5 useful, simple modifications you can do in your driveway

I have done all of the so called drivway modifications including swapping out a dif on an AMC Pacer. I agree with the 6th suggestion of induction up grades with ignithion improvements. These alone enhance reliability, economy and pollution output.

I’ve had to do my exhaust work (all my work) in the drive way
on jack stands, not fun!!! but have managed :slight_smile:
(Did a tranny swap on my 67 Shelby GT500 in the garage
on jack stands-not fun!)

Here’s yet another one you missed: Spark plugs. These, along with a fresh air filter or a good quality CAI can make a huge difference in restoring lost power. Many different types and metals; Iridium, Platinum and on and on. I recently bought the “e3” brand of plugs for my 2004 Mustang Mach 1 and the engine idled as smooth as ice. I went and bought 16 more for my 2011 Ford F 150 6.2 Raptor, yes, that good. Also, don’t forget new fuel filters too.

Just note. A true car hobbyist can do any modification in his driveway. If you haven’t and you can’t, you’re just a car enthusiast. :sunglasses:


It’s an age thing. Did it several times over the years with jack stands and sliding under the car. Now at 57 I just don’t enjoy doing that so much, and can afford to pay to have it done. Back in my 20s and 30s with a wife and kid it was a different story. Amazing how you can just grit your teeth and do what you have to do when there is little to no “extra” money for your hobby car! Of course my hobby car was also my second car (meaning my main car when I went anywhere by myself, wife drove the “good” family car…), so sometimes it was necessary work. By my 40s I did it because I still enjoyed it, but over the last five years I have discovered that since I have the money to get the tighter, nastier jobs done, I don’t enjoy doing them so much myself… so it’s a matter of perspective and necessity!

I intended to change the plugs on my 2005 Expedition with 5.4L Triton. My brother has done it, and has the broken plug removal tool. I took it over to my shop, popped the hood, and could see where I could get to maybe four plugs without too much effort, but only a couple with little. Heater hoses had to be disconnected, and a couple electronic control units would need to be moved, and the rear two plugs are well under the cowl. So I dropped the hood and paid $600 to have it done by someone who had already done several. Just too much to move out of the way for the 4-5 hours I was prepared to use up doing it. 4-5 hours for someone who had done it a few times before, I was looking at all day and maybe then some. Part of it is what I said in my exhaust post – when you can afford to have the nastier jobs done, it’s an easy decision. I installed my trailer brake controller and back-up camera. It’s new to me, bought it just to pull camper 3-4 times a year and use one the rare occasion I just need the room. Older than what I was looking for, but near new condition inside an out and just under 100K… and a great deal. I think owner got price from dealer to change spark plugs and take care of a couple other minor maintenance issues and decided to trade the gas hog in…

I agree that improving the materials the brake original brakes are made of is a good idea, products have become much better. But. If you start messing about with the design of the original brake system that should be left to the pro. When your car has front disk rear drum set up factory that is usually good for everyday street driving and is best left that way. Road racing excluded. Adding rear disk, bigger calipers and rotors is opening a big bucket of worms, it changes brake balance and bias and almost always upsets the cars braking. If you have $$$ and time to throw at it well go ahead, 4 wheel disk look cool anyway.

I have done it only useing Jack Stands
On our 1986 Chevy El Camino and our 1996 Chevvy K1500 6.5 Diesel 4x4 pickup
Yes a lift would be helpful

I changed out the drum brakes on our 1950 Chevy 3100 pickup to disk brakes and added a power brake booster
The stock 1950 Drums will not stop you in today’s modern traffic
Twice in trafic near a shopping center I had someone jam on their brskes to turn in to the shopping center
At the time I had the power booster was installed using the Old brake system
It’s an easy fix with all that’s on the market today
Take a. look at CCP’s site out of Orange County
It’s amazing what we can do to improve our older vehicles

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I’m still keeping up our 1950 Chevy 3100 Hot Rod at age 81 it just takes a little longer
I built by my self a 1948 Chevy with late model Corvette running gear
When I was in my 70’s
Body work,Paint and All
Yes I do have friends that helped with the heavy stuff including my wife
That I sold to a guy in Sweden
I can no longer build them my back is shot
I’m not ready for the Rocking Chair just yet
Yes I’m Blessed
I Thank our Lord everyday for my blessing

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I’m getting older, and a year or two ago I got a very useful accessory: a QuikJack car lift. This is a hydraulic lift that you slide under the car from both sides. It will lift the car to a comfortable height to work underneath. (It won’t lift the car high enough to stand under it, but you can comfortably work on your back). I love no longer using jackstands and manually trying to raise the car. By the time I’d get it up, I was often too tired to do anything.

A QuickJack costs about $1500, but it doesn’t take too many repairs at a commercial garage to reach that amount.

Other than the paint, body work and interior i did a frame off resto in this garage on my 55 chevy

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this was my end result Took 5 years


Nice job rmpe739. Beautiful '55 you have there!

4Yrs in the driveway and one car garage.


Some more upgrades & modifications for thought: carburetor upgrade, manifold upgrade, cylinder head swap, swapping mechanical throttle & KD for cables, steering box swap, quick-ratio steering pitman and idler upgrade, anti-sway bars, panhard bars, battery relocation, wiring upgrades, alternator upgrade, fitting an EFI, disk-brake conversions, performance shocks & springs, performance bushings (some), rear differential swaps, transmission throttle body replacement, electronic cooling fan upgrade, electric fuel pump upgrade, distributor & ignition system upgrade, and performance gauges (okay, this doesn’t increase performance, but it measures it - and you can’t manage what you don’t measure). All can be done in a driveway on the weekend (more or less).

You said it. If I listed out all my “DIY” tasks i’ve done in my garage on my cars there wouldn’t be enough room on the internet to show it all.

  • Tune-ups (plugs, wires, etc.) are not modifications.
  • Air intakes: Most vehicles don’t ‘improve’ w/an intake change as they were designed by a bunch of engineers (think Helmholtz). Usually changing the intake - at best - just changes the engine’s torque curve. Meaning it’s higher in the RPM band. Unless you drive a manual (yeah, all ‘real’ cars, right?) most won’t get into the higher revs, and infrequently @ that. Actually making the car less fun in normal driving. Enthusiasts and posers can ignore this @ their own peril (of their wallets). :slight_smile:

I have a problem with recommendations of drive way mods. I had a complete Cherry Bomb exhaust installed 4 years ago. After sitting in cold damp garage this winter. The whole system rusted off at Muffler & I got that P code for failing Cats. The muffler shops have the required Ax cetaline torch to remove frozen nuts on Exhaust manifold to Exhaust pipes were Cats are. Yea I got the Cats back through muffler to tail pipes. As the exhaust shop told me that the nuts need to be heated hotter than a propane touch can do. So not a drive way modification.

Don’t forget a collapsible steering wheel column!


here’s hoping you’ll never need it.