What is a Kit Car?

Quartermile:
Kit Cars – What are they?
Think of a Lego set, but for a car!
Why kit cars?
They are a car focused on performance or style. Imagine a Ferrari or Shelby Cobra for the price of a new Ford Focus!

Lets put it together!

I’ve written a few articles about buying cheaper used supercars or

newer muscle cars and I’ve told you about a few different styles of cars such as  street rods and muscle cars. But buying a car assembled by a major manufacture isn’t the only way to get a car. If you are the handy type or just want to break the mold, you can build a car yourself! Of course, building a car by yourself, from nothing is a pretty difficult task, and that’s not what I’m proposing, although that has been done also! Check it out here. If you’re not as hard-core as Ken, but still want something different you are in luck! You can build a kit car!

So what is a kit car? A kit car is a car that you purchase in pieces and assemble yourself, it’s basically like a Lego set, or buying a table from IKEA. Why would anyone want to do this you might ask? Well there are a few reasons.

1. You can get a kit car that looks and performs like a much more expensive car than it is.
2. You can build a car that never existed.
3. You can build a car that did exist but is way too rare to buy an original. (Think Shelby Cobra).

Why would a company want to design a kit car instead of a production car? There are a few reasons for that also!

1. It is (much much) cheaper for a company to design and sell a kit can than it is for Ford, or other major manufacturers. Often kit cars source a reliable engine from the major manufacturers. The body and suspension are the major contributions by the designers.

2. This is because a kit car doesn’t have to pass all the safety standards a new car does. They also aren’t held to the same standards for NVH and other considerations. That being said, that doesn’t mean that they are (all) unsafe, or harsh. Many companies put a lot of work into the kits to make them great cars.

Let’s look at the different types of kit cars available.

The first are replicas of current or older cars that you can build yourself. One example of this is the Factory Five Roadster . It is basically a recreation of a Shelby Cobra from the 1960’s. Why not just buy an original Cobra you ask?

 

Check Hemmings Motor news http://www.hemmings.com/ . An original Shelby Cobra is rare, and therefore expensive (think $100k+) where as a Factory Five Roadster can be assembled for $30k if you do it the right way. You also have the benefit of putting a variety of engines and upgrades suspension, electronics and just about everything else that has progressed in the automotive world in the last 50 years.

Another that is one of my favorites is a Chevrolet Cheetah kit car. What is a Chevrolet Cheetah you ask? It was a car made to beat the Shelby Cobra in it’s day. Unfortunately tragedy befell the company and only 19 (or so) were ever made. The good news is you can buy the beautiful Cheetah as a kit and put it together yourself!

Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s are other vehicles that are popular in this type of “build cheaper than you can buy” category.

gtm

The second type of kit car is a car that never was made. Factory Five has one of these available also. Is called the Factory Five GTM supercar. It’s a “generic” supercar being that it is low, wide and good looking. That being said, it is also a lot more ‘’cost effective” than a Ferrari or Lambo, and if you were to damage it, you know you could always rebuild it!  Here are 2 other supercar kits. The Superlite (at beginning of article) is the first, and here’s a quote from their site

“Q. How easy is it to build, really? –
A. The Superlite SLC was designed to be built in your garage, using basic hand tools.  You don’t need to do any welding, or machining, or have fancy tools.”
Sounds pretty great to me!

And here’s another supercar/racecar kit, the Ultima GTR, made in England.

And here’s a final one, the K1 Attack, made in the Czech Republic.
06_K1-Attack_racing
There is also a third type of kit car. It’s not a complete kit like the cars talked about before, but it’s a massive redesign of an existing car but also bought in kit form. Pontiac Fieros are popular cars for this as they were rear engine like many supercars. Often they get made into Lamborghini’s.

There is also this car, build from a 1990’s Ford Thunderbird.

So as you can see the kit car industry is far reaching, covering many different styles of cars. They are actually relatively affordable, if you are in the market for a performance car. There are often different levels of each kit available. Often you can buy just a body and source all the other parts yourself, such as the brakes, seats, wheels and tires. There are also kit cars that the factories will in fact build for you! There are even some that will let you help them build your car!

Here is a site with a very long list of kit car manufacturers if you are looking for something different. There is a car for everyone!

As always, please share this article and Like us on Facebook

So has this gotten your creative juices flowing? Are you rip roaring ready to get down in the garage and build your own car? Or would you rather buy a production car? Have you ever seen a kit car on the street or at a car show?

11. Hot Rod Power Tour 2014 – Part 3/3

Quartermile:
Skip to the end and read about the Jason’s if you dont want to read the whole article because those guys are cool! But I’d read the whole thing if you have time (or at least look at the pictures cuz there’s lots of cool stuff on HRPT!)
This was my experience of the 2014 Hot Rod Power Tour.
This article covers the last 2 days, Thursday in Bettendorf, IA and Friday in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
It’s probably the greatest moving car show in the world.
It’s a week long.
You need to do it!
Below are the links to my first 2 articles about days 1-5 and an article on the cost, it’s worth it!
https://mywheellife.com/2014/06/15/8-my-wheel-life-hot-rod-power-tour-part-1/
https://mywheellife.com/2014/06/19/10-my-wheel-life-hot-rod-power-tour-part-2-of-3/
https://mywheellife.com/2014/06/17/9-what-does-hot-rod-power-tour-cost-answer-its-worth-it/
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The Final Leg
The last two days of HRPT 2014 were probably the most fun for us. The big thing was our car was fixed! No more clunking or brake pads rubbing. That really makes for a much more relaxing drive when you aren’t thinking your car will shoot you off the side of a mountain.
We woke up Thursday June 12th in Crown Point, IN. The drive this day was to Bettendorf, IA. There was a lunch stop at Heidts at Lake Zurich, IL. http://www.heidts.com/
They design/manufacture suspension/chassis/brake parts for muscle and street cars. They gave a very interesting tour and had a free lunch for HPRT participants. They even pulled a few HPRT participants vehicles, who were having serious suspension issues, up on a lift and fixed ‘em up! Cool guys! Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures there but I did get one of this HUGE Dodge truck (I’m 6’1” for reference).
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We continued on to Bettendorf. On the way in we parked a ways away and walked to the Isle Casino because we were told (via the HRPT facebook page) that the line was very long to get in. On that note it’s very useful to get info via the HRPT FB page during the tour! Per usual there were a ton of cool rides at the show. Here’s just a list of a few.

Cool drag race Mustang. This looks like a serious performance machine which distinguishes it from a pro-street style car, which are often built to look like they are fast but sometimes are, sometimes aren't.

