Updating to a Modern Overdrive Part 2

What would be the point of upgrading your lethargic stock 904 to a modern 518 overdrive unit if a beef up and rebuild were not conducted? NO POINT! So, in Part 2 the 518 gets worked over. 

  1. Tear down and cleanup. Inspect parts and make parts list.
  2. Get new components for any bad parts, new bearings, hipo billet servos ( 518 has a couple plastic), hipo bands & clutches, shift kit, and vacuum controls to solenoid for overdrive & new converter lock up.
  3. Add deep sump pan and button it all up.
  4. Show off completed unit by curling it 100 times!!! It’s ready to install…


Updating to Modern Overdrive Part 1

RHEnterprises in Burbank CA recently embarked on upgrading the tranny in their ’70 Plymouth Scamp from a stock 904 to a modern 518 with overdrive (4speed) skipping the traditional upgrade route using a beefed 727 (3speed). The little Scamp is in the process of dumping its 45 year old 318 2bbl power plant for an earth pounding stroked late model 360 (post on the engine build coming soon). In Part 1, new trans mounts are mocked up, fabricated, and installed. 

  1. Set the tranny shell position. Used engine mount point as datum to back of engine for X & Z position. Center the trans in tunnel and figure the mods & crossmember.
  2. Cut out the factory reinforcement hoop out of the tunnel to clear tranny.
  3. Fabricated new 1/4 inch bar stock reinforcement hoop to clear tranny then weld.
  4. Designed and fabricated new tranny crossmember. 518 sits lower and mount is 3 inches shifted.
  5. Finished tranny mount. Hard rubber isolator 60 shore, $7 out of McMaster Carr.  Slots & isolator design allow for 2 axis final adjustment once engine trans combo is installed.


Saved by a Gearhead!

Traveling back to DFW TX today from visiting the University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK over the weekend and passed this trailored 1974 Plymouth Duster. Some lucky Cajun picked up this “find” in Oklahoma and is apparently taking it to Lousiana (see Ram license plate) for resuscitation…lucky guy!!!


Happy Hemi Day T-Shirt

Hemi TShirt

Hemi Photo


Sunday is 4-26 or Happy Hemi Day…order this T-shirt from Mancini Racing so you can celebrate in style!

Source: #Happy Hemi Day T-Shirt

Cruisin’ Reunion Route 66

CR66 2014Ontario, CA – Well, another successful year of Cruisin’ Reunion Route 66 is in the books and it could not have gone smoother. This was the second year of the event  held in old town Ontario California and on all levels the event surpassed last year’s great results.  There were more cars, more people, more vendors, more big name sponsors, LA TV news crews, the Goodyear blimp, network news helicopters, and the inaugural opening of the brand spanking new outdoor Ontario Town Center concert stage…lots of name brand bands like Little River Band and Otis Day were on hand (although the later has absolutely lost all semblance of a voice…it sounded like gravel in a trash can). There were cars on display that were seen last year as well as those not seen at this event before…crowd pleasers seemed to be a Dodge Challenger 4×4 (ouch!), a real military Humvee, a fire dept ladder truck from ground zero NY 911 where the Ontario FD crew were raising funds for MSD charities, and an Acadian Canso (find it the pictures by clicking link below). Autozone giveaways, Ford new car displays (you could register to win a new Mustang), free Lucas Oil tool box stickers, two beer gardens, and a smattering of local food vendors rounded out this year’s event. Weather was a PERFECT low-80’s daytime and high-60’s nights…just like the old days of late summer cruising E Street San Bernardino back in the 70’s. Looking forward to the 3rd annual event next year – mark your calendars for the 3rd week in September and plan to attend; you won’t regret it!

Click Here to See the Cars of CR66  Note there are a couple of videos with cool exhaust sounds in the mix!


