Challenger near the haunted house

Back in the 1970’s where the current Google headquarters is in Mountain View, California, was all farm land. There were many flower nurseries, ranches and dairy farms. My father rented part of a quanset hut for storage of his electric cars and roofing materials from a dairy farmer named Mr. Holthouse. We used to make frequent trips from home in Palo Alto to the Holthouse farm which was only about 10-15 minutes away, taking those memorable drives down the old farmland roads.

One of those roads to the farm was Stierlin Road (which is now Shoreline) and the west side of the road was lined with farm properties and on the east side a largely desolate, unkept, open farm land with an old Victorian house sitting in the middle of nowhere (an area close to the  now SGI site). The old white 3 story house we all thought was haunted and it looked menacing as it appeared in a dilapidated state sitting out there all alone along with a few trees.*

It was on that road that my father first let me drive his Datsun mini pickup.  This was a couple years before I got my license, I think when I was only 14. My dad used to let me shift all the time from the passenger side, but this was the first time I ever drove a full sized car. I drove it down that old country road perfectly, shifting gears and then pulling off to let my dad take over. I impressed my dad with how well I drove a stick shift for the first time – I attribute that to countless rehearsals in my mind in anticipation for that moment.

This worked out great for my dad, not long after this, he used to let me drive all over the place for work, before I had my license (don’t tell anyone, okay?).

It was along that old Stierlin Road, just about across the road from the old haunted house, that I noticed a “tree find.”

CCS_green

There was a sublime 1970 Challenger, with a tow hitch, which was neglected under a tree in front of a farmer’s yard. I saw that car every time taking Stierlin to and from our shop.  I thought for sure this neglected car might be something I could afford without help. I mean, who would leave his Challenger, for what seemed like forever, rotting under a tree? Maybe the guy would ask for $500 or something.

One day my dad and I drove our little four speed mini-pickup over there to pay the unknown owner a visit. Upon closer inspection, the car was an R/T, with a 383 Magnum and a four-speed. My heart started thumping again with the prospects of getting this one for cheap. We knocked on the door and the owner, a young man, maybe in his mid twenties, came out and explained that he was interested in selling the car. To get my adrenaline flowing, he started talking about how fast the car was and how “it just wants to go faster all the time.” (it didn’t make any sense but I was willing to believe anything and it sounded good). I still had a paranoia about powerful four speeds, but I figured it would be something I could get over for the right price.

The guy tried to start the 383, but the battery was dead. Without a thought, my dad asked me to move our truck closer so they could hook up jumper cables, which I did without question. But then the most unexpected thing happened as I tried to nudge the truck closer to the Challenger’s battery… I pressed the clutch in and suddenly panic overcame me. The truck started rolling on its own!

My foot neglected the brake pedal. (Oh *%$#!) To this day, I remember the owner’s expression, a look of complete unadulterated shock as he sat at the Challenger’s driver’s seat watching helplessly as I glided the truck right smack into his fender!

Thankfully, I don’t remember my dad yelling or getting really insane (being a paratrooper in the War, it seemed like things had to get a lot worse before he blew his top).

The guy still asked if we wanted to buy his R/T, for $1850. But it was too much. Maybe, I was just too embarrassed to deal. My Dad helped pay 150 dollars for him to get his dent repaired. The guy said he was going to get the car painted anyways, which he did, painting it black before selling the R/T for about $2400.

Too good to be true. Maybe it was the haunted house.

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* The old “haunted house” became a historical site and has since been relocated and renovated. It stands at Shoreline Park, Mountain View, about a mile away from its original location.

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

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A Close Call with Luck

Challen’s Challenger Story – continued: A Close Call with Luck

CCS_TA

A purple Challenger T/A – Added effects to image, original sourced from http://www.kimballstock.com

 

In 1977, when I was in 9th grade, my older brothers’ friend told me about some guy who was selling a purple 1970 Challenger T/A for $2400. He said it had a 340 6-pak and a four speed. This was a very exciting proposition, but I was unsure for two reasons: one, I didn’t have half that much money and, two, I didn’t know how to drive a four speed… Wait that’s not completely true. I may have known how to drive a four speed (practicing on my Dad’ Japanese mini-pickup), but being the young kid venturing into manly things, I had no concept of how to handle real POWER.

