Wednesday, December 21, 2011

UPDATE: Drip Source Found??

OK, I think I may have finally found out what is dripping and causing all the steam/smoke under the hood.  After changing the valve cover gaskets on the 360, the problem was not solved.  I recently wiped the suspect areas down to they were mostly dry, then stood over the engine while it was running, waiting for things to warm up and the steam to start.  Sure enough, a drip appeared on the pressurized power steering hose, right where the rubber hose itself meets the metal fitting.  I am thinking that since it looks like a pretty old hose, perhaps the power steering fluid is seeping out of the fitting, or from the hose itself.  The tank was a bit low on fluid.  BUT, the drip I saw didn't match the color of the fluid I added.  That worries me...

Sooooo, I ordered a low pressure hose, a high pressure hose, and a spare metal fitting for the steering box.  It all cost about $45 from Rock Auto (with shipping from three different warehouses).  Not sure if we will get the parts put on before the snow flies.

Stay tuned for updates on this topic.  Though it may take a while!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Photos of Brand New 1974 Maxi Blue Javelin!

These photos were sent to me by "Kemosabe" Garry.  They are of his brand new Maxi Blue 1974 Javelin 304.  Note the car doesn't even have a license plate yet!  I find these photos facinating, as my car should look pretty much just like it! 

Thank you Garry for sharing!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

UPDATE: Drip...

The other day I decided to go ahead and try installing a new set of cork valve cover gaskets to the 360.  The passenger side one was simple, the driver side not so simple.  But I managed to get both installed without having to remove any major parts.

I did, though, accidently break an ignition wire.  While pulling the connector off the sparkplug, the connector itself stayed on the plug... I managed to sort of crimp things back together, and when I started the car I was very happy that my leaky valve covers were all fixed.

Until the smoke started up again.

Yes, it turns out my mystery smoke was NOT coming from oil seeping out of the valve covers.  Or at least it seems not to be the cause.  I tried sticking my head under the car to see just what it is that is leaking.  My theory is it is a head gasket, but Todd says it could be the actual exhaust manifold bolts.  I guess many cars actually get their bolts sealed up before installation.  He says we should try to take out the bolts in the smokey section, use some sealant, and see what happens. 

I think he feels this may work because I observed some very tiny bubbles sneaking out next to one particular manifold bolt. 

Not sure when we will get the chance to work in the issue before cold weather (we have already had one snow storm in MA so far!).  I sure hope it isn't anything huge...

New cork gasket compared to old one...

Seeing the light of day...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

UPDATE: Hello Mr. Gasket...

Took Maxi for a ride today, and whenever the car was stopped, whisps of smoke floated out from under the hood.  It appears the valve cover gaskets have finally given out.  Oil is seeping out and onto hot surfaces.  I just placed an order for a set of gaskets.  I have to examine my installation technique, as I have never had to take a valve cover off of an engine that was actually IN a car!  I think the driver side will be harder... Watch this space for updates...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

S/C Rambler Featured in Rock Auto Newsletter

I purchased this 1969 Rambler Scrambler new from Randall Rambler in Mesa Arizona. As a young kid I terrorized the streets of Phoenix and an occasional trip to the local dragstrip. After years of use the car became impractical for a young family man and it sat for about 25 years. The Arizona sun took its toll on the paint and interior. I was finally at the point in my life to resurrect the Scrambler and recently completed a total restoration.

I am now enjoying the car attending many shows and cruise nights. Many parts were purchased from RockAuto for the restoration including most of the suspension parts.

John in Arizona

Friday, October 14, 2011

UPDATE: Grillin'...

Wellp, I finally decided to go ahead and paint my kinda-restored 1974 Javelin grille.  A while ago I bought a group of damaged grilles, and from them I used a plastic repair kit and remake some of the missing parts.  I sold two so far (both '72 Javelin grilles), and have been teying to decide if I will keep the '74 one for myself or not.  So, last week I sprayed the semi gloss black areas, and I just masked everything and applied some flat silver.  Now I need to figure out how to get that slightly darker and rougher silver finish that no one seems to ever replicate when they repaint their grilles.  It is something you can see in person when looking at an NOS example, but very hard to figure out in photos.

In primer since 2009!
Detail of an NOS grille showing third shade of paint

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

1976 AMC Gremlin X Model Kit Coming December 2011!

Round 2/AMT will be releasing a cleaned up version of their old 1/25 scale Gremlin X kit in December 2011!  According to a Round-2 Newsletter, the kit has been put back to an accurate 1976 version of the car, but still with optional drag racing parts.  So you can build a stock Gremlin, or a drag one, depending on your taste!  The kit will come with a 11"x17" print.

