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Forums Are On Life Support, Won’t Someone Think Of The Build Threads?

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I’m old, not that old, but certainly ‘older’ in the internet based automotive community. I am part of the generation that’s been around long enough to experience first hand how the internet affected the automotive landscape.

When I got my first car it was during a transition period where internet forums/message boards really started to take off and become commonplace. High speed internet finally became affordable (hands up if you remember 56k warnings) and as a result I lived on ‘boards like , e30sport (then ) and . Later, when I switched vehicles, I became an member, and then a  and  member.

Additionally I was a member of several forums of cars I was just plain interested in. Vip cars, off-roading, kustoms, hot rods, I’ve got memberships to at least one of each.

My e30, a car that wouldn’t end up how it was without forums

Forums quickly became an incredibly popular, and more importantly, useful tool. Message boards helped bridge the gap between what was left out of magazines due to space, and what’s glossed over on television in favor of scripted drama. They also helped fill in the blanks between the straight forward maintenance approach of the Haynes manual and what you actually wanted to do, modify your car.

The information I’ve gleaned from vBulletin or phpBB powered scripture has been invaluable to my progression as an enthusiast. I’ve also managed to pinch many a penny through classified sections and made lifelong friends through meets organized on forums.

Yes, I’m a big proponent of the value of forums and honestly have probably spent more hours than I should have on Message boards, grades, sleep, work be damned.

Image from – stanceworks.com

I’m sure that I am not the only one who’s raced inside (or now checked my phone), mid project and fingers greasy, to re-read a post on how to un-clip a stubborn connector, or how to route a part around a steering rack just to side step dealing with rusted bolts.

I’d also wager that I am not the only person who, after reading a build thread felt motivated to start on a project that I previously saw as out of reach. Seeing someone of the same approximate level of skill succeed at a task usually reserved for a shop full of the latest and greatest tools and trained employees, is extremely motivating to the weekend warrior do it yourself enthusiast.

Forums are not of course flawless trolls annoy, spambots irritate, and misinformation is common but for the most part forums bring more to the table than they take away.

Image from – VWVortex.com

Sadly I’ve noticed that many of the forums I used to frequent have become quite inactive. Some of that can be chalked up to life, as familiar faces transition to new platforms, or lose their free hours to responsibility such as 9-5 jobs and children. But, it also seems that in general people are signing up to forums less.

Not being a forum admin I don’t have any numbers to back up my claim, but my gut tells me the clock is ticking on forums as people move to other platforms.

Instant gratification seems to be what people blame a host of the worlds problems on, but in the case of forums I think it has certainly been a contributing factor.

It’s easier to post something on Instagram or Facebook than it is a forum. A few quick taps on a mobile optimized interface and you’ve instantly given people an update on your build or got the answer you were searching for.

Image from – Jan 17 – losboulevardos.com

Unfortunately those platforms are largely self-serving. Answers don’t live forever and the community aspect is lost. How many of you are in Facebook groups where the same question is asked several times a month? Previously in a forum based community we could refer the user to the search page.

Frustratingly Facebook search returns primarily what Facebook (the company that has share holders to appease) wants you to see, and Instagram search isn’t really designed to pull back any useful information a timely fashion.

YouTube isn’t the worst substitute, but it lacks the easy questioning and answering ability provided by the quoting feature on forums and well, we all know what YouTube comments can be like.

All that said, though the writing has been on the wall for the last few years, forums have still manged to hold their value if nothing more than as archives. That was of course until a few weeks ago when they were put on life support thanks to the unlikeliest of sources, PhotoBucket.

Dead links have always been a problem in older threads, but PhotoBucket’s choice to charge $399 a year for the ability to use their service on third-party websites is a big deal. To put things in perspective I pay less than that to host this site and register the domain year over year.

Thanks to Photobucket’s recent play for the wallets of web users everywhere thousands of useful threads have been rendered nearly useless. This is akin to someone walking into a library and removing the images from 80% of the how to books and about 70% of the inspirational magazines.

