Saturday, April 17, 2021

"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see"


Yeah - so absolutely nothing has happened in the last several weeks that's related to the car.  There was a brief warm weather period that I was unable to take complete advantage of while it was here...the car is in nearly the exact same condition it was three weeks ago.

The hall bathroom was torn up and is now being rebuilt, the roof was replaced, the soffits and fascia was replaced...I drove for 4 hours to buy a new mountain bike.  I sold my old mountain bike.  Bought a new helmet, organized the basement a little, built a few new Lego sets, went on a couple of bike rides, did a bunch of shit for work over the weekends.  Did not work on the car.

I don't know what that says about my interest level in the car but I suppose that'll work itself out in the near future.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

"I can always say, 'It's gonna be better tomorrow'"

 The group of grommets arrived - most of it is what I expected but I did receive two grommets that the parts book says I should be using and there's no way they'll fit where they're indicated in the parts book.  I measured before I ordered but ordered them anyway just so I could say I did so.

All of the mastic is cleaned off the front under fender area - I received the new mastic and once it warms up again, I'll be installing it and the wire harness into the dash.  That'll be where the fun starts - rewiring everything under the dash, including the new gauges and the tach...which reminds me - I have to pull that CHT wire through the car before it goes back together.

These grommets are very durable and do a great job of sealing against the wire harness.

The grommets were a real bitch to get installed but I'm making progress.  The plan is to work a little each day until it's done.  Then I'll move on to cleaning up the old seam sealer and fixing the subframe bolt thread disaster.

I might just fuck around and get something done in the coming weeks.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

"When you chase away the easy way, it will come galloping back."

Well, that was a quick three (almost four) months.  I didn't do much outside of sell off some parts I'll never use.

The engine was picked up two weeks ago to be disassembled, checked, cleaned and put back together.  I have no idea when it's coming back but I've got plenty to do so I'm not even slightly concerned about it right now.

I dug into the car today - the intent was to figure out the plumbing for the electric fuel pump - but that quickly changed to ripping out the wire harness and replacing it.  So many cracked wires from the original harness that I just couldn't fix anymore.

As I was moving wires around in the engine bay and fishing wires around under the dash, a couple of them suffered cracked insulation.  I was acutely aware of the crispy nature of the wiring in the car but today's multiple failures changed the direction of the activities.

I pulled both the front harness and the rear harness - the front one is installed and I ran out of time to finish the rear harness.  I also cannot find the giant stash of grommets that I have around I'm a couple short for the installation.

The area underneath the rear fenders is in pretty good shape overall.  I did some clean up and I'll treat the bare metal where the old seam sealer cracked off.  If you look closely, you can see the OG Ruby Red underneath and the respray up near the bottom of the windows.

The goal here is to clean it up, replace the wiring and grommets and put it back together.

Perhaps in a few days, I'll 'grow a pair' and drill the holes for the seat belt anchor points.  It's high time I dust off that welder I bought and put it to work.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

"I don't wanna say that I'm lost 'cause it gets worse then it gets better"


After making 8 versions of this bracket - I think I have the winner!  Oddly enough, making the bracket is less than half the cost of one of these hoses so it was worth it in the long run.

Chatted with the engine builder yesterday - he needs another two weeks before he will be ready.  That'll buy me enough time to finish dicking around with random stuff and have everything ready for him when he comes by to pick it up.

One down, several to go...

Saturday, December 26, 2020

"Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity"

Not a whole lot going on lately - I received the updated bracket and in true form - it's just long enough to make one of the hoses too short.  So the options here are to either make the bracket shorter and use the existing hoses or get new hoses made at a nearby shop.  The revised brackets are the cheaper option and I've dumped plenty of money into this car already so I'll be ordering those soon.

The weather got real cold and the garage is pretty much the same temperature as the outdoors so I haven't done much other than clean the garage.  I'm hoping that next week I can drop it off at the engine dude's house to be pulled apart/cleaned and put back together.  By the end of January, I should have the engine back and the hoses figured out (finally).  It'll be a runner and that's a good little bit of progress.  That leaves me with the task of installing the time-sert and getting the rear suspension back together so I can get the car back on tires.

The updated parking brake cables arrived as well - they appear to be the correct length - I'll know more once I  get the parking brake completely installed (which kind of requires the rear end to be done and the rear calipers installed).  Hard to get a lot done when it's this cold and the garage is not insulated.  The weather has been really fucking weird this year (55°F one day and 12°F the next day) but I'll take advantage of any opportunities that come along to get something done.

I honestly don't know how much longer I can drag this out...

Saturday, December 12, 2020

“You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.”


