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Parts Used In This Episode

Summit Racing
Dakota Digital Gauges
The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Tommy)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Tommy)>> Today on Detroit Muscle we dash towards the finish line on Road Burner and don't stop there. Joel and I play around with some retro vinyl and turn up the heat on our interior. [ Music ] [ engines revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Man o' man do we have some information for you all. The next thing we're gonna into is some insider trading, and not to go through this next step would be a downright crime. I'm not talking about breaking any laws. However, we've got to do Road Burner justice. What I'm referring to is the interior. Yeah, I know Road Burner has that worn and weathered look but that's not gonna be the case in here. We have definitely dabbled with giving this old Plymouth a race car attitude. One thing that we're not interested in is all those tendencies that can come along with it, and you know what I'm talking about. That ear piercing sound, and everything rattling, and so on. Plus, this ride will be on the road way more than a quarter mile at a time. So, some really nice interior will go a long way quieting down all that unwanted ruckus. So, the first order of business is gonna be tackling that old dash. [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Some of this stuff will be reused... [ Music ] ...but some will be heading to the trash. There's nothing wrong with taking a few photos, making notes, and tagging and bagging any items that come off. This era of B-body had a few different style of gauge clusters, and ours may not be the coolest one but it's still gonna look pretty dope.

(Tommy)>> What are you doing? [ Joel using voice modulator ] >> Just finishing up.

(Tommy)>> That's not what I'm referring to. [ Joel using voice modulator ] >> Well with all this talk of insider trading and other illegal activities some people would like to avoid incarceration and be able to walk out of here without revealing their identity.

(Tommy)>> That was just a metaphor for installing new interior. [ Joel using voice modulator ] >> Oh!

(Tommy)>> Bless his heart. Now for a few of you guys out there you know what I mean. Now with our dash all stripped down to the bare skeleton we're gonna have to make a couple of repairs. Here on the top of the dash has got a big dent, and then we've got some extra holes that was probably for some race car switches, or rocket launchers, and so on.

(Joel)>> Alright, ready to get started?

(Tommy)>> You got something on your shirt there slick. [ Music ] [ whistling ]

(Tommy)>> Now this repair is not nearly as dramatic as this awesome montage. [ grinder buzzing ]

(Tommy)>> We're just plugging some holes, doing a little grinding, welding, some sanding, and that should take care of everything, but hey, who doesn't like some rock 'n roll. [ grinder buzzing ] [ Music ] [ scratching ] [ sander buzzing ]

(Joel)>> Well we got all of our holes welded up, and after a little body and filler work we're ready to slap on some polyester primer. [ Music ] This polyester primer has saved my skin on many occasions. [ spray gun hissing ]

(Joel)>> It can hide those blemishes and smooth things out. [ spray gun hissing ]

(Joel)>> After that I'll top it off with a coat of epoxy and some single stage black. [ spray gun hissing ]

(Tommy)>> Coming up, 1,672-piece puzzle, no sweat!

(Tommy)>> Now it's time for us to start refurbishing some of the old pieces that we're gonna be reusing on our shiny dash. Now some pieces will be simply replaced, but not all of them. Now with this bezel that's around the gauge cluster I've got a trick up my sleeve to make it look like a million bucks. [ Music ] Whenever you're building your play pretty sometimes you've got to get creative with your ride and your budget, and that's what we're doing with this piece. It is available in the aftermarket but it's a couple hundred bucks. What we're gonna do is spend some time and a couple of Hamiltons, and it's gonna save us a couple of Benjamins. [ Music ] Final thing that we're gonna be doing is applying a wrinkle finish paint. Now to apply this stuff they want you to scuff it and clean it like we did, and then apply three different coats in three different directions. What that helps to do is have enough material on there for the wrinkle action to work. Plus, it helps to ensure that you've got all of the panel covered. [ Music ] [ aerosol can hissing ] [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Well we've still got a couple of pieces that we want to spruce up before we're ready for final assembly on our dash, including this heater vent control panel that has a little bit of oxidization on the outside. And since media blasting would be a bit too aggressive for this application, I'm gonna go ahead and just soak it in some liquidated rust dissolver. Now you can pick this stuff up at your local hardware store, or auto parts outlet, or even the ole interweb. Since it's chemically designed to target only rust it's not gonna eat up any of these little plastic pieces or tarnish our original finish. [ Music ] Placing this vent control panel in airtight sealed plastic bag will help accelerate the diffusion process. [ water burbling ]

