Wheelie Bars, Trees, and Bumpers

At the shop Friday, I accomplished the following at the shop:

Last coat of red on the read end housing for Screamin Woody.

That was two cans of red primer and three cans of Banner Red paint. Also, cleaned, scuffed, taped off, primered and painted the wheelie bars.

Pressure washed the engine compartment of the 60 Plymouth after removing hood. The underside of hood needs to be taken down to bare metal and painted Corporate Blue.

The front suspension needs to be rebuilt, washed again, scuffed with brown 3M pads, painted Corporate Blue, and the front suspension painted POR15 Gloss black. The reason for Corporate Blue is that the car will get wrapped to look like the King’s 60 Plymouth (His first Top Rank NASCAR car) that sat out back of his shop for 50 years.

Headers are on the 383 that will go into the 60. Oil pan just came in. Still waiting on a push rod and a pair of adjusters to finish. Yes I’ll put a new Wix 51515 Oil Filter on it.

Bumper came off of my 78 Magnum – Ginger. It took a three hour drive with me to the chrome shop, to be stripped and re-plated.

They jumped on stripping to bare metal and sent me these photos.

They promised it will be ready in three weeks. We’ll see! The huge full width  bumper mount will get wire brushed and a couple coats of black POR15.

While on the topic of Magnum, the radio (from a 99 Durango that I Installed 15 years ago) was pulled out and tested as it has it’s volume and reception goes up and down. It works bench tested, but in car its a big power draw. Testing still required to figure out.

And staying on the subject of my 78 Magnum, about 15 years ago I made a custom dash panel and filled it with Dakota Digital gauges. The tach has gone dim on me, and they’re not as Kool now as 15 years ago. Below is an old photo, as the column shift has been replaced with a floor shift and console.

So I bought a stock dash panel to fill with after market gauges.

The gauge holes measure two at 4″ and two at 2 5/8″. 4″ gauges are limited, and I’m two holes short for a full set if I couldn’t find a combo. While pricey, I did find what I needed.

I ordered them with a white face with black day face and green on black night face. Ordered a clock and a oil temp with same face and bezel to fill the 2 5/8″ holes. It rocked me about a grand, and will take 4-5 weeks to make. I’m sure there will be a lot of Dremel tool action to the dash panel to get them in.

The sheet metal was removed from my 99 Drifter 1500 and taken to Randy Stansbury for a 3-stage metallic red paint job. The clutch was rebuilt and drivetrain serviced a couple of weeks ago. Got the frame all purdied up while waiting on sheet metal to get delivered to me in Indy.

That’ my now almost 31-year-old son on the bike. Saddle bags, windshield and Baby Ape Hangers bars have been added over the years.

Red and black is my favorite color combo. I hope it looks good on this bike.

Finally the trees. At my little cabin on the lake, I had a 30′ Oak tree that died. I had a professional crew come out to take it down and grind the stump down. It was surrounded on three sides by a pool, patio and wrought Iron fence – so I wanted no part of it.

Also had three 30-gallon Mexican Fan palms planted.

All in all, I’ve had a pretty busy and productive week. The plan is to just rest this weekend by paying bills and reconcile checking accounts, catch up on some computer work –  and watch the Stros, Texans and NHRA. Monday we head to Indy for the Finals.

Screamin Woody’s Rear End, Loaded up for Indy Race and 60 Plymouth Engine

The last day and half at the shop I managed to clean, scuff, prime, and put two coats of Banner Red paint on the Ford 9″ housing for the Screaming Woody.

Despite two cans of primer and two cans of red paint – I need to hit it with another coat tomorrow. Then on to reassemble it. The chuck has been rebuilt and ready. Also need to do the same with the wheelie bars and four links.

My wife and I will be leaving Monday for the Finals in Indy. After the race I’ll be dropping the Coach off in Northwest Indiana for a week’s worth of warranty work and service. While that’s happening, my wife and I will drive to Western New York to visit her family. Since “The Thug” isn’t the appropriate car to drive that 400 miles each way, I need to bring another car. I washed up the SRT8, but it wound up being too wide to fit on the lift, with the mirror being  too close to the fender cabinet.

They only other modern car I own that is smaller is the Genesis Coupe that my daughter drives. So we got it washed up and strapped down on the lift. She’ll have to drive one of my trucks while we’re gone.

