Latest Build, 2001 Toyota Camry Solara. A sporty version of the Camry. 3.0 V6 which is known for dependability. Toyota uses this strong little engine in many differrnt models, including the Sienna vans, pickups and also some Lexus.
When I found this the engine was seized up. 201k miles. Never involved in an accident, not abuse. I found a 2001 Sienna van with 141k miles that had been wrecked. I pulled the engine and while it was out I replaced the timing belt, water pump, belt tensioner, idler pulley. The condition of the radiator was in question so I replaced it with new. I also replaced the passenger side CV drive axle, power steering pump, sway bar links, spark plugs, front brakes, power steering pump and new tires.
I started on cars as a kid. It's what my dad did at times, then my neighborhood friends. I was about 14 when I started putting my first ones together. And it never stopped.
I had good times with this one. 1981 Toyota pickup. 4.1 Buick V6, Edelbrock 4bbl, Torquer intake, turbo 350 automatic trans, Advance adapter converted to Toyota transfer case. Locker axles. Smittybuilt bumpers... This one was mine, had a lot of fun with this. Not often a person finds a rust and dent free Toyota truck. This truck took me many places, even found myself living in it for a couple of weeks.
Took it to Oklahoma once to visit some extended family, he[p a lady moving back, had to pull a U-haul trailer through red mud. That was before I painted it and put the sunroof in.
I think I had more fun with this truck then any other I've ever owned. I mean it would go anywhere - except places with low ceilings - And the first show I ever entered won me an unexpected 3rd place trophy! "Thumper" was her name. A good customer /friend with a C&C machine made me a name tag. And because she was older than 25, she was eligible for collectors tags. And running over cars was FI had to give her up awhile back because of a fall in which I broke 107 bones in 2014. But I feel she found her place. Someone who lived off grid bought it for girlfriend who's nickname happened to be Thumper.
Check out this excellent vid on engine management made easy ScannerDanner
1988 Dodge Shelby CSX-T
When I bought it, it had been through 4 storage yards and 4 owners, no one ever doing anything. I have replaced everything to stock application except stereo. The engine is matching # at about 77k miles. I replaced the t-belt, water pump, seals, clutch kit, all ignition parts, starter, cv axles, steering rack and pinion, struts, brakes - including the parking brake shoes and cables! (still have the original shoes with the Shelby stamp if you want to reline them). New catalytic converter, and not to forget the heater core. The a/c and hoses were missing but I just picked those up off another Shadow today. The interior trim had been painted some weird blue color but I have replaced it with stock colored pieces. List does include all the little belts, hoses, etc I've replaced.
The body is rust and dent free. I believe it was repainted once because this isn't pealing anywhere as I've seen with most. It has a sunroof that must have been added early in life because the stamp date in glass is 1987. It is missing some paint on the bumper cover, could be easily fixed.
It has the "altered by Shelby" stickers on the door but is missing the dash plaque. #936 I think. Also missing the Shelby valve cover. I have the factory wheels, too, but still unable to locate the infamous center caps. Not to forget the steering was aligned after rack installed. New Pioneer stereo w/remote and 4 Rampage speaker, also new antenna. This car flies like the wind.
I had to sell this, another good home. The guy that bought it said that he had bought a CSX-T in 1989 when they first went up to auction. He said that he drove it home and his sister totalled it the next day.
He said that he had been saving a spot in his garage all these years for one and now he could finally forgive his sister. What a story, huh?
This is the original advertisement for the CSX-T from Thrifty Rental in '88. How cool is that?
Those 2 are the only real one's I've built for myself, but now I don't really have any builders for myself. I mean I have a beat up little '99 S10 4x4 that gets me around. The running gear is tough as nails. 200 plus miles on the body but 37k on the factory replacement 4.3 vortec V6. The transmission has almost 2500 on it. The previous owner had just put brand new tires on it before the transmission failed. Also the ball joints, shocks, and a few other things had recently been replaced. I paid $1k for it needing a transmission.
I traded 3 Chevy transmission cores I'd collected to a transmission builder for a completely rebuilt 4L60E for this. My friend Brien helped me remove and install it. The bed was pretty banged up. Then Gary at Chevy Truck Parts heard via my good friend Lee McBride that I'd been admiring a pickup like mine that they were dismantling for parts. Gary told me I could have it for $50, there regular price was $500. I jumped on it. Another friend named Brian "the Welder" was hanging out here. I took this rack I taken off a'96 Chevy 3/4 ton truck I'd parted, cut it down to fit my little S10, and did an awesome job with my 110 wire feed welder to do it. Then 2 Rustoleum blue paint from Ace to cover gold.....
Like Gary this old Vietnam vet . He had this old Mg Midget Replica Made by This Schweppes bottling company, For their 70th anniversary . It was made in 1985 And had a Chevy Corvair drive chain.He brought it to me pretty much wore out. He had me go through it and fix all these little things on it , go through it and put new belt Hoses , Fix body parts, grill , Even setting it up for paint, body work and getting on top put on it. He went on a road trip . I get a call from him month later And He's in a VA hospital In Washington state . I think it was somewhere around Longview. He had driven too long And passed out at a gas station On interstate 84 Near The Dalles, Oregon . I guess he went into a diabetic shock from driving too long . He woke up in hospital missing his left leg .
The first thing he asked me after telling me his story if I could convert his Schweppes from manual transmission to automatic. He had it shipped to me on a flat bed semi . I was able to find a Chevy Chevette with an automatic transmission . $350 . I had to work on that car for a long time , I had to cut parts off it out because it was a fiberglass body mounted with carriage bolts that had been on there since 1985 . It was a big job But I accomplished it . He was able to drive his little car again with one leg .
___________________________________________________________________1956 Jaguar Mk V Bringing a 60 year old car back to life that had been dead for 30+ years.
Friends, I'm blessed to be able to do what I do. I mean it's hard, dirty work with many bloody knuckles and hard learned skills. Sure, I get paycheck but it takes a lot more than that to keep me motivated to keep doing what I do. A challenge.
The newer stuff I work on is more complicated with computers that control the fuel injection and ignition system... But something made by a craftsman half a world away, before I was born, then broken and abandoned 30 years ago in an old warehouse.
Worked for days figuring out the fuel system, rebuilding the 2 carbs. Found that the extra carb kits I had from 1 1956 MG I'd brought back to life 5 years ago were the same. And Jag had electric fuel pumps in '56! Replaced that, plugs, points, wires. The engine fired up and ran smooth. That when I found why it was parked 30 years ago. The clutch was fried. And the hydraulic clutch controls were dry-rotted.
After ordering a clutch from the Brits, I installed it. Oh. finding the 6 volt battery and always reminding myself with sparks flying - it had a positive ground system. And then the brake system rebuild.
Arthur was able to drive it home. Treva and I followed him about 5 miles away. That is what's in it for me, To see the smile on people faces. And you know what, I did this after the 107 broken bones fall!