Monday, November 26, 2018

Now THIS is fun!

First passes with the plasma cutter. Freehand then with a magnetic guide. Cuts like butter. 😎 👍

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Metalwork Progress (fender)

Finished welding and grinding the trim holes on the fender I've been working on. Next up is some hammer and dolly work on the heat warps. They will get leaded later this winter after I install it on the Savoy. After I repair the damaged sheetmetal around the turn signal pod. But I am really enjoying the heck out of this!

Monday, November 12, 2018

So Much To Learn

Pictures below... my first welds in over 40 years, since high school. And my first MIG welds.

Working on the RF fender off the '63 Fury parts car for the Savoy moredoor, filling old trim holes.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Project Dragon2

Work on the wagon is slowly lurching forward with removal of the old seized engine block imminent.

The goal of this project is to build the wagon I had in High School back in the late 70s. And step it up a notch like I would have liked to have done given the experience and money. 😉

Saturday, November 3, 2018


Andrew Schollars' 55 Chevy / image from "Longroofs" Facebook group

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Progress On The Wagon

Saturday I decided that after two and a half years it was time to start cleaning out the wagon. To that end, I removed the headliner cards (all are intact) and the bows that hold them up as well as the retaining clips (all are present and accounted for). Also tore out and disposed of the roof insulation, a nasty ass job.

Next up is getting the seats out so that I can start to cut out what's left of the floors.

Stay tuned.

Parked since the early 70s, this is the only sheetmetal damage to the car.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Shop News 10.14.18

Tearing into the wagon's slant six and from the looks of things I'm inclined to think it barfed a timing chain.  I won't know for sure until I pull the motor and get into it further but if I can save it with minimal investment and effort, I will. Keeping in mind that the odometer reads 110k... it may be the end of the line for this block. At any rate, I do have the poly 318 and its k-member, and a 413 here as well so there's no shortage of alternatives.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Shop News 9.30.18

The carb on our moredoor has been dicey since I got the car and seems to seep fuel everywhere. Obviously it needs rebuilding. Last week I decided it was time to get it done and ordered the kit online. Saturday after the parts arrived I pulled the carb and on a whim decided to install the one off the wagon. I had pulled it earlier this year since it's getting a V8 swap and had the carb soaked in organic detergent, cleaned it up, scrubbed it down then set it on the workbench.

I didn't know what to expect since the wagon has sat since the 70s which means there hasn't been any gas though that carb in forty-some odd years. But... the thing did its job and the Savoy fired right up. I took it for a test drive and the beast has more power now than ever. Obviously that other carb is really roached.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Another One Brought Back From The Dead

Our '63 Fury parts car (with 57k on the clock) was parked in Tennessee in 1996 and hasn't run since. When I got it, the 318 Poly-head motor (polyspherical “semi-hemi” heads) turned over but didn't have spark so I today I pulled the distributor, tossed in some new Standard ignition parts; points, condenser, rotor button and a coil and gave it a shot. Here's Uncle Crusty idling for the first time in 22 years. Since we didn't know why the car was parked and with carb being a crusty mess, I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth it ran after sitting for so long.

The motor is reserved for possible use in our '63 Savoy wagon.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

A Quick Saturday Project

Sometimes it's the little things that are the most fun. Saturday I installed a new shift knob, custom designed and made by NumNobs ( on our '63 Savoy moredoor, Mr. Stein.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

A Brief History Lesson

My '63 Savoy moredoor should have been written off as a parts car years ago. Even then, with all the rust there wouldn't have been much to save outside of the grill, trim, hood and deck lid. But after seeing how clean the interior was I just couldn't bring myself to tear it apart. After all, since I actually drive it, I spend most of my time inside the car anyway so what difference does it make if the body's a mess? Right?

Anyway... I found the car on Craigslist, local to Grayson, Carter County, Kentucky. It came with original paperwork showing the dealer, date purchased and the owner's name so I eventually did some research online and managed to locate a photo of the dealership as it looked in the mid 70s. The owner was a local woman who probably received the car as a birthday or Christmas gift as suggested by some local residents on a social media genealogy forum who had worked at the dealership at the time and remember the car being sold (you gotta love small towns).

Call it karma, but knowing a little of the car's history just makes me a bit reluctant to part the car out. I guess I consider myself a caretaker of sorts. So, for now I'll continue to use it as a testbed (that's why I've named it Mr. Stein, short for Frankenstein) and work on the car's body as I learn metalwork and brush up and expand my brazing and welding skills.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Gotta Start Somewhere

The results of my first attempts at brazing. This is on the right front fender of the Fury parts car that will eventually be installed on the Savoy sedan. This is the bottom of the fender and bolts to the frame via a brace, normally not visible. The area was pretty sketchy looking anyway with the sheetmetal being thin and rusty so I decided it was a great place to start. Overall... it was a good experience and I've learned what mistakes I made and will correct them and improve my skills. I'll continue next week by filling in some old trim holes.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Frankie's Day Out

Took Mr. Stein out for a test drive Saturday afternoon; about 10 miles. I am being overly cautious since it's been a few years since I've been on the road with it. But with the new fuel system and the tweaks to the motor, it seems to be running nice and strong with plenty of power.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Valve Lash

Valve Lash is the mechanical clearance between the valve tappet and the rocker arm. On these older Mopar slant six engines with solid lifters, valve lash adjustments are performed with the engine running, after it has reached operating temperature. The recommended service interval is 30,000 miles.

diagram courtesy of

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Snooze Nooze

Sometimes I go down to the shop, drink a few beers, smoke a couple of cigars and just enjoy the atmosphere. This was one of those times.

I did clean the wagon's old distributor cap off as a test, by soaking it in a bucket of cold water and some Dawn dishwashing detergent overnight. It was caked with a 1/8" thick layer of greasy crap.

Turns out it's an original Mopar Forward Look piece.

Also cleaned the Ball & Ball / Carter 1bbl carb that I pulled off the wagon while I was at it. Now it's ready for re-building.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Suddenly, It's 1977

Searched eBay and found a cool old Cal-Custom bolt on gas pedal foot from back in the day. And that nerdy, late 70s high school look is starting to come together. 😜

I still have tons of sheet metal work to do but I wanted to do some "fun" stuff first.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Prognosis: Fatal

The wagon's been at the shop for 2 years now and Saturday I decided tear into the motor and have a look at the ol' slant six to see if I could find out why the car had been abandoned in the late 70s.

It wasn't pretty.

When the car arrived, the motor was locked up. Since the odometer reading is over 100k I was expecting the worst.

That does not look healthy. And oh yeah, the distributor won't budge.

#1 intake pushrod isn't looking good at all.

#4 exhaust pushrod is gone and probably down in the motor.

And that's why I picked up the rusty but unmolested '63 Fury with the 318 polyhead and 55k showing on the clock.