Cool drag race Mustang. This looks like a serious performance machine which distinguishes it from a pro-street style car, which are often built to look like they are fast but sometimes are, sometimes aren’t.

A second cool fox body mustang with serious drag race rubber under the back.

A second cool fox body mustang with serious drag race rubber under the back.

One of my favorite cars that I’d been seeing most of the week was an old (Plymouth I’m assuming) sedan done up like a Richard Petty race car. I was finally able to snap a few pictures of it.

The awesome Richard Petty... Plymoth?

The awesome Richard Petty… Plymoth?

Another interesting car I saw was this (2007 ish) Mustang done up in a Mad Max style. (There’s a new Mad Max Movie coming out) http://bangshift.com/general-news/first-official-pictures-new-mad-max-cars-unveiled-semi-truck-whole-benz-cab-yes-please/

Mad Max mustang

Mad Max mustang

Another car I had seen earlier in the week was this pink Mercury Capri Pro-Street style car. It has a very distinctive late 1980’s/early 1990’s Pro-street style, denoted especially by the roll cage, and tubs to fit the wide tires. A few other clues that this is the older Pro-street style are the body color grill and the early 90’s style graphic on the lower door. Overall a very cool car that has been featured in Hot Rod (and many other) magazines.

Mercury Capri Pro-Street style car

Mercury Capri Pro-Street style car

One unfortunate thing we saw was this 1969 Chevelle/Malibu that had the top part of his cowl hood come off! In true HRPT fashion though they were making the best of it. They had put a few zip ties on to hold it down and kept driving it! A Roadkill sticker tops it off nicely. Nice looking car! (Easiest way to tell a 1969 from a 1969 is a 1969 has a 1 piece door window while a 1968 has a vent window at the front of the door)

Unfortunate cowl hood failure! They made the best of it tho!

Unfortunate cowl hood failure! They made the best of it tho!

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On our walk back to the car we stopped at a shop on the corner where some locals were encouraging burnouts. It was great! They even gave us a drink. We stayed about 15 minutes watching burnouts until the police put a stop to the fun. I was told this had been going on all day though.

Boo. Cops.

Boo. Cops.

This was at the corner station also.

Since I grew up on a farm AND work for JD I had to include the old 2 cylinders

Since I grew up on a farm AND work for JD I had to include the old 2 cylinders

My dad is a big fan of old Mack semi’s and has a few himself. I had to take a picture for him.

B-61 Mack tow truck

B-61 Mack tow truck

The final day (open to the public) was Friday 6-13-2014. We left Bettendorf, IA on our way to Wisconsin Dells, WI. We drove up 61 in Iowa passing through Maquoketa, Iowa. What a great little town! There was a man directing traffic (burnouts!) and a lot of locals watching from the sidewalk. There was even a gentleman from the town sitting in the back of an old pickup commenting (with speakers and a microphone!) on the cars coming by. This was one of the highlights of the trip! We stopped and watched for about 20 minutes, took a few pictures of awesome cars at the gas station, and then it was on our way.
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We spotted another Richard Petty tribute car on the way.
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Upon arrival to Wisconsin Dells we were aware of a long back up, it was a 2 hour sit in traffic (1-3 pm) for us to get from the highway to the show. Once through, it was worth it! I was told that the resort was told to expect a much lower number of cars than showed up, so I guess thanks to them for letting us park on their golf course! Hopefully we didn’t tear it up too much. The show was very cool again! One cool 4×4 I saw was this 1970’s Ford!
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Another cool Ford was this cool GT40 (or replica?)

Assuming it's a new Ford GT and not an older GT40 by the stripe on the bottom of the door.

Assuming it’s a new Ford GT and not an older GT40 by the stripe on the bottom of the door.

And there was this also Mad Max style Dodge charger. I especially liked the sickle mower guards in/under the grill for teeth (I grew up on a farm).

Mad Max like Charger

Mad Max like Charger

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One of the coolest stories of Power Tour was the 2 Jason’s from Minnesota. They purchased this 1966 Ford pickup sight unseen from Craigslist, in Tennessee! They flew there, drove to Charlotte and Long Hauled it home! True Roadkill style. They did put new tires on the truck, and lots of duct tape to seal the windshield.
Jason (which one I’m not sure) told me that they had a few problems, a broken push rod, the fan ate the radiator because they were doing burnouts and probably broke a motor mount etc. They were considering selling it when they were done but the fanfare they got from everyone (including David Freiburger (David Freiburger is the editor-in-chief of Hot Rod magazine and Hot Rod Deluxe magazine and host of Roadkill. He’s the former editor of Car Craft, Rod & Custom, 4-Wheel & Off-Road, and Hot Rod Deluxe. Often seen and heard on Hot Rod TV. – Borrowed directly from his Facebook page) for those of you who don’t know who David Freiburger is, made them consider doing some upgrades and keeping the truck. We’ll see what they do next year!
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Jason and Jason's Road kill 1966 Ford pickup with a 460!

Jason and Jason’s Road kill 1966 Ford pickup with a 460!

Saturday was for Long Haulers only. We recieved our awesome tin signs showing we were Long Haulers. There was a group picture of all the HRPT Long Haulers, which we missed. Woops. We were able to get our picture in from of the Hot Rod motorhome thingy, so that was cool. That was the end of the HRPT 2014.
Next year HRPT SHOULD start in Wisconsin Dells. If you are anywhere near the start you should at least come for the first day. Do the long haul if you can! Hope you enjoyed reading about it. One thing I found interesting was the lack of general public knowledge of HRPT. Please share with your friends and help continue to make this one of the greatest car destinations ever!

Per usual please share with your friends, follow via email, like the FB page (to get daily links to cool stuff) like this
http://wildsau.ca/2014/06/car-stuff-man-cave/
or this
http://forums.evolutionm.net/loft-evom-car-talk-corner/423729-i-got-beat-geo-prizm-pics.html

Thanks for reading. Keep the rubber side down and please Visit us on Facebook.

10. My Wheel Life – Hot Rod Power Tour 2014, Part 2 of 3

Quartermile
Continued coverage of HRPT 2014
The greatest road trip in America!
Check my Part 1 if you haven’t yet.
https://mywheellife.com/2014/06/15/8-my-wheel-life-hot-rod-power-tour-part-1/

Clean Chevelle (to show you all I'm not only about rat trucks!)

Clean Chevelle (to show you all I’m not only about rat trucks!)


The Full Mustang?

