Sunday, June 22, 2008

JBA 1st annual open house and customer appreciation BBQ. Join us next year!

Let me give to you a photo tour of the JBA headquarters and repair shop.

I wish you'd been there for the customer appreciation day. It will happen again next year if you can arrange to be in San Diego at the right time.... June is a great time to be here, lots of car shows and 4 car cruises every week of June, July, and August! With all the good weather, car events, and nearby car museums you might think I'm busy... never so busy I'd pass up an open house at an iconic garage I can get to!

Edelbrock, Force, and few others hold open the doors and let customers and enthusiasts roam around asking questions and photographing... now added to the short list is J Bittle. Pioneer in the Mustang high performance smog legal headers, and a recognized name in the aftermarket world who is regularly named in car magazines over the past 20 years.
I might be wrong, but I think this is probably getting the headers installed, I wish I could drop an engine out of a car this way and work on it! There are a whole lot of things that can go wrong, and that is why it's best left to the pros (believe me!), but doesn't looking at this engine/trans have you considering how simple it would be to work on an engine this way?
When we were discussing the dimensions of the engine, and the engine bay, it was clear that dropping the K frame and engine is likely the only way to get some things done in a new mustang. I believe it was pointed out that new valve cover gaskets are nearly impossible to do without getting the engine out like this. So; headers, some gaskets, maybe even the alternator... these might require the whole engine out if you have a new Mustang, and you might want them all replaced while it's out... you certainly would be upset if you had to have this done 2wice in a year to replace a broken part that you could reasonbly be proactive about.

This is the back shop, home to the state-of-the art Dyno Dynamics chassis dynamometer. It's available for car club events, magazine editoral features, and to get the most HP and torque from the car you drive in, just by fine adjustments to the carburetor parts, timing advance, and determining the best spark plugs to pull all the energy possible out of the fuel and air being pulled through your engine. (Or pushed if you're supercharging your vehicle).
Prices for a dyno tune are at Click on "our services" then "Dyno tuning". At the bottom of this post is an example of a "dyno pull" which is used to get the computer to display how much HP and torque and at what RPM they occur at. In the video you'll see the tech in the car, and his connection to the computer. Since adding video to this post is taking a long time, and I can't place them where I'd like to among the other photos, I'll put the vidoes in a seperate post and link it here when they are up and running.
When its pinstriped, its even better.... it's a good indication that hard core enthusiasts are working in a garage when the tool box is striped. I'll take pinstriped tool boxes over pin up calendars... if a calendar is the most interesting thing in a garage, it's not worth being in.

In the middle on the right with the hood up? '70 Ranchero Cobra Jet with Shaker Hood For better photos of the truck:
Ooof. Dual quad Cobra Jet in a Ranchero! It's a 427 SOHC ... ever see anyone top off a 427 with a Cobra Jet scoop? Gotta be a first! Sharp eyes kudo to Brian who noticed it!
I just wasn't paying close attention... it's obvious if you've ever learned about the 427 SOHC, and once you know the valve cover, it's simple to identify... but you have to not be distracted by other stuff... I almost always get distracted.
Simple interior.. and a Hurst shifter. Nice!

Arriving early to an open house will sometimes be good for photographs, the cars are there and the owners are getting coffee... that's why I get lucky frequently, and get photos without a crowd of people around the cars. This open house had about 100 or so people attending, and due to the large facility that we were invited to enjoy, a little waiting provided clear photos of the cars for you to see.
These 3 indoor photos are of the area that can be looked into while in the sales area, the big windows are in the bottom photo, and I've looked out several times into this area to see what rare and cool cars are under the wrench. Shelbys aren't very rare inside JBA, bottom line - rare cars are sorta common here... when you want the best treatment/repair or upgrade to be accomplished, you go to the shops that have great reputations, great recommendations, and are patronized by pros. Hot Rod editor Rob Kinnan had a lot of bad luck before bringing his car to JBA '59 Corvette, '70 Challenger, early '90s Mustang

I don't remember seeing these hub caps ever, and I didn't get a good photo of the air conditioned convertible GT500... sorry. It has a white top, green body.
I've never seen this bumper sticker before... very cool!
This is great, a photo album, and invitation to the before pictures! I love those.

The guage pod above the radio... caught my eye, I'm not sure if it's the factory optional one, or a really good aftermarket - homemade one, but it looks great and functionally just what I'd want.

That is a look at the adjustability of the front suspension... woof. That is dialed in to exactly what the driver wanted!
Looking at the engine bays of professional race cars gives me that itch to start making stuff for my car to get more power... whether its the cars at Speedfest, or Nascar race cars like this, they employ simple, easy looking, effective ways to get more power with a no-nonsense approach of functional definitely, aesthetics maybe. If it doesn't make the car go faster, last longer, and beat the competition... you won't find it in a real race car.
Simple and effective for better grip, and maybe less heat transfer to the drivers hands, it looks like 1" electical flex conduit and electrical tape.
Shifter boots to allow for body movement around the rear suspension piece.. now that is brilliant. It's easy to replace from a speed shop (back when this car raced there wasn't much of a mail order business, but there were Super Shops!) if the shifter boot was damaged, cheap too.

For a look at the JBA engine building machine shop: