Friday, June 22, 2018

My '68 GTO is for Sale

                                                             SOLD

                                                         1968  PONTIAC  GTO


                                  MOTOR TREND'S  CAR OF THE YEAR IN 1968

Click on the arrow / image below to play the slideshow and 4 arrow button at bottom right to enlarge.





If you have trouble with the slideshow, click here to view the full album.

I have owned a number of classic cars in my life , some do not appear on this blog site and some were not classics when I owned them.  Just before I retired I decided I wanted to buy a classic car as I have always loved this era of cars.  They are real cars, no computers to decide how these cars are driven,  you actually have to make the decisions and drive them yourself.  With that you begin to feel like you are a part of the mechanics of the car.  When I began to shop for a classic I wanted a car that represented what I felt was typical of the 1960s era muscle cars.  These are the features I was hopping I could find ; an ignition switch on the dash and not on the steering column, small vent windows, a big V-8 engine of around 400 cu.in., 4-speed transmission and a posi-traction rear end.  This GTO had all of these features.  I have owned this car for about 11 years and it has been the best classic car I have ever owned. It is a very powerful car yet it is extremely reliable. I have put hundreds of hours into this car and have loved the time I have spent with it. If it should sell I hope the new owner will enjoy it as much as I have.   

Below is a current summary of the car's features and enhancements.     


THE GTO HAS BEEN SOLD TO A PONTIAC ENTHUSIAST  IN CALIFORNIA 

Hear the sound of a healthy GTO just click on the picture in the upper right and turn up the volume.


Original Cameo  Ivory White exterior and Red interior.    

Extremely rare color combination with a factory Hurst 4-Speed.

Original 400 cu.in. engine.   350 HP  &  445 pounds of torque.

"A Numbers Matching Engine".

Correct "WT" code block.

Correct # 16 big valve heads.

10.75 to 1 compression ratio.

Factory original Hurst 4-Speed shifter with console.

Factory correct Pontiac hood tachometer. Shows Pontiac name on face, correct 5,200 red line and has Dual internal lights.  Sealed, no fogging problems.

Muncie close-ratio  4-Speed Transmission. ( Case # 3925660) original & rebuilt.

Factory 3.55 ratio PosiTraction rear end.  Recent fluid check & no leaks.

Factory tinted glass.

Endura front bumper in excellent condition.

New clutch & Pressure Plate,  custom made by Tampa Clutch Shop, 30% more holding power than original factory heavy duty clutch, with light pedal pressure.  Flywheel was resurfaced.  No chatter.   Professionally Installed 2017 .

Power Steering , no noise or leaks.

Power Brakes, no leaks.

Rally Cluster dash instruments.

Factory correct sport steering wheel.  No excessive play.

All lights , interior and exterior work.

New Dash Pad.

Seats, front and rear, have been recovered with correct factory color and pattern. New chrome seat trim.  Door panels and carpet have also been replaced in correct factory color.  All from Year One Inc. and in excellent condition.

Factory correct & original Rally II Wheels.  Excellent condition including new center caps & red center lugs.

BFGoodrich Radial T/A  225 -R14 white letter tires.  Approx. 2,000 miles on tires.  Like new.

Factory correct trunk mat and spare tire cover.

Engine is modified with a mid-range Crane performance cam. (part # 105072) Very mild lope and very streetable .  Sounds and feels like a factory Ram Air cam.

Edelbrock Pontiac Performance aluminum manifold.

Edelbrock 750 cfm Performer Series carburetor with electric choke that was purchased new in 2014 and  was completely rebuilt in 2017 with ethanol resistant parts and with a Life-Time Warranty.

New chrome air cleaner and new filter.

Hedman headers with HTC Ceramic finish.

PerTronix Electronic ignition (hidden in distributor) with PerTronix Flame-Thrower chrome coil  (40,000 + Volts).

High Performance ACCEL distributor cap and High Performance rotor, new.

ACCEL Super Stock 8.5mm  ignition wires with chrome wire looms.

NGK Iridium Spark Plugs with ultra fine wire iridium center electrode, no gaping required and one of the hardest metals known.  Creates extremely hot spark.

High Torque Starter (New 2017) produces 222 pounds of torque, 4 to 1 ratio and heat soak resistance.  Purchased from Summit Parts.

