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. I listed the cast iron dual quad intake on E-bay  and 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 the aluminum dual quad intake with carburetors you can contact me at Mark @ rveducation101.com with poly intake in the subject line.

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

 

 

Through the use of executive power, not Congress, President Obama recently ordered stringent fuel standards on heavy-duty trucks. The EPA and the Transportation Department are required to implement these new regulations by March 2015, so they are in place before the President leave office.

The goal with the increased fuel standards is to cut back on greenhouse gas pollution and meet his target of reducing carbon pollution, with or without Congress. The President said, “Improving gas mileage for these trucks is going to drive down our oil imports even further”, but truck manufacturers argue that stricter federal fuel standards will only increase the price of the vehicles.

On the cusp of the White House leveraging its authoriy to increase fuel efficiency in heavy-duty trucks researchers at Lund University in Sweden announced a modified diesel engine that runs on gasoline that could significantly reduce truck emissions. According to the Lund University engine lab the engine was developed to achieve the right amount of ignition delay; meaning a delay between fuel injection and combustion. During the ignition delay, the mixing that happens produces minimal amounts of soot and nitric oxide. In fact, it could mean a new generation of engines so clean they wouldn’t require catalytic converters.

Bengt Johansson, Professor of Combustion Engines at Lund University stated, “A reasonably efficient engine today would be in the range of 40-42%. We’re hoping to achieve 60% with this type of PPC combustion process.”

WATCH: How new engine type could improve fuel efficiency

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101 

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

GMC Rocker Panel Rust Job

I was looking for a good deal on a used truck for my son, preferably a 3 or 4 door Chevy or GMC model.  After some searching I found one on Craigslist that had some rust issues,  and because of the rust the owner was willing to let it go for a good price. I knew the outer rocker panels were shot so I figured I could order  some replacement panels, weld them in and come out ahead when it was all said and done.

Rocker panel rust

Rocker panel rust

But when I got the truck to the shop and put it on the lift the problems were more advanced than I first thought. The inner rocker panels were gone too. Since this truck was a 99 three-door model it was a challenge finding the inner and outer rockers. On the passenger side I needed the inner and outer rocker panels and the cab corner, and on the driver’s side I needed the inner and outer rockers and a patch panel for the extended cab section that included the cab corner. With a couple hunderddollars invested in new sheet metal I was still in good shape, but the question was could I tackle a job of this size?

I am not a professional bodyman by any stretch of the imagination and I don’t have equipment like a spot welder, but I am a decent MIG welder and figured I would give it a go.

Inner rocker panel

Inner rocker panel

After cutting all the bad metal out and grinding the entire area I was ready to weld the first inner rocker in place. The new inner rocker had some holes and indentations in it so it was easy to line up with the small remaining sections of good metal that was left in tact. I clamped the new inner rocker panel in place and welded it. With the inner rocker installed it was time to start on the passenger side outer rocker panel and cab corner. I didn’t want to remove the truck’s bed so getting the cab corner welded in place would be a challenge.

New rocker panel

New rocker panel

I clamped the outer rocker to the inner rocker and used the door to make sure everything was  straight and in line.  I decided the best way to weld the new panel in place on the inside of the door was to drill holes about 2 inches apart the entire length of the rocker panel.  This way I could weld the two panels together iside the holes similar to a spot welder. This accomplished two things, it cut down on the amount of built-up material that would need to be grinded off, and it lessened the possibility of creating too much heat from welding and possibly warping the metal.  Once the welds  were ground down it was easy to finish the cosmetic repairs with some bondo.

Cab corner patch panel

Cab corner patch panel

On the driver’s side I repeated the same process, but since there is no rear door on that side the rocker panel was shorter and I had to weld a patch panel in the extended cab section to repair the rust on the lower rocker and cab corner. I couldn’t use my welder to weld the back of the cab corners where the truck’s bed is so I brazed the seam. I got it just hot enough to melt the brazing rod and the braze flowed along and in the seam perfectly without warping any metal. I used a dremel with a grinding disc to smooth out the excess braze and prep it for bondo.

