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Member Since 16 Jan 2015
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Topics I've Started

Project Rumbler: 1965 Rambler Marlin

04 May 2017 - 05:55 PM

Off on another project! This time, a personal build. I started off in the car hobby with a 1962 Rambler Classic Sedan at age 13, only later going on to Jap cars in my high school years. Sometime in there, I picked up this 1965 Rambler Marlin from California. A bone stock, rust free, super straight car! Powered by the Rambler (not chevy) 327ci V8, PS, PB, A/C, optional front disc brakes... It's pretty awesome as Ramblers go. This car was AMC's offering to compete against the Mustang and Charger. Smallish car with a big motor, and a sweeping fastback! 

Here's the car as it was when I started on Monday:









Plans are to go through all the mechanical components, all the chassis, and all the systems; get everything running perfectly, and then drive it to the Good-Guys car show in Fort Worth, TX on the weekend of Sept 29th. I know, I just love setting deadlines... ;)


But, I can't leave anything stock so... It's getting lowered, custom exhaust (hence the name "Project Rumbler"), and vintage NASCAR spec rims and tires! Idea is to build a "what-if" car. What if AMC had campaigned a car in the 1965-66 NASCAR season? Something to take down the Dodge Chargers? Like this one:


Something with a bad attitude and some power to back it up. 


So, I got to work tearing out a lot of stock components. Exhaust was first to go, followed by the fuel tank. The tank might get reused after getting cleaned out, but I'm waffling on the idea of a fuel cell... 



Keen eyes will notice the factory "Track-Bar", just like more modern Nascar cars!



Rims and wheels arrive tomorrow, so I should get some mockup pics then. Going to be doing the messy and dirty work first, fun stuff comes later in the build... :)


3/4 Scale Indian Hardtail

25 February 2017 - 03:25 PM

Another bike build! In this case it's actually a rebuild of a 3/4 scale Indian Bobber that a friend of mine built about 15yrs ago. Based on a custom frame, it's powered by a 10ish HP Tecumseh single-cylinder, which sends power through a belt-driven Torque Converter. Lots of homemade parts and custom fabbed pieces on the bike make it pretty cool as is, but it is in need of some love and attention.






The plans include:

Redoing the tank covers

Different paint on fenders and tank

Rework some wiring layout

Retrofy the engine to look even more vintage

Custom inner gas tank (you'll see in the pics below)

Increase the top speed to somewhere around 50-60mph



Here's after a little dis-assembly:





You can see there the outside tank is really just a two piece cover that hides the inner plastic tank and wiring HQ. The plan is to replace this with a custom fabricated steel tank, and rebuild the tank cover(s) to be more structurally sound and prep them for the new paint color (still undecided on colors...)



The various Tank Cover bits laid out. The old green paint look way better in the photos than in person. There's splotches, drips, cracks, etc... that all need to addressed.



More teardown:




At this point, I can start doing some work on the drive system to try and wring some more speed out of it. I have no plans on changing the motor, so I need to work on gearing it up for better performance.



It's quite the sight driving up and down the road like this:



Should be a fun project, not a whole lot of fabrication; mostly the little stuff like getting a working horn, charging system, brakes, clutch, and cosmetics. 

Inspiration when it was built was WW2 era bikes, so I'm going to stick with that for the re-do. Looking at Indian paint schemes right now. 


1955 Porsche 356 Speedster

29 December 2016 - 04:38 PM

The projects just keep piling up. This one is a car I bought primarily to restore and sell, should be a tidy profit in there if I stay on budget. It's a 1955 Porsche Speedster Replica by Intermeccanica on a 1969 VW Beetle chassis. Running a 1640cc built dual-port, 4spd manual, etc... All typical beetle parts underneath so it's super easy to fix and everything is cheap to buy. 


The day I got it earlier this year:



Had these really dumb aftermarket seats and a cheap steering wheel on it. Those all got removed and sold at a swap meet. 



My goal is to restore it back to stock, I had some original Speedster seats re-upholstered in Maroon, I'll have the rest of the interior done as well after it gets painted. I'm gonna do the body in Silver Metallic, trying to invoke the James Dean Porsche Spyder look. 


So yesterday I started out on fabricating some seat brackets and tracks and installing them in the car. 


Here's the old steering wheel and T-bar shifter, both are long gone now...



Mocking up seat placement and drilling mounting holes:



You can see in this pic how many previous seat holes had been drilled in the pan. 10 holes had to be plug-welded on each side!