Then I loaded up The Thug. Since I’ve had a little trailer rash issue with that car, I went from four straps to eight straps – four crossed and four straight. I’m that paranoid.

I also wrapped the handles to the dumbbells, which I’d chopped the ends off for loose weight. I weighed them and threw them in the weight basket in my stacker.

The engine to my 60 Plymouth “Street Car” is almost fully assembled. Waiting on the oil pan, a push rod, a pair of adjusters, a valve cover breather, and a dip stick tube. Also have grind a little off the block for the Block Hugger headers to fit properly.

NURSE IN GERMANY SENDS A MESSAGE TO THE WORLD

Just in case you don’t think President Trump is doing the right thing, read this:

Yesterday at the hospital, we had a meeting about how the situation here and at the other Munich hospitals is unsustainable. Clinics cannot handle the number of migrant medical emergencies, so they are starting to send everything to the main hospitals. Many Muslims are refusing treatment by female staff and we women are now refusing to go among those migrants…!!!

Relations between the staff and migrants are going from bad to worse. Since last weekend, migrants going to the hospitals must be accompanied by police with K-9 units. Many migrants have AIDS, syphilis, open TB and many exotic diseases that we in Europe do not know how to treat..!!!

If they receive a prescription to the pharmacy, they suddenly learn they have to pay cash. This leads to unbelievable outbursts, especially when it is about drugs for the children. They abandon the children with pharmacy staff with the words: So, cure them here yourselves…!!!  So the police are not just guarding the clinics and hospitals, but also the large pharmacies. We ask openly where are all those who welcomed the migrants in front of TV cameras with signs at train stations? Yes, for now, the border has been closed, but a million of them are already here and we will definitely not be able to get rid of them…!!!

“Until now, the number of unemployed in Germany was 2.2 million. Now it will be at least 3.5 million. Most of these people are completely unemployable. Only a small minimum of them have any education. What is more, their women usually do not work at all, estimate that one in ten is pregnant. Hundreds of thousands of them have brought along infants and little kids under six, many emaciated and very needy. If this continues and Germany re-opens its borders, I am going home to the Czech Republic. Nobody can keep me here in this situation, not even for double the salary back home. I came to Germany to work, not to Africa or the Middle East…!!!”

Even the professor who heads our department told us how sad it makes him to see the cleaning woman, who has cleaned every day for years for 800 euros and then meets crowds of young men in the hallways who just wait with their hands outstretched, wanting everything for free and when they don’t get it, they throw a fit.  I really don’t need this.! But I am afraid that if I return home, at some point, it will be the same in the Czech Republic. If the Germans, with their systems, cannot handle this, then, guaranteed, back home will be total chaos…..!!!

You – who have not come in contact with these people have absolutely no idea what kind of badly behaved desperadoes these people are and how Muslims act superior to our staff, regarding their religious accommodation. For now, the local hospital staff have not come down with the diseases these people brought here, but with so many hundreds of patients every day of this is just a question of time.

In a hospital near the Rhine, migrants attacked the staff with knives after they had handed over an 8-month-old on the brink of death, who they’d dragged across half of Europe for three months. The child died two days later, despite having received top care at one of the best pediatric clinics in Germany. The pediatric physician had to undergo surgery and the two nurses are recovering in the ICU. Nobody has been punished.”

‘The local press is forbidden to write about it, so we can only inform you through email. What would have happened to a German if he had stabbed the doctor and nurses with a knife or if he had flung his own syphilis-infected urine into a nurse’s face and so threatened her with infection.? At a minimum, he would have gone straight to jail and later to court. With these people so far, nothing has happened.”?

And so I ask: Where are all those greeters and receivers from the train stations? Sitting pretty at home, enjoying their uncomplicated, safe lives. If it were up to me, I would round up all those greeters and bring them here first to our hospitals emergency ward as attendants! Then in to one of the buildings housing the migrants, so they can really look after them there themselves, without armed police and police dogs, who, sadly today, are in every hospital here in Bavaria.”

Is this “situation” coming to your country…??? Yes,it is…!!!

Polish, D-Rings, New seats, Engine Assembly and Paint

What does all of that have in common? It and more happened at the shop yesterday.

All of the aluminum in the truck of the Thug got polished up.

Before

After

I needed more loose weight as I’d been borrowing from 00Joe and Dennis Breeden, so bought a couple dumbbells and chopped off the ends.

