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Roadkill Customs Live. Build. Drive Blog | Roll Your Own
Exploring Creative Automotive Design, Innovative Fabrication, Inventive Techniques, Custom Cars and Trucks and Hot Rod Culture

Thursday, December 19, 2013

How To Install a Train Horn

How To Install a Train Horn

A full overview and how to video of installing an air-powered train horn...

See Also: How to make PVC train horns at home

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

How to Build and Install Exhaust Flame Throwers

How to Build and Install Exhaust Flame Throwers

More Flame Thrower Exhaust Videos


There are a lot of ways to bring attention to your vehicle but one of the most popular and controversial ways are flamethrowers. Watch as the show Trucks and Stacey David take a closer look at what flamethrowers are and how to correctly install them without burning down your garage!

Video Run Time: 7:06


Please Note: This will not work on Catalytic Converter equipped vehicles. This will not work with fuel injected vehicles. This will work best with a vehicle equipped with manual choke. This assumes a dual exhaust set up. Simply eliminate a coil, a wire and hardware for single exhaust. You accept all responsibility for what you are about to do...

View Full Story: "How to Build and Install Exhaust Flame Throwers"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Rat Rod Lawn Mower

Rat Rod Lawn Mower

Rat Rod Lawn Mower Michael Snow from Horneytown, North Carolina saw our Farmer's Chopper post and shared his Lil' Rat, an old school rat rod lawn mower with us.

He tells us that he had an old riding lawn mower sitting around in the basement he was keeping for parts, and one day he just went crazy on it. He lowered the front end and chopped the hood and grill. The wheels were painted the obligatory red and the tires painted as wide white walls.

He rusted out the hood and built a custom bed/seat for it. He said that "it looked and sounded mean, but was not very fast". So he straight axled it for positive traction and swapped some pulleys around for speed. He tells us it will do around 35 mph - if you can hold on to it.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Gary Dougherty's Farmer's Chopper

Gary Dougherty's Farmer's Chopper

Gary tells us how his ride came about:

I have always enjoyed watching the shows about fabrication - Monster Garage, Biker Build Off, American Chopper, etc. Of course knowing I could not afford to build a real Chopper, I decided to "manufacture" my own, but in a little different way. I had gotten a couple of old junk bikes (Suzuki's I believe) with no engines from a guy who hauled a lot of junk metal to the scrap yard.

Farmer's Chopper

Yes, it will cut grass!

Then I was at a garage sale one day and noticed this riding mower in a junk pile. I asked the guy about it and he said it wasn't any good and didn't want it. So, I offered him $20 for it and he took it. I went home and started to put the mower back together and got it running well. It had a 17.5 HP Briggs & Stratton Twin and hydrostat transmission in it.

So I got to thinking - I have always wanted a chopper, so I cut the triple-tree from the front of one of the bikes and a friend extended the forks about 6" for me. I cut off the front end of the riding mower and put the front of the bike on the front of the mower. I didn't have much spare metal around so I took an old metal bed stand and made part of the frame with it. The chrome is painted and cut out of an aluminum running board. The chrome exhaust is from an old animal guard off an old truck. The forward and reverse handle on the right side is a hydraulic jack handle.

View Full Story: "Gary Dougherty's Farmer's Chopper"

Friday, August 31, 2012

Plus Sizing Wheels and Tires

Plus Sizing Wheels and Tires

Plus Sizing your wheel and tire combination was designed to enhance vehicle performance and appearance by allowing fitment of larger diameter rims and lower profile tires. The theory is that while making these changes, you keep the overall tire diameter within 3% of the original equipment tires. This is important because larger variances can cause problems with transmission shift points which can decrease fuel mileage. It can also confuse braking system computers which can even lead to brake failure, as well as cause inaccuracies in your speedometer.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

How to Upholster a Hot Rod in Leather

How to Upholster a Hot Rod in Leather

In this video series Jonesy's Auto Club shows you how to create a seat pattern and sew it out of vintage leather for a 1928 Ford model A . Flat stitch and french seams are demonstrated as well as other auto upholstery techniques.

How to upholster a hot rod in leather part 1...

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Rusty Nuts and Bolts? Make Your Own Super Rust Penetrant!

Rusty Nuts and Bolts? Make Your Own Super Rust Penetrant!

Since its invention in 1953, WD-40 has been the go-to solution for many household and garage problems. Over the years, other companies have come up with their answer to WD-40's penetrating properties such as Liquid Wrench and Kano Kroil. Others have tried their own home-brewed concoctions in the never-ending battle against rusted nuts and bolts. Our favorite is a 50/50 mix of acetone and Dexron/Mercon Automatic Transmission Fluid.


Simply mix one part acetone and one part ATF in a re-fillable spray bottle and go to town. The idea is to thin the ATF with the acetone so it will penetrate and seep into and between surfaces. The acetone will evaporate, leaving the oil to do its job. Because the acetone evaporates so quickly, it's a good idea to mix this in small batches.

Skeptical? We were too. Then we did some poking around on Google and found that in the April 2007 issue of Machinist Workshop Magazine, they performed subjective independent testing of penetrating oils using a single steel bar with 1/2" x 20 nuts torqued to 50 ft/lbs and treated with a 10% salt water solution that was allowed to rust.


Listed are the chemicals tested and the respective required removal torque:


516 pounds


238 pounds

PB Blaster

214 pounds

Liquid Wrench

127 pounds

Kano Kroil

106 pounds

50/50 Acetone / ATF

  53 pounds

Friday, August 13, 2010

Vintage Tools as Auto Parts

Vintage Tools as Auto Parts

Vintage ToolsWhile there are literally hundreds of examples of crafty builders using vintage tools in their hot rod projects, I particularly liked this one. The straight pipes and curved wrench make for an excellent header support, and add character and conversation to the car.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Gas Money

Gas Money

Gas MoneyGas Money -- I love this. Found at the Dillehay Street Hullabaloo, this International not only uses a comical bottle opener on the tailgate, but repurposes a change slot to support the driving habits of the owner. With gas prices where they are, I have to wonder if the opener is provided solely as a service to passers-by and is banking on good-will, or if this enterprising chap keeps a stocked cooler close and pimps the value-added service of the opener. No tin cans or pull-tabs for this guy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tribute to Indian Larry

Tribute to Indian Larry

Indian Larry Fuel Filler Cap...This tribute to the late Indian Larry was seen at the Dillehay Street Hullabaloo and grabbed my attention right away as a long time Indian Larry admirer. I particularly liked the placement of the filler. The fabricator nicely used the convex shape of this corner of the cab to place the filler and achieved a very smooth fit.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Vintage Tools as Auto Parts

Vintage Tools as Auto Parts

Vintage ToolsIn another example of vintage tools used creatively in hot rodding, this rear end is exquisite in balance and makes me wish I had a matched set of old wrenches laying around - I only seem to find them in ones.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hood Mounted Justice

Hood Mounted Justice

Hood Mounted JusticeAs a racer myself and longtime NASCAR fan, I can appreciate that it's long been said that one of the things you never wanted to see in your rearview mirror was the black number 3. I would have to add this to the list: a hood and bumper mounted arsenal that appears able to handle parade-laners with ease. While this of course is a fabrication, it certainly adds an ominous feel to this flat black beauty.

Bumper Mounted Justice


Also of Interest: