Friday, May 30, 2008

Hot Rod Power Tour 2008

I was happy to read on that the 2008 Power Tour will be passing threw Mazomanie on its last leg of the tour to Madison. They will be leaving Rochester MN sometime on Friday morning and I would imagine passing threw Mazomanie mid day. To say I am happy is a understatement.

You can check out the Power Tour directions here. They arrive in Madison at the Alliant Energy Center on Friday June 13th and the ceremonies end there Saturday.

Soooo, two weeks to get the fleet squared away, shined up and ready for some fun!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

$2.08 to ruin a radio

It only takes .25$ to kill a stereo in a 1999 Pontiac Montana but this one had $2.08 worth of change in it. The customer complaint was the stereo stopped working and the remote side door would no longer work. A quick check of the fuses and I found the 10 amp radio fuse burned up. I installed a in line amp tester and found 18 amps running in the circuit. Something was pulling to much amperage. I went to the door switch on the side first and unplugged it. No change. Then I checked under the passenger carpet which is a common place for the wires to break or short out. They where fine. So I pulled the dash panel off and pulled the radio out. That was when the radio came to life for a short moment and then went off and some magic smoke whiffed out so I knew I found the source of the radio not working and the side door inoperative (they both are on the radio fuse if your wondering why I looked at the side door) and figured it odd a radio just died. GM doesn't have that many problems with stereo systems.

I took the radio all the way out by unplugging the two electrical connectors and the antenna and then I knew what happened. I could shake the radio and here the change bouncing around. I guessed a $1.50 but was off some. Once I had the face of the radio off I could see a burn mark in the radio and found the quarter that shorted everything out. It even had that nice fried wire smell inside.

So.....a new radio and everything will be fine. At least he will save $2.08 on the cost of the radio since I can give that back to him. :)

How did the money get in there? My guess at this time is a small child was trying to put money in the juke box. It's only a guess right now but having two little monsters at home I've seen it before. I think we are on our third DVD player due to Brock trying to stick Army guys in the drive.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Interior work

Over the holiday weekend Dad started installing the interior. Here is the back seat in with the carpet laid out. Still working on some final items but it is getting really close to being on the road.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Edsel Exhaust

It's finally here. The exhaust for the Edsel showed up by way of UPS around lunch. Looks as though we will be working on getting it installed today and tomorrow. As Memorial Day fast approaches it looks as though we will miss another deadline set for having the Edsel on the road. I've now penciled July 4th as the "must be done" date. Hopefully sooner.

The Exhaust, well built, very clean welds and quality metal used to make it. Only one little modification that will need to occur. The fitment from the Y-pipe to the muffler needs to be enlarged ever so slightly so the muffler will slide on properly. Nothing to get upset about, this is common on exhaust systems. For the price we paid I am very pleased. Again, it was built by and sold by Waldon's Exhaust. Check them out, I'm sure happy.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


A little closer every day. We had "issues" with our idea of exhaust and trying to build our own so we pulled the trigger and purchased a single back system from Waldron's Antique Exhaust. It should show up before the end of the month, cross our fingers and all that jazz.

Besides that it has been little things all around the car. Working on the taillight wiring and getting all the lights and signals to work properly. Getting the brakes perfect so they feel and are adjusted correctly. Adjusting the trunk lid so it looks proper now that it is set in place. Interior work on the dash. We also had to repaint a door on the passenger front. Somehow we left the door a little light on the final coat of paint and it looked terrible once we set it on.

We are still pushing for a Memorial Day drive, it's coming down to the wire so I'm not going to be surprised if something puts a hitch in our plans.

Monday, May 12, 2008

320i Alive

It took the better part of last week and this morning but the little 320i is alive and kicking! Since Dad is still working on the Edsel and waiting on the last parts and Dan is working on the Cobra Troy and I managed to get the little bimmer back on the road. A intake manifold of a 70's BMW 2002. A Holley Carb that is similar to the Weber 32/36 and a whole bunch of trips to the parts store for little items and it is back going again.

We also threw some racing stripes on the roof to cover some paint damage that occurred in storage. When I stuck it away I left the magnets that had our Autocross numbers printed on them on the roof. When I took the covers off and attempted to peal the magnets off the paint pealed with it. Dang silver paint never did seem to work. I had a similar issue with the 60' but that was due to moisture getting on the hood. I know I should have known better. I've seen this issue with silver on other cars in the past so shame on me.

We still have a few bad spots on the roof but TD Signs and Graphics in Black Earth is making some stickers with the shop blog written on them that I can put there to cover the damage. Once they are on it will be tough to tell a problem occurred.

Runs so dang nice with this new setup I might have to go autocrossing again :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

25 years ago today

My father opened Willie's Repair Service. May 7th 1983. And
then he promptly took the day off and went Trout Fishing.
Today, 25 years later, he went Trout Fishing.

I can kind of remember the details pretty well. At 9 years
old it was a really cool time for me. Dad rented a small
wooden garage that was at the time 40 some years old I'd
guess. It had a wood stove, one in ground hoist that leaked
terrible and lighting that would make a bat think it was
night time. A few of the prominent business men in our
community where the nudge to Dad to open up for himself. The
President of the Bank made sure to show him the way and gave
him one big piece of advice that he lives by to this day.
Take days off, take vacations and don't let the business run
you, run the business. Dad had been the service manager at a
Cenex station in one town over for years and had a big
following from both Mazomanie and Black Earth. Before that
he worked at the local Mobil. Before that he worked at a
whole bunch of different Farm Implement shops.