CLICK HERE to see the kit on the Round 2 website

Sunday, October 2, 2011

UPDATE: Open Doors...

The other day I decided to try and paint the lower door panels on Maxi.  I had a fresh can of custom mixed interior paint, and plenty of time. 

Removing the three panels was simpler than I thought.  Putting them BACK was a bit of a headache.  One thing I did while the doors were open to the elements was to flip over the two little "fuzzy moustache" things that bolt to the door and rub against the window glass.  The driver side glass is far less "sloppy" now, but the passenger side is still very wobbly.  I also measured the door speakers, and they are about 4" across.  Something to remember in the future, as all the speakers sound blown!  The last owner of the car mixed and matched the screws holding the panels on, and some were outright missing.  Need to find out the correct size/style and pick up a bunch...

One can of paint just about covered two lower panels and two radio grilles.  While not perfect, they look FAR nicer now!

Door Guts...
Lower door panel before... very faded...
Door panel after... a LOT nicer.  Will have to test on the soft parts in the future...

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Extinct Car Day at Larz Anderson Auto Museum 10/22/11

- American Motors
- Hudson
- Mercury
- Nash
- Oldsmobile
- Packard
- Pontiac
- Rambler
... ALL "extinct" manufacturers invited!

Larz Anderson Auto Museum
15 Newton St
Brookline, MA 02445
Car Registration: $12 
Specatator Admission: Adults, $10. Military, Students, Children, Seniors, $5. Childern under 6 free,

Lunch will be available on site!   
For more info please email  

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

UPDATE: Shocking!

Yesterday I decided to try and get something accomplished on the car.  I started out wanting to plug the back-up light connector to the transmission.  For some reason, it likes to pop out.  Well, I couldn't get anywhere near it, so I gave up on that idea, though I need to get it fixed before I can get an inspection sticker next month.

Next, I thought maybe I'd paint a few more interior parts, but then I thought the steaming heat outside wouldn't be ideal for painting.  That left me with one last possible task: finally replace the rear shocks... alone... all by myself. 

Huge Difference!
I started off seeing if the tops of the shocks could be reached through the trunk.  The passenger side one was loose, and I didn't even feel a driver side one (remember that...).  Then, I got under the car and tried the nuts holding the bottom of the shocks on.  Half a can of Liquid Wrench and many trips to the cellar for different tools later, I got both bottom nuts loose.  Out came the passenger side shock, and what a nasty looking thing it was.  While trying to fit the new Edelbrock shock in place, it became obvious I would need a floor jack.  A walk down to Todd's house and back, and I was in business.  It took a while to get the new shock lined up properly due to the shipping strap ripping a bit (that strap keeps the shock compressed, easing installation).  But I finally got it installed and felt pretty proud.

Then, after fighting with the driver side shock a bit, things went wrong.  A quick chat with Todd on the phone, and the following peek at the service manual, made me realize I would not be able to finish the job.

Hmmm... old leftover hardware at left?
Turns out the driver side shock does not mount the same way as the passenger side one.  Instead of mounting into a hole in the trunk floor, and fastening from an access hole, the top of the shock goes into a metal bracket, which in turn gets mounted to a plate throught the trunk.  One look at the rusty bolts, and the lack of nerve, made me give up.  We will have to try using Todd's air ratchet and lift the car up more and use jack stands.  I gave the bolts a good soaking of Liquid Wrench... not sure if it will help.

Soooooo, after a couple of years wishing I had new shocks in the rear as well as the front, I am half way there.  For now the car will be called Tripod, since it only has 3 new shocks, and one nasty old one...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Maxi at the Codman House Car Show - Lincoln MA 7/17/11

Yesterday Maxi and I braved the heat and went to the annual car show at the Codman House in Lincoln MA.  I took a different route than usual in order to get some gas.  There was a huge white Cadillac at the gas station, and the driver asked if he could follow me as he was a little lost.  Sooo, we must have been quite a sight... a big white yacht behind a loud blue thing, driving past Walden Pond in Concord, a very liberal and "green" place.  The only down-side was that the Caddy was driving real slow, and I had to creep along so he wouldn't loose sight of me...

I managed to find a spot to park where Maxi's good side showed, installed my various info signs, and headed off to look at all the other cars.  Mine wasn't the prettiest, but at least it was where it could be understood...

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Hemmings Motor News: 1974 AMC AMX Restoration Profile

In a way, Reg Farney was his car's own previous owner.

