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Winter Projects Done Last Summer!

Today is December 21st the shortest day of the year! No better time than now to review projects done in the middle of Summer instead of waiting to do them in the Winter. The worst news for a Hot Rodder is be be out on a 90 degree Colorado day thinking what a great day it is and either see a drip-drip-drip or hearing a tick-tick-tick or even worse the dreaded RR-RRR-RRRRrrrr no Starty! Lets have a look at what went wrong with some of the members cars this past summer.


This story is about Don Plant and the troublesome Ford parts in his 1968 Chevrolet Camaro. Sorry about the cheap shot Don, LOL.

Here's a picture of Don that kills me. This is the look and the walk of a Hot Rodder that just discovered he has a an oil leak on his rear differential. He has just discovered he has a Winter project that has to be done in the middle of Summer.

Lets see what his project entailed.

Left to right; Pull the wheels and diagnose the problem... Yep there it is a bad wheel seal on his FORD 9" rear-end. Now pull the axels put them aside and lay underneath the car and pull the Differential code word "Pumpkin". I talked to Don about his project he took the Differential down to Western Drivetrain to have them look it over while he had it out.

Here's Don with a smile on his face as he has his project done and he is back out with his Hot Rod at another car show.

Great Job Don. When I was talking to him a few days ago he has moved on to upgrading / rebuilding some of his front suspension which includes replacing many of his rubber bushings.


This story is about Dave Smith and his 1969 Camaro. His car has a 496 Big Block Chevy with plenty of horse power.

This Silver and Black Camaro has a great sound to it and is a real head turner at every car show. Very, very nice paint on it.

The symptoms were a clicking sound coming from the motor with a miss on one cylinder.

Lets get down to business and see what Dave found and fixed.

Diagnose: There's the problem! A lifter quit working and destroyed the camshaft. That will defiantly make a Tick-Tick-Tick noise and cause a miss. Next step: tear the motor apart so that the camshaft can be removed and replaced. Lots of work on the front end of the motor to get to the camshaft out, even the radiator has to be removed to make room for the camshaft to be pulled out the front of the engine. Once the engine is back together its a work of art with all the chrome, polished aluminum and high performance parts. Every bit and piece in its place .

K, lets hear that baby run!

Great job Dave, sounds fantastic can't wait to see you at one of the club events this spring or summer!

RR-RRR-RRRRrrrr - No Starty!

This story is about Dean Kuhloie, and his troublesome 1946 Ford. has a Chevy engine that was the root of his problems.

A true Hot Rodder will sit down with his engine and have a heart to heart conversation. It goes something like:

"You be nice to me and I'll be nice to you."

I'm not sure if this helps but it happens more often than you would think.

Here's my question of the day: You own a Ford with a Chevy motor that has problems.

Do you blame Ford or Chevy? LOL!

Out with the old and in with the new. Lots of work here as the cars built in the 40's are called Fat-Fender because of the width of the top of the fenders. These are killer on your back and it is easier to do what Dean did and remove the entire front clip. After Dean install a bad used motor he decided to step up to the pump and he purchased a new 350 crate motor from Blueprint Engines. He decided to go all in with a few upgrades, Aluminum Heads with big valves and a high performance camshaft producing 367 hp at 5800 rpm. The nice thing about crate motors is they are ran on a dyno and are equipped with a good working combination between Heads, Valves, Cam and Pistons. They come on a pallet as show in the last picture and are ready to go, including a warranty.

With a motor like this you have bragging rights and Yes Dean needs all this Horse Power!

Here's Dean's car at the Max Taps / Taste of Philly Car show that was postponed to September 11.

Great job Dean all your hard work and persistence was worth it, your car looks great!


If I were to give out awards they would be as follows:

  • Fastest project - Don Plant - He was able to repair is differential in just a little over a week.

  • Most Technical - Dave Smith - His project was very technical. When ever you get into a motor you better know what you're doing!

  • Most Persistence - Dean Kuhloie - This project took Dean most of the summer. When you have to do an engine job twice in the same summer it takes a lot of time and patients. Good news he received a full refund on the bad used motor that he purchased.

It's always difficult to work on a finished running Hot Rod. A paint job on a Hot Rod now a days is $15,000 plus. You have to be very carful not to scratch them while you're doing mechanical work. My hats off to Dean, Don and Dave for getting their Hot Rods fixed and back out on the road this past summer.

A few things to look forward to in 2023!

Highlands Ranch Hot Rodders has many events throughout the spring and summer. Club Outing, Picnics, Lunch's Parades and Car Shows just to mention a few.

Please stay tuned the list below will grow as we nail down the events and dates.

  • May - Max Taps / Tastye of Philly Car Show

  • 4th Of July - Highlands Ranch Parade and Club Picnic to follow.

  • Date TBD - Bank Of Colorado Car Show

  • August - Corner Stone Church - Diaper Depot Charity Car Show

  • September - Autumn Colors Car Show

Winter Projects done in the Winter

I would like to write a Blog on what Hot Rod projects you are working on this Winter. Please contact me at to that I can get pictures and details.

Until the next blog, Have a Merry Christmas and Best to you all in 2023.

Drive safely and lets see those Hot Rods this summer!

Calvin Sawkins

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With the right, good engine a Ford can go anywhere. Even with a Chevy SB !

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