(Joel)>> This powerful proprietary formulation takes the hard work out of rust removal. We'll leave this to soak for about two hours. [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Our old switch panel cover is a piece we're going to reuse. Some sand blasting and a fresh coat of trim black makes all the difference. The before and after picks definitely tell the story. [ Music ] Now add a bit of detail with a fresh silver marker on the top of the letters and it shines like new. [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Smells like trash! Looks like treasure though! [ Music ] I like it! [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Restoring a complete dash can be a tedious process. There are so many pieces. You've got trim, painted parts, switches, and so on. [ Music ] All of these have to work in harmony. Plus, you want them to look nice when it's all said and done because it's a focal point of the interior. Now on Road Burner we didn't start with much, but with some t-l-c, an upgraded Dakota Digital gauge set from Summit Racing, and a few restoration components that we snagged from Stephen's Performance, it looks pretty good if we wanted to toot our own horn. [ Road Runner horn honk ]

(Tommy)>> Up next, we iron out some problems for now and later.

(Tommy)>> The next interior task that we're gonna be tackling can be a bit intimidating, and whenever it's done incorrectly it's downright embarrassing. However, it's also one of those things that whenever it's done right you don't even notice it. What I'm referring to is the headliner. Now this is just like any other upholstery work. There's some pulling and tugging, some gluing, and some screwing. So, whenever you apply those simple techniques you'll definitely finish with a smile on your face. [ Music ] Now on these older cars they have what's referred to headliner bows, and they're what hold the headliner material up. Now if you're removing an old setup make sure to number the rods as they come out, maybe from front to back, so that you can return them to the correct position. Now with hours we didn't really know. So, we talked to the guys that know these cars inside and out, and they informed us that you go from the flattest rod up front moving toward the rear to the one that has the most curve in it. Now to install these they just simply slide in a hoop or loop that's sewn into the material. Let's start with the back one bud.

(Joel)>> You know I once thought about starting my own headliner installation business. Decided not to go through with it though. Way too much overhead! [ Tommy laughing ]

(Tommy)>> You want to get on that passenger side I'll hand it over to you.

(Joel)>> Sounds good! [ Music ] Why are you cutting on our brand new headliner?

(Tommy)>> What I'm trying to do is give a little bit of a relief cut here on those rods. What that does is it allows you to pull it tight here on the side. If you don't do that it kinda bunches up and it just doesn't stretch out right. Whenever you're installing a headliner the main thing you don't want is wrinkles and ripples. Now there are a few tips and tricks to make your life a whole lot easier. Start in the front and in the center. Then work out to the edges. If this is your first time doing it, I'm gonna recommend when you think this thing is pulled tight enough just pull a little more. How far did it stretch up there?

(Joel)>> It's got to be all of two inches. Well, we got our headliner all stretched out from front to back. A few little wrinkles on the sides but we can work those out later, and we're using a professional grade glue because it has a much stronger bond and it's gonna last longer. A little extra coin now is gonna save us that headache later.

(Tommy)>> When you're applying the sticky junk there's no need to hose it on. [ spray gun hissing ]

(Tommy)>> Apply it on both surfaces, and once it's dry to the touch it's ready to get stuck. Work a little on both sides as you make your way to the rear window. [ Music ] If you find yourself having a few hard wrinkles, like it being packaged too tight, you can add a little heat to relax those imperfections. [ Music ] At first glance old Road Burner definitely makes one heck of a statement, and it has nothing to do with practicality. Take a look at those big dual quads and velocity stacks sticking way above the top of the fenders. As for the interior, something a bit more sensible wouldn't be too bad. Adding some soft parts like headliner and so on sure does make riding in this thing on road trips a whole lot more tolerable. So, we have a bit more work to do to improve the ambience. Carpet does a lot more than just cover the floor. It helps to dampen vibration, and also lower unwanted temperatures that can be transferred through the floor from the engine, transmission, and exhaust. When you're looking to buy this stuff you've got a couple of options. One is you can buy it by the roll. This takes some work to make it look right. You cut and hem each piece for a custom tailored look, and when it's done correctly it's nice! Then there's molded carpet. This makes life much easier. It has a stock look, and this is gonna be perfect for us. [ Music ] Now we're not quite ready to nail this thing down yet because we're still got some work to do. We've got a trick up our sleeves with our seats, but we haven't got everything back from the upholstery shop. So, we're just doing some minor cutting and trimming to rough it in, and to gain it some ground. Hey man, can you grab those seal plates so that we can test fit those?

(Joel)>> Did you order them?

(Tommy)>> I thought you ordered them. [ horn honking ]

(Joel)>> So you're not even gonna talk to me all the way to Ted's then, huh? [ Music ] You know communication is key?

(Tommy)>> Coming up, a road trip to check out some rare goods.

(Joel)>> Back to our home away from home. [ Music ]

(Ted)>> Well look who's back.

(Tommy)>> Yeah, we're here cause we need something as usual.

(Ted)>> Such as?

(Tommy)>> I got a small list.

(Ted)>> That is small, but there's a lot of stuff on it.

(Tommy)>> Think you can help us out.

(Ted)>> We ought to have all that, no problem.

(Tommy)>> Show us around?

(Ted)>> We can do it.

(Tommy)>> Follow you sir.

(Joel)>> Boy you've got quite the setup here Ted. How's a guy even get started in something like this?

(Ted)>> You know what they say. Necessity is the mother of invention. We were restoring cars and couldn't find parts. So, we started hunting parts, and finding parts, and it turned into this.

(Tommy)>> I know this is just a drop in the bucket of what you have as far as let's call it used inventory.

(Ted)>> Yeah some of this stuff is really piled up. You have to dig for whatever you're looking for, but there's some general organization to it.

(Tommy)>> You have any idea how many cars you guys actually have?

(Ted)>> Somewhere between 2,000 and 3,000. I'm not really sure how many there are. I've never really gone through and counted them. It's probably something I need to do but haven't done. That'll be your project this afternoon, you can count them.

(Tommy)>> We'll let Joel. He's the new guy.

(Ted)>> Let Joel do that.

(Tommy)>> You should get him to organize all these headlight bezels.

(Ted)>> That's probably a good idea.

(Tommy)>> I never knew you had that much old inventory off.

(Ted)>> Oh yeah, there's a lot of stuff off. That's used parts in there. This building here's got mostly new parts in it.

(Joel)>> Holy smokes Ted!

(Tommy)>> Now Ted I know you've got quite an inventory of reproduction, but you know the holy grail is on this side of the wall. NOS stuff, that's a bunch of stuff.

(Ted)>> And it doesn't grow like it used to. That stuff used to come on a pretty regular basis, but those days are dwindling.

(Tommy)>> How do you cultivate that stuff, or find it?

(Ted)>> Used to you could go to dealerships and find it, but you hardly ever do that anymore, and some of it's collections that other people are breaking down. Some of it we buy at swap meets. Matter of fact there's stuff over here in the floor that just came in from a meet up in Indianapolis. Some of this exhaust stuff here in the floor is new-old stock and some of it's reproduction.

(Tommy)>> Now with the old parts you keep them around also to help the guys that have the survivor cars, right?

(Ted)>> Yeah cause if you're working with a survivor car you don't want to put a new exhaust system on the car per se because you can tell that it's new. If you've got new-old stock parts that have been sitting around for 45 or 50 years, or nice take offs that came off cars back in the day that works out real well too.

(Tommy)>> Now with that Mopar stuff that you're saying the holy grail, what do you have that's close by that is purely Mopar that's aged but it's still brand new?

(Ted)>> This is a grille here.

(Tommy)>> I want to help the man but I'm scared if I drop it.

(Ted)>> If you drop this you'll have to pay for it. [ Music ] There you go! I think we have the original box for this somewhere. Now there is a reproduction available on this now, but if you've got that '71 Hemi Cuda convertible you've got to have this.

(Tommy)>> I guess we need to grab that bucket of parts and get back at it.

(Ted)>> Let's put this back in the box.

(Tommy)>> We can take it back to the shop and hang it up.

(Ted)>> You could do that too, I guess.

(Tommy)>> Now it's no lie that in today's times whenever it comes to restoring an automobile that a person may have to get a bit creative or even compromise. Now we've hit a little snag with our '69 B-body. As you can imagine the front door panels are a lot more popular than the rear. That's why we were able to find these in black, but up front we're actually gonna transform these from bright white to black. First step to a task like this is you have to get things clean. We're using Scott Heavy Duty Shop Towels to aid in this process. They're resistant to solvents and can be used both wet or dry. We're going to have to do a few rounds of cleaning here, and having these disposable rags is handy. Not only for the job at hand but also cleaning up after the work is done. Well, we had the problem that there weren't any black panels available. Solution, paint some white panels black. Now for those of you who were wondering why I painted these black panels black again, well I wanted the sheens to match. I didn't want eggshell in the back and semi-gloss up front. We're far more sophisticated than that. We are well on our way with the interior on Road Burner, and one thing's for sure. It feels good to see the fruits of your labor. A few of the things we've done today may seem a little bit out of order but that's okay. Whenever you're waiting on parts there's still plenty of work to do, and there's no reason to just sit around. Plus, this just puts you further down the road and closer to your end goal. Now all I have to say to you guys is look at the big picture, and from where I'm sitting looks pretty sweet.
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