You know, the guy you swear you're gonna hunt down and serve a knuckle sandwich for hacking up your car's wiring, leaving you to fix it all. Or the guy you mutter oaths of damnation to when you can't find critical nuts and bolts in all the boxes he gave you, even though he promised that those boxes contained everything you needed to put the car back together.

Yet Farney's owned his 1974 AMX nearly since it was new. So he's only got himself to blame...........READ WHOLE ARTICLE: Hemmings Motor News: 1974 AMC AMX Restoration Profile

Thursday, July 7, 2011

1968 Rebel Postcard w/International Pickup Prices

Here is a promotional postcard showing the 1968 Rebel, in both coupe and convertible form:

On the reverse is what seems to be a price list for an International Harvester 1300 series 4x4 pickup.  Looks like it was going to be used in some harsh weather!

National Collector Car Appreciation Day July 8, 2011

National Collector Car Appreciation Day July 8, 2011

The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and its Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) and Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Councils announced July 8, 2011 as “Collector Car Appreciation Day.”  The date marks the second commemoration in what will become an annual event to celebrate and raise awareness of the vital role automotive restoration and collection plays in American society.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Maxi Saves a Ford...

Here is Maxi at a local Ford dealership.  Recently the battery in my Crown Vic died, so I had to take the AMC to pick up a new one (thankfully replaced under warranty).  Not one person made a comment on the car... odd, since during all the years I worked at dealerships, when something different pulled up outside, at least ONE person would go out to look.  Maybe everyone is just numb these days...

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hemmings Motor News: Racing Spirits

Car guys often pass their passion for fast cars to their offspring, whether inadvertently or intentionally. Steve McCully is one such son, who had no choice but to succumb to the exposure he received at a young age. After all, his childhood was a gearhead's dream: There were numerous Sunday afternoon trips to the drag races--places like 75-80 Dragway, Aquasco Speedway and Capitol Raceway (all in his native Maryland), and one trip to York U.S. 30 in Pennsylvania. Steve even witnessed as his father transferred the running gear from a 1960 Buick to their old family car: a 1939 Buick. It was Steve's introduction to the street rod scene........  READ WHOLE ARTICLE: Racing Spirits: Father and son duo compete in 1979 and '82 AMC compacts

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Greenlight 1:64 1971 AMC Javelin

Greenlight has released a nice yellow 1971 Javelin in it's 1:64 scale GL Muscle Series #2.  It comes with a little floor jack and engine detail.  Note the correct stripe!

AMC AMX Slotcars by Auto World

ThunderJet 500 R2 ''69 AMC AMX
ThunderJet 500 R3 '69 AMC AMX (Metallic Green)Auto World is now offering some AMX slot cars!  The 2-seaters come in green, purple, and orange, with three versions in white.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Two AMC Eagles Die For Science...

The Mythbusters have wrecked a lot of vehicles through the years, but their Alaska Special caused the death of two Eagles... (sniff)...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Started Maxi for the First Time in 2011!

Today there was a couple of hours of sun and warmer temps, so I decided to go and try to start Maxi for the first time this year.  The battery still had juice.  It took a little pumping of the gad pedal, but finally the car putted to life.  Unfortunately there was also a puddle of transmission fluid under it.  I drove it around the block a few times, passing Todd on his way home.  We checked the fluid level, and I added a half quart.  Took it home, put the year's registration in the center console and the year decal on the rear plate.  Drove it around a little more, wishing I could get the new rear shocks installed, then put it away. 

Exciting?  You bet.  Now, about those rear shocks...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

New Battery For Todd's AMX...

Todd has FINALLY bought a new battery for his AMX.  His baby hasn't run for a while, even with a freshly rebuilt 401 under the hood.  There have just been too many factors keeping the car in the garage.  BUT, last week, Todd bought a new battery for the car, and after overcoming a few "issues", we got the car started.  Ran like garbage, but it was running.  I think perhaps the car was in shock...

There is a new starter solenoid on order.  Experience has been that the usual store bought Chinese ones weld the first time you use them.  Junk.  When we put my car together, we tried two different types, and both welded the first time we tried to start the car.  I finally had to order a Motorcraft one from a Ford dealer, and it has been working ever since.  I only wish I had bought the beautiful Boston made brass one I had seen at a boat store.  Incorrect for the car, but insane quality!

Anyhoo, hopefully this will be the year Todd's AMX gets to hit the road... at least a LITTLE!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is it Spring Yet??