Photo is upside down, they weigh 11.1 pounds each.

I bought an aluminum trailer from Jim Bailey, but since his car was much shorter, I didn’t have enough angle for front straps, and damaged the paint on the Thug. Yesterday I cut 3″ holes through the aluminum floor and took a high speed bit to it to shape for 6,000 pound recessed D-Rings. A few bolt holes, carriage bolts and impact wrench to drive nuts on and I’m now good to go.

Moving onto my 1960 Plymouth, the Leaning Tower of Power was pulled in favor of an approximate 450 hp 383 that was in the Thug when it was a street racer 15 years ago. The 383 was assembled as far as it can go until another parts delivery arrives. Also found a bent push rod a two bad rocker adjusters, so they were ordered.


Also painted and wrapped the low mileage and strong 6-banger that came out of the Plymouth, before putting it into the shed.

I bought a set of like new black leather seats from a 2-door BMW and installed into my 78 Magnum. They looked great in the car but my “Full-Figured” ass  was too wide to be comfortable. So they were yanked out in favor of new leather aftermarket, which took 3.5 months to get here.

Wrapped these seats, which are for sale. If you have a Muscle Car with black interior, there’s nothing like the comfort of modern power seats.

These are the aftermarket leather seats. No power, and they have a satin look to them, which maybe leather conditioner might shine up, but they’re very comfortable.

Also found a couple of hours to mow my 5 acres and wash Zero turn.

Fixin to head out to the shop for another very full day.

Valuable History Lesson – Be a hit at parties!

Have a history teacher explain this if they can.

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.

John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.

John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

Both wives lost a child while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

Both Presidents were shot in the head.

Now it gets really weird.

Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy.

Kennedy’s Secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.

Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.

Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.

Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Now hang on to your seat.

Lincoln was shot at the theater named “Ford.”

Kennedy was shot in a car called “Lincoln” made by “Ford.”

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

And here’s the “kicker”:

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.

A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with Marilyn Monroe.

AND……………….:

Lincoln was shot in a theater and the assassin ran to a warehouse…

Kennedy was shot from a warehouse and the assassin ran to a theater…

Brought The Texas Thug Home

As previously reported, the Thug acquired a trailer rash, and I’d took it to my buddy (Randy Standsbury) in Louisiana. He was to fix the damage, redo the bumpers, paint the underside of the hood, and apply the door decals I had made.

So Wednesday I left at about 4 am and headed into the Louisiana swamps. I arrived at Randy’s at about 8:30 and looked over the car before loading. Randy did a great job.

I strapped the car in and headed back to SE Texas. I stopped 60 miles up the road for diesel and DEF, and checked the straps- they were loose and I gave them a couple of cranks to tighten. I stopped another 80 up the road, and again gave a couple of cranks. And yet when I got home, the car had moved over and acquired another little rash.

I ‘d just bought this trailer from Jim Bailey, and he’d towed a Drag Pak, which is far shorter.  I’ve ordered a 3″ metal hole saw, 4 6,000# recessed D-Rings, new straps and I’m gonna fix this problem!

In the stacker, I bought new straps eliminating the short strap, and some 3-stud D Rings for the aircraft tracks. Twenty years of trailering cars, and I’ve never had the problems I’m having with this car!

All nuts and bolts under the car have been checked and tightened and the oil changed. Monday the slicks come off the car to get washed on both sides and polished and rotated to other side. I’ll polish the aluminum in the trunk and the Lexan before loading up for Indy.

In other shop news, the 81 Imperial has been taken out of a 12 year hibernation, had its gas drained, the carb rebuilt, the oil changed, and new master cylinder and wheel caliper installed. I’ve owned the car since the mid 80s, I restored it about 15 years ago with a high performance drive train (380hp 360ci/street-strip 904/8.75″ rear end with 355 gears), but its time to  move on with a lot of these  cars I never drive.

When I bought the Texas Thug in 2001, it was a street racer with 17″ street slicks, a solid lifter/aluminum head 383 that had just been rebuilt, and a V-Gate shifted 4-speed. When delivered I took for a quick ride, and it was scary fast for such a small displacement. I took the car to Mark Artis at Texas Thunder Performance. He needed the 4-speed pedals for Big Red Ram. He took the big brake pedal, engine and transmission that was in Big Red Ram and put into that car – and then back-halved with a 4-link. It was my bracket car, later getting a 540ci with tunnel ram and a pair of 1180 Dominators.