Tuesday June 10th 2014 Drive from Charleston, WV to Norwalk, OH
This day started by picking up the parts we had ordered the day before for the Mustang, lower a-arms and front struts. $600 and we were on the road with the rest of the tour.
We arrived at Summit Motorsports Park around 3 pm. This was one of the easiest venues to get into. I suppose because they had plenty of room and are set up to handle that many cars? We parked the Mustang by the GM rescue mechanics. As I mentioned before, if you are having serious problems and bring these guys parts and a broken car, they will fix it, no charge! This is my official “Thank You” to those guys!

GM mechanics saving our Ford! Great guys!

GM mechanics saving our Ford! Great guys!


They won’t swap your new cam in! But if your car has brakes fading away, clunky suspension (guilty) or other safety issues they will help in a heart beat. They also were helping some guys with rough running vehicles, etc once they got caught up on the safety stuff. I asked Robbie to watch the car get fixed while I went and got my Golden ticket for the Comp Cams drawing. I talked with quite a few folks while walking around in my Spartan outfit. Many people gave me thumbs up and took pictures. A few shook their heads, some asked if I lost a bet, all understandable.
HRPT golden ticket Spartan!

HRPT golden ticket Spartan!


One guy I talked to while walking around was David Brown. He had 2 vehicles on Power tour, a 1928 Ford and a 1964 Ford, both trucks.
David Brown, 1928 Ford

David Brown, 1928 Ford


David Brown 1964 Ford truck. Very cool shop truck style!

David Brown 1964 Ford truck. Very cool shop truck style!


Once our car got fixed and I received my Golden Ticket we walked around a little. We ran into the guys driving the Evil Atom. They have to at least be in the running for the toughest guys on power tour. This year was pretty nice weather, but the lack of any roof makes it even tougher to drive (through rain) than most rat rods, and this is something like these guys 6 HRPT.
http://evilatom.com/
Evil Atom (Screen shot stolen from the Evil Atom website)

Evil Atom (Screen shot stolen from the Evil Atom website)


That night we stayed at a small hotel and once again meet some cool folks there. Robert Brown (no relation to David) shared with us his 1973 Firebird. What a clean car!
Robert Brown's Firebird

Robert Brown’s Firebird


Don't drink the Kool-aid from the Firebird's radiator!

Don’t drink the Kool-aid from the Firebird’s radiator!


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Wednesday June 11th Norwalk, OH to Crown Point, IN
The next day we headed out and what a great drive that was! No clunking, our stuck brake pad had been replaced, the drive was quiet and we could actually enjoy it! Today’s drive included a stop at Lane Automotive. We choose to skip it, much to my angst now. I was told by fellow Power Tourer’s that it was a great stop! I guess the lesson here is “Never skip a lunch stop!”
We arrived at Lake County Fairgrounds in Crown Point, IN around 3 pm. This was a very cool stop! The fairgrounds was a very cool setting, it wasn’t rows of cars, they were parked in between trees, around a lake etc. It made for a nice walk. There were a ton of great cars this day (just like every other day).
I met Bobby from Sons of Anarchy! (Not actually, but sure looks similar!)
How serendipitous that I had my Sturgis Motorcycle Rally shirt on from last year.

Bobby! (almost)

Bobby! (almost)

Actually Bobby from SOA

Actually Bobby from SOA


After checking in we started walking around the pond. This was where we met a ton of cool Hot Rodders!

I had been seeing these “Laid-Back” stickers popping up on everyone’s cars. Shane was putting one on his 1966 Ford with the 7.3 diesel earlier in the week when I met him, and a ton of other vehicles had them on also. I finally took the chance to stop and say to these guys. I talked with Chris Barker at that booth. They had a couple cool woodie wagons there and Batavus scooter. I studied abroad in Holland and this particular model was made in Holland so I am a bit more partial to it than most people.

http://laidbackusa.com/

Laid Back scooter/motorcycle. I studied abroad in Holland and this particular model was made in Holland so I am a bit more partial to it than most people. The brand is Batavus.

Laid Back scooter/motorcycle. I studied abroad in Holland and this particular model was made in Holland so I am a bit more partial to it than most people. The brand is Batavus.


This car was a popular car at every stop. Didn’t get the guys name.
This was a very popular car at HRPT. It has a overhead cam Inline 6 cylinder Pontiac engine. Quite the unique power plant! The rest of the car was very unique also.

This was a very popular car at HRPT. It has a overhead cam Inline 6 cylinder Pontiac engine. Quite the unique power plant! The rest of the car was very unique also.

Here’s another vehicle I didn’t get much info on but I thought the rusty flames were pretty neat!
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cool rust flames!

cool rust flames!


The next vehicle I stopped at was the Ring Brothers party camper. These guys build incredible cars. Check out this custom Pantera they recently finished. On the HRPT they were just having fun, I didn’t see any vehicles, besides the party camper, which was pretty awesome!

https://ringbrothers.com/
http://www.autoblog.com/2013/11/06/ring-brothers-adrnln-pantera-sema-2013/

RingBrothers party camper. You see they let me brand their gas tank with a MyWheelLife.com decal. cool guys who build awesome vehicles! Check them out.

RingBrothers party camper. You see they let me brand their gas tank with a MyWheelLife.com decal. cool guys who build awesome vehicles! Check them out.

After them I walked past the dyno, which was at every stop on the power tour. It was a popular attraction every day.

Saleen Mustang on the traveling dyno

Saleen Mustang on the traveling dyno


Overlooking the dyno I talked with Ryan of Rusted Knuckles Garage. I was unable to find his website but I did find his youtube channel. Check out the pictures of his truck below. He was running Buick GN turbos from a 3.8 V6 but he had 2 of them on his SBC V8. He was nice enough to let me sit in his cool truck. It was awesome but a bit tight for me! The truck is named “Hands Full” because it’s a handful to control all that power when you hit the gas!



Crazy twin turbo small block Chevrolet rat truck. The turbos were from a Buick Grand National.

Crazy twin turbo small block Chevrolet rat truck. The turbos were from a Buick Grand National.


The Hands Full truck was a pretty tight fit. That's what happens when you channel a body over the frame.

The Hands Full truck was a pretty tight fit. That’s what happens when you channel a body over the frame.


Awesome front view of Hands Full!

Awesome front view of Hands Full!

After Ryan’s truck I ran into another rat. This one was built by Rich of the Hoosier Head Hunters. They were from pretty close by and had brought a few cars. Ryan’s was very cool. If you check out their FB page you can probably get in touch with Ryan. He said the truck was up for sale or trade if you are interested!
https://www.facebook.com/HoosierHeadhunters

Rich from Hoosier HeadHunters car club from Cedar Lake, IN.

Rich from Hoosier HeadHunters car club from Cedar Lake, IN.


There was one more awesome rat truck I took pictures of that day. Are you starting to feel a trend here? Is there something in the water in Indiana? If there is I hope I got some!

