Monday, October 3, 2011

Why you shouldn't line your own gas tank

Now this looks like your ordinary truck fuel tank but its not this tank has a flaky secret.
  This fuel  tank  has been lined. You can see the liner there in my hand. In some areas its coming off and some places in the tank it is still well in place. A tank thats been lined if done correctly will last for years (I know I have had tanks that I lined over 20 years ago still in good shape) but if you use the wrong type of liner or don't prep it right this happens.
This is a shot inside of the tank the liner on the right is still adhered to the surface but on the left its falling off.
So now what to do? Well we run the fuel cell through a hot tank and pressure wash it, then what ever is left on the surface gets burned off with a very large torch. Then we prep and re-seal the tank.
The kits you buy over the counter that claim all you have to do is run 2 or 3 chemicals through your tank then seal it and it will last for ever are all wet as far as I'm concerned, every one that I've seen that someone did them selves and didn't have any experience didn't end up well. They would bring it to us and we would give them the sad and expensive news.

Questions? give us a call

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ford Model "A" Pickup Truck

This is one of our customers model A pickup truck pictured in front of our shop at our last hot rod show "motor head madness".
I really like the old cars and this one is very clean. Paint job is excellent all the wood looks great and the motor is in fine condition.
Notice the radiator its one of our three row MX style core replacements. These are the best cooling cores you can get right now. This cools so well that the owner had to put back his thermostat because he couldn't get any heat on a cool day!
He is in the local Model  A club and has sent several of his friends over to have the same radiator core put in there cars.

Need advice on cooling systems? Give us a call we are always happy to help.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

1975 International restoration

This 1975 International pick up truck has had a complete restoration. Our customer / friend Lance weldrob
Got this truck as a second owner. Its 1 of 200 and came from Santa Maria. Its to bad that the picture dosent do it justice.
Yep it was a frame off and does it shine! We helped out with a up graded cooling package that consisted of our MX 3 row over kill radiator core! The power plant has 600 miles on a complete rebuild. We also made shims for the motor mounts as the ones that Lance got were off a tad.
Here is one of the fuel tanks that we refurbished (has two from the factory)  and they are hard to get. I cant begine to tell you how beautiful this truck looks.

                                     Show room new!
A picture of our radiator and the shroud we had to tweak to make fit. Also This is a 4X4 with factory lockers, 4 speed, 345 rear end all the toys you could get then from the factory.
Need help or have questions? Call us we like to help.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Beware of BAD ADVICE !!

Tonight I was surfing the internet looking at other automotive repair blogs.  I'm interested in being a contributing blogger.  I came across a guy on Squidoo via a Google search that writes a "how to fix your car/ask questions blog'" 

I found an article he had written on A/C repair.  I was trying to keep an open mind but by the second paragraph I could tell he had very little experience in the automotive A/C repair field.  He had nice pictures of various A/C parts and an explanation of what they did, but some of his theory was faulty and sounded like he copied straight from a book.  He points out an ad for A/C sealant saying you should only use this when necessary....REALLY A/C sealant??  No A/C repair tech worth his salt tells a customer to use SEALANT in their refrigeration system!  First of all, it doesn't work, secondly, it plugs up the very thing in the system that causes it to cool (namely the orifice). 

Being in the industry for over 33 years and specializing in cooling systems, I find this scary and unacceptable. There were a lot of positive responses on his blog too from lay people who don't know any better. So this guy in his blue and white striped shirt is feeding my potential customers BAD ADVICE!  This is right up there with the creeps who sell people belts and hoses that they don't need.  As they say in the computer biz "garbage in-garbage out." 

Please don't try and help if you don't know what you're talking about.  Just because a guy has a website and gives out free information, doesn't mean he has the experience to back it up.  I get customers in my shop that come in after researching on the internet.  By the time they get to me they believe they know it all and aren't open to my advice  They end up walking away angry if I disagree with them.

Need advice?  We can give you experienced help.

Offenhauser 1950's racer Custom Radiator

This is a 1950'S Offenhauser Indy racer radiator that came from one of our customers. This is an original radiator with a V-Cell construction that is not manufactured any more. Also this construction's not the best for heat transfer. Notice the dip in the top of the radiator?This was from a accident that happened during a race we will not be reconstructing the dip.
Our customer wants a better cooling package so we are building them an aluminum radiator. Here the aluminum core is setting next to the original radiator for comparison.
This core is used in oil cooler applications and we have adopted it in many of our automotive and heavy truck radiators. The tube wall is much thicker than in the standard radiator version, and the header plate is about 1/8 inch thick which makes for a much stronger radiator over all.
The layout for the inlet tank (the one with the two hose connections) had some unique bends in it and was a challenge to create.

