Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hillcroft Final Post

Well, it's here! My summer is officially over. While I've been back to work since the first week of August, today is the first day for students in my district. That means if you are reading this @ 7 am, I'm already welcoming 6th, 7th and 8th graders back into the building. If you are reading this and it's past 7:30 am, we've already said the Pledge of Alliance and gotten the first day of school underway.
It's really hard to believe that another summer has come and gone. And while I like summer, I have to tell you that fall is my favorite time of year. By the end of August, I'm looking forward to cooler autumn days, Friday night high school football games, and area fall cruise ins and car shows. Some of the best fall shows in the area happen in Greenville, Eaton, Ft. Recovery, and Bradford, Ohio. And two of my all time favorite shows...the James Dean Festival in Fairmount, Indiana, and the Ducktail Run in Gas City, Indiana.

But enough about things ahead, let's get back to the final pictures from the 1st Annual Hillcroft Services Car Show. In my opinion, this little 1950 Ford Woodie was the "crown jewel" of the event.

I had an opportunity to get to know the owner of this car and the car history. What a story! Mr. Clayton bought this car in the early 80's from the car's original owner! The car had been purchased new in Muncie, Indiana, and was then taken to a Lake House in Michigan where it was only driven during the summer months. Needless to say, when it's current owner purchased it, it was in excellent shape, with no rust, minimal scratches and dings, and ONLY 36,000 miles on the odometer.

The car's current owner did a complete frame-off restoration on the car. Oh, by the way....the car still retains it's original wood, it only needed to be refinished. The car is absolutely beautiful! It currently can be seen a selective shows and cruise-ins and has just over 41,000 miles on the odometer now.

I am hopeful that this car will make it to our beach/tiki themed 2nd Annual Wheels for Williams show next May. I would like it to be a "feature car".

Hey! That's it from the Hillcroft Services Car Show. Tomorrow I will began posting a series of pictures from the 2010 Mooreland Fair Car Show.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hillcroft Post #3

This sweet little Chevrolet pickup truck is the one that threw some intense flames @ the 1st Annual Wheels for Williams show our club hosted back in May.
The owner didn't have the L-shaped exhaust extensions on the truck that he put on it in May to throw flames.
This little Vette had a beautiful paint job. 
More from Hillcroft tomorrow, including that incredibly restored 1950 Ford Woodie.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Hillcroft Post #2

My neighbor's 1941 Chevrolet two door sedan made the show.
The Nifty Fifty ended up taking home a Top 15 trophy, while the little Red Coupe took home "Best of Show"
I've seen this little customized Nash Metropolitan before. It has a late model Overhead Cam Honda engine under the hood. 

More from the Hillcroft Services Show tomorrow! See you then.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

1st Annual Hillcroft Services Car Show, Muncie, Indiana

Well, the sun was shining when I backed the Nifty Fifty out of the garage on the morning of August 14th to head to the first annual Hillcroft Services Car Show in Muncie, Indiana. However, the weather quickly changed on my 10 minute drive into Muncie, and by the time I had reached the bypass, the sky had darkened and the rain was pouring down. The rain only lasted about 10 to 20 minutes, and soon after I pulled into the show and parked, the rain ended. If you look closely at the truck lid of the Nifty Fifty in the picture above...you can see the rain still beaded on the car.

Once the rain stopped, most of the car's owners began drying off their cars....however, you know me...."drive it and leave it", I just walked around and enjoyed watching everyone else work way too hard. lol

The owner of this little red coupe worked WAY too hard on keeping his car dry. 2 or 3 times he would get it dried off before it began to sprinkle again. The car was definitely a "trophy queen" and one of the nicest cars at the show.
 The early morning rain probably kept many cars away from the show. I think their ended up being 30 to 35 cars in attendance. With the small number, it gave me a chance to talk to the owners of some of the vehicles as I snapped a few pictures. Regardless of whether or not a car is "my style", I like to hear the history of a car. Take for instance this 1979 Ford LTD. Now, it doesn't fit into the "norm" of what I try to feature in this website, but I struck up a conversation with the owner and found out he is the original owner of the car! He told me he graduated from Monroe Central High School in Farmland, Indiana in 1979 and then bought this car new. The car has been well maintained and looks as good as the day he brought it home.