So here's the new seats and Ivory Autostadt-Wolfsburg Steering wheel. 



Next up is bodywork and paint, the body is really damage free; and being fiberglass, there is no rust at all. So paint and body should be a relatively quick and painless affair. Buying all new badges and chrome bits is going to eat into my wallet though... 



I'll post updates here as things progress, it's a really fun car to drive and I get more thumbs up and compliments in this than any of my Datsuns... :/



1985 Toyota MR2 Coupe

02 December 2016 - 05:31 PM

I thought'd I'd share my "other" Jap car that I've been working on and driving daily. This is a 1985 Toyota MR2 Coupe, 88k miles, and was always well cared for and maintained in New Mexico. 



The car sold new in Albuquerque, and was the very first MR2 sold at that dealership. This car is one of only 2,500 manufactured in 1984 for early release on launch date in 1985. It's had one repaint in a metallic blue that's a shade darker and bluer than the factory color. All original interior, wheels, engine, etc... Not bad for a cheap beater-driver, but I couldn't leave it alone...


A set of Enkei RPF1 rims with some Dunlop Direzza tires massively updated the look of the car! Still hadn't polished the paint or really detailed the car at this point earlier this summer. Really fun car to drive, and being mid-engined is a totally new experience for me. I love it!




Momo Monte Carlo steering wheel replaced the sun-damaged original piece. Very high quality and fits the look of the interior!


It's at this point that I took the car on a 4,000 mile road trip around the Southwestern US, here's a few pics from that trip:





You can read all about it here, on my blog: https://theycallmemr2.wordpress.com/


I opted to install a spoiler on the rear, settled on a R34 GTT Skyline JDM-only spoiler, painted flat black just to see how it looks:


Later, I wrapped the spoiler in some vinyl Carbon Fiber Wrap:




Fabricated a complete 2.5" exhaust system, wound up being a tad too loud so I added a 2nd resonator just before the tip and that fixed the droning issue. It's got a nice burble to it, but not fart-canny or to rappy. I may be building a new system this winter, I would love a center-exit exhaust!


Pulled the car in the shop last month to make some changes. The factory windscreen had a huge crack in it from my road-trip, so I had Safelite come out and do a new install. 




I decided the roof needed to be a different color than the body, so I took this time to prep the surface and spray on some VW Black Magic Pearl Paint. Took some time and hell of a lot of effort, but I got it buffed out and I'm stoked!







So here's how it sits now:




Plans this winter include: 
Changing out the factory boxy seats for a set of NA Miata seats.

Custom Center Console

Different Rear Spoiler

Daiyama Coilover Suspension

General Detailing and Maintenance. 


Should be getting it in the shop here soon, so I'll post updates when I can.


Honda XL70 Bobber 2.0

06 October 2016 - 05:24 PM

Welcome back! Herein begins the 2nd Bobber that I'll building based off the Honda XL70 dirt-bike. The last build thread can be found here: http://community.rat...0-bobber/page-1

This time around, I'll be following similar methods, but changing a few things to overcome some issues I had the first time around. I'll list out these items below:


1.) Stretching the frame.

       I'll be doing this partially to gain more length to the bike and make room for larger riders, but also to give room to mount the 125cc Engine/4spd transmission. This will also have the added benefit of fitting a larger gas-tank. 


2.) Installing a battery-box and associated wiring, so I can run 12V lights and possibly even turn signals. 


3.)Modifying the rear swing-arm to allow for a wider street tire, rather than the dirt-bike knobby one. 


4.) Fully sprung seat, utilizing two coil-over mini-shocks; this should allow for a better ride and support of larger riders.


5.) Full fenders front and rear, bobbed (of course), but this will enable me to ride in inclement conditions.


6.) Full custom paint job: Flakes, Lace, Candies, Striping, Fades, etc...



So, here's the starting point. Another 1974 XL70 from my stash of bikes. No previous damage to the frame, front forks need to be rebuilt, really cruddy at the moment.




Got it mostly torn down this evening:



Old parts get put back in the shed for future projects. No waste with me, everything can be re-used in some manner!



So, where are we going with this one? Well, since my first bike was a rather simple traditional bobber, I decided to take this one up a notch. I'm looking at the Frisco-Style Bobbers of the 1960's-70's, and really digging the colors, lines, and flavors. So here's just a peek at my inspiration:






So, you can see where things are headed. This one's bound to get a little hairy, but I'm thinking the result will be epic!


Stay tuned