Submit Wrenching Tips/Garage Hacks, Win Money and Hooniverse Bragging Points

Tim Odell September 18, 2014 All Things Hoon

garage hacks

Who here is has some cool DIY tricks and could use $500? Like, all of you, right? Through the month of September Valvoline is taking submissions for “Garage Hacks”, basically little tips/tricks that you use to make DIY wrenching go better. Sound familiar? In fact, I already submitted my previous wrenching tips like putting wrenches on carabiners or writing the date/mileage of an oil change on your filter.

The, ahem, mechanics are as follows: take a picture and add a short blurb describing your “hack” and post it on facebook, twitter or instagram (@valvoline) with the #GarageHacks tag. The best submission each week gets a $500 gift card. Take a look at the submissions here. Knowing you guys, I fully expect a Hooniverse readers to put the existing submissions to shame.

So much so, that I’ve already got some Valvoline swag to giveaway for a submission from here. If you submit something, post a link to it in the comments here. Highest voted comment here gets a hat, shirt, and an unexpectedly cool wooden box.

[So yeah, if it seems like we're participating in a social media marketing campaign, that's because we are. There's some more cool stuff coming up because of it, and compared to all the nonsense that comes across our inboxes this is right up our collective alley. Certainly better than some alternatives... - Ed]

The Best Guy on Craigslist, Part 2: Four Early-’80s Imperials for $2000

1981 chrysler imperial for sale

Unfortunately for me, I’m resigned to believe that a solid-axle, rear-wheel-drive Detroit V8 powered car can only be so bad. I’m just a notch too young to have experienced the contrast between a humble but reliable late-70s Honda and a corpulent, shoddily assembled contemporary Buick. With that in mind, The Best Guy on Craigslist’s fleet of 4 Imperials for $2,000 seems like a recipe for an incredibly successful and classy LeMons squad.

While the early and late cars spring to mind most quickly, we must remember the Imperial name graced the graced one of Chrysler’s last RWD cars until recent times. Sharing a platform with the Dodge Monaco and (non-Corinthian) Chrysler Cordoba, the early-80s Imperial came with a TBI’ed 318 V8, 904 transmission and a ton of cheesy early-80s luxury touches like fake crystal and over-padded velour seats.

While these seem to be run-of-the-mill Imperials, a good theme might be to construct one into each version of the special editions they were available in, most notably the Frank Sinatra SE, which came with a box set of 16 Sinatra tapes.

Check out all the slant-nose glory right here: Four 1981-83 Chrysler Imperials for sale – SF Bay Craigslist

We’ve got one more post from this seller, but that’ll have to wait for Thursday…

The Best Guy on Craigslist, Part 1: 1472ci worth of Cadillacs for $1600

1976 cadillac eldorado for sale

Yours truly, fellow Hoon Eric Rood and Murilee Martin aka Judge Phil spent the weekend sweating our undersides off dispensing justice at the World Record Setting* Vodden The Hell are We Doing 24 Hours of LeMons at Thunderhill Raceway, which means I’ve got LeMons on the brain. Scheming some ideas for ridiculous LeMons cars, my mind circled in on using the Cadillac FWD architecture of a massive V8 mounted longitudinally over a mutant TH400 transmission with CV shafts exiting east-west. Uncovering a pair of Eldorados on craigslist was just the tip of the LeMony iceberg. Noticing the cars in the background, searching the seller’s phone number uncovered a septic tank treasure trove too awesome to be contained in one post.

To lead off, we’ve got a fleet of Fleetwoods Eldorados for a distressingly low price. The Seller has a pair of ’76 Eldos in one Craigslist ad, with a ’69 in another. the ’76s are 500ci-equipped convertibles, while the ’69 is a 472ci hardtop. Don’t let the displacement fool you, the smaller ’69 is definitely the most potent of the trio, but the low-compression ’76s could be freed of their emissions controls and still deliver torque by the ton at the low end. Those low compression lumps will run on our crappy California gas without begging for octane booster. Besides, the lower CR leaves open the possibility of running some mild turbocharging for an even more ridiculous setup.

Oh yeah, that ridiculous setup…I know the Scrubbing Bubbles VW is looking for a new home. If not “Scrubby”, a VW Van probably provides ample room to nestle that powerplant in the rear. Not to impugn the 70 year old Volkswagen design, but maybe something more recent like an Astro Van would work better. Or (duh) you could just run them in their FWD Boss Hoggian drop-drop glory!

Pair of 1976 Cadillac Eldorado Convertibles for sale – SF Bay Craigslist
1969 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible for sale – SF Bay Craigslist

Tune in later for 2 more posts of awesomeness from the same seller…

*pending Guinness certification, which might take nearly forever.