The imminent possibilities of getting a Challenger, especially something like the T/A, was an absolutely fantastic and unreal concept, a real teenage kid’s wild dream. Being the young teenage kid, I thought that maybe a T/A was just too awesome and would somehow be a complete outrage in the hands of an inexperienced kid who hadn’t even earned his driver’s license yet. Well, after a few days, talking with my brothers and my Dad, my fear changed to consideration. With my dad’s help, my consideration evolved into realization that just maybe this was going to be THE Challenger. My hands began to sweat…

I could just about feel my anxious fingers folding around that pistol grip Hurst shifter, the throaty rumble of the exhaust, the engine sucking in low flying birds through the hood scoop, and the complete satisfaction that results from having earth pounding horsepower plaster my back against a bucket seat. A machine like a T/A seemed to have some unearthly power to launch my life into manhood like almost nothing else could! With the green light sparkling, we called to follow up on the sale. But, wouldn’t you know it, the seller decided not to sell! (#%&*, I always get slightly annoyed when I remember that experience).

 

Next: What’s Lime Green and sits under a tree looking like it left to rot in the weeds? It’s not an apple.

 

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

Challen’s Challenger Story – The Beginning

Writer’s Note: I found this manuscript I wrote in 2004 after I began to show my restored Challenger T/A. The story was intended to be a feature article in Mopar Muscle Magazine that never happened. I submitted it and I managed to get a photo with a Mopar Muscle written caption under Reader Rides.

So I’m going to reproduce the whole thing, written mostly as it was in 2004, including a brief reference to Vanishing Point somewhere. I’ll break it in several parts just for you  internet Mopar guys and gals to nibble on (while you’re waiting for me to change my thermostat on my white car). 

 

CCS_red

From the Dodge Ad for the 1970 Hemi Challenger: “This Pony has Horses.” Image source: google

 

CHALLEN’S CHALLENGER STORY

by Challen Yee

 

THE BEGINNING 

Back in 1975, when I was a young kid growing up Palo Alto, near San Francisco, I had dreams of having my own muscle car. My older brothers, who were too old for me to hang out with, would come home and feed me fascinating stories of their exploits which often had to do with their muscle cars or their friends’ cars, where they went or what they did – to me it all seemed larger than life.

When I became of age, around 12 or 13, my friends at Jordan Junior High School were motorheads and we all chose an American muscle car as our favorite. We had no idea these allegiances would last a lifetime. Which car would I choose?

Through my parent’s creativity, they chose to name me, their third son, “Challen.” They said that without the “GE”, I’d have to generate my own power. This stroke of fate is what led me to investigate the Dodge Challenger as my muscle car of choice.

One of the first Challenger ads I remember seeing was the one with the red 1970 Challenger R/T. The ad read: “This Pony has Horses.” Across the page was this sinisterly scooped, shaker-hooded machine that started my young imagination rolling. Underneath read some specifications that seemed to reverberate with massive earth-quaking power. Magical words like “Hemi” and “R/T” would forever be etched in my mind. My lifetime relationship with the great MoPar classic had begun.

One local story I’ll always remember about  E-body street machines was about a guy in Palo Alto. His name was Curt (or Kirk) Martin – it was reported that with his plum crazy (violet) 1970 440 `Cuda, he could light up his rear tires on the highway at 60 miles per hour. I never met Curt, but I’ll always associate his name with his powerful 440 `Cuda.

Challengers turned out to be an awesome choice. It seemed like it was a rare selection for a favorite car amongst the kids I grew up with, which suited me fine, because the Challenger was going to be my ticket to a unique ride.

 

A Young Imagination

In anticipation of buying my own car, I was working my tail off working for my dad’s roofing contracting company over the summers in hopes that someday I could find and afford the ‘perfect’ Challenger. I could draw, write stories about, speak tirelessly of, and imagine wildly about Challengers all day if everybody let me.

Today, kids are reading Harry Potter books; back then I was cranking out cruising stories, glorifying muscle cars and street machines and the cool “dudes” and “chicks” that drove them. One short story I wrote was about buying a used Hemi Challenger in 1984 for $500 (of course this is Orwellian fiction), and another would make a great script for a zany remake of a Cannonball Movie, called “The Great Desert Car Rally”… 186 hand-written pages, starring a tricked out Challenger with a turbo-charged 340 and an enormous cast of cars and characters. There’s more, like the unfinished 500 page hand-written novel (main car: Challenger) with even more cars and characters… but back to reality.

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Next Part: What happened when someone offered to sell his purple T/A for $2400.

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

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Simmering over 440 overheating issues

Mo-Ideas about heated issues – part 1

 

Some random thoughts in no specific order related to high speed overheating of my Challenger since I got it back from the shop.

There’s two things I wish they didn’t mess with, one is change my old thermostat in the process of detailing my engine and the other was change my ignition timing when they were trying to get it to idle (what was needed was  to adjust/richen the outboard idle mixture screws). Messing with only one system at a time helps troubleshooting. Oh well, make the best of it. Before I had no overheating problems and I didn’t back fire through the carb at all.

Through tweaking the carbs and timing, I’ve been able to drive the car harder with almost no popping out the carb, but accelerating under load can still cause a pop or multiple pops, oddly enough, about once per drive, if I jump on it.

