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"The Relay" Online Newsletter
December 2019 Issue

This is the monthly online newsletter for the car club council. All car hobbyist events are listed on this site under "Calendar." Just click on the link above to view the list of car shows and other activities.

President's Message

You're looking at the new and improved website for the 25th anniversary of the council. The resolution is larger and you should be able to adjust the size on your mobile device so you can look at individual calendar listings. Also added is an info tab where information of interest to car hobbyists will be stored. Along with the Breakthrough Car Show in May for our 25th anniversary we are also working on a membership drive to invite clubs that are not members to join and an informative flyer/brochure listing the accomplishments of the council.

Feel free to contact me if you'd like to help with the show in May. Your club can sponsor a trophy and we are looking for people to donate door prizes and items for the silent auction. If you have a favorite food truck you'd like to see at the event please email that information.

The calendar has been updated with 2020 events. Send in your car shows and other events for 2020 now so you'll be listed first on your event date. You can send in cruise-ins and they will be posted in February as most cruises start in April. There are a couple of year round cruises and they are posted in the calendar. If your cruise is year round be sure to note it.

The Virginia Association of Car Councils website is going to be updated during the month of December with all auto-related bills that are introduced into the General Assembly. There have already been several bills and resolution introduced early and this session is certainly going to be a very busy one. The council will - as always - monitor all the bills to make sure we spot anything that could affect the car hobby. We will keep you informed if anything that would impact us in a negative way gets introduced.

And the council wishes you a Merry Christmas and hopefully a New Year that is even better than the last one.

~ Fred

Next Meeting

Our next meeting will be on Monday January 27th at 6:30 PM at a location to be announced in the January newsletter. We will review and discuss the auto-related bills in the General Assembly and continue to move forward on the 25th Anniversary and car show.


Esquire December 1957 calendar matches December 2019

Car Hobbyist News

I've been writing about low vehicle sales for the past couple of months. I've noticed from my own research - and search for an older vehicle - that cars and trucks just aren't selling. In fact what we used to call the big three automakers plus others have gone from publishing sales data every 30 days to quarterly or only four times a year. Years ago they used to publish sales figures every 10 days. By going to quarterly reports they hope to hide the fact that sales are down. Here are some facts from Aaron Robinson who follows sales trends for Hagery:

For the first six months of 2019 Ford passenger cars combined sales did not reach even half the sales of the F-series trucks for that time period. Ford sold 5 trucks for each car sold. If you do not include the Mustang then the combined total of Ford and Lincoln car sales were outsold by the Honda Civic. This is why Ford is halting production of cars except for the Mustang.

Ford sold 38,542 Mustangs in the first half of 2019. Dodge sold 28,668 Challengers and Chevy sold 24,516 Camaros. The Dodge Ram pickup series outsold Chevy Silverado pickups 299,480 to 255,463. The Mini's sold by BMW only sold 17,583 of them in the first six months of 2019. All 7 models of the Mini were outsold by the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. Fiat only sold 5103 cars which is lower than the sagging sales of the Nissan Leaf electric car. Alfa only sold a little over 9000 vehicles.

Bottom line is people are keeping vehicles longer so fewer vehicles are being sold. The average car on the road is now 11.8 years of age. The average price of a new car is about $40,000 which puts them out of reach for many people. And people do not care for 6 and 7 year car loans. The longer the time period for the loan the more interest you pay.

This is from an MSN article "How Young People Are Endangering the Car Industry". "For some reason, younger Americans are buying fewer of the vehicles sold in the United States and old people are buying a larger percentage. As of 2017, more than half the new cars bought in America were by people over 55 years old. Within three decades, many of those people will be off the road, and they may not be replaced at all. New research by the Green Car Congress looked at cars and light trucks sold by buyer's age in 2007 and 2017. In the earlier year, 31% were bought by people 55 and older. That number was 52% in 2017. Worse for the industry, in 2007, 13% of cars sold in America were bought by people 65 and older. That number rose to 27% in 2017. At the other end of the spectrum, in 2007, 45% of cars sold in 2007 were bought by people under 45. That figure was only 28% two years ago."

Not only are car sales in the US falling but they are falling in China and the European Union. Plus from my research on Ebay Motors the antique and collectible vehicles are not selling. I blame high prices. In fact I have no trouble finding antique vehicles for sale for double or more their NADA value. The big auction houses report sales of collector vehicles are down millions of dollars from 2018 sales.

