1955 Chevy Convertible Barn Find

55 Chevy

A friend of mine recently showed me a picture from the inside of a local garage. Under the dust lives a 1955 Chevy Convertible that has not been outside in decades. I have so much need for this car that it makes me sick to my stomach. I’d love to buff it out, clearcoat the patina, install a modern fuel injected engine & brakes, and drive it as is. It would look magical parked next to my 64 Impala convertible. For now, this beauty will continue to rest, tucked away from the elements, waiting. Barn finds – They are still out there folks.

This is a Compound Turbo on a 4G63 4 Cylinder Engine

A friend of mine is building a fresh compound turbo setup for his race car. As you can see, it’s looking pretty serious.  His previous experiments have attained him 7 second quarter mile passes at 180+ miles per hour.  All of this from a factory-built 4 cylinder 4G63 turbo engine block, and a whole lot of boost.  Kevin Jewer is his name and he is well known in the DSM community for piloting his rear wheel drive Talon faster than nearly all DSM’ers have before him. I have no doubt that he has an excel spreadsheet that has already proven this turbo combination with hundreds of quarter mile passes.  That is what makes Kevin so damn consistently fast. He understands what the engine is really doing, and why.  He measures pressure, temperature, and timing of every moving part during every 1320 pass.  That data is then added to a spreadsheet and locked away, probably in a safe with chains around it, and an ill-tempered honey badger guarding it. With thousands of passes and endless amounts of data stored away, Kevin can accurately predict what future engine combinations will produce for airflow, temperatures, and of course horsepower.  This compound turbo 4G63 combination looks like it belongs on an engine with three times the displacement, and it is leaving many people, including myself, on the edge of our seats for the 2015 racing season.

For those of you that just want to see the damn car already – here it is, filmed by Chad from URaceIFilm.com

Amherst New Hampshire Car Show Swap Meet (Cruising to Amherst) Closed in 2015!

Stanley Steamer

Well it seems the rumors are true that the Amherst New Hampshire car show / swap meet that has been around for 54 years (and I have attended for over 20) is over for 2015. A man named Werner Carlson had been running the show for the last 30 years, and unfortunately he passed away several months ago at the too-young age of 78. Just recently, all of the regular vendors were notified that the car show & swap meet would be canceled for 2015, and they were unsure what would happen after that.

For all of the gearheads, car-guys, car-girls, and car-kids in the area, this was horrible news, and word is spreading fast through the car community. This monthly meet wasn’t just about buying & selling old metal, it was a reason for car-people to get together and tell lies to each other. Each month, I would undoubtedly see co-workers, old bosses, former classmates, and of course the “regulars” that I became friendly with. It was like Facebook, but in real life! Imagine that. We caught up on one another’s recent automotive upgrades, talked about the cars we haven’t “gotten to” yet, and forwarded the legends of barn finds that may or may not exist. Amherst is was everything that I wanted it to be.

I’m not sure if any other Amherst attendees will ever read this, but my question to you is this: How do we see each other again? Should all the Amherst vendors go down the street and set up shop at the Hollis Flea Market? Or should some of us “car-guys” try to convince Werner’s family to rent that land once per month? Maybe somebody, (or some business?) could just take it over in a nearby location? The “Amherst car show”, as my friends and I call it, is the biggest gathering of real-deal gearheads around (and I mean that), and I’d love to see it continue in some form. It absolutely has to. Where else will I buy my Hulk Hogan cake pans, model A wheels, incredible dollar-tarp wrenches, Arizona Impala fenders, and only-one-on-earth 33 Plymouth parts? Amherst New Hampshire Car Show & Swap Meet!

Got ideas?  Tell me.  I’m willing to help make it happen in some form.

The original Amherst car show / swap meet website: http://www.cruisingamherstnhauto.com/

This is how I rebuilt my 4 cylinder turbo 4G63 cylinder head.

Not too long ago I had a 4G63 cylinder head with valves that were leaking like crazy. I pulled the head from the block and found the most carbon build-up that I have ever come across. The solution – rebuild the head of course!

I began by removing the stock turbo 4G63 cams.
Camshaft removal

I then organized all of my lifters and rockers, because keeping the parts in the same spots is ideal.

Each valve spring is held in with two “keepers”. Over time, the keepers become stuck in the spring retainers. If you tap the spring retainers with a socket, it shocks the keepers, and breaks them away from the retainers. This makes your life much better.

4G63 heads require a special valve spring compressor tool. I didn’t take a picture of it for some reason, but the moral is – you need to remove the keepers from all of the valves.

Don’t forget nourishment. Your body needs it if you want to be at the top of your game.

For fun, look at the valves in cylinder #1

Now look at them opened

Look at the valves in cylinder #2

Now look at them opened

Look at the valves in cylinder #3

Now look at the opened

Look at the valves in cylinder #4

Now look at them opened

Pretty bad carbon build up, don’t you think?

This is what they look liked before I cleaned them with a wire wheel.

This is what the valves look like after the wire wheel (same valve!).

Once cleaned, each valve needs to be lapped into the seats with valve grinding compound.

New valve seals should always be installed, because they are cheap, and you are already this deep into the repair.

I like to test the valves to make sure they hold water. If they hold water they should hold air just fine too. If the water leaks out, then you have a damaged valve or need to lap the valves better. In my case, I had 2 valves that were damaged beyond repair. The other 14 were A-okay!

Almost ready to reinstall!

Lastly, everything needs to be torqued properly. Make sure you use a good torque wrench because this is one of the times it really matters.

And that is what it’s like to rebuild a 4G63 turbo cylinder head that is packed with nasty carbon build up. The whole project was pretty cheap (less than $50), and took a few hours. Next time, maybe I will clean off my work bench first so that I don’t look like a car-part hoarder.