The cooling problem only occurs if I get into high RPM’s for a couple of sustained runs (usually hard acceleration) – then I watch the temp gauge drift higher out of the normal range which does not cool off until i park the car. The car runs well (doesn’t start high temp knocking), but I take the Challenger back home not tempting fate with it boiling over on the road.

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BULGE HOODS NON-FUNCTIONAL or FUNCTIONAL? 

Getting more air flow – Every little bit helps.

Just incase you were wondering, the bulge hoods as they come of the showroom floor are non-functional. However, with a phillips screwdriver, you can remove the outer sheet metal covers and allow air to stream into the dual scoops.

Behind the scoops under the hood are plastic diverters that allow air to slip over and into the engine compartment, but will catch water and route it off laterally to drip rails on the inside of the bulge.

For a cooler look, you can get some black touch up paint and help blackout the screw tabs if they are the same color as your body to make them less conspicuous.

In this close up of the R/T hood scoop, you can see how the Factory set them as "non-functional" bulge hood.

In this close up of the R/T hood scoop, you can see how the Factory set them as “non-functional” bulge hood.

With the flip of your Phillips Screwdriver, you can remove the metal plates that block the opening that keep the low flying birds from getting sucked in and have a functioning ram air bulge hood.

With the flip of your Phillips Screwdriver, you can remove the metal plates that block the opening that keep the low flying birds from getting sucked in and have a functioning ram air bulge hood.

Here is the under hood look at what is behind the hood scoop. You see a water deflector which allows air to pass over and directs water (and air) laterally to a hood rail.

Here is the under hood look at what is behind the hood scoop. You see a water deflector which allows air to pass over and directs water (and air) laterally to a hood rail.

If I were to cut a perfectly good piece of sheet metal (which I will not), the back o fthe bulge would be a nice customization spot to vent a hot engine compartment.

If I were to cut a perfectly good piece of sheet metal (which I will not), the back of the bulge would be a nice customization spot to vent a hot engine compartment.

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BULGE HOODS (continued)…

The reason I started looking at simple ways to get the under hood temps cooler is ever since I got my car back from the shop it’s been running hot after high speed runs (at least above 4000-4500 RPM). The guys at the shop replaced the thermostat in the process of detailing the engine. At low and moderate speeds the engine runs at a reasonable temp (according to my dash temp gauge) where coolant does not overflow when I stop the engine.

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MILODON HI FLOW THERMOSTAT ON ORDER

We used a 180 deg thermostat, which is okay, but I’ve ordered Milodon Hi Flow unit along with FLUKE 62 MAX laser thermometer to see what the actual temps are on the engine and radiator (and on our kitchen frying pan!). I plan to replace the thermometer as well as check for any surprise objects that might be under or interfering the thermostat operation.

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WHAT ABOUT REDLINE WATER WETTER?

I also plan on draining all the coolant and run 100% distilled water plus RedLine Water Wetter, which you must run if you run only water in order to lubricate the water pump and also help bring the coolant temps down more.

I ran this coolant setup on my 1965 Mustang that I used for open track. The other cool benefit from running only water for coolant is if you spew water, it doesn’t become a green toxic track mess. Open track coolant spills are a pain requiring special cleanup procedures, but if you’re just running a water and Water Wetter… no problem, it just needs to evaporate! It’s important that you change the coolant every year, because I’ve heard that old Water Wetter can begin gumming up your cooling system.

Changing coolant becomes less of an issue since draining water (with a little Water Wetter) is more ecologically safe compared to GREEN coolant. (At least I think so!).

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THOUGHTS ON CARB JETTING

If the above ideas don’t help cool down the engine enough, I’ll need to check the plugs and see if the engine is running too lean. I retarded the timing from 36 to 34 degrees Total advance and I still have a problem. Running richer jets, will have some effect on engine temp also. I believe the stock jets on the primary carb are #62’s and I have a spare set of #64s and #66s.

Actually, I’ve run variations of jet sizes in my Mustang and have run timing off, and I don’t remember having to worry about overheating, but every little idea helps (and will make the engine run stronger).

For right now, it’s easier to check the thermostat, change the coolant and look for obstructions.

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Here's a close up of my steel fan and clutch and fan shroud connected to a 4 core steel radiator.

Here’s a close up of my steel fan and clutch and fan shroud connected to a 4 core steel radiator.