Attention Gamers! Toyota Reveals FT-1 Sports Concepts

The Toyota FT-1…revealed in early 2014 as one of the most radical concept sports cars in recent memory has recently trumped itself with a second FT-1 sporting an all-new grapToyota FT1 Concept Carhite paint job and leather interior. This latest concept car helps Toyota lay the ground work for release of an even more extreme FT-1 that according to Toyota “exists in virtual form only (as) the FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo. Both the graphite FT-1 concept car and the FT-1 Vision GT will be available next month to race in Gran Turismo 6 on the PS3. The Vision GT is an ultra high performance race car that imagines what the FT-1 could do if it were purposed for all-out track warfare. Like previous Vision Gran Turismo cars from other auto marques, the FT-1 Vision GT also shows how much fun car design can be when restrictions like financial constraints and real-world practicality are completely lifted” meaning that without the bean counters, car manufacturers would design and produce some pretty cool sports cars (albeit would likely not make any money)!

Click to Read More About FT-1 Sports Cars



Gigafactory – Tesla’s Battery Factory in the US?

Manufacturing in the US?  Haven’t we been told it is no longer feasible to “make stuff” in the US due to greedy union wages, high property taxes, environmental protection laws, untrained workforce in high-tech, and deteriorating national transportation infrastructure? Well, don’t tell Tesla who has built an assembly plant in the US (Fremont CA – some would say “old news” as most foreign car manufacturers have proven they can profitably assemble cars in the US with foreign supplied parts) who has decided to build one of its major vehicle components in the US – the lithium battery. Several states are in the running for this new plant which promises to create hundreds of jobs not only supplying high-tech batteries for Tesla’s own use in their vehicles but to other car manufacturers through key supply agreements. This plant will be a BIG deal for whichever state can land it. Tesla is looking at sites in either Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, or Texas with California running a distant fifth for its regulatory red tape and business unfriendly atmosphere. Currently, the lead apparently belongs to Texas with Tesla considering a plant near Dallas, for a clean sweep of CEO/founder Elon Musk’s new projects (Space X and Lithium batteries).  Pay attention, this resurgence in US factories could lead to non-retail / food service jobs for your kids in the future…


Tesla Waiting-for-the-Gigafactory_03


Waiting for the Gigafactory – ASME.


Toyota Gambles on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle

Coming soon (estimated April 2015) is Toyota’s next step into the world of alternative fuel vehicles.  This time and according to Toyota’s internet site, “it is a vehicle equipped with a “Fuel Cell” that generates electricity through the chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen to power the motor driving the vehicle. Hydrogen, which replaces gasoline as fuel, is an environment-friendly energy source…”. While this type of cell is most toytoa fcv_step3likely the best long-term solution to alternative fuel vehicles (as of now, the cheapest raw materials and conversion process once hardware prices come down through production volumes and technology advances; and, reduced heat over internal combustion engines while spewing only a trickle of water as exhaust), it will be interesting how the “big T” will overcome public perception that hydrogen in currently synonymous with the H-bomb! Do you want to sit on this while you drive?

Read More Toyota Fuel Cell Car – Click Here


Great California Street Rod Civil War

heritage_brizio_butter_fmtAs a bit of hot rod history, it is sometimes fun to reflect on the triumphs and disappointments of the industries’ pioneers. The rivalries among various hot rod designers, builders, and shops seemed to come to a head in the early ’70’s with a showdown between the big name shops of Northern California versus Southern California. To find out who won this classic war between NoCal and SoCal, read the attached articles.  The first link is the story written up by SEMA and the second is a career recap by Hot Rod magazine of the “winner” aka “the Rodfather“.  You will have to read to find out which side won!

Click Here to Read More Street Rod Civil War

Click Here to Read More About the Winner



Solar Electric Vehicle “eVe” Breaks Record

Students from the University of New South Wales designed and built a solar car that broke records in 2011.  With their latest design, they set another world solar car speed record on July 23, 2014 averaging 60+ mph over 310 miles (500 km) on a single battery charge!  Watch out Tesla, your competition may be coming from Wales!

Click Here to Read More on 2014 Pre-Record Attempt Solar Electric Car

Click Here to Read More About 2014 Record Run with eVe Solar Car




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