With a little bondo and some sanding the repairs were ready for primer. On the inner rockers I used POR 15 to protect it and help prevent any future rust issues. My rocker rust repairs probably weren’t done the way a professional body shop would do it, but they are welded in place, they are straight and they should last for many years to come.

Mark Polk

Auto Education 101

My next major concern in the 71 Dodge Power Wagon restoration project is to get the engine and transmission in the truck and hear it run. Once I know the engine is good to go I will feel better about moving forward. The problem is I need to get the firewall and inside  the cab where the gas tank mounts painted before I can install the engine and transmisssion.

cab-prep-for-paint

Up to this point in the  restoration I have done all the work myself. One thing I am not comfortable with is doing a quality paint job, especially since I don’t have a paint booth and would need to spray it outside! So,  I decided to take the cab of the truck to a friend of mine and have it professionally painted. When I get the cab back I can get alot of work done, to include installing and starting the the engine. And this will allow some time to build my truck restoration fund up again before I have the rest of the truck painted.

fender-repair

In the mean time I thought I would do some body work on the truck’s bed, fenders and hood. When I bought the truck the passenger side inner fender had some bad cuts in the metal from a cutting torch, and it looked like someone beat it with a ball-peen hammer. My first thought was to replace the entire fender since the inner fender is permanently attached to  the fender itself, but finding a good replacement is not as easy as it sounds. I found a few of these trucks in local junkyards but the condition of the body panels is poor to say the vey least.

fender-brazeMy friend, who owns the body shop where the cab is being painted, said “why don’t you dolly it out and braze the cuts in the fender. ” I hadn’t considered that since the gaps looked so wide, but after re-assessing it I thought I would give it a try. The worse that can happen is it doesn’t work and I am back where I started. I cleaned the metal up and as I heated sections to start brazing I worked the metal with a dolly and hammer. I was suprised at how well the gaps closed up and I was able to shape the metal and braze the cuts. With a little body work it will look new again, and and it saved me time and the cost of finding another fender.

I have been debating on a color for the truck for quite some time and now I was forced to make a decision. I was going to go with a silver/gray color used on some of the newer Dodge Challengers, but after scouring  through some paint chip books I decided on a BMW color called Alubeam Silver.

Can’t wait to see the cab and get started on the installing the engine. I’ll keep you posted.

Mark Polk

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

71 Power Wagon – Finishing the Frame

Final Frame Prep

Final Frame Prep

After lots of sanding, scraping, grinding and cleaning the truck’s frame was ready for some POR 15. I have used POR 15 on other restoration projects and liked the results, so I decided it would be the best choice for coating and protecting the frame, inner fenders, fender wells, under the bed and on other areas exposed to road dirt and grime.

The final step was to roll the truck outside and pressure wash the frame and undercarriage. With that done it was time to coat everything with the POR15. If you never used the product before wear old clothes and take precautions to keep it off your skin. The reason I say this is once it makes contact with something it stays there. It took a couple weeks to get it off where it accidentally contacted my skin.

 

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Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 World Debut

2015 Corvette Z06

2015 Corvette Z06

The 2015 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 – the most track-capable Corvette in history – roars onto the stage during its world debut Monday, January 13, 2014 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The Corvette Z06 is the first to offer a supercharged 6.2L engine, that is expected to deliver at least 625 horsepower and can be matched with either a seven-speed manual or an all-new, high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters for manual control. The new Corvette Z06 will be available in early 2015.  (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet) Photos are for Editorial use only. They may also be archived.

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

Chevrolet Corvette C7R Race Car

Corvette C7.R Race Car

Corvette C7.R Race Car

The Chevrolet Corvette C7.R race car is unveiled Monday, January 13, 2013 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan. The C7.R was co-developed with the all-new 2015 Corvette Z06, which also made its world debut. Corvette Racing will field two C7.R race cars in 2014, starting later this month at the 52nd Rolex 24 At Daytona on Jan. 25-26.