New 100 AMPs Chrome single wire Alternator (New 2017).

New Carter Super Street fuel pump with ethanol resistant diaphragm.  120 gph @ 5.5 to 6.5 psi.  Purchased from Summit Parts.

New hood hinges & springs.

New fuel tank and new support straps with rubber insulation  & new fuel cap.

New fuel filter.

New stainless steel fuel sending unit & fuel pickup.

New fuel gauge,  not rebuilt, custom made  with all new parts and correct paint.

New Printed Circuit Board for Rally Gauge Instrument Cluster.

FlowMaster Super 44 Series high flow mufflers with aluminized construction.

Cross Over scavenger exhaust pipe.  Maximizes exhaust velocity, increases torque & balances pressure flow.

{ Estimated HP with engine & exhaust upgrades is 400 HP  &  480 pounds of torque. }

Factory correct 1968 Chrome exhaust tips.

160 degree thermostat.  Engine typically runs in the 180 to 190 degree range in Florida.

Oil pressure about 25 to 30 pounds at idle and 50 to 60 + pounds at higher RPMs.

Engine was completely rebuilt by a Certified Master mechanic about 12 years ago and has approximately 8,000 miles on it since I purchased the car in 2007.  Bored .30 over to 406 cu.in.  Engine does not leak oil or smoke.  Excellent professional full rebuild.  New timing chain & timing gears, pistons, brass freeze plugs, seals, etc.   Very solid and strong engine.

Front suspension and brakes were rebuilt just prior to my purchase and have about 8,000 miles on them.

New brake hoses on front (2017).

New Master Brake cylinder.  Using synthetic brake fluid.  No leaks in system.

Oil and Filter change approximately 1000 miles ago.   Running  Valvoline  VR1  Oil   ( contains ZDDP for lubrication of  flat tappet cam shafts ).

No known rust or leaks.

All rubber weatherstripping on windows, doors, hood and trunk are in very good to excellent condition.

Highly detailed engine.

New spare tire, never been on the ground.

New AM/FM stereo radio with Pontiac name on face plate by Custom AutoSound .  Has clock, Aux Inputs for iPods, MP3, Satellite, etc.  Have original box and manual.

Trunk is solid with no rust or leaks and with factory correct mat and wheel cover.

Trunk back board has hand painted covering of Pontiac logo on artist canvas .  This was created by Diadema Designs / Professional Graphic Artist .  Changes entire appearance of trunk area.

After I purchased the car I restored it to its current condition and showed the car at Premium car shows and others with professional judges for about four years.  The car has won approximately 50 trophies, 5 Best of Show and 12 Best of Division among others.  I have attended a large number of classic car shows over the years and I have never seen another 1968 GTO in this color combination with a factory Hurst 4-Speed.   As many classic car shows are at night the car has under hood LED lights.  These lights are not noticeable during the day or when not in use and draw very little current.  They can be left on for an entire show without any noticeable drain on the battery.  They are controlled by hidden switches, hidden wiring and are all fused for safety.   The LEDs  put out an amazing amount of light and illuminate the entire engine bay.

Have some of the original factory parts that came with this car should a new owner wish to return the car to factory stock or to keep for future added value.  Original Quadrajet intake manifold.  Front valance (currently has chrome model).  Exhaust manifolds.  Exhaust pipes that connect to original exhaust manifolds.  Above will be included if car is sold at full asking price.

PHS (Pontiac Historical Service ) Certification Documents,  Factory Owner's Manual,  Full Shop Manual,  GTO Wiring Manual.  Many receipts.

Please note:   This car shows extremely well and is an unbelievable attention getter.   As you can see from the above information it has many new parts and upgrades.  All parts are of the highest quality grade.    I consider any part installed, with less than 1500 miles, a new part.   The paint is about 12 years old and still has an excellent finish.  Same paint that won 50 trophies.  Car runs, drives and sounds outstanding!  I am retired and it has never been raced or abused in the 10 + years I have owned it.

Note :    This car is Turn-Key ready. It can be driven to a car show or cruise-in the day it is purchased.             