The day I am writing this there are 13,152 collector vehicles for sale on Ebay Motors. Only 2,670 are for sale by owner. The rest are dealer or not specified (dealers that want you to think the car is for sale by an owner). Dealers have overhead so their vehicles are priced higher. Higher prices don't help sales. Ebay used to be an auction website. Note the "used to be". Ebay Motors has continued to jack the price for reserve listings - those listings are auction type listings that people put a reserve or minimum that must be reached or the car doesn't sell. It costs $50 to just post a car for sale on Ebay and at least an additional $49 for a reserve. Years ago Ebay would refund the reserve if the car met reserve - no longer as Ebay keeps that money. So what do people do? They pay the $50 and set a high price for the vehicle. And nobody bids or buys it. Another option is buy it now or best offer where a perspective buyer can make an offer. The buy it now costs $10 which is much less than the $49 for a reserve listing.

What has this done to Ebay Motors? It's killed sales of vehicles. An auction starts low and lures people into bidding and they get carried away and bid more and may even end up buying the vehicle. When you spot an interesting vehicle and see that the price is way too high you just move on. In fact there is one car that has been on Ebay just a few miles from where I live for well over a year. It is priced at double what I think it is worth.

If you hunt through the cars and trucks on Craigslist you will see the same ones over and over as they just don't sell. I've listed some vehicles on CL with no results. In fact you're lucky if anyone even contacts you about the car.

In the 1960s buyers between 18 and 34 purchased more than a quarter of total new cars. Today they are less than 10% of new car purchases. Most new car buyers are over 55. For whatever reasons the young aren't buying cars like we baby boomers did. In the 1960s young buyers drove the market and it is why we had muscle cars and some real variety. Today's vehicles are either trucks or SUVs that come in white, gray, silver or black - just like kitchen appliances. Yes, there are some dull looking vehicles out there along with some ugly ones and just a few that look sharp.

It's the end of the year and I thought I should share what is going on with vehicle sales. I think sales will go up as soon as the prices drop and they do need to drop.

Looking forward to January 2020 the General Assembly will be in Richmond. This is going to be a historic session of the oldest continuous law-making body in the New World. The GA began meeting in 1619! The democrats now run everything and they have a heavy agenda. If they just enact part of their agenda there will be big changes in our state. As always we will monitor the Assembly and check every bill and resolution for anything that could impact our hobby. All auto-related legislation will be posted on the Virginia Association of Car Councils website and if anything important pops I will post on the council website and send out emails. I doubt there will be any big changes in vehicle laws and that the Assembly session will concentrate on the items the democrats want most.

Old School Hot Rodders Fall Cruise In
Old School Hot Rodders Fall Cruise In - click to see all the photos

The Briefs

How are those electric cars doing? Shares in one of China's top electric carmakers plummeted Wednesday after the company reported a staggering 89% drop in net profit for the most recent quarter. BYD (BYDDF) stock fell 5.8% in Hong Kong by mid-afternoon. The company's Shenzhen-listed shares were down 6.8%. The Warren Buffett-backed carmaker reported late Tuesday that it brought in 119.7 million yuan ($17 million) for the third quarter, far less than the nearly $1.1 billion yuan ($156 million) it brought in during the same time period last year. BYD blamed the decline on fluctuating fuel prices — the company also makes gas-powered vehicles — and a reduction in subsidies for new energy vehicles. And the pain may not be over yet. BYD warned that its full-year profit could drop as much as 43% compared to last year.

In 1940 Detroit Michigan which is perched atop a salt mine became the first in the world to apply salt to its roads.

The Boeing CEO recently testified that their 737 Max had over 2 million hours of safe flying. Can you imagine how much pollution that caused?

During the 70s gas crisis a politician proposing that car racing be curtailed, but someone pointed out that one cross country flight for a pro baseball/basketball/football team used more fuel than was used in all cars in all NASCAR races for an entire season.

You still can't fix stupid but Rear Seat Occupant Alert is slowly spreading across new cars and is a way to make sure that children are not left in the rear seat when the driver departs the car.

Propane, also known as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or propane autogas, is considered an alternative fuel under the Energy Policy Act of 1992. According to the Propane Education & Research Council, there are nearly 200,000 on-road propane vehicles with certified fuel systems in the United States.

