25 Years and counting.

25 years ago at the age of 15 I dragged home a broken down car. A 1972 Honda 600 Sedan. Two cylinder, air cooled sedan that looks alot like an old Minicooper but oh so much cooler. The last time I drove this car was the spring of 1987. I always intended to fix it up more but life happens and in my grandparents garage she sat waiting. Fast forward 25 years and it's time to finish what I started and bring her back to life.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Engine Weekend

On Saturday I had time to go to my folks place and get the engine for the Honda. I rebuilt it years ago in their basment and its been there ever since just waiting. Here it is in the trailer waiting to be unloaded. It's attached to a bracket I made that fits a traditional engine stand. It can be rotated in two axis.

A picture of it back on the stand.

Here is the subframe all ready to recieve the engine. I built a cart for it so it can be moved around and used to help assemble it. I am painting the last of the engine mounts and brackets and hope to get the engine on the frame next weekend.

I also have the tires and wheels ready for mounting. 5 fresh wheels and 5 Kumho tires.

Next up after the engine is instaled on the frame is to mount the engine cooling fan, get a new fan belt, install the points and condensor, install the starter, rebuilt axle shafts, lower control arms etc. Plus I am still waiting to hear from Joe about my master cylinder.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Here is a vintage Honda Commercial.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I recieved a few more parts from Miles I needed. The first photo is of gas tank mounting bolts and isolation rubber grommets. Above left is a carb rebuild kit from Bruce. Thanks for the quick shipment on that!

These are grommets for the cooling shrouds on the side of the engine.

Dan pointed me to JC whitney for these almost like original Poly bushings. Notice the original bushing (black) has that big knob on it. No idea why but the new redones will work fine. The distance between the center of the bar hole and where the bushing touches the frame is a little off. I will shim this with some steel as this distance is critical for front wheel orientation. Correct steering geometry is critical.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Spring is here and Saturday was fantastic 70 degrees and sunny. We spent the day cleaning out my grandparents house of 60+ years of collected stuff. Had a lot of family and friends to help and it was much appreciated. Sunday I painted a bunch of parts and stacked the rest of teh chord wood we had delivered last month. Expecting some more parts this week and hoping to get the honda body back on the rotissorie so I can get it in the garage. That will be much more fun and interesting than all this littel stuff.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Things have progressed slowly this week. I am waiting for the weekend to paint up a bunch of parts I have blasted, also orders a few misc. parts from Miles and a carb kit from Bruce. My pile of brackets nuts and bolts is almost complete to send to the plater.

Till this weekend.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Ever notice the weekends seem too short. I made some time on Sunday to work on the Honda, I seem to spend a lot of time sorting parts. Building a car is a lot like a big puzzle except you have to prep and fix and paint every piece of the puzzle. I have Roughly 8 or 10 complete brake calipers for the front of these cars. Ive been dissassembling them inorder to dertermine which parts are in the best shape for the rebuild. Here is one of the front caliper assemblies I took apart.

My bin of brake parts needed for the rebuild is getting more complete all the time.

These are the mounts that the flexible hoses and the hardlines join too. One is all cleaned up the other as it came off the car. This hardware will get new Yellow Zinc coating.

This photo shows the NOS rear whell cylinders I have had for the past 20 years just waiting to get installed. the original that came out is next to it.

I am sending off my Master Cylinder today. I never did get the internal piston free. Joe from Sierra claimes he can get it out with some hydralic pressure.I expect in a few weeks it should be sleaved and in perfect condition again.

I can't wait.


Thursday, March 11, 2010


Last night I had a chance to dig into the last big piece of my brake system. One of my objectives in getting this rebuild done is to get individual systems ready for assembly on the car once the body is done. My first big task has been the brakes. Somewhere I have other brake master cylinders but none that I could find. Regardless any MC thats been sitting around for this many years will need rebuilding and because of the corrosion you get with DOT 3 brake fluid (made from glycol which absorbes moisture) often the MC needs to be sleeved to work properly. So here is a 13/16 bore MC from my parts car before dissassembly.

After I removed all the external parts I have to remove the checkvalves and attempt to free the internal piston.

A little wire brush and it tells you the bore right on the side of the cylinder.

Here are all the parts I removed, if you ever do this type of project save every part nomatter its condition and take as many photos as you need to reassemble it.

This photo shows the assembly of the check valves and which port they go in. Since the car has front disk brakes and rear brum brakes the check valves are differant and need to be reassembled in the correct places. After this picture they went in individual bags with labels. The photo is for reassembly later.

So what now? Well what happens almost every time with a car like this is someone gets in the car and pressed the defunct brakes and the internal piston gets stuck inside and continues to corrode and get more and more stuck, since glycol dysolves in water, I am soaking the MC in a jug of water and will attempt to remove it later. After its removed it will be sent off to Sierra Specialty Automotive to have it sleeved. More pictures once I get the piston free.