Interested? Contact me through this contact form  here.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

SHIPPING A CLASSIC CAR & CAR TRANSPORT COMPANIES

My advice is to always ship in an enclosed trailer, verify insurance and amount, request total cost door to door (check for extra fees) and shipping time.  Get a minimum of three quotes!  If you get a quote over the phone have them send you a cost breakdown to your email address.
The following is part of the information section from A-1 Auto Transport's web site.   I found it to be very informative and a well prepared overview for the first time customer.

How To Ship A Car: The Basics Of What To Know
"Transporting a vehicle is not an overly complicated process, though it may seem that way from the outside, especially if you've never done it before. Shipping a car, truck, motorcycle, or any other type of vehicle is just a matter of collecting the necessary info and contacting the right people; in this case automotive transport companies. In some instances, you may be contacting a broker rather than a carrier, but they both offer similar solutions: a broker arranges for shipment, whereas a carrier delivers the vehicle.

Whether you're shipping a vehicle to across the state, or from one coast to the other, the process is more or less the same. You'll need information such as the make, model, and year of the vehicle, as well as its current location and where you're shipping to. It's also helpful to have a delivery timeframe in mind if you need to vehicle shipped by a certain date.

At A-1 Auto Transport, shipping your car has never been easier. We simplify this process as much as possible, making it easier than ever to get a quick, accurate, timely price quote in a matter of minutes (just fill out our form starting with the "to and from" fields). You simply tell us what type of vehicle you need shipped and when, and we'll have one of our logistics transport partners contact you right away with a cost estimate. It's a process that we've intentionally kept simple and getting an estimate with A-1 Auto Transport is always FREE.

Even if you're just curious about the cost of transporting a vehicle, we're happy to supply you with that information, regardless of the type of cargo being hauled or the type of trailer required to do so. If you need a general idea of what it costs to ship different distances, or an explanation of what's included in the cost by auto movers, you can find that information on our car shipping rates page.

It's important to keep in mind that extra services (such as door-to-door or enclosed transport) typically increase the per-mile rate of the shipping cost. Disclaimer: it should be noted that additional insurance beyond what's included in car moving prices also costs extra, though it's not needed in most cases.

One of the main choices you'll have to make when shipping a vehicle is what type of transport you need, which boils down to what type of trailer is required. Most vehicles shipped within the same country are hauled on an open air carrier that moves several at once, usually between eight and 12. Vehicles that are shipped in an enclosed trailer are most often vintage, luxury, or high-performance cars."

The following are some of the Auto Transportation Companies that the buyers of my classic cars have used.  They were reasonably priced , professional, insured and all offered door to door pickup and delivery.

A-1 Auto Transport Inc. (1-800-452-2880 )  a1autotransport.com

National Express Auto Transport Inc. (800-284-7177)  nxautotransport.com
This company offers a Car Shipping Calculator for instant rates on line. Very helpful.

Ship A Car Direct Inc. ( 855-912-9040 ) info@shipacardirect.com

Executive Auto Shippers LLC ( 1-855-980-1968 ) executiveautoshippers.com

Reliable Carriers Inc. ( 1-800-521-6393 ) reliablecarriers.com

Passport Transport  ( 1-800-325-4267 )  PassportTransport.com  This is one of the companies used by Jay Leno.  James Reece excellent Owner / Operator 918-508-6705  This is the company that shipped my GTO to California .

United Routes Inc. ( 1-866-352-8180 ) unitedroutes.com 

Note :  There's a great article on the United Routes site on "How to Prepare Your Car for Shipping."                                                                                            

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Car products that I recommend and use

The following are some of the car products that I regularly use, not only during the restoration process, but also on my daily drivers. I have been a car nut before most of my restoration projects were even classics so I have probably tried almost every brand of wax, polish and additives on the market. Now that I am doing restoration work I try to purchase professional grade products whenever I can, however many of the car care items sold today are of high quality and will work very well if you do not have a body shop supply store in your area.

If I had to sum up a products performance, for example a wax or polish, I would have to say 90% of the products ability to perform at its advertised level depends on the surface you are working with.
If the paint on your vehicle is 10 years old and has been sitting outside or neglected and is in basically poor condition then there is only a limited amount of improvement any brand of wax can provide regardless of how much you paid for the new miracle product. I am not saying paint on an older car can not be brought back to a very good condition, but a 10 year old $500 paint job is what it is.