The San Diego Humane Society was summoned to a convenience store parking lot in Del Mar, California, on Oct. 8 after law enforcement officers responded to calls of concern about a van parked there, near one of San Diego's toniest neighborhoods. Officers found a woman living in the van with more than 300 pet rats. Humane Society Capt. Danee Cook told The San Diego Union-Tribune, "This was not a cruelty case. This was a relinquishment." The unidentified owner said she had started with two pet rats, but the situation had gotten out of control, and she agreed to surrender all of them, many of which were juveniles or pregnant. Officers spent several days tearing the van apart and recovered 320 animals, about half of which were put up for adoption. Meanwhile, the woman has found a place to live with the help of a GoFundMe page.

On-air reporter Angel Cardenas with KMAX TV in Sacramento, California, was fired on Oct. 21 after a bizarre incident at the Sacramento International Auto Show the day before. During a broadcast before the show opened, Cardenas climbed on at least two of the privately owned show cars and dinged another when he opened a door against it. "No one is out here to tell me which car I can't go in ... so I'm just gonna live on the wild side," he told viewers before posing atop a Ford Thunderbird. "I feel like a kid in a candy store," he said, according to Fox News. The producer of the auto show contacted the general manager of the TV station and was told Cardenas had been terminated.

In the 1960s buyers between 18 and 34 purchased more than a quarter of total new cars. Today they are less than 10% of new car purchases. Most new car buyers are over 50.

General Motors is suing Fiat Chrysler, alleging that its crosstown rival got an unfair business advantage by bribing officials of the United Auto Workers union. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit, alleges that FCA was involved in racketeering by paying millions in bribes to get concessions and gain advantages in three labor agreements with the union. Details of the racketeering have been exposed in a federal probe of corruption at the union that has resulted in multiple arrests. The lawsuit alleges that Fiat Chrysler corrupted the bargaining process with the UAW in the 2009, 2011 and 2015 union contracts to gain advantages over General Motors.

VDOT CVC Car Show
VDOT CVC Car Show - Click to see all the photos

RPM Act Reintroduced

From Hagerty.

On October 16, Senators Richard Burr (R-North Carolina) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) reintroduced the “Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act” before the U.S. Senate. If passed into law, the bill would cement the legality of street-to-strip conversions involving removing cars’ EPA-mandated emissions controls.

Wait, you say, since when was yanking the catalytic converter in the name of elapsed times illegal? Smoke and screaming horsepower—could there be anything more American? The short answer: Emission-exempt race conversions were never illegal, but the EPA considered the issue for a hot second and freaked a bunch of people out.

Here’s the slightly longer version: The Clean Air Act of 1970 left room for emissions-exempt race conversions of street cars. Though Senator Burr argues the leeway was intended all along, enough gray area remained that in 2015 the EPA proposed—in a 629-page bill delineating greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks—that street cars converted for track use remain emission-compliant. Catalytic converters and ECUs had to stay, even on dedicated race cars. (Note: In this regulation, the EPA differentiated street cars converted to race cars from cars built for racing from the get-go, like NASCAR, sprint cars, etc. The irony, in the case of stock car racing, is not lost.)

The proposed language applied to amateur and professional garages and the approximately $2 billion racing retail industry. At the time, Motorsports.com reported that if the proposed 2015 bill solidified into federal law, each engine or piece of equipment in violation could incur a $37,500 penalty. SEMA was none too pleased, and the motorsports community raised a general hullabaloo. The EPA attempted to defuse the situation, saying it merely wanted to prevent the sale of parts that deactivated a given vehicle’s emission system. (Like a grinder? We digress.)

Although the EPA retracted the proposed language in April 2016, the aftermarket industry and surrounding fanbase had been sufficiently alarmed, and momentum had already gathered the legislative chain. Three months before the proposed language was pulled, U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-North Carolina) introduced the RPM Act in the House to assure the permanent legality of emissions-be-damned street-to-strip conversions. Heat began to build and traction resulted.

Since its introduction, the RPM Act has been the center of hearings in both the House and Senate and cleared the major hurdle of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

“SEMA looks forward to working with Congress to enact the RPM Act and make permanent the Clean Air Act’s original intention that race vehicle conversions are legal,” says SEMA president Chris Kersting, who has testified before Congress on behalf of the RPM Act. “We thank Senators Burr and Manchin for reintroducing a bill that will protect businesses that produce, install, and sell the parts that enable racers to compete."

The bill’s reintroduction ahead of the 115th session of Congress hopefully signals that all language wrinkles have been ironed out and the bill faces a smooth, well-prepped track to becoming law in 2020.

