BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER.... A's, G's & E's


the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:12 pm

trying to make a long frustrated story short... bought this from a guy in east texas. it was in parts. I hauled it back and put some of it back together and got it to run.

I got busy and stressed out with a 1968 airstream I'm restoring, two other cars in parts and in various states of assembly, we sold one property and I'm fixing up another on the blanco river... I had lost the time and patience to mess with this puzzle myself. I had it towed to a transmission shop, tranny leaked badly, figured it was a good place to start. then... nothing happened.

for a couple weeks I'd call and ask about my van, I'd get vague answers, was told to call back later etc. so i stopped by in person. they explained it had no spark, I explain that it did when towed etc. I agreed to throw new parts on the ignition instead of spending $ on figuring out an ignition puzzle from the PO.

a new routine started. I'd call up once a week, they would explain there was no spark and they can't figure out the PO's igniton system and I'd agree to replace the ignition system entirely...

after two months went by with no progress I called and the guy on the phone said "yeah, it has no spark we don't know what type of ignition module is on there". I about flipped, I said "YEAH! WE'VE HAD THIS SAME CONVERSATION SEVERAL TIMES! REPLACE THE IGNITION SYSTEM!". that was when he said this, "DRAKE (shop owner) is not gonna spend that kind of money on this."

I was a bit blown away by that, I mean, two months had ellapsed. "IT'S NOT HIS MONEY TO SPEND, IT'S MINE!" was my rebuttal. the guy on the phone suggested I bring cash to get them to work on it.

I had enough of the running around. I found out when drake (shop owner) would be in and I went and met him in person. I looked him in the eye, shook his hand and explained that we needed to move forward after two months of having our time wasted. he agreed, texted a friend of his "who knows about old cars" and then we moved forward. they got it running and fixed the transmission within a week.

I promptly had it towed to a shop that has more experience with older hot rods. so there we have it. I'm confident it's in the right hands now.



the specs: 318 V8 w/ edlebrock intake, holley carb, electronic ignition patched together by a meth hazed previous owner, cam of unknown grind, headers straight to blasspacks, fuel cell and mallory fuel pump, b&m shifter that I hate and a crappy cable/throttle pedal arrangement.

it's loud. I'm hoping to scare children when I use this to drop my kids off at school each morning.
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Rayallen

Number of posts : 648
Location : San Antonio, TX
Registration date : 2011-06-27

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by Rayallen on Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:48 pm

Glad you got it all worked out. I am a man with what some would say a lot of patience and that would have worn me passed thin.

how many vans do you have now? Is this the dodge you recently bought plus you have the two econolines...

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RodStRace

Number of posts : 3022
Location : Chino Valley
Registration date : 2010-01-21

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by RodStRace on Fri Apr 20, 2012 3:53 pm

Sounds like a bunch of limited techs...
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:22 am

Ray, the orange/white silver/van was sold. the new owner is completely redoing it for “show quality”. has been soda blasted and “pickled”

we have this dodge van and also the blue/white dcw falcon window van. I need to find some time to work on it so it can be a driver.
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Tue May 08, 2012 11:06 am

I stopped by the hotrod shop last week, agreed on a price to fix all the wiring (price was very fair). the warned that the engine didn’t sound good, said it sounded like it was missing. I was warned there was a chance engine would need work.

I’d heard it run and had it running and it had sounded Ok to me, hard to tell too much as it sounds like an angry bear (headers into glass packs and out the side) it just sort of sounded like a couple HD motorcycles, "BA-BABUM-BA-BABUM-BA-BA-BABUM” and when throttle was opened it sorta one big growl “VA-ROOOOMB”

so the pro mechanic’s worry was unwelcome news.

but I just stopped by today and he said he made some adjustments and “it runs pretty good”. so, minor crisis/major engine problems are not in my immediate future. what a relief.
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:16 pm

temps are dropping, and I plan to be on the road soon. I had taken the van to a mechanic that favors old hot rods. he agreed to rewire the whole van for about $500. I figured that a wiring kit would cost me a lot and since this van is so far from stock… I figured it was $ well spent since I had other stuffs to do (fixing up our weekend home on the river and putting my wife’s car back together)

so I stopped in today, I’d authorized a few other repairs like speedometer cable, tune up (it was hardly running when I had it towed to them). it roared to life and you could really feel that thing deep in your chest. they did a bunch of other small stuff that needed to be done as well and it drives. BUT it has a bad vibration that starts at around 20 mph. so I left it for them to explore the vibration, they suspect the driveshaft, also the tranny mount is questionable.

drive shaft is about 14 inches long and is at a bit of an extreme angle coming off the trans, they would like to use a c-v joint instead of U. pro wrench guy also said he was uncomfortable about the length, like it didn’t go all the way into the trans.

I’m hoping this next puzzle is solved soon. my mechanic budget on this deal is about to reach my limit.