The same applies to mechanical additives. There is nothing you can pour out of a bottle that is going to repair a worn out engine or transmission. Some may increase compression and reduce smoking and oil consumption or make the transmission shift a little smoother, but these are just temporary band-aids to a problem that is going to require professional repair in the near future.

My list of products that I would recommend to a friend.

WAXES, POLISHES and COMPOUNDS for PAINT

Before I begin my list let me say that to get the best performance and results your paint needs to be cleaned of pollutants, such as acid rain, faded or dead paint from the sun and aging or any other impurities. With that said, let me begin with products that will clean and help to prepare your paint to get the best finish possible.

1. Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, comes in a 15 oz. container and sells for about $9.00. This is the starting point for older paint that requires the removal of faded or dead paint and/or surface scratches. It is a liquid compound that I would rate as a medium cut (even though it states that it cuts as fast as a harsh abrasive). It can be applied by hand, but I typically use a foam pad on a power buffer and run it at low to medium speed. I like this product because it is forgiving. If you have never used a buffing compound and a power buffer my advice is to go slow and use only light pressure with an overlapping pattern.  Keep the pad moving at all times and only do quarter sections of the car at a time. Click here to purchase on Amazon.

2. Meguiar's Ultimate Polish Pre-Waxing Glaze, comes in a 16 oz. container and sells for about $8.00. Polishes and Glazing compounds are basically very mild abrasive compounds that will remove any remaining buffing compound as well as small surface scratches while bring the paint surface to an even smoother finish. Think of it as jeweler's polish. If your paint is in overall good condition you can skip the buffing Compound process as described in #1. I do not use a machine to apply the Polish and Glazing products. I use a terry cloth pad and work small sections of an approximately 2 feet x 2 feet square by hand. Do not allow any glaze to dry. It is not a quick process, but well worth the effort as the paint should begin to produce a high quality shine. Click here to purchase on Amazon.

3M Hand Glaze in my opinion is the best glaze product on the market and the one I typically use. It is what I would consider a professional grade product. If the paint quality is good it can produce a show condition finish. The down side is this product is expensive and not every auto parts store carries it. It is also a 16 oz. container but the price is in the $20 range.  I often use a light coat of this on my GTO before a show and totally skip the wax, the gloss that it produces is that good.  Remember small sections by hand and do not let dry. Click here to purchase on Amazon.

Note: Polishes and Glazes do not contain wax. Not a problem if the car is kept covered or garaged.

3. Waxes are the final step that will help protect against the elements. Most quality waxes are graded by the amount and purity of the Carnauba Wax they contain.  Waxes can range in price from a few dollars to over $100, which in my mind is absurd and mostly ego driven.  As most of us are not rich I try to recommend products in my blog that I actually use and have found that they perform very well and at the same time are reasonably priced. As you may have noticed I use a number of Meguiar's products.  I have found them of high quality and priced fairly. Meguiar makes a number of different types of waxes, for example some are specifically formulated for black or dark paint. My choice is one that I have found that works on every color and provides excellent protection; it is Meguiar's Gold Plus Carnauba Wax. About $12 for a 16 oz. container. Easy to apply and easy to remove. Click here to purchase on Amazon.

Note: If you feel that your paint does not need to be buffed or you do not want to use a glazing compound on it do one test before applying a wax.  Wash and dry the car.  When the surface is completely dry run your fingernails over the paint. If you get a gritty feeling that is an indication that there are still impurities on the surface of the paint. Easy to fix. Purchase a Clay Bar. A Clay Bar is as it sounds a product that looks and feel like Play-Doh that you rub onto the paint and it lifts off the impurities. There is not much difference between brands and they can be reused many times. They typically cost about $15. I don't understand how it works, but it is an amazing product.