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Later that night we stayed at Red Roof Inn and there were a TON of hot rodders there! Here’s a few pictures.

Cool HRPT parking lot!

Cool HRPT parking lot!


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One more vehicle that wasn’t a rat! Quite far from it! This just shows the variability of HPRT vehicles which is what makes it so great!

Cool Lotus on HRPT!

Cool Lotus on HRPT!


What were your favorite parts of Tuesday/Wednesday of Power Tour 2014 (Norwalk, OH and Crown Point, IN)?
What were your favorite cars?
Very nice 1969 or 1970 Mustang (to show you all I'm not only about rat trucks!)

Very nice 1969 or 1970 Mustang (to show you all I’m not only about rat trucks!)


Crazy Holden Ute from Australia? El Camino anyone?

Crazy Holden Ute from Australia? El Camino anyone?


What was the strangest car you saw on HRPT?
Did you meet as many cool people as I did?
Who was the most interesting person you met?
There are a lot more cool stories from HRPT, more cars, more people, more burnouts! So stay tuned! Subscribe, follow on FB, share with your friends, so you get to read the exciting final HRPT 2014 article (probably sometime in the next week or so).
As always, thanks for reading!
Here are all my pictures from HRPT 2014. They are on my FB page.
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.285163794988893.1073741832.278105162361423&type=3
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.285152084990064.1073741831.278105162361423&type=3

8. My Wheel Life – Hot Rod Power Tour, Part 1

Quartermile:
Hot Rod Power tour is a 7 day traveling car show.
It changes it’s route every year.
It starts in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, next year.
You need to attend at least one day, preferably more, if it comes through your town see it!

The Full Monty:

Robbie and I, HRPT long haulers

Robbie and I, HRPT long haulers


My college friend Robbie and I participated as “Long Haulers” in the Hot Rod Power Tour (HRPT) this year. What is HRPT you ask? It’s probably the largest touring car show in the world. The core group of hot rod cars are early “hot rods”, 1960’s and 1970’s muscle cars, and late model cars. Some people would argue that HRPT is only for muscle cars or hot rods, in reality just about any cars are welcome, gassers, hot rods, muscle cars (new and old), super cars, kit cars, trucks, rat rods, there are even a few imports. All cars are welcome and most guys on the tour are cool with all cars. The cars are the stars at HRPT but meeting thousands of other hot rodders, talking about what they did to their car, learning tricks and tips for your next build and forming friendships that will last the years, is what HRPT is all about!
Gasser Chevrolet Shoebox (1955 or 1956)

Gasser Chevrolet Shoebox (1955 or 1956)


This year HRPT took place from June 7th to June 14th. HRPT changes it’s route every year. There are approximately 1500-2000 “Long Haulers”, people who do every day of the show. There are also thousands of people who show up for one or two days locally wherever the show stops. The show takes a meandering route through the country, avoiding as many interstates and main roads (as possible, usually). This year HRPT started in Charlotte, NC at zMax Drageway-Charlotte Motor Speedway for the opening day. Sunday morning we left from there to Chillhowee Park in Knoxville, TN. From there Monday morning we drove to downtown charleston, WV. Tuesday – Summit motorsports Park, Norwalk, IA. Wednesday – Lake County fairgrounds, Crown Point, IN, Thursday – The Isle Casino, Bettendorf, IA and finally Friday June 13th at Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells, WI.
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http://www.familyevents.com/event/229
There was also a final long hauler only send off early Saturday, June 14th, which we left town by 9 am. I’ll be sharing about half of my trip in this post and half in another. Power tour is too big and awesome for one article!

Onto the show!
The first thing is to get to the start of the show. I left from Iowa early morning Friday June 6th and drove to Knoxville, TN and stayed there. Then I drove to Charlotte, morning Saturday, June 7th for the first day. You can register ahead of time or at the event, I choose at the event and it was $90. The first day was at zMax drag strip in Charlotte, NC. The drag strip was open and a lot of hot rodders were racing their cars. Walking back to my car I met Joe from 513 Motorsports out of Ohio. He had a very cool 1993 Dodge Dakota that is currently running a twin turbo setup and a Megasquirt 3 fuel management system, all built by himself. He said he hadn’t used a tig welder until he bought some pre-bent mandrel tubing and started making his headers. They turned out beautiful! Check Joe out at 513 Motorsports on FB.
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513 Motorsports twin turbo 1993 Dodge Dakota, runs 11's in the quarter mile. Sweet!!!!

513 Motorsports twin turbo 1993 Dodge Dakota, runs 11’s in the quarter mile. Sweet!!!!


Later that night I met up my friend Robbie at our hotel. Hotels are a great place to talk to other HRPT participants. The first guy I talked to was Rick Brooks of the Newberry Car Buffs club. He was driving his 1952 Chevrolet Deluxe. He had a very extensive restoration. He also performed an LT1 engine swap, a huge upgrade over the original I6 in power. This was a very beautiful car and nicely restored.
http://www.newberrycarbuffs.com/
1952 Chevrolet Deluxe, with LT1 (1990's version), by Rick Brooks, Newberry Car Buffs.

1952 Chevrolet Deluxe, with LT1 (1990’s version), by Rick Brooks, Newberry Car Buffs.

Sunday June 8th 2014
This was the first day driving, we left around 10 am and followed the recommended scenic route. The general daily drives are 200-300 miles. And can take up to 8 hours once you take into account stops, traffic jams (caused by 2000-3000 HRPT cars), lunch breaks and burnouts through small towns. The drive is an integral and fun part of HRPT, especially since there are thousands of cool cars all around you. We rolled into the show around 5 pm. At this show I met a fellow Iowan, Shane Sherman (shanesherman22@hotmail.com), who has his own shop, Honus Motorsports (Like on FB) in Williamsburg, IA. He was driving a very cool 1970’s Ford 2wd truck that he had swapped a 7.3L Ford diesel engine into. He had built that truck between Feb 2014 and June 2014!

Shane’s 1966 (I believe) Ford with a 7.3 diesel

Shane’s 1966 (I believe) Ford with a 7.3 diesel


This was also where I saw my favorite build of an 2002 (approximately) Camaro. I really like the side skirts and the “Remember the Buster”tribute to Paul Walker (Bryan Oçonnor – Fast and Furious movies) was also a nice touch.
2002 (ish) Camaro

2002 (ish) Camaro


R.I.P - Paul Walker

R.I.P – Paul Walker


A third great vehicle from this day was a late 80’s, early 90’s GMC S-15 that had a modern LS GM engine swapped in. These engine have been swapped into about 1 million vehicles, and a lot of them were on HRPT. It’s a great engine, makes good power, is reliable, good fuel economy and makes tons of power relatively easily.
GMC with LS V8

GMC with LS V8

Another great part of power tour is the hotels. You can meet up with tons of hot rodders in a closer environment, have more time to talk with each other etc. This night we met up with Chris from Oregon. He was driving an old Toyota 4×4 with his brother. It had a a small block Chevrolet V8 swapped in for power. In the same parking lot was a “rat” VW bug and a very new Nissan GTR (one of only a few “tuners/imports” on the HRPT. This just shows the variability of the tour! Great!

