Wednesday’s Nuts and Bolts

I received some comments from one of my viewers about his steering wheel having a lot of play on his drive to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Upon closer examination, he discovered that all three of the Vega box bolts had come loose. He was very lucky to find this before it fell off the mount. Some times we take for granted that our undercarriage is in good shape and have a tendency to spend more time with the Mothers bottle and micro-fiber polishing cloth than with our tools. I am guilty of this, as my ability to crawl under the car is no longer an option. I think all of us who work on our own cars need to do a quarterly nut and bolt inspection of the critical components of our hot rods. I know of several shops that will do this for you if you are like me and can no longer turn the wrenches. A visual inspection is a start but unless you put a wrench on the fasteners you really can’t tell if they are tight.

A hot rod has lots of fasteners that can come loose from driving to and from events. I would think that you could inspect all items in an hour and it would be well worth the money spent to have a qualified shop perform the work. Nuts and bolts are just a starting point. Rubber bushings, U-joints, tie rod ends and electrical connections are all potential areas for problems to occur while you are on the road to and from the event. Battery connections can also cause problems so be sure to tighten them and clean up any corrosion on the post. Wires which are close in proximity to a heat source, such as headers and the exhaust system, should also be checked. SBC starters are famous for overheating due to excessive engine compartment heat temperatures exceeding 250 degrees. You may need a heat shield  or some wrapping to reduce heat damage to the wires. And finally, give the date on your tires a close look and see if they are over 10 years old. ( The codes are on the side wall following the DOT number and are either a 3 or 4 digit code.) They may look good but they need to be replaced. It is the law and tire shops will not work on overage tires.

I know all of the above is common sense to most of us, but I can tell you from experience that neglect will cause you some serious problems and expense on the road. I want you around for a long time so check over your hot rod prior to your next trip.

Stay Tooned!


Lou thinks this 4o coupe is one of the best and I would agree. He would drive it to the local drive-in and order a cherry coke and large order of homemade fries. We had a Steak & Shake in town that served the best chocolate malts and chili fries. I don’t recall a coupe this nice but that was in 1957. Thanks, Lou.

Mick Jenkins built a truly magnificent 34 hiboy roadster a few years back while working at SO-CAL speed shop. I watched it being built at GMT over a period of time and it was an inspiration for my love of the 34 roadster. It was first displayed at the 2007 AMBR show where it received the Gray Baskerfield award.

The rear profile shows off the super rake and rear curved spreader bar which cleans up the rear portion. I thought it needed a quick change but the 9 inch works well and is quiet.

I love the head on photo of the roadster. GMT did a great job of building the hood and modifying the inner fender panels. Sorry Deuce lovers, but this is a great looking hiboy roadster in my mind. The car is listed for sale on the Mecum Auction site.

Gabe did his usual find job of upholstering the cockpit in and early style. Note the arm rests on the door. They come in handy on long trips and keeps your arms from getting pinched in the door seam on top of the doors. How do I know that?

Frank Currie, of Currie Enterprises, has quite a collection of hot rods. Steve stopped by for a tour and sent along these photos. George would like this color combination.

The 34 roadster is one of his favorites and the Marcel hand built Bonneville car is also one of his drivers. The “Rear End” business must be real good. He solved the lack of smooth back wagon rear ends in the junk yards.

Frank likes the Washington blue on his Deuces. He is a member of the California Roadsters.

Here are a couple of more of Frank’s cars. The Shelby and the 3 window are two timeless hot rods from different eras. I think Boyd built the 3 window in the 90’s.

 Today’s Hiboy Roadster and Sedan!

Cory, a young hot rod builder from Detroit, knows how to get the look on an early style Deuce hiboy. He picked up the car at Sids and he and Ashley drove down to the LARS a couple of years ago. The flathead, an H&H special, sounds great rolling around Pomona. Sid did the top using original styled irons and bows modified to obtain this stylish profile.

Here is his latest winter project, a 1940 Ford sedan that he obtained from Dick. He has the same talent for building a sedan and getting the profile correct as he did on the roadster. He built this one is 3 months or so. I guess there is not much else to do in Detroit in the winter time. ( I lived there for 10 years and have experienced the long, dreary winters.)

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