Detroit Muscle Featured Projects

Detroit Muscle Builds

Parts Used In This Episode

The Industrial Depot
Tools, Hardware, Shop Supplies

Episode Transcript

(Tommy)>> You're watching Powernation!

(Joel)>> Today on Detroit Muscle we take a trip in Road Burner to see what it takes to become a legend.

(Tommy)>> Plus we give you the cheat sheet on how you can optimize your ride. [ Music ] [ engines revving ] [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> You know guys, here at Powernation we build things all over the spectrum. When it comes to a very popular subject, muscle cars, I'm proud to have had the opportunity to build several over the past 15 plus years, and I've had a few favorites. Just recently we finished up a Buick Regal that was a blast to drive. With a few custom touches here and there, we complimented the '80's style to create one heck of a G-body. It had a GM Performance 500 plus horsepower LS that would shred the tires on command.

(Joel)>> For many of you the sweet spot lies within a 1968 through 1970 Dodge Charger, and without a doubt one of the nicest cars to ever come out of this complex was Project Hard Charger. Its black paint that looked a mile deep on those infamous body lines was a sure sight to see. The blood red interior had a touch of all the good stuff. Classic style and a performance feel. What could be the best thing about this iconic rid you can't even see. With the bump of a key those tail pipes told you the engine could do way more than just purr. Its 707 horsepower Hellcat power plant was begging to reduce the lifespan of the rear tires. [ engine revving ]

(Joel)>> We still have a few more tricks up our sleeves in the days to come.

(Tommy)>> I was talking to a good friend of mine the other day and they asked me. Why do you build stuff? Isn't it expensive? Doesn't it take a bunch of time? It sure does look like a whole lot of work. I told them yes on all three of those questions. For me it's simple. Whenever you have a new project it's like an open canvas, and it's up to the builder to create a mechanical piece of joy that them they selves, friends, family, or even a perfect stranger an enjoy. Whenever you have a hunger for performance you need to feed your passion.

(Joel)>> And with Road Burner we wanted to build something that made a powerful statement as well as making its mark in your memory, and whatever direction you decide to go with our project they come in many different forms.

(Tommy)>> Through the passing of time what once was new becomes aged. Items fall through to decay and become discarded. At this point dismantling is set into action by both man and mother nature. Some are left to dissolve into non-existence and are consumed by their environment. What is left often appears as a lifeless shell laying and waiting as its days are numbered. [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> It takes a soulful body with an eye to see what once was and what could be. A creation associated with magnitude requires many items. To harness its capabilities requires components of speed and agility. [ Music ] An unsightly collection is not an option because without form the eye begins to wander, and sight becomes crude. To accomplish with appeal, strength and might equal success for both the creator and the creation.

(Joel)>> From the very beginning this old Mopar has always had a haunting aura about it. [ Music ] So, we set out to build something that would strike fear into those who came upon it. [ Music ] A unique muscle machine that would have an aggressive stance, a decibel piercing power plant... [ Music ] ...and a raw attitude. [ engine revving ] [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Quite simply we wanted to build something that made a statement. [ engine revving ]

(Joel)>> Now that all the pieces of the puzzle are together, I think it's safe to say that message will be heard loud and clear. [ engine revving ]

(Joel)>> Coming up, we head down to Hot-Lanta for some Hot Wheels action.

(Joel)>> The Hot Wheels Legends Tour is one of the most unique car events worldwide. ( )>> There is so many wonderful cars here. This is bigger, this is better. The competition really levels up.

(Joel)>> Rides from around the globe are judged to see if they have what it takes to become the next Hot Wheels diecast car. ( )>> More judges, more cars. Every car that was brought in today is worthy of being a Hot Wheels, but it is our unfortunate task to have to pick one winner.

(Joel)>> Tommy and I got the opportunity to be judges for the Atlanta show, and we saw some amazing custom cars and trick trucks. [ Music ]

(Tommy)>> Think you could fit? [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Some engineering right there man.

(Tommy)>> It's not lacking in size. That's for real!

(Joel)>> If there's ever an apocalypse this is the rig you want though. Look at the size of them calipers man. This thing just exudes raw power. It's pretty wicked.

(Tommy)>> I like how everything is big. So how did you come up with this concept? When we were walking by this thing was just kinda drawing me to it. So, I had to hit you up to see what the story was.

(Ricky)>> Basically, I build some of these as a hobby. I've got an International big rig that we're fixing to scrap, scrap metal. It had hydraulic brakes on it. So, we decided to buy it and rob the axles out of it and try to rat rod it out.

(Tommy)>> What does people say whenever you pull up in something like this?

(Ricky)>> Most people think it's some kind of bug out rig, or doomsday vehicle, or something like that but it gets so much attention it's unbelievable.

(Tommy)>> What do you think about it? ( )>> It took him awhile, but it turned out really good.

(Tommy)>> How long did it take you to build something like this?

(Ricky)>> I worked hard on it about six months solid every night until about midnight in the shop. Had to hand fab everything cause it ain't nothing we can go buy.

