Friday, October 14, 2011

Sticker packs and issue 3

Ok guys there was supposed to be a third issue out by October but we have decided to wait until council of councils in February. Three issues in the first year would be great but it's a gamble right now.

New sticker packs are available. Six stickers for six dollars shipped. Paypal me as usual. David at monkeydrive dot net.

I picked up a Toyota 20R motor for my van. It was sitting in my bosses back yard. I recognized it because leadfoot put one ( or maybe it was a 22R) in his 65 chevy. I snagged it and the 4 speed trans that was bolted to it for $100.

For those of you not familiar with the 20R it's an overhead cam 4 cylinder with a dual row timing chain. To top it all off it's carbureted. I'm hoping for around 25 MPG.

The engine was sitting in a field for a while so we pulled the head and cleaned it up. She broke free and feels great. We pulled the valves and cleaned all the seats. Were gonna re assemble an see how it does. If it's worth it then I'll pull the head again and get a valve job.

I know what you're saying. Wheres the power? This is a 95 HP engine. That's 20 less than a stock 230 and about the same as a flathead V8 that would have come in a 49-53 mercury. If it could move one of those it will move the van. I'm considering making fiberglass front doors eventually to get rid of some weight.

Here's a couple of welding Helmets I striped for work.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Dazed and confused

If you're in California in september ya should hit this event. Been around for a long time. Wheels of confusion is a great bunch of Vanners. They've been around since 73.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

How to shorten a drive shaft

Ok so you're making a really bitchin van but the engine, trans, and rear are all different than stock and now you need a drive shaft. Here's a quick how to on shortening it your self. I have pictures for most of it but none for the very beginning. Sorry.

Determining what to take out: slide the yoke end of the drive shaft into the tail of the trans. Then pull it back out about 3/4 of an inch (that's what she said). Now measure from the center of the eye (the part of the joint that gets pressed in) on the u joint to the center of where the eye of the rear joint would be when bolted to the rear end. you now have your new drive shaft length. Now subtract that from the length of your current drive shaft. Thats how much to cut out.

Ok here comes the fun stuff! You need to scribe a straight line down the drive shaft. This line will allow you to keep your yokes in exact factory phase when you go to weld it back together. If you get the yokes out of phase you will end with vibration. Get out a metal scribe and a long straight edge. Put the straight edge down the length of the driveshaft centering it off the same u joint centers you used to measure the desired length earlier. Now choose where to make your first cut. This is up to you. Perhaps you want to retain a factory weight or get rid of a dent. It's up to you. Remember to take your time and get a straight cut. This helps a lot when welding it back together. We used a gravity style band saw
Which made for a very precise cut. We made our first cut about ten inches from the yoke. We needed to remove 25 1/2 inches from the shaft. Here we are measuring from the first cut to the Blade. Now would be a good time to double check your measurements.

Next we beveled our edges to give the weld a little v shape to lay in to. This helps with penetration ( that's what she said).

Now we take both pieces of the shaft and clamp it between two small pieces of u channel. Make sure you line up your scribed line and of course strip the area where you are going to weld.

If you look closely you can see our scribed center line.

Now place a few tack welds around it. Then finish up with a solid bead. Make sure you ground your welder to te drive shaft and not a u joint bearing. You can ruin the bearings. Putting in new bearings you say? Well then ground wherever you want.

Now grind down your welds. Don't go nuts. Just get it pretty smooth and be done with it.

Next check the fit in the car. This is a 34 ford so we had a pretty short length. 33 1/4 inches to be exact.

She fit like a glove! Now we will take it out and put in new u joints and have it balanced. Then we'll paint it. It's up to you whether you have it balanced or not. As long as you kept your yokes in phase you should be fine. I suppose it depends on the project and your pocket book. Balancing usually costs around $150. Give it a shot first and if you don't have vibration at highway speeds you did well. Good luck and be sure to wear safety equipment when working with power tools. Work smarter not harder.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fool injection!

