Friday, January 04, 2013

Unexpected Heartfelt Thanks From A Stranded Traveler

Motorheads Performance received an on-line review today from a very unexpected source. Earlier this summer, Guy Algar and I were working in the shop when we received a call from a driver on his cell phone who explained that their family vehicle was broken down on Rte 80 in Leesville, and could we help. Guy jumped into the truck, drove down to their location and brought them back. After determining what was wrong, I hopped into my car to drive the 25 minute drive to Gonzales to pick up the parts while Guy took out the broken part and prepped for the replacement. After making the necessary repairs and advising the family what would be needed in the future, we got them back on their long road trip. It felt great to be able to help, and we enjoyed the visit with the family, hoping they'd make the rest of their trip without incident.

Then, unexpectedly, we saw that all these months later they hadn't forgotten and had taken the time to write a nice review on Here's what the review said:

Thankful Travelers:
This past summer (2012) my family and I were traveling when my 2003 Suburban broke down in no where Texas (Leesville-a sweet, quiet community). We used our phone to look up a mechanic. We were surprised to find out there was one just a few miles from us down a country road called Motorheads. Guy came to our rescue! He got us back to his place, diagnosed the problems and helped us get a part from a local (15-20 miles away) parts store. As we talked to him, he was so enthusiastic about his love of old cars, his horses, and his dogs. He made us feel like old friends. When it was time for us to get back on the road, he wouldn't let us pay him for his trouble. He did all that just because he wanted to help us, stranded travelers. We are forever thankful! The Smith Family

Guy and I are grateful to all of our customers, no matter how small or large the job is. We are enthusiastic about the work we do because we love the work and the people we meet and make friends with. And it's nice when you make someone's life a bit more enjoyable. The Smith family was such a nice "bump in the road". While we don't typically work on anything newer than a 1979 vehicle, they were in a bad spot. They desperately needed an immediate fix, we had the ability to help, and we were happy to help get them back on the road. We could only wish the same if we were caught up in a bad situation. Guy and I thank them for the nice words. We, too, feel we met old friends that day.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays from Motorheads Performance

Guy Algar and Andrea Algar wish all of our customers, vendors and friends the very happiest of holidays this 2012 season. We look forward to resuming our regular operating hours Wednesday, January 2, 2013.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Take Pause

We take pause today to honor all those who were involved with 911. A somber day to remember those who lost their lives in the terrible attack on America and the freedoms it stands for and upholds.

We have brave men and women all over the world who fight to protect these freedoms. Let's get them home. And, let us not forget to do our part while we are here at home. We need to remember what made our country great. Vote and elect new leaders to return us to safer times with all our liberties and freedoms intact.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Engine Seized on '69 Charger

Last night when Guy Algar was prepping to remove the engine to assess the damage caused by another shop leaving the engine unprotected, we discovered that the motor on the '69 Dodge Charger is locked up tight. It's now looking like every cylinder (not just one or two) will need replacing, making the engine rebuild for the seized engine much more complex than originally hoped. Unfortunately we're getting a list of things done incorrectly.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

1969 Dodge Charger Picked Up

We just picked up this little beauty for some help getting her all together and running. We had a long trip of almost 500 miles to bring her here to our shop for work, and thankfully the trip itself was uneventful and safe - just the way we like it at Motorheads Performance!

We sure did get a lot of gawking and neck-jerking on the road and "nice car" comments when we stopped for gas - especially from the women who seemed to really like this ride! 

Guy Algar said this project will include engine work, exhaust work, wiring, A/C etc.  We'll let you know as the job progresses, as first the engine needs to be thoroughly inspected for damage after sitting at another shop for over a year outside with the intake open and unprotected after work had already been started. Unfortunately, not much was done, and much of what was will need to be redone, as we can expect that at least two of the cylinders and pistons will be seized up from the neglect which the customer was unaware of. All in all, this will be a relatively quick job which will give the owner all the power he wants!

Monday, August 13, 2012

1971 Chevelle SS Goes Home Today

Today, the 1971 Chevelle SS is going home after having the A/C system installed and brought back to great working condition. It now blasts Artic temperatures which we've been needing with the 100 degree weather we're stuck in here in South Central Texas. There were a lot of items on the list of fixes for this beauty, including a fix of a botched sound system install, new carpeting, dash pad, and fixes to instrument cluster and wiring among other things.  We'd previously performed engine work on the Chevelle, and years later the 454 with roller cam is still sounding and running great! - Guy Algar

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Chevelle SS Drivetrain in Place

Guy Algar reports that the installation of the engine and transmission in the 1970 Chevelle SS went very smoothly. Sometimes it's difficult to fit a big block into an engine compartment with the hood on, but with the years of experience Guy has doing it, we've again managed without a hitch! The Chevy 396 now looks much more at home resting on the motor mounts and bolted up to the transmission. We go into the weekend having discussed a parts list with the owner, and once okay'd we'll proceed with ordering the needed parts so we can get into the next phase of the project.

1970 Chevelle SS with 500 hp 396
While the original 396 was designed to produce 375 hp and 415 lb-ft torque, this engine's been upgraded during rebuild and will put out 500 hp! And this is with cast iron heads! Did you know that some versions of the 396 were equipped with four bolt main bearing caps and are very comfortable pushing the upper 6000 rpm range!  And the 396 is the precursor to the 402, as the first 402's were bored out 396's!
For those intrigued by the thought of a 396 or 402, our sister newsletter Classic Car News, will be doing a feature story on the 396 in the next few weeks. Guy will also be sharing his tips on installing a big block engine without removing the hood in a separate article! Hope you tune in!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sandblasting Frame for '68 GTO

We're kicking things into high gear now. Our father-son Coaching Program customers are here at Motorheads Performance today, completing the complete strip-down and sandblasting of the frame for their 1968 Pontiac GTO project, which is a full body-off restoration. While the body is on a rotisserie at the paint shop getting new trunk panels and rear package tray put in, they've been actively preparing the frame so in the next few weeks the frame and body can be reunited for the next phase of the project.

1968 Pontiac GTO - Body on Rotisserie
Motorheads Performance Customer Project
Guy Algar has done a great job showing the team great technique for blasting, sanding, priming and painting. We're so pleased to pass the knowledge to a younger generation who will become tomorrow's motorheads!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Busy Week for Chevelles

Guy Algar has reported a very busy week in the shop. He's been busy with the Firebird, two Chevelles, and the '49 Jeep pickup truck. All are coming along nicely, with the hubs which were welded in place on the Jeep getting fixed, the drivetrain going in one Chevelle, and the wiring issue solved on the other. We're getting ready to fire up the Firebird, so we'll have more to report as we busily work through the weekend!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

1969 Firebird & 1971 Chevelle SS Work

A busy day is planned in the shop today, and the rest of the week. Completing the engine wiring and installing the new starter with new bolts will be done on the 1969 Firebird so we're another step closer to firing up this weekend. Dash restoration for the 1971 Chevelle SS is slated to for this week, replacing the dash base and pad, the instrument panel circuit board, lens and housing, installing a new speedo cable, making the new stereo speaker mounts, refurbishing the ashtray, and installing the new A/C ductwork. We've also got repairs going on with the 1949 Jeep pickup truck restoration project and the hub problems Guy Algar discovered (more on that later) when we started the rebuild and new retro tires.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Wiring Issues Addressed on Chevelle SS

We've seen a great deal of wiring repairs gone wrong here at Motorheads Performance. Customers usually report some minor problems they've noticed, such as under dash lights not working properly, lights flickering or coming on and off only intermittently, etc. Sometimes the wiring problems are within the engine compartment, and are affecting performance. With recent work Guy Algar has been performing on the Chevelle SS currently in the shop for repairs, we had several wiring issues crop up and we took the time to write about them in length so others can be wary of trying self fixes that may end up costing more than if originally brought to a shop for repairs. Read the entire article at our informational newsletter Classic Car News.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rubber Body Mounts Severely Compressed and Damaged on 1969 Firebird

Guy Algar reports that the 1969 Pontiac Firebird he's been working on in the shop was in dire need of new body mounts due to the dry, cracked and compressed condition of the original rubber mounts. The body mount bolts were eaten halfway through!  Guy replaced the  mounts with newer technology mounts which last much longer. Read the full article on replacment of rubber mounts on our informational newsletter Motorheads Performance's Classic Car News.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Drivetrain & Engine Accessories Bring Firebird Near Completion

Today at Motorheads Performance, we're looking to complete the drivetrain on the 1969 Pontiac Firebird. Work was slowed a bit when we learned that we needed to solve a couple of electrical issues that were found on her, but this will be completed today. Then we're on to complete and check installation of the accessories on the engine, making sure the fluids, hoses, and all connections are correct. Essential steps before we attempt to fire her for the first time since the engine rebuild.
Assembled Drivetrain (not actual one being installed today) - Motorheads Performance
 This ride was recently purchased by our customer, and had a lot of faults camouflaged by shiny parts and quick fixes. Once we got into the tear-down, sloppy work, incorrect repairs and shoddy quick-fixes were uncovered. Unfortunately, this is an event which happens all-too-often by muscle car sellers looking for a quick sale or quick profit on their vehicle, or simply from lacking the knowledge and skills to complete the repairs properly. In addition to problems with the engine, we encountered incorrectly installed floor pans which allowed water to enter the interior, wiring issues, and a other items which forced the project to go much longer than initially planned. The customer was informed of the problems with the vehicle, and was able to decide which items he wanted to tackle now, and what ones he wanted to wait for later. Guy Algar was able to give his recommendations and help with an affordable and wise plan of action. We always encourage completion of repairs of any items that concern your safety. With this work completed, we're now getting close to completion!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Heavy Rains Again at Motorheads

Monday night we had the severe thunder/lightning storm which produced 2.5 inches of rain. Again last night we had storms blow through. Although not quite as intense as the previous night, we added another 2.25 inches of much-needed rain. After having just shredded the fields all around the three buildings we use at Motorheads, the rain was a welcome relief.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wild Thunder Storms in Texas

by Andrea L. Algar
Motorheads Performance - Leesville, Texas

Last night we were rocked by wild storms that came quickly and put on quite a show for us in South Central Texas! The rain was heavy...putting out 2.5 inches in a storm that lasted about a half hour. We lost power twice, but only briefly as the electric company was really on top of things. The video below was taken on a cell phone so it really couldn't capture the intensity, but the bright white flash at the end was lightning hitting a giant oak tree which exploded about 30 feet off to the right of where we stood on a covered porch!

Guy and I were grateful that no one was hurt. The tree, however, didn't make out so well, as it has two large scars running the length of the trunk. The blast literally blew the bark right off the tree, which was found this morning scattered all about.  A brief cleanup and we were back to business working on the great classics at Motorheads Performance today!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Back to Busy Week in Shop After Brush Fire

Now that the crazy mid-week holiday schedule is behind us it's time to get back on track. We've got a couple of projects that are due to finish up this week. Guy modified this week's schedule to try to make up for some lost ground from last week's holiday Wednesday and the additional time we had to take to deal with a brush fire in one of our pastures. It took us three days to clean things up from that, and luckily the damage was confined to hay fields, shrubs and trees, and did not pose any threat to the shop or our other buildings. Guy's quick response and alert from our security cameras kept this from being a bigger problem than it was. The extreme heat is really starting to take toll, and we're certainly grateful to be seeing some signs of rain today - and with more expected tomorrow.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Welcome to our Shop Newsletter!

We've designed a newsletter especially for our customers. Here's an easy way to stay in touch with events at Motorheads Performance, and see what projects Guy and Andrea Algar are working on. We'll also let you know of events and trainings we attend.