All posts by colbygraupner


Summer has officially begun. Since last month, we have been extremely busy here at Rusted and Rebuilt. Yesterday was my last day of working at the grocery store after four years, because I finally landed my dream job. Things are starting to fall into place.


The Subaru Impreza has undergone a full face lift over the past month. All of the damage from the previous owner has been repaired, and we even added some lightning under the hood. I was able to solve most of the mechanical issues, too. Since replacing the idle control valve, the car has been running absolutely MINT.

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The idle control valve is an intake component which controls the amount of air flowing to the intake when your foot isn’t on the throttle, hence the name. It is a small plunger-type valve located on the throttle body. When I removed the old one, I realized why the Subaru had been sputtering and stalling all the time – the plunger inside the idle control valve was completely rigid due to 13 years of rust locking it in place. After installing a brand new idle control valve, the Subaru has been idling like a champ, and it drives much smoother now.

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Farewell, For Now

The Rusted and Rebuild blog has been a great outlet for sharing automotive knowledge, opinions, and insight. Due to show season coming up right around the corner, the team here at Rusted and Rebuild will be taking our focus away from the blog, and focusing more on our current projects.

The Checker is almost ready for the road, but we can’t truly enjoy it unless we get out there and work on it. For those of you who are still interested in the Checker, and want to know how the project turns out, keep an eye out for it on MassTuning and Tuner Spotting.

Thanks everyone, see you on the road!

Frozen in Time

During a WordPress walkabout today, I stumbled across several really interesting blog posts featuring photos of classic cars frozen in time.

The first post that captivated me was “Small Town Satisfaction,” shared by a blogger known as bluebrightly, on their blog “Wanderings and observations.” I especially enjoyed the photos in this post, sharing the classic beauty that lies in the small towns of the North Cascade Mountains.

In addition to “Small Town Satisfaction,” I also found two other contrasting posts which resonated quite well with the classic beauty of Lyman.

Wishing My Life Away shared a beautiful collection of vivid photos of classic cars, titled “Shiny Things.” I am amazed at how colorful and vibrant these photos are. The paint on each of these cars is half a century old, but still looks as fresh and pristine as the day it was sprayed onto the car.

Photo Credit: LaNae Lien, Wishing My Life Away

In contrast to “Shiny Things,” I was also quite intrigued by “Poundshop film in black and white,” a collection of black and white analog photos of classic cars, shared with us by Imperfect Tense.

Photo Credit: Imperfect Tense

Each one of these collections brings us to a different place at a different moment frozen in time, through pictures of classic cars.

How Do Cars Effect the Environment?

Many people cruise down the highway in SmartCars, Priuses, and various other models of hybrid and electric cars thinking that they are helping to save the environment; however they are quite mistaken. Due to lobbyists, government regulations, and false advertisements, it has become very easy to become misinformed when it comes to vehicles and their emissions.

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For example, many people who consider themselves “environmentally-friendly” may become angry when they see a big truck billowing black diesel smoke, however diesel exhaust is actually less harmful to the environment than the exhaust produced by gasoline, because diesel is less refined and burns more efficiently.

Most cars typically run on gasoline at this point in time, which harms the environment even more than diesel. Although diesel is less harmful to the environment than gasoline, the soot and nitrogen compounds produced by diesel are in fact more harmful for humans to inhale.

Someone who drives an electric car might say: “well my car doesn’t run on gas at all, so it must be great for the environment!” However, they may want to rethink their logic.

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Cars that do not run on gas or diesel are exponentially more harmful for the environment than diesel or gasoline powered vehicles. Most gasoline and diesel engines are made from aluminum or steel and use a recyclable battery which runs on an alternator; but not Priuses.

Electric and hybrid cars use a Lithium Ion or Nickel-Metal Hydroxide batteries. The Lithium Ion and Nickel-metal Hydroxide batteries used in Priuses are highly toxic, and if they are not recycled properly, they can do serious harm to the environment.

Here’s the real kicker: in order to produce ONE battery for a rechargeable car, more harm will be done to than environment than a single gasoline powered vehicle’s exhaust emissions could produce over it’s entire lifetime. The manufacturing of these hybrid batteries produces a significant amount of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere, and also leaves behind nuclear waste. The nuclear waste is then pumped into mountains through large tunnels.

Image result for nuclear waste in mountains

If you don’t believe me, just check out what the National Center for Policy analysis has to say about Priuses. Research shows that a Prius will do more damage to the environment over 100,000 miles than a Hummer will produce in 300,000 miles.

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To put it most simply:

Gasoline harms the Earth a lot. Diesel harms the Earth less, but is more harmful for humans to inhale. Hybrid and electric cars completely destroy the Earth and the atmosphere, and are more harmful to human life than gasoline and diesel combined.

If you really want to help save the Earth, just walk or ride a bike.

