Wednesday, March 22, 2017

More Doors Galore

Stop the presses! The number one authoritarian influence in hot rodding has declared four door automobiles "more fun". That's right folks, none other then Hot Rod Magazine themselves have deemed more doors "cool". I can remember not too long ago when certain editors loathed four doors. You were lucky if they gave a nod to your long roof (station wagon), but those were usually treated with the same disdain. It seems like their new editor, Evan Perkins, has a different opinion. That or the magazine has come to realize that unless you inherit a classic car, two door muscle car era vehicles are becoming a rich man's game.

Just when I thought there was a beacon of hope for my B body more door, Hot Rod's new found lust for quad doored vehicles seems to be regulated to mid sized vehicles with absolutely no mention of their battleship sized brethren. While this was not all that surprising to me, it was a huge risk for this still wet behind the ears editor to actually go on the record promoting more doors. I have long sought their inclusion in the mainstream automotive media but there are many others that have extremely negative reactions towards them and may take to social media in protest. As for me, I have sung the four door blues before when I wrote about this very topic in a piece called Land of the Lost.

For those who think like me and can't get enough of the classic four doors, I have amassed a small collection of pictures aptly named More Doors Galore. You can view the collection here. Like I have always said, If two is better then one then four is fantastic!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

FranktoidTM No 17 - The Man Plate

Summer is coming and my man plate is getting full. What's a man plate you ask? Is it a distant cousin of the man bun? Brother to the man cave? Uncle of the man purse? Actually the man plate is all your current projects combined together whether they be mechanical, wood, landscaping, or household. Basically all guy stuff. Man plates have no room for video games or sports, unless the latter is hunting and then I want to hear a Tim Taylor grunt! Move over Brawny Paper Towels lumberjack, the man plate is piled high with a heapin' pile o' man stuff.

Currently my man plate has two project cars, a half finished garage reorganization, interior trim painting, front door replacement, and a side yard that needs landscaping, but I will probably farm that out because I loathe yard work. Pile on some regular vehicle maintenance and unexpected emergencies and my man plate is pretty darn full! With so much to do it's a wonder that anything gets done at all, but I just plug away at it little by little. The key for me is not to get burnt out on any one thing so I will bounce back and forth between projects to keep things fresh.

Don't judge a man plate by it's "size" either. It is not about how many projects you do or do not have, but rather where they place on the man meter. Confused? Let me explain. If you have a few energy saving light bulb changes and some weeding in the garden on your man plate, you might be lucky and rank about a 2 or 3 on the man meter. On the other hand if you have an oil change on tap, firing up the chain saw to cut some fire wood, and changing out the wax ring on the toilet, you just scored an easy 8 or 9 on the man meter! Be a man and man up your man plate.

So now that we know all there is to know about the man plate, what's on yours?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Years Revolution

It's a New Year's "revolution" here at the Amberlight Garage, with lots of stuff revolving around. I thought I would post an update on some of my projects as I have been a bit remiss in my blogging duties. This particular post is kinda special as it is my 100th one! It's a little hard to believe I have actually written that much stuff. Well, without further ado, here is the latest:

Project Scotchlok, my '72 442, has been mainly collecting dust in the garage. I did manage to find a complete 455 big block out of a boat. After the initial tear down I discovered the bores were already .060 over! The machine shop confirmed that the cylinders were tapered and some had rust pits that would not hone out. The block was magged and was in good shape, so I pulled the trigger on 8 sleeves and had the block bored to .030 oversize. You're probably wondering why I didn't leave it standard being I was starting out "new" again. Well, when I was pricing forged pistons, the standard size was almost double the price of .030 over pistons! Besides, a little more cubic inches never hurts. The crank was .010/.010 and was in good shape, so it was micro polished. The big end of the rods were reconditioned, new rod bolts were installed, and they were pressed onto the new pistons. The entire assembly was also balanced. The short block is just about ready to assemble, all I need to do is pick out a new cam. Because I am looking at putting a hydraulic roller in it, which costs about as much as I have in the block so far, it might be awhile...
Now I just have to put it together!

Among the things preventing me from working on the Olds is my newest acquisition, a 1956 Chevy 210. Turns out it needs a little more work then what I initially thought. Oops, who could have guessed that? The plan was to work on it and get it back on the road as soon as possible, with safety being the priority. I discovered the front suspension was shot, along with the steering box, along with the steering column, along with the brakes, along with plenty of other stuff but I stopped looking because I ran out of money for parts. The jury is still out on getting the '56 on the road soon, but one thing for sure is that I need to get it into the garage and out of the elements.
Now I just have to take it apart!

The first major project of the new year won't involve working on cars, it will be making room for them! The Amberlight is going to get a make over of sorts. Maybe a "move over" is more appropriate as I will be moving a lot of stuff out of one garage and into another. The goal is to house two vehicles in the detached garage instead of just one and move the engine building and entire parts inventory into the main garage. (I have a lot of parts, aka "stuff") This will give me a clean room of sorts for the engine work and free up a lot of room in the Amberlight so it can actually hold two cars. Stay tuned for more posts on these project cars and who knows what else, possibly another one? I just happened to hear a story the other day about a Camaro that has been stored in a garage since 1983... Wait, I don't have anymore room, or do I??

Now all I have to do is move this "stuff"!