Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

Mopar Modern Day Muscle Car

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat

I have always been a Mopar fan and when you talk about modern day muscle cars the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat comes to mind.  Billed as “America’s most powerful muscle car ever” this newly designed 707 horspower supercharged 6.2-liter HEMI Hellcat is expected to do 0-60 in the mid-three second range, and can reach speeds of 199 mph.  The car recently achieved an NHRA-certified 10.8 second quarter mile. You can get one starting at $59,995.

Read the entire article here

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

My goal at this point in the build is to get the newly rebuilt engine started, but I am having some part’s fitment issues.

The old poly 318 engine came out of a 63 model vehicle and of course the truck is a 71 model. When I bought the engine it didn’t have many of the external components like the pulleys, alternator, throttle linkage,  starter etc.

 

Old Radiator

Old Radiator

Now that I am in the process of putting things back together I am hitting some speed bumps. The first problem was the radiator hoses. I installed a new water pump on the rebuilt engine and I ordered a new all-aluminum radiator from Genesis Auto Parts.  When I went to install the radiator hoses neither of them worked. My first thought, for the lower hose was that the water pump was different from the original. The water pump outlet was on the driver’s side and needed to be on the passenger side for the radiator hose to work. But when I checked the old pump the outlet was on the same side as the new one. Next I thought maybe a water pump from an LA 318, with the outlet on the passenger side, would work but it had a different bolt pattern.

 

New Radiator

New Radiator

There is no radiator hose made for a small block mopar that goes from the lower passenger side radiator location, under the engine and back up to the water pump on the driver’s side. I was driving myself  crazy trying to sort this out when it occured to me to look at the original radiator out of the truck. There was my answer to the mystery. The original radiator had both top and bottom radiator hose locations on the driver’s side. What really bothered me about this is the Genesis Auto Parts website stated these radiators are exact fits with no modification required. Not only did it not bolt up to the original radiator mounting holes on the truck (it was about 1/2″ off and I had to drill new holes) but now I need to “modify” the lower radiator hose to fit somehow. I thought if I called the company they would have the correct radiator in stock. I was informed the majority of radiators used on older Dodge trucks had the outlets on opposite sides so that is the radiator they stock. When I asked about getting a refund I was told I could only get a store credit. The problem with a store credit is there is nothing in the store for my 71 Dodge Power Wagon! If you purchase a radiator from Genesis Auto Parts make sure it is an “exact fit” before you pay for it.

The radiator hose issue is still unresolved while I search for a bottom radiator hose solution, and I ran into a couple other fitment issues too like the crankshaft and water pump pulleys and the starter. Hopefully I can sort this stuff out soon so we can finally hear it run.

I’ll keep you posted on starting the engine.

Read about the full build HERE

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

 

Poly 318 & 727 going in 71 Dodge Power WagonAfter completing some preliminary wiring in the truck’s cab and under the hood it was time to install the engine and transmission. Just for good measure I added a quart of transmission fluid to the new torque converter and mated the transmission to the engine via the flex plate. I was working by myself, so I needed to be extra careful working around the freshly painted firewall. The engine and transmission went in without a hitch except for re-positioning the motor mounts to give the clearance I needed.

318 Poly Installed in Power Wagon

With the engine and transmission in the truck I did some additional wiring and hooked some of the transmission shift linkage up. When I bought the old 63 Poly 318 engine it didn’t have any of the throttle linkage or transmission kickdown linkage on it so the plan is to see what I can salvage and fabricate from the 383 and 727 that came out of the truck. Once that’s done I can install the starter and alternator and double check the timing. Then the only thing stopping me from firing the new engine (besides my day job)  is installing the fuel tank and radiator and a few miscellaneous items.

Poly 318 Semi Hemi Installed in Power wagon project

Stayed tuned and I’ll keep you posted when I start the engine.

