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Hot Rods Teenage Hot Rodder's Cheap Tricks in the 60's

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blackrat40, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167

    Member trick!
    winduptoy likes this.
  2. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    I haven't had the pan off a 216 "babbit pounder" in a long time. I'm skeptical too though.
    loudbang likes this.
  3. RidgeRunner
    Joined: Feb 9, 2007
    Posts: 880

    from Western MA

    [QUOTE="winduptoy, post: 12285443, member: 212819
    If you remember the FoMoCo plastic bag that hung on the inner fender for the windshield washer fluid?
    We'd fill it with transmission fluid and pipe it into the base of the carb. The car would smoke like a worn out junk yard motor creating the impression that it was almost toast. Get a race and demonstrate otherwise.....HEY, what happened to all the smoke!!!!!! deceptive little bastards!!!!![/QUOTE]

    Deceptive? Naw, just great creative engineering in my book!

    winduptoy, Clay Belt and loudbang like this.
  4. Down in Eugene, Or. we would pull the column shifter off our 50s Fords and then cut them down to make our cheap floor shifts to be cool. Trouble was, the pattern got kinda reversed.
    loudbang likes this.
  5. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,232


    Rightsided.jpg So I showed the picture of your Anglia to my buddy along with your time slip. 'Green Valley, I've run my Anglia there.'
    View attachment 3701285
    Now if I can get him to share some stories.

    Sent from my XT1254 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
    blackrat40 likes this.
  6. Rusty Karz
    Joined: Feb 11, 2005
    Posts: 299

    Rusty Karz

    I remember being told that the air passing over the flared end of the scavenger pipe created a vacuum that helped pull exhaust gases out faster. I kind of thought BS at the time but maybe it really did.
    loudbang and jnaki like this.
  7. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    I think an argument could be made that the flare could create a slightly lower pressure area behind the pipe(at speed).
    loudbang likes this.
  8. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091


    Like black rat 40 said. You had a bolt that held the rod to the wrist pin, you would remove rod cap and rotate the crank out of the way. You then slid the piston down in the cyl far enough to slide the pin over. then you could remove old rod and install another one. The rings were far enough up the piston so you had no trouble . You used a 9/16 socket with a very long extension. The shim stock was installed between the rod and cap where the cap bolts are. You always had the dip side with more shim stock so the dippers could pick up oil. I hate to tell you guys about the machine that could turn a rod journal while the engine was installed in the car. another old trick I only saw it done on stick shift cars. Chevy engineers thought so much about rebuilding engines the had 2 holes in the frame so you could use a extension and socket thru the frame to service number one cyl from the bottom. I have reringed several 56 235 chevys and many 46 to 54 chevys and not remove the power plant.
  9. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    You're right K9racer...I actually had a rod journal, in a '57 Chevy 283 V8, reground with the engine in the car and the
    crankshaft still in the block! There used to be a machine shop called Allard's on So. Ewing in Dallas that would come to your place and do it. Old man Allard had a machine that clamped across the top of the fenders with an electric motor that would turn the crank while a small grinding rock would follow the crank pin as it turned. It actually did a great job! It was a friends '57 and he had spun a bearing on that one throw. Allard ground it to .040
    under and we replaced 2 rods. We cleaned it up as best as we could without tearing it down. It ran great (but I don't
    know how long). We did have to take the heads off to get the 2 pistons and rods out. That was in ~1963.
    brad2v and loudbang like this.
  10. dorf
    Joined: Dec 5, 2008
    Posts: 1,087

    from ohio

    i had a 55 chevy ragtop . put pieces of pipe in the shackles california rake . handeled like a turd in a bowl of milk .
  11. Companies still sell various models of portable crankshaft journal grinders. I never used one, but a close friend of mine regularly used one to restore the journals on old engines.
    loudbang likes this.
  12. I did several crazy things on my Willys in the 60s that I somehow survived. I made my brake pedal arm from a running board bracket I cut off the Willy frame. I ran the stock Willys beam axle with the stock Willys mechanical brakes so I converted the mechanical brakes to hydraulic brakes by bolting in a slave cylinder from some foreign import car. Couldn't afford slicks on the rear so I ran farm implement tires that sort of look like slicks. My brother-in-law turned me onto that 'trick'.
    Early  B&W 2-1.jpg

