Archives for 2017

Set Timing On A Vintage VW

I’ve been wanting to put a video together about setting the timing on a vintage VW for some time, but recently came across this video by Chris Vallone that pretty much sums it up. Two of the most important things to remember are the type of distributor you have and the type of pulley you have. The circuit tester like the one used in this video can be picked up at most auto parts stores, I purchased mine at Amazon.

New Decals, New Die Cast, New Project

New VW Die CastNew VW Die CastPicked up some new die cast while out about this past week. Really cool looking Hot Wheels VW truck, would love to use this in a future custom. Also picked up a Greenlight Classic VW Beetle. I think I may already have this, not sure, I’ll have to do some digging. But it was on sale and too hard to pass up.
HillBilly Hot Dogs DecalHillBilly Hot Dogs DecalHad lunch this past week at HillBilly Hot Dogs right outside of Huntington, WV. This place has been featured in numerous publications and TV shows, including Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. If you’re ever in the area, you must drop by and have the best hot dogs in the country! While there, I picked up a couple of decals for Mabel.
Building A New VW Garage DioramaBuilding A New VW Garage DioramaBuilding A New VW Garage DioramaBuilding A New VW Garage DioramaBuilding A New VW Garage DioramaBuilding A New VW Garage DioramaBuilding A New VW Garage DioramaBuilding A New VW Garage DioramaI’ve watched numerous videos on Youtube concerning dioramas. I’ve been wanting to make one for a very long time, just never got around to it. With winter approaching, I thought it may be a nice hobby to try, so I started getting my feet a little wet this weekend and began my first attempt at a VW Garage diorama. I’m making this 1:64 scale and I started with an extra VW I had in the collection. You can tell by the pics the general direction I’m going, I think this is a good start.

New Die Cast

Forrest Gump BeetleC-3PO VWA couple new die cast to add to the collection. Lenora picked up a Hot Wheels C-3PO (VW Bus) and Shauna got me a Forrest Gump Classic Beetle. Both are a great addition to the die cast collection. I couldn’t remember seeing this Beetle in Forrest Gump, so I had to cheat and look it up. Sure enough, there it is.

Just Some Pics

Our 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelOur 1968 VW Beetle MabelJust some pics of Mabel that I took today. Would love to have attended more local car shows this summer, but I just didn’t make it, mainly because I forgot about them. I think she’d do good in her category of all original, slightly modified. She’s a great conversation piece!

Clean Wheels The Cheap Way

Dollar General Wheel CleanerDirty WheelClean WheelColby bought another car to hold him over until he can afford a new car. It’s a nice car that needed a little TLC, but it’s a good driver and will serve the purpose for now. The previous owners obviously weren’t in to detailing their car that much, probably a simple drive through the automatic wash from time to time. Giving the car a good wash made a world of difference, but the wheels were baked with brake dust. Prices for wheel cleaners vary, ALOT! Some are as cheap as 7 dollars and some are as expensive as 21 dollars. I thought this would be a good opportunity to try a cheap method just to see if we really needed to spend a lot of money to clean the wheels. A quick trip to the Dollar Store (the yellow ones), $3.50 for the Dollar General brand of wheel cleaner and the test began. It states on the front that you just spray it on, then hose it off. But I knew right away that this wasn’t going to work. I couldn’t even scrape the brake dust off with my fingernail, this stuff was baked on! But for the sake of argument, I did what it said. I applied the cleaner to the wheel, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then hosed it off. Yeah, it took a bunch of the loose stuff off and the wheel did look better, but there was still plenty of baked brake dust left behind. So, I did it again. Soaked the wheel with the cleaner, let it sit for a couple of minutes, but before I hosed it off, I took a small wheel cleaning brush (in the pic) and scrubbed the wheel lightly. That’s when the brake dust melted away. Just needed minimal elbow grease. Repeated the process on the other wheels and now they look so much better. So, how does this compare with the 21 dollar wheel cleaner? I don’t know, I’d never spend 21 dollars for wheel cleaner. But it does prove that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get good results. The whole process of cleaning all of the wheels took about 15 minutes.