Read about the full build HERE

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

My goal now is to get the engine and transmission in the truck and fire it up for the first time. To do that I need to get the wiring done, and to do that I need the dashboard back in the truck. The so called professional bodyman/painter I paid to paint the cab was also supposed to paint the dashboard. After he screwed up the cab’s paint job I told hime he needed to fix the cab and paint the dashboard, which was part of the original deal. He quit taking my phone calls and texts, and to be honest with you I don’t have the time or patience to deal with someone like this right now, but it’s okay  Karma will get him in the long run.

dashboard painted So to remedy the problem I did some horse trading for a nice SATA spray gun and painted the dash myself. I have the skills, I just needed the right equipment for the job. The dash turned out great. If I had this spray gun sooner I could have painted the entire cab and saved myself lots of time, money and headaches.

 

 

wiring harness resizedAfter speding hours fixing runs, dirt and bugs in a poor paint job it was time to move on to re-wiring the truck. I am making some upgrades to the wiring like a new 13 circuit fuse box, adding electronic ignition and some other electronic equipment that will bring the truck’s wiring into the 21st century.

 

 

re-wiring power wagonThe plan at this point is to install all the wiring, but leave the wiring harnesses open and accessible until the truck is running and all circuits check out. Then I can tape everything up and cover it in some nice loom.

I’ll keep you posted on when the engine and transmission go back in the SEMI HEMI project truck.

Next Post: 71 Power Wagon – Install the 318 Poly SEMI HEMI

Read about the full build HERE

 

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

I am sure you have heard the old saying “a picture is worth a thousand words.” It simply means that a picture can convey an entire story with few words being said. I am having a difficult time getting past what happened with the paint job on my truck. I am restoring a 71 Dodge Power Wagon and had the cab and doors painted at a local bodyshop. I paid the owner what I consider is a lot of money for just a truck cab and doors, and ended up with a bad paint job and an owner who was paid in full and won’t fix the damage.

14 Weeks, $3,700 and here is the final product.

Runs in Paint Job   Run on cab corner

paint runs

truck run 6

paint run 3

bugs in paint job

truck run 7

truck run 3

seam sealer defect

This is totally unacceptable work from a professional body shop. There are over two dozen runs, bugs and dirt in a job that I was charged $3,700 for. The pictures speak volumes.

Next Post 71 Power Wagon – Time to Start on the Wiring

Read about the full build HERE

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

Cab in paint

This post is about getting the truck’s cab in paint, but it’s also about not getting taken advantage of by a business. I am doing 99% of the restoration work on the Power Wagon myself. The 1% I am not doing is painting the truck. I have done body work off and on since I was 17 years-old, but I do not have a spray booth or other equipment needed to do a quality paint job.  So, I took the Power Wagon cab and doors to a body shop to be prepped and painted over 13 weeks ago. I did not expect it to take 13 weeks and I did not expect it to cost what I was charged. To make matters worse the paint has a couple dozen runs in the clear-coat and possiblly in the paint itself.

How it all unfolded:

There is a body shop close to where I live and I was impressed with the guy’s paint work. One day I stopped by and asked him to come over to my shop and give me a price on the bodywork and paint for the cab and doors. I needed to get the cab sprayed so I could get the engine and transmission installed in the truck and so I could put the wiring and interior back together.

10 hours or 100 hours plus, that’s the question

The initial assessment from the body shop owner was the truck cab could be ready for primer in 10 hours. Now I thought that was a bit unrealistic, but I liked what I heard. He also said he could get it in his  shop right now since he was between jobs.  I stopped what I was doing on the truck and took it to him the next day thinking it would be in and out. When I dropped the truck off at his shop I had it completely disassembled to make the job easier. He told me he would discount his normal rate if I would pay in cash as the progress on the truck moved along. He also said that if another job came in at his regular hourly rate he would need to stop and do that job first. I agreed to that, thinking one, my truck would not be there long and two, he would get other small jobs in and out quickly.  I told him I would like to come over on the days I could and do some of the work myself to keep costs down, and keep an eye on what was happening with my truck. He agreed.

