Don and Peter's Hot Rod Corner

Started by MountainDon, February 13, 2007, 12:55:02 AM

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Found the propane / r12 replacement thread discussion - long but interesting.

Note it's called politics.


Here you go . Don

It's here -

I went to this movie also - It was great.

I rode a few.  My sister got an old 250 Ducati that I put together with bailing wire and took to the hills.  That thing would climb a tree.  Many times  I would go up a hill then not want to go back down.  They always looked worse from the top -- then knowing that there was not much of a way to stop when you got to the brush and edge at the bottom.


Ducati !!! I had a '64 250 Diana Mach 3. Hot rodded the bejeebers out of it until it didn't like to run under 3K rpm's at all. Sold it and bought a '68 450 Desmo that was a real killer. Wish I had never sold them.  :'(  Rickman frame, forks, only thing Ducati left was the engine.  

Everything always looks worse from the top. Never look down!

Then I went the other direction and bought an old BSA Gold Star single, and played around with "trials" bikes. Go slow and quietly. Also had a Norton 500 Manx. Anyone know what I'm talking about. Nother place, nother time.

Still love thumpers!


My son has some kind of a very basket case Norton sitting in pieces at our other place.


Not into bikes at all....Scary enough hot rodding something with 4 wheels in my experience...


I pretty much stay away from them now as I can't afford to be laid up unable to work because I dumped one having fun.


QuoteI pretty much stay away from them now as I can't afford to be laid up unable to work because I dumped one having fun.
Pretty much the same here. I haven't ridden a murder-cycle since 1984 when I sold off my BSA Victor and the Ducato Desmo.

Desmo animated flash link



Well when I was a kid I was not allowed to have a dirt bike...I was so angry...My mom worked in Neuro Surgery at the Hosputal though...Head and spine injuries...I would go see her at work and see what dirt bike injuries looked like.

When you crash one of those things a broken arm or leg is a small injury...We have nothing to protect snapping our head from our spine...

I am not into bikes at all... I prefer a seat belt and a roll cage around me when I race...


Do they use another cam to close the valve rather than a spring, Don - and is there a small spring to keep it tight against the seat?

The bikes were fun in their day, Peter, but I still got banged up on them quite often.  Figured I better leave it for the younger guys with unbroken parts - I only broke a tip on my shoulder on a 6 wheel anphib. veh.  and I had to work using only one arm for most things for a while.


QuoteDo they use another cam to close the valve rather than a spring, Don - and is there a small spring to keep it tight against the seat?
Sorta. A single OH bevel gear driven multi-lobe cam , two rockers per valve, 1 opens, the other slams it closed, light spring to hold shut for sealing. Very drastic closing ramp. The engine made a lot of mechanical noise. Did you see the animation flash url I added above? It takes a while to get going. Imagine that at 9K rpm.

Only serious injury I had was to a knee and it bothers me to this day.


That makes sense to me.  I never really worked on the engine - just bolted and bailing wired it to a frame - kicked it enough to get it going then tried to hang on.  I could go up a hill too steep to walk up then pull a wheelie at the top.


I could hardly ever leave an engine alone. One thing I never did on a bike was hillclimb like that. Dirt trails, mild hills, trials and road use; twistier the better.

If you looked at the valve train ani did you notice there was no obvious method of lash adjustment? The valve end had a cap over it, available in a variety of thicknesses measured in thous. Ditto the lift collar. A real pain to adjust because you had to disassemble, change parts, reassemble, check, etc. But once you had it right it stayed that way for a long time.


Interesting design.  One of the more interesting old valve designs I have seen over the years was the Willy's Knight sliding sleeve engine.  Maybe not the most practical but interesting.


Lots of reciprocating parts   :)   There's no end to man's inventiveness.


well it is pretty neat... but I like simplistic things...Seems to me there has to be a better way to make as much or more power than that.

I used to spend a lot of time as a young kid thinking about car design... light weight materials drag and fuel efficiency....And I firmly believe that simplicity needs to reign supreme...yes advances in technology are great...But simplifying the technology is when it is time to use it and then we benefit from it.

I hate the Toyota Prius.... because it is a lie and a scam...They charge a fortune for a economy car ...When you take any   middle range economy car from the late 80's early 90s... Cavalier, Shadow, Tempo, Civic, Mazda 323...And just add  some of the tech improvements to those platforms and you have a car that can outperform the Toyota  Prius

Hell the Geo Metro was small and slightly underpowered...But the LSI version gave 55+ miles to the gallon. And it did so without a refined engine...It did so without advanced valve design...It had  an outdated ignition and fuel injection system

Just redesigning the head with better valve design for compression increases without detonation and a better injection system would solve the lack of power problem and the car would easily give 60 miles to the gallon....a real 60 miles to the gallon that was achievable by grandma or a teen ager....I hate that they advertise the prius mileage and then there is a disclaimer that a professional driver got 60 miles a gallon driving under optimal conditions... i.e. Downhill with a tailwind ::)

Nothing super hi tech about it...No need for the ooohs and aaas I would rather a great idea prevail with a logical and simplistic approach...

I really believe that a small normalish looking sedan that was carbon fiber lightweight... 3 cylinder 1 litre with 12 valves and DOHC could give 60 Miles to the gallon without being a hybrid...It would have all kinds of power and be easy to work on... Seat 5 comfortably

And the car could be in the $10-12,000 price range...It would not have to look like a sports car like the scions do...I guess it would be the Model A or the Volkswagon of the 21st century...Cheap, depandable, with great mileage

With gasoline approaching $3.00 a gallon I know that a car like this would outsell the Prius and it would outsell the Civic and the domestic economy cars as well.