When he put in his notice he also took a ad out in the local
paper. "Where's the Mechanic". A spook on the popular
"Where's the Beef" ad that was running at the time.

I can remember cars lined up the street waiting to get in. I
can remember him working from sun up to sun down to get
going. I can remember cutting wood all Saturday with him to
have enough to heat the poorly insulated garage for the next
week. I can remember stacking that wood all Sunday for him.
There where times it was so cold in that shop he would put
his boots in the refrigerator to keep them warm. No bath
room in the building. I can remember a pile of yellow snow
in the back that never stopped growing until spring came
along. Then in summer I can remember coming down on my bike
and watching him sweat through the day. He came from
sturdier stock I am guessing because there is no way I could
have done it.

Five years later he had enough money to start looking for a
location to build the shop he wanted. He tried to purchase a
downtown site where the old grocery store burnt down but the
Village would have no part of a Auto repair shop there. Nor
would the houses nearby. He found a location right next to
the Village office he purchased knowing he wouldn't build
there. He prepared all the paper work and presented it to
the Village. They went ballistic since he had approvals all
done through the state to put his shop right next to them. A
little blackmailing I would say it is caused in sued and the
Village bought the site from him and gave him a lot in the
newly made industrial park. Dad figured it would go that way
and was happy. In 1988 he opened the new shop where we are
today. He built the shop so in case he fell on hard times he
could rent half out but that was never needed. He took on
his first employee in 1991. A smart arsed little punk who
thought he knew it all. I guess I was and still am a little
smart arse :) In 1992 that employee went full time and went
to Auto tech school at Madison Area Technical College

By 1999 the shop had grown to small for the two of us so the
extra 30x45 feet where added to give us more room to work
and play. The new addition also allowed us to clean things
up and start looking better in the eyes of the community.

Now it's 2008 and Dad is semi retired. As he says he only
works half days now, 12 hours which is pretty funny but goes
over well. He still comes in at 6 am and leaves around 6 pm
but it's not all work. He enjoys his time out at the farm
and fishing. The young punk tries to keep up with the work
load and become the owner his Dad is but knows it will never
be. But keep trying is all he can do.

So, 25 years later and I think the old guy did pretty well.
His shop doesn't have a whole lot of debt load. His house is
paid for, his cars are paid for. He enjoys working when he
wants and playing when he wants. His punk kid was able to
get married, have kids, buy a house and too many toys
because of the shop. He also has hopes for a new house on
the farm this next year. All because of Willie' Repair.

His other two sons also moved back home this past year.
Danny out of the USMC is going to tech school to be a Auto
Tech and one day work along side myself. He is also going
back into the Army Reserve for Diesel Mechanics. Troy is
fresh back from Boston with a Masters Degree in Business
Communications and Property Management and brings a whole
new outlook on how it can be or could be done. He will be
looking for a job in Madison and surely helping me in the
future with his knowledge and background. They both have
projects at the shop and spend free time working around us.
All the Ruland boys back together figured out how we can
rule the world. It's a good time right now, that's for sure.

Rock on Dad, your the best.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Young Jedi Apprentice

The Force is strong in this one, I can feel it. ;)

Troy has finally moved back to Wisconsin and starting to settle in at the farm. Last week Dad and I dragged the Bimmer out of storage and assessed what it would need to be road worthy. A whole bunch of ebaying for items we need and it looks like it shouldn't take long to get going again.

So here is Troy tearing the old K-tronic fuel injection off the little four cylinder engine and getting it ready for a carb intake with a Weber 32/36 on top. He did really well for being thrown to the wolves and having to wrench on a bimmer starting out. Nothing is easy or designed well in my opinion on the K-tronic so I was impressed he had things torn apart with minimal swearing and blood lose from smacking his arms and hands on everything.

Nice to have my racing partner back and maybe in a year or so we will be back on the track again. So many things going on personally right now for both of us we agreed the racing will be there when we get things settled on the home front with me working on building a house and Troy just back, looking for a job and possibly a house in the future.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Respect RA

Just because you have the newest and coolest car on the block doesn't mean you can't screw it up on the first all out blast at the track. The boys at Chrysler have some body work to do on the 2009 Dodge Challenger that is supposed to be a remake of the Vanishing point Challenger from long ago. Seems coming into turn one at Road America they did what many drivers have done, find the tire wall.

Here is the detailed story form

Duct tape, rubber hammer, torch and it would be all good.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Waking the Dead

Troy should be rolling in late Sunday night or Monday so I have been getting the 320i ready for him. Things didn't go well trying to wake the old beast up. Water pump is fubar so that is on order. Then after getting it fired off the fuel pump to a monumental dump and is junk. Sooooo, back to the shop with it on a tow-bar and then online to see what I can scare up. I have been thinking about tearing the junk K-tronic mechanical fuel injection off for awhile and looked up a carb intake on e-bay. The car gods decided to shine back down on me because a seller in Madison had a "buy it now" on the very intake I was looking for at a price I couldn't pass up, $25. Now, to just find a carb and some linkage and we will be in business.

As for Thursday night at the Lube. It was pretty low key. Maybe a dozen cars in all showed up since it did look like it was going to rain which it in fact did. Once they handed out the "best of show" plague the Trophy Whores got in their cars and trucks and took off. Some owners hung around for a few beers and watched it rain off and on. The 60' didn't mind a little rain so we did the same.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Time for War!

Maybe 56 or so years ago.

Neat old Military vehicle in the shop today getting a different transmission installed, 1952 Dodge. I'm not sure what it was intended for back in the day or what it's official military name is but it sure is damn cool. Dad was in the Army back in the day so I thought it fitting he got to install the transmission. :)