Daily Archives: November 21, 2012


On a child dimples just make the kid just that much cuter. But on a car … not so much. This Toyota has dimple in the front bumper which you can see in the first picture if you look closely in the chrome bit over the left bar of the stand.

In the second picture Chris is taking off the grille because the same collision that dimpled the bumper also put a slight dent in the front of the right fender.

We’ll fix the dented place on the fender and put a new bumper on the truck, because unlike kids, cars and trucks look better without the dimples.


This afternoon we jumped into the wiring on the El Camino hot and heavy. We have a deadline we are trying to meet and the wiring isn’t doing itself.

In the first photo you can see me working with the wiring, in this case trying to determine what goes where.

In the second photo Chris (left) and I are puzzling over the cruise control. Though it was an option in 1969, this El Camino was not equipped with cruise. Not that it matters. Because of the engine swap to an LT1 with all it’s computer controls the old vacuum operated cruise control wouldn’t have worked anyway.

The third photo shows the fuse block for the engine mounted to the fender. This puts the block out in the open for easy access should the need arise.

The last photo shows the air conditioning with the power hooked up. This aftermarket system by Vintage Air has fully computerized controls so when the time comes it is simply plugging two sets of wires together to fully activate the system. That will be much easier than trying to get the old fashioned sliding levers with their physical connections all hooked up and properly adjusted.

Even though we only worked on the El Camino a half-day today we made good progress. We have the cruise installed along with the engine fuse block and part of the air conditioning.

I like going into the holiday on a positive note.

New name … same great service

Murphy Rod & Custom is no more. Say hello to Throwback Custom Cars.

Kelly Murphy and his son Josh have partnered up and expanded their operation under the name Throwback Custom Cars. Same great fabrication services, but a new name and a larger facility. And closer to my shop to boot, which is a plus.

Check out their new site by clicking on the link to the right.

Measuring for new shoes

Yesterday we continued the assembly process on the El Camino … and we measured it for some shoes.

The first two photos show us using a tool for measuring the clearance for the wheel and tire combination. What I thought was going to be a quick and simple job has turned into head scratcher.

The problem is the fender opening on this car is huge … so it requires a large wheel and tire to fill it up the way the owner wants. But … a tire that fills out the wheel well rubs on the anti-roll bar at full lock. What complicates the matter is the owner has a very clear picture of the look he wants and the wheel he has picked out offers few offset options to work with.

Offset, for those who don’t know, determines where the hub mounting surface is in relation to the width of the wheel. Positive offset means the wheel tucks more under the car with the mounting surface closer to the outside of the wheel, negative offset pushes the wheel farther out from under the car with the mounting surface closer to the back of the wheel. Zero offset means the mounting surface is right in the center of the wheel.

Anyway, we are going to take another look at the clearance problem today to make sure we didn’t overlook something yesterday, and see what options we have.

Also yesterday we got the tailgate assembled and ready to mount on the car. You can see that in the next two pictures, numbers 3 and 4.

We also got the left fender mounted up, as you can see in the last picture, picture number 5, because we needed it to measure for clearance for the wheels and tires.

We still a ways to go to finish, but if you crouch down a little and look at it from the left side, it looks pretty good.

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