Here is another owner (pictured here with his '31 Plymouth Coupe) that I had an opportunity to chat with about his car. The car originally belonged to his father, and he inherited it. His father built the car over 50 years ago. The current owner has made a few modifications, and told me it's his daily driver in nice weather.

Lots more from the 1st annual Hillcroft Services Show in the days ahead, including the nicest '50 Ford Woodie I've ever laid eyes on. Come back tomorrow!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Riley OCC Build: Final Post

This week, I've been posting from a friend's story of the building of his custom OCC motorized bicycle. Today we'll see the final steps, as well as the finished bike. Yesterday's post ended while Rob was explaining how he built the custom pipes and muffler...we will pick it up there today:

I used the extra piece of the muffler that I cut off to make a stack for the carb. There is a foam filter inside the stack.  it breathes so much better than the stock air filter and it definitely looks 10 times cooler.

Here's what the stock filter housing looks like. (there are 2 of them in this pic.)

Here's what my carb stack looks like.

Mounting the gas tank was pretty easy, but I wanted a hidden mount. There was nothing on the frame to secure the gas tank to it in any way, so when I soldered up all the holes in the bottom of the tank way back at the beginning, I soldered a steel strap to the underside of the tank. I used this strap to run a heavy duty steel band through it, and around the top frame tube, the tank is sitting on a thin layer of silicone rubber that I put on the top frame tube of the bike. The tank fits the frame tight, the mount is hidden and the steel band holds it in place just fine.

When I did the wiring and cables on the bike, I hid as much of the wiring as possible (about 80 % of it). I had to shorten the throttle and clutch cables by quite a bit because these engine kits and cables were meant to go on much larger framed mountain bikes.

I added a headlight and a tail light, both of which I bought used off e-bay for cheap. I replaced the 3 volt incandsent light bulb in the headlight with 3 L.E.D.s powered by 6 volts (4 AA batteries hidden inside the headlight housing.) I did the same with the tail light, but it only has 2 L.E.D's in it, also powered by 6 volts (four 1.5 volt watch size batteries) The batteries and on/off switch for the tail light are hidden under the seat, and the wiring runs under the rear fender.

I am still in the break in period for the engine and I have it running a bit rich on the air-fuel ratio, and the fuel-oil ratio (16:1) This bike should go 25-30 mph once the engine is broken in and I re-jet the carb for a leaner air-fuel ratio and go to a fuel-oil ratio of 32:1

Here is the finished bike.

And here it is with the headlight and tail light installed, and a wheelie bar that I made up for it just for fun. I made the wheelie bar out of an old 2 wheeled luggage cart that I bought at a garage sale about 15 years ago for 25 cents. I put the wheelie bar on just for laughs and I made it so that it can go on and off in about 10 seconds. It's not functional, and is just for looks. I'm hoping that it will make people look and scratch their heads with curiosity.

Just for the heck of it, here's a couple pictures of my other motorized bike that I built last year (2009). It's an old style schwinn stingray with a lowrider springer front end, and a sissy bar with shocks. I did alot of work and customizing parts on this one when I was building it, but not to the extent of what I had to do to the chopper.  The engine on this bike is an 80 c.c. 2 stroke like the chopper, but it has a slightly different style head, cylinder, carb, and there is no intake manifold tube on it, the carb is bolted right to the cylinder. I added an expansion chamber pipe with a custom made muffler (similar to the way I did the one on the chopper), and a high flow air cleaner. This bike will top out at 25-30 mph. I painted the frame and the gas tank and went with a metallic white bannana seat to match the gas tank. The gas tank on this bike is the style that you get with the engine kits, so if you look at it you can now see why I did not want to use this tank style tank on the chopper.

The paint on the frame is metallic purple with a couple coats of clear over it. The paint on the gas tank is metallic white with one coat of clear pearl, and 3 coats of plain clear.

And here are my 2 bikes together.

WOW! These things are VERY KOOL! If any Suede and Chrome reader was at the 1st Annual Wheels for Williams event last May, they got to see Rob's Lowrider Stingray up close and personal. I can only hope that the custom OCC bike makes it up next May for the 2nd annual W4W event. Hope you've enjoyed reading about Rob's custom build! Thanks again Rob for sharing it with Suede and Chrome!

