance Years, none of them screwed up! Heck even J.C Whitney didn't screw up when I ordered an exhaust system! I guess the lesson here is "order from a reputable company, not an internet company you never heard of before".
Now that that part of the rant is done, I'll get back to the original idea here. Should I have kept with the first plan I had of getting the hot-rod parts for the truck first and get it going? or should I get all the parts at the same time? Looking at how the money I had evaporated when others found out it was there, I should've blew it all myself at one time!

Where Is My Project Headed?

By Crazyfast79TA

I'm having a conflict right now. This project started out like a ball of fire but it has gone up in smoke. I saved up money for a year. I had $1400 saved for this project. That wasn't going to be enough to get all the mechanical parts I needed along with all the materials for a good paint-job. I made the call to make it look good so cut the V-8 out of the plans and ordered the body panels I needed. I had enough left over to get the body-work materials and possibly paint, too. That money evaporated! Really! I don't know where it went! The parts I ordered on the 11th for $463 still haven't arrived! The rest of the money was supposed to buy tires, a used transmission, an exhaust repair job and the paint-job. But the money is GONE! I know this truck won't be done this summer now! It's going to have to be built one piece at a time. I'm not going to short-cut it now! I'm pissed about the money being gone and since it didn't get spent on my truck and I'm going to have to scrape money together now, and every penny will be made to count! I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do, but I'm going to do it!

Ding dong! The truck is gone!

By Crazyfast79TA

Ding dong! The truck is gone!
Ding dong! The truck is gone, which old truck? The Big Blue Truck!
Ding dong! The Big Blue Truck is gone!

Wake up- sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed!
Wake up, the Big Blue Truck is gone. It's gone where clunkers go. Below-below-below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out!

Ding dong the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low. Let them know!
The Big Blue Truck is gone!

Okay now that I've got the "happy dance" done, here's the news. We (my wife and I) decided I was not going to waste any more time or money on the old blue truck so we decided to trade it off. I knew we were going to take a beating on it, but in the long run I know we'll be better off. Michelle really likes her Sport-Trac and Jessica (her daughter) really liked driving it and refused to drive the big Chevy anymore. I found a GMC Sonoma SLS 4 door 4x4 S-10 type truck that I thought she would like. Looking at it she did, but driving it she didn't. So we looked at other trucks. She wanted a full size truck not a car. I don't think she realizes how much gas they take compared to a car but that didn't matter to her. We found some trucks on-line in our price range but they were out of town. The closest we found was in Aitkin which is about 45 minutes from here and we had to go through there to get to where we were to meet Michelle's Mom for Mother's Day lunch. As we pulled in the drive I spotted this Sport-Trac parked up by the building. We didn't even bother looking at any full size trucks when we found out it was in our price range. We took it out for a drive. I liked it so I gave Jessica a chance to drive. She liked it a lot! It was time to talk trade-in value on the Chevy. I knew it was going to be low. However I DID NOT want to drive the blue truck back home after we found a vehicle Jessica liked. They got the price down enough on the Sport-Trac and trade-in on the Chevy high enough that it was at the point we were pre-approved for on the GMC. By the time we got all the paperwork and faxing taken care of and getting all our stuff out of the Chevy, Michelle' Mom gave up on us for lunch (12:20) and left us hanging and told us to have our own fun. We did!

ABORT..ABORT...MISSION COMPROMISED!!!

By Crazyfast79TA

Plans for V8 S-10 have changed. I cashed in my CD I had invested in for car projects and started pricing everything I needed to do the job properly and found I was coming up short. I would have enough to get all the mechanicals taken care of or else get all the bodywork and paint materials and make it look good, but not enough to do both. I think it's going back to V6. The real reason I was going to put my 350 in was the 4.3 was seized from sitting beside the shop for 4 years. When I drug it home and started wrestling the engine out I grabbed the harmonic balancer and it rolled the crank over. So the option of putting it back in is still there. It was a strong reliable 4.3 but the trans gave up. If I were to use the 350 and the 700R4 behind it which I had in my '87 S-10 I'd have to rebuild it or replace it. In other words I need a transmission with either engine I want to go with. I really want it to look good. So I'm leaning more toward the bodywork than the V8. I'm still going to make it run good! But I have ideas for paint! I'm referring to the S-10 model I have featured as my profile pic. I want something dark but not plain black. Red is too overdone and not dark enough. The paint on that model is real car paint that I can duplicate on a real vehicle. I can get all the body parts at discount prices and get jobber pricing on paint and materials. Doing the V8 conversion is way more expensive now than when I did my '87 and that one took me almost 9 years to get it right. I don't want to tie up that much time on this vehicle. So change of plans is in order.

MOTORTOPIA HAS DONE IT AGAIN!!!

By Crazyfast79TA

THEIR INEPT I.T. DEPARTMENT HAS THE SYSTEM SO OUT OF WHACK YOU CAN'T EVEN PREVIEW A BLOB POST BEFORE SUBMITTING IT!!! I WAITED FO 45 MINUTES BEFORE I GAVE UP!!!
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