Image from – 67-72trucks.com

It’s a serious blow to a system that is perhaps getting too old to take it. Yes there are alternatives but going back and updating the past is a daunting task that few are going to take up the torch and do.

Am I over-reacting, seeing the world through my doom and gloom glasses once more to romanticize a dead technology? Maybe, but I also think that without these archives, these globally, available caches of knowledge fewer and fewer are going to venture forth under their hoods and try things themselves.

Sure, enthusiasts prior to the advent of the internet had to learn the hard way, and managed to do incredible things when left to their own devices, but we live in a different time now. Auto shop isn’t in every school, and sure as hell isn’t mandatory. Cars are becoming more complicated to service at home, and, with the drive towards automated vehicles who knows what might happen to the modern enthusiast.

The naturally mechanically inclined will continue to make headway on their projects, but the rest of us? Well the rest of us better start saving what we can before forums are gone for good.

We’ve taken them for granted assuming they would be around forever but now more than ever we should cherish the ones that are still alive and active, they are the last of a dying breed.

Theme Tuesdays: Recently Viewed – July 2017

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As of today it is August and I’ve probably got about 25% of my summer “TO-DO” list done. Running the math I am woefully behind and I’m pretty well running out of summer. C’est la vie Right?

Anyway here’s another Recently Viewed Theme Tuesday with additions from the usual suspects and a few how to videos because I’ve been out in the shop garage lately.















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Beebop & Rocksteady, The Kustom Kings

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Twice in the past month I’ve found myself at the Ajax Canadian Tire Cruise In checking out some of the local vehicles. That’s where I saw the Sonoma I posted last week, and also where I saw the two Kustoms showcased below.

Posting Kustoms on a site with ‘stance’ in the name might seem odd to some but regular readers know I play the definition of stance fast and loose because it is really all about how it sits.

Both of these cars have the right stance for a traditional kustom and thus, are being posted today.

One of the things I like most about a great kustom build is that for the most part it’s no stone left un-turned, no half steps, and no failed executions.

Everything looks great and flows together to create an over all appealing car.

This particular ’38 Ford featured a very nice red interior that contrasts the purple exterior exquisitely. Interiors can often date cars (see: tweed) but the materials used here are tasteful and timeless.

As a whole the car is stunning and looked great under the setting son. Via some digging I was able to determine that it belongs to somewhat of a local hot rodding legend Paul Fernley.

Maybe one day I’ll have to see about getting a little time with the car one on one for some photos.

The second car I want to showcase today is one that I can’t identify. I think it might be a Ford Ranchero (55 or so) but a few elements don’t quite match up with my assumptions.

This might be because it is not a Ranchero, or because it borrows from so many vehicles that are not Ranchero.

Regardless of what it is, the paint work on this car is exceptional. The blues and whites look great with the chrome and the white interior is the icing on the cake.

Those pipes sound as good as they look too.

Quick post today, but every day is better with a bit of Kustom love.

Event Coverage: 2017 Majestics Toronto Lowrider BBQ

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Before we head out to an event my son always has one simple question, “Daddy will there be up down cars?” Clearly last year’s Majestics Toronto BBQ left a lasting impression on him.

I’d like to say I am surprised but I’m not. With miles of chrome, detailing on nearly every panel, and a stance like none other lowriders are some of the most interesting vehicles to ever cruise down the street.

Young, old, male, female car enthusiast or non everyone remember the first time they saw a classic American car on wires roll by on four, three, or two wheels.

My first Majestics BBQ was in 2012, and since they’ve earned a permant spot on my “must attend” list every year.

In those five years I’ve also invited others to check out event, like Rob at did me, and they have also returned every year since.

The music, and food (which, yes, I mention every year), make this event stand out but the vibe is what seals the deal. Egos are checked, family is welcomed, and everyone is encouraged to just have a good time.

It’s not about trophies at all, but there are two to be won, ‘best of show’ and ‘furthest traveled’.

With these trophies there’s no bickering about who wins, and no question about who deserves them as the decision is typically unanimous.

