Articles

  • Wrench Scramble 2015 is Underway!

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     Five years (to the exact day) ago I wrote about learning to avoid getting stretched so thin that project cars are more stressful than fun. Apparently I unlearned that lesson because as of tonight, all four of my cars are in need of services ranging from routine maintenance to a complete drivetrain swap. I’ve gotta get cranking,…

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  • Project Cars Update: LeMons Ranchero and Falcon

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    Interchangeable parts, platform sharing and shared engineering are wonderful things. As an engineer, nothing scares me more than low-volume, one-off craftsmanship. On a high level, Ford used The Falcon Platform from the 1960 Falcon to the 1980 Granada/Monarch/Versailles, but their insistence on minor changes over the years has me nearly stymied. We’ve converted the Ranchero…

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  • Project Integra – Valve Cover Refinish

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    It really bothered me. Every time I opened the hood of my project Integra, there it was, staring me in the face – the aged and faded valve cover. I decided to do something about it. As you can judge from the above picture, the result is pretty good. It’s actually much better than I…

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  • Justy Little Project Car: Shifter Tips for Everyone, Sweet New Wheels for Me

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    Though my Subaru Justy’s cabin is surprisingly roomy and airy for such a small car and the pedals are well placed for podiatric gymnastics (I can make up words), the sloppy and vague shifter has always been something of a disappointment. The 4-wheel-drive system also wasn’t switching on. It might seem silly to work on these small…

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  • Project Regretmobile Dodge Magnum, Part 1: An elegy for sensibility

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    I am not a smart man. We must get that out of the way here because it will make understanding the rest of this story so much easier. This is going to be a long build story about me, Eric Rood—a complete idiot whose mushy brain is filled almost entirely with Bad Ideas—and my struggles…

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  • Project AMC Eagle wrap-up: "Universal" was an exact fit; I sold it anyway

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    This AMC Eagle’s unobtainable clutch master cylinder has plagued me since I bought the project two years ago. After enough screwing around with rebuild kits and new hoses, I finally capitulated and followed the advice of a LeMons racer I met last year: It’s a simple hydraulic system. Just adapt a Tilton or a Wilwood…

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  • True Companion: Living with a 1990 Peugeot 205 XS for two years

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    A little more than two years ago, in the middle of the summer of 2013, I bought one of the cheapest cars I’ve ever seen advertised with valid inspection, let alone bought for myself. It was a white Peugeot 205 XS with 230 000 km on the clock, it cost 350 euros and I pretty…

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  • 1931 Chevrolet Build Update

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    There has been progress on the ’31 Chevrolet hot rod/rat rod. This is slow work, since we are making it up as we go, but we are moving forward. At last update, we had added some patch panels to the body and were trying to shore up the shell so it could be moved around…

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  • Our Cars: 2010 Toyota 4Runner SR5 is the newer family truckster

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    After years of discussions, decision making, (sadly the hundreds of comments on these posts were lost) and shopping, I have finally purchased a replacement for my family hauler, the 2005 Acura MDX. The two finalists were: 2010 Acura MDX with the Advance Package. I liked the MDX because the first one served us so well and…

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  • Calculating Head CCs, Compression Ratio and Risk Tolerance

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    Engineering’s a funny thing: there’s no such thing as “Best”, only “Best for a Purpose”. We’ll take The Ranchero’s cylinder head as a case study: I’ve got a good 200ci block bored .030″ over and a mystery head. I need to determine how much to mill off that head to ensure straightness and the proper…

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