My O'Reilly Auto Parts Special. Before I put this in, my engine would spew coolant, now even with the engine getting excessively hot after high speed driving, the large can size is just large enough to catch the whole burp. Good thing I decided to by the larger overflow "can"

My O’Reilly Auto Parts Special. Before I put this in, my engine would spew coolant, now even with the engine getting excessively hot after high speed driving, the large can size is just large enough to catch the whole burp. Good thing I decided to by the larger overflow “can”

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RANDOM ODDs and ENDs

My car has a 3 core-copper radiator, offset-bladed fan with a clutch and fan shroud. No, I’d rather just keep the factory stuff and not have to run an aluminum radiator if I don’t have to (although as fellow Linkedin member Erik Kenny notes, these symptoms are hot for a clogged radiator).

I had added the coolant overflow kit  (the largest size available at your typical auto supply store) before this cooling problem and it’s a good thing, otherwise I’d have a driveway full of coolant every time I stop after a high speed highway drive. Right now it’s a self contained system that keeps all the overflow and sucks it back in when it cools down.

 

LASER CHECK YOUR BUTTERED EGGS, BEER and YOUR B-BLOCK MOPAR

I’ll give you guys an update after I  check the thermostat and laser check the cooling system and my fried eggs in butter. By the way, you shouldn’t heat butter over 350-400 degrees when cooking. The next time you come over for a beer you can borrow my laser thermometer to make sure you’re not over-nuc’ing your eggs or your MoPar.

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

My first Dodge Challenger in storage

Throwback Photo- Circa 1983

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After graduating high school in 1980, I joined the Navy and used my first Challenger to make several trips up and down between Palo Alto and San Diego between 1981 and 1982.

When I was assigned to a seagoing unit out of Hawaii in January 1983, I chose not to transport the car and instead stored it in my parent’s backyard.

Eventually someone made and offer to buy my car and I sold it while I was away.

Had  a lot of good times with that car.

 

The fastest road trip my car made was being driven by my brother, a Highway Patrol Officer, from Thousand Oaks to Palo Alto where we left around midnight and arrived around 4am driving up Highway 101.

First Challenger a 1971 as in the area it was stored while I was away serving overseas in the Navy after 1983.

First Challenger a 1971 as it sat in the storage area (with cover off for photo) while I was away serving overseas in the Navy after 1983. My choice of mag wheels and exhaust dump offs (which flared out after the mufflers and before the rear axle) were inspired by one of the Palo Alto High School English teachers named Barry Bergstrom who had the American Vectors and “Bergstrom Pipes” on his orange Chevy Nova that he drove to school and sometimes bracket raced (from what I heard). Also credit the Dukes of Hazzard County for wheel selection. PALY upper classman 1979 grad Dan Kirby said these wheels looked great when I was peeling out because you could really tell they were spinning … which I often felt obliged to do every time he gave me the “stomp on it” hand signal.

 

 

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

Six Pack Accelerator Pump Nozzle Change

It is not recommended to change the accelerator pump nozzle on a choked carb without removing it from the car, but if you are very very careful, you can see what I did.

Please read entire article before considering attempting this operation.

 

Problem: How can you safely change an accelerator pump nozzle with a choke plate in the way… answer, you have to be extremely careful. It can be done but the no one is going to recommend you do it without taking the carb off the car. This is how I did it (see next photos). Gently feel the torque on the screw before removing for your "feel" reference.

Problem: How can you safely change an accelerator pump nozzle with a choke plate in the way… answer, you have to be extremely careful. It can be done but no one is going to officially recommend you do it without taking the carb off the car. This is how I did it (see next photos). Gently feel the torque on the screw before removing for your “feel” reference. In this photo, I’ve already loosened the retaining screw and am ready to pull the assembly out with a needle nose pliers.

 

In order to stabilize the choke plate, use a device like this screwdriver, to hold the choke open the max amount. It frees up your hands and allows you to concentrate completely on the removal and replacement of the nozzle.

In order to stabilize the choke plate, use a device like this screwdriver, to hold the choke open the max amount. It frees up your hands and allows you to concentrate completely on the removal and replacement of the nozzle.

 

I loosened the retaining screw and used a needle nose pliers to very carefully pull the assembly out. I was worried about two things: 1. dropping the nozzle; 2) losing the flat gasket you see still laying in the proper position on the carb. I decided not to move that as I considered it too risky. The carb is almost new, so I presumed the gasket is still in okay shape to seal.

I loosened the retaining screw and used a needle nose pliers to very carefully pull the assembly (nozzle and screw) out. I was worried about two things: 1. dropping the nozzle; 2) losing the flat gasket you see still laying in the proper position on the carb. I decided not to move that as I considered it too risky. The carb is almost new, so I presumed the gasket is still in okay shape to seal.

 

Here's a shot at the two nozzles. Left is a #31 and the right is a #35, two sizes larger. Bottom view.

Here’s a shot at the two nozzles. Left is a #31 and the right is a #35, two sizes larger. Bottom view.

