View Full Version : Mike Phillips starts his journey to Autogeek.net!

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06-23-2009, 12:38 PM
Mike Phillips is on his way! As you may have read last week, Mike is leaving Meguiar's and will be joining us in a few weeks. He will be using his talent for teaching to educate customers on proper detailing techniques and products. Mike's passion for detailing is contagious, and we're excited to welcome him to the Autogeek team.

Moving across the country is quite a journey! In the meantime, Mike will post updates on his progress right here on AutogeekOnline as he makes his way to Florida. Stay tuned for Mike's thoughts from the road.

And join Autogeek and myself as we say Welcome to the Family!


06-23-2009, 12:53 PM
I was thinking about this. I consider Mike a good friend that I have known for about 6 years now but now he is family.

Have a safe trip Mike and we'll leave the light on for ya'.

06-23-2009, 01:44 PM
Safe travels Mike...

06-23-2009, 04:21 PM
The long and winding road leads him here to our door.

06-23-2009, 04:31 PM
Look forward to seeing you on the boards Mike.

06-23-2009, 04:31 PM
Awesome news. Happy trails Mike. I'm sure you will be well received at Autogeek.:welcome:

06-23-2009, 08:50 PM
Talked to Mike today and he was busy working on his engine, making sure his ride is ready for the trip!

Garry Dean
06-23-2009, 09:24 PM
I would like to wish Mike the best! Its a looooooong way from Cali to Stuart! I am excited!

06-23-2009, 09:33 PM
All the best Mike!! Have a safe trip to Florida and can't wait to hear all the tips and stuff you know!

Mike Phillips
06-24-2009, 01:22 PM
Hi everyone,

Since this is my first post on this forum I would like to start by saying thank you to Max, Meghan, Dwayne, Jason and everyone at Autogeek for the warm welcome and the opportunity to take a break with my son before diving into my new job.

Thank you! :cheers:

Over the years my son has heard all about all the fun I used to have with my first 4x4 "Big Blue" and my Sanger Drag boat that I decided to get back into a second Monster Truck and another Drag boat.

First is getting the truck and in a year or two we're going to try to get Sanger Bubble Deck, Runner Bottom, V-Drive Drag boat; at least that's the plan.

So part of building the truck involves taking a Road Trip to Oregon to visit one of my oldest and best friends Eric Mauser who happens to be the worlds greatest welder/fabricator. Eric is going to help me build some custom bumpers, do a little roll bar work and hopefully a lift kit for some new, taller tires down the road.

We plan on taking our 1967 Starline Deville family ski boat, (all original), with us to Oregon to do some fishing and water skiing while were there. This leads us to where were at right now. My 1975 Jimmy, (last year for the full-convertible), had a small block 350 engine in it and last summer we found out that the small block just doesn't have enough power to pull the boat up mountains to the lakes, especially with 35" Boggers for tires.

So before going to Oregon, and in order to drive the truck to Florida and pull the boat to Florida too, we're putting a new Big Block Chevy 454 Magnum into the Jimmy.

We planned on the engine upgrade last summer and with my resignation at Meguiar's and this break before starting my new job at Autogeek, this became the time for the upgrade.

As of this morning we're waiting for the correct Flexplate to arrive from Summit Racing so we can install it and then install the 700R4 Transmission and then the NP 208 Transfercase.

After the running gear is all installed and buttoned-up, then we'll add the carburetor and ignition and hopefully be ready to fire the engine in the next few days.

A lot of my forum friends know me as a guy that's passionate about detailing cars but I'm also a tiny bit of a motor-head as I love big block Chevy engines and just about everything I've ever owned either came with a big block Chevy or I upgraded to a big block Chevy. I find it very relaxing to turn wrenches on classic Detroit Iron. For the most part it's all pretty simple to work on if you have a few basic wrenches.

Anyway, without further ado, here's a few pictures to tell the story...

This is Eric's truck, I helped Eric build this literally from the ground up as we started with 4" square stock pipe and welded up a custom frame. This was back in 1982 and just this year Eric and his two boys completely rebuilt and repainted this truck. Eric lives on 10 acres of forest land and when we get to Oregon my 10-year old son Rand is going to get to take this baby out into the field and drive it around. (Sitting in Dad's lap of course).

Believe it or not, this is street legal in Oregon, I should know I've drove it around for years when I lived there.


That's Eric grabbing the door handle to give perspective as to how tall the truck is, Eric is about 5' 11"


After we built Eric's truck, part of our deal was he helped me to build my truck but I didn't want to go quite as extreme as Eric did.

