RockAuto July Newsletter

July Newsletter :: Early Edition

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Another Happy Customer!

Hello! I just wanted to let you know how happy I am to do business with RockAuto.

I just received my order the other day, and it's not the first time I've purchased items from you guys. As always, the parts were exactly right, with much better pricing than anywhere, and great service as well.

I recommend RockAuto to everyone I talk to!

Henry in Florida


Upcoming Events
If you would like your event featured here, e-mail us with details.

Chevy HHR-HHRitage Nationals
Maryland Heights, MO

The 31st Annual Antique & Classic Auto Show
Lincroft, NJ

Craigs Cruisers-6th Annual Cruise-In Car Show
Caledonia, MI

10th Annual Rollin' Back to the 70's
Lafayette, IN

Delaware Valley Classic MG Car Show
Royersford, PA

Goodview Car Show
Goodview, VA

13th Annual Grant County Kruzers Show & Shine
Prairie City, OR

RT66 PT Cruisers Cruisin' With A Heart
Dumfries, VA

Yellow Rose Classic Car Show
Grand Prairie, TX

16th Annual Fabulous Fords Forever All Ford Show
Tullahoma, TN

Kingdom Cars & Crafts
Sheboygan, WI

18th Annual Falcon Club of America Pacific Regional
Salem, OR

5th Annual Cool Northern Nights on the Coast
Crescent City, CA

Skykomish Show N Shine
Skykomish, WA

PAWS Central Park Moto Expo
Washington, IA

International Mustang & All Ford Stampede
St. Lake City, UT



Wholesale Closeout Parts RSS Feed


Would you like to save some money? Even more than you’re already saving shopping at Set up a Wholesale Closeout RSS feed for your car. No searching, no hassle. The parts tell you when they go on sale!

All you need to do is click on the RSS button RSS next to your vehicle in the RockAuto catalog, then on the next page, choose your RSS reader. Just another way RockAuto helps you find all the parts your car will ever need.




Monroe Brake Pad Rebate


Get $20 with your qualifying purchase of one (1) set of Monroe® Ceramics® or Monroe® Dynamics® Premium Brake Pads.

Monroe Brakes "Fuel Stop" is a mail-in cash rebate promotion.

More Info

Go to the Catalog



Forum Of The Month

You are probably wondering why another truck site when the Internet is full of them?

There are many good brand specific sites out there, but by dedicating a site primarily to Dodge, Ford and GM and not focusing on a single brand, helps take a reader out of their comfort zone which allows for further education. The big three are in the midst of what some call the "Diesel Wars" which benefits us as consumers, you can bet each manufacturer is keeping an eye on what the others are doing. The same goes for discussing upgrades and experiences with other owners, you may pick up a great tip from another brand owner. community members are typically interested in 3/4 and 1 ton light duty trucks used for recreational and business towing; everything from towing a boat to a Bobcat. Topics discussed include performance and aftermarket accessories; choosing the right tow rig (hitches, sway control, etc.); choosing the right trailer; and proper trailer loading. Dodge, Ford, GM and other tow vehicles are compared and have their own forum threads. Towing competitions, tires, and other topics of interest to the towing community are also covered.

If you are the administrator or member of a forum and you would like to see your website featured in an upcoming newsletter and receive a discount code to share with your members, contact



Repair Mistakes & Blunders


This happened quite a few years ago but, it still makes me chuckle to think about it. This fellow that I worked with (we'll call him Tim) came into work with two strange marks on his forehead. The marks were about two inches long and one inch apart, they resembled a staircase as viewed from the side, and looked quite tender.

I asked Tim what happened and he proceeded to tell me that he had replaced the exhaust pipe on his Subaru Brat. He explained that the pipe had a huge nut to retain it and the only thing that would fit the nut was a large pipe wrench. So while lying on his back with the wrench inches from his face he pulled with all his might and when it broke guessed it...the wrench and its serrated teeth made a nice gash on his noggin.

Tim said it was a bugger of a job and he was proud that he got it done. After thinking about it for a little while I asked him why there were two marks, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, "Well I had to tighten it back up!". True story.

Mike in New York

Tell us about your most infamous auto repair blunder. Use your woe to help others avoid similar mistakes. Please email your story to Include your mailing address and shirt size (large or extra large) and we will mail you a RockAuto "Do it yourself?" t-shirt if we publish your story. The story will be credited using only your first name and your vague geographic location (state, province, country, continent, etc.) so you can remain semi-anonymous!





Tires are inflated. Air filter is new. Engine is in tune. Heavy tire chains are out of the trunk. I drive smoothly. What can I do next to increase miles per gallon (mpg) and maybe even beat the EPA mpg rating?

A real “hypermiler” might start with a car like my wife’s Mazda 323 and try to eke out 37 mpg. Tackling a car with crummy mpg seems like it might be easier. 12 mpg is the EPA rating printed on the window sticker for my 1979 Chrysler 300. Lots of room for mpg improvement and I know just the place to start!