This year the best of show award went to the green ’64 above and below. Based on what is arguably the most popular lowrider platform the car is built to the exacting level of detail that one would expect from a top tier lowrider.

The laser straight body is adorned with flawless bright work and the paint on the roof down is as smooth as glass. The paint from the roof line up is next level. The patterns, pinstriping, and golf leafing found on the roof continue into the car onto the steering wheel and steering column.

I imagine there’s miles of clear on that wheel to prevent the paint from coming off.

I managed to over hear that the owner of this Impala has had the car since high school and that it has been a dream of his to get it to this level.

The passion certainly shows through in the execution of the final product.

The highlight for many at these events (especially the children) is the hopping demo where those willing to put their cars up in the air do just that. If you’ve never seen it, there is nothing quite like a watching a full size, full framed car bounce up and down.

It is a violent affair, and even though they are reinforced to take it the cars typically don’t enjoy the process. However build it, break it, repeat seems to be the mantra because no matter how hard these cars get punished the owners never seem to really care.

The car above was actually California plated, and I’m not sure how it ended up here by trailer or driven, but the owner thrashed it like he was ten minutes from home.

Thankfully for him isn’t far from the location of the BBQ, and there’s no question that Jeff can repair whatever damage was done when this car came down from resting on bumper.

With a plate that reads “Bumper Check”, sitting above a bumper that has certainly been checked, it was easy to see that this car meant business from the second I pulled into the parking lot.

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When the time came to put on a show Jeff didn’t hesitate, and the car was up on the rear bumper within a few flicks of the switch, to the elation of my son who exclaimed “that was awesome!” when it was all said and done.

The spectacle of putting a car in the air (without the use of a ramp or air jacks) is one that is exclusive to lowriding and it is impressive just how much larger the crowd gets once the action starts.

This year’s show, despite the rainy forecast, was pretty much at capacity and there wasn’t a single parking spot left for spectators.

I even spoke with one woman who saw the event from her condo. After hearing the great music (her words) she had to come down and see what was going on.

All of the local lowrider clubs were represented at this show in some way with builds from the Affiliated, Majestics, Rollerz Only, Luxurious, and Solitios parked up throughout the venue.

I mentioned this on a few weeks ago but a lot of new ‘car clubs’ could learn a thing or two from how lowrider clubs operate. It’s much more than just affixing a sticker to the center of you windshield.

Most of these cars sported at the very least a plaque, but often emblems, shirts, and even permanent ink on their skin showing who they are affiliated with.

Both Drake and myself took a lot of time trying our best to truly capture the detail work found in these cars, and while we did the best we could to really appreciate the detail it needs to be seen in person.

Can you imagine just how never racking final assembly would be on one of these cars?

Last year I stated that the ‘Goldmine’ Fleetwood Cadillac above had one of the most detailed trunk set ups I’d ever had the pleasure of seeing in person.

Drake thought so as well as he couldn’t resist taking a photo of it this year. Note the color matched batteries, and gold leafing practically everywhere, including on the newly added continental kit.

Another favorite of both Drake and myself was the Gold accented ’63 Impala below.

Deep blue, chrome, and gold all came together on this car to make it one exceptional looking car.

Another car that cannot be overlooked anytime I go to one of these BBQs is the 65 Buick below.

It’s such a great looking car. In comparison to some of the other cars it is a lot simpler but I think that refinement is what makes it stand out. That and it’s the only Riviera at the event.

If any of you are fans of the movie Training Day then surely you can see the inspiration from that car on this one. .

Last year there was a Blazer on wires and hydraulics this year there was a first generation Sonoma. Not too common to see trucks at these events but I appreciate the ones that do show up.

This Ford F-100 was a pretty cool driver painted a unique, almost mint green, color and riding on fat white walls.

In the bed was this a rad lowrider bike that was completely chromed out and sitting on radial spoked wheels with fitting white walls.

With so many great cars at this show it would be unfair to cut this coverage short just because I am running out of things to say.