So the engine that was originally in the car has been wrapped and stored for nearly two decades. I’ve pulled the Leaning Tower of Power and Three on the Tree out of my 60 Plymouth (another of my keepers) and will put a bad V-8 and 5 or 6 speed in it. I had my engine guy disassemble the 383 (heads and oil pan) and verify that it had been a fresh rebuild. He says the bearings look new and you can see a cross hatch on the cylinder walls. So I cleaned, primered and painted the short block so that it can be reassembled.

Finally, for 40 years I’ve always had a Chrysler convertible. In the 80s a 67 Newport, in the early 90s a 64 300, and late 90’s a 65 300. Almost 20 years ago, I bought a 64 Imperial Crown Convertible (my Dream Car, besides a 65 300L 4-speed convertible) off a 90+ year old lady who had received it new as a gift for her 50th birthday. I drove if for years and then it developed a lifter noise about 15 years ago, so I parked it. These are fairly rare cars now. Only 900 were made and Haggerty estimates that less than 200 exist in any condition. The best ones sell for $80k+ and ones like mine $30k-$40k.

Well the gas was drained, carb rebuilt, lifter noise fixed, new brakes on all four corners, new wheel cylinders, new master cylinder, and new brake lines. The top pump fixed an levels topped off. Also the fuel sender was replaced as it read empty. Yesterday I took for a 50 mile shake down ride. below are the videos.

I order new carpet and an Electronic ignition conversion kit. After that will be new tires and wheels, and exhaust system. The interior is in great shape, but a little over due for leather conditioner. Some of the interior chrome could use a good polishing. The paint is good except for a little bleaching on the trunk lid. I might see if I can get that repaired and the rest of the car power buffed. I’ve also considered getting crazy and wrapping in the same shade of green, but with wood grain side panels. The AC is worthless, and I looking at my options, including maybe installing a serpentine bracket system with modern AC/Power steering/Alternator.

That about brings things up to date with the shop happening.

American Home Shield and Houston Air Comfort Suck

American Home Shield

Beware where you buy your Home Warranty. American Home Shield has the worst customer service I’ve run into in recent history.

Gather around children, and let Uncle Dave tell you about two companies you should stay far away from. They are America Home Shield – a home warranty company, and Houston Air Comfort – an alleged AC repair company. I say alleged, as in four days without air conditioning in 100+ degree Texas August weather, I’ve yet to see anyone from that company.

Facts:

  • I have had AHS warranties at the house I just sold, my lake house, and a house in Beasley for years. The contract number for any fact checkers at AHS is 232251452, although I will be cancelling it. I pay about $60 month per property, and the contract auto renews year to year!
  • While it was very easy to sign up, it is near impossible to get anyone on the line when there are problems, or you need to cancel. Last week I sold my house and it took 30 minutes to cancel.
  • During the middle of the night Monday/Tuesday my ac crapped out. At around 9am Tuesday I went on line at AHS.com and requested service. I receive an email back saying the repair has been assigned to Houston Air Comfort, and that they will get back with me in “24 Business Hours”. What the Hell does that mean?
  • Wednesday at 9am no one had called so I go on line to check status, and it has me as “unable to contact”. That is complete Bullshit as I had my phone all day waiting for their call, while dying from no AC, and there are no missed calls. I called Houston Air Comfort and asked who called and when, and she said they don’t have that information. I’m told that next appointment available is 9-1 Thursday! I told her to tell him to be sure to bring fan blades!
  • At 1pm Thursday (Day three without AC), no one has shown and I have to be 80 miles away by 3. So I have an employee go to house and stay there. While on the way to my appointment I call AHS. I get caught in a loop from Hell asking for my contract number or phone number (which I’ve had since 1991) and zip code, then saying they no record of me – and loop to asking for that info again without any other option. I’m screaming customer service while punching 0, get a message to hold on while being transferred, and then get disconnected. I call back and go through the whole routine again, and get a complete moron girl. I explained the whole deal, she didn’t appear to be interested, and I’m “axed” if I wasn’t sure that the appointment wasn’t for NEXT Thursday. I say it better not be, and she says “Letme look”. (Maybe she should have done that first!