(Tommy)>> It doesn't matter what the project is they're really never done.

(Ricky)>> Always something to do!

(Tommy)>> And the creativity that goes into this stuff, often times for me, is just mind blowing. People think outside of the box and it's cool to see it.

(Ricky)>> This was nowhere close to what I thought it was gonna look like when we started on it. the plan is actually taking it to this show, and we've been to some of these shows before. It wasn't in the plan, but we always wanted that wow factor of the Hot Wheels cars.

(Tommy)>> It's a cool ride for sure! [ Music ]

(Joel)>> Tommy and I talked to some of the folks about their rides and found out what it takes to be the next Hot Wheels Legend.

(Tommy)>> Now I'm very curious to what it would feel like to win an opportunity like this. A lot of us have played with them things as a kid for hours on in, and then having your own of exactly what you built in real life. That is mad cool. How does it feel to have this type of award?

(Jeremiah)>> This is unreal! We just found out about this show a couple of days ago. We had no idea we would win this. There was some really rad cars here. This is a huge honor. I played with Hot Wheel cars my whole life. He's got piles of them. So, the chance to have our own car that we built is awesome.

(Joel)>> Before you guys even started this build did you just sit down together and just sketch out how you wanted to go about it?

(Jeremiah)>> Exactly what we did. Page after page, nope, scratch that, scratch that. There was a lot of learning on it.

(Joel)>> That's something he and I kinda go through. Before we get started on a build it has to be functional but look good, and a lot of times you run into those miscues where it looks good but it doesn't really work that well. Then you flip it around.

(Jeremiah)>> That's all our builds. We make sure they're functional. We drive them. He drives it to school, he drives it to work. So, we wanted something that would hold up to the roads, the beatings. So, it's a sweet car. It drives great and it runs great.

(Joel)>> We saw it coming in and I was like, man, that's like the world's scariest go-kart. It is a cool car. I love the color, and it all flows, looks great, and obviously you made an impression on Hot Wheels, and congratulations.

(Jeremiah)>> Thank you!

(Tommy)>> Well I have to say this has been a pure honor to hang out with the Hot Wheels crew and actually just parking our car in front of that billboard, I'm speechless!

(Joel)>> I've got to say I don't think we could have come up with a better payoff for this Road Burner project. This thing literally looks like a Hot Wheels car. When you think about the history, the heritage, and the wild charisma that Hot Wheels is known for, this car reflects it. I'll tell you what I do want to do though is go get an ice cream cone cause it's hot. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Want to figure out your optimum vehicle performance? We give you the solution using simple math.

(Tommy)>> Road tripping in our Plymouth sure was a whole lot of fun. After getting a few miles on it now we've got it back up on the lift to check to see if we've shook anything loose. Also, to verify that we don't have any leaks or seeps.

(Joel)>> And we really didn't have too many issues to speak of except for when we ran out of gas because we forgot to calibrate fuel gauge. Let's not get caught up on the details. We've still got to do that.

(Tommy)>> Another thing that impressed us was how well this thing cruised down the highway. It cornered nice, it drove like a dream, and a lot of that goes to the guys at RMS and their suspension setup.

(Joel)>> If you were to judge this car by its appearance something you might assume is that it would be crazy loud, but in all reality it's not, unless of course you flip the switch to open the cutouts. [ engine revving ]

(Tommy)>> Yes, the exhaust and mufflers you choose can increase or decrease the decibel level, but there's another thing you should keep in mind.

(Joel)>> That would be the amount of r-p-ms you're turning. So, with your project you've got to ask yourself a couple of questions. Are you going for a track car or road car, and will the majority of seat time be spent making hot laps down the quarter mile or cruising down the boulevard on a Saturday night?

(Tommy)>> With Road Burner we wanted to be able to stroll around in it and hop on the interstate without sounding like it was geared like a tractor. Meaning when it's at 70 it's red lining the tach. To determine your r-p-m versus mile per hour there is a mathematical equation. One part of the information that you're gonna need is tire diameter.

(Joel)>> And you can get this in a couple of different ways. You can check with the manufacturer and get an exact measurement, or you could kick it old school with a tape measure.

(Tommy)>> Looks like we're about 28 inches.

(Joel)>> It says 28.1 on the website.

(Tommy)>> He's killing me.

(Joel)>> Another thing you're gonna need to determine is the gear ratio coming out of your transmission. For example, a one-to-one ratio would mean that for every revolution of the engine is equivalent to one revolution coming out of the output shaft. If you have a Powerglide or a C-4, a C-6, or even a 727 more than likely you're gonna be running a one-to-one ratio in high gear. We're running a little bit more of a modern setup that has overdrive. Therefore, the math and the variables change, but it's important to know by how much. Depending on the manufacturer they can come in a few different ratios, like our TKX. This one has a .68 to 1 but they're offered in a .72 and a .81.