Received the second hose and it fits - for the most part - I revised the bracket design to make it 12mm longer for a better fit.  In a week, I'll get the revised brackets and, fingers crossed, they'll be a perfect fit!

House projects are winding down (finally) so I should have a little more time to get this car dialed in so I can drive it next Spring.

The front apron arrived on Friday - packed in two taped together Home Depot boxes that were very beat up.  Not the best packing job but it was fine.

Today I dug out the wire wheel for the grinder and stripped all of the paint off of the outside of the shell to see what was underneath.  I found a very thin layer of bondo and somewhere around five layers of paint in various shades of auto parts store rattle can.
Above the license bump - which had no bondo on it - are two holes.  No idea why they're there but they're poorly filled/covered up.  There was a decent amount of surface rust under the bondo so it's a good thing it got stripped down.
This is the worst part of the apron (so far) - it's the lower middle.  Loads of small bumps - sort of like my face back when I was in high school.  Truth be told - this looks worse in the picture than it is in reality - partially due to the not quite perfect stripping job I did on it.

I suspect this is why the bondo was applied because there aren't any other real noticeable issues elsewhere on the piece.

I may have gotten ahead of myself by stating that I could take this off of my list...I'm going to keep looking for a better piece.

Monday, December 7, 2020

"Let it come and let it be"

A bit of progress today...I made several revisions to the existing bracket to hold the Jaycee oil filter bracket because it has larger diameter mount holes and the bracket has been 'beefed up' through a small adjustment.  This time around - I had them cut out of 1.5mm thick plate steel - so instead of getting one bracket for $45, I got eight test pieces for less than $30.
Of the brackets modified - this one is the closest to correct.  The holes for the exhaust studs are perfect, the hole spacing for the filter bracket is perfect...the bracket, however, is about 12mm too short, which causes a problem for the hoses coming from the engine.  I'm waiting for the last hose to be shipped to me and then I can confirm my modification (make it 15mm longer and adjust the location of the mount holes).  Once that's confirmed, I'll have a couple made in aluminum.  If I get a wild hair up my ass I might have one made in titanium for the hell of it...

I got in touch with the cable manufacturer - they shipped the cables two weeks my old address in another state.  The cable shop is going to make another set and ship them to the correct address so I should have those before Christmas.

Did some recon while at work today - there's only ONE fucking hydraulic hose shop in the area that can make brake hoses and get them certified - it's in Chicago.  I'm going to have to figure out how to get out there to get the brake hoses made up so I can stop by while I'm there for work as well.

The more I think about all of the modifications I'm making - the more I think it makes sense to go back to an electric fuel pump.  I kept the bracket from the previous installation so I'm going to put it back to work with a new fuel pump that I've had moving house for the last year or so...should be a simple modification to incorporate.  I like the modern touch of an electric fuel pump combined with the reduced pile of hose in the engine bay.  The safety relay is going to show up this week.

I also have a new wire harness from ISP West - the wiring on the car is getting really brittle but it's far too cold to be screwing around with wiring so it might have to wait until next year.

What appears to be a super straight, rust-free Mickey Mouse front apron found me a couple of weeks ago.  After a bit of 'back and forth' with the seller, we agreed on a price and I sent him a UPS label. I should be seeing that show up in the next week or so.  It's got the later license plate bump and the later divider but the MM lower front. An odd combination that couldn't be better suited for what I'm doing!  It's nice to wipe this off the list - it's the last body part I needed for this car.  Maybe I can sell the pieces I remove from the car and recover some of my investment.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Leaves blow in, a little time passes

Gene Berg welded and balanced fan to replace the stock unit arrived today...they told me that they don't weld the fins because the crank mounted fan doesn't spin fast enough to warrant the work/weight.  Makes sense - my engine isn't a high rev unit.
Bought a new wire harness just in case I get a wild hair up my ass and decide to replace the wiring in the car while I wait for the engine to be rebuilt.  I've got some wiring issues to work out - namely cracked/broken wires.  Seems like it might be more fun to just replace the whole thing.

Still waiting on the last hose I ordered, the parking brake cables and the nerve to do a time sert on the right side rear subframe.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

“I realize today that nothing in the world is more distasteful to a man than to take the path that leads to himself.”


The JayCee filter bracket arrived today - comparing it to the FastFab piece that's virtually identical, this one is of significantly higher quality.  The finish is better, the machining is much more precise and there are absolutely no burrs or sharp edges.