Enjoy a few additional photos below, and if you were at the event and are wondering if myself or Drake took a photo of your car drop a comment and I will see what I can dig up.



The next lowrider BBQ is August 18th at Rowntree Mills park put on by the Luxurious Lowrider Club and following that Rollerz Only Niagara, and Rollerz Only Toronto is hosting one August 26th at Humber Bay Park West.

Both run 11-6 though 2pm is probably the best time to show up.

Theme Tuesdays: Pro Street

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Am I the only one that is a fan of Pro Street Cars? I hope not because otherwise this week’s Theme Tuesday is going to land a bit flat.

By Pro street I mean drag race styled cars. Low front ends, stock height or raised rear ends, Weld Wheels, Hoosier Or Mickey Thompson tires, narrowed axles, tubs, cages, often wild paint, the whole nine yards as it were.

Basically cars that push the boundaries of ‘Street Legal’ to the point where you wonder whose palms were greased to allow the car to get registration.

The style may have lost some steam after being incredibly popular in the 80s and early 90s but I still see quite a few Pro Street styled cars in my travels so one could argue that is a timeless style.

Either way I like them, and hopefully you do too, enjoy!

This is one of the most easily found photos of a “Pro Street” car online, the wheel and tire set up on this car is massive.
While not quite as extreme as the car above, I’ve seen many a 60s era Camaro styled similarly
Street Classics Cruise Ins in Etobicoke are always worth attending if you are in the area, sadly I am in the area less and less these days
The Camaro and this Chevy II were at the same event as the car below
and this car was at the same event as…
…this one…
….and this Nova!
This ‘Yenko’ (not sure if it is real) is phenomenal, it’s been around for awhile and is always spotless
The Vega, Tri Five, and this car actually come from the same shop A&D Performance
Their builds can be spotted from Brampton to Etobicoke
As much as I do miss the Street Classics events the ones at Canadian Tire in Pickering are pretty great as well
Two cars over from that Trans Am was this Camaro sporting Mickey Thompson Sportsman tires and strange axles
And right near that was this Camaro that swallowed Hoosiers
Engine bay of the same Camaro, gotta have some power to turn those big wheels and tires
I have reason to believe that the owner of this Nova indeed cannot drive 55
This Holley blower is a contributing factor to that assumption of mine
This was actually a fairly clean build all around, the interior was quite nice as well
I’m fairly certain this car could have leapt out of the pages of Car Craft magazine in the 80s
On the topic of Magazine cars, featured this one
I’ve only seen this ’69 Mach 1 at a single event, it’s actually one of very few 60s Mustangs I’ve personally seen done Pro Street style
Trucks are not exempt from the Pro Street Style
Does anyone want to Hazard a guess at the average MPG of this post? 8 maybe?
I can’t imagine how often the headers on this car hit the ground
Reunited was a great show that sadly just never came back after one event, I’ve not seen this Nova since
Probably one of the coolest (if not the coolest) Chevettes in Ontario
I bet it is an absolute riot to drive
On the scale of ‘internet famous’ Pro Street builds this double blown GTO is high up there

Rock Dobbertin is perhaps the #1 Pro Street Icon with his crazy J2000 Pontiac
The car is absolutely looney, and hopefully still hiding away somewhere
Twin blowers, twin superchargers, and nitrous!

 

WTF Friday: Small Block Mini

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I posted this on Facebook last Friday, but I am re-posting it here on the site in the hopes that one of you reading this has more information on this unique rear engine mini.

After years of hearing about this mini I finally ran across if first hand at an event in Tottenham Ontario. I was pretty excited to see it first hand because I’ve been asked on multiple occasions if I’ve ever seen the wide body Chevy 350 small block powered Mini.

 

When I saw the car the owner was nowhere to be found but through the grape vine I’ve heard that the motor is mated to an MR-2 transmission of all things.

Judging by its size, and choice in propulsion, I am going to assume that most everything under the mini body is custom.