Well I'm getting my LT-1 engine ready for the 68 no door. We've stripped the block of it's accessories and we're getting it cleaned and ready for paint. After I'll figure out the bracket for the alternator. That will be the only engine accessory. I have the intake and water pump at work and I plan to start polishing those tonight. it should turn out to be pretty fancy. I also bought a wiring harness from kwik wire and a steering wheel from a 54 chevy. It's coming together!

Monday, July 18, 2011

CVM issue 2

Ok folks issue 2 is now up for sale. I have about 250 of 500 copies left. Please send payments to If you are placing an international order please email me at that address first. I work full time now so I will be shipping on Wednesdays and Fridays. Sorry for the inconvenience but I've got bills to pay!

Prices for one copy of Issue 2:

USA $6.50 USD

It's a full size mag this time. This issue is 16 pages full color. This issue features some old vannin photos from the late 70s , how to replace the roof skin on a mid dodge, a special article on radical builders, DIY tool highlight, feature van metalstorm, and vanner art by bill Rowe.

Here is a picture of issue one and two to give you an idea on the size change.

Also here was my favorite van I saw at the nats.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Well I've been real busy. I'm getting ready for the van nationals in Ohio. I leave in six days. Issue two of custom vanner magazine is on it's way to me from the printer. Hopefully it looks ok because I don't have time to deal with problems. I get the msg Friday and head to the event Monday. We've been working on new fiberglass parts. 3rd Gen chevy sunvisors are ready and
We just finished the wing mold for 3rd gens as well. We also have a mold for early econo sunvisors now. Here are some pics. Hope everyone is havin a truckin' awesome summer.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I striped a car fender tonight for the beatersville art show. Liberty Tattoo asked me if I had anything. I don't know if they're taking stuff up to the show or if it's something they've been displaying for the month of the show. I don't ask questions. I just do what I'm told. Here's the lines. I used my coop friki tiki brush, and an ed rother White elephant. sure wish I could find my real camera.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

gullwings and no doors and hot rods

Scott,Spence and I gullwinged a factory slider for Kerry out of cleveland last night. Big thanks to those guys for staying up real late and getting her licked. It came out real nice. Odd thing was it was a window slider, so when it's up his gullwing has a sunroof.

My 68 No door finally made it home. Gotta get the Caprice motor ready for it.
To top it all off hot rod magazine made some mention of my glass doors and Custom Vanner magazine. That was very nice of them. Big thanks to dave wallace for the nice write up. Very good people.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

John's 67 supervan

I'm gettin john's 67 super van in epoxy primer. for a long body van this thing is gonna look pretty cool. more pictures to come. also thanks to anyone that ordered a copy of custom vanner. your order is in the mail.

Monday, April 11, 2011

More copies of Issue 1!

I have 100 more copies of Custom Vanner Issue 1. They're $6.22 by mail. I'll have the pay pal address below. If you need to pay by snailmail please send an email to that same address so I can set a copy aside for you until your payment comes in.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

hangin with coop again

I went up to columbus to work with coop on a van and ended up following him around that night and the next day on some striping jobs. He repaired some fenders for body shops. The first two cars had been striped by the same guy previously. The original lines were layed by another columbus pinhead going by the handle moffit. He signs his name in one of the lines and puts stars on the sail panel on these dealership type jobs so it was pretty obvious they were the same guy even though the signature on the second car wasn't legible. Oddly enough both cars were silver, and the right front fender. after that he did a jeep. he did this repair with finesse fine line tape to match the chrysler factory stripes which are done the same way. he striped a couple scooters for some ladies the night before as well. they insisted he put flowers on them. haha.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I did some airbrushing for an art show last week. Striped another panel at the show. Drew an econoline too but I'm not sure it looks so great. I'll scan it in later.

if anyone wants to buy the blue panel make me an offer. blue panel is 23 inches tall by 10 wide.