Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Everything but the same old cars

Archive for February, 2010

Slicing into a Sixties Charger

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On February - 23 - 2010

kozik_charger_leadMost folks think of automobiles comprised of parts that are fitted together with no imperfections or miscarved lines to ruin the illusion of perfection. While this may be somewhat true of a car or truck made in the last ten years or so, it is certainly not the case of an automobile manufactured as recently as the eighties. Dip back into the sixties and things get even more agricultural. Getting a car straight at the robot-free factory circa 1969 meant people using hammers, shims, and spreaders full of molten lead. Bringing a fusty old Mopar that rolled off the assembly line fortysomething years ago back into line again after an accident involves drastic measures.

This 1969 Dodge Charger owned and maintained by Frank Kozik of the Chiselers SF needed its coke bottle curves smoothed back to jet age perfection after getting rear-ended. While some of us might be able to fashion up some sort of near facsimile of a Dodge body panel with a gallon of Bondo and a potato masher, the end result won’t look better than it did when it came from the factory. Kozik decided new rear quarter panels were the way to go. Ace custom and body man Rolfe Brittain took on the job, and let us peer into the process from the first cut. Slicing through forty years of Mopar is not a task for the ill-equipped. Check out the gallery for the beginning of the work. Head on over to Rolfe’s for the ongoing saga of getting the lead out and put back in again.

More: Rolfe James Brittain Customizing

Quad Treaded Turbo Diesel

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On February - 11 - 2010

M-973_Vermont_leadCrippling winter snow storms serve as a reminder that when the big snow or the Russians do show up, those all-season radials on that 1984 Plymouth Voyager in the driveway are not going to cut it. A snow shovel and some road salt might get the Voyager out of the driveway, but when you wake up to sub-zero weather and see Vladimir Putin doing shirtless chin ups on the kids swing set in your backyard, there had better be something heavy-duty out in the garage. The M-973 Cargo Carrier is equipped with not one but two sets of drive treads, a Mercedes five-cylinder turbodiesel, and can carry either 17 fully equipped troops or over two tons of supplies. Read the rest of this entry »

Rescue Tape saves Heater Hose

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On February - 9 - 2010

rescue_tape4Miracle liquids and magic pastes are usually sources of great skepticism for us here at Clunkbucket. While there are some things that might work, there are a lot more that don’t. When the folks from Rescue Tape handed us a roll of this promising tape-like stuff at the big SEMA Show last year, we already had a test for it in mind. One of heater bypass hoses in the Starlet had developed a small (and slow) coolant leak after twenty plus years of occasional contact with a chunk of under hood California smog equipment. We suspect the original bit of foam armor that protected the heater bypass hose from contact with the smog elbow disintegrated a few Presidents ago. This Rescue Tape is a self-fusing silicone material that forms a permanent water and air tight seal to resist everything save for an atomic bomb attack. A few wraps around the old hose and all would be well. Did it work? Why yes. It did.

Read the rest of this entry »

A Shrunken Corvair Named Kumquat

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On February - 5 - 2010

Kumquat_Corvair_leadFrom the West coast division of the Corvair shortening department comes this 1963 convertible dune buggy variant of the American air-cooled rear engine sports car. The car originally rolled off the assembly line as a factory turbocharged Spyder in 1963. An accident that buckled and creased both doors landed what was left the Spyder languishing engineless behind a gas station until 1971. What was left of the turbo convertible was purchased for 50 bucks to acquire a still complete dashboard. The catch was that the entire car had to go with the dashboard. Where it went began the journey of car shortening, engine transplants, and an orange paint job that lent the shrunken Corvair its name.
Read the rest of this entry »

1969 Honda Electric Rear Driver

Posted by Mike Bumbeck On February - 2 - 2010

nikolai360_leadGarage talk concerning engine swaps or drivetrain transplants is plentiful. Thousands of instant message windows, forum posts, and Facebook updates are populated at any given second with declarations of Hayabusa powered mid-engine rear-drive Ford Festivas (or similar) with induction systems managed by MegaSquirt. And so on. Some folks actually go so far as to get the pieces. Far fewer fabricate the pieces into something that works. A 1969 Honda N360 is a perfect foundation for such great transplant ideas. How about a 60HP electric motor? Yup. Rear-wheel drive? Sure! Volkswagen GTI transaxle with limited-slip differential and Volksubaru Ground Control hybrid suspension? Oh yes. If your name is Forrest Koogle, you not only gathered all the required pieces, but are building this very car at Hectors Chop Shop. Forrest says that one of the their credos over at Hectors is that they can do anything. We believe it. These guys are well on their way to constructing a 100% electric rear-wheel-driver into the shell of a sixties front-wheel-drive Honda kei car. Fabricating the chassis and making everything fit is far more involved than merely saying it. Follow along with the ongoing transformation and unfolding story of Nikolai360 the E.V. over at the world of unforgiving tolerances.

More: Turning a front-driver into a rear-wheel-drive BEV over at Hectors Chop Shop

Tool of the Week: Fiat SST

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Sep-3-2010 I 1 COMMENT

Replace Window Regulator

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Aug-28-2010 I 1 COMMENT

Five Tips for DIY Automobile Repair

Posted by Mike Bumbeck
Jul-21-2010 I 8 COMMENTS