4. Detail Spray Wax. Once you have your paint looking great it is relatively easy to keep it that way. If the car becomes dusty or even slightly dirty and you do not have the time or energy to do a full wash and wax the next best product is Detail Spray Wax. They spray on and wipe off easily leaving your car with that just waxed look.  The two best products that I have found are Garage One Pro Speed Wax. This is a professional grade product not sold in most parts stores. A 17 oz. spray bottle cost about $12 and will do a complete car about 10 or 12 times. In addition to cleaning / waxing your paint it can be used on chrome and glass. This product is made in Tampa, FL and can be purchased by going to their outlet store or online by clicking here. The company also sells a full line of professional car care products.  The second brand of detail spray I use is made by Surf City Garage and the name is Barrier Reef Spray Wax. This is also an excellent product and professional grade that actually appears to have a higher content of carnauba wax than any of the other detail spray waxes I have used. It comes in a 20oz. spray bottle and the price is about $13 or $14 at WalMart.
   
METAL  POLISHES

When working with metal polishes they fall into two categories.  Type A) Some polishes are formulated for specific metals and not recommended for all metals and Type B) which state they can be used on almost anything.  I work with the Type 'A" for two reasons.  The first being polishes that are formulated for certain types of metals simply produce better result with less effort.  The second reason is some polishes should not be used on certain metals as they can actually damage the finish.

1. Mothers Mag and Aluminum Polish, comes in two sizes, the small tub is 5 oz. and cost $5 to $6. This is probably the best aluminum polish I have used.  It will bring aluminum to a mirror like finish.  It is an aggressive cut polish so it works quickly.  This is one of the Type "A" polishes that does an excellent job on aluminum, but is not recommended for use on gold plating, coated metals or chrome.  I tested it on chrome and because of its aggressive compound it actually left very fine scratches in the chrome's surface.  It is the only Mothers brand product I use. Click here to purchase on Amazon.

2. Surf City Garage, Killer Chrome, comes in a 8oz. container and cost is $12. This is a high quality product that is close to professional level.  I first ran across it at the Cadillac dealership and they said it was the only polish they used.  It is the best chrome polish that I have used and can also be used on aluminum, stainless steel, brass and copper.  Surf City Garage is a quality company and their products carry a 100% guarantee. Click here to purchase on Amazon.


TIRE DRESSING AND WHITE LETTER CLEANER

To finish off the exterior appearance, bring the tires back to a " like new appearance"

1. The best product I have found to clean White Letter or White Wall tires is a product called Bleche-White made by the Black Magic Co. Cost is about $5 for a 24oz. container. Click here to purchase on Amazon.

2. To bring the tires back to the original dark black color I use one of three brands of tire dressing. The first is Meguiar's Hot Shine Spray/Deep Black Wet Look.  Comes in a 24 oz. container and sells for $7. The second is Surf City Garage Beyond Black Tire Pro Dressing Spray. 24oz. for about $8.  Both of the above are sprays and to avoid the product going onto the wheel and white lettering I apply it on a terry cloth pad and rub it in.  The third product is a newer product made by Armor All called Extended Tire Shine Gel / Wet Black Shine .  It is sold in an 18oz container and comes with a foam applicator attached.  Its claim to fame is that is will last for weeks and even withstand rain. I do not drive my classic cars in the rain if possible, but the product appears to hold up well.

Almost all of the above products are sold at WalMart at far less than most parts stores.

I will add some additional product for preserving rubber and vinyl as well as some engine additives that can actually protect some of the internal parts a little later when I have more time. Hope the above is helpful.

CLICK ON  "OLDER POSTS"  TO VIEW ALL OF THE CARS CONTAINED IN THE BLOG.




Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What is the correct size carburetor for my engine?

After my recent post regarding the replacement of the carburetor on the 1968 GTO I thought it would be a good time to share some information on the process I use to determine what is the best size of carburetor, commonly referred to as CFM  (cfm = Cubic Feet per Minute of air flow), for a particular engine. I am by no means an expert on carburetion, so the following is only a "shade tree mechanic's opinion," but I do know one of the most common mistakes a classic car owner makes is to put too large of a carburetor on their engine. A carburetor that is too large for the engine can actually reduce the performance of the motor.

There are a number of formulas on the internet that will help get you into the ball park of correct carburetor size. I use one of the more simple formulas and I find it to be one of the most accurate. You will still need to plug into the equation some of the specific knowledge you have about your engine and be realistic in your assessment especially when it comes to Volumetric Efficiency.