VW "rat rod"

VW “rat rod”


Nissan GTR

Nissan GTR


Monday June 9th 2014
This morning I took my car to a shop to have a lower a-arm bolt tightened. The day before going through the mountains, when braking hard there was a shudder in my steering wheel. That’s not good! We got a bolt tightened and it seemed to have stopped clunking for a while. I met a few hot rodders at the shop so that helped pass the time.
Our next drive was to Charleston, WV. The drive through the mountain was beautiful but part way the car started clunking again. I stopped at Appalachian tire service and spoke with the mechanic, Elvis. He was very gracious and put my car up on a lift and told me that my bushings on the a-arms were shot, so that as good to know so we could fix it.
At Elvis' shop

At Elvis’ shop


While at this stop we were also able to see a cool van, being driven by Rutledge Wood, auto racing analyst and Top Gear (US version) co-host.
Rutledge Wood's van

Rutledge Wood’s van


Again, we arrived later, 5 pm. I was told parking was difficult and some people had to walk miles to get to the street parking. I ended up having a “creative” parking spot and we were only 2 blocks from the main stage. We walked up and down the row of cars, got out long hauler tags punched and headed out. This night we ate and then drove to Walmart to get supplies. Comp Performance Group (Comp Cams, F.A.S.T. Racing Head Service, and others) has a giveaway each year, a shopping spree to their products. They choose 5 people a day who promote their products. I did it 2 years ago and wanted to get my name in the drawing again, 1/30 change at $10k of car parts I’m in!
Later that night we were able to get parts for the mustang to get it fixed the next day. I also ran into some really cool guys from Level 7 Motorsports. They had built a 1968 C10 (the C if for 2wd, a K is 4wd) truck with an LS engine. The truck had a great patina and I had seen it earlier in the week. I went to get stuff from my car late at night and ended up talking to Jesse and his crew in the parking lot for about an hour. Very cool guys! Check them out on FB at Level 7 Motorsports.
Level 7 1968 C10 with LS V8 swap

Level 7 1968 C10 with LS V8 swap

This was just the first few days of HRPT. Stay tuned for coverage through the end of the week. Lots of burnouts, more cool car people and more cars on the way!
Thanks for reading. Follow on FB, My Wheel Life, or follow via email at the top of the main page so you don’t miss a post!

All my pictures from HRPT 2014 are on my FB page.
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7. My Wheel Life – How To: Why to install headers AND how to repaint rusted headers

A rat rod with long tube headers.

A rat rod with long tube headers.


Quartermile:
Headers let your engine breath better, thus increasing performance, speed, acceleration and fun factor!
Use rubber gloves when using paint to avoid paint on your hands and to avoid getting your hand oils on the headers after you have cleaned them, before painting.
Header wrap or High temp paint, or both can be used to protect headers.

The Full Monty
First, if you are newer to engines and modifying them, or if you are an old hand even, you should watch this video and hopefully you can get an idea of the basics of how an engine works. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60QX5RY_ohQ

This Model T Ford is a mixture of Gasser and Rat Rod. It's mostly for fun, and not so much for actual performance. This engine has a straight pipe for each cylinder. They are actually about the best you can get for flow, unless you start dabbling in tuned length runners, etc. It's really an independent header for each cylinder.  I think it's awesome!

This Model T Ford is a mixture of Gasser and Rat Rod. It’s mostly for fun, and not so much for actual performance. This engine has a straight pipe for each cylinder. They are actually about the best you can get for flow, unless you start dabbling in tuned length runners, etc. It’s really an independent header for each cylinder. I think it’s awesome!

If you are reading this you just might be interested in making the engine perform better in your vehicle of choice. I will use the old old old old analogy, “The engine is an air pump.” If you can get more air (and a corresponding amount of fuel) into the combustion chamber, and ignited, you will make more power and go faster. An important part of the airflow of the engine is the exhaust. This removes the used A/F (air/fuel) mixture out of your combustion chamber and gets it ready for a new mixture. Efficiently removing this air allows more new mixture in, thus making more horsepower.

There are many parts to your exhaust. After the valve and the exhaust port, the exhaust manifolds are the first part of the exhaust making up the system of pipes that lead the exhaust to the back of your car. Usually the factory exhaust manifolds are heavy and ugly. Thus, replacing them with headers is both an appearance upgrade, a weight saving (performance) and makes your engine develop more horsepower (performance x2!).Headers are a popular first or second upgrade for any engine. The best analogy I can give is a water hose. The manifolds would represent squeezing the hose right at the end closest to the water source, if you let that expand, you flow more water. This is in essence what headers do. You see why headers are so great!

These are exhaust manifolds. They do the same job as headers, but they don't flow as good or make as much horsepower and often weight more because they are cast iron instead of steel tubes, which are thinner. Although headers could weight more because they are longer but they they make more horsepower.

These are exhaust manifolds. They do the same job as headers, but they don’t flow as good or make as much horsepower and often weight more because they are cast iron instead of steel tubes, which are thinner. Although headers could weight more because they are longer but they they make more horsepower.


There are a myriad of types of headers and I don’t have the space to write about all of them but I will give you the long and short of it, literally! The two most basic types of headers are called “Long Tube” and “Short Tube” headers. Gearheads like to keep it simple, so the names mean exactly what it sounds like, the physical tubes making up a long tube header are longer. See picture. Long tube headers generally make more peak horsepower, good for racing but they take up more underhood room as they are physically larger. Short tube headers generally are good for a street car because they are easier to install (smaller, less interference with other parts of the car) and they have good lower end torque (idle to ½ throttle) where you are typically driving a street car.

short tube headers

short tube headers


Long tube headers

Long tube headers

There are various ways to protect your headers from the elements. The easiest would be to buy stainless steel headers. They don’t rust since they have a high chromium content (>10.5% by mass). Another expensive solution is to have the headers chrome plated. These are very attractive but also expensive. A third solution is to apply your own high temp paint which I will chronicle my experience with below. This is definitely the most “cost effective” method, approximately $50 in materials, max.
One more way to protect your headers is to wrap them. When wrapping headers I would still recommend painting them. The header wrap could actually absorb water and hold it on the headers. Header wrap also will keep your under hood temperatures down and greatly reduce the risk of burning yourself. They are popular on motorcycles and race cars.