    Also built a tunnel ram manifold before there were tunnel ram manifolds. Playing around in physics class. As you can imagine, it had zero bottom end. I ran a Rochester 4-Jet carb. Got me there and back for a couple years!
    Old days 2.jpg

    Early  B&W 1-2.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2017
  13. dan c
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,174

    dan c

    customized my first car with "black magic" and a ball-peen hammer! Scan0015.jpg
    Woogeroo and blackrat40 like this.
  14. chevy57dude
    Joined: Dec 10, 2007
    Posts: 6,002


    That's hot rodding! Very cool that you built & ran your own.

    lothiandon1940 and loudbang like this.
  15. Clay Belt
    Joined: Jun 9, 2017
    Posts: 381

    Clay Belt

    Can't tell you how many issues I have "solved" these past few years in a similar manner. Typically results in my dad wondering why he let me get a "classic", and why my beater of a daily has a modified exhaust.

    Pity that the Thunderbird isn't drivable these days.
    loudbang likes this.
  16. This is a year past cut off- delete if you wantZ

    This was my high school car circa 97-99- 1966 Galaxie 500. I bought it from the original owners son. Had a gutless 352 "big block". It was a 4 barrel, I found a used Holley for it and did the "screw in the linkage" for mechanical secondaries. Found a 25.00 posi for the 9" at pull and save. Had home made exhaust dumps. I thought it was a mean machine. I boight the American Racing 200S "daisy" wheels at a yard sale for 50.00 and the tire store (where dad loaned me money for new tires so it was safe) broke two wheels so they bought me a set of brand new ones.
    Right before thanksgiving one year my girlfriend dumped me. Not knowing how I would ever manage to make it heartbroken through a 4 day weekend, I hastily decided to paint flames on the ol boat. It actually turned out fairly good.

    Drove that car for years, lost my virginity in it, partied in it, got tickets in it. Raced it at the high school drags every Saturday night. I ended up putting a warm 390 in it and smoked the cruise-o-magic within a week so then a C6 with a stall and B&M shift kit. Sold it when I was 20 for a down payment for my first house. It looks so cheesy now but I really thought it was something back then hahaha

    IMG_9039.jpg IMG_9040.jpg IMG_9041.jpg
  17. I was 18 and still in school so money got poured into my '57 very slowly. It was a work in progress as money would allow a teenager to proceed. 1957 Chevy transformation_1.jpg
    brad2v, Woogeroo, loudbang and 2 others like this.
  18. Can't remember if it was Allard's but a guy came out to the Shamrock station I worked at in Mesquite and turned one of the crank journals in the car on a '56 Cadillac. It was around 1966.
    loudbang likes this.
  19. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    CHEESY...???...NO WAY! It definitely "made a statement"! I like it.
  20. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    Love it!!
    loudbang likes this.
  21. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    When I was a kid, I was building cars with Olds Rocket engines. It was very tricky to get the screw started that
    held the points to the breaker plate(no magnetized screwdrivers available). I started tearing off a strip of paper
    and poking a small hole in one end. I would push the short stubby points screw into the hole, and holding the
    strip of paper in my left hand, move the screw into position and insert a screwdriver in the slot with my right hand and screw it in! Rip the paper out before final turn. Worked great!
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2017
  22. In the mid-60's there were always beer can pull tabs in the ashtray or floor of my '57 Chevy. They came in really handy to set the points when they slipped or after filing with sweet things paper fingernail file. I think the tabs were .017 and the points were to be set between .016 and .019.

    Poor people have poor ways.
  23. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,231



    When I got my actual “paid for cash” first car of my own (40 Ford Sedan Delivery,) it had a stock flathead motor and a 3 speed La Salle floor shift transmission. The back was empty and the walls were not insulated. No radio(a portable, Sony handheld AM radio), a couple of bucket seats out of a sports car, and no other interior upholstery, it was a bare bones car, but it was my first car. I drove it all over our So Cal cruising grounds and to the beach.

