All posts by subie1234

Summer

Summer has officially begun. Since last month, we have been extremely busy here at Rusted and Rebuilt.

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. It is a small plunger-type valve located on the throttle body. When I removed the old one, I realized why my car 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Rusted and… Rebar

While looking at rat rods on Pinterest, we found this rusty old truck with a visor made out of license plates. We were extremely inspired by this idea, and decided that we could do something similar, but add a unique twist to it. We devised a plan to create a frame for the visor using rebar, which is a type of steel reinforcement bar that is often used in construction for reinforcing concrete. We would then fill in the frame with smaller fragments of rebar, and stitch pieces of license plates to fit over the frame.

The rebar was extremely difficult to cut and work with. Steel is pretty solid. Especially thermo-mechanically treated steel with a tempered core.  The rebar ate through several grinding wheels before we even finished making the outer frame. Luckily, the thickness of the rebar makes it excellent for welding.

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We used a straight piece of steel for the center, which would act as the main support, as well as a mounting point for our acrylic cow skull. The two side brackets were designed to sit above the side window tracks, using the spider webs to support the sides of visor.

Once the outer frame was complete, it was time to fill in the gaps. Since these structural pieces would be visible from inside the car, we decided that we should make them somewhat uniform.

The sparks from the grinder burned a lot of holes in the workbench, which can be seen slowly deteriorating throughout this progression of photos.

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Once the frame was complete, we started filling in the gaps with license plates. Most of the plates we used are from the 1930s and 1940s because these license plates are made of a much thicker gauge steel than modern license plates, which makes them more suitable for welding.

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After getting the visor welded to the car and sprayed down with our Secret Rust Solution, we fastened on our cow skull and sealed the surface with clear coat to stop the rust from venturing any further.

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Creature Comforts

Checker Marathons were used as taxis in many major cities back in the 60’s and 70’s. They were designed as fleet vehicles with rugged frames and a massive interior.

Most rat rods are bare bones when it comes to the interior. To the surprise of many hot rod enthusiasts, this rat rod’s interior is fully furnished. When we first picked it up, both rear arm rests were rotted out, as well as most of the body under the back seat.

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The floor was covered in various Bondo patches, and there were still quite a few holes where we could see the ground from inside the car. Once we got all the holes patched up with sheet metal and street signs, we had a lot of space to decide what to do with. We both agreed that a Persian rug would be the best option for a carpet.

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The original heater was also not operational, so we found an old Cadillac heater on eBay for a good price, and it fit under the dash quite nicely. Many older cars run on six volt systems, however the Checker runs on a 12 volt system like most modern car batteries. This heater had a 6 volt blower, so we had to put a 12 volt blower in the heater so that the extra thermal load wouldn’t immediately fry the blower motor when we turn on the heater.

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The armrests in the rear were still missing, so we made new ones out of wood.They’re filled with spray foam too, for added stability and structural support. The door panels were also in bad condition, so we added new fabric to the door panels and used it to cover the arm rests as well.

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The original pieces remaining in the back seats are the two metal ashtrays that we managed to save and install into the new armrests. My dad also did some custom airbrushing and added some lightning.