As always we welded these tanks inside and out.
Here is one shot of the finished radiator.

The heat transfer that this radiator will be able to produce verses the original V-Cell will be huge. I would venture to guess that our customer will see a 100-200% increase in cooling performance helping the newly rebuild and restored racer back to it's former glory.
Need help with a cooling system? we do everything from automotive to race cars and big trucks.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Smith's heater core for a Maserati

So its time for pebble beach again and one of our very good customers is a regular there. One of his entries is a 1966 Maserati fully restored and ready to be sold. One of the parts that needed attention was the heater core. This core is a round cylinder style that is not manufactured any more at least not the original style tube configuration.
                   This is how the old one looked

                      This is whats available

So what to do? There is no fixing the original one as it looked like a lawn sprinkler when tested and the metal is so old and thin the more we work on it the worse it gets. In this model the heater core protrudes from the lower middle of the dash board between the driver and passenger so it very visible and needs to look original.
The first thing we did was to trim the new fins down to size.
Then we cut off the outer 1/4 inch layer of the original heater making sure not to damage it in the process then we soldered it to the new core from the inside.
Here is is finished. We didn't have to go all the way around the heater as it wasn't exposed.

Here is a double shot of the original and the donor core, as it turns out it fit perfectly and looked as it did the day it was made. Our customer is very happy and looking forward to pebble beach and a pocket full of money from the sale of this beautiful old classic.

Need help with a cooling system? Give us a call we are happy to help.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Engine cooling fans the straight scoop

Everyone who owns a Hot Rod wants to stay up with the "crowd". Shiny and bright are the norm and engine cooling fans haven't been left out. These days you see a lot of people using electric cooling fans on their rides, that's OK if there are no hidden cooling issues but having a heating problem and switching to an electric fan hoping to solve it is a real bad choice.
Why is an electric fan a bad choice? well most people don't know that a motor driven fan or a viscus driven fan will pull FOOT pounds of air verses a electric fan that pulls INCH pounds of air, the difference is Huge. I learned this the hard way designing a cooling package for a mining operation and installing the best electric fans I could get what happened? the fans failed to pull enough air through the radiator to cool the unit off. we switched to a viscus driven fan and no more heating issue.
 I see all over the web companies selling electric fans stating how much better performance you will get by switching to one and eliminating your motor driven fan and that's just not true I don't care how many cfm's they pull there is much more to it than that but you never see that mentioned on their sites. Also adding a second fan in front of your radiator can block air flow and hurt your cooling rather than help it.
 I have customers come in every week with overheating troubles and the first thing I ask them is " what kind of fan do you have?" Many times they think electric is better and have spent hundreds of dollars up grading to and electric fan just to be told they need to switch back, that makes me very unpopular. Don't get me wrong I have nothing against electric fans and on the right application there fine, but switching from a motor driven fan to electric trying to solve an overheating issue is adding fuel to the fire.
 Also the nylon mounting rods that they sell to attach  most electric fans to the radiator will  cause leaks in the radiator after a time by rubbing holes in the tubes. We tell our customers to mount the fan to the radiator brackets with a metal brace of some kind to eliminate leaks from happening.
 Having an overheating issue with your vehicle? do yourself a favor and call someone who knows before you spend $500.00 on a custom fan setup that might make it worse! We in the industry are here to help.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

1974 Pinto Station Wagon!

I was born in the 1960's so I saw a lot of these Ford Pintos growing up.  Ford produced this model as it's answer to the Chevy Vega, and the AMC Gremlin  from 1970-1980,  see Wikipedia for more info:
Yeah this car is a real beauty. It's owner is becoming one of our regular customers. We have custom build his cooling package for a 1970's International 4wD pickup that he is doing a frame off restoration. We will post on that one when it's done.
For this Pinto we recored his radiator and increased its capacity to a 3 Row from a 2 Row giving it 33% more cooling efficiency. This Pinto has the Ford 4cyl. 1.6 liter motor which didn't overheat from the factory. Giving this car a 3 row radiator he will be able to tow and have A/C with out having any cooling issues.
This is a classic yellow on brown interior, high back bucket seats and the classic pinto emblems on the inside and out. The paint job is a repaint but the body is in such good shape and the color match is done so well it's hard to spot.
I remember seeing these cars rolling down the city streets as a boy and wanting one. My friends and I as we grew older would fantasize putting a V-8 Chevy motor in a Pinto and making a hot rod out of it, I think most backyard hotrodders thought that way.
Thanks to Lance for bringing in this rare blast from the past to our shop for service!
Questions? always happy to help
Our cars show is next week at Biggs Harleydavidson please come if you can