My assumptions are further supported by the description from an expired Kijiji ad that states the car is on a custom space frame. Prior to the Avante Garde M220 wheels it wears now, the car actually sat on Fiero wheels, I wonder if any additional Fiero parts made their way into the final product?

The wrap on the car is new –up until last week the car was black– and the burnt race livery look is actually pretty fitting and convincing from afar.

All in all this is a really interesting car that I would love to know more about.

No Regrets

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Sorry for the somewhat sporadic post consistency of late. There’s so much going on in the summer that it makes sitting down in front of the computer hard. Add in the fact that I’ve ramped up my freelance work to help cover the expenses of Project Why Wait, SIE gets the shorter end of the stick.

But, if you can come to rely on me for anything its a lot of original content waiting in the wings. I’ve been going to a lot of cruise ins this summer –for as long as Ash will permit– and I’m going to start rolling out a few of those photos when I can.

Cruise Ins are great because they are little commitment and I can stay as short or as long as I wish without feeling the need to cover the whole event as a whole because no one really tracks what shows up to what cruise in week after week.

I’m a sucker for a bagged and bodied first gen so I had to give this truck a once and twice over.

It is a tidy looking truck representing No Regrets, a world wide and fairly well known car and truck club.

The truck as a whole is incredibly clean and I really like the green color. It suits the vehicle very well and helps it from being period locked like some other builds.

Inside, I quite like the updated interior. If there’s one part of first generation s10s that really back dates them it’s the dash. It’s pretty boxy, plastic looking and unbecoming considering what is around today. Wrapping it in leather really cleans brings it closer today without swapping out the entire thing.

The No Regrets steering wheel is also pretty crazy and shows a level of dedication to a car club that isn’t often seen these days. Though I sure wouldn’t want to get into an accident with it.

Look for more Cruise In coverage to creep onto the site here and there.

Theme Tuesdays: Second Generation Lexus GS

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I got hit up on Instagram by to do a Theme Tuesday on the Lexus GS, more specifically the S160, or second generation models. In 2012 I did a generic GS/Aristo Theme Tuesday but at the request of Mr. Blackout this one will focus on the second gen exclusively.

With the youngest of this generation being thirteen years old, they have reached a fairly accessible price point. Especially for a 1/3UZ or 2 JZ (N/A and turbo) powered Luxury RWD sedan.

I imagine these cars will start to get a lot crazier once a younger generation starts to get a hold of them and realizes that the future of Japanese RWD sedans looks a little bleak.

Going to take things back to pre-2012 when tucking Rays wheels was the thing to do
TEs work on everything.

I actually feel like one day I need to own a set of TEs one day, just because of how many I have photographed and posted over the years

Dan has kept his GS pretty clean over the years, if anyone can hook this guy up with a wood grain wheel he’d likely appreciate it

White and chrome make a bold statement – Photo:
I’ve always like the more subtle sport influenced VIP builds over the wild fins and vents that style gaining popularity today
Again similar sport influenced styling and utterly fantastic appearance overall
This black GS400 on Bronze lipped Work Gnosis still looks great today, something that can’t be said for all vehicles from SEMA 2012
At the 2012 Liberty Black event “Philly Rob” impressed many people being one of the first on wheels
Like all of the cars that have made it into the ranks of the exclusive Liberty VIP family the car is clean from front to rear
Paul Tolson’s GS400 is a popular one in the show scene, it wears Veliside bumpers all around and a custom metal widebody
The 1UZLE motor is now fed by two GT35R turbos
‘s Gray Schilling caught this car at an event last year, great looking GS
Best plate of this week’s Theme Tuesday goes to – Photo:
This car, at first glance, looks like a bagged GS400 on 20″ wheels
But then, ‘GO GO Gadget legs’ the lift on hydraulics is insane
Above and below is what happens when a minitrucker gets a hold of a Lexus – Photo:

LS motors make their way into everything so why not a Vertex kitted sinister looking GS400? – Photo:

If you prefer your Lexus’ to have a Japanese heart how about this nitrous fed, turbo, 3 rotor powered example? – Photo:
This car is was the subject of a  – Photo:
SH also had the feature on this drift spec GS built by – Photo:
It’s powered by a built single turbo 2JZ – Photo:
For those who like their drift cars with a little more classic street style flare, this BN sports equipped car fits the bill – Photo:
The owner doesn’t just have a car that looks the part either, he drives the thing. A full feature is – Photo:

Project Why Wait: Be Humble(d)

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Hubris is defined as excessive self-pride or self-confidence and I while I’m not sure about the excessive self-pride, I certainly had a lot of confidence heading into this project.

