Sunday, May 13, 2018

How To Change Your Spark Plugs


Changing your spark plugs is a very important part of vehicle maintenance. Depending on where they are located in your vehicle, they can be rather easy to do. Spark plugs deliver the park that ignites the fuel and air mixture in your engine. Over time, these can get fouled and degrade. If they don’t deliver the spark that your engine needs, your engine may begin to misfire, and that’s not good.

If you have OEM (standard/stock) spark plugs in your car, then consult your manual or dealer to determine when they should be changed. If they are aftermarket ones, check with the manufacturer.

When it comes to actually changing them, if you have a very compact engine bay, they may be challenging to get to. If you can’t get to all of them, I would suggest taking your car to a mechanic. You don’t want to run the risk of potentially damaging the threads of your engine block if you try to yank one out the wrong way. 

All that aside, if you can reach them all, it’s simple. Here is what you need:
  • Ratchet
  • Spark plug socket 

The most important thing to remember is going one by one. Your car has a very specific firing order (the order which the spark plugs get their spark). That may not be in sequential order. You can do a quick Google search to find out your car’s firing order is. 

Start with a plug located at one side/end, and work your way down if it’s an inline engine, or down and around if it’s a “V” engine (V6, V8, etc.) This just helps keep things in order. 

Grab the boot of your spark plug wire (the end attached to the spark plug), and pull it. You may need to wiggle it a little. It will “pop” off. This will expose the plug. Fit your socket around the plug, and begin loosening it. It may be firm at first, but it will free up. Depending on how much room you have to move the ratchet, it may take quite a few turns. 

Once it is out, discard it, and get your new plug. You should start threading it into the engine block by hand. This will help prevent cross-threading, which can cause some serious damage. After a couple turns, use your socket to finish the job. DO NOT over-tighten it. Get it firm, but not wrenched down. Take the boot of your previously disconnected spark plug wire, and push it down on the spark plug. It should “pop” into place. 

Repeat this for the rest of your plugs. Again, go one by one to not mess up the order. Once you are done, start up your car. It should run like normal. If it is rough, turn off the car and push down on all the wires to make sure they are firmly seated on the plugs. Confirm that the wires are running to the correct spark plug by checking are firing order diagram. 

There you have it! You’re done. See? I told you it wasn’t that bad. If you are more of a visual learner, check out the video below. What to see more stuff like this? Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content! Thanks for stopping by. 




Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ultimate Tune-Up

how to tune up yoru car clean throttle body clean maf run like new the random automotive














It’s an unfortunate fact of a car’s life that when it gets old, it gets worst. Sometimes it’s obvious when something breaks, but other times it’s harder to tell when it simply doesn’t run the way it used to. For a couple bucks, and few minutes of your time, you can make your car run almost like new again.

You don’t need any advanced mechanical skills. All you need to do is buy some specific cleaners, a couple tools (that you probably have most of already), and just a few minutes of your time. Yes, you can make your car run so much better that cheaply, and in about 30 minutes. Here’s how…

First off, if you’re new to vehicles and not exactly sure where parts are, check out The Random Automotive’s guide: Car Basics – What’s Under the Hood.

Fuel System/Injector Cleaner

As time goes on, deposits can build up in your fuel system, including your fuel injectors. Fuel injectors are what spray the correct amount of gas into your engine, which is then ignited by the spark plugs. Injectors are expensive, so it is best to take care of them. Taking care of them also allows your engine to receive the correct amount of fuel that it needs.

At any auto parts store, or even Walmart, you can find a fuel system cleaner. I picked Gumout, but a very popular brand is also Seafoam. Seafoam takes bit more effort, so take note of that. Follow all instructions on the bottle. Basically what it comes down to is to run your gas tank to nearly empty, empty the correct amount of cleaner into your gas tank, and then fill up. It should help break up carbon deposits in your engine, and clean your injectors.

Change your Air Filter

For you to live, you have to breathe. Your car is no different. Your engine pulls in air through its intake system, that air is mixed with the fuel from your injectors, and your sparkplugs ignite the mixture. The first part of the intake system is your air filter.

This is generally located in your airbox. You can check your manual or online to find out where it is in your vehicle. If your filter is brown and covered in leaves, it’s time to change it. It’s only a couple bucks at your local auto parts store, and it’s simply a matter of pulling the old one out and putting the new one in. Your car needs clean air, like you.


Clean your Mass Airflow Sensor (MAF)

Now things get a bit more “mechanical,” but are still very easy. Your mass airflow sensor is located after your air filter in your intake tube. It’s made of some electronic components that read and measure the air coming in. Based off those readings, it will tell the engine how to run: how much fuel, idle speed, and so on. So, if this gets dirty, you could get false readings, and your car may not run as well.

For a couple bucks, you can pick up some MAF cleaner. Locate your sensor in your intake tube. Normally it either splits your tube into two pieces, or is something that is stuck into it. It generally is the only thing directly past your air filter that has an electric connector going to it. Pop that connector off, then unscrew or unclamp it, and carefully remove it. Follow the directions on the can, but you generally spray it down and reinstall it. Be careful not to touch or damage the diodes on the MAF, or your car may not run correctly.

This will make a world of difference, especially if you’ve never done this before to your car.

how to tune up yoru car clean throttle body clean maf run like new the random automotive
how to tune up yoru car clean throttle body clean maf run like new the random automotive

Clean your Throttle Body

This is one of the more advanced things we’ll be doing, but it will help a lot. Your throttle body controls how much air actually enters the engine. Inside the body of the throttle body itself is a valve or two that open and close to control the flow of air. Over time, carbon and other grim will form on and around it. This can cause your car to sputter or stall at idle or in park. 

Like everything else, you can pick up throttle body cleaner for a couple bucks. Do not use carburetor cleaner. Unclamp and pull back or remove your intake hose from the throttle body. This will expose the valve. Spray your cleaner onto an old cotton t-shirt. Begin gently wiping down the inside of the housing and the valve. You’ll need to clean the behind and the backside of the valve. Gently push the bottom of the valve to open it. Use your other hand to clean the backside and the rest of the housing behind it. Don’t push too aggressively. Most newer throttle bodies are electronically controlled, and you don't want to damage the motor.

how to tune up yoru car clean throttle body clean maf run like new the random automotive
how to tune up yoru car clean throttle body clean maf run like new the random automotive

Change your Sparkplugs

Sparkplugs are what is responsible for the combustion of your engine. Check your manual as to when they need to be replaced. Replacing them could be simple, or a major pain in the ass depending on where they are located. Make sure you can access each plug before you begin. You will need your new plugs, a ratchet, and sparkplug socket.

It's a simple as removing your spark plug wire, unscrewing the old plug, putting the new one in, and reinstalling your wire. The biggest thing to make sure of is that you’re putting the wire back on the plug you took it off of. If you don’t, it could mess up your car’s firing order. To make it easy, just replace one at a time.

how to tune up yoru car clean throttle body clean maf run like new the random automotive

So there you have it! For about $20 (minus the cost of the sparkplugs) and about thirty minutes of your time, you can make your car run almost like new again! Going to a shop to do this would probably cost you over $100. Take care of your car, and it will take care of you! 

What to see more stuff like this? Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content! Thanks for stopping by.



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Rotting in Style - 1980 Camaro Z28 Barn Find!

abandoned 1980 camaro z28 barn find atlanta 350 t-tops red random automotive rotting in style














As always, it’s been a while. Christmas was my first day off in 113 days before having a day off. Since then, I’ve only had about two. Anyway… Since you know I like abandoned cars, you should have guessed I like abandoned buildings too. I love the broken glass, the rust, and decay.  


Now, two years ago in was in Atlanta on business. When I’m in a new area, or somewhere I’m only every now and then, I step out of my hotel, pick a direction, and walk. And that is how I found this. You ready? A 1980 Camaro Z28 barn find!

abandoned 1980 camaro z28 barn find atlanta 350 t-tops red random automotive rotting in style

abandoned 1980 camaro z28 barn find atlanta 350 t-tops red random automotive rotting in style

I only had my phone, so excuse the quality of the pictures and videos. I only got the driver side and rear driver side. The building was locked and the only way in was through a half broken window that was right on the edge of a 15 foot drop into bushes that I was already half standing on anyway trying to hold onto the window frame while avoiding the broken glass. It wasn’t exactly fun, but it was entertaining. Does that make sense? 

It was also right on a street, and there were some guys down the road working at another building. I’m a Ford guy, so if this was a Mustang, I’d risk the lacerations. However, it was really sweet to see a barn find. I also figured I had to show it, since you guys have really seemed to like abandoned Camaros in the past.  


This car came with a 350 that made 190 horsepower, which will cause me to say again that I love 80s cars for looks, hate them for the lack of power. Here are some other fun facts about this car:  

Facts
45,137 Z28s made in 1980
¼ mile at 16.4 sec @ 86 mph
Factory color “red orange” with a tan interior 

So there you have it. A really nice barn find. Now, you have friends that like Camaros, right? Share this post and video with them! Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content! Thanks for stopping by.




Monday, September 18, 2017

Temp Gauge Not Working!

temperature gauge, temp gauge, thermostat, 1971 torino, ford, v8, over heating, gauge problem, temp sender, how to, replacing a temp sensor














If you have an older car and your temperature gauge is not working, it’s very easy to determine what’s causing the issue. There are three main parts to the system: the gauge itself, the wire and connector, and the temperature sending unit.

