Adding a return line to a fuel sender for EFI. Easy right? It is. Read on.

I want to show how I do a fuel return or pickup line on a fuel sender to add EFI or reroute fuel lines or a vent. Follow along….I’ll show you the simple safe and easy way to do this with commonly available tools. Now is probably a good time to mention working on gas tanks is something that should involve impeccable safety manners. Not sure how to keep from blowing yourself up with gasoline? May well be time to learn.27393167_2042583746022417_1515302885_o (1)

Here is the removable sender/pickup piece that removes from the gas tank. In this case, the fuel level sender is no longer here as it was moved to another spot on the tank. No matter. I need a second line on this one. Drill a hole. I did a 5/16″ hole intending my 3/8″ tube to fit once flanged. Then, we need to flange the hole a bit to make some surface area for some silver solder to adhere to. Flanging it makes this joint between tubing and the metal of the sender much stronger. That’s why the factory does it that way. Here’s how I get this important task done. The shank on a punch and a socket to support it.27265032_2042583832689075_782468722_o

Smack the punch a few times with the socket on a hard surface like a vice or anvil to dimple it in a tad and make it so the 3/8″ tubing fits nice and snug.


I bent this 90 deg elbow on my tube and figured out how long I needed it to be so it would pick up all the fuel in the tank. I set it up so it would be 1/4″ from the bottom. I slipped it thru the sender piece and bent the bottom end to where I wanted it.  I had sandblasted the parts as well to get them clean in preparation for soldering.



Here is the whole thing set up the way I wanted it to be….hey…what is that STUFF on there? It’s soldering flux. The exact same stuff used for soldering copper plumbing together. It’s a mild acid for cleaning the surface. It’s absolutely essential for getting a good bond. Try and not wipe your eye after getting any on ya. K? If you have any cuts, this stuff will find em….oh yes….


On to the soldering part!  I use this silver solder. Again, it’s sold in plumbing supply places and hardware stores.

27268000_2042583922689066_1076314339_o  Here is where I mention that parts that have touched gasoline need cleaned very well so you don’t blow yourself up. Maybe also don’t have the torch going right atop the gas tank right? Do this WAY away from the gas and the fumes that can travel a ways along the floor. Don’t go BOOM. I used a ordinary propane torch to heat the part so the solder will flow into the little flanged spot the tubing is thru. Torchy-torchy!


Sorry I can’t take pix and add solder at the same time…..but you know where it needs to go. Once done, I sandblasted it, used some spray carb cleaner to blast the sand off and out of the tube so it doesn’t ruin my pump.  Here is the finished product.



Add a fuel strainer and go. If you were just adding a return, it really only need go into the tank a few inches. Reinstall and check for leaks. Enjoy!


The Austin Healey story.

Ah, the joys of spring. I get to thinking of topless driving in my little Austin-Healey Sprite. These cars and the near identical badge engineered MG Midget  (collectively known to hobbiests as “SPRIDGETS” or LBC’s Little British Cars) are one of the cheapest and easiest classic British cars to buy, fix, and maintain for the joy of classic car motoring. Note I include fix in there.. These cars, the newest of which are now approaching some 40 years of age, ALWAYS need work. That said, they were made to be simple cars easily and inexpensively repaired and maintained. Parts are still made for these cars to include major body sections for repairing horribly rusted or wrecked examples.  The first of these were built in 1958 as the now treasured “Bugeye” (Frogeye for my UK folks) with a 948 cc engine making 43 red hot HP! My ’62 MK2 Sprite, shown here, came to me in the mid 90’s as a $200 basketcase….tho I never did find that stupid basket. Here is what my $200 got me.