A few basic terms that are helpful to know:
  • Almost all carburetors are rated in size by CFM or Cubic Feet of Air Flow Per Minute at Full Throttle.
  • Volumetric Efficiency of the engine is a key factor in any formula to determine the engine's CFM requirements. This is the one that requires some knowledge of the engine and any modifications that have been made or added to the engine. This is not as difficult as it may sound and with a little thought you can probably get it within 40 to 60 cfm. Being that a car engine is basically a big air pump, the figure you are attempting to find is how much air/fuel mixture your engine can efficiently handle at peak RPM. For example, a stock 350 cu.in. engine with a factory single snorkel air cleaner runs at about 75% efficiency. So, if you install a 650 cfm carburetor and everything else stays factory stock the engine can only handle about 525 CFM at peak RPMs. At this point you have over carbureted your engine and have very likely reduced both low end torque and HP.

Volumetric Efficiency is very important if you are looking to enhance the power and overall performance of your engine. The good thing is there are a number of modifications that can be made to the engine to increase the Volumetric Efficiency at a modest cost.

The following are a few examples of modifications that will increase Volumetric Efficiency.

Air filters: Original snorkel type air filters are very restrictive. Some can reduce the CFM by 100 points or more. By simply changing to an open element filter of approximately 14 inch diameter by 2 inch high you can gain 100 - 125 CFM of air flow.

Intake Manifold: Installing a quality performance manifold such as an Edelbrock or Weiland will significantly improve efficiency of the engine and bring out the true performance of the carburetor.

Headers: What we are attempting to improve by increasing Volumetric Efficiency is the passage of air/fuel gases from the carburetor completely through the engine including the exiting of those gases via the exhaust system. Factory exhaust manifolds are often known to be poorly designed and very restrictive in removing exhaust gasses. A good set of headers will greatly reduce the restrictions built into the factory exhaust manifolds and often increase flow in the 50% range.

This is where the modest cost typically ends, your personal desire for more power and budget begins.

Heads / Valves: A good set of performance heads / valve setup is also a big step in increasing efficiency however this is a area where pricing and budget becomes an issue. So this becomes an area of just how much modification and HP you are willing to buy.

Cam: A performance cam can be very helpful in increasing Volumetric Efficiency as they keep the valves open longer and allow more gases to flow in and out of the cylinders.
Cams are not excessively expensive, however the installation can be unless you are capable of doing the install yourself.

The following is the formula I typically use. I will be using the engine in my 1968 GTO as the sample engine for the formula as it is not stock and most of the enhancements I have mentioned above are in this engine. I will also show the results of the formula as if the engine was factory stock. The change in the two formula's recommended CFM size of carburetor is due to the increase in Volumetric Efficiency.

The GTO engine currently contains the following and I rate it at 90% Volumetric Efficiency.

400 Cu. In. displacement
5200 RPM red line
750 CFM Carb
14 "  X  3"  Open air filter
Edelbrook Pontiac Performance manifold
"16" code factory large valve heads
Pertronix Flame Thrower electronic ignition
Crane mid range performance camshaft
10.75 - 1  Compression
Hedman Headers  to 2.5" exhaust and Flowmaster Super 44, very high flow through mufflers

FORMULA 

ENGINE DISPLACEMENT  X  2  X  .9 ( 90% VE )    =  CFM OF CARBURETOR


{   Engine as currently modified and with a 90% Volumetric Efficiency rating. }



                               400 cu.in.  X  2  =  800  X  .9ve  =  720 CFM  

Note: If the formula indicates a CFM carb that is not produced always go slightly higher. In my case it was to a 750 CFM.


As a comparison, this is the data based on the GTO engine in factory stock configuration and a 75% Volumetric Efficiency rating.

                              400 cu.in.  X  2  =  800  X  .75ve  =  600  CFM  

Friday, December 12, 2014

Edelbrock 750 cfm Carburetor for the GTO.

Recently I began to encounter a problem with the 1968 GTO in that it was becoming harder to start and also it would occasionally shut off while idling at a stop light. I tried to convince myself it was due to not being ran on a regular enough basis. During some periods while restoring other cars the GTO is not driven for two or three weeks while I take my most recently completed project to car shows. The GTO has been one tough and extremely reliable powerhouse. As this problem seemed to be slowly and progressively getting worse I finally decided to attempt to determine what was going on.