    As usual, when I got some gas, I checked the oil and it was so low on the stick that I had to put in two quarts of Valvoline. That was fine until my next oil check a few days later after many miles of driving. The motor was running fine, there were no exterior oil leaks on the motor or backyard concrete pad, and it started up at the first turn of the key. So, what was making the oil disappear?

    At first, everything was checked, and it looked like every 100 or so miles, the oil mysteriously got used up. I took it to our neighborhood auto mechanic who worked on many Flathead motors and let him keep it for a day. His answer was…it runs fine, sounds great, shifts well, no oil leaks, the spark plugs look good and he tuned it to make sure of his findings. But, I needed another two cans of Valvoline.
    upload_2017-11-29_6-13-8.png upload_2017-11-29_6-13-19.png

    So, always behind the seat were two cans of Valvoline and a metal pour spout. That was ok for a while, but the cost was rising and there seemed to be no end in sight… We did not want to tear the motor apart because it was running so well and did not leak at all. Even the flathead mechanic did not want us to break it down.

    So, one day I was at a gas station near my Long Beach house and asked the owner what was in that 55 gallon drum with a crank and a spout. The answer was reclaimed oil. What the heck was that? It looked slightly different than the oil coming out of the Valvoline can, but still had the oil smell and texture.
    similar set up to our neighborhood economy gas station


    “Reclamation may take place off-site where the vendor of the reclamation service drains the existing charge and replaces it with previously reclaimed oil. Reclamation usually involves the lube oil being filtered and cleaned of debris, sludge and fine particles. Centrifuging also occurs to remove suspended particles and some water. The reclaiming of a lube oil is essentially a non-chemical process that restores in-service lube oil for reuse in a system.”

    In simple terms, Lubricating oil that is processed to be used over and over again. I could pump in a “gallon” of reclaimed oil at less than the cost of a can of Valvoline. That fit my bankroll and we were all happy campers… The 120 mile round trip to the Camp Pendleton surf spot in South San Clemente from Long Beach took a gallon.

    One time, our 40 Ford Sedan Delivery got broken into while we were surfing. Our change of clothes, lunches, drinks, towels, and other stuff got stolen. (We could not take any of these down to the beach, because we were tromping on gov't property ...Camp Pendleton and could get them taken away. We also needed a fast getaway, just in case...) But, behind the seat, the thieves left the gallon of reclaimed oil sitting there.

    We were "wet" going home to Long Beach, but the 40 Sedan Delivery ran fine with the full capacity of reclaimed oil in the motor.

  24. Jnaki, what you needed was some "Hot Rod" Double Re-Refined oil.

    Guaranteed for 2500 miles.

    Mick hotrodoil.jpg hotrodoil2.jpg
  25. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,231


    Hey LM,
    Thanks, that product looks good, but we never saw that can in any of the So Cal shops or gas stations for purchase. We were not sure how many times the reclaimed oil we bought was recycled or whatever they do, it just looked thinner and worked like a charm. So, did we put it in our 58 Impala 348 motor or our 671 SBC 40 Willys Coupe we built? Nope...

    But, we did add gooey STP to any motor oil when we changed oil. (Even to the race motor.)
    lurker mick likes this.
  26. blackrat40
    Joined: Apr 19, 2006
    Posts: 1,167


    Back in about '61 I had my first '40 Ford coupe. I put a '52 Olds 303 in it. One time it would not start.
    After running down the problem I discovered that the lead from the coil to the points was loose and
    was shorting to ground by touching the breaker plate. I later had a "Eureka Moment" and decided to
    add an extra lead to the points side of the coil and run it inside to a hidden toggle switch so I could
    ground the points. It could not be started by "hot wiring" ! In the early 70's I actually sold the same
    rig in Popular Science classified adds. $2.99 to "Stop Hot Wiring". The rig consisted of a military surplus
    toggle switch, 2 wire leads and hook up instructions. Sold the whole $5 box of 50 switches!
    wvenfield, brad2v, mkebaird and 2 others like this.
  27. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,197