Coastal Virginia Auto Show
Coastal Virginia Auto Show - Click to see all the photos

Maddened Mopar Seller Crushes Big-block ’70 Charger

From Hagerty:
Mopar lovers in particular and muscle car fanatics in general are up in arms about a video of a 1970 Charger being gratuitously smashed and mangled out of spite. (Warning: in addition to the unnecessary destruction, the video contains coarse language.)

On October 28, MoparRapidTransit posted the video to YouTube showing Daniel Gagliardi’s decision to destroy his iconic muscle car. Claiming frustration due to a never-ending procession of no-shows when trying to sell his ’70 big-block Charger, he elected to mangle the car rather than let anyone else have it. A front-end loader flattened the roof before using its forked attachment to puncture the fender and quarter panels and collapse the door.

Gagliardi admits in the video he bought the Charger, which had been sitting for years, with the intent of flipping it. His initial asking price—either $10,000 or $8500 depending on the source—may or may not have been in the right ballpark depending on the car’s condition and state of decay, and while the car does appear intact, the video isn’t too flattering either. It would have taken an extensive restoration to bring the car back to full glory, but there were at least some parties interested in getting the car back on the road—even before the clamor rose from the wider audience attracted by the Charger’s wanton destruction.

The folks over at The Drive decided to call Gagliardi and get his side of the story, but it doesn’t make him seem any more rational. Gagliardi said he’d lowered his price and would have taken just about anything to get out from under the car but nobody would show up. Many of the publications that have covered this debacle have suggested alternatives to crushing the car, like donating to a high school automotive program. We could think of dozens of ways the Charger could have made a positive impact, including rolling over Gagliardi’s foot.

The Hagerty editorial team was incensed after watching the video. If the vehicle was that difficult to sell in person, why not put it up on an auction site and let the buyers sort it out? This solution, if you can call it that, has no winners. Hopefully no seller that saw this video will ever sign a pink slip over to Gagliardi and his car-flipping will take a hit. He’s already out the money he’d spent on the car, either $3700 or $4200—again, depending on which version you get from Gagliardi.

The video alone would be disheartening, but the audio is worse. Gagliardi rails on the no-shows in the video, calling them out for not wanting to pay what the car is worth, bragging about the low price he paid for the car: “We got it first. We already robbed it, you can only rob it once.” He follows up with, “Everybody wants to be a car guy ’til it’s time to do car guy s***.”

To us, being a car guy means helping keep the hobby alive and keeping people driving cars, but to Gagliardi it means lining his pockets—or if that fails, making a statement and gloating at taking another classic car out of circulation. At least when the Duke boys did it we got to see some sweet jumps. This is just pathetic.

1948 Ford Woody
1948 Ford Woody

Repair Mistakes & Blunders

From Rock Auto
Back in the mid-90s, when I was a full-time mechanic, I prided myself in troubleshooting driveability problems, check engine lights, emissions failures and such. That became my primary role in the shop. Instead of spending most of my day spinning wrenches, I was typically armed with an OBD scanner or DVOM. So when a customer came in with a sweet little 1966 Mustang (a recently purchased retirement gift to herself), complaining of poor gas mileage and lackluster performance, it seemed like a break from the doldrums of checking engine codes and a return to a time when things were simpler...or so I thought.

She dropped the car off, and I took pleasure in driving it a number of times to replicate her issue, except that I could not; it always ran great. But when I pulled the spark plugs, they were pretty sooty, but would clear up after I drove it a few times. I hated to waste her money replacing parts, but every few weeks she would be back with the same complaint. I even drove the car home a few times and calculated the gas mileage, which at about 15 MPG, seemed reasonable for a V8 with a 4bbl and no overdrive. I ended up rebuilding the carburetor, adjusting valves, replacing points and condenser, etc... and the problem continued, except I had never experienced it.

Finally, I asked her to take me for a ride so I could pinpoint the exact moment she experienced the issues. Well, it took less than a minute to realize the problem. When she got in the car, the first thing she did was pull out the handle for the manual choke and hang her purse on it. Then I understood why she said it ran fine at first, then worse the farther she drove. The word “choke” had worn off the handle over the years and she mistakenly thought it was the fresh air vent. At her request, I put a new choke cable on it, and we laughed about it whenever she came in for work on one of her other cars.

Cedric in Illinois

1957 Thunderbird
1957 Thunderbird

Yes, J-B Weld Can Repair a Cracked Cylinder Head, But…

From Hagerty :
There are a few automotive aphorisms that people dispense like hot dogs at a barbecue when what you really want is a cheeseburger. One is, after seeing a photo of an accident, “That’ll buff out.” Another is “LS1 it” (drop a Corvette engine in a car in need of a motor, usually a woeful rat of a car worth less than the LS1). Both sayings are usually offered with a heavy dose of irony. But a third, “Just J-B Weld it,” is often said seriously.

There are many two-part epoxies out there, but J-B Weld has a very good reputation in the automotive world, not only for bonding plastic to plastic, plastic to metal, and metal to metal, and not only for repairing broken bits in a pinch, but for the repair being so strong that it edges on being a semi-permanent solution. I keep tubes of J-B KwikWeld in my road kit just in case something weird happens like a coolant neck snaps off a radiator or a thermostat housing or an alternator mount breaks. At least it gives you a fighting chance of making it home.

But I never used J-B Weld to repair a cracked cylinder head before. And the idea that this would be a reasonable thing to do was something I regarded with the same skepticism, if not outright disdain, as when I was discussing the trouble I was having rebuilding the engine to my Lotus Europa and folks said, “Just LS1 it,” thinking they were being clever or funny.

Here’s the backdrop. I own a 1972 BMW 2002tii, the subject of my book Ran When Parked. I bought the car, a very original example with the patina of age and use, sight unseen in Louisville about three years ago. It hadn’t run in a decade. I traveled down there with tools and parts and resurrected it where it sat, finding housing through the kindness of folks I know through the BMW Car Club of America. I got it running, and six days later had it sufficiently well sorted that I road-tripped it the 1000 miles back to Boston.

But an oil leak onto the exhaust threatened to derail the trip. The leak was due to the valve cover stud in the lower left corner of the head being stripped in its hole and thus not tightening, which prevented that corner of the valve cover from sealing. This caused oil to drip directly onto the downpipe, which was a clear fire hazard. At the time, I repaired the stripped threads with a Time-Sert (helicoil). The car still appeared to be weeping a small amount of oil through the threads onto one of the exhaust studs, but this is a common problem, as the lower exhaust studs thread directly into oil runoff area on the low side of the head. I made it home without incident, and that spring I road-tripped the car 2000 more miles to other events.

Then, the 2002tii was accepted into an exhibit in the BMW Car Club Foundation’s museum in Greer, South Carolina, that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the BMW 2002. In February 2018, I prepared to take the car to the museum.

I pulled the valve cover to adjust the valves and was horrified when I found the root cause of the oil leak. It turned out that the stripped hole for the valve cover stud was just the tip of the iceberg. The cylindrical boss that the stud threaded into was cracked. Tightening down the nut on the stud only caused the crack to yawn open wider. The oil that I thought was weeping through the exhaust stud’s threads was likely seeping through the crack.

It was not a good situation. I hated the idea of having to spend the money to ship the car there and back. I considered telling the museum that it was unavailable due to mechanical issues.

Further, I saw that someone had previously tried to seal the crack from the inside with blue RTV. This reinforced something I’ve long thought—that when you find a long-dormant car that supposedly “ran when parked,” there’s usually a reason why it was parked, and often that reason is that the owner was faced with an expensive repair. So when you buy a long-dead car, you still need to go through the necessary steps in sorting out something that’s been dormant for years (back-to-front fuel system cleanout, oil change, engine rotation, bleeding the brakes, etc.), but often you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop in terms of the real reason the thing was off the road. In this case, considering the blue RTV on the crack, the forensics seemed pretty clear.

But then I thought, well, I’ve driven this car 3000 miles this way since its resurrection, and the oil leak hasn’t gotten any worse. Maybe the crack is, you know, stable.

As they say, denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.

So in February 2018, I sealed up the valve cover tightly by using Permatex “The Right Stuff” (the idea being that this heavy-duty sealant would keep oil from leaking out the valve cover gasket without needing to tighten down on the nut on the stud into the cracked boss and force the crack open). I successfully drove the car the 1000 miles to South Carolina.

The BMW stayed in the museum for nearly a year. As the exhibit was closing in January 2019, I went down to pick it up. I was prepared to drive it home when my wife called me and told me that a blizzard had moved into Boston, and said that in addition to the concerns of driving a valuable rust-prone vintage car with no snow tires through snow and salt, I wouldn’t even be able to get the car into the garage because there was two feet of snow in the driveway and the garage door was literally frozen shut. A friend of mine, who had several cars in the exhibit, overheard all this and said, “I have a trailer coming down for my cars. There’s room in it for one more. Do you want me to just truck your car up to my shop in Cincinnati? You can pick it up in the spring.” I jumped at the offer.

So the car sat in Cincinnati. Spring turned to summer. Things in my personal life took precedence. Before I knew it, it was October. I got a call from someone who works for my friend asking gently when I was going to pick up the car, and oh, by the way, it’s leaking a fair amount of oil.

Damn.

I arranged to pick up the car as part of a road trip that had me dropping off another car. I brought general road trip tools, plus an upper engine gasket set and a variety of sealants. But if the car was gushing oil or wasn’t safe to drive, I didn’t really leave myself a convenient way out.

When I got to my friend’s shop, I learned that the car had been moved into a warehouse a short distance away. We fired it up, drove it over to the shop, gave it a quick check, cleaned old oil off the front and back of the head, then I took it for a drive of several miles.

When I got back and opened the hood, oil smoke was clearly rising from the back of the head. We put the car up on the lift and could see oil dripping directly onto the downpipe, but I couldn’t see the source. I wiped the lower corner of the valve cover off with a paper towel, but it came up dry, indicating that it wasn’t leaking out the valve cover gasket near the cracked boss.

A guy at the shop used an inspection camera with a flexible wand to look at the lower corner of the head and caught it in the act: A non-trivial amount of oil was coming out of what was clearly the portion of the crack that had perforated through to the outside of the head.

Double damn.

I pulled off the valve cover, which wasn’t easy, as “The Right Stuff” sealant had a death grip on the gasket. I inspected the crack from the inside. It didn’t look any worse than I’d remembered. But that didn’t matter. The inspection camera was definitive. With oil actively dripping onto the exhaust downpipe, the car wasn’t safe to drive. What a lousy and expensive way for the trip to end. I began checking on my phone for one-way flights and looking up the contact information for a shipper I’d used recently.

Then, I backed off. I had a friend nearby who I could stay with overnight. I gave myself the day to come up with a solution. I was hoping The Automotive Powers That Be would drop a fully-assembled cylinder head in my lap, but I also wondered if I could simply divert the oil flow.

I was looking at the leak and the exhaust configuration, wondering if I could buy a disposable aluminum roasting pan and cut and bend it into a shield that kept oil off the exhaust, when two senior guys who worked in the shop came over. I explained the options I was considering, then said offhandedly, “I have some J-B Weld with me.” I didn’t really have any energy behind it; it was just FYI. I fully expected them to say, “I HATE when people say ‘Just J-B Weld it.’ They don’t know what they’re talking about. You can’t bloody J-B Weld a cracked cylinder head.”

However, to my surprise, one of them said, “That could work if you get the area dry and clean enough. I’d advise flushing both sides of the crack—inside and outside—with brake cleaner, then heating it with a torch to draw out and burn off any residual oil. The torch will also burn out that old RTV that’s in there.”

The other fellow added, “My advice would be to not just pack the J-B Weld into the crack, but to slather the entire surrounding area with it, both inside and out. And once you’re done, pack a bunch of this pipe dope into that threaded hole in the boss where you shot in the helicoil. It may help to seal the crack from the inside. And the repair doesn’t have to completely stop the oil leak; it just has to make it not drip onto the exhaust.”

Well, OK then. Suddenly I had a plan. I’d brought brake cleaner and J-B KwikWeld with me. The guys at the shop loaned me a torch. I cleaned and heated the area, then did it again for good measure. I mixed up the J-B KwikWeld and laid it on both inside and out. The inside was fairly straightforward, as I could see what I was doing and applied it with a flat piece of a wooden paint stirrer, but on the outside of the head, I had to do it blind, as there was no way to get a direct sight line on the area with the crack. I just took a big glop, put it on the fingers of my Nitrile gloves, and worked it into the general region to the right and above #4 spark plug hole where I knew the crack was.

As the J-B was drying, I packed the pipe dope into the stud hole, screwed in the stud, and wiped off the excess. I then applied a fresh bead of Permatex “The Right Stuff” to the top and bottom of a fresh valve cover gasket and tightened the nuts on all the studs except the one screwed into the cracked boss; that one I just put on finger tight. The idea was that “The Right Stuff” would seal that corner even without pressure from the stud. At least, that was what I hoped.