Was a little rough. I’m still not sure what exactly possessed me to rescue this mess of a car. It was in a field not anywhere near Kersey Colorado and despite having sat outside like this for some undetermined time, had (and still does) solid rot free floors and body. All the rust visible on it was the result of the prior owner chemically stripping off the paint to do a restoration. I also got a multitude of boxes with lots of parts to fix the car. Even had some baggies LABELED with where those certain screws and bolts went! I dragged my new prize home and sorta messed with it on and off for 20 years before finally getting serious a few years back. I decided that If I wasn’t going to get it going, I’d be better off selling it to some other sucker. It had managed to get a bunch of dents worked on, some filler added to the worst spots, primer here and there, and a motor I’d only heard run one time back in like ’97 or so (sitting on the floor)  installed. I actually got the motor hooked up and running, bought a master cylinder, got the brakes working and for the first time, actually drove it only to discover 4th gear just made very very expensive sounding grinding noises.



Removal of the transmission means removing the engine and trans as a unit. It doesn’t come out the bottom like many other cars. Inside, I found a messed up gear and shift fork  for which I was able to purchase replacements from a local guy that specializes in selling parts for British car lovers (Suckers perhaps?) Parts in hand, I reassembled (which any good manual will aptly mention is exactly the reverse of the removal) the transmission and got it all back into the car. Sucesss! Now, I had a miserable looking but at least operable LBC.


It was at this point, I started getting serious about the bodywork. It’s a dusty messy job. but it’s wonderfully satisfying to watch shape up. Here is the primer phase.



It took some time. I did not worry about every little detail. I spritzed it with the paint I’d bought years before. I had done the underhood area years before. Now, it was time for paint on the body!

12002544_1646450478969081_1897255769841193480_o I also painted the entire contents of the garage yellow.  Overspray is really a thing! Next time, I’ll paint the garage and hope some gets on the car.  Now came the next part of car restoration that can be very irritating. Parts that formerly looked okay, now show 50 years of neglect and need to be shined up to match the shiny new paint. To add to the whole issue, I lost some things that were stored at my sis’ house when it burned. The biggest loss to me was the original seats. Fortunately, my sis and her family were fine aside of losing everything they owned a couple weeks before Christmas. My losses were trivial in comparison. I found some 3rd row seats from a Mercedes ML320 SUV at a swap meet for $20 and fabbed up brackets to use them. I love the look of originals but these will suffice until I can afford a set.


After the paint and installing various bits and pieces that had been in storage for ages, I started getting the car I’d wanted all along.


It’s still a work in progress…but it hasn’t kept me from driving it. I still need a small collection of things to really finish it (note trunk handle missing) and I have been slowly replacing the items I lost in the fire or never had to begin with. Here, I’m driving it near Woodland Park Colorado recently. I have put a tad over 1000 miles on it since I got it going. 17453370_1885246168422843_842549514_o

I’d encourage most people to buy one of these cars that’s already in a running condition as they are super affordable. $3-5k buys an operable driving example. $10k will buy a solid restored one needing little if anything but normal care. Driving this car gives me a happiness that can’t quite be put into mere words. It’s the realization of much work and time. Time well spent.

Why does MY idea of “OLD CAR” differ from YOURS? Introducing the CHECKER.

I am a confirmed old car freak. My love for old cars is not that unusual tho. What might be unusual is the age of what I daily drive. What am I driving as a daily right now? This 1975 Checker.


