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1931 Chevrolet Build Update


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 without it collapsing like a house of cards. Though the photo above may look like it collapsed, it actually represents quite a lot of progress.

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Calculating Head CCs, Compression Ratio and Risk Tolerance

Tim Odell June 11, 2015 Project Cars

measure cc head

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 compression ratio.

I wanted to do a whole tech write up on this process, but to be honest it’d just be recreating this diagram and repeating much of this Classic Inlines article about static Vs dynamic compression ratios. To summarize the first: there are many things that contribute to the ratio of displaced volume and leftover space at top-dead center. The second: gnarly cams effectively drop your compression ratio.

head level

In my case, it’s a pretty common theme you’ll see: early-to-mid-’60s motors tend to have lousy cylinder heads with small ports and valves. Later 60s-70s-80s motors have better flow, but also larger combustion chambers. If you drop a later model head on an early motor, you’re likely to end up with a pathetically low compression ratio in the 7s-to-low-8s:1 range, so you’ve got to mill it down.

In my case, I measured the existing chamber volume using kitchen oil and a freebie drugstore syringe, then created my own Google docs sheet to do the math for how much milling gives how much leftover space.

With that in mind, what compression ratio would you target to eek a few more ponies out of a gutless motor without creating something that’ll detonate to oblivion on lap two?


Help a Hoon: Suggestions for a Replacement Heater Valve


Hey everybody, I need to engage the awesome power of the greater Hooniverse in finding a replacement part for one of my project cars.

My Jensen Healey got a handsome new radiator yesterday, one I picked up on the cheap at last month’s Queen’s English car show. It was while testing and installing the radiator that I discovered that the heater valve has apparently been keeping company with Greek wine amphora in a shipwreck at the bottom of the Mediterranean. At least that’s how it appears.

The valve is vacuum operated and has 1/2-inch connections on either side. I’m sure that there’s an exact replacement option that would keep the car OEM and my wallet all the emptier, but that’s not my goal. What I want to do is find the best replacement that won’t clean out the kids’ piggy bank.

Does anyone have a suggestion as to an alternative valve that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? So far I found one – for a Porsche 928 or all things – on PartsGeek that runs $22.99, but I’m not sure if the connections are the right size on that one.

Does anybody have any ideas?

Image: ©2015 Hooniverse/Robert Emslie, All Rights Reserved

Project Car Fun: 1964 Corvair Monza


A few weeks ago, I was visiting my brother’s place, and I had a chance to talk with him about his latest project – a 1964 Corvair Monza. I’ve seen it a few times before, but this time I wanted to let you all in on the fun. Check it out. … Continue Reading

Project Car SOTU: 1984 Toyota Tercel 4WD

DSC00005 (Copy)

When we purchased this 1984 Tercel for $1k back in 2011 I made a thread on FinalGear entitled “Restoration. How hard can it be?” Unfortunately Richard Hammond wasn’t nearby to shout “Don’t say that!” Still, even though the restoration isn’t anywhere near finished we have made some progress.

Only for it to be killed by entropy.

For example, the pic you see above is the one a less-reputable used car dealer would use to frontline an ad (or the one a writer would use to make a point). A cab driver had its way with the other side, because of course it did.

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Project Car SOTU Straggler: 1931 Chevrolet 5-Window

Scott Ith May 12, 2015 Project Cars


This is not my car, but it is in my garage, and all of my projects are on hold for the moment, so here’s an update on my friend’s 1931 Chevrolet 5-window coupe, which we dragged out of some guy’s back yard a few weeks ago.

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Project Car SOTU: The Exalted Collection Of Cameron VanDerHorst

Cam Lead Image

[As a member of the Cammed and Tubbed Podcast *Every Friday Morning, available exclusively on the Hooniverse Network Of Podcasts*, Cam sent me this blurb to include in the project car SOTU today. Hopefully you enjoy hearing about his quartet of lovely project cars. If you listen to the podcast, you’re likely already familiar with them! – BB]

Hi, I’m Troy McClure Cameron VanDerHorst. You might recognize me from “The Cammed & Tubbed Podcast,” the “other” podcast here on Hooniverse. Since it’s PCSOTU time, I thought now was as good a time as any to introduce my projects to you.

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Project Car SOTU: Bultakenstein & The Honda CL125S


Over the years that I’ve been dabbling with my project Bultaco, a certain annual rhythm has evolved. Around the middle of November, my workshop time erodes as my spare time and money starts getting earmarked for holiday get-togethers and Christmas shopping. Once the holidays are over and the credit cards are paid off, usually sometime in February, I rededicate my free moments to project tasks again until mid-summer, when vacation trips (not to mention really, really nice Spyder riding) distract me again. There’s another less intense, shorter period of activity in the fall until things grind to a halt for the holidays once more. Things have been going this way with Bultakenstein since 2011, and I have a fairly complete, rolling, homemade chassis to show for it, along with most of the parts needed to assemble a working engine. This year, things didn’t work that way.

As you may recall from my last Project Car SOTU update, I picked up a ’74 Honda CL125S a year ago. It was intended to be a fun commuter/neighborhood runner to keep me on two wheels and assuage my growing discontent with the glacial pace of Bultakenstein’s progress. Well, a year later, neither two-wheeler is on the road, I’m buried in work at the office, I’ve spent forever helping edit my father’s latest book, and the Bultaco is mouldering in the workshop, unattenteded to. The situation is not all that sad, however. Even though the CL125S has become an unintentional second project, I have completed some fun and rewarding work on the little Honda.

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Project Car SOTU: 1995 Audi S6 Sedan

Rowdy 1

Rowdy the Audi has been living a rough life, and it’s catching up to him. After nearly 200,000 miles of dutiful service, he’s starting to get tired and require some upkeep. I’m sure that will come as no surprise to a lot of you. German cars aren’t known for their reliability, but this one has been great to me for the last couple of years. I guess it deserves some much needed rest and relaxation, no?

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Project Car SOTU: My Porsche 944

I believe our very own Jeff Glucker once said that everyone should own at least one car that is older than themselves. I decided that this was the best time in my life to get a 944 then, as I would probably never be able to get one for a good price when I felt like buying a second car. The car is a 1985.1 car, with the 2.5 Liter inline four. It has 110 thousand miles, and starts (Almost) every time. Also, it is my only car. That’s right, I decided that when my dear S2o00 was taken from me thanks to an accident with a city bus, that I should get the one 80’s Porsche that I have always thought was cool. To me, the 944 is the grandfather of the Toyobaru twins. Except I believe that the 944 drives and looks far much better than the modern examples.

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