Confidence isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and mine isn’t gone, but, the “Yeah I’ve got this, no big deal” mind-set I had certainly needed to be checked. When the chassis came back from I figured one or two garage sessions max and I should be plumbing the chassis by June no problem.

First night in the garage went fairly well, I rounded up all my parts, found nothing missing, put on the tunes, turned on baby monitor and got to work.

Though there are still people running around with bagged classic vehicles without shocks, shocks are something I’m not willing to go without.

Unfortunately the airbags –Slam Specialties RE7s in my case– sit where the coil and shock previously did, which means the shocks had to go elsewhere.

For relocation I took the typical, well documented, s10 route. Using this approach a new shock mount sits above the frame and the shock lays into a rounded frame notch. This allows for lock to lock turning at any ride height without obstruction.

The mount, mount angle, and notch locations were both calculated using a measuring tape and a bit of eyeballing.

I’m sure at the mention of ‘eyeballing’ a few of you have predicted where this is going. But, no the mounts were not completely off. Not cycling the suspension with the shock installed, at the time of affixing the mounts meant I had to mount the shocks a little further inboard on the lower control arm than I had originally planned.

With that slight adjustment to my approach the shocks just made it within acceptable ranges for the upper shock mount and the shocks themselves clear the frame by the smallest of margins at full lift and a more acceptable margin at ride height.

In the end it all worked and when everything else went together without a hitch and I considered myself lucky that I didn’t have to rework the mounts entirely.


With the upper control arm and spindle attached everything else checked out fine clearance wise and overall I’m very happy that I decided to get new parts where I could and the old ones reconditioned where I couldn’t.

Working with clean components versus greasy, corroded ones, is a much nicer experience.

The reason I started with the front of the truck was because my rear axle and differential needed more work than I’d hoped.

To roll things back a bit Jeff (the original chassis builder) got this rear axle from a friend, and that friend tinkered with it internally. , the shop that ended up fixing the rear end, said that unfortunately because the differential was now a mix of 9 bolt and 10 bolt parts the easiest way to get everything ship-shape was to get another 9 bolt rear end.

On this side of the planet 9 bolt rear end parts are not the most common (Australia where they were made is a different story) so I ended up having to buy a complete second rear end to make one good one.

Then I lucked into a third for spare parts as well. You can see both kicking around in the background of this update.

The issues inside the differential housing were fairly trivial compared to the hurdle I would face next. In order to get the truck around the yard at we welded a piece of steel from the bottom of the notch to the axle.

As you can see from the photo above we did this at a fairly low height, but certainly not a height reflective of 0 psi.

Upon cycling the suspension to its lowest point the upper rear shock mount and upper four-link mount fought fairly aggressively for the same bit of real estate. In a Hail Mary attempt I cut the dust shield off the shocks I had but alas things wouldn’t be that easy.

After taking some measurements, cycling the suspension, and even taping a socket to the frame to stand in as a shock mount, I was able to sort out where my shock mount should have been. Where they should have been is the circle above, which is quite a bit further forward from where they were.

Unlike the front end there was little I could do to bail myself out here, fresh paint be damned the angle grinder had to come out.

This hurt, it hurt a lot. There was no pretty way to cut the old mount off, and when it was cut out I was forced to do the weld, grind, weld grind dance to fill the hole left by the first mount.

Eventually I was able to get things well enough to start repairing the damage so I threw some filler over my shame.

The filler application above looks pretty crappy, and it was, the filler was old and not compliant so 98% of it was sanded right back off.

If there was a word of the month last month it would have been ‘sanding’ without question.

A trip to the store for new materials, and a lot of elbow grease, and things started to look better, still grim and disappointing, but better.

Bodywork helped pass the time while I was waiting for parts to arrive and when the new shorter KYB shocks arrived, and shock mounts, I was more than ready for a break from sanding.

At home I don’t have a tig welder, like we used for the original shock mounts, so I had to get a bit resourceful.

The are thankfully threaded at both ends which meant I was able to tap the frame and thread the shock mount in. After cranking the mount down as much as possible I was ready for the next step.

With the new mounts threaded into place I cycled the suspension repeatedly (as I should have months ago) to make sure that I wouldn’t be doing this a third time.

Everything checked out, and I decided it was time to make things permanent with some metal gluing.

I have no shame in admitting that I struggled here. I’m not really adequately set up to weld metal of this thickness in my garage and the resulting welds were not pretty and had minimal penetration.

However after repeating the grind, weld, grind, dance from before I was able to get the mounts to a point where no matter how hard I tried they wouldn’t back out.

From there bodywork was the name of the game. As anyone who has ever done any can tell you it takes a long time.

Paint work is only as good as the prep underneath and I didn’t want it to be obvious that I repaired a visible part of the frame myself so I took my time.

I don’t have a spray gun (yet) so I turned to, predominately, the Dupli-Color line up of spray can materials. Most of the product above is self-explanatory thanks to the labels.

I used the PlastiKote brand primer and black Dupli-Color somewhat interchangeably because I did end up sanding a lot of it off.

The fillers I used were house brand and the top coat was also from Carquest. Carquest uses the same paint () that my chassis is so they were able to put my color into a spray can with no issue.

One tip that helped me out a lot when blending in rattle can work was the folded masking tape technique.

For those unfamiliar you decide where you absolutely do not want paint to go and put masking tape there. Then, just ahead of that, you overlap it with another piece of masking tape folded, or rolled, in half.

This prevents a hard-line from one finish to another and the resulting line is one that can be easily sanded out and buffed with high grit (1500+) sand paper. Moving the masking tape line to a different spot between primer and color coat also helps with the final blend.

Between waiting on coats of paint or filer to dry I worked on getting the brakes bolted up and this is where I had a bit of luck.

The calipers that came with the chassis were missing a few bits, but thankfully both of the rear axles I picked up had brakes attached. Three eventually became one and I now have completely rebuilt rear calipers up to the task of stopping my truck.

Upfront I didn’t really have to do anything other than order some new slider pins to get the dual piston 98+ Blazer brakes fit to the Belltech spindles.

I’m still pretty pleased at this fairly inexpensive, oem parts based, upgrade to the traditional s10/gbody hub/brake assembly.

After a serious amount of prep I was ready to lay down some color and honestly it went very, very, well. The single stage paint sprayed out of the can nicely and the color match is quite good.

It all needs a bit of color sanding and polish to complete the transition from one paint job to another but overall I’m pretty happy with the repair.

The whole thing was a bit of an ordeal but a great early lesson in the art of taking your time and thoroughly testing things out before putting them into paint.

Figuring out how I am going to mount my air management is next on the and what I’ll be up to for the next week or so.

Here’s hoping the spray cans and sandpaper stay on the shelf this time around.

Event Coverage: Cars And Coffee July 2017

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The first Cars and Coffee of 2017, while good, was one of the coldest events I’ve been to in recent memory. The second I had to miss because of a conflict with the Truck And Tuner Expo so I was glad to hear that the July event was happening despite the first Sunday of the month falling on a long weekend.

Last year, a long weekend would have bumped C&C to next month, but this year  (the C&C hosts) decided to go ahead and host an event anyway.

The weather was great, and thus the turn out was great. The variety of cars, and the crowd, were on par with what I’ve come to expect from this event.