My sis snapped this pic of me driving it months back (note the snow). This car is a bare bones model. It’s not even a Marathon. Just a basic A11 model. 99% of which were destined to be ran into the ground as taxi cabs. This particular one was one of THREE A11’s ordered with trim code 30 in 1975. The color could best be described as “Battleship Gray”  Was never a taxi. As Checker offered these as fleet cars (and as police cars and a bunch of other cool variations) it may have served some other as-yet unknown purpose. I’ll be researching this soon..I was rather surprised how few cars Checker made each year back in the “good old days” 4-5000 cars per year were all that were being made. Contrast that against your average Chevy, made in the millions per annum! This car is in just fair shape, it has a fair collection of rust spots, dings and dents having traveled a lot of miles before being parked around 2000. The odometer reads 86k. I’m sure it’s been around at least once or thrice but nobody will ever really know since they only ever put 5 digit odometers in these. Still, the car attracts attention wherever I drive it. You can’t even buy gas without involving yourself in a lengthy conversation. Power is courtesy of a well worn Chevy 250 six cylinder. Cold started, it rattles in a way that lets a person know its days are numbered. Sounds just fine once warmed up so its just piston slap before they expand a little. I’d trust it to drive anywhere. Why? It’s not going to just blow up. It will slowly start consuming oil and do the long lingering slow painful sort of death….it’s coming for sure, but not tomorrow, nor likely this year, but eventually, it will just get too tired. I’ll  have replaced it long prior to that ever happening. People often ask if I’m afraid it will break. I’m not afraid of it breaking tho…It’s made of easily fixed and mostly (more on this in a minute) easy to get common 1975-era parts cribbed from wherever the Checker people were getting stuff at that moment. It has dirt-common and cheap GM electrical parts like the starter and alternator. The gas gauge is more suggestion than fact ( I understand from other owners this is a standard “undocumented feature”). The cars built after about 1965 have straight 6 and V8 engines that were the same as offered in Chevrolet cars. Later cars got V6 engines and the infamous Olds 350 Diesel. There were some propane powered cars as well. Transmission is a GM turbo 400. I’m not terribly worried about it being overpowered by all 100hp that chev six is pushing out. The rear axle is a Dana 44 so parts are simple to find for it. I already added a positrac unit to mine since I had one sitting around. A few parts are somewhat hard (read expensive) to source like windwing weatherstripping and the front steering centerlink but overall, since rescuing the car from a garage back in March, I have put over 7000 miles on it. So far, it has needed a pickup for the HEI distributor, (it never died but it did get twitchy) Replaced the Master Cylinder, (no big shocker as it had sat for 15 years) and a fuel pump (Was still working but I changed it preemptively as I had no faith in a pump that had sat that long)  I put some good used tires on and have been driving the wheels off it for months now without having it strand me.  Proof that some cool stuff still hides on Craigslist.


This is what $1500 got me. So far, it is the ONLY “ran when parked” car I have ever bought that actually started and ran when I put in a battery and primed the carb. Future plans will likely involve a more modern powerplant and A/C.  The Hoarder in me sorta craves a Checker Wagon. Time will tell. Here is one last pic from a vintage brochure.1965 Checker Marathon-10

Ever worry that cars in traffic can’t see your vintage Jeep Wagon?

Driving old cars in today’s traffic can be fairly stressful. Doesn’t help to have manual steering and drum brakes either. Add into those problems the small taillights that many old cars have. Take for example my  black ’60 Willys Station Wagon.11059349_1577701372510659_1865234932686319816_n

The factory taillights provide a fairly minimal surface area for a single light bulb to shine thru.PART_1470529609293_20160806_163406

A bit tired looking. There is supposed to be a reflector there in that little round piece. I decided a modern LED light might be a better use for this spot.


These LED lights are fairly inexpensive. These were locally sourced for $6.99 ea. I’ll bet they can be had online even cheaper. But hey, the locals gotta eat too.


A minute later with a Unibit, it looked like this. The package suggests drilling a 3/4″ hole for the grommet to set in. I preferred the look sans-grommet and used the included grommet to retain the light from the backside and only drilled the hole to 5/8″ instead.


Here is the finished product. Not bad for a 40 minute project. Next on the list is a LED upgrade to replace the single bulb behind the stock lens. I have tried a few of the commercially available 1157 LED bulb replacements and I don’t like them. Not bright enough. I’ll be adapting something else. Stay tuned!

Homer’s Garage is getting a new home!

Well, I decided to relocate my whole life, garage, and everything to Colorado Springs! I’ll be moving about 60 miles from the current place but the awesome builds, tech and fun will continue!  I’ll be right in the shadow of Pikes Peak, so a new logo was needed to reflect it! There will likely be a few adjustments to it…but I hope to have some stickers made in the next few months. Perhaps some T shirts too! Can’t wait to show off the new place!13115422_272563103080458_1240198274_n


Catching up. Time flies so fast. Done some fun stuff. Need to write more.

