Roll your own…….HEI that is

Ok, well here we go! Done, and done! New HEI system is all installed and she runs great!

 

Yes, you too can do this! It may be blasphemy to some, but I can tell you that this is 100 times more reliable and the spark hotter than a Mopar or Direct Connection box. While not as fancy as a full MSD or Mallory setup, it comes at a fraction of the cost! All you need is a stock Mopar distributor, GM HEI module, and a coil. No more ballast resistor!

Here is a great article from Elizabeth Puckett at Power and Performance Magazine about how she did it.

Here is how it’s wired.¬† Don’t forget the heat sink paste on the module and mount it to aluminum for cooling.

One note is on the distributor cap. The older (late 80’s to around 92 had a clip down cap, where later ones had the screw down cap. The later cap has HEI Male terminals, where the older one had standard female wire sockets. I did find a cap at Mancini racing that had the male HEI terminals with the clip mount cap, and it was $48!! I have seen some on eBay but as of now haven’t tested them.

And here we have the first firing. Timing was not set yet, but she sounded pretty mean for a cold start!

 

Feel free to email me: nick@excopllc.com or hit me up on Facebook if you want help setting up your own!

All primed up!

Soooo. here we go! 75 degree day in Daytona and I finally threw down some primer!

Yes, home paint booth, YES, Harbor Freight “Professional gun” and YES, used air compressor from Facebook marketplace. I did aid water and particulate filters.

First off, when you start painting a car, you will find MANY opinions, instructions, warnings, naysayers, YouTube certified experts, etc. I was warned that my garage would explode, I would die, my cats would die, the car would look like shit, I was not a pro, etc. THEN I was told to go for it! I was shown many exampled of home paint booths and some bad ass results. I hadn’t done this since around 1995. It all worked out pretty well and I am happy with the results. That is Eastwood 2K Urethane filler/primer. It shot really well even with the Harbor Freight gun that was going to be the death of the whole project according to some online certified paint guys.

I finally have gone over the whole thing with some wet paper. I used some 800 grit since it was all I have handy. The paint arrives tomorrow so lets hope we get some warm weather here in Daytona.

Quick Trick alignment

Before someone asks the question…. yes, an alignment shop could do this. Maybe! Most shops, unless you have one like we do nearby where an old NASCAR mechanic works, won’t even come close because all they have is the data in the machine. They can’t adjust to a target or setup for a specific track or front end parts. So here we go.

Disclaimer: I haven’t done this in well over 20 years! I learned on an old Hunter machine that really was strings and projectors. It was called the Lite-A-Line.

Luckily, my mentor back then was an old retired NASCAR guy. Too bad now, 30+ years after, I can’t remember all that I learned.

So now, we laid out the string to get started:

There are lots of details all over the internet about laying a string alignment. I’ll do a video on it later, I promise. I used the string first because the front end was so far off due to this being a completely new front end build. The one thing I was missing was the grease or bearing plates under the front wheels. This allows the wheels to turn easier to get more accurate readings. The idea with the string is getting a fixed and square measuring point to be able to set the front toe in. The left side was well over an inch out and it needed to be near 1/8″. So I got that done rather quickly then enter the Quick Trick Alignment tools.

https://www.quicktrickalignment.com/

To be honest, my ex father-in-law and I made a setup almost identical to this back around 1995 when my son was racing go-karts. If only I had been smart enough to sell it then! This tool makes the rest of the setup very easy. Also disclaimer: This is not a paid endorsement. I didn’t get anything free or otherwise for this review. Hoping to get a sticker or something in the future! So anyway, I found¬† this setup on Amazon. I had some points saved on my card, so I nabbed this setup for under $100. Their website price is around $289 I think. I have seen them on Amazon and eBay for under $200 for the “last year’s model”

I will do a full instructional post soon, but my review thus far is that that the tool is well built and does come with everything you need minus the wrenches. you will need the specs for your particular application. Everything is beefy enough to last and having it in a carrying bag makes it easy to take to the track with you. The “only” thing I might add will be a second level. Also thinking of devising a laser level mount so that you can set alignment using a laser level from the rear wheel shooting a gauge on the front. I’ll see how that works.

My Firm Feel front end pieces require:

4 to 4-1/2 degrees positive caster
> 1 to 1-1/2 degrees negative camber
> 1/16″-1/8″ toe in.

And I will illustrate that when I do the entire setup. For now, I wanted to get hands on with the tool and get a basic alignment done. Having one wheel toed out over an inch made the car hard to roll in and out of the shop.

That’s it for now!

Finally bought a plasma cutter!

So first off, I am not a tool snob by any means. I try to stay within a budget but get decent quality. So far Eastwood has been my go to for many of the tools used in this build. Today, after some looking around, I decided to go with their plasma cutter.

I’ll do a proper review in a few weeks. I’m back to the roll cage work now and will be making gussets, seat mounts, and all sorts of other stuff so I wanted to give this bad boy a try. In the past I have received excellent support from Eastwood so this made it a no brainer.

Now I just need to explain to the Boss Lady that I already need to add on to the garage!

That’s about it for this week. Hopefully by next weekend I’ll have some nice roll cage shots to share!

Getting back into the fab game with Eastwood

I haven’t struck an arc since the early 90’s. I don’t think I have bent a piece of metal since I left the Sheriff’s office in like 1999. Now, I have found myself getting great pleasure of bending and forming and welding. This week I just ordered a new tubing bender from Eastwood.

I have been a serious supporter and fan of Eastwood products and so far so good with anything of theirs that I have used. I already own their bead roller and shrinker/stretcher combo set. Now I’ll be giving their bender and tube notcher a try. 60ft of 1.75 tubing arrived this week, and now we’re waiting on the FedEx truck to bring the rest of the tools.

I did some research and talked to people who have used these products and they seem to get some good feedback. I looked at JD2, and a few others and decided to go with Eastwood. One is product loyalty. I am not a tool snob, so I don’t have to say “my car was built with blah, blah, blah”. If a product works, and the pricing is right, I am glad to give them a shot. Hopefully my next post will be of a main hoop fabbed up and in place in the car!