I pulled the oil filter thermostat from the bracket, opened up and assembled the drill press I bought several months ago and drilled two holes in the top section to mount the JayCee unit (shown to the left).  I don't have the right clamps for the drill press so the two holes are not even but the general premise is that with a very slight modification, I can use this bracket to mount an oil filter.  I was able to re-use one of the existing hoses - I measured and ordered the second hose.  I'm going to work on getting this part right before I distract myself with the oil cooler.  I ordered up some modified versions of this bracket to test out as well as button head bolts to get a little more space between the bracket and the tin.  And I ordered a welded fan from Gene Berg.  Once everything arrives I've got enough to keep me busy for a while without the engine.  

Need to follow up with the parking cable dude to see what's going on with him - I thought I'd have them by now.

The engine builder has a few delays in his schedule - I will deliver the engine right around Christmas and it'll be done by the end of January.  Plenty of time to get other stuff done as long as I don't get frozen out of the garage.  Plenty of time to figure out some of my wiring issues.  I'll keep moving forward as long as I can.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.”


Today involved installing the master cylinder guard piece on the pan, cleaning up a few random things and then removing the engine to get to the breather stand.

Close up view of what I saw when looking down the now open top end of the engine. - there's a bunch or weird shit in there - I think it's powercoated paint flakes/chunks that have come off of the breather tower.  Whatever it is, it doesn't belong in the engine.

Here's where the day ended - engine out, alternator, pully, & fan removed.

It seems like every step I take forward it met with a strong amount of resistance.  I have to keep moving forward, find new paths to success and try to find a reason to persevere.  Some days, it's really fucking hard to keep going when all I experience is abject failure.

The engine is going back to the builder to be torn down, cleaned and put back together.

I don't have a timeline and I'm not terribly concerned about it at this point.  I've got enough other stuff to keep me busy while I wait for this to come back.  I'm going to focus on getting the rest of the car on 4 tires with everything functional.  Now that my main goal is gone - who knows how long the rest of this will take.

Friday, November 27, 2020

“But the truth was for me, making the wrong choice had become an art.”


This one has me at a loss...I was installing small things on the engine - preparing to start it up in a few days and made it to the breather tower.  The top was a tad bit loose so I grabbed the tool to tighten it up a little bit.  Upon starting - I heard/felt that 'grinding sand' thing and stopped.  I put my finger in the hole and pulled out a finger covered in very fine sandblasting sand.  So, this part was sandblasted, powder coated and not cleaned prior to installation.  I've had this engine for 2 years since it was rebuilt and I have not run it at all.  The builder is local and we're going to have a conversation about 'what happens next' since I cannot, in good faith, run this engine knowing there's sand in the breather tower.  I don't know where else it may have traveled.  I am beyond aggravated at this point.
Ironically, I figured out how to run the hoses to the oil cooler and almost ordered them today.  I'm taking a tiny bit of satisfaction in having not ordered them.

I don't know what's next...other than not starting the engine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

“I am a clown...and I collect moments.”

Well, the goal of getting the car fired up before the snow fell was missed...although the way the weather's been lately - it might change drastically and give me  another chance.

The second set of hoses that I ordered arrived today and I was eager to get them on the car and revel in my success.
The fit and finish is excellent on the hoses - but my ability to measure correctly AND properly route the hoses fell short.  I didn't pay attention to the 'in' and 'out' of the cooler and that led to crossed lines that I don't want.  I have an idea or two about how to fix that but I'm waiting on another fitting before I can call it a success or failure.

I'm close - so close, in fact, that I may just run the engine in this configuration until I can determine the best route for the new hoses. 
This is the part that I am not particularly excited about and will switch once the recently ordered fitting arrives.   I will move the input to the right side and the output to the left side (it doesn't matter which side is which on the cooler) to untangle the lines and make it easier to run clean lines.

It was a mistake - but not a complete failure - and I've been able to utilize what I bought and make it better.

I'll find success soon enough if I can focus and be patient.

Friday, November 20, 2020

"The will to conquer is the first condition of victory."

Had a few minor setbacks over the last week.  I ordered Setrab fittings and the place I ordered from was out of stock.   I wound up figuring out a better/less expensive solution - those fittings came in today and I dry fit them.  I ordered the last two hoses yesterday - if past experience proves accurate - they should be here Tuesday.  I think I found the best layout - reducing the number of connections and creating the straightest, shortest run.
Today - I ran four new wires to the dash - one each for the oil pressure, oil temperature, tach signal and cylinder heat temperature.  Since I'm not installing the heat system (no heater boxes), I ran the wires through the center heat tube to conceal them - this allowed me to run them from the dash to under the rear seat.
And this is where I learned that the maximum number of additional wires that can be stuffed into a stock grommet with the positive lead to the battery is six.  Two for the hard start relay (to take voltage off the ignition switch) and the four that run to the back of the car.

I should be able to knock a lot of little stuff off of the list of things to do before I have to face the task of drilling out the threads on the subframe.