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April 29, 2015

Just Arrived: 1963 Mercury Comet Caliente Convertible project!

2015/16 will be the year of simu-restorations at the E-tek Shop! Along with my own 1917 Ford Rod, will be the 1956 International Harvester (IH) 4x4 and todays arrival, a 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente Convertible!

Check these stock photo's of what a Comet Caliente could look like restored. The car arrived at the E-tek compound this week - and I took LOTS of pics (really1), but I've misplaced my camera card, so 'real' photo's are "coming soon"!

E-tek's List of 'stellar' Companies

Once in a while I find a company that is everything I think a company should be.Based on great products, backed up by impeccable service and built by decent, well-trained and carefully vetted suppliers. Often times, you'll find either owners or Directors that go to work each day and care about their product, but just as importantly, care about the end-user and their ultimate experience.

I'm sure everyone can come up with a list of suppliers that they have dealt with that are stellar. A couple of companies that come immediately to my own mind include BendPak and Bob Drake Reproductions. I owe these companies nothing, but give them my loyalty, due to being  stellar companies. Every couple of months I'm going to devote a post to them because it's worth sharing.




April 19, 2015


This weekend was delivery day for the newest project in the E-tek Restoration shop. This one will appeal to a different audience in some respects because, even though it's still "general restoration", it's also a rare truck - and a 4 wheel drive truck - to boot.

When people think about "Restorable 4x4 truck", what's the first things that comes to mind? For me it's gotta be a Dodge Powerwagon.  But what's even MORE COOL and MORE RARE than a Dodge Powerwagon? 

 - of course!

The IH, as the brand is best know, was deleivered to the E-tek compoound in great style. On a massive flatdeck rig, the truck, and a spare box where delivered.

 But even with the Skid-steer, moving a heavy 4x4 rig - with 4 flats - along with an extra box - was not the easiest move I've ever made!


Unfortunately, EVERY piece of glass had been broken - and  much of the shattered material had landed inside the cab  - which had to be cleaned up as job one. Lucky for me, I actually talked my son Colt into helping - if only briefly!

As any restorer knows, sometimes the initial cleanup can be one of the funnest parts of a build, sometimes becoming somewhat of an archealogical expedition:

A good omen? In removing the seat, I was almost certain every bolt would snap off in it's body mount - bit instead, EVERY bolt came out cleanly - with only a little WD40 to help them along.

Delivery "Crew" and owners: The Sinclairs

Now that the Camaro is  nearly done - little details really stand out and one thing that looks out of  place now is the rake - or how high the ass-end is sitting:

 There are a couple ways to remedy this on a leaf-sprung car: including changing out (or de-arcing) the spirngs, or by adding blocks between the leafs and the axle, effectively lowering the body, by raising the axle -

The kit's long U-bolts where about 1/64" larger than the originals, necessitating my having to drill out the brackets and plates to allow the new U-bolts to pass through -

Aluminum blocks from the kit are placed between the axle and leafs and the new U-bolts hold it all together - 

Unfortunately, I found that when I attached the lower plate, which locates the lower shock mount - the shock now interfered with the wheel rim. Some online reaearch showed that you also need to change out the lower plates, for ones that re-locate the lower shock mount inward. 
Deteroit Speed makes a set.

So, everything was put back to the way it was and the DSE lower plates were ordered up. 

April 5, 2015

Porsche Boxster update - show and go!

And now for a little something different....

 I wanted to show my mistress, a 2001 Porsche Boxter -S, a little extra love this season, so in additon to new O2 sensors and an oil change, I bought some decals and strip-lights to add a little show to the go -

First, I sprayed down the O2 sensors with penetrating oil to make removal easier -

Then, while waiting for the penetrating spray to do its job, I undid the sump oil bolt

After releasing the now black (?!) oil, I changed out the filter                               

While still on the underside, I uethe O2 sensors and swapped them out using this great set of tube-pliers to press the tab and bull out the plug-end

 Gettingto the "show" part of the work, I taped the side decals on, peeled the backing paper off, then squeegeed them down.

                                 I cut the ends a bit away from the edges to finish them out:

I love my toys!