 

Here's a top view. and the new top washer/seal that I chose to replace since the is little or no risk in replacing that one. I've read somewhere on the Net that you don;t need to go larger than a #35 on the street. I've also heard from Julius Steuer that he usually goes two sizes up. Which would be a #35.

Here’s a top view. and the new top washer/seal that I chose to replace since the is little or no risk in replacing that one. I’ve read somewhere on the Net that you don’t need to go larger than a #35 on the street. I’ve also heard from Julius Steuer that he usually goes two sizes up. Which would be a #35.

 

noz_6

 

I'm taking this picture with my free hand so it's not in focus. This action you need to be rid of all distractions, you do not want to drop tis sucker into your carb throat. You need to guide this into the open hole like your life (in the near term) depends on it!

I’m taking this picture with my free hand so it’s not in focus. This action you need to be rid of all distractions, you do not want to drop this sucker into your carb throat. You need to guide this into the open hole like your life (in the near term) depends on it!

 

Ahhh… made it. Carefulyl and gently tightened the screw to slightly tighter than I felt before and pulled the screwdriver out to see the choke plate in its non-op position.

Ahhh… made it. You do need to carefully maneuver the assembly into place as it didn’t just go straight in. You have to work around the curved part of the carb vent due to the limited space….  Carefully and gently tightened the screw to slightly tighter than I felt before and pulled the screwdriver out to see the choke plate in its non-op position.

 

Done. The test drive that day revealed NO popping out the carb. I thought I had fixed the problem. But as I push the engine harder, like I did the following weekend. It still backfires through the carb under harder acceleration. When this thing stops popping, it is going to accelerate like mad money.  Notice the 340 decal - this air cleaner assembly was from my Challenger T/A when I first bought it. It was the wrong assembly for a small block, but correct for a big block. I sold the T/A a few years ago, it was completely restored with the correct small block T/A air cleaner. I may keep this decal on just as a remembrance of the old car and to mess with people's minds.

Done. The test drive that day revealed NO popping out the carb. I thought I had fixed the problem. But as I push the engine harder, like I did the following weekend. It still backfires through the carb under harder acceleration. When this thing stops popping, it is going to accelerate like mad money. Notice the 340 decal – this air cleaner assembly was from my Challenger T/A when I first bought it. It was the wrong assembly for a small block, but correct for a big block. I sold the T/A a few years ago, it was completely restored with the correct small block T/A air cleaner. I may keep this decal on just as a remembrance of the old car and to mess with people’s minds.

 

 

 

BONUS VIDEO

Vid_noz

 

 

 

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

440 Six Pack: Changing Secondary Springs

Changing Secondary Springs plus bonus VIDEO at bottom of post to visit a popular local tourist attraction!

FIRST THINGS FIRST:  If you were considering buying a Holley Quick Change Kit for your secondary springs on your Six Pack setup, based on my experience, do not do it for two good reasons:

1) Save your money, it won’t fit (as the photos below will indicate)
2) It’s easy to change springs without any quick change kit

springs_kit_nofit

The Vacuum housings on the Holley 4365 are larger than the usual Holley Secondary housings that the Quick Change Kits are designed for. I asked a Holley tech if it would work before I bought it, but unfortunately, he was wrong. Anyone want to buy two kits? LOL

 

I decided to change to the Purple springs, which was recommended by Julius Steuer in Chatsworth, CA and although I’ve also seen a suggestion of using the Black Springs in an internet article, I decided to go with what Julius recommended. It seems like, every time I use a part that’s different than what he recommends, I lose money.

spring_colors

Hey, Purple is a cool color. As you can tell by looking at the pointy ends of the springs. Fortunately no one recommended Yellow Springs, because it seems like there are two springs that come in the kit that have Yellow ends. Basically, the heavy E-body needs the secondaries to open more slowly so, Purple and I believe , Black will both do this. If the car was lighter or stiffer (more racing type) gearing, the secondaries will do better opening earlier.

 

USING YOUR PHILIPS HEAD SCREWDRIVER

Anyway, for a novice or someone who hasn’t touched a screw driver on an engine part in awhile, first use the correct sized phillips head so you do not damage your parts and you get a correct feel for torque. I suggest to gently check the torque on the screws before you remove them. I used that feel as a reference. Interesting to note, however, when I reinstalled them I felt the torque needed to be very slightly tighter (if anyone wants to argue that point , please do). I think you’re supposed to trust that the lock washer puts enough tension to hold the screw even though it feels slightly loose. I guess I don’t fully trust lock washers (LOL).

 

All the screws on your Holley for this job will have lock washers and I usually use a two-finger and one thumb tightness. Don’t gorilla tighten these parts otherwise you might end up with a leaky diaphragm or a broken housing.

Also try using a star torque pattern when tightening to evenly distribute the tension on the rubber edge which should line up on the holes without binding on the screws.