Last edited by austinmodhouse on Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:18 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : details)
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:13 pm

called to check on the van. pinion angle shims are on order. hoping this cheap fix solve the vibration/pinion angle problem.
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:10 pm

drove the a100 hotrod for the first time today. doghouse was not on and seeing all that pavement was not very encouraging, neither was all that hot air coming at me. I especially did not like the part where my shirt tails got into the fan, that was interesting.

but we got home w/o any problem. I couldn’t help but slightly tap that throttle once, and those rear tires did issue a prompt “chirp”. my mechanic had said “it pulls real hard, we’ve had a blast driving it around the neighborhood”.

the one thing I absolutely hate is that crazy b&m shifter. it has 15 miles on it now.

fuel gauge and temp gauges are not working. but I don’t have time this week to mess with it.

somebody asked about a pic of the drop down battery box. here ya go…




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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:29 pm

almost forgot the funny part I know you guys will appreciate. the shop I had working on this van has a newer model econoline on the lot, all done up like the mystery machine. I stopped by the other day and my son had a minor panic attack “that’s not OUR van is it? I don’t want people thinking we’re scooby doo freaks!” he was relieved to find I am not going to put a mystery machine in our driveway.
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

boxing the beast

Post by austinmodhouse on Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:41 pm

caged the beast. I’m trying to address some of the safety and comfort issues before I drive this on the road again, I might even get it inspected soon.

today, I put the dog box together. this should keep the heat off me and my shirt tails out of the fan. I also installed a convex mirror on the RH side to help eliminate the blind spot that is anything on the right side.





yes, image is upside down… but I’m not gonna worry about that. if I have time, I hope to get the seats replaced tomorrow. light weight corbeau seats, a hand-me-down from another project will fit nicely.





Last edited by austinmodhouse on Wed Oct 03, 2012 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling typos)
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:53 am

spent the week installing those ebay hummer military surplus seat belts. they work real nicely. the pop rivets that come with it are nearly useless for my install. I used one of the provided stiffener brackets and used olympic rivets (much larger shoulder) and I welded some custom brackets for the other three attachment points. I installed a new passenger seat and could not find the new (used) driver’s seat I was planning to install, then my reminded me that I only had ONE of those seats, I’d removed it from her old bmw track car, she reminded me the driver’s seat was different from the passenger and I’d sold one… so I reinstalled the original ugly torn up exposed foam seat.

I did an inventory of things needed to pass inspection. found the fuel gauge was not working and no horn. I’d paid the pro shop to fix all electrical stuffs so I paid them a visit. he agreed to fix those things and I also showed him a new dent that the van acquired while it spent a few months at his shop. he looked ashamed and only said “bring it back, I’ll have the dent repaired (as he sheepishly looked down at his shoes).

so I’ve installed a choke cable and the engine is so much easier to start. I’ve even gotton better at managing that B&M shifter. I hopped in it this morning to take it back to mechanic with new found confidence, the dog box and a side view mirror helped. mechanic is not far, a few local roads to the other side of zilker park. but WAIT! roads were blocked! it’s Austin City Limits music festival weekend (I don’t have tix this year). so I found traffic routed onto the highway! I went for it. we easily got up to about 65 mph and cruised just around 3k rpm. had to drive south of town and then back north to get around the park. it was fun.

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Rayallen

Number of posts : 648
Location : San Antonio, TX
Registration date : 2011-06-27

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by Rayallen on Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:31 pm

Paul the dodge is coming along nicely!
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:21 pm

thanks ray.

I have found that I can’t really back out of my driveway without somebody watching for traffic speeding up the hill. not sure how I’ll deal w/ that outside of turning it around in the drive before hitting the street. I may have to resort to some type of wide angle backup camera for the rear/street side corner.
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:37 am

I took the van on it’s first working drive today, to go to Sam’s and get groceries. it’s an official grocery getter and I’ve now got more than 40 miles on it. I still have a long list of things I need to attend to, but it goes and it stops well enough. it cruises along nicely at 65-70, above 70 it gets a little scary. I need to replace the front wheel/tires with something wider than a bicycle wheel.

my only worry came when I exited near the mall. holiday shoppers had the intersection all jammed up! the temp has always been a solid 180F but after 4 revolutions of the light and I was still not at the front of the line… 200F! then I started to sweat (it’s about 75F and sunny today and that doghouse was starting to radiate with my anxiety). I sat through another light and we hit 210. finally I made it through and within 100 yards we were back under 200 and then down to 180 within a mile. time to install the electric pusher fan. I have a high output alt so I’m not worried about it sucking power.
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austinmodhouse

Number of posts : 575
Location : austin
Registration date : 2010-07-30

Re: the AMH dodge a100 hotrod problem

Post by austinmodhouse on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:13 pm

so my driver’s side wing window is missing the little tab that lets it attach to the top of the frame. I bought one from somebody on this forum a few months back. I just went to install it and found they send the passenger’s side and they are not interchangeable. so if any body needs one for the passengers side, I have one. if you have a parts van, I need one for the DRIVER’S side.

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