Here is quick video Miles made showing this entire process.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

More Parts

I love getting parts in the mail. Received a package from Miles today with a new rear brake hose, some yellow cad wire looms, exhaust gaskets and brake hardware. Also the pile of rusty bits and pieces is getting smaller and the shelves are filling up with etched and primed parts waiting for a final coat of detail paint. I will try to get a photo of the shelves with all the parts soon.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Parts Is Parts

Years ago I spotted a 600 sedan behind a garage in a nearby town, I approached the owner and asked if I could buy it. The sedan, originally red, was painted yellow and had the shop name and number on the side. The owner had used it as a sign years before but had retired it to the back of the shop. We struck a deal and I brought it home picking parts as I needed them, if it had not been missing so many parts I might have kept it intact.

Saturday morning I went to my grandparents to pick up the parts car. I brought it home the 65 miles to my place and stripped the last remaining usable parts off it. Sunday I brought the remains to the local recycle yard. One of the yard dudes said a local guy "has a bunch of these cars". Im now attempting to sind this guy. Seems like everyone knows someone who has one of these cars but the truth be told just about everyone of these folks I've met has something like it but not a Honda 600.

Loading on the trailer.

Followed me home.

My helper.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spare Me

I discovered recently that Kumho has discontinued the 10" tires they make. Years ago I bought 4 new Kumho tires in anticipation of my restoration. Last week I ordered a fifth tire to use as a spare. I purchased it from Mini Mania I am hoping to get them mounted and balanced this weekend. If I do more pictures to follow.

Happy Weekend all.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Piles of Parts

I have a pile of parts that need refinishing before I move onto the body work and painting of my sedan. A tote full of parts on one side of the blast cabinet and a stack of clean parts waiting for self etching primer on the other. Here are some photos of the many parts Ive done to date.

The fan is done in VHT High temp raw Aluminium paint like the engine (pictures coming soon).

Some of the parts waiting to be blasted.

One of the things I like about blasting parts is it reveils the history of the part. Many times while I'm doing it stamped numbers and symbols appear. Its pretty cool.

I really like having a small blast cabinet to strip these parts. It would be almost impossible without it. I recommend anyone who is thinking about restoration to get one.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Over Time

Going thru some old pictures stored on various cd's I found some of the work I did in the past on the car at various times.

Engine removal.

This is a pictue I took about 5 or 6 years ago when I rebuilt the engine. There wasn't really anything wrong with the engine, infact it only has 45k miles on it, but I really wanted to clean it up and regasket the entire thing. On teardwon I discovered a broken piston ring, but aside from that it was mostly a cosmetic rebuild.

Some parts that I had sand blasted ready for DP primer.

Shot of my car on the dolly

I have to take some updated pictures, many of the parts here have been transformed into fresh and painted waiting to go back on the painted shell. I hope to start on the shell in a few months when the weather is warmer.

Monday, March 1, 2010

New Parts

Sitting at my desk Monday afternoon 35 degrees outside and raining here in Maine. But wait, a package arives. Nothing brightens your day more than when you are working on your restoration and you get parts in the mail! Last week I ordered new brake shoes and front caliper seals from Miles. Miles has been in the Honda 600 business for as long as Ive had my Honda. Great source and great guy. You can find him here www.600miles.com if you need parts advice etc.

Can't wait to see how the new shoes fit tonight. yeah I know the axle isn't even in the car but it is blasted primed and painted along with the rear leaf springs and backing plates. The shoes are the last pieces I needed to complete the rear axle. They will go great with the NOS cylinders I got many years ago from the dealer.

The calipers need some clean up before they are reassembled with the new seals, also need some caliper paint before I do so.


25 Years

Welcome to my first blog. The purpose of this blog or rant or what ever you want to call it is to chronicle the rebuild of my first car. You see back when I was 15 I bought my very first car in anticipation of getting my license. I had the bright idea that if I could get my cousin Dennis to sell me his little Honda 600 I could fix it up and be on the road and ready to take that drivers test. I struck a deal with Dennis and with he help of my grandfather and his IH Scout II we dragged my first car out of a snow bank and back to his house. that was the beginning of this journey. Well that's all it took and I was hooked. I drove the car all thru High School. It sat in my grand parents garage for 6 years when I moved to California, where I owned two others along with my friend Chris Verity. Move back and there it stayed in the garage until I was done restoring that old scout I mentioned. Years later I completely disassembled it and started a restoration. That went on hold like they often do. On and off, little things were done to it, the engine rebuild, parts blasted and painted, a new floor and roof welded in but never finished.....

Fast forward to 2010, new house a brand new garage to work in and my grandparents garage where I had it stored sadly being sold now that they are both gone. I say to my wife one day, "How about I buy this old truck and make a rat rod?"
She says" How about you finish your Honda before you start another project?"

And so it begins..............er again