Thursday, September 16, 2021

“One always has exaggerated ideas about what one doesn't know.”

After spending way too much time last night pondering all manner of stupid options to get another concave washer quickly to stay on track - I decided to say 'fuck it' and go to sleep instead.  In the morning, I did some digging with specific reference to the EMPI race axles (no inner stops - so they 'float' between the two CVs) - I learned that I don't need the concave washers at all.  Turns out, giving up for the night was the right call.

"Experience" is the enemy of sanity sometimes.

During some downtime at work today - I called the hose shop to see what kind of nonsense I'd be unraveling on Saturday.  Not only did they find my order this time around but they said that the brake hoses will be ready tomorrow.  Instead of wasting a Saturday morning, I'm going to head over there after work and hope they got it right this time.

When I got home from work today - I pulled the axle that was installed yesterday, removed the two concave washers, cleaned both axles and installed both of them on the car.  What a super messy/shitty job... I stopped short of installing the bolt locks and the super small clips.

I was going to install the rear seat belts now that I have a solid plan for getting them (lap belts) secured but realized that I no longer have them - so I ordered a set for the back seat.  It's just money, right?

I hope to be installing brake hoses tomorrow after work, doing a quick 'garage' alignment and take the car out for a quick spin 'round the hood.  I have to figure out how to keep the kid in the car so I might install one of the old 3 point belts in the back until the lap belts show up.  I'm not going to drive further than I'm willing to push the car back so we won't be going too far.  And it's running rich so it may not run all that well anyway.  I've really got to get better at carb tuning...oh, yeah.  I bought a wideband!

Once I'm convinced that the car is in good enough condition - I'll put the bolt locks and all of those tiny clips on the CVs and start the process of going through the car with a fine-toothed comb in preparation for a longer drive.

Might have a solution for the wideband bung as well...progress is elusive but I'm gaining ground.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

"One must imagine Sisyphus happy"

Not much to report - one of the two axles is installed so far.  I somehow lost one of the concave washers for the other side so I had to stop.  I did a lot of cleaning up and have not found it.  It'll be a one week delay if I don't find it because I'll have to order one.  

Maybe the brake hoses will be done by then, eh?

Not much else has happened - I took a few days off of working on the car while I waited for parts.

I'm guessing I've got about two or three weeks left before the weather turns against me.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

"I'm not quite sure what level of reality I'm supposed to be operating on."

Getting up to date: Parking brake installed and adjusted, interior panels are installed, rear seat back installed, driver's seat installed, interior vacuumed out.  Once the brakes are bled - hopefully, it's still warm enough out to put the tatters of the floor mat in the sun so I can put it in the car.  If I do that and skip the 'in the sun' bit - the mat will explode into several pieces and I'll have to toss it in the trash.  Either way, it's coming off of the shelf it's been sitting on for the last several months.

I stared long and hard at the seat belt situation - there are a few ideas swimming around in my head - the front seats are going to be the hardest to resolve because the shoulder mount is too low on the B pillar for the system to work smoothly - I may have to figure out some sort of interim solution until I figure out the future of this car.

I received the secondary order of parts today - spent some time trying to figure out the best place for the bung on the muffler for the wideband - I'll likely remove the muffler and drop it off at a shop for that work to be done.  I may clean up the torsion cover and see if they can weld some covers on and then I'll paint them.

There's something weird going on with the transmission - it'll shift into 1-2 just fine but 3-4 are hard to engage - I'll try adjusting them once the car is able to be mobile.  I'm fingers crossed hoping that the trans builder used the correct hockey stick...this is what happens when the wrong hockey stick is installed.  I hope it just needs some adjustment because I am NOT down with pulling the engine and trans to swap hockey sticks...again.  Same builder did this on the Swing Axle trans they built and I specifically called it out when they built this one (and I sent the correct hockey stick to them).  Time will tell but I hope like hell that I don't have to take all of this shit apart again.

Speaking of time - the 2nd set of axles are due to arrive on Tuesday - fingers crossed I'll have a chance to get them assembled and installed by the weekend...although that may not matter because...

