Maxxis Sur Trak 22x11x9

Maxxis Sur Trax 22x11x9
I have a Maxxis Sur Trax 22x11x9 tire in good condition on a Yamaha Warrior wheel (you know, the gold ones). I bought this at a swap meet a couple years ago and it’s in good shape, but I only have one. If you have one you would like to sell me, leave a comment. If you have one and need a mate, leave a comment.

I’m not really in love with this tire or anything, just hate to see one without a mate. If I don’t hear anything I may put it on ebay or craigslist.

Replacement headlights available, Classic cars saved!

If you own and drive a classic 50’s, 60’s or even 70’s car, you are, like me, probably worried about one thing. Parts. Every time I go to the parts store for my 1965 Buick fewer items are available.

One item in particular that I’m sure will eventually be phased out are sealed beam headlights. Every time a headlight goes out in the old Buick I wonder how hard it will be to find a new one.

Thankfully, I’m not the only one concerned about this. There are several companies out there creating replacement lights using modern H4 bulbs.

If anyone out there has replaced their headlights with a kit of this kind, leave me a comment and let me know how it worked. I’m interested to hear.

Amazon better than NAPA?

My 1965 Buick has a transmission that leaks. It’s leaked for years, but it seems to get worse all the time. I’m not sure where it’s leaking from, it can be difficult to tell, but I thought I would start with the pan. The pan gasket and rear seal are doable, the front seal is less fun.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I think it’s fair to let everyone know that I have a love/hate relationship with auto parts stores. My first job after I graduated High School was with the local (and now defunct) Big A Auto Parts in Loveland Colorado. I was a Will Call driver and worked the counter for a couple years before I decided to do something else with my life. My experience has resulted in a very low tolerance for parts men (and women). I often do business at the local Checker because I know a guy there, but they are carrying fewer and fewer parts for my old car. I have found that the Greeley NAPA store generally has better luck getting the parts I need to keep my classic Buick on the road.

Thinking I should take care of my transmission leak, I stopped at the local NAPA store last Saturday. My Buick has a two speed transmission which I always assumed was a powerglide. It’s not. The actual transmission in my car is a switch-pitch Super Turbine 300. This transmission was used in Buicks, Oldsmobiles and Pontiacs from 1964-1969. It seems to be a good transmission, other than leaking it has always worked great, but it is obsolete. The woman at NAPA, who I admit did give it a good shot, couldn’t find a filter kit for it. She checked her numbers and they were no longer available.

The next stop was the Internet to see how discontinued these parts really were. I looked several places and couldn’t find anything. There were some discontinued parts available on eBay, but that was it. The whole idea was put on the back burner.

Today I had a thought. Perhaps Amazon would carry this part, maybe I should check. The Amazon automotive search interface is a little sub-par, so it took a while to find the right part. After entering the year, make and model of my Buick the parts were all just kind of listed there. Several transmission filters were listed, but they didn’t specify if they fit the TH400 or the ST300. One thing did stick out though, they listed a WIX filter for it. If you’ve never been the parts business you may not be familiar with WIX, but they are a filter company that used to carry many hard to find filters.

My next step was to visit the WIX site. I punched in the number of the filter kit Amazon listed for the Buick and confirmed that, yes, it was a TH400 filter. Fortunately the WIX site itself has a nice search tool and they listed the kit for a ST300. Returning to Amazon, I searched for that new part number, WIX 58880, and amazingly Amazon lists it as in stock.

The filter hasn’t been ordered yet, so it may not be as good as it sounds, but it looks like they have the right part and will send it to me. The moral of the story? Twofold I guess. First, if you work a parts counter out there, or own an auto parts store, be sure to check all your resources. The NAPA store should be able to get WIX filters, and it wasn’t like they were busy and didn’t have time to look it up. Second, if you are an owner of a classic vehicle, be sure to check everywhere for those hard to find parts. You never know where they will turn up.

Automatic headlights for vintage cars

I always seem to have trouble with the headlights on my 1964 Buick LeSabre. If I’m driving early in the morning, or at dusk, and turn my lights on, I invariably leave them on and kill the battery. All these new vehicles have a timer that shuts the lights off after 5 minutes or so.

My question is, does anyone make a quality timer unit that can be wired into the headlights. Ideally, it would also be sensitive to ambient light and make them come on automatically when it gets dark. I found one in the JC Whitney Catalog, but seems like there would be a better product designed for street rods or customs.

If anyone has any suggestions please leave a comment.

Walden Sand Dunes – 2008

Every Memorial Day we head to the North Sand Hills near Walden Colorado. This year was no exception.

Generally the dunes are extremely busy over Memorial day, but this year was different. With gas near $4.00/gallon and a tornado going through Windsor the week before, the sand dunes were unusually quiet.

We all spent the weeks prior to the trip trying to get everything running. Since everything was last minute, we broke a LOT of stuff. Here is a record of the Carnage:

Day 1 – Friday
When we pulled into a gas station in Ft Collins, Seth accidentally ran one of the trailers into a cement post near the gas pump.

Rob’s truck has transmission problems on the way to Laramie. He was pulling Jeff’s jeep on the trailer, so we had to re-arrange everything.

Jeff’s XJ had several problems. Missing TV cable on the transmission, front diff problems, transfer case problems etc…

The front diff in Jason’s Blazer broke after a late night foray into a snowbank. Amazing how quick you can break things with a 454.

Day 2 – Saturday
Tried to ride the buggy. It ran, so it’s not quite in the broken list, but it had serious issues. The Arctic Cat 500 2-stroke doesn’t like the sand dunes.

Jeff’s Wolverine had serious problems. Didn’t want to run right. Jeff took the carb apart, pulled the plug, checked the air filter, nothing seemed to help.

Day 3 – Sunday
Jeff’s Pickup got stuck, while pulling him out the tow hooks and bumper came off.

Rob got his truck running, took it up on the dunes, jumped it a couple times after which it promptly caught on fire.

Day 4 – Monday
Fortunately nothing broke on Monday, and we got everything hitched up an hauled home.

Another trip to the dunes in the books. Hopefully next year will be less expensive and less stuff will break.

See all the pictures in the Walden Sand Dunes 2008 photo gallery.