This is a Model A Ford Sedan with header wrap. It's barely visible behind the front tire, but it was the best picture I had, and again, sweet car. Picture is justified in my blog!

This is a Model A Ford Sedan with header wrap. It’s barely visible behind the front tire, but it was the best picture I had, and again, sweet car. Picture is justified in my blog!


How to paint headers:
If you read about My Monte in post #2 https://mywheellife.com/2014/05/20/my-wheel-life-my-monte/
you would have noticed that headers were the first performance upgrade I did. That was 5 years ago and they have become rusty despite the anti-rust coating applied to them by the manufacturer when I bought them. I recently had some starter issues with that car and had to take the headers off to get the starter off. I took that opportunity to re-rustproof the headers. Since headers are the hottest exposed part of the engine they need special paint or coating to protect them from rust, normal paint will burn off.

The first thing you need to do is to remove the rust off the headers. They need to be stripped to bare metal. I used a wire wheel and a 3M varnish/paint remover pad, both mounted on a ½” drill. This worked a lot better, faster, easier than using sand paper. There are a few other ways you could remove the rust and paint. You could use an acid paint/rust stripper. I have never done this but that stuff is definitely abrasive to the hands. You definitely want to use rubber gloves when using that. I have heard it does a very good job cleaning them though. Another way would be a sand blaster, but I believe the drill works fastest and easiest in this case and with the least exposure to chemicals! It took approximately 30 minutes – 1 hour per header.

Headers as they started in the car. Rusty, ugly. Eventually they could have rusted through and I could have had an exhaust leak. That's not good!

Headers as they started in the car. Rusty, ugly. Eventually they could have rusted through and I could have had an exhaust leak. That’s not good!


Passenger side. Rusty headers. These have been in the car since 2008 so they were possibly due to be recoated.

Passenger side. Rusty headers. These have been in the car since 2008 so they were possibly due to be recoated.

http://www.amazon.com/3M-Scotch-Brite-Varnish-Remover-9414NA/dp/B000BQWPAQ

drill and wire wheels used to remove rust

drill and wire wheels used to remove rust

After the headers are cleaned of paint and rust to bare metal they need to have any grease removed before they can be painted. Carb cleaner, paint thinner or acetone are good cleaners for grease. There are also specific grease removers for this. I used carb cleaner and and a new clean shop rag. After that, you can prime the bare metal headers. VHT sells a primer specifically for use with their paint. VHT Flame Proof is the specific brand they use for 1200-2000 degrees F. This is header specific coating. They also have lower temp paints for engine blocks and brake calipers or drums. I followed the directions on the can to apply 2 light coats 10 minutes apart and a medium coat. This makes it so all coats are tacky and you don’t have to sand in between them. Holding anything when painting it is difficult. I hung the parts from a nail on the wall, as seen in the picture. Wire from a rafter or cherry picker (engine lift) works also. Make sure to not get overspray on anything when painting! After the primer stage let dry for 24 hours at least. I lightly sanded the headers with 200 grit sandpaper then sprayed 3 coats of VHT Flame Proof paint. The VHT website is a bit confusing as they say there is not VHT Flame Proof primer, but the can specifically says use a VHT Flameproof primer, and I was able to buy VHT Flame Proof primer. The name primer was only on the bar code. It’s not on the label anywhere else. I’ll have to get in touch with VHT on this. Anyway, after VHT Flame Proof paint is applied, it needs to be cured. First it has to dry for at least 24 hours. After that it needs to be headed to cure. This can be done in an oven or on the engine with light running, letting the headers cool, and later a harder run to get them hotter.
http://www.speco.com.au/vht_faq.html

Headers hanging on the wall being painted. 3 coats seemed to be about right. I also had 2 coats of VHT primer.

Headers hanging on the wall being painted. 3 coats seemed to be about right. I also had 2 coats of VHT primer.


Headers after they have been cleaned and repainted, and re-installed. Don't they look so much nicer? Also they should not rust away for some time! Disregard the dirty charcoal canister, radiator, inner fender wells and valve covers.

Headers after they have been cleaned and repainted, and re-installed. Don’t they look so much nicer? Also they should not rust away for some time! Disregard the dirty charcoal canister, radiator, inner fender wells and valve covers.


Well, hopefully you’ve learned a few things about headers in this article, and why you should buy them for your car, immediately.
Do you have a car with headers?
What was the first performance upgrade you did to your car if it wasn’t headers?
Keep the rubber side down! (Don’t forget to follow my blog (upper right, just type in your email and be sure to confirm once you get an email) so you don’t miss a new post!)
Also if you enjoy this, please share with your friends, on Facebook or in person even!

5. My Wheel Life – Car spotters guide to the galaxy (1920’s to 1960’s) (Part 1)

Quartermile:
There are a TON of different ways to build a car.
You can build the same car in multiple different styles.
One car can sometimes mix and match from various styles. This can turn out good or bad depending on the builder.
This guide will tell you about all (that I could think of) different “styles” in which people around the world build up their cars.
Often these are regional since different cars were sold in different places around the world.

Lets Ride:

The first installment of car spotters guide to the galaxy will cover styles of cars that can be built off cars that were originally made between 1920 and ending about 1960. These dates are by no means concrete, but are to give you a general idea.

Restored – This is any type of car restored to stock. This can be applied to vintage cars (1930’s), muscle cars, old exotics or any other car. The process can become so intensive that the restorer will replicate the overspray and other mistakes that were present on many factory original cars from the era the car was new.
http://www.mafca.com/
restored car
Traditional hot rods – These are recreations of hot rods in a style that would have been seen in a specific era. Early hot rods replaced original 4 cylinder engines with the newer and larger early V8’s and straight 6 and 8 cylinders. This style is often strict on using parts that were only available in the year they are trying to emulate. For example, a classic hot rod built in a 1930’s style could have used a flathead ford engine (introduced in 1932) but not a small block Chevrolet engine (introduced in 1955).

