Sunday, December 23, 2012

Mopar Of The Week - December 23, 2012

Who Needs Rudolph?

Monday, December 17, 2012

Tech Archives - 60 Amp Alternator Upgrade

  • I'll be switching to a 60 AMP alternator when we start up the new motor. I think I'm all set with what needs to change with the engine bay wiring. What I'm hoping for input on is the dash wiring. I've heard that there can be issues with the extra heat causing issues? Can somebody confirm or deny this? What should be done to make sure there are no issue? Also, if I just want to get things working, would could be an easy fix?  Josh Mitchell

  • I think the trouble comes with the ammeter because all of the current is flowing through it and by boosting the alternator output, you're increasing the load on the ammeter. If you bypass the ammeter, I don't think there's any problem with the dash wiring. You can also replace it with a voltmeter, or you can have the ammeter upgraded.  Menko Johnson

  • Just remember, the alternator is ONLY going to pump what its "told" to by the voltage regulator. Get a good electronic regulator and youll be fine. Also if you are going to get "jiggy" with the electrical system and are not going for resto-show appearance, I would consider fused relays for both headlight circuits. By routing 12V power straight to the headlights from the battery, and not tapping 9.5-10V out of the old harness and bulkhead connector, your lights will look like Halogens. Just use the stock 12V+ wires to the headlights as the relay exciter voltage, 12V battery buss power to the power input side of the relay and power out to the stock headlight harness. Put all the relays under the battery tray and youll never notice them.  Steve Wander

Mopar of the Week - December 14, 2012

Friday, December 14, 2012

Tech Archives - Carb Swap

I have been thinking that maybe my lame gas mileage has something to do with my carb being a bit on the large size for a stock 273 with a .425" lift, 260 duration cam... Right now I average around 10-11 mpg, and now that my Kickdown is working, I drive a little mellower... I have a 600cfm 4 bbl Eddie on there now, which I have even jetted and rodded down to a "Stage 10" from the tuning guide, which is as lean as you can make this model...

While we are on this subject, I too am in a quandry about carbs. Using the formula of 2CFM per horsepower, (is this a good formula?) a stock 273 should be happy with a 450 CFM, 4bbl. This should be adequate for up to 225 HP, which would be fine for a mildly tuned, low-compresssion 273. So, does anyone have a recomendation for such a carb? Also, can someone recomend a duel-plane manifold for this carb and engine? I'm told the duel-plane will work best with a mild engine and automatic. It supposedly gives much better low-end torque. What say you?
Steve Leek

Years ago I had a 65 Formula S that I swapped the Carter out for a Holley 450 4bbl and it was on the stock single plane manifold it gave me everything I wanted. I ran it allot on the 1/8 mile and it held it's own with the Mustangs & Nova's this was a 4 speed car but I think that a single or dual plane manifold will give you all you want. I don't think at the weight of are cars you will really notice the difference between the two manifolds unless you are planning on building it up and racing it. There is my 2 cents worth and good luck.
George Walling

Last car we built was a 55 chevy with a well built 355. It originally had a victor jr. single plane. From about 3200 rpms and up, hold on. But below that, it wasn't too enjoyable; wouldn't pull from down low, shuddered, etc... We switched to a edelbrock RPM air gap dual plane intake (rpm range 1500 - 6500) and couldn't have been happier with it. It ran just as good for being a street car and was much more enjoyable stopsign to stopsign too.
Arron DeRousse

There is no reason a properly setup 600 cfm carb won't be fine. The engine only uses what the air flows to it when it is correctly carbureted. I ran a Carter 770 cfm carb from my 68 Charger R/T on my 65 Formula S 273 4-speed 3.55 gear, using a carb to manifold adapter for over 50,000 happy street and strip miles. No problems. Of course, I was not searching for optimum mileage. The plugs showed it was fine. If you want optimum mileage, get a 2bbl intake and carb from a 318, put 2.76 gears in the rear and drive like you have an egg under your foot that you would rather not crack. You will get 20 to 23 mpg on the highway like my automatic 318 Scamp does. First order of business should be to tune what you have with carb, plugs, and timing.
Tom Stroup

I run nothing but Holleys. They are easy to tune and work on. The GoldFish got 18-19 MPG as long as you kept it under 70 on the highway (317 RwHp, 318, Holley 680 4150(vac 2ndry), Edlebrock Performer (a really good choice for a 273 too), Hot Hughes mech cam, A904 Auto, 3.23:1 8.75", 225 50 15 tires). The 680 Holley (650 with the choke horn cut off), worked really well on the old 273 too.
Dave Mapes

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

What Makes You A Car Guy?