...first thing this morning I drove 30 minutes over to the shop that I chose to make my brake hoses and asked about my order.  The initial response was that I'd have to call the same two people who have been left two voicemails and, as of yet, have not replied to me in any way whatsoever...and there was no way to ask them today because they don't work on Saturday.  I asked if there is a "will call" order shelf and, as if a light bulb went on over his head, the counter guy told me that he'd check it.  And he found my order on the shelf in a sealed box.  He opened the box so we could see what's inside: the hoses appeared correctly made and the correct length - my hopes were rising for functional brakes today.  Then I looked at the female fitting and discovered an inverted flare fitting.  Wrong fitting - they're supposed to be ISO DIN bubble flare.  The male end was correct - the female end was not.  Guy at the counter assured me that they'd expedite the order for the fittings and get them done by next weekend.  The brake hoses will be the dead last thing I install on this car before I can drive it.

In the meantime - I'm going to do a cursory alignment on the front end, fix the hood release (it's stuck shut right now), figure out rear seat belts and make a decision about how to resolve the front seat belts.  At the rate things are going - it'll be done before I get those brake hoses.

I may go through the parts stash and start selling off stuff I'm not going to use if I've got more time between getting the car ready and receipt of those brake hoses.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

“You don't have to stay anywhere forever.”

A few things arrived today - shocks and the LM-2.  Upon opening the wideband - I realized that I'd need a longer cable and a stainless bung for the exhaust.  I ordered both on Amazon and they'll show up on Saturday.  Not that I'll be ready to fire up the wideband over the weekend but having the supplies on hand is a step in the right direction.

The wideband is going to be quite the rabbit hole...
Got the kid involved in the process of installing the shocks.  I wound up having to modify the bushings on the shocks to get them installed but they're now on the car.  I will probably pull them off the car to stiffen them up - but for now, they're on the car.
Both calipers and parking brake cables are installed and I should be able to get them adjusted/functional tomorrow.

I called the hose shop - I talked to two people and they had no clue when the brake hoses would be complete or where my order was in their system, so I'll probably have to drive over there Saturday morning to figure out what the fuck is going on.  And then take my shit to another shop to get them made.

Nearly a week after I ordered them - the axles are showing up as 'in transit' - which means they'll probably show up mid-late next week.  Everything adds a week...I've still got some interior bits to install so I can fill up my 'spare' time doing that while I wait for the cable for the wideband and the brake hoses.

Monday, September 6, 2021

"The hidden harmony is better than the obvious."

Today's progress:  I turned the car into what appears to be a complete car.  Right side fender, tail lamp, and the hatch panel cover (after hours of careful gluing together) - all installed. I tested the lights (everything works like it should) and torqued the rear axle nuts down to spec and installed the cotter pins.

The right-side caliper and the right-side parking brake remain to be installed but there's not a huge rush since I'm waiting for brake hoses and axles.  Tomorrow can be the parking brake day and if I've got the patience, I'll get to the interior. There are a few other bits to get done in the meantime (like figure out the seatbelts!) but it's coming together.

Started the car and ran it for a few minutes - the engine timing is off slightly and it's running super-rich - I suspect that once I find a good AFR, I can get the engine running right - easier to do when the car is running/driving.  Once the car is mobile - a lot of things will get easier.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

“It is possible that longing for something is better than actually having it. I’ve heard it said that satisfaction is the death of desire.”

Pulled out the rear cargo door panel out of storage and discovered that the vinyl is pulling off of the board.  The board is broken but I decided to push forward and glue the vinyl back down so I can put it back in the car.  It'll work until I'm ready to dive into a complete restoration.  It's one less part on a shelf and one more part on the car - that's a win in my book.
Right side door is completely put back together, the inner rear fender area is cleaned and painted and ready for the fender to be re-installed.

I'm hoping to get the right rear fender back on the car tomorrow (along with the rear bumper) and the exhaust support brackets.  If I can get the right rear fender on the car - the interior panels can go back in the car.  Lots can happen once the interior panels are back in the car.

Shocks are coming, brake lines should be done soon and I'll know what's up with the axles by Tuesday.  I think that's all I'm waiting on to get this show on the road, so to speak.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

"Your patience will be both appreciated and rewarded"

Progress today included tearing apart and rebuilding the driver's side door - the window regulator support has four tiny spot welds - two of them have popped off and they're no longer supporting the arm.  I took the door apart, cleaned everything and dug out the two sets of window regulators I squirreled away some years ago.  After I spent nearly 90 minutes cleaning them up - I discovered that of the two left-side pieces - one was on the verge of self-destruction (the aluminum press fit spring holder/pivot was pulling out of the spring steel bracket) and the other one was broken in the exact same place as the original regulator.  I thought about pulling out the welder but decided against it in the hope that I could simply make progress elsewhere.  So I put the door back together and moved on to something else.  The window works okay - it doesn't bind - but I know it's not 100%.  I'll have to save this for another day.