“SCARY Porsche 914″ Seller Wins Honest eBayer of the Week Award

1974 porsche 914 for saleThe Art of the Sale is putting a positive spin on every aspect of your ware. Rusted out? Pre-lightened! Seized motor? Great LSXFTW swap candidate! and so on, to the point no one takes you seriously. This seller does the opposite, almost daring you to pick up this car, as it’s so horrible:


1974 porsche 914 for sale (1)1974 porsche 914 for sale (3)

So…a typical sub-$1000 Porsche 914, then? In all honesty, it looks like it’d make a great LeMons car or first car for your least favorite kid (why no both?!)

$960, auction ends Friday: 1974 Porsche 914 – eBay Motors

You Could Do a Lot Worse than this 1987 Fiero GT

1987 pontiac fiero gt for sale I’m curious what cars my kids will think are awesome classics. “Fearful” might be the more accurate adjective, given how uncool my dad finds the station wagons I love so much. If I hear a post-millennial kid talking about a “sweet classic Fiero”, I could probably wrap my head around it if it’s as cool as today’s example. This 1987 Fiero GT sports a 2.8L V6, manual transmission and aftermarket digital dash conversion. It’s nearly as 1987 as you can get (still a little short on neon accents).

1987 fiero gt for sale (1)1987 fiero gt for sale (3)

The car has 114k miles, but received a remanufactured motor from Jasper about 20k ago and 15 years ago. He drives it 600 miles from Pittsburgh once a week, which is nothing to sneeze at in a 27 year old orphan GM vehicle. I’ll admit to having never driven a Fiero, so I can’t comment on whether the Citation suspension this ’87 sports is as awful as contemporary reviewers stated or if it gets a free pass on account of its age. The $2,200 OBO price, black over not-vinyl with a V6 6MT combination has my interest piqued, but thankfully tragically it’s far away in Ohio. Any midwesterners wanna take a look?

1987 Pontiac Fiero for sale – eBay Motors

I’m Thinking of Flipping this Jeep (but not in the typical way…probably)

1966 jeep cj5 for saleIt’s long been my goal to have my car hobby pay for itself, but probably never become a day job. Over five years, Hooniverse has helped towards that goal, but I’m also looking to get into a little more of a hands-on approach. I recently took a friend’s car from non-starting, non-running basket case to decent cheap commuter and made about $1200 in the process. The Missus is encouraging me to roll that forward…

Which is how this ’66 CJ5 caught my eye. Yes, it’s a total basket case. However, the seller’s asking $800. With a negotiated discount, that’s about the part-out-and-scrap value of the collective parts. Meanwhile, a crappy running CJ5 is worth around $3k. This one’s ugly, but has potential to get some attention with the 350 swap and…well…the 350 swap. There’s next to no information about whether that motor’s seized or an afternoon of work away from running. Same with the rest of the drivetrain. Might be little more than a lawn ornament for all we know.

1966 jeep cj5 350 motor

Assuming there’s a salvageable drivetrain in there, the nice part about a rough CJ5 is that expectations are low; more typical cars have failure points like A/C, stereo, doors, windows, glass or a roof, but not here. If I can get it running, turning and stopping, it’s already doubled or tripled in value. While I’m at it I might throw the wheels and tires (and maybe axles) from my Wagoneer under it as an excuse to get new ones. Oh, and I’d need to get a replacement title.

Would it be a well-sorted “buy it and drive it across the country” grade vehicle? No, but it’d be one cool 4×4 saved from the scrapyard and a good starting point for someone else’s fun project driver.

1966 Jeep CJ5 for sale – SF Bay Craigslist

Twin-Turbo T-Bucket Tuesday!

Tim Odell September 2, 2014 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1923 ford t-bucket roadster for sale

Bereft of any unique eBay finds from my usual searches, I waded into the “Other Makes” listings for a laugh. Among the endless fake Cobras and a wildly optimistic GTO-cum-Veryon job, I found this T-bucket. While it’s a typical ’80s-’90s fiberglass body with a 9″ rear and Mustang II front suspension, it’s sporting a semi-unique twin-turbo 4.3L V6. Essentially he’s swapped two cylinders from a 350 for two hair dryers. The setup’s not particularly exotic, as it’s just breathing through a carb in a box. There’s no mention of how the ignition compensates for boost, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

But those tires, man. Holy crap, those tires. The rears have got to be about 33×16″ and the fronts are…from a motorcycle? (Note that one’s mounted backwards).

Anyway, he’s asking $12,000 for it, which seems a little steep for a slapped together kit, but probably fair if it’s sorted and dialed in.

“1923” Ford T-bucket Roadster – eBay Motors

Own LeMons Legend Spank’s Award-Winning Renault R10

Tim Odell August 28, 2014 All Things Hoon

renault r10 for lemons car for sale

You now have the opportunity to own one of the best and worst LeMons cars in history: Spank’s Renault R10. The lead image should make the best/worst descriptor self-evident, we’ll elaborate to point out that it’s a terribly slow car that captures the essence of LeMons so well it won the top honor: the Index of Effluency.