    from Nicasio Ca

    The timing tape I bought at the local auto parts must have been on the wall since the '60s, doesn't look it's gonna stick, especially on my old grimy daily it's going on. So I scribed 10 degree marks and cut lines with a hack saw. The smaller degrees I can figure from the timing tab. Hope I went in the right direction. :)
  28. ring gap
    Joined: Dec 29, 2017
    Posts: 45

    ring gap

    IMG_20160501_1216374_rewind.jpg ppl'm IMG_20160501_1216374_rewind.jpg Hell I think I gained 25 horsepower putting my if Jc Whitney triple gauges in..:);)'s a picture of my 60 Chevy 4speed tranny 327 motor...was doing some burn outs ...mistakenly put it in 3 instead of first...tore the rear end out..lot of fun with this car:cool::D
    loudbang and Gammz like this.
  29. In 1959, I put a 53 Olds, plus Hydramatic and rear end, into my 34 1/2 ton, and ran 900 x15 on the back. I could make a smoke screen any time I wanted. I loved that Hydramatic.
    loudbang likes this.
  30. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,231



    My brother bought his dream car, a 1958 black/red Chevy Impala. It was one of the only 58, black, 348/280 HP Impalas in our cruising area. He was definitely a proud owner. But, having a younger brother anxious to be part of the hot rod world, that kid was ripe for duty maintaining this cool cruiser/hot rod. The early hot rod stuff, chrome accessories, pipes/mufflers, different hubcaps, tires, etc. were all part of the 50s look. Here is one thing I learned, if I wanted to go somewhere or get a ride, I had to be the maintenance guy on this Impala.

    I learned from an early lesson how to be the detailer on this shiny black Impala. The standard wax was in liquid form, simonize, glass wax, as it was easy on/easy off. But, after going to several car shows, we found out that Cadillac Blue Coral Sealer Wax was “THE” wax to use on custom car paints. So, what is good for those outstanding paints on the custom cars and hot rods was good enough for the black 58 Impala.
    I did learn a trick from one of the custom car guys. They told me to only do an area that I could easily wipe off, quickly. If the Blue Coral was left on to dry and it got a thick milky sheen, you were in a heap of trouble. It was a bear to get off. So, the timing had to be correct to get it on and then wipe off easily for that everlasting, deep shine. Of course, being a teenager in a hurry to finish, there were hard lessons to learn about applying this Blue Coral and wiping it off in time.
    upload_2018-3-17_5-39-52.png upload_2018-3-17_5-40-5.png saved from the early 1958-60s
    But, it was a hard lesson to learn and when the 58 Chevy Impala became my own car years later, I had the wax job down pat. It was that blue coral smell that was always wafting around my car that brings those early years back.
    upload_2018-3-17_5-41-50.png ???
    One day the 58 Impala was sitting in our driveway, with some water drops on the concrete pad. It was a shiny So Cal day and no water anywhere, in the yard, gutters, etc. So, where was the water coming from that was on the concrete? The wax job was shining and sparkling, but there were drops on both sides of the car doors.


    The doors had some water in them from washing the car a couple of days ago. The water had dribbled down the window and sat on the bottom of the door. I found out that there were 3 or 4 slots with little flat caps that should have been removed at the factory, but were not. They were covering the holes under the door to allow water down and out. So, I immediately removed them.

    I was crawling under the car with a screwdriver or old dental pick to clear out the debris. Whenever my Impala was on the rack at my friend's gas station, I brought out the small screwdriver and skinny curved dental pick. That solved the water drops under the doors. Our car was still rust free in 1965.

    Recently I found this in a Chevy website:

    “In order to make the X-Frame work, Fisher Body increased the strength of the rocker sills of the bodies, as well as side-to-side stiffeners in the floor. These can be seen fairly well in this shot of a ’58 Chevy. In essence, GM was transferring a substantial amount of the overall structure’s strength to the body; certainly any side impact resistance that this intrinsically vulnerable design might have had. The problem is not only whether the body sills had enough strength for that purpose in the first place, but these rocker sills were notorious for collecting moisture and rusting prematurely.”
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
    39 Aaron NZ likes this.

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