The other progress includes - the left side fender is back on the car - the left side parking brake cable is installed, I've ordered Koni Red shocks for the rear and the clutch is adjusted.  I prepped the right side of the car for under fender paint and started working on the passenger's side door.  But that's where I stopped.  I then took a VW break and installed the new horns in the Volvo (success!) and broke the headlamp washer door in the process - they're made from the world's cheapest plastic because they break VERY easily.  I knew I should have bought both of them two years ago...oh well, one step closer, I suppose.  I'll have to get the little door thing on order with Volvo on Tuesday since the part number on the part seems to have been superseded and the new part number is a closely held secret.

I'll wrap up the inner fender paint and the passenger's side door over the next couple of days - along with the right side fender going back on the car (and perhaps the bumper!).  Once I can get the parking brakes are worked out, the floor mat can go back into the car (the rear half).  When the brakes are successfully bled, the front floor mat piece can go in the car as well.  Then the seats and holy shit, it'll look like a car again.  Just in time for snow, probably.

That reminds me...I wonder where those axles are that I ordered from Sway A Way several weeks (actually, a couple of months) ago...they were on backorder but I figured they'd show up by now.  Axles and CVs are something I definitely don't want to do twice.  If the back order isn't filled soon - I'll probably have to order EMPI axles and hope they don't suck.

Friday, September 3, 2021

"All that exists is what's ahead"

I learned a couple of things today.  

First thing: The Type 1 torsion cover plates don't actually fit like I thought they would.  They're too shallow - which I figured out while attempting to tighten them to the subframe. Yeah, so. good thing I just bought a new set AND a replacement original set in case the repops were garbage (they're not).  I wound up using the Type 3 Swing Axle torsion covers that I kept in case I needed them.  Parts hoarding pays off for once.  The lack of a cover on the end is a long term issue I need to resolve.  I have a rusty set that I can use for welding practice to add a cover. The set that's on the car, for now, I'm going to leave alone because...

I'm pretty sure the rear end of the car is too stiff but I'll wait until it's back together and taken out for a test drive before I decide that I don't like it enough to tear it all apart and re-index.

Second thing: I get a hell of a lot more done when I force myself to find a solution vs. buying one.  When I was young and broke all the time - I didn't have the money to keep buying parts - I just figured out a way to fix the problem.  Sure, I was living in Southern California and VW shops were everywhere but I still didn't buy a lot of parts to solve a problem.  I've been working toward doing that now WITH a parts hoard and it seems to be paying off.  The last few times I've bought a part to solve a problem, it didn't...and a part I already had on hand wound up being the solution.

I have the target of getting a lot done over the long weekend since I'm not going anywhere.  Time will tell how well my mental motivation works with my physical time management.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

"When you're curious you find lots of things to do"

These are not yet painted - lots of little 'other' things came up and I have not made any progress in a few days.  When I break open that can of expensive paint - I want to make sure I use the whole thing - and it covers a lot of area so there's a lot of space to prep as a result.

I had to take the day off of work today to watch little dude - one of his classmates tested postive for COVID - thus he's out for 14 days even though they were wearing masks.

While I was out running errands - I got the call that the wheels and mirror covers for the Volvo were ready to pick up so I popped over and picked them up.  The mirror covers went on in about 15 minutes after watching a YouTube video - the wheels have to wait for a day where I can drop the car off.

A few days ago, I ordered a repop set of covers (arriving tomorrow) but I'm half expecting them to *not* fit properly.  Tried to negotiate an expensive local set down to a reasonable price but the seller would rather hang on to them so I passed.  Found a set in California that *might* be a good replacement - I have to wait for those to arrive (next week).  I feel like I'd be a lot further down this road if I didn't have to wait a week every time I needed a part.  Such is life in the Midwest.