This was my first 4x4, it's a 1971 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton 4x4 with a 402 Big Block Chevy, 2-Ton Korean War Era Transfercase, 4:11 gears, posi-track with Detroit Lockers, 44" Super Swampers and a Turbo 400 transmission. We cut the top off and had a custom half-cap convertible top made for it.

This picture was taken on the beach near Seaside, Oregon.

This was my drag boat, a 1970 Sanger Flat Bottom V-Drive with a 402 Big Block Chevy and running 18% Overdrive in the Casale Gearbox. When I was growing up, 3 of my best freinds and myself all had V-Drive Drag boats. (I'll get pictures of the other 3 boats and update this thread)


So what my son and I are doing is basically duplicating this truck only using a 1975 Jimmy instead of a 1971 3/4 ton truck. The biggest downside of this project is the Jimmy wheel-base is shorter than a 3/4 ton truck so it will complicate driveline angles but we'll get her done. (Insert your best Larry the Cable Guy voice).

So now that everyone's up to speed as to what we're doing and why, here's where we're at as of this week.

This is my 10-year old son Rand who's a true "Car Guy" in the making, I had him assist me in the install because it's not every day you get to put a Big Block Chevy engine into something/anything; he's actually a pretty good little wrench monkey. That's his sidekick Daphne "The Dark Overlord and Destroyer of Planets" in the picture with him, (she's not as innocent as she looks).



This picture was taken yesterday using my iphone, (sorry about the quality). The fan is actually off of a 1975 Cadillac Coupe Deville with a 500 Cubic Inch Engine; supposedly this design of fan blade will pull gargantuan volumes of air through the radiator to keep the Caddy engine cool when fully loaded with 6 adult passengers, a trunk full of luggage sitting in a traffic jam on a hot day in August in Arizona. (Should be good enough for the Jimmy).


We had to drop the frontend down by removing the 35" Boggers and just bolting on some steel wheels, this way we could get the old small block 350 out and the new 454 in while still being able to roll the truck around.


This is the transfercase and transmission already to bolt in as soon as the Flexplate gets here via UPS. Dana Sniff of Dana Sniff Transmission rebuilt the 700R4 and installed all the stronger, go-fast Corvette parts with a shift kit too. When you go through the gears it shift hard and solid just like it's supposed to, kind of sets you back in your seat.


Anyway, that's where were at, after I hit the submit button I'm going out to install the Power Steering Pump and Brackets and then make my way down this list.


Here's a few pictures of our classic boat, we picked this up from an Estate sale for $2000.00 last summer. Haven't run the engine since last summer so today we'll be test firing her to make sure everything ready to go and then cleaning and repacking the wheel bearings for the miles she's about to see.

This is from last year's Father/Son Campout at Silverwood Lake in the high California Desert. This is Jim, a member of our Church, after this weekend he wants to get a classic boat like the Silverline.


Pulling my son and two other boys on the O'Brien

Parking lot of our campground, we slept in the boat... here in the Mohave Desert there's Black Widows, Rattle Snakes, Scorpions and lots of ants and other bugs that bite in the night. Hard to believe I've had that double O'Brien Tube since about 1984 or so, kids love going for a ride in it.

Used a Meguiar's Banner to make a Bimini Top for the Jimmy to keep the sun off the boys.

Rand sleeping in the front portion of the boat...

Rand, Justin, (Rand's buddy), and myself sleeping in the boat as the seats fold out into beds. This picture was taken about 7:00am in the morning as we were waking up all refreshed and ready for another hard day of tubing and fishing.

Packing up to head out...

Anyway, that kind of sums up where were at and what were up to. Time to put some fresh gas in the boat and test fire the engine to make sure she's ready to go as we wait for the UPS truck to deliver the flexplate.


06-24-2009, 01:31 PM
welcome mike!! ive followed your detailing advise for a few years now. and have learned alot .


06-24-2009, 01:35 PM
wow, you have nice nice toys there Mike! I cant believe that truck is actually street legal, I would NOT want to be in front of that truck anyday!

Glad to see you get to have some fun with your sun, I always love when my dad and I work on projects together. :righton:

06-24-2009, 01:41 PM
Enjoy your time with Rand, we look forward to seeing you soon!

06-24-2009, 02:13 PM
I see it now ... the first video showing the detailing of a Monster Truck. I think were gonna need a longer powercord Mike. Seriously though, travel safe and enjoy the time with family.

06-24-2009, 02:23 PM
Hi Mike,
Thank you for posting pictures and now I know what's going on :)
I am going to miss you, good luck and have safe trip to FL.