The ’79 300 came with a shorter axle ratio than the stock Cordoba it was based on. A shorter axle ratio means it takes more turns of the driveshaft for every turn of the rear wheels. More spins of the driveshaft means the engine is revving faster. At 60 mph (97 kmh) my 300’s engine is at about 3000 rpm. If I installed a taller (2:1 gears are taller than 3:1) ring and pinion gear set in the differential then the engine might only do 2000 rpm at 60 mph. Less engine rpm would mean higher gas mileage. Swapping the ring and pinion gears might get my car up to 15 or 16 mpg, a 25% improvement in mpg!

Reducing the load on the engine by getting rid of drive belts is a popular hypermiler forum topic. I need the fan belt to turn the water pump, but removing the fan blades and installing an electric radiator fan might make a miniscule increase in mpg.

What about taking the belt off the alternator and installing a deep cycle marine battery? Unfortunately, marine batteries are just not a panacea for cars. A deep cycle battery might be rated to run a 25 amp boat refrigerator for hours, but the hundreds of amps needed to start a car engine would throw the battery ratings out the window. No one knows for sure how many minutes the car could go before the battery and engine conked out. Deep cycle batteries are also much heavier, starting at about 40 lbs. (18 kg).

Like regular automotive batteries, the less a lead acid deep cycle battery is run down between charges the longer it will last. A deep cycle battery discharged only 20% should last much longer than one routinely discharged 50%.

Even if I pretend a car is the same as a boat refrigerator, battery manufacturers don’t claim that their lead acid deep cycle batteries last longer than about 200 deep discharge cycles under good conditions. If I drive 200 days a year then in five years I would go through five $80 marine batteries instead of one $60 automotive battery. I think I’ll leave the alternator belt alone.

The air conditioner belt just spins a simple pulley until the A/C clutch is engaged so there is no reason to mess with the A/C belt.

Decades ago I drove an old Dodge Monaco for over a year without any power steering belt. I was not a hypermiler. I just did not want to bother replacing the pitman shaft seal on a badly rusted car headed for the junkyard. Driving with the power steering disconnected is not the same as driving a car with manual steering. There was a lot of sloppiness in the steering with the absence of hydraulic pressure. That might not be so noticeable with rack and pinion steering. Turning the wheel was a chore and the effort eventually distorted the steering wheel covering. However, it was a great upper body workout. I am older now and want to keep my 300’s power steering.

My 300 has aluminum wheels and is a reasonable 3800 lbs. (1724 kg). Replacing the cast iron engine block with aluminum would reduce vehicle weight but that big of a change might not be in the true spirit of a hypermiler. I could definitely increase mpg by removing all non-essential weight like the trunk lid, carpet, passengers, radio, etc.

Improvements in aerodynamics could lead to better mpg at least at high speeds. The 1970 Plymouth Superbird was also a Chrysler B body. With a lot of work and duct tape I might be able to attach an aerodynamic Superbird nosecone on the front of my 300. I will look for Superbirds next time I am at the junkyard. But if I find that fantasy junkyard, then that Superbird might also have a 426 Hemi to donate and my plans to be a hypermiler would be thwarted.

Tom Taylor,



Phil's 1965 Volvo PV544

Phil's Volvo

When I got the opportunity to purchase metal timing gears from RockAuto for my 1965 Volvo PV544, I jumped at the chance to upgrade from the pressed fiber (I am not kidding) stock gear that the Geniuses at Volvo insisted on using in their B18 1.8 liter engine. While it indeed made for a quieter engine, it certainly does not lend itself to longevity.

I finished my restoration project in June of 2007 and continue to look for ways to improve the driveability and reliability of my 43 year old car. It is now cosmetically stock and the modifications I have made do not detract from the looks of the car but certainly do help it mechanically. I have installed a later model 1968 Volvo 4 speed transmission with a 4th gear overdrive unit. This allows me to cruise at interstate highway speeds without the engine sounding like it is going to fly apart. Plus I get 30mpg or more in the process. Installed a Volvo (Bosch) 55 amp alternator in place of the stock generator. Why fight progress? Installed an electronic ignition to dispense with the points and condenser part of the distributor mechanism. Also installed an AM/FM radio from a 1968 Volvo to replace the stock antique AM radio which apparently only picks up talk radio and Hispanic music here in western Missouri.

The restoration was a two year ordeal using two cars. One complete (if you include the rust), and the other a wreck, from the firewall forward. It was down to bare metal on 100% of the car and a transplant of the engine, suspension, and radiator from the rust bucket donor vehicle to the former badly bent one. End result? You can make a “silk purse from a sow’s ear”. If you are willing to spend enough time and money on it!

Phil in Missouri


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