I almost finished the hinge cover and light installation - the hinge cover is clean and back in the car but the light doesn't work. After jacking around with it for a while, I took it out and spent 20 minutes cleaning the light (clean version here) - it's the original (dated 11/63) and was very oxidized.  I used a metal polish and then DeoxIt to clean any residue out.  I didn't get to test it before it was time to call it quits.  I also found a light in my cabinet that I traded for a while back that doesn't fit the light cover - it's probably going to wind up on TheSamba classifieds.  I don't need to hang on to stuff I can't use.

And then there's wiring the accessory gauges, replace the broken window regulator, clean the inside of the doors, do the painting, getting the doors back together, etc.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

“The ego focuses on petty things.”

First thing this morning - I drove 30 minutes to drop off the brake hose contraption so the hose shop could order the necessary fittings to make the hoses.  There's a small chance they'll be done by Wednesday - but I'm expecting it to take a week.

Ran a few errands, did some things and then...I spent nearly an hour cleaning out the cabinet and putting everything back before I got to the rear end of the car.  

And, well, then I got distracted with swapping the horns in the Volvo - but that didn't happen because I had to buy two wire harnesses on eBay so I don't have to cut the original harness - and the stuff I took out of the Volvo went right back in once I'd ordered the required parts.  That was about 30 minutes in total.

Eventually, I got back to the car - the left side (shown) went back together very quickly - less than ten minutes.  The right side took nearly an hour and I sheared off a bit of the powdercoating on the subframe.  I can't really explain why because the FIRST side should take all of the time while it's being figured out but that's not what happened.  I swapped out the typically noisy red urethane bushings for the yellow Saco version - again, first one goes on easy - the second one took 5x as long.  It was also in the upper 90°F temps today with a heaping serving of humidity so being in the garage wasn't pleasant.  I powered through because this car needs to go back together.

I attempted to clean the covers that I got from Jim but they're very pitted so I may not wind up using them.  I'm going to paint them tomorrow and see how they turn out before I decide.

Ended the day by banging out the dents on the left side fender (bottom was creased in) and cleaning the inner fender area on the right side in preparation for paint.  Once that paint is on and dry - both fenders and the rear bumper go back on the car.

Maybe next weekend I can put the car on the ground.

Friday, August 27, 2021

“Responsibility is proportionate to opportunity.”

90 minutes today:  Spent about 15 minutes cleaning up from previous work, started the swap of the bushings on the trailing arms and cleaned up the used torsion covers - then I discovered something leaking in the cabinet - a completely wet shelf and wrinkled spray cans.  So I took everything off the shelf and cleaned up the liquid - which wound up being phosphoric acid that was leaking out of its plastic container.  It can be seen in this picture in the orange bucket.  

I cleaned off the shelf with baking soda and water, then Dawn - wiped down the inside of the cabinet (two cans of wasp killer had expelled their contents as a result of the acid eating the bottom of the cans) and cleaned the rest of the cans and let them sit in a shallow pan of baking soda in water.  The shelf in the photo was in good shape - just a little dirty - now a large part of it is missing paint so I've got to address this at some point as well.

It's all currently drying on the floor of the garage.  I didn't get as much done as I'd hoped...tomorrow is another day.

I'm going to drop off the brake line at the hose shop, run some errands and hope to get back to getting the trailing arms on the car.  Plenty to do - just not a whole lot of time. 

Thursday, August 26, 2021

“I’m an early bird and a night owl. So, I’m wise and have worms.”

 I had about 90 minutes today - I took a step back and figured out the rear brake lines (or so I think).  I put the right side trailing arm on the car and dug out some old brake lines as test pieces - and taped them together where they create one template piece.

There's a hydraulic hose shop not far from where I work and they can get the M10x1 bubble flare ends.  Probably a one week turnaround before I can pick them up.  I have to figure out a way to support the brake hose right about where my fingers are in the picture but it'll eliminate an additional connection.

Next opportunity I have a couple of hours - I'll get the rear end installed and get the car back on four tires - the brake lines will happen soon enough.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

"Sunk costs and all that..."

Not a lot of time today (or the last couple of days) to work on the car.  I spent about an hour or a little more today putting the engine back together - the pulley shroud, the clamps, the muffler, the modified heat shield, the oil fill boot, yada, yada, yada...the engine is good to go.

The outer bushings arrived yesterday and, while they're tighter than I would prefer, I think they'll work out okay.

I found a local shop that can fab the needed brake lines for the rear end - now I need to find the time to get over to them before they close.  Potentially during the week next week.

I should be able to get to the rear suspension soon...then move to the interior and get the doors rebuilt and put back together.  Soon enough, I hope, the random piles of parts in the garage will be back in the car.

Progress has been slow this week but I'm hoping to make more progress by the end of the week.

Monday, August 23, 2021

"The questions are always more important than the answers"

Finished pictures first, I guess.

Ran the new wiring for the cargo light from the dome light - the stock location is wired to the running light on the tail lamp - meaning it's only going to work when the running lights are on.

The heat shield is notched where it was rubbing on the body and the edge that was rubbing on the bellows boot has been 'coerced in a new direction'.  The final touch was to sand the edges to remove the sharpness.

I prepared the pulley shroud gasket so I don't forget to install it.  Fingers crossed - I should be able to leave the engine in the car for a while.

Another thing that was done - drilled three holes in the pulley shroud for the bolt on lid and test the fit.

I'm not going to bother powdercoating the lid at this point.

Prior to removing the muffler and the heat shield - I took this picture to show just how close the heat shield is to the bellows boot.
Another angle showing the corner pushing into the bellows boot near the clamp.

The test fit of the heat shield indicates that the modifications should help the two parts keep a slight difference.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

“Crack an egg on your head. Let the yolk drip down.”

These fucking things...I have a couple of options to deal with what's going on right now:

1. Take them to a new plating shop and have this plating removed and re-plated so the finished product fits the Jaycee torsion covers.

2. Find a set of Type 1 torsion cover plates, buy the outer bushings and see if this whole thing goes together.

If it's not horribly obvious - I've decided to go after option #2.  I measured the OD of the spring plate, found the suitable bushing and ordered them.

In spite of my organization - I cannot find the cover for the pulley shroud.  I have a NOS bolt-on cover that I'll have powder coated.  If I cannot find a suitable replacement for the one I've apparently lost - I'll drill three holes in this cover and swap it over to a bolt-on unit.

I swapped out the rear license plate wiring and the two grommets - and that was about it for the day.  I have the cargo light and the dome light wiring remaining to replace but those will wait until they're necessary - both currently work fine.

I have five days of vacation and then I'll come back and get something done on the car - and repeat that until my ass is in the seat going down the street.

Sunday, August 15, 2021

...and now, for a little progress

The car fired right up.  There's a minor oil leak at the rocker cover on the right side, the engine needs to be tuned slightly and the heat shield for the exhaust is rubbing on the body.  A few small tweaks and things will be nicely dialed in.

I noticed at some point today that the seal between the pulley shroud and the fan shroud was not installed - shit time to realize it given the complexity of the exhaust installation process.  But given the rubbing of the heat shield, I can potentially fix three things at once.

I got the horn and front trunk liner installed so the front end looks correct.  The hood latch has decided to stop working so I have to figure that out before I can drive the car but it should be a simple fix.  
Got the kid to help me out for a few minutes - he installed the rear engine stabilizer mount.  Waiting around for the next task was too boring for him so he moved on to the next thing.

I started working on getting the spring plates installed but hit a snag - the plating on the spring plates is too thick and they now do not work with the brass bushings on the cover plates.  I have to come up with some sort of solution so that I can keep moving forward.  I can't use an abrasive or a hone so I have to think of another solution.

I might install a trailing arm and figure out the brake lines while I figure out a solution for the spring plates.  I can also finish working on the 'under the fender' things so that I can get the rear fenders back on the car and get the bumper back on the car.  I've also got the rear seat that can go back in the car.  Plenty of opportunities to keep moving forward.

Saturday, August 14, 2021

"Don't worry, I'm not in a hurry"

Made a good amount of progress today - fuel tank, fuel line and pump are all plumbed and wired up.  The fuse box is fitted and checked and new fuses have been installed.  The fusebox is set up like a 67 Euro car with a 12 slot fuse box.  I was able to remove three of the piggy back connectors as a result of using a 12 slot fuse box vs. the standard 10 slot.  The additional 30 amp fuse between the battery and the ignition swich/fuse box should help control any issues that crop up.

From the front end - it's looking a lot like a functional car.  There are some front end suspension things to work out before I can drive the car but the rest of it is dialed in.

A random neighbor stopped by in a 1950 Jeep and chatted about the car - we talked about the things that I've done with the car and we talked a bit about his Jeep.  There are a lot of old cars in this neighborhood and it's cool to talk with people about their cars.

All of the engine wiring is finished - at least for this first round - none of the accessory gauges are wired up yet.

Engine is filled with oil, trans is filled with gear oil...

The battery goes in tomorrow and then we get to see if there are any electrical issues or leaks.  I might get to the spring plate installation tomorrow as well.

The only thing holding this all up will be the rear brake lines - they have to be figured out, made and installed before I can bleed the brakes and drive the car.  I'm making a good amount of progress and it'll be nice to turn it over tomorrow.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Micro update

Not a whole lot of exciting news - installed fuel line from the car to the carbs and the exhaust.  Getting that fucking heat shield for the Python installed was a real bitch.  There's a corner on the heat shield that I'm pretty sure is going to poke a hole in the bellows boot.  I am going to try to get the engine bay wiring done tomorrow and then see how close I can get to firing this thing up.

Once I've reached that part - I will work on getting the suspension swapped out and get the car on tires.  I feel like I'm pretty close to getting both of those things done - and it'll be nice to check at least one of these things off the list.

But still - fuck that heat shield because I know I'm going to have to remove the engine sometime soon and start this whole thing over.

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

“But in order to change a situation one has first to see it for what it is…”

The plating shop called and told me that the spring plates are ready - 2 day turn around.

They look so much better in real life than they do in pictures.  Now I've got more work to do.  

Once I can get the weather to cooperate, I'll have some time to get more shit done on the car.

I can't wait to get this car back on tires and have the rear brake line the only thing left to finish up.

I've got a list of things to do - still targeting this weekend to get the engine fired up.

Monday, August 9, 2021

"It’s judgment that defeats us."

Nothing really to report - didn't get anything done yesterday.

On the way home, I dropped off the spring plates at a plating shop - very weird vibe in that place but I'm optimistic it'll translate into a good product. The weather didn't do me any favors later in the day - I spent an hour in the basement during a tornado warning and then spent another 30 minutes replacing the rear seat center console in the Volvo.

I have to get some shit done on this car...

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Evil is whatever distracts

The engine is installed.  I spent about an hour beating the shit out of the already mangled rear apron to make space for the muffler.  I had to make some BFH adjustments to the engine tin to get the J tubes on the back of the engine. 

I spent 20 minutes getting the transmission coupler cover back on the pan and properly seated under the nosecone seal. I rank it up there as one of the worst things to do on a Type 3.

The car should be real close to being able to fire up by the end of the day tomorrow but I'm trying to not to expect too much in case shit goes sideways.

I found another plating shop nearby - I'm going to drop the spring plates off on Monday and they should be done by the end of the week.

My new target is next weekend for the start up - and I may even be able to get this thing back on 4 tires again.

Monday, August 2, 2021

"do it or do not do it - you will regret both"

 The tap arrived today and I promptly put it to work.  After a handful of cleaning sessions and running the tap through the threads with lubricant - I was able to get the bolts into the subframe without incident.  This is good news - I don't have to drill out threads or drop the subframe. 

Now just waiting on getting the spring plates re-plated so I can put this thing back together.

In the meantime - I'll work on finishing up the wiring and getting the things I took apart back together, installing the engine, etc.  I can run the engine without the rear suspension fully installed.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

“Once you hear the details of victory, it is hard to distinguish it from a defeat.”

 A small amount of progress this weekend with a couple of setbacks.  The headlights, indicators, sidemarkers and all related wiring is installed.  The fuel pump is installed, the fuel safety relay is installed.  I stopped short of installing the fuel tank and the front bumper.  I need to get fuel hose for the short run between the fuel tank and the fuel pump.  I wound up pulling out a NOS right front indicator housing because the one on the car was different from the left side - and due to a modification - would have required a different bulb.  I'm all about simplicity so I pulled it out of the box and installed it.  The ISP West front indicator rubber seals went on rather quickly once I swapped the wire tails from the NOS pieces that had shrunk too much to install.

I've ordered a new tap to check one last time if I can simply clean out the existing threads on the torsion bar cover plate before I drill out the threads and use through bolts.  The main reason behind this is because the use of through bolts requires dropping the subframe to get them installed...which, of course, is a gigantic pain in the ass and will slow the progress considerably.  I've already pulled the trailing arms off of the subframe so it'll make removing the transmission that much easier if it comes to it. Once I've run the tap through the threads and figured out which direction I have to go - I'll just move forward.  This car has to go back together very very soon.