Make sure when installing your new spring, the pointy end snaps fully into place, on the circular seat on your metal cover. I did this by using my finger to press down through the open end of coils of the spring without compressing it (to avoid damaging the spring). Imagine sticking your index finger down through the picture below and tagging the small end like hitting a bullseye without doing something stupid to your spring.

spring_set_in_place

Also when putting the cover and spring back on, make sure the big point of the spring is seated on the metal disc (see below) and not on the rubber part of the diaphragm, otherwise it will damage and not work right.

spring_oncarb_install

You don’t have to remove the whole housing, but I did, just to make sure that the air passage is free by gently depressing the vacuum rod and feeling the air on your cheek (see photo). AND if you do take off the housing, make sure the little cork gasket is okay where the air passage mates to the carb body.

spring_cheek

 

REMOVING AND INSTALLING the SPRING CLIP (see below). The easy way to remove the spring clips on the rod is just use a tiny screw driver to lever pull them off the round shaft by sticking the tip of the screwdriver into the gap in the clip and then expanding the gap until the clip can be removed with your fingers.

To reinstall those clips,  just use your fingers to snap them back into place making sure it is riding in the groove of the shaft.

springs_clip_removal

The other reason you might remove the housing is that reinstalling the spring cover is a little easier if you don’t have to lean over your fender to do it. There are four screws that attach the vacuum housing to the carb body, there are a short pair and a longer pair. If you take a close look at your housing, you can tell which ones go where.

 

spring_corkseal

 

DRIVING IMPRESSION

Driving the Challenger, I experienced a smoother power band and that’s what I was looking for. I am unlikely to mess with it again unless I get it on a dyno. I still want to change the stock primary #62 jets to #66. I’m pretty sure that will make a positive difference and I want to find out if that will affect how hot my engine runs, but I should get a laser thermometer to check the temps for sure.

My engine is still popping as various speeds at the beginning of punching the gas peddle so I’ll address that on the next article.
I had adjusted the timing last month at 36 deg BTDC at 1500 RPM (based on Hemi George’s suggestion with my Mopar performance distributor) and I thought I fixed that, but still had some pop at low speeds, but now I get pops at low and highway speeds. I did check that the distributor clamp was tight.  I’ll cover this popping problem on the  next post… whenever I get to it.

 

spring_carbs

See ya’all!  You know, I am so busy I hardly have time to make these posts, but I just cram it into my schedule as I have time.

 

 

But hey!… I have got a

BONUS VIDEO for you, The DodgeKid goes to FACEBOOK... CLICK ON PHOTO TO GO TO VIDEO

 

 

FBSite

Sorry to disappoint you but I did not spin a few donuts or wet down the parking lot with bleach for any wild burnouts.
Wouldn’t want anyone to get their hoody wadded up. I do love how George Bush calls it Facebooks.

When I left driving my Challenger, I did feel like somehow I was masquerading as one of the lucky gurus who made a killing on Facebook stock.

 

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

MoPar Alley Rally 2014

Mopar Alley Rally 2014- De Anza College, Cupertino, California

As the largest one-day MoPar car show in California, with over 350 cars annually, this year Mopar Alley found a new venue for their car show at De Anza College. The newly renovated parking lot comes equipped with solar panels overhead which saved most of us from getting toasted by the sun.

Below I’m sharing some of my photos for your curiosity. I also have the text that was posted in front of my car for passerbys. One guy who was looking for a 1970 Challenger for a project car asked if he could sit in my car (as per my invitation below) and, being a minor ambassador for the MoPar world, I was happy to let him.

I’ve entered this car show at least 4 times. I haven’t won anything yet, but I’m okay with it. Being a popular vote, there’s more fun involved. The best part of being at these MoPar shows is talking with people interested in sharing stories and information, taking pictures, and, for me,  catching up with some reading.

This year I entered my R/T in the “Daily Driver 1968-1974” class with 7 other cars. I don’t consider my car “Stock” and I don’t consider it in a show quality “E-body” category, or a “Pro-Street” class. Maybe  a “Vanishing Point” category would work?

In the past I entered my restored  FE5 (Bright Red) T/A, and the competition in that category is really tight.  A very nice, crowd favorite EB5 blue on blue 4 speed T/A owned by Barry Bentley takes the category almost annually and if they didn’t force category 1st place winners to compete in the following year’s “Topgun” class, someone like Barry could possibly take the 1st place category every year in his car’s class. This year there was only one other T/A, a very nice Fe-5 with a black vinyl top, owned by David Gibbons,  in T/A class (see in photos)… ding! winner!

(I did manage to take 3rd place in the Concourse d’Elegance at Stanford University back in 2004 which is judged strictly by officials).