But there’s more than just a terrible way to spend four figures, the ad is so well written. As purveyors of low-end craigslist and eBay finds, we wade waste-deep through the written effluence of the semi-literate. Not so with this listing. A mere sample from the lengthy listing:

It’ll be ok. It’s just some pictures. It can’t hurt you. See? It’s a screen. Go ahead and touch it. Go ahead.
See? It’s just a screen, just like I said– a screen. You can scroll and look at the pictures. They’re just pictures. Just pictures on a screen…
But you don’t have to live your life that way. You know– looking at pictures on a screen. I mean, you know, ANYONE can do that. You don’t even have to get dressed to do that; you can be, like, naked looking at pictures on a screen. Heck, probably a good percentage of you are darned close to naked right now. Sitting there, looking at pictures on a screen. Pictures that show there’s fun to be had out there in the world. You know– out there in that natural sunlight.
Do something.
Be somebody.
Buy this.
The opening bid is $2,000, with a buy-it-now of $4,350. For the full price, he’ll include delivery and entry to the upcoming “Vodden The Hell Are We Doing?” Thunderhill race in September. Yes, a seriously awful “$500″ car is going to cost you nearly $5 grand. Once you add up the price of a cage, seat, tires, brakes and other generally exempt items, a car of air comes in between $3 and $4k. A prepped (but awful) car plus entry for $4,350 is actually a pretty good deal once you split it between 4-6 people.

Tempest Tuesday: Don’t Call this 1962 Pontiac a Muscle Car

Tim Odell August 26, 2014 eBay Insanity, For Sale

1964 pontiac tempest for saleSo odd, that two cars embodying What Could’ve Been and What Unfortunately Was would bear the same name: Tempest. The 1964 Pontiac Tempest LeMans GTO defined the muscle car (despite Jim’s efforts to do otherwise): midsize car with a full-size engine. The success of the utterly conventional, not even that original GTO convinced GM that baby boomers would keep buying sloppy straight-line cars as long as they kept the cool options packages and badging, regardless of actual performance.

Alas, just a few years prior the Tempest was part of a grand experiment at The General: ground-breaking engineering that evolved beyond eight cylinders, three automatic gears, leaf springs and solid axles. The Y- and Z-body “Senior Compacts” from Chevy, Buick, Pontiac and Oldsmobile all touted interesting technology. The Corvair had a rear-mounted air-cooled engine with optional turbocharging. Buick and Oldsmobile had the aluminum 215ci V8 with optional turbocharger and methanol injection. Pontiac offered a high performance 194ci 4-cylinder cleaved from half a 389ci V8. All four The Tempest and Corvair shared a rear-mounted transaxle with independent swing-arm suspension and the Temptest used a flexible mid-shaft and torque tube that curved down to give a flatter floor.

This ancient article from Paul Niedermeyer at The Truth About Cars elaborates so I don’t have to. I share Paul’s opinion that it’s a bit of a tragedy GM decided to abandon this line of technology completely as a result of some teething issues, given where it could’ve led.

1962 pontiac tempest for sale (1)1962 pontiac tempest for sale (3)1962 pontiac tempest for sale (4)

Anyway, today’s example is a red-on-white 4-cylinder, 4-speed example that looks damn nice. The seller offers almost no information (hence the digressive diatribe), and it’s in Wisconsin with modern California plates. The $9,500 asking price is high by our cheap-ass standards, but not out of line for a nicely configured example of a rare car. Were I building a car collection, I’d definitely be on the lookout for a Y-body like this to include.

1962 Pontiac Tempest for sale – eBay Motors

Hooniverse Asks Bonus: Is to Bad to Part Out an Otherwise Functional Vehicle?

Tim Odell August 25, 2014 Hooniverse Asks

1974 Jeep Wagoneer

When searching for relatively rare parts from relatively rare vehicles, often times buying a donor vehicle is the most efficient way to get what you need. For me, I’m eyeing this 1974 Wagoneer for its front and rear axles. However, the intact “Razor” grill, AMC 360, TH400 transmission, Dana 20 transfer case and various other easily removed pieces will net an additional few hundred bucks. Lastly, the steel of the carcass puts it in the $200-300 range for the scrap yard. I’d probably get my axles for $0 plus or minus a hundred bucks.

But then again, there’s only so many of the unflared, pre-wood, truly classic looking Wagoneers out there. I’m sure rust-belters are already cursing me through the screen. This one’s rough, but for the price it could be fixed up a bit and serve honorably for a few more decades. I hate seeing pictures from old junkyards, with (literally) piles of cars that we’d all (hopefully not literally) kill for today. I’d hate to be part of that, just to make a few bucks.

So…are we–the havers of tools, skills and driveway spaces–obligated to save the weakest of the classic herd? Or are we free to prey upon them, as nature intended?


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