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Everything posted by BirkinBernie

  1. Please let us know how it works out! I have never had an issue with that alternator in my Birkin. The only things it has to run are the engine management, fuel pump, lights and, on occasion, the cooling fan. With a small AGM battery it has been rock solid reliable for 22 years and 26k miles..... Happy Motoring!
  2. Poked around in Rock Auto's catalog and Autozone's web site under Geo Metro and found one that matches your pictures.....
  3. Looks like this one: https://www.amazon.com/ACDelco-334-1879-Professional-Alternator-Remanufactured/dp/B000C9PG9E Rock Auto lists it for a 1991 Geo Metro 993cc 3 cylinder.....
  4. Hi Mark. I dug through the archives of the old "Birkinowners" Yahoo group, and found a reference to Woody's kit using a small Geo alternator. I believe it is the same one I used on my car (though long before Woody came along). This is the one on my car: https://www.autozone.com/batteries-starting-and-charging/alternator/p/duralast-alternator-14767/680694_0_0?searchText=14767 Yours appears to have a bracket bolted to it, but it sure looks like the 14767.... HTH!
  5. I have used an Odyssey PC680 in my Birkin for years, with one replacement. Starts my stock Zetec with ease, holds a charge well and lasts several years. And it is AGM so zero corrosion. Happy Motoring!
  6. I have a '94 Miata gearbox in my Birkin behind a Zetec. I had the same issue you mentioned with the shift lever being too close to the dash. I started out with the complete Miata shift lever which you can see in the very early pic of my car's interior. What I found is that the part of the shift lever with the threads is a shell that is bonded with rubber to the stub of the actual shifter. I peeled this shell away and removed the rubber to find a short metal stub just the right diameter for 1/2-20 threads. The knob is aluminum turned on a lathe. I have tried a couple of shapes but like this one best. It could be shorter if one preferred - you can see in the pic without the knob how long the stub is. BTW, my seats are red, not orange. I guess my phone doesn't like the LED lights in my shop! Happy Motoring!
  7. Yes, that pic is from the engine compartment looking back into the tunnel.
  8. Welcome Henry! I don't know about Minnesota or Ohio, but trust me, the heat is not incidental in Texas! The transmission tunnel in the Birkin used to get hot enough to burn my leg. When I had the drivetrain out some years back I installed insulation on the inside of the tunnel and it solved the problem. I also sealed up the pedal box to stop hot air coming in through there. I had the headers ceramic coated and I think that helped also but in any event they look nice. BTW, on the subject of narrow shoes - I found wrestling shoes at a sporting goods store. They are much cheaper than racing shoes, lightweight and no bigger than they need to be. Comparable to racing shoes in comfort (as in not great for walking around) but in the car they are fine. Happy Motoring!
  9. In September of 2005 I had to deal with a fire emergency in my Birkin which was parked in the garage at the time. The car was nosed into the garage and the garage door was open. I was leaving for Houston the next day to join the Brits on the USA 2005 Tour. A NiCad pack I had purchased to power an in-car camera had a melt-down and set fire to the contents of the boot and the fiberglass boot itself. I was in the house when a neighbor banged on the front door yelling "FIRE!". After dialing 911 and handing the phone to my wife I ran into the garage and grabbed the extinguisher off the wall. I stood 15 feet back from the Birkin where the fire was burning inches above the full fuel tank. I had to decide between fighting the fire or running like hell. Then I realized that doing nothing meant standing back and watching our home burn down. I emptied the dry powder extinguisher into the fire and knocked down most of it - but the fiberglass boot "tub" was still burning - so I grabbed the hose and was able to put the fire out. The point of all this is that when the sh*t hits the fan, the type of extinguisher you use will be the last thing you consider. You will either use whatever tools are available to you or you will let the professionals deal with it. There ain't a lot of time to worry about the cleanup when the flames are rising. Oh and our neighbors and local friends in the Se7ens community came together to rescue us. Neighbors helped clean up the Birkin and the other two cars that were in the garage. Dick Brink and other Se7ens buddies provided spare parts and in two days I left for Austin where I met the Brits at the end of their first day of the Tour. And, lastly, the dry powder used to put the fire out was hosed down and cleaned up best we could. And the Birkin, now 23 years old, hasn't corroded into nothingness, Mr Chovan's panicked warning notwithstanding. Attached are a couple of pics before the cleanup, and one the night before I left on the trip two days later.....
  10. Hi Redbeard! Actually, we are in Texas Region here, not Lonestar. I ran my first autocross in Florida in 1972. I quit around 1999 having been here in Texas for almost 10 years. I was Texas Region Solo co-chair for a year, and did about every other job from Timing and Scoring chief to Safety Steward. The last class I ran was F-Prepared in a RX-7, and with 4 or 5 guys within tenths (and frequently less) in the class it was great fun. But I finally got burned out on it and called it quits. I've run a couple autocrosses in the Birkin over the years, but never got serious about it. Anyway, here are a couple pics. If you look behind the seats, you will likely find the mounting points for the bar welded to the frame, but covered from the rear compartment by the aluminum skin. You can see that I added a spacer to move the bar a bit farther away from the body to clear the hand brake mechanism. They drilled and tapped holes in the head of the lower coilover mounting bolt for the connecting rod to the axle. HTH!