Read More…

Wheels of Yesteryear Car MuseumIf you’re a muscle car  enthusiast, especially Mopar, and you go to Myrtle Beach SC you need to make a point of visiting the Wheels of Yesteryear car museum.

Cars on Display

The museum, located off of highway 501 between the Tanger Oulet Mall and the Myrtle Beach Speedway, showcases one of the Southeasts most impressive collections of Americam-made automobiles.  It consists of cars and trucks owned and restored by car enthusiast Paul Cummings, many of which Paul raced during his racing days. The museum houses about one-third of Paul’s collection so each January vehicles are rotated to display the many different cars and trucks.

If you are a Mopar fan like me you may never see more Hemi-powered cars in one building during your lifetime. Paul told me he was and still is an avid GM enthusiast, but during his racing days he only saw the back end of Mopars so he made the switch.

69 Charger Daytona

The museum also has the one-and-only 69 Dodge Daytona Charger used in the hit comedy movie “The Adventures of Joe Dirt” If you ever get to Myrtle Beach SC stop in and check Paul’s collection out. It’s well worth the time.

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

 

biles in one location

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

Chip Foose HEMISFEAR Coupe

Hemisfear As a fan of all things Hemi I was excited to see one of the Chip Foose Hemisfear cars, also known as the Foose Coupe, at a car show in Charlotte NC. The Hemisfear is a limited production car built around the Plymouth Prowler. Fifty of the Hemisfear’s were produced in total. The first one sold at auction in 2007 for a whopping $340,000. Very Cool!
Hemisfear
Hemisfear
Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Convertible

 

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06

Chevrolet announces Friday, April 11, 2014 it will introduce one of the most capable drop-tops on the market — the 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible — on Tuesday at a special event in New York City. The all-new, 2015 Corvette Z06 will be one of the most capable convertibles on the market, offering at least 625 hp, 0-60 acceleration in under 3.5 seconds, true aerodynamic downforce, and available performance hardware including carbon-ceramic brakes and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup tires.

Photo for editorial use only Copyright GM

318 Poly aluminum dual quad intake

318 Poly aluminum dual quad intake

Locating parts for my 71 Dodge Power Wagon restoration has been difficult.  I stop at every salvage yard I see to inquire about Sweptline parts. Through my travels I have run into some very rare hard to find 318 poly parts. About a year ago I found an Edelbrock P600 3-deuce intake manifold that I installed on my rebuilt 318 poly with Rochester carburetors.

After deciding to use the P600 set-up on my Power Wagon  I found some other very rare 318 poly induction pieces during my travels. These include a cast iron dual quad intake used on 57-58 Chrysler models part # 1822004 and a super rare aluminum dual quad intake part number 1735919 with two Carter four barrel carburetors. Judging by the amount of dirt and dust that was on the intake I would say it has been sitting on the shelf at that salvage yard for many many years.

318 Poly dual quad intake with WCFBs

318 Poly dual quad intake with WCFBs

These aluminum Poly dual quad intakes with WCFBs are hard to come by. It has the square mounting pattern and was used on 1956 Plymouth Furys with the 303 CID engine. In 1956 Plymouth came out with a MoPar dealer installed HiPo package as an aftermarket add-on for race enthsiasts. In addition to a high performance cam, tappets and special air cleaners the dealer-installed package included an aluminum dual quad intake (part number 1735919) and 2-Carter four barrel carburetors.

I wanted to hold onto these intakes for future poly head engine projects, but I need funds to keep my 71 Dodge Power Wagon project moving along. Both intakes are for sale.  I would really like to see the aluminum dual quad intake and carburetors used on a 56 Plymouth build.

Both intakes are used, but look to be in good condition. All the bolt threads are good and I don’t see any cracks or previous repairs. Both intakes need to be cleaned by a machine shop and the Carter cartburetors will need a complete rebuild.

If anybody is interested in purchasing one of these dual quad intakes you can contact me at Mark @ rveducation101.com with poly intake in the subject line.

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

 

 

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