First, pop off the connector from the temperature sender (located on the engine block) and ground the connector. Stick it onto something in the engine bay that’s metal. I found a stud on my carburetor that worked quite nicely. Get in your car on turn on your auxiliary power (don’t start the engine). You should see the needle on your temperature gauge creep up all the way to hot. If it does, you know that the wire/connector and gauge are good, and your problem is the sender.

If it does not, check to make sure you have a good ground, and try again. If it still doesn’t work, you know the issue is either the wire/connector or gauge.

If that’s the case, check your wire and connector. Does the connector look okay? Is the metal inside corroded? Trace the wire for any frays or splits. It can get kind of nasty at this point because you may have to open up your wiring harness to trace the problem.

If the wire and connector look okay, it may be the gauge. That would be your most expensive and time consuming part to replace, but at least you know where the problem is.

So there you have it: a quick tech tip for you. To see this all in action, check out the video at the end of this article where I try these steps on my 1971 Ford Torino 500 that’s featured in Torino Time

What to see more stuff like this? Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content! Thanks for stopping by. 




Friday, July 21, 2017

Rotting In Style - 1956 Ford F100

ford f100 old ford truck abandoned rust classic 302 v8 5.0 rotting in style














Alright guys. It’s time. New camera, new collection, and a new ride. This is a 1956 Ford F100, and it’s part of the new “Penguin Collection”. This is at the Penguin Hot Rods’ location at Winter Park Paint and Collision located in Florida.

You may remember a 1968 Mustang fastback that I filmed a while back from the Retro Collection. The guy who owns that, owns this truck, and the Mustang’s current state isn’t much better.

The story behind the truck (and the Mustang) is when he was growing up, his father owned the truck and Mustang. His father told him that he could only have one. Naturally, he picked the Mustang, but now he has both.

While this truck may not look like much now, the restoration was started at one point. This included putting the body on the frame from a 1980s Crown Vic. It also sports the drive train from that car as well, which would be a 5.0 V8.

This truck is far from complete though. It’s rough, sort of rusty, and missing just about everything but the engine, frame, and body. Well, there are a bunch of parts tossed in the bed and in the cab, so perhaps all of those loose bits could be enough to form a complete truck. This truck (and the Mustang) WILL be restored, but for now, she remains sitting, Rotting in Style.

To see more from this collection, and quite a bunch still left over from Alaska and the other collections shot on lesser quality cameras, then make sure you come back to The Random Automotive. Make sure you head on over and subscribe to our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content! Thanks for stopping by.




ford f100 old ford truck abandoned rust classic 302 v8 5.0 rotting in style

ford f100 old ford truck abandoned rust classic 302 v8 5.0 rotting in style

ford f100 old ford truck abandoned rust classic 302 v8 5.0 rotting in style

ford f100 old ford truck abandoned rust classic 302 v8 5.0 rotting in style

ford f100 old ford truck abandoned rust classic 302 v8 5.0 rotting in style

ford f100 old ford truck abandoned rust classic 302 v8 5.0 rotting in style

Thursday, June 15, 2017

How to Replace a Transmission Pan Gasket


how to replace a transmission pan gasket ford torino 500 1971 torino time diy c4














This is going to be another post regarding Torino Time and my 1971 Ford Torino 500, but this will be a little different. Most of the time, I just tell you what I’m doing. Well, here is a how to! The leak on my transmission pan was getting pretty bad, so I decided that it was time to replace it. 

This car has a standard Ford C4 transmission, but the basic principles of this apply to most transmissions. It’s pretty straight forward, and you don’t need much experience to do it. However, I would always recommend taking your car to a mechanic if you feel uncomfortable.  There is a video at the end of this article, in the event you would like a more comedic version of this.

What You Need
  • Jack stands or lift
  • Drip pan 
  • Ratchet
  • Deep sockets – 1/2”, 5/16”, and 7/16” 
  • Flathead screwdriver 
  • Your new gasket (and filter, if your kit came with one) 
  • Brakleen (for cleaning the pan) 
Step 1 – Lift the car
I would always suggest a lift if you have access to one. If you don’t, use jack stands. You shouldn’t work under a car that is supported by just jack stands, but if it’s your only option, make sure they are on level and solid ground. 