What makes you a car guy? Or car girl for that matter? Why do you like cars? What makes you pause when a Hemi Roadrunner drives down the road? Why do you stop at tag sales when there's car parts laying on the lawn?

Driving to work today I was asking myself these questions and I can't really pinpoint a specific answer. I don't know if its a lifestyle or a sub-culture, but I like being known as a car guy.

This past year while experiencing my "Automotive Burnout", I still knew I was a car guy because I would see an older car on the highway, or drive past a cruise night and I felt that spark inside me light up for a moment. I can still tell most makes and models by the headlights or the tail lights. I still liked to see the cars even if I didn't want to stop and look around.

I finally snapped out of it and have a new upgrade to focus on at the moment. The questions still linger. What is it about these older cars that I like? Well, I like making something worn out work again. I like making something old, new and usable. I like being seen in my car when I drive around and taking time to talk to people in parking lots about cars.

I like upgrading old technology with new components to improve its function. I like putting my personal spin and custom touches on a stock design and making it my own.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tech Archives - Bleeding & Adjusting 4 Wheel Drum Brakes

So I finally finished installing new brakes on my 1964 Barracuda. It just has the standard 9" drums all around. When I first got the car, it essentially had no brakes. I replaced the drums, pads , and wheel cylinders. I also flushed the brake lines with clean fluid. The old front cylinders were leaking so I figured that was the main brake problem. I bled the brakes the old fashion way. Pump, Pump, Push. I seemed to get all the air out. I got the car on the road and the pedal seems way too soft. The car stopped but the pedal was close to floor. I applied the brakes in reverse to let the self-adjusters do their thing but that did not make much difference. Hard to believe but I have never driven a car without power brakes. Consequently, I am not sure how the manual brakes are supposed to "feel." Any hints on brake adjustments? Victor Carre
    The pedal should be firm and fairly high up. I would check and adjust each wheel separately and make sure that the adjusters have not been switched around since they are right and left side oriented. Have you replaced the master cylinder also?

    If you are self bleeding, you can use a hose that is immersed in brake fluid and fits tightly around the bleeder screw. Start at rt rear and loosen bleeder; SLOWLY pump pedal about five to fifteen times, using about half a cylinder of fluid thru ea wheel. Keep an eye on fluid. Start at rt rear then lft rear, rt front lft frt. Brion Traill

    One other thing to check that can sometimes make a difference is the flex hoses. Sometimes they can clog(especially old ones) and this can cause some problems). I did both the front ones on my 66 and my brakes are great. Steve Charlton

    We did a 63 300C and the brakes were all new, and the pedal still went to the floor after bleeding. We went back in and manually adjusted the star wheel on each drum and found them to be 3-4 turns out. After that, the brake pedal was rock hard and stopped us as well as drums could in a 4000 lb car. Should only have about 1" before you feel resistance. Make sure when you adjust the star wheels, you pump the brake to reseat the shoes. We had to do this twice on the old 300. Steve Wander

    A loose star wheel adjustment would explain your symptoms perfectly... when rolling, the shoes are actually supposed to touch the drums slightly, not enough to drag the vehicle but enough that you can just barely hear them scrape when you spin the wheel in mid-air. If they don't touch the drums, then the first thing the hydraulic fluid has to accomplish is moving them into position, which takes a fair percentage of pedal travel. A properly adjusted brake system gives the feeling of stepping on a rock. I've found it to be tremendously more satisfying than any power brake feel.

    The comment about reseating the shoes... yes, I've always found that if I adjust the star wheel while rotating the drum until the drag feels just a little too tight, then go step on the brake pedal once to "seat" the shoes, I come back to the drum and discover it rotates slightly more freely. Must be something to do with the geometry of the mechanism. I like doing it this way because I know that the final adjustment will be accurate under normal driving conditions... and because it's easier to get left and right to feel the same, so the car won't pull in either direction. Erik Ievins

    Tuesday, November 13, 2012


    Political statement or really likes Earl Grey.

    Sunday, November 11, 2012

    Fuel Injection for your Mopar

    Many of you know me and my approach to fixing, upgrading or simply making your car unique as being a "Built it, not Bought it" kind of style.