Speaking of slowing things down - the very local plating shop decided to try and charge me $500 to plate two spring plates so I canceled the job.  The spring plates are now in need of a new shop to get the job done.  I can't really finish the rear end until the spring plates are re-plated.  I do have the ride height dialed in so the swap should be quick once the good plates are back from plating.

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

A period of darkness is essential in order to expand personal awareness.

Today was semi-productive.  I took the spring plates to the plating shop, wired the fuel pump, installed most of the safety relay and put the engine back together.

I have a few more wires to attach before it's done.  For simplicity's sake, I left the lead for the CHT off this time around.  I'm not 100% convinced the start up is going to be leak-free so there's another chance that I can install it later.  All of the other leads are run and prepped for installation.

Small amounts of progress in the right direction - that's all I can ask for at this point.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Progress is man's ability to complicate simplicity

 In a roundabout way - I got the car on 4 tires today.  I put everything together so that I could figure out if the spring plates are indexed properly.

It's a minor victory but it was nice to see that I managed a win today.

Additionally, I realized where I fucked up my rear caliper installation and have made a couple of changes to prevent it from happening again.

This is, eh...the 2nd time the car has been out of the garage since we bought the house a few years ago.  

Engine dude showed up right after I took this picture and confirmed the oil cooler was leaking - handed me another one and went on his way.  I didn't do a lot with the engine today because I was focused on figuring out the suspension situation.  The fan shroud is back on and the pulley is back on - I should be able to get the rest of it put back together tomorrow.  I'm also going to attempt to get the fuel tank situated and the fuel pump installed and wired up to the safety relay.

The car is back on jack stands with the rear end pulled out in preparation for the drilling out of the chewed up spring plate cover mounting holes.  The nuts will only go on with the subframe out (one major downside) but I've got a few other things to get done first - like have the correct spring plates zinc plated.  Once they're done, I will swap them out with the set on the car (they're rusting) and put it back together one time.  Brake lines are about all that's left on the list of things to do on the rear end.  I've got the few front end things to do and finish up the wiring.  In spite of appearances - I'm making some progress.  I won't be done before the end of the week though.  There are a few things I can do while I wait for the spring plates (like the entire front end and the wiring).

Monday, July 26, 2021

When the fight was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered.

Today was not a great day, productivity-wise.  Got a sick kid at home and 40 things to get done this week...hard to focus.

I did pull the oil cooler and found oil pooled up underneath and the mount area very wet with fresh oil.  I cleaned the oil cooler out and removed the black paint from the exterior.

I called several local radiator shops and none had any interest in pressure testing the oil cooler.  The engine builder came by after a text conversation and picked up the oil cooler to test it and/or replace it.  Hopefully, tomorrow will be more productive and the engine will go back together.  I would like to get it in the car so I can finish up the wiring and get the suspension set properly.

I spent the better part of an hour trying to get NOS front indicator housing seals on the car in an attempt to get something accomplished today.  In the end, I gave up because they'd shrunk so much that they would not go on the car.

Tomorrow, I will attempt to get the spring plate covers mounted on the car so I can install the other trailing arm and brake assembly on the right side.  Once that's done, I can circle back and figure out brake lines.

The end goal is to get the car on 4 tires...I may need to adjust my approach to get there.

This car is far more frustrating than fun.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

It is getting back up that defines your character

Mixed bag today.

Found a spring for the thermostat flaps, cleaned and painted the actuator rod and got both of those installed.  Replaced the tin on the right side of the engine.  Things were going well at this point.
Then I removed the spark plug wires on the left side to get the CHT wire installed and found both spark plug ends broken off - there are no pieces anywhere so they were installed this way (they're also different colors).

More shitty engine builder corner cutting. 
The oil cooler was wet with oil - no soaking wet but would easily stain a shop towel with oil.  Not sure if this thing leaks or if it just got oil on it.  I don't trust it - so now I'm on the hunt for another one.
My rebuilt engine is in a different array of pieces because I cannot trust anyone to do the job properly.  No one can seem to replace broken parts or make sure shit works before it's put on an engine.  Just slap it together and hope for the best!

The one guy I thought I could trust has fucked up multiple things on one engine.