Why someone does not make this type of car...Is beyond me....Well I sort of think that the US government is in bed with the automakers and will not allow this car to be built.....Cannot make as much money in taxation of gasoline if everyone was getting 50-60 miles to the gallon.

The Prius represents a small portion of the cars sold and does not dip into tax revenues. The prius is expensive and they make a limited number of them.

If a car that gave 60 miles to the gallon was cheap and the best selling car in America...Gas tax revenues would start falling and the government is not going to stand idly by and allow that to happen.


All of our major gov. people now are oil industry representatives.  Change  will not happen now.

One thing I worry about at this point is that any of the ultra light cars with extremely high mileage will be at a great disadvantage in an accident.  SUV's generally fare better.


A couple of my thoughts, Peter. The 2006 Honda Civic sitting in my garage is a vastly different Civic from the one that graced my driveway in 1990. THe newer one is longer, wider, higher and weighs about 500 pounds more. The '06 gets a real 32 mpg in my driving style (30.5 under DW heavier foot) compared to the 30 mpg the '90 gave. Things have gotten better. The newer model is many times safer in a crash as well.

I almost bought one of those 50+ mpg Geos back then, but sitting in one made me real nervous when I looked at the F-250 Ford across the way. And I think there's more of those running around the roads here than there are little cars.

I chose the new Civic because of safety, mileage, reliability, over all the rest, some which get better mileage. Even when talking $3 a gal gas I couldn't make the Prius make economic sense to me. DW wanted one. Yet there are many who love them. I don't like the way they sneak up behind you when you're walking and they're driving slow, like in a parking lot.



you sort of made one of my points for me.... The 90 honda civic was a pretty good car....I have a 91 civic wagon my wife adores.

Okay here is the thing...The 90 civic had ample power room and was pretty safe.

You talk abot safety upgrades well you can make the civic safer just by installing 4 wheel disc brakes, airbags...Without adding weight.

But no the new civic is 500 pounds heavier and it has more power too...So the advances in valve design injection and ignition are lost...And the car gives about the same mileage to a tank of fuel.

Which is exactly what the government wants.

When gasoline is $3.00 a gallon or more depending on where you live...You would gladly give up a little of the extra power and room for a car that gave you an extra 15 miles to the gallon.

What I am advocating Don is in the 17 years from 1990 upto now the Civic could stay the same size and it should actually weigh less! Because of advancements in carbon components...And use of aluminum alloys in suspension and structural beams.

every 200 pounds you shave off the car equals 20% fuel efficiency...I am saying that if they wanted the civic could weigh 200 pounds less than it did in 1990...meaning another 6-7 miles to the gallon right there...So all of a sudden it is above 40 miles to the gallon...

And what people forget is that when you improve the cars drag and coefficient of friction...It takes less power to propel it forward...Meaning the car would have more power without bumping up the compression or going to a larger engine. When you reduce the weight you make the car more powerful as well.

So really the engine could be slightly smaller and work as good as the 1990 model...meaning another 10% improvement in Fuel efficieny...So the car is up above 45 miles to the gallon and this is a figure your son or aunto could achieve...A real 45 miles to the gallon with an automatic.

If Honda wanted to bring out the big guns and use things like the ecvt auto transmission...Or improvements to fuel injection and ignition..The automatic sedan would easily give 50 miles to the gallon and it would not be cramped for space or under powered...It would be a clean roomy car with adequate power and 50 real miles to the gallon....And it would not need to cost 20,000 or more because it was a hybrid with advanced technology.

But instead your new civic is larger heavier with a lot more power...And no gain in fuel efficiency despite having an advanced fuel injection and ignition system

Pick up trucks are all the same too...Chevy ford and dodge all have a V8 gasoline half ton that has over 300 horsepower...Which is staggering in a run of the mill half ton...Of course all the superb advancements in efficiency that improve mileage get tossed out the window because there is a monster motor stuffed under the hood


Points well taken. You're right the '06 Civic could be smaller, sized more like the older models, and I would love it even more. But that's not what they made. I needed a car right then; (the old one was nearly run over by an F-350 driver who didn't look and made a left turn into me. Insurance wrote it off.) I just didn't like any of the other cars I looked at. It's really too bad; this Civic is bigger than the first Accords were.

Anyhow here's a VW new bug that won't win any awards for fuel efficiency, but fits right into the "hot" rod theme.   :o

Owner/builders website  

The craftsmanship is simply outstanding.  :) And at the end of his webpage is an even more "out there"project.   :o  

This should qualify as a hybrid, right?   :)

'nother link


The Corbin factory only made about 300 of them before they went out of business. And I think you could order them in almost any color you wanted. They had a web cam on the production line so you could watch your car being built. The remnants of the Corbin outfit has been taken over by this outfit. A bit out of my price range now though.


Jonsey, I'll take the teal/lime green one, but only if it can polka dotted too.   :)

Never heard of them before. Cool!  

and yes those are now very pricey   :'(


Pretty cool.  I saw them somewhere before.  I didn't find the price on the site - maybe didn't look far enough.  Electric powered.

You ride a gas powered bicycle, don't you , Jonesy? :-?