 

mycar

Hi there… I am a real 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T.

I am a 44 year old muscle car and a driver. It’s okay to touch me or ask my owner questions if you want to.

I am known as an “N-code” E-body which means I was originally built with a 383. Actually, I originally came with an automatic and was painted Sublime-Green with a black bumblebee stripe.

At some point at least 3 owners before my current owner, my engine was replaced with a 440, with, I think, a .480 cam, headers and a Richmond 5-speed with 4.56 or stiffer gears. I was driven pretty hard since the 5th gear is 1:1.

Two owners ago, the rear axle gears were changed to 2.94’s which go well with the Richmond 5-speed since 5th gear is 1:1. Highway driving is decent.

Recently I’ve had my suspension upgraded and my 44 year old frame stiffened a little to handle the 440 and had a Six Pack added to match the hood emblems.

If you noticed, the Six Pack Air cleaner decal says “340” not “440”, this is because this air cleaner assembly is from my owner’s Challenger T/A (which he has since had to sell). When he bought that Challenger, it came with the wrong air cleaner assembly but had the correct 340 decal. During the restoration of that car, my owner kept that air cleaner assembly for me, a big-block MoPar. He’s got a new decal but hasn’t gotten around to fixing it yet. So for now, it’s a memorial to the old car (which was sold to a guy in Kentucky).

I still need my carbs tuned to get all my power back and by next year, I hope to get rid of this dorky-looking upholstery and headliner for a new set of Legendary NOS style upholstery and seat buns.

Since my owner likes the 1971 film “Vanishing Point”, I am probably going to remain Alpine White.

Thanks for Looking!

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whatsat?vipers

swingersteve_demon

plumcrazychallengerorange_dart

oldchargerfastbackold2old1old_trucknew_tahood new_orange mycar ltBlu_cuda lime_cuda hoodornament gtx grey69greenSbird facing DSC_0107 drag_fish daves_ta chp barry_ta 2challengers

xrr xracer xpurpleconv xpink xold xnewchallengers xhotrod xgreenbomb xemblem xbugjuice xbomb xbluebomb xblackcuda xamx xair

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

When the rubber meets the Road

Observations on the suspension, tires and handling

With the updated suspension, the Challenger drives straight while staying pretty level and even around turns.

I’m running the standard arc Firm Feel Industries (FFI) HD leaf springs, 1.00 FFI torsion bars and Bilstein shocks. FFI 1.25 front sway bar with lower control arm braces, FFI factory style 0.75 rear sway bar, factory manual steering, and Mopar Performance frame connectors. If I had to characterize the new suspension in just a few words, I would say it feels like the car “acts as one unit” and not the front end feeling like it’s in one city and the rear end is in another.

The straight line road feel is good and reasonably comfortable. The suspension feels tight and a lot quieter with the new leaf springs. After having taken the car out for a few drives, the one thing that I found uncomfortable was the sort of bumpiness feeling of the tires when driving pulling some G’s around a constant radius turn.

 

tire

One thing about my BF Goodrich Tires are they are NEW. Which is terrible for best traction. So I want to put some wear on them before I fully judge them. Yet this weird feeling with the tires jogged my memory from a past experience.

I remember from open-tracking my old 1965 Mustang was the tire pressure can have this effect.

When I first started open-tracking, I was under the wrong notion that having a higher PSI is better for racing or track driving, and some fear of tires coming off rims. On my Mustang (a red GT350 clone with white stripes) I ran 225/50×15 BF Goodrich Comp T/A’s and ran 40 psi in front an 38 PSI in the back. The result was the car felt a little bit like a sidestepping hobbyhorse going around turns. Instead of a nice smooth controlled slide/drifting around turns, the car seemed to be be stupidly bouncing sideways. It felt terrible. It felt like being in Bozo the Clown’s car at Sears Point Raceway.

 

A Ford Interlude

MoPar fans, please excuse the Ford photos ;), but that is what I had to do in the 1980’s, when my brother and I picked a Mustang for a platform, a car that had lots of available parts at the time to do what I wanted at reasonable cost.  I still had my first Challenger up until about the mid 80’s, but sold it when it was idle in storage – I was serving in the Navy overseas at the time. My brother drove the Mustang while I was away.  Also I want to give thanks to the influence of a good friend, Scott Douglas, who was one of my original car fanatic buddies in junior high school. He grew up becoming an expert on Mustangs and Shelbys and was always willing to lend a helping hand when I was home on leave.

Photo at left is my first open track at Laguna Seca, using 235x60x15 Goodyear Eagles on steel magnum 500’s, and photo right is with the 225x50x15 BFG Comp T/A’s on Torq-Thrust D wheels plus side exit exhaust.

lagunasecaOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I lowered the tire pressure to 35#(F)-32#(R) everything completely smoothed out and I had complete confidence in the ability to feel the car drift very smoothly around turns. Absolute control.