The race kicks off the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship – a new series debuting this year after the merger of the American Le Mans Series and GRAND-AM Rolex Sports Car Series. The C7.R will compete in the GT Le Mans class in 11 races around North America. (Photos by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)

Photos are for Editorial use only. They may also be archived.

CorvetteC7RReveal03.jpg

Posted by: Mark Polk | 2014

71 Power Wagon – Give it Some Lift

Install lift

Install lift

I ordered a Rough Country 4-inch lift which was basically a new set of front leaf springs, blocks for the rear suspension and new shocks. A few months earlier I ordered a Firestone Ride-Rite Air Bag Suspension. My plan was to install the 4-inch lift on the front and the Ride-Rite on the rear. That way I have the option to let the back squat a little and if I will be towing or just want to level the truck I can add air to the air bags.

I already had the front clip removed and decided to remove the truck’s bed to make the job a little easier. This also lets me work on the bottom of the bed and clean and sand the rear portion of the frame and axle.

The first step was to remove the old leaf springs. The old springs were practically inverted so I was excited to see how much lift I would actually get.

Install Rough Country Lift

Install Rough Country Lift

I used a floor jack and jack stands to support the axle and I used my engine hoist to raise the frame once I every thing disconnected.  This was a good time to clean and repaint the section of the axle where the springs go prior to installing the the new leaf springs.

The only thing left to do on the front was to install the new springs. It was a job doing this by myself, but the installation went smooth for the most part. It was nice to have new suspension equipment and new hardware on the old truck.

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Posted by: Mark Polk | 2013

71 Power Wagon – Rust a Bad 4 Letter Word

Rust Repair

Rust Repair

Fortunately my 71 Dodge Power Wagon project doesn’t have too much rust, other than the floorboards. The previous owner pop-riveted some metal patches in the floorboards and sprayed the repaired area with undercoating. The first problem with this repair job is the seams around the patches were never sealed properly and the second problem is  I don’t use  pop rivets in a vechicle restoration project.

In most cases rust on a vehicle is a result of water and other elements penetrating a seam on the vehicle and slowly breaking the metal down forming rust. When a vehicle is built all of the seams are sealed with a auto body panel sealant to help prevent water from penetrating these seams. Areas of the vehicle that are constantly exposed to water, salt and other elements eventually give in to this exposure. If you have been around certain vehicles you know the weak areas that tend to rust out. In addition to exposure there are cases where a manufacturer used inferior metal and these areas are prone to rust over time. Enough about what causes rust, let’s get on with the repairs.

I have said before that aftermarket parts for a 71 Dodge Sweptline truck are hard to come by. Most vehicle types offer good aftermarket parts support for restorations. If you need a body patch panel you can order it and have it at your doorstep in a couple days. Not so with old Dodge trucks. I searched the Internet for floorpan patch panels and did find some but they were $160 each. Now $320 for two floorboards seems a little much to me. Granted they did include a stamped section to fit around and repair the cab mount area, but I don’t know if it justifies the price. On Ebay there was a “make a offer” for the floorboard patch panels which I did, and it was abrubtly turned down. So I went to our local steel supply store and bought two 2X2 foot pieces of 18 gauge steel for $12.00.

Step #1

Step #1

The first step in repairing the rust damage is to cut the rusted area out. You want to get rid of all the rust and weak metal and leave about 3/8″ to 1/2″ around the perimeter to weld the new panels in. You don’t want to leave too much overlap because it will be difficult to seal on the underside and will just allow water to get in and start the rusting process all over again. Just mark the area to be cut out and use a cut-off disc in a grinder to remove the old rusted metal. Once the metal is removed it’s important that you grind around the entire perimeter so there is a clean metal surface to weld to.

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