Fixing Up the Fusion

The warm weather is finally here! The Checker Marathon is still awaiting some final adjustments, but our daily drivers need some time in the garage first. After a long cold winter, it’s time for some preventative maintenance.

By doing repairs and preventative maintenance yourself, you can save yourself a lot of money and stress, plus you can learn a lot of useful skills and knowledge along the way. It’s also a great opportunity spend time outside with friends and family.


Today at the Rusted and Rebuilt garage, we performed an in-depth exhaust repair on a Ford Fusion. The steel mesh surrounding the flex pipe had rotted out from condensation and old age, causing a large rust hole to form at the end of the flex pipe.

Over time, exhaust systems are heated and cooled to extremely high and low temperatures, and they often experience a lot of condensation. When the condensation builds up in the exhaust system and doesn’t get a chance to fully heat up and evaporate, it can eventually lead to rust and rot, like we can see here.


Once we figured out what part needed to be replaced, we found a replacement part online and began attempting to remove the rusted mess from the bottom of the car.


When parts are old and rusted, they usually do not come off easily. Often times, they need to be cut off, ground off, or drilled off. This old flex pipe was pretty stubborn, but after some cutting, grinding, and drilling, we finally had some positive results.


The replacement flex pipe lined up perfectly, but it was almost impossible to reach the top bolts.  The old flex pipe can be taken off with a grinder, but the new one certainly can’t be installed with a grinder. The only way to reach the top bolts was to use an extremely long ratchet extension with a swivel head to turn the bolt head from up above.

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After a long and painful installation, the Fusion is ready for it’s yearly inspection. It took several hours over the course of two days, but it was worth the effort.

This type of repair would cost hundreds of dollars to send to a mechanic, between the cost of labor and the mark-up on parts. By doing repairs ourselves and buying parts online from the manufacturer, we can save a lot of money, as long as we don’t mind sacrificing some time and energy.

The best part is knowing that the work is getting done correctly with high quality parts, and that we are doing our part to extend the lives of our vehicles. If you take care of things, they last.


Also, huge shoutout to Jeremy and Matt at George’s Tire Place in Warren for hooking me up with new valve stems and plugging a leak in one of my tires. I’ve had a small leak in my tire that I haven’t been able to find for months, and these guys had the tire patched and ready to roll in less than an hour. I highly recommend going to George for all of your tire needs. Everyone who works there does a great job fixing and balancing tires, and all of their prices are unbeatable.

Shoutout to the Car Community

The Checker is finally almost ready for the road. The license plates are on, and it should be ready for a test drive before the end of the week.

As the finished product begins to come together, I have gained a new appreciation for the amount of work that goes into rebuilding a classic car. For example, this classic Volkswagen Bug is going to need a complete overhaul before it is ready for the road again.

(Classic Volkswagen Bug. Photo from Queen of Diamonds: First Project Car of 2017)

With enough determination, any car can be brought back to life. Even after spending 100 years rotting away in a forest, this 1906 Stanley Model H was able to be restored.

For many enthusiasts, a car is much more than just a method of transportation. Cars often carry sentimental value, such as Danny’s 1976 Ford Granada.

The process of building a classic car is incredibly rewarding. This post from Copart Auto explains what makes the entire process so fulfilling – from finding the car, to bringing it back to life.

Show Season is Here

After a long cold winter, the warm weather has finally returned. Car enthusiasts are already flocking to the empty parking lots of America to exhibit their latest modifications.

Advertisements for local car shows are beginning to show up everywhere, and less formal car meets have been taking place on a nightly basis in preparation for show season.

The Checker project is at a stand-still while we wait for more parts, and I’ve really been wanting to go for a nice cruise that doesn’t involve going to work or school. Today I had the perfect opportunity to do exactly that.

I had liked this post on Instagram recently, and several of my friends from the local car community had seen my “like” and asked me if I wanted to cruise there with them.

I decided it was time to take a break from all my homework, and spend my day off from work doing something fun.

We all met up at the local car wash to detail the whips, and then cruised out to Ludlow for the weekly Starbucks meet.

Once the whole crew was together, we were cruising down the road in our convoy of Subaru Imprezas and Ford Focus hatchbacks.


The Crew:

Colby – Blue Subaru Impreza 2.5RS

Erik – White Subaru Impreza WRX

Billy – Tuxedo Black Ford Focus ST

Cody – Silver Ford Focus SVT


There was a pretty good turn out at the meet. About 40-50 people showed up, and there were quite a few really unique cars, such as a track-ready Volkswagen pick-up truck and a lowered Toyota Soarer drift car.

Most of the cars at the meet were Volkswagens and Subarus, but the orange Dodge Dart sounded incredible, and the white Acura Integra was slammed and riding in style.

I managed to snap some footage of the meet, which I’ve compiled into this brief YouTube video.