I am sitting here, wondering if perhaps Spring really has arrived, or if it is just a nasty joke.  Right now, it is 45 degrees outside, and the sun is shining.  Just about all snowbanks are gone.  My crocus have already flowered.  Some of my perennials have started to grow.

Friday it is supposed to be a wintery mix. 

I think perhaps this will be another year where there is no Spring, just late winter into Summer... All I know is, Maxi won't hit the road until ALL salt is off the road.  The thing would be like a sponge, soaking up salt and later crumbling onto the pavement...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Trying to Spiff Up the Blue Interior...

The blue interior in Maxi is in OK condition, but various areas have faded to various shades of blue.  I had tried a few over-the-counter interior paints, but none were quite the right color.  So this past Fall when I found an auto parts store that will custom mix SEM interior paint/dye and put it in a spray can, I HAD to give it a go.

I drove Maxi out to the store, and they let me use their color charts to try and match the dash of the car.  I figured that was one part I was not going to try and paint, so I should match that.  I narrowed it down to 2 shades of blue, then took a chance and chose one.  The man took my order and said it should be ready the next day.

When I got my can, I decided to try and paint the simplist parts to remove, the window pillars.  Below is a photo of one after washing and before paint:

I took the parts and bent a wire clothes hanger into a part-hanger.  Thankfully, my father still had up his tomato poles, and they made a nice drying rack!

The paint goes on real nice.  Not sure if a gray primer would be needed if I was spraying over black parts.  The paint also dries quick.  I was so happy with the results on the pillar parts, I decided when I had time I would try some more bits. 

When the day came, I managed to only paint a few parts.  Two of them were the plastic things that cover the seatbelts in the back seat.  Those were simple to remove, but when I tried to remove the large seatbelt bolts, I couldn't budge them.  So I couldn't spray the inner rear sail panels.  I also had issues taking the plastic bits out from around the rear window.  Since the car has a rear defogger, I couldn't simply remove the rear package tray.  I did get the plastic bits out, but found they were rather "dusty".  A light fingernail scrape would result in plastic dust, and a mark.  I sprayed them anyway, making a mental note about having to get some replacements in the future.

While all of this was going on, the rear seat bottom was out of the car.  I got to see how the rear floor looks.  It seems OK.  Below is a shot of the progress (or LACK of progress, depending on how you look at it). 

I ran out of paint, and that was probably a good thing since I was starting to worry that I couldn't figure out how to remove parts without damage.  I hope to order some more cans this spring... but to a little research before trying to remove more parts!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

10/25/10 UPDATE

Once again, Maxi is seen watching trains.  This time, it is in Westford MA watching train NMSE.

9/20/10 - Photo Without Caption...

7/30/10 UPDATE: Railfanning With Maxi

Here's a shot of Maxi doing a little railfanning in West Chelmsford MA.  For those who are interested, the train is Pan Am/CSX POSE (Portland Maine to Selkirk NY).

7/18/10: Maxi at the Codman House Car Show

Maxi attended the annual car show at the Codman estate in Lincoln MA.  It parked in the overflow lot.  I left it here to fend for itself.  As I walked around the show, I'd occasionally peek over and see if enyone was looking at it.  I think my "BE NICE... I'M A PROJECT" signs caused a few chuckles!

5/25/10 UPDATE

(Moved from main site)

5/25/10 UPDATE:  Well, here is an overdue update!  Actually, there isn't a whole lot to type.  Maxi has gone on a few rides this year.  It will make the 60-mile round trip to and from Ayer MA, where I often go to watch trains.  But this year's weather has been a little goofy, and I don't know how many cool days there will be before summer kicks in. 

Maxi with a fellow railfan at Ayer MA 4/29/10

Today it was over 90 outside.  My roses are ready to bloom, and a lot of my regular plants are flowering.  But maybe Maxi will get to go to a show or two this year.  I really don't understand why it has been running OK.  Not perfect, but OK.  Maybe fresh fuel and new plugs/wires helped a little.

I finally went to an engine rebuilder that was suggested to me, and I have to decide if I want the 401 rebuilt first, or get some body work done instead.  It is a tough decision.  A rebuilt 401 will always be worth something.  Hmmmm...

Welcome to the blog!

I have been adding blog versions of my different websites in an effort to keep things a little more up to date.  Today, it is my AMC site's turn to get modern. 

As some of you know, I own a 1974 AMC Javelin.  It was given to me in early 2003 by my boyfriend Todd.  You can read the whole story HERE.

I hope to use this blog as a way to share info on New England area car shows, new parts, etc.