The J-B KwikWeld label says it sets in six minutes, fully cures in 4–6 hours, and is good to 300°F. I sped curing with a heat gun. Less than three hours later, it felt rock-hard to me. I ran the car in the shop, then took it for a test drive and saw absolutely no leakage.

I made it 230 miles to Harmony, Pennsylvania, by nightfall, and I pounded out the remaining 620 miles to Boston the following day without incident.

Even though it’s still not leaking, I don’t really consider this a permanent or semi-permanent repair. However, I am continuing to drive the car, maximizing its use until the snow moves into New England. At that time, I’ll pull the head and probably try to find a replacement.

So, yeah, I totally J-B Welded a cracked cylinder head. Women love me, men now want to be me. But before you give me the badge of honor, let’s be clear: This was not a crack through the combustion chamber, a water passage, or anything else under pressure. It was at the very top of the head, not the bottom. The purpose of the repair was simply to stop oil from seeping out onto the exhaust, not to hold compression.

Still pretty cool, right?

So, the next time someone shows me a photo of a piston that took a rapid exit through the side of the block, I’m going to be that guy who says, “Just J-B Weld it.”

And, regarding my BMW 2002tii, if the J-B Weld patch fails and I can’t find a replacement cylinder head, I can always, you know, just LS1 it.

1955 Mercury
1955 Mercury

Top 10 Vehicles Millennials Call Hagerty Insurance For Quotes

Below is a listing of the vehicles millennials (born 1981 to 1996) called Hagerty Insurance most often for quotes and they are in order.

  • 1. 1973 - 1987 Chevy C/K (trucks)
  • 2. 1965 - 1966 Mustang
  • 3. 1967 - 1972 Chevy C/K
  • 4. 1987 - 1993 Mustang
  • 5. 1994 - 2004 Mustang
  • 6. 1968 - 1972 Chevelle
  • 7. 1973 - 1979 Ford F-series (trucks)
  • 8. 1968 -1979 VW Beetle
  • 9. 1974 - 1982 Corvette
  • 10. 1967 - 1969 Camaro

1957 Chevy
1957 Chevy

Support the RPM Act

Sign at this link: www.votervoice.net/SEMA/campaigns/45394/respond

The RPM Act is common-sense, bi-partisan legislation to protect law-abiding citizens who convert cars, trucks and motorcycles into racing vehicles. The bill clarifies that it is legal to make emissions-related changes to a street vehicle for the purpose of converting it into a racecar used exclusively in competition. It also confirms that it is legal to produce, market and install racing equipment.

UPDATE TO THE RPM ACT - click link below
www.sema.org/epa-news

Teen Has Sports Car Funeral

Alec Ingram, a 14-year-old from Washington, Missouri, died on November 7 after battling cancer for over four years. Alec was diagnosed in 2015 with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

More than 2,100 sports cars and 70 motorcycles gathered in the Six Flags St. Louis parking lot on Sunday before starting their journey towards Washington to fulfill the sports car lover's last wish.

"Our sweet boy lived more life in his 14 years then a lot of us could ever imagine," Alec's mom, Jenny Ingram, posted on their official Facebook page. "We are beyond blessed to have been chosen to be Alec's parents even for a short time. It gives me so much peace knowing how loved our sweet boy was and will always be."

The event, "Sports Cars for Alec," was arranged by Sydney's Soldiers Always, an organization led by Dana Christian Manley who lost her daughter Sydney to cancer at age 8.

"When Sydney passed, she had a motorcycle escort like this one but with 3,500 motorcycles," Manley stated. "When Alec saw Sydney's escort, he said, 'That's really cool, but it would be even better with sports cars,' and that's why we organized it."

Manley recruited thousands of sports and exotic cars to escort Alec to his funeral service at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Washington. Many of the drivers traveled to Missouri from states across the country — including California, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, and New York — to drive in Alec's funeral procession.

Thousands of people with signs lined the procession route to support of Alec's family. So many people and cars showed up that most of the city was shut down for more than two hours.

"I spoke with Jen (Alec's mother) at the dinner after the funeral, and she said, 'I couldn't keep it together trying to read those signs, it was so overwhelmingly good for me to see how much my boy was loved,'" Manley said.

1950 Jeepster
1950 Jeepster

51 Stude
1951 Studebaker with UFO on trailer - heading for Roswell

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