One of the things that made the diagnosis difficult was the fact that when the car was being driven it appeared not to have lost power or to be misfiring. The only issue was when driving at a slow speed in a higher gear I noticed more of a lobe to the engine. This was nothing new and I attributed it to the performance cam running at too low in the RPM band, but it was becoming more noticeable. With no loss in compression or any evidence of a failure in a head gasket I began to look at the intake and ignition systems. As to the intake it is running an Edelbrock 600 cfm sitting on an Edelborck Pontiac Performance manifold and as to ignition it is running a stock distributor with a Pertronix Flame-Thrower electronic ignition and Flame-Thrower II 45,000 volt coil. After looking at both systems I felt the problem was in the distributor and that it had likely a bearing failure that was causing the shaft to become unsteady and in-turn having an effect on the timing. To make a story short: I was wrong.

The problem turned out to be within the carburetor which was 8 + years old and it appears the ethanol in the fuel had been slowly destroying the gaskets / seal in the carb. This was not something that happened overnight, but rather a slow process of degeneration that I really did not notice until the carb began to actually fail. As a quality rebuild costs almost as much as a new carburetor, I decided to not only purchase a new carb, but also upgrade to a larger 750 cfm due to the addition of other performance items on the engine (cam, headers, electronic ignition etc ). What a difference the new carb made to the engine! Between the old carb slowly losing efficiency and the increased cfms of the 750, I honestly feel the engine gained about 25 HP. I purchased another Edelbrock carburetor, because for the dollar, I feel they are the best carb on the market. They basically run right out of the box. I have owned just about every major brand of carb sold and have had the least amount of problems with the Edelbrock brand. I now use a Lucas Fuel Additive which counteracts the damage caused by ethanol.  

Monday, November 10, 2014

Reflecting on the Gran Sport

As I recently posted the Gran Sport was sold.  One of the nice parts of the sale was that it was purchased by an extremely nice local couple Ryan and Jody. Ryan had owned a V-10 Viper powered Ram truck so he had experience in big block vehicles and knew enough about classic cars that a big block "A" body car with Ram Air and a very low production number of 7,600 units for the year would only increase in value. I am still receiving calls and emails on the car as of this writing so I have little doubt this car will appreciate in value.

This Buick was different from any other GM "A" body cars I have owned or driven. The "A" bodies being the GTO, Chevelles and 442s. It was just better made. Almost all of the drive train was heavy duty.  For example the suspension was heavy duty, it had GM's best and strongest automatic transmission for the period, the Turbo 400.  Still rated as one of the best transmissions GM has ever built. And a 12 bolt rear end. So it was built to handle the very large torque of the 400 cu.in. engine.
The real surprise cane when you drove this car. It actually drove almost as well as a new car.  The ride did not give a hint of the heavy duty suspension, the seats were very comfortable, the steering had almost no play in it, the power brakes with the aluminum finned drums stopped the car as good as a disk brake car and the visibility was outstanding - very unusual combination for a muscle car that was 45 years old.

The good and bad. The good part of the car was that the previous owners had obviously taken a lot of pride in ownership and maintained the car mechanically to a high standard. The bad was the car had factory undercoating, which is a rough surface and allowed a lot of road grime to accumulate on the under side of the car. To see the real condition of the suspension etc, it is best to remove as much of the grime as possible so that you can get a good view of the ball joints, seals, brakes and even find all of the lube points. This is a 45 year old car that contains very few pivot or rotating parts that are sealed so they still have grease fittings and each fitting needs to be lubricated. This is a job that would be much easier and faster using a high pressure washer, however I do not use one because I am concern that the extreme pressure can easily force water into electrical connections, starters, solenoid and many other places that water is not welcomed.  I actually go under all of my cars and clean them with a wire brush and degreaser and then spray the area with paint to prevent rust. This is a nasty time consuming job and one I do not enjoy, but I feel it is well worth the effort. With the Gran Sport I believe I had over 200 hours in the restoration work which included the installation of the new carpet, interior repair, new windshield and respraying the engine and trunk area. It is this kind of work and hours that created the saying "Buy the most restored car you can afford."

Monday, November 3, 2014

Good News!

I sold the Buick Gran Sport this week. Stay tuned for details on the sale and thoughts about my next project!