Mabel Oil Change (repost)

Ready For Oil ChangeDirty EngineOil UsedOil Change KitClean EngineToday was the day for Mabel to get her oil changed. There’s always a huge argument about which kind of oil to use in these old cars, but we won’t get into a debate about that, I’ll just let you know what I use and what works for me. I always start with getting the car as level as possible, running the engine long enough to get the old oil nice and warm so it’ll drain easily. I remove the oil drain plate (10mm) and let the oil drain into the oil catcher. I’ll let the oil drain for at least 30 minutes or so. This is also a good opportunity to tidy up the bottom of the engine, removing any oil and dirt from the cooling fins. I also like to give the oil drain plate a fresh coat of paint, just to make it look nice. Oil changing kits are readily available and pretty cheap. Most will come with new copper washers, gaskets and a oil strainer. If you’re re-using your oil strainer, just clean it good with a degreaser and make sure there isn’t any sludge in it. I usually use the strainer twice before replacing it with a new one. When you put your oil drain plate back on, make sure you use the correct washers and have the gaskets in the correct place. Do not over tighten the nuts that hold the plate in place. Just hand tighten them. My engine requires 2.65 quarts of oil, your engine probably requires the same amount. I use 2.15 quarts of Rotella T 15w-40 and .5 of the STP oil additive. I use the oil additive for its zinc content. Your air cooled engine will love this combination!

Hot Wheels Spectraflame Red Challenger (How To)

Spectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsSpectra Paint Hot WheelsThe original spectraflame color Hot Wheels are some of the most sought after for collectors. Spectraflame is the name used by Mattel for the metallic finishes sported by their original “Hot Wheels” cars in 1968 through 1972 and also on Super Treasure Hunts. The finish was not the standard paint used on normal cars, but rather a transparent lacquer applied over a polished zinc plated casting. This resulted in a surprisingly realistic metallic effect, similar to the appearance of real cars. Spectra paint is still available and can be a little costly and difficult to work with. I’ve come up with my own method for reproducing the spectraflame look cheaply and with surprisingly great results. For this demo, I’m using a Hot Wheels 2015 Dodge Challenger from the Muscle Mania series. To begin, you’ll need to drill out the rivets that connect the body to the chassis. Be careful not to drill to far into the post. Drill just enough to remove the head of the rivet. Once the head of the rivets are removed, the body should separate from the chassis with ease. Next you’ll want to separate all of the parts of the car, notice how they come a part so when it comes time to put them back together, things will be much easier. Some cars have many parts, some have just a few. Next, you’ll want to strip the paint from the body. I forgot to take a picture of this step, but I use spray on paint stripper. I spray the stripper on the car, let it sit for about 2 minutes, the use compressed air to blow the paint away from the car. Easy and no mess. To make the spectraflame paint really pop, you want the body of the car to be smooth and shiny. There are a few methods for doing this, some people use automotive polishing compound, some people use steel wool and some people use jewelers rouge. On a new car, the metal is probably not oxidized, so a less intrusive method is recommended (polishing compound or jewelers rouge). On older cars, if the metal is oxidized, steel wool or rubbing compound can be used to remove as much oxidation as possible, then gone over again with polishing compound or jewelers rouge. I use jewelers rouge and a dremel with a polishing head to buff the metal. Only takes a few minutes. If the body is in very rough condition, so much so that steel wool and rubbing compound doesn’t work well, you can give the body a base coat of chrome paint before applying the spectraflame. The key to applying spectraflame paint is to do it in light coats, allowing time to dry in between coats (about 15 minutes). For this particular project, I gave the body a total of 4 coats, but you can apply as many coats necessary to achieve the look you want. I also painted the interior a satin black as the bright orange interior just didn’t look right. Once everything is dry, you can take it a step further and apply a couple coats of clear gloss if you want. I believe that not applying a high gloss gives the finished product a look closer to the originals. Now you can put everything back together and display your custom Hot Wheels. I’ll do another “how to” in the near future about securing the body back to the chassis.