  11. I have the factory rear bar installed on my Birkin. If you haven't seen one, I can post a couple pics. Of course installing it moved the handling to oversteer - a bit too much oversteer actually. I added a 5mm wheel spacer on each side to widen the track and that balanced the car back to neutral, at least at street speeds. Of course how it affects your car depends on what springs you are using among other things. I find that the car feels more stable and controlled, but I can't really quantify that - I just like it better with the bar. I haven't tried autocross or a track day since I installed it. Damn, that's been a long time. I need to fix that..... Happy Motoring!
  12. I've had American Modern collector car insurance on the Birkin since I built it in 2001. It specifies no commuting, must have a daily driver, must be garaged and 3000 miles/year max. When I went on the USA 2005 tour (4000 miles), they covered the extra miles for a small fee the amount of which I have forgotten. I had one claim in 2005 when a ni-cad pack for a camera set fire to the boot. Their response to the claim was outstanding. I now have 4 cars on that policy, and the total premium is $459/year. They even included my '86 MR2 for a reasonable value. I have no input for track day insurance - never used it. Happy Motoring!
  13. Look up a '72 Pinto 2.0L distributor on Rock Auto, and you will find pictures of a very different distributor compared to your Mallory. Looks like MV8 is on the right track. The second pic is for a Datsun 510 and it looks like your Mallory. HTH!
  14. FWIW, here are the specs for the front shocks on a narrow track Birkin (solid rear axle) from 2001, along with the ride height specifications. These are from Birkin. Looks like the Carrera 7543 fits the specified dimensions nicely. If your Birkin has the wide track front end, I know nothing about those. Incidentally, a problem came up years back with Birkins suffering bent lower control arms. After a lot of research, the issue was people setting the ride height at less than the specified 294mm. The front suspension would bottom out frequently putting a big bending load into the arm. Woody Harris developed a process to straighten and reinforce bent arms, but he is long retired and playing with airplanes last I talked with him.....
  15. I have toyed with the idea of replacing my AVO's. Not sure if the Carreras are still available, but a part number off of yours (if any) would be informative. Thanks!
  16. If memory serves, in 2004 the importers were Woody Harris and Dennis Tobin. I'm pretty sure Woody was using Carrerra shocks on cars he put together. Before them, Dick Brink sold the factory provided Spax shocks, and AVO single adjustables. I have the AVO's. If there is a part number on those Carreras, I sure would like to have it... There was an adapter available to use a rear shock with an upper spherical joint like the bottom. I got mine from Dick Brink in 2000/2001 when I built the car. Its pretty simple - shouldn't be too hard to replicate. HTH!
  17. I spent some time digging through the email archives. I cannot find anything conclusive about either the front or rear rotors from that era. At this point, I believe the best course of action is to talk with Tom Carlin the Birkin dealer in Colorado. I suspect Tom has addressed this issue and can provide reliable info.
  18. I found a parts cross-reference put together by one of the members of the old "Birkinowners" Yahoo group. It lists the rear calipers as "Honda Ballade (Prelude) 130/150 1986". It lists the rear rotors as "Birkin manufactured" but ISTR one of the fellows on the list providing an ID for a rotor he bought at a local parts store. I'll search the archives of the list and see what I can find.
  19. HI Redbeard, My Birkin has the factory supplied VW front calipers, and Honda rears. The only clearance issue I have with the 13" Kodiaks is the rear bleeder fittings. But I ground a little off the top of the bleeders and solved the problem.
