Design, consulting, and fabrication


Historic Racing in Birmingham

I spent the weekend attending the 2nd annual Barber Historics at Barber Motorsports Park.

This is the second event in as many years and I’ve been to both. This year there were even more cars and more things to do. What’s really great is that you get to walk around the paddocks and chat with mechanics, racers, and owners. With such a wide variety of interesting cars the action on the track can be fascinating too.

Barber 16

I arrived Saturday morning and caught hours of warm up laps and then the first heat races in the afternoon. On Sunday the Porsche hot laps track was open to the public so I took the old S60R for a couple laps. On track heat races got going again in the afternoon and were entertaining, particularly the sports car class that saw everything from a Lotus 7 to a Porsche 914/6, and included a classic old Daimler that looked like the offspring of a 427 Cobra and the Batmobile. Other attractions included a Bar-b-que cook off, a swap meet, the Barber Museum, and a “cars n coffee” type auto show.Barber museum

Good fun for all, check it out next year.


Coffee table for Monroe Harding fundraiser

This table is made with leftover wood from the fireplace surround I did last fall. I also picked up some short pieces of 3×8 and 2×4 for the legs and spreader from Good Wood Nashville. coffee table 3

Coffee table 2

A new home, somewhere in the south, someplace called Nashville.

Well, we moved, my wife is pursuing a PhD at Vanderbilt so we moved down to Nashville June of 2013. We have been pretty busy since then, adjusting to a new place, remodeling a different house, adjusting to new schools and employment. It has been a huge change, we miss our place in Missoula, we miss our friends and the community. But Nashville has a lot to offer. I have been hiding out at home probably too much but it gives me time to work on the house which we have basically redone from top to bottom in the last 15 months. Here is the fun part, getting creative with our previously ugly ’70’s paneled kitchen and fire place surround. Out went the paneling, in went new cabinets and concrete counters, and for the fire place, reclaimed smoked oak planks from a tobacco smoking barn. That wood was as hard as stone but I predrilled and fastened them with square head nails, finished off with a rusty piece of angle iron as the mantle. iphone 030314 064

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Connecting the drivetrain

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A stage 2 clutch from SPEC should help all those horsies hook up with the T5

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The transplant continues

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Dropping her in last February!

The Swap

I’ve been working on the Volvo again. This is what I have been building up to for the last couple of years, a turbo motor swap into my ’79 242. The donor? An ’89 744 turbo with intercooler. The car is actually in really good shape, needed a new turbo and a brake booster and was a little cosmetically challenged but overall not to bad. But I needed an engine and the car was only $250 so I bought it. As I make the swap, I am replacing its turbo with a larger one, a 16t, out of an s70, and also upgrading the cam, cam gear, and doing all the “level 0” stuff like new wires, seals, plugs, and filters. I am also replacing the transmission with a t5 WC out of a ford mustang cobra.

T5 with adapter

T5 with adapter











This trani swap is very well supported with adapters and instructions/recommendations from the Volvo community. It is also the only way to handle the power the motor should be putting out with the upgrades I’ve made.

Engine with Turbo

Engine with Turbo











Now I just have to sort through the wiring harness, cut some rust out, get my clutch installed and bolt the trani to the motor and then I will be ready to drop the motor into my freshly painted engine bay.

Sorting the 89 harness

No problem.

Elm table #2

This table is made with locally harvested and milled Elm, and has a small box in the middle for storage.  It is also designed to hold couch pillows in the wings. The legs are made of Cherry and it is finished with a natural Danish oil and wax.  Salvaged brass hinges and knob as well.Sonya table 2