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Intake woes

This is a picture of an missing intake manifold on a 3.8 Chevy 6cylinder. The intake we removed because it was seeping from the corners where it meets the head. (the head is what is pictured) See that stuff coming out of that water passage? That passage was completely blocked shut with antifreeze and corrosion.
Here is another shot of the plugged passage. This passage carries water between the heads and circulates it through  the motor. The customer also complained of intermittent overheating. This could be the cause.
It was like this on both sides of the motor. The cause of this condition is most likely lack of maintenance. Regular cooling system flushing and fluid changes would have probably kept this from happening.
Here is a picture of the port cleaned out, after we put the intake back on and recheck the vehicle it ran and functioned fine. No sign of overheating and no more leaks. The moral of the story is preventive maintenance can keep you out of the shop and your car running better longer.
Questions? give us a call

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Backward thermostat, big trouble

Notice anything funny? Last week we had one of our regular customers come in with his Chevy van. The complaint was it was leaking coolant and overheating from time to time. We noticed that the intake manifold gasket was the culprit and had been leaking for a while so we pulled the intake off to see just what we were up agenst and as the job progressed Donovan found that the thermostat was in backward!
Yep that was the cause of the overheating all right. The customer fessed up to changing it himself. We put an all aluminum radiator in this particular vehicle last year and that's the only reason it didn't blow the motor up.
Heres a before and after. The photo on the left was how we found the stat and the one on the right is the correct position. Why does it matter you ask? Well facing up the spring that makes the gizmo work is not submerged in hot liquid, and without that no matter how hot the engine gets if its not in liquid it won't open.

The engine in this van has almost 200K on it, the intake gaskets were absolutely gone in the corners of the head where they attach and seal. We cleaned all serfaces, applied new gaskets and put in a new thermostat and our cusstomer was on thier way.
Need help? we love to answer questions.

Check out our new car show site. Come join us if you can!

Monday, April 18, 2011

New car show in town

Ever wanted to put on  your own car show? Well I did. So me and some friends got together (one of those friends happens to run a non profit charity) and we decided to start a new car show in town. This will raise money for the charity, help advertise for the sponsors, and be lots  of just plain  fun.
These pictures are from another car show that I'm part of "motorhead madness" in Poway California, which is a great show in and of itself.
So I thought it would be a snap to put on a car show but have had a rude awaking, its tough. The first people we hit was the sponsor's seems everyone is Leary on a new start-up whether its a business or a car show. But we did have some friends and colleges come through for us and now we have a little seed money to get started.
Next we started to ask car owners if they would like to participate, we made the offer as enticing as we could with prize  money going out in every judging category ( $100.00-$500.00) is the prize jackpot, plus we are having  several raffles and giveaways. There will be a live band, BBQ, entertainment ect. But so far the sign ups have been lean.
It will be happening in a month or so meaning we don't have much time left. So if your into cars and would like to come have fun with us please tell  your friends. This promises to be a great first show. Everyone is welcome. Bring your ride. Entry fee is only $35.00. Oh did I mention this show is bikes too? Yep Hotrods and Harleys that's the name and the theme of our new show. Check out our site!

Have any questions about automotive? Give us a call. http://www.intermountainradiator,com

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ten pounds of radiator in a five pound car!

Remember this Photo? " if it doesn't fit you must acquitt " The phrase that Jonnie Cochran quoted so many time in the news during that trial. Well we had a radiator that fit that description today.
This is a 2003 Mitsubishi Lancer 3.0 turbo charged car. The radiator my customer bought on line from the manufacturer ( I have never heard of this one ) and had us install it for him along with new hoses and a back flush of his cooling system. See how close the exhaust heat shield is to the radiator.

It is so close the customer called the manufacturer and complained. I really didn't think it was going to fit. The radiator was twice as big as the old one ( Thick that is) the original was a one row of 1&3/8 inch tubes and the new replacement is 2 rows and over 2 inches thick. Emilio can't even get his finger in between the exhaust and the radiator core. When the motor rocks back and forth, hits a bump, loses a motor mount or any other scenario you can think of this man is going to have trouble keeping his coolant where it belongs.
Bigger I want Bigger. I hear that all the time from customers that think if I have a big enough radiator all my heating troubles will magically  vanish, not so. I like a larger cooling system just like the next guy but this is seriously over kill, he has enough radiator to cool off a V8. No joke.

So next time you need a new radiator think twice before buying it on line. I have people come in to the shop that have bought a radiator from an on line source, didn't fit or leaked and had to send it back of course they were out shipping so now the deal they got just got complicated and expensive. If you buy local or from someone you know its much safer. Radiator = radiator shop   :-}   Happy Happy!
Need help? We love to answer questions give us a call.