    Just look through the tech articles and the various upgrades I have shared with you in the Tech Center on the Clubs website. I'm always looking for ways to upgrade my 1966 Barracuda and its 1966 automotive technology.

    The changes I've made from stock are not too far off what was available in 1966. Front Disc brakes and anti sway bar to name a few. Electronic Ignition was a great upgrade toward modern technology, but what about Fuel Delivery? I mean we have mostly have had a single choice, Carburetors. But what if we could have Fuel Injection? What if we could have a tune able system with off the shelf components available at any parts store? What if we could do it ourselves without purchasing a mega dollar kit? Well, I'm here to tell you that we can!

    Mopar Of The Week - November 11, 2012

    Thursday, November 8, 2012

    Storm Sandy

    Hey all. I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone affected by Storm Sandy well. I hope that you all came through it with little or no damage and that everyone stayed safe.

    I myself am part of the Emergency Operations for the town I work for and I can tell you that although on the Eastern Connecticut shore we got hit bad, it is nothing compared to what was felt in Western CT, NY and NJ.  Add insult to injury by dumping 6 + inches of snow on top of it.

    If you feel the need to help, find a good charity and give them some cash, or donate blood, or just go help a neighbor clean up their yard or bring them some bottled water. I'm sure they will appreciate the gesture as these storms will no doubt take an emotional toll on those effected the most and a little help will go a long way just to restore a persons sense of sanity right now.

    Remember, we are all in this together, this thing called life.

    Tech Archives - Engine Revival Procedure

    I have as many answers to this question as the number of times I asked it.

    65 Cuda, 273 Commando. 2nd owner. Has 39,000 original miles. 90% original (Yes it's true.) It was running great till fuel pump started leaking fuel. I parked it in garage with almost an empty tank of gas and due to medical problems I have not started it in a little over a year. The guilt has gotten to me and it's time to give her the attention she needs.
    The main question is how to safely start the car. Here is my plan . Replace the fuel pump (I have one). Drain and change the oil. Pull the plugs and pour an oz. or so of Marvel Mystery Oil down the holes (this was recommended MANY times to me) Let it sit a night or to then put a wrench on the crank and turn it by hand . This all makes sense to me but from reading the stuff coming from you folks out there, ,I would welcome your opinions. Charley Barranco

    Sounds like a pretty good plan to me. I would probably change the oil after I put something in the cylinders. I also might use something like WD-40 instead of the MMO. That way you get a good fog of stuff in the bore, and lube more of each cylinder. Wayne W.

    Mopar Of The Week - November 4, 2012

    Thursday, November 1, 2012

    True Tales - The Skinny, Flame-Spittin' Car Before This One!

    "The Skinny, Flame-Spittin' Car Before This One!" Copyright 2007-2012 by: E.C. "Stan" Field

    The golden days of drag racing, spawned many legends.  Like most sports heroes these people were only human and depended a lot on their underpaid, overworked and incredibly loyal crews to help them over the tight spots.  The following story has been told at many get-togethers over the years.  I have heard it with minor variations from at least a dozen people.  It's absolutely true of course.

    During the early 60's, the corn fields of the Midwest were often buffeted by the sounds of huge V-8 engines.  Gentlemen farmers during the week, the weekends they reserved for visits to the famous US-30 Dragstrip.  Nearby, one crazy farmer of greek descent had about a mile of ruler-straight blacktop in front of his place.  Almost exactly a quarter-mile away through the rows of corn and millet, was a railroad overpass with a blind cross-street on the opposite side.  Very late at night, after working many hours on their rail, the crew would fire up a "junker" '57 Chevy with a split railroad tie for a front bumper and push the racer out to the road.  You know, just for a quick test run.  They also had an old pickup with a wrecker hook on the back that could lift the race car and haul it back to the barn in just a few minutes.  This seemed perfectly reasonable to them since it wasn't uncommon for several hours to go by without traffic on this piece of backwoods.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012

    Tech Archives - Spark Plug Gap

    OK, What brand plugs and part number are you running in your engine and why and do you run a different gap if you have electronic ignition? I'm using the standard Champion plugs for a V8 at the standard gap.
    Roger Kizer

    not a V8, but here's my recent experience with plug gap. I have a slant with the "special" ngk rz5es (I think that's right) plugs. I have the orange box ignition. A couple of weeks ago I changed the gap from stock .035 to .040. I can't say what other effects it had, but the car starts cold noticeably faster. It's not like it didn't start fine before; it just went from 3-4 turns to 1-2 turns before catching. I'll try .045 after I figure out what else this has affected.   Daryl Howland