Readers will want to come back tomorrow, as I will begin posting pictures from the 1st annual Hillcroft Services Car Show held August 14th in Muncie, Indiana.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Riley OCC Motorized Bicycle Build Post #3

Over the past couple of days, we've watched as Rob Riley has begun to transform a yard sale find OCC bicycle into a very kool custom motorized bike. Now let's see what he has for us today:

These engine kits come with a cheap looking, ugly thing that they call a "chain tensioner". All it is, is 2 pieces of steel, with a plastic wheel mounted to it with a nut and bolt. There is a bearing in the center of the plastic wheel, but the wheel itself is just cheap plastic. The whole assembly is ugly and cheap looking. You are supposed to bolt this thing around the lower bike frame tube and run the chain over the wheel. When I see these on motorized bikes I cringe because they are so ugly, and so cheaply made. about 85% of the people who build these bikes, use this tensioner wheel...I threw mine in the garbage.

Here's what it looks like.

There was no way that I was using that tensioner wheel on my bike because it looks like a turd, and they do not work well at all. I made my own "chain tensioner." it's more of a chain guide than a tensioner. The sprockets with these kits tend to not be machined 100% precise and a lot of times the sprocket centering hole will be off center, causing the chain to go "loose, tight, loose" as the wheel spins. My chain guide allows the chain to slide across it's surface adding downward pressure when the chain gets to it's loose stage in it's rotation and letting the chain just skim it when it's in it's tight stage during rotation. It just keeps tension on the chain when it goes loose during the rotation and it does exactly what it's supposed to do. I made it out of very hard delrin /nylon, and I cut a wedge shape on the bottom face of it to match the angle of the chain. It's hidden on the inner top frame rail and is screwed to the frame through a small hole that I drilled.

Here's what it looks like...much better than the one that comes with the kit. It looks a lot better, is stronger and does a better job than that plastic wheel thing will do.

Now that I figured all of that out, on to the exhaust.

The engine kits come with a short pipe that bolts to the cylinder with a 90 degree bend, and then right into a "muffler". The muffler ends up hanging straight down  at the ground and they look cheesy. the mufflers have an internal baffle that literally chokes the flow of exhaust in an attempt to make the exhaust as quiet as possible. Any gear head knows that a free flowing exhaust makes more power.

Here's what a  stock pipe and muffler looks like.

The stock pipe and muffler will not fit an o.c.c. frame and the muffler ends up hitting the cranks. Besides that, I do not like the way the pipe and muffler look. they do not flow freely enough,  and almost every motorized bike that you see has this same pipe and muffler on it. I am going for a more custom look here, so I made my own exhaust by cutting up 3 pipes and mufflers.

I bought this long pipe off e-bay for $30.00, but I needed it to make the pipe that I wanted to make. I used the short pipe and muffler that came with my engine kit, this long pipe, and a few pieces from a pipe and muffler I had from another bike.

Here's what the long pipe and muffler looks like, unmodified.

This long pipe is ok, but the end of the pipe with the flange on it that mounts to the engine is too short and the pipe would hit the cranks before I was able to even get it bolted to the engine.  I cut the flange end of the pipe off and added about a 4 inch section with a flange on it, and welded it back together. Here's the pipes all cut up while I was trying to figure out how much I needed to add to the long pipe.

After getting the pipes cut and welded back together to make the pipe clear the cranks and the frame, I needed to do something about where the 2 pieces of pipe were welded together. I decided to add 3 chrome steel rings around the weld to give the pipe a rippled look like old style lake pipes.
I just tack welded the rings to the back side of the pipe and I think it gives the pipe a custom look and the rings look better than just a bare weld on the pipe.

For the muffler, I modified the stock muffler by pulling the baffle and end cap out and drilling 2 small holes in the baffle plate for better flow. Then I cut the end of the muffler housing at a 45 degree angle and pushed the baffle and end cap back up into the muffler housing to hide it. The baffle and end cap are secured to the muffler housing with 3 pop rivets hidden on the top, bottom and side of the muffler housing under the muffler support bracket. Then I painted the inside of the pipe gloss black to further hide the baffle that's up inside it. At first glance, it looks like a big open straight pipe.

Man Rob...this thing is looking sweet! Can't wait to see the rest of the build in the days to come! Come back tomorrow for more from the Riley OCC build.