Rat rods – These are an evolution of Traditional hot rods. Rat Rods will use parts from any era. Often they can use large engines and different engines are appreciated here. The rule for rat rods is to stand out. They often reflect their owners. Diesel engines, turbochargers, wild exhaust systems, bomber seats and large shifters are the norm for rat rods. The interior of a rat rod has very few requirements. Comfort is definitely not a priority for most rat rods. Rat Rods are often art cars and they generally are not representative of real cars ever made in previous eras. Rat rods are often based on car bodies built between 1920 and 1950 but the rat rod style can be applied to any body style. Flat black and rust are 2 popular finishes for the bodies of rat rod vehicles. .To the untrained eye rat rods can appear to be traditional rods, but if you look closer and can identify newer parts or generally “rough” appearance or any parts that were not available between 1930 and 1960 you probably have a rat rod.

http://www.olskoolrodz.com/

This Model T Ford is a mixture of Gasser and Rat Rod. It's mostly for fun, and not so much for actual performance. This engine has a straight pipe for each cylinder. They are actually about the best you can get for flow, unless you start dabbling in tuned length runners, etc. It's really an independent header for each cylinder.  I think it's awesome!

This Model T Ford is a mixture of Gasser and Rat Rod. It’s mostly for fun, and not so much for actual performance. This engine has a straight pipe for each cylinder. They are actually about the best you can get for flow, unless you start dabbling in tuned length runners, etc. It’s really an independent header for each cylinder. I think it’s awesome!

Rat Rod truck

Rat Rod truck

The rust surface finish, few mufflers on the exhaust headers and Punisher spray painted in the grill are clues that this car is all about fun and is a rat rod

The rust surface finish, few mufflers on the exhaust headers and Punisher spray painted in the grill are clues that this car is all about fun and is a rat rod

If you look closely you can see the super charger does not actually have a belt driving it, thus making the super charger non-functional. The rust finish and general cartoon-like appearance allude to the fact that this car is definitely a rat rod. - I love this car. It demands attention, which is the goal of a rat rod.

If you look closely you can see the super charger does not actually have a belt driving it, thus making the super charger non-functional. The rust finish and general cartoon-like appearance allude to the fact that this car is definitely a rat rod. – I love this car. It demands attention, which is the goal of a rat rod.

Street rods – Street Rods are generally build on cars made between 1920 and 1950. They are sometimes called Billet rods. Billet refers to a part that has been machined from a large piece of aluminum. For street rods billet can be used for rims, shifters and any smaller parts on the engine. Billet parts were not extremely popular until the 1980’s and later. Billet is often frowned upon by traditional hot rod purists. These cars are often nicely restored. They have nice paint jobs, nice interiors and clean suspensions. These cars have lately become somewhat less popular as rat rods have risen in popularity in the last few years.
http://www.streetrodderweb.com/

This street rod is easily identified as such by the bright paint and chrome rims. The chrome side mirrors and recessed head lights and general "clean" and "smooth" appearance also are all dead giveaways that this is a street rod.

This street rod is easily identified as such by the bright paint and chrome rims. The chrome side mirrors and recessed head lights and general “clean” and “smooth” appearance also are all dead giveaways that this is a street rod.

The nice paint, clean engine with a lot of chrome and billet rims give this car away as a street rod.

The nice paint, clean engine with a lot of chrome and billet rims give this car away as a street rod.

Custom – Customs are cars that were modified for looks rather than speed. Often these are based on bars built from the 1940’s to 1960’s. These cars are often long and low. Coils were cut or heated to lower these cars originally. These days, cars can often use air bags to give the car a low stance but all it to be raised to a comfortable and safe height for driving. These cars often have nice finished interiors and lots of chrome on the engine.
http://www.streetrodderweb.com/

This custom is identifies by it's lack of billet rims and clean paint.

This custom is identifies by it’s lack of billet rims and clean paint.

This car is a custom. It is identified as such because it is based on a 1950's car and has clean paint, is lowered and has a clean interior but does not have billet rims.

This car is a custom. It is identified as such because it is based on a 1950’s car and has clean paint, is lowered and has a clean interior but does not have billet rims.

Gasser – Often streetcar styles are based on race cars. Gassers are one of those styles. A gasser is based off drag racing technology and classes that started in the 1950’s and continued through the 1970’s. These were generally based on cars built between the 1930’s-1960’s and were usually American 2 door cars. The front of a gasser is lifted and usually rides on a straight axle. Slicks are an important part of the drag racing vibe also. Gassers sit high in the front. The stance was for better weight transfer to launch the drag car off the line.

This car is easily identified as a gasser because of it's "nose high" stance and slicks. The name, "Wicked" also is a nod to vintage race cars often being named. The hood scoop and lack of billet rims are also both good indicators that this is a gasser.

This car is easily identified as a gasser because of it’s “nose high” stance and slicks. The name, “Wicked” also is a nod to vintage race cars often being named. The hood scoop and lack of billet rims are also both good indicators that this is a gasser.

This gasser is easily identified as such by it's high stance (relationship of body to wheels). The front is much higher than a stock car. Also the lack of inner fender wells and the fact that it has fender well headers and the vintage appearing sponsor lettering point that this is a gasser, and a very nicely done one at that.

This gasser is easily identified as such by it’s high stance (relationship of body to wheels). The front is much higher than a stock car. Also the lack of inner fender wells and the fact that it has fender well headers and the vintage appearing sponsor lettering point that this is a gasser, and a very nicely done one at that.

I hope you enjoyed the first installment of car spotters guide to the galaxy. Stay tuned for future posts that show you how to identify various styles of muscle cars, trucks, imports and more!

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4. My Wheel Life – Tech:The art of the oil change

Disclaimer! Changing your oil can be dangerous! You will lift a heavy vehicle off the ground and be under it. Please observe all precautions when changing your oil. I am not liable for any injuries received from people misusing the information contained in this post.

The Quartermile: What you need to know
Ramps are much easier and safer for raising your car than a jack and jack stands. (block behind rear wheels)
A filter wrench is the correct tool for removing an oil filter. Install new filter ¼-½ turn after tight, by hand.
A drain pan with a spout is much cleaner than an open drain pan.
It’s best to have a friend who’s knowledgeable about cars help you the first time you attempt to change your oil if you never have before. Don’t ruin your car! If you are unsure, ask.
Emails can be sent to hooglandaxel@gmail.com or the comment section below.

By this time, if you’ve been reading, along you’ve attended a few events hopefully and hopefully bought a new vehicle (or you would have had I released these posts in the order I originally wrote them. On that note look for a future “How to buy a car” post). Now it’s time to make sure your new car is ready to go. One way to get intimate with your car is an oil change. Hopefully you referred to my last post and when you bought your new car you asked the seller when the last oil change was, then you should be aware if you car is due. Even if it’s not due yet, it will definitely need an oil change sooner or later. (If I had released that post yet)

The oil change is one of the best ways to get to know your car. It is also one of the easiest ways to work on your car and feel like you’ve really accomplished something.