 

Okay, okay… and back to the Challenger!

Anyway, back to my Challenger. I checked the pressure on all 4 tires cold, and they were all at 36 PSI. I immediately lowered all of them to 33#. I’ll see what happens the next time I’m out. The max recommended pressure in 35#.

[one day later]
Okay, took the car out for a spin with my son and we mildly terrorized the local highway and cloverleafs and what did I discover? Ahh… I got that loving feeling back between me and the road. I can tell the bumpy drifting is gone and the BF Goodrich, while not sticking as long as a lower profile tire with racier tread, was acting consistently and predictably. I was able to control the drifting with the accelerator pretty easily without feeling like Bozo the Clown.

The E-body was staying very level around constant radius turns and the tires feel like they’re drifting with just a little oversteer. The manual steering is giving me some decent feedback and feel. Definitely would like to take on turns where I can stab the front end into a tight corner and see how it handles going through and out of the turn. Overall, I’m pretty happy with the handling of this big E-body that’s packing a 440.

I’m watching my 10 year old son riding shotgun. He is more interested in Minecraft, watching TV and listening to the local rock station, so he’s not too much of a motorhead yet, but I can catch him out of the corner of my eye when I’m getting on to the highway and bringing the RPM’s high enough to engage the outboard carbs, the exhaust is roaring while our bodies are getting pressed back on the seats. It gives me some sort of weird fatherly pleasure as he’s bracing himself in the presence of horsepower.

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.

Back to the Future

A trip back to my past
PALO ALTO HIGH SCHOOL – Palo Alto, California

 

The Back Parking Lot of Palo Alto High School, where most of the students parked their muscle cars.

Where the street machine craze went real- Palo Alto High School, the back parking lot where between1978-1980 we practiced the loosening of our youthful daring, restrained by a world of academics and motor vehicle law. It was in this part of the parking lot where many a street machine came screaming at high R's and high G's around the end of the lot with tires laying down prodigious amounts of rear and sometimes front tire rubber across the barren asphalt.

Where the street machine craze went real- Palo Alto High School, the back parking lot where between1978-1980 we practiced the loosening of our youthful daring, restrained by a world of academics and motor vehicle law. It was in this part of the parking lot where many a street machine came screaming at high R’s and high G’s around the end of the lot with tires laying down prodigious amounts of rear and sometimes front tire rubber across the barren asphalt.

 

Just look at the money they pumped into this high school football field. I guess, considering it is within a mile of Stanford Stadium where the Cardinal (once the "Indians") play, they needed to spruce things up. Belive it or not, my two kids are hiding with their heads out of view in my car.

Just look at the money they pumped into this high school football field. I guess, considering it is within a mile of Stanford Stadium where the Cardinal (once the “Indians”) play, they needed to spruce things up. Believe it or not, my two kids are hiding with their heads out of view in my car.

 

 

In the back parking lot os Palo Alto High School, the boys' gym in the background. Same building as in 1980 and many years before, but we didn't have the cool looking Viking Ship paint job back in then.

In the back parking lot of Palo Alto High School, the boys’ gym in the background. Same building as in 1980 and many years before, but we didn’t have the cool looking Viking Ship paint job back then.

 

Palo Alto High School and the current day entry gate to the football field. Man, they sure beautified this area since 1980. It looked like a dump with a cheap cyclone fence in 1980. Sure makes for a nice pick with my Challenger now.

Palo Alto High School and the current day entry gate to the football field. Man, they sure beautified this area. It looked like a dump with a cheap cyclone fence in 1980. Sure makes for a nice photo-op with my Challenger now.

 

Palo Alto HIgh School auto shop, where Mr. O.D. Mitchell awarded me twice as many units for taking Auto in my senior year because I did the work. I also won the Industrial Arts Award. Mr. Mitchell was one of most important mentors I had in my youth. He told me once, "Yee, most teenagers have one of three vices: sex, drugs and speed... Yours is speed."

Palo Alto HIgh School auto shop, where Mr. O.D. Mitchell awarded me twice as many units for taking Auto in my senior year because I did the work. I also won the Industrial Arts Award. Mr. Mitchell was one of most important mentors I had in my youth. He told me once, “Yee, most teenagers have one of three vices: sex, drugs or speed… yours is speed.” Apparently the beautification budget hasn’t got to this area of the school yet. It looks almost exactly the same as it did when I graduated in 1980.

 

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The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976. I think I wore this hat everyday through my Freshman year in high school. Photo by Nick Yee

The Dodge Kid in his youth about 1976.

 

Copyright © 2014 ChallenYee.com. TheDodgeKid.com  All Rights Reserved.