Step 2 – Remove the bolts and drain the fluid
The C4 does not have a drain plug, so the fluid will start to leak once you loosen the bolts. Use your 1/2" socket to remove the side, front, and back bolts. Leave the corner ones for last. Remove your rear corner bolts, and loosen the front ones. Your pan will begin to hang, and fluid will start dripping out, so have your drip pan ready! If you use a screwdriver to assist in the tilting of the pan, be very careful! You don’t want to bend the edges of the pan. After the fluid stops pouring out, remove the front two bolts. Hold the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t fall.

how to replace a transmission pan gasket ford torino 500 1971 torino time diy c4

how to replace a transmission pan gasket ford torino 500 1971 torino time diy c4

how to replace a transmission pan gasket ford torino 500 1971 torino time diy c4

Step 3 – Clean the pan
While the rest of the fluid drips out, take this time to clean the pan. Peel or scrape off the old gasket. Spray and wipe the pan down with Brakleen, or a cleaner of your choice. Make sure none of the old gasket is left behind on the pan. You may need to scrape some off with a razor blade. You need a clean surface with none of the old gasket left to assure a good seal.

Step 4 – Remove the old filter (if you have a new one)
Get back under the car! Take your 5/16” socket and remove the bolts for the filter. The last one is toward the front, and that is 7/16”. There is a spring with a guide rod on the driver side of the filter. It will want to pop out. Be careful not to lose it. Inspect the filter for any metal fragments or anything out the ordinary.  

Step 5 – Reinstallation
Now it’s time to put everything back. First, inspect the seal areas one last time to make sure they are clean. Next, install your new filter. Finger tighten the bolts. Use your ratchet to finish the job. Tighten them down in a star pattern: left side, then right, then front, then back, and repeat. Don’t over tighten the bolts! Just get them tight enough. After that, do the same thing with you pan and new gasket.


Step 6 – Top off fluids
After you are done, top off your transmission with fresh fluid. Make sure it is the right fluid for your car. For a 1971 Ford C4, I used type F fluid. You may need to let your vehicle get up to operating temperature and recheck your levels to make sure they are still good. 

It’s actually a pretty easy thing to do. Just have the right tools, a little bit of confidence, and you can get it done! There is so much more that I have to do to my 1971 Ford Torino 500, so if you want to follow the journey, check out the series on this blog, or check out our YouTube channel. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and be sure to follow us on Twitter for some exclusive content and updates about what will be happening to this car next! Thanks for stopping by.


Friday, June 9, 2017

Most Badass Body Shop in Orlando

winter park paint and collision dan jones hotrod body shop orlando














If you have a car, there will be a time that you need body work done to it. Maybe you got into an accident, maybe you need something color matched, or maybe you just want a whole new style. There are plenty of places that you can go, but if you're in central Florida, there is only one place: Winter Park Paint and Collision in Winter Park, Florida. 

Winter Park Paint and Collision is a shop that I took my car to most recently when I had an unfortunate accident. I’ll give you the quick version: the guys were great, and so was the service. I suppose I will get into the long version. 

Right from the start, I knew this place would be good. They had some nice classic cars and high-end cars that they were doing work on. I knew I wouldn’t be turned away or anything though, because they were also working on cheap cars. The shop looked like a real shop: tools and parts here and there. When I got my car back, it was as good as new. 

Just to give you a quick example of how awesome they are, let me explain the paint. I have taken my car to shops before to get body work done. This included a Ford dealer (I drive a Mustang). Winter Park Paint and Collision mixes all of their paint in house, and they matched the paint of my car better than the Ford dealer did. 

I had the pleasure of chatting with the owner, a real straight-to-the-point man name Dan Jones. He was very easy to get along with, and didn’t mess around. This is an art to him, and he takes it very seriously. So does his team. 

“We have a great team. They are very passionate about what they do, and it shows in the quality of their work,” he said to me. 

They just recently moved into the current location that they are in. The shop is medium sized. They currently have one paint booth and two lifts. Jones was telling me that they plan to purchase the whole building that the shop is in, and expand. 

So, what do these guys do? Don’t go to them for an oil change, but if you need paint and body work, these guys are for you. They do work for insurance companies, dealers, specialty shops, and of course the average Joe.  

Safari Heritage Parts in Orlando deals with custom Land Rovers. They use Winter Park Paint and Collision for all of their bodywork. That is just one of the companies that makes use of this top-notch body shop. 

What it comes down to is that there are plenty of shops to choose, but if you want a shop that is the best, then Winter Park Paint and Collision is the way to go. Stop by and tell them The Random Automotive sent you! 

Winter Park Paint and Collision
3413 N. Forsyth Road Suite A
 Winter Park, Florida
407-636-7367 

winter park paint and collision dan jones hotrod body shop orlando

winter park paint and collision dan jones hotrod body shop orlando

winter park paint and collision dan jones hotrod body shop orlando

winter park paint and collision dan jones hotrod body shop orlando

winter park paint and collision dan jones hotrod body shop orlando

Want to learn about more shops like this? Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter!


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