Like any work, I find it easiest to handle the oil change in two stages.
Stage 1: Gather all supplies
Stage 2: Actually change the oil

You will need a good list of things to change your car’s oil. Some are nice and some are necessary. Oil is necessary, ramps are nice but not necessary.
Necessary:
New Oil (refer to your car manual for the weight of oil, ex 10w-40, conventional or synthetic)
New Filter
a way to lift the car off the ground (Lift, ramps, jack stands/jack/wheels)
socket to remove drain pan plug (Make sure it’s the right size!)
Oil filter wrench (this is not actually necessary but it’s definitely the best way to remove the filter, actually no it’s necessary)
drain pan

Really really nice to have:
clean rags
Ramps

First you will need to get your vehicle in the air. I have been making due with using my wheel changing scissor jack and jack stands. This is a much more difficult and time consuming way to do this. The nicest way, in your parking lot, is to use ramps. They are fast and relatively inexpensive. If you do use a jack the safest way to secure the car in the air is to put another set of tires under the car’s front tires. It’s nearly impossible for the car to fall off a tire. If you don’t have tires, jack stands are also very good. You should also have your park brake on, the vehicle in park and a block behind your rear tires, all to prevent the vehicle rolling away. Safety First!

Now you are ready to drain the oil . Make sure to have an oil drain pan under the drain plug and offset in the direction that the oil will shoot out. Here is a good place to mention the benefits of a drain pan that is enclosed and has a spout to help you pour out the oil.

Drain pain with spout

Drain pain with spout


This is a great benefit over a simple open pan. When pouring from these pans you will, without a doubt, get oil all over the ground, your feet, and whatever you are pouring into. To Loosen the drain plug, first make sure you have the correct size socket/wrench. Turn counterclockwise to loosen the nut. Turn it a few turns and then it will be best to finish removing it by hand. You will want to turn the plug counterclockwise but keep pushing it into the pan, sealing as much oil in as you can until it is completely unthreaded. Once the plug is completely unthreaded, pull it away fast and get as little oil on your hand as possible, this is quite the feat.
Stripped oil drain pan bolt (from a friend, not me!)

Stripped oil drain pan bolt (from a friend, not me!)

Next you will want to remove the oil filter. There are 2 main types of filters. Historically most vehicles used external filters, and these are still very common. More recently there are cartridge filters. These are often easier to change and less messy. For external filters, there are multiple wrong ways to go about removing this part. It is possible to use a large channel locks to grab the filter. You can also stab a screwdriver through the filter and turn using that. Both of these methods will ultimately cause you more trouble than good. You will likely puncture the filter and make a big mess with oil everywhere and expose yourself to sharp surfaces on the filter. The correct way to remove the filter is using a filter wrench. Some filters have a large socket built into the bottom of the filter. These can be good, but personally I have always had good luck with the strap style filter wrench.

Filter wrench

Filter wrench


Filters also come in different sizes, so when buying a filter wrench make sure it fits your filter! Make sure you have a drain pan under the oil filter to catch oil. You will want to turn the filter a few times counter clock wise to get it loose. Then, like the drain plug, spin until loose while pushing up and once it is loose control the filters fall to the drain pan.

Now to install the new filter. First you will want to let all the oil drain out. I like to wipe off the seating surface on the engine block with a clean rag. You will want to smear some of the new oil on the sealing ring (on the filter) to ensure a good seal. Then spin the filter back on until snug, then turn between ¼ and ½ a turn, by hand. This is all the tighter the filter needs to be reinstalled. It should be snug but not so tight it is squeezing the seal out, creating a leak. This is one area where changing your own oil is good. Often a shop will over tighten the filter to where it’s nearly impossible to remove! This is to cover themselves as it’s better, for them,if it doesn’t come off than if it falls off. Same goes for the drain pan plug for that matter.
By now all of the oil should have drained out of your car. You can remove the oil and put the drain pan plug back in. Make sure to wipe all the oil off the pan. Start threading the plug back in BY HAND. In fact this is a good place to mention that all nut/bolts should always be started by hand and tightened as much as possible this way to avoid cross threading. There should be a torque spec for the pan plug. Often to snug and then ¼ to ½ is good. As you work on your car more you will definitely develop a feel for tightening nuts eventually and for most general nuts/bolts you should develop a “calibrated” hand so you shouldn’t need a torque wrench unless it’s an important vehicle part, like a head on the engine. You definitely don’t want to over tighten this bolt as you will strip the thread which will lead to an oil pan change. If you are at a level where you are tempted to tighten the pan plug til you are stripping the threads, you probably aren’t ready to perform an oil pan replacement. It’s probably best to practice tightening a bolt in a nut held in in a vise if you have never tightened a bolt in your life.
After you have put the filter and plug back in you are ready to fill the vehicle with nice new oil. I always use a small funnel to direct the oil back into the engine and not get it all over the engine!

funnel to fill crankcase

funnel to fill crankcase


Refer to your owners manual for the right amount of oil for your vehicle. After you have filled it and looked that there are no leaks I prefer to put the car back on the ground. I then start the car and let it run a minute or two. This gets the oil filter filled and the oil level correct. Let the vehicle sit a few minutes while you clean up. You can then check the oil level.
An important thing to do after changing your oil is to make a log of when you changed it so you know when to change it again, this gets especially important when you have multiple vehicles. I personally use duct tape and a magic marker and place it over the old reminder. I also like to put the date on so I remember that. I prefer to mark the mileage when I changed the oil, as opposed to most stops put when the next change is due. I tend to go over the recommended 3,000 miles (for older cars). Some new cars can go to 15,000+. I prefer to know how many miles I have on the oil as opposed to when it “should” be changed. They intervals are different for every vehicle and engine so do your homework, check your owners manual, ask your friends, or ask me in the comments below.
I personally keep an excel document of all the work I do to each vehicle (since I have 6 vehicles), each gets it’s own page. Mileage done at, date, and maintence done. I find this the best way to know what needs to be done next.
Lastly you will need to dispose of your old oil. Remember the drain pan with a spout? This is where it will help you in putting the old oil back into the quart/5 quart bottles the new oil came in. Once you have poured the old oil in, make sure to mark the bottle on the top “Bad/used oil”. You will not likely be returning it that day to the disposal place.
Label bad oil!

Label bad oil!


It may sound impossible that someone would mistake this old oil for good new oil, but stranger things have definitely happened! Better safe than sorry. Lastly you will need to dispose of your old oil and filter. Usually you should be able to return that to any place that sells oil free of charge.

Hopefully this post has gotten you excited about working on your car. In the future I will investigate some more exciting work. But I think changing your oil is a definitely a good place to start for those who haven’t gotten their hands too dirty yet.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!