Lotta changes over the last couple years. Am a single guy again….10 years of  married life came to an end 2 years back….am happier for it in a lot of ways…but what ya gonna do? Still have the following projects….and a couple new ones.


The M715….Still running some 70k miles and 10 years later….the workhorse truck. Few things make me grumpier than this truck being broken. Irritatingly, the really rare and EXPENSIVE 4.10 gearset for the .500 pinion offset Dana 70 broke last fall. Still looking for a reasonable set. Currently running easier-to-get 4.56’s until I find some.


This Willys wagon found it’s way into my life a few years back. Has a 283 smallblock Chevy that was swapped into it when it was still nearly new. Recently swapped the 3 speed trans and a noisy, ailing 18 t-case for a slightly more modern TH400 automatic and Dana 20  t-case. Future plans involve swapping the 4.27 gears for something like 3.54 gears to give it some legs on the highway.


The Mercedes Diesel Comanche is still around….tho owned now by my brother….still getting mid 30’s for fuel mileage. Was recently driven on a 1200 mile roadtrip….did great.


My ’62 Austin Healey Sprite is coming along. Not finished yet….but is now street legal and have driven it a couple hundred miles. Is now put away for the winter….next summer should be fun.


Picked up this cute little ’65 A-100 van that had been parked since 1985. Factory V8 3-speed. Probably sell this one. (Can’t keep ’em all)


Picked up this solid old ’75 Jeep J10. Needs a new motor….otherwise is a awesome old survivor. Can’t wait to get started on it.

Aaaron 065

My much beloved flatfender “Frankie” is still around and running great. Frankie was so named because of the Frankenstein nature of it’s construction. Is made from parts sourced from a mess of other old Jeeps. 134 L-head powered, it has dragged itself to places that still amaze me. Transmission is a custom made Borg-Warner T19 granny gear 4 speed and mated to a 18 t-case.  Axles are a 27 front and 44 rear. Both 4.27 geared and powr-lok equipped.  Fun little Jeep.

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Got this poor abused CJ2A. Still 134 powered, it runs good….need to do some brake work and rust repair.

80 Cherokee 006

Got this ’80 Fullsize Jeep Cherokee Laredo. Nice old survivor. So fun to drive. This Jeep is currently for sale.


Sold my 1924 Model TT truck. Miss it terribly. Had to downsize tho….

26 t roadster

Kept my 1926 t Roadster pickup tho. Still a work in progress.

Lots more fun stuff to post…..but I’m going to save it for another time. Stay tuned!

Willys Truck Continued.. THE SHIFTERS! And covering up big holes!

I’m doing absolutely fantastic and having a lot of fun showing off my Willys  build. I wish I had done this stuff on so many other projects…. Here’s what I did yesterday. I built a transfercase shifter out of the shorter of the two originally used on a Spicer 18 ‘case. There’s a 7/16″ threaded hole on the driver side of the AX-15 trans near the transfercase flange. The hole in the lever was 1/2″ so I had to make a little bushing on the lathe to make it fit nice. Welded a piece of flatstrap to the end of the shifter that originally shifted the 18. Drilled a hole in it and fabbed a short link to the lever on the 231. Need to find a boot to cover the hole that’s about 6″ long. No worries. The Shifter for the AX-15 was much simpler. I had a AX-15 shifter that the top part had come off of leaving just a 4″ long stub. I simply welded an old T-90 shifter onto it and bolted it down. Now I needed some tinwork. Here is what I came up with:Image011120142156481

This is some aluminum sign material from a old carwash I demoed it out of. The stuff is strong tho and takes a bit of work to bend. I clamp a piece of pipe in my vise and form it over that. Otherwise, I just use compound aviation snips to cut the shape out. A hole saw started the shifter hole and I enlarged it from there to a good fit.


That’s how it’s looking for now. I need to do something with the E brake handle. that’s what is lying on the driver floor. It needs a new cable and a e-brake sure is nice to have. The seat BTW is a Jeep Comanche unit and sits in there nicely…. Next up? A Dana 44 front axle!