Cars and Coffee is always a great way to spend a quick few hours on a weekend, and not having to go to work the next day just made it all the better.

One of the most talked about vehicles of this event was the silver Ford F-100 below formerly owned by comedian Tim Allen. The truck is a complete custom, with no panel untouched, and still looks pretty damn good considering it was finished (at least for the first time) over twelve years ago.

Previously super charged, the truck is now N/A with individual throttle bodies. The headers on this truck are some of the largest I’ve ever seen under the hood of, well, anything.

Hats off to whoever fabricated them and snaked them in there.

The XJ220 that stole the season opening event remains parked at Engineered Automotive. I’m not sure if this is the big cat’s permanent home but it was positioned in a better position for photos this time around.

I’m curious if the car is in running condition, perhaps at the next Cars And Coffee the EE crew will fire the car up for everyone to hear? One can only hope.

While the XJ220 sat inside, outside a few cats were on the prowl (sorry) including the stunning E-Type above.


Also positioned outside was this white on white XJS. Now, I know next to nothing about most classic Jaguars but I have a sneaking suspicion that this one isn’t anywhere near stock.

If it is indeed a TWR model this car could make at least 750 to the wheels. Mighty impressive for a car that most of the road going public would never expect to make anywhere near that much horsepower.

Speaking of cars most people would underestimate, this EP82 Starlet would certainly fall in said category.

It’s the only one I’ve seen in Ontario, which makes it stand out on that fact alone, but the owner has also done an considerable amount to the car in all areas.

The motor is where the bulk of the work has been focused and the car now puts down a dyno proven 240hp and 195tq to the wheels on a ‘break in’ tune of 16psi.

The rest of the modifications to the car center around being able to handle all that power and put it down more or less effectively.

It’s a rally styled car, which means it can blast over the worst of Toronto’s roads with no issue. The owner mentioned that this generation of Starlet is pretty popular overseas so I just might have to keep the EP82 in mind for a future Theme Tuesday.

I didn’t get the opportunity to get an idea of the modifications done to either of the Minis above but they both looked really fun to drive.

I’ve got to try and figure out a way to get behind the wheel of one of these some day.

Gill from the spotted this Porsche 951 at an event a few weeks ago and I remember it specifically because he posted it up with a pretty tongue in cheek comment about .

Gil recently swapped his Hartge bumper for an AC Schnitzer piece. Apparently the AC bumper is a bit lower to the ground and according to the ‘gram he’s got the matching rear on route.

It’s honestly been at least four years since I’ve seen the R32 above and it took me a few moments to put together exactly which car it was.

Seemingly eons ago (2011) John Fiddy used to compete in CSCS with this car.

Prior to its ‘disappearance’ the car looked like it ran well (as evidenced above) but the exterior was certainly showing the affects of years of hard-driving.

Completely redone at this point the car looks great, and it’s nice to see a memorable local car return to glory rather than fade into memory.

My absence at events in recent years means I have not been able to personally see people I used to see several times a year. One of those people is Spenser, the previous owner of an Orange EG that was the subject of one of my .

Now he owns the red Evo above that I’ll probably take photos of every time I see it as well.

Announcing that you can take down Vipers is something you need to be able to back up, and from what I’ve heard this C6 is capable of doing just that.

I think this car might just be wearing a Supervettes widebody kit, but I’m not enough of a C6 aficionado to know for sure. I do however know that those are super wide 345 section width tires in the rear.

This Cars and Coffee event marks the first time I’ve seen the “DiezelRat” C10 truck not at a truck specific show.

This big ‘ol truck is powered by a Cummins diesel that explains the blackened roof. The owner of the truck owns a landscaping company so there’s a good chance you might see this car rolling around pulling lawn mowers and the like.

For the Next Cars and Coffee Engineered Automotive is doing something a little different and hosting . Hopefully the crowd and maturity level remains the same, and if you want to check out the night time atmosphere of the event it takes place August 11th from 8pm to 11pm.

Here’s a few more photos from this months event until then.

See you at the next one.

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