(Tommy)>> While we're on the subject of gears you're gonna need to know what your setup is in the rear diff. Now we installed a set of 3.55's when we were doing our suspension upgrade. So, we know exactly what we have. If you have no idea here's a little tip for you that'll get you pretty close. Make a mark on the wheel, like here on the top. [ Music ] Then make a mark on the flange or yoke where the driveshaft would attach. As you spin the wheel count the revolutions of the pinion. One, two, three, and almost a half. That would give us a 3.55-ish. So how many times that goes around combined with the percentage of the next turn will get you in the ballpark. This is the equation that you can use to determine your miles per hour at a given r-p-m. Now we pretty much already have most of our information like tire diameter and our ratios. Now usually when you're driving one of these old hot roddy cars the normal r-p-m level is somewhere between two and 2,200 r-p-m. So, for the sake of what we're doing we're gonna go with 2,200. According to Joel we've got a 28.1 tire diameter. Trans ratio was .68, and the rear was 3.55. Now let's do some math and see what we come up with. We've got 2,200 times 28.1 equals 61,820. .68 times 3.55 times 336, 811. Divide these two, 61,820 divided by 811.10. That gives us 76.21. So, what all these numbers mean is the parts that we've chose to put in old Road Burner, if we're ever out on a Saturday afternoon hot lap the tach isn't gonna be mad, and the engine's gonna be in that sweet spot, and we're almost not breaking the law.

(Joel)>> Wish you could boost your throttle with the turn of a dial? We've got you covered.

(Joel)>> There's no denying that we have entered into a new age and era of hot rodding. For the longest time achieving that perfect air to fuel ratio as well as peak throttle response lied within the performance of your carburetor. Unfortunately tuning one of these complicated contraptions requires a unique skill set as well as a little bit of extra coin. However, with the advancement of technology and increasing popularity of late model power plant swaps power adders such as this Bully Dog Thruster are becoming a hot commodity. And adding a little extra pep in your ride step is as easy as plugging in a new toy. Now I know this glorified hay hauler ain't exactly what you'd call an iconic piece of Detroit iron, but it does sport a modern gen three Hemi similar to what a lot of you guys are slapping into your old school Mopars. I'd imagine for the modern conveniences of air conditioning and fuel injection. Now if you're one of the lucky few who already have one of these fancy power plants installed into your ride and you want that little extra throttle kick Bully Dog can help get you there. This electronic throttle enhancement device is an easy to install setup that ties into your vehicle's pedal position sensor and the harness. The attached adjustment knob allows on the fly tuning for preferred response based on your application. Its waterproof design also allows for off road use for your rock crawler or mud truck. Just make sure you disconnect the positive terminal on your battery before installing. [ Music ] Alright, fun launch in three, two, one! Woo, hoo, hoo! [ Music ] Okay, I was not expecting that. Holy cow! Yep, yep, that's a little different. Holy smokes! Now just out of curiosity I'm gonna dial it back to about 50 percent to see what it does. [ engine revving ]

(Joel)>> Okay, nice happy medium. I'm gonna dial it back up to 100 because I think it's too much fun. I'm seriously blown away right now. I am so giddy at how awesome this truck is running right now. It wants to get up and go. I've never had that kind of throttle response. That's awesome! I'm telling you guys right now. If you want a super simple plug and play throttle booster this one from Bully Dog is awesome. 10 out of 10, I love it! I think I might keep it. [ Music ] [ engine rumbling ]

(Joel)>> Old Road Burner has been a blast to build and drive, and we can't wait to get it out on the track to start snatching through some gears at wide open throttle. You know, we like to take care of our projects, even when they're just hanging out.

(Tommy)>> Using a CoverCraft cover helps to keep your ride out of harms way, and they manufacture covers for several applications. On our Project Street Regal we used one of the most luxurious indoor covers that are form fit. It's made of polyester and spandex on the outside and 100 percent cotton fleece on the underside to pamper your ride.

(Joel)>> CoverCraft also offers components to help protect your interior, like these deluxe leather precision fit custom seat covers. They are highly water resistant and custom patterned for a precise fit. They'll also protect your seat from the sun, dirt, and abuse.

(Tommy)>> Road Burner is done for now, and we want to make sure nothing happens to all of our hard work, especially since it's missing the hood.

(Joel)>> This works well for indoor and outdoor applications. It's made of a breathable material to help allow heat, moisture, and condensation to escape, and if you're looking for a cover for long term storage situations this may be the one for you.

(Tommy)>> Installation is a breeze, and it fits like a tailored suit.

(Joel)>> It's almost a shame to put all this work into this car just to put it to bed until we can get it out to the track.

(Tommy)>> It's gonna be fun though. Don't worry about it.

(Joel)>> At some point we should probably pull that Hurst Olds out of hibernation.

(Tommy)>> I'm not gonna say I'm tired of working on a Mopar but I'm ready to work on something different.

(Joel)>> I know what you mean. You know me. You don't have to twist my arm to work on a GM product. [ Music ]
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