    I run the NGK ZFR5N (stock number is 3459) Plugs in ALL 6 of my slants and LOVE them. Gap at 40 or 45 and get better starts, better mileage, And less fouling. Remember to remove the crush washer too. ( I use dykes to cut them off).   Frank Brent

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Tech Archives - "On The Fly" Iginition Timing

    I'm adding a new section to the Blog called Tech Archives. Just a re-post of tech related conversations from the mailing list that can also be found on the Clubs main site.

    About the pinging/ knocking: I really don't know that much about ignitions and it might be a really stupid question, but doesn't the ECU (the car was upgraded to electronic ignition) control the ignition timing? Is there even a way to adjust that?  Steve Grohne

    The electronic ignition eliminated your points, but not the distributor. It is still there and you can loosen the bolt to spin it more or less advanced. Got a timing light?   Daryl Howland

    Unfortunately I don't have a timing light...  Steve Grohne

    Timing can be done seat of the pants. You just get it to knock (pre-ignite, spark too early) at acceleration and start turning it back (retarding) until you dont hear the knock anymore. Takes about 5 minutes and an open road, or a really big parking lot on a Sunday morning.   Steve Wander

    3,000 rpm - turn dist till motor smooths out - lock it down - Works for all motors from stock to my race motors.   Kerry Shu

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    Automotive Burn Out.

    Have you ever worked on something for so long you just got tired of it? So much so that even the thought of it made you want to do it less and less? Thats how Iv'e felt for the past year. Except for me, it's not just working on my car, it's working on the entire EVBC club itself.

    My car is one thing that needs some attention. It needs a vacuuming and a good wash. The interior needs a wipe down and the chrome polished. The Windows need washing and the bumpers and mirrors need a polish too.

    The Car Club was something else all together. Emails went unanswered, Google group membership and Facebook requests fell on deaf ears. Blog posts stopped completely. Web site additions non existent.

    Sunday, April 22, 2012

    True Tales - Jay's VW

    "Jay's VW" Copyright 2007-2012 by: E.C. "Stan" Field

    My buddy Jay and I loved to race cars. All kinds of cars. Big ones like Cadillacs, medium ones like Valiants and Ramblers and small ones... Like Fiat-Abarths and Volkswagons.

    One thing we found out quickly, was that when you race cars, they will break. And if you have to take a broken car to a dealership to be fixed, it will cost a lot of money. Money was one thing we were really short of, back in the 1960s, and so, out of desperation and need... We learned how to be hot rod mechanics.

    Most of the time, we were working either out in my side yard, another friend's barn or Jay's really small garage.
    One particularly cold winter weekend, I was at his place and our wives needed to go shopping while I helped him work on an old 36hp VW. Since it was the weekend and we were not in any real hurry, as soon as the ladies left, we started working on the first of several six-packs of beer.

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    True Tales - Anything Fits!

    "Anything Fits!" Copyright 1993-2012 by:    E.C. "Stan" Field

    Back in 1966... or maybe it was '67, there was a real excitin' street racing fraternity around northern Indiana.  Every town had one or more sections of farm road, fairly smooth and straight that the local boys could use to break their cars.  One of the lessor-know champions of impromptu dragstrips was a really big fella called "Meat".  Now Meat only drove Chevrolet products.  He had several late 50s race cars and a radical '62 Corvette with wider tires under the back end than anyone had ever seen on a street car.  But... that's another story.

    One hot summer night me and meat and about a half-dozen other foolhardy streetracers were about halfway though a keg of Milwaukee's finest when the subject turned to engine swapping.  Since Meat's four-car garage had enough tools and equipment to outfit a complete race-team, he bragged long and hard that he could fit anything into anything else.  Nothing was impossible to the dedicated mechanic!

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Saturday, March 31, 2012

    New Blog Look

    We changed the look and name of the blog to better reflect our club and it's goals. The name, The Early Connection, was the name of our club newsletter in the past so it seemed like the fitting name for the blog moving forward.

    We hope to have input from many sources and members so check back every once in a while.