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Hope is tomorrow's veneer over today's disappointment.

 Spent a solid 30 minutes removing the top tin from the right side of the engine to get to the thermostat lever and bracket.  Odd, that the closer I am to this car  going back together, the more pieces I have to remove from the engine to get there.  At the rate I'm going, it'll be a long block in a couple of days just so I can fix minor shit that wasn't done right.

I am now held up by a thermostat linkage arm (that's not on the engine) and a spring that may or may not be at the builder's house (more on that later).  If I can fix the linkage and get the spring - I'll get the tin back on and get closer to installing it.

My final days at the job that's consumed the last year of my life are coming - two more to go - and then I've got a week to figure some shit out on this engine before I start the next job.  I'll drive this car someday.  Maybe.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

To a failed experiment, the failure is unforgivable

The engine came back today...and I noticed a few things right off the bat that I wasn't exactly thrilled about.  The carb linkage was on backward and there was a mechanical fuel pump installed.

I pulled the fuel pump and replaced it with the block off plate shown here - and then I noticed the center mount for the thermostat flaps was not mounted.  This is a MUCH bigger issue because the whole fan system has to come out to fix it. that is what I wound up doing.  Removing the pulley, shroud, fan and shroud - all to flip a bracket around and install it properly.  Not hard, per se, but super fucking annoying.

And then I found that the thermostat flap spring is not installed.  And the rod is installed the right side tin all has to come off so I can fix that as well.

I flipped the carb linkage around so that it's mounted in the correct location.  I didn't get it all back together because I had to finish some other stuff around the house.

I should have more time to get shit done on this car in the coming weeks - I recently quit the job that required me to be on call 24/7 with super long hours and a ridiculous commute.  I have five more days of stupid, a week off, and then I start a new job with no weekends, no on-call horseshit, and normal hours and a significantly shorter commute.  My goal is to get a lot of this shit done in the week that I'm off.  I should be able to get the wiring finished and get the engine in the car (and running).  I'm not going to fool myself into believing that I'll have it all knocked out and done because, let's face it, that's not how this car works.

Saturday, June 26, 2021

“He had to pause for his usual misgivings.”

 Today was semi-productive.  I ran the wires for the oil pressure, oil temperature, a spare wire and the CHT.  What should have taken an hour - wound up taking me 4 hours because I got interrupted by phone calls from work.  A lot of calls.  27 calls in total.  Once I realized that I wasn't going to get a whole lot done, I aimed real low and just finished the wiring.  The center heat tube is a great conduit for wiring to the dash.

I ordered new trim rubber for the electric fuel pump mount and a new brass nipple for the fuel pump so that I won't have to use an adapter.  I ordered new Swayaway axles...some things to look forward to, I suppose.

The engine should be back in about two weeks - that should give me enough time to get the other trailing arm installed and checked out.  I think I can get a nut on the back of the bolts and that'll do it.  I'd like to get the rear of the car sorted soon.  It's not hard - just time-consuming. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

“Doesn’t everyone have at least two opposing natures warring inside them?”

 Another month goes by with zero work completed on the car.  Simple shit seems to take months to get resolved because other pieces of 'life' get in the way of working on the car.  There's always other stuff to get done and the car just sits.  I used to wonder how people could own a project car for years and get nothing done on it - it's SO fucking simple...but now that it's happened to me - I get it.

I had to order a new CHT wire because the original one was too short - something that I should have caught before it was too late.  I pulled the other wires out - now I need to fish them all back into the car to get a step closer to being ready.  

Asked around about using through bolts and installing nuts on the back of the spring plate/torsion bar area - seems like it's a better solution than using a time-sert so that's the route I'm going to take for now.

All I lack now is time.  I have plenty of parts to keep me busy.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

"Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure. Only the paranoid survive"


Haven't accomplished much in the last week - I picked up bronchitis and a sinus infection and have spent much of this time dealing with feeling like shit.

Today, however, I picked the old harness up off the floor to see if there were any OG wires I could salvage (not much) and made note of the condition of the harness and reason why I chose to remove it:  loads of cracked wires.

With all of the electrical tape, cracked wires and bare wire I found - it's somewhat surprising this car ran at all.

Once I've recovered from this illness - I'll be back at it to get the wiring finished so I can move on to the next part of getting this car back on the road.