  20. Hi all. I built my Birkin from the basic "BIY" kit in 2000/2001 and it has the same axle as Redbeard's. I installed a Quaife in my rear axle when I built the car. Quaife has a specific listing in their catalog for the solid axle Birkin from that era. We were told by the Birkin factory in South Africa that the rear axle was a newly manufactured unit as used in a Toyota Hilux minivan manufactured and sold in South Africa. The only ratios I have ever known of for those rear ends were the two that came in solid axle Birkins. 4.11:1 until early/mid 2000, then 3.89:1. My kit landed in the US in September of 2000, and it has a 3.89. The first two pics below are the original diff carrier that came out of my Birkin, replaced by the Quaife. If you zoom in on the first one you will find the number "68" in the casting. Hmmm. MV8 - where did you get the info that this is a BW axle? The axle housing castings do not have the name Borg-Warner in them, fwiw. Also, the rear cover looks different than one in a pic on that page you linked. The pictured one is deeper. This is fascinating. Incidentally, the Quaife catalog still lists Birkin as "Quaife Borg Warner M68 Axle ATB Differential". It also says "In Stock" which is shocking!: https://shop.quaife.co.uk/shop/atb-differentials/quaife-borg-warner-m68-axle-atb-differential/ Their listing has a link to a "technical spec" drawing. I dug up the old diff center section, and the dimensions and spline count of my old one appear to match the current Quaife drawing. So, maybe we all missed the boat years back - I have never seen the Birkin diff identifed as a Borg Warner - Quaife's catalog in 2000 made no mention of Borg Warner in relation to this diff. In late 2000, before I dropped the big bux on a Quaife, I sent one of these center sections (borrowed from the importer Dick Brink) to Toyota Racing Development in California on the off chance they could identify it and provide a more cost effective LSD. They passed it around to their engineers, and nobody had ever seen one like it. Maybe it being a Borg Warner explains that. FWIW, the Quaife is a fantastic unit. I consider it table stakes on a solid axle Birkin. I drove one with an open diff and it wouldn't put power down at all. And the Quaife install was a breeze - no change to the setup and the gear pattern was perfect. Please share whatever info you dig up! This is of great interest. I just replaced an axle seal on my Birkin - Tom gave me the part number - it's a Timken 472826. I got them at a local bearing shop. Happy Motoring!
  21. Hi Bruce. Yeah, I've never had an appreciation for pickups. I just don't get the attraction. Maybe if I was a contractor, had to pull a big trailer, or haul hay and horse droppings a pickup would make sense. But I can haul most anything I need to haul on the Birkin's trailer, or rent a truck for a day if I have to. Maybe it goes back to my childhood - in the '60s we pitied people who had to drive pickup trucks. I always marveled at the guys driving back and forth to work in giant 4 wheel drive pickups with big, noisy tires and "OFF ROAD" stickers. Now, these things didn't have a single scratch or speck of dirt. You know that the closest thing this rig ever got to "off road" was when the owner's wife ran over a sprinkler head backing the behemoth out of their suburban driveway. But hey, whatever floats your boat - I'm sure Mister Trucker wouldn't understand the Birkin either.
  22. I can't end my participation on this thread without mentioning my beloved Vickie. A 2005 Crown Victoria, I bought her in 2010 with only 14,000 miles on the clock. It really was a little old lady's car, sold after her passing. From the looks of it, it had never been out in the rain. The last couple of years I worked in the office, she was my daily commuter. I consider it the last of the true American cars - V8, RWD, big and comfortable. It doesn't ride as well as my Cadillacs, but handles much better and uses far less gas! And I fit! At 6' 4", that is saying something. It also tows the Birkin on its aluminum trailer very nicely indeed. Another car that I won't voluntarily part with..... The second pic was taken with the tail end of the two cars aligned.... Happy Motoring!
  23. I don't think the Miata was an influence. The idea for the MR2 grew from a 1976 design concept, with development starting in 1979 and sales starting in 1984. Development of the Miata didn't kick off until around 1982 with sales starting in 1989. I agree with you about the body kit parts that Toyota sold as options. The MR2 was very popular in 1986 and we lived in Fairfax, VA. The local dealers were all plastering the new MR2s with the optional "aero" crap and tagging a few thou on the price on top of it. I thought they looked awful (and were grossly overpriced). I found a dealer in North Carolina who found my car on the boat coming here and I got it in the color I wanted with only a stereo, AC and cruise. And they took my first offer over the phone ($12,600)! A deposit on my credit card and we drove down and picked the car up a few weeks later. Happy Motoring!
  24. And then there is the 1970 Sedan DeVille. I wasn't really looking for another Caddy, but the opportunity to buy this one popped up and I couldn't resist. It was owned and rebuilt by one of the guys in the national Cadillac club recognized as an authority on 1970 Caddys. He had the interior completely redone in leather, had any needed body work attended to, restored the engine compartment and chassis, etc. About all I have done is get the clock and the cruise control rebuilt, and I've updated the AC with a modern compressor. I've seriously considered putting a trailer hitch on it. It would make a wonderful tow vehicle for the Birkin!
  25. Well, off in another direction. When I was a kid, my dad owned a Cadillac when he could afford it, and a Chevy when he couldn't. His 1968 Fleetwood, which he let me use to tow my autocross cars, hooked me on the big land yachts. Before I retired and built my shop, I had nowhere to put one. Now I have two! Here is my '65 Coupe DeVille, purchased in 2019. It came to me with a solid, straight body. But it had lots of needs starting with brake work and a full front suspension rebuild. I've fixed lots of small things, from the electric windows and seat to the gas gauge. It has been great fun. The old girl is a really pleasant car to drive. It rides very smooth, yet handles very well considering it weighs about 5000 lbs. The biggest thing yet to fix is the air conditioning. 1965 was the second year Cadillac offered full climate control, and the system needs some work. It is a fascinating mechanism with lots of vacuum gizmos and no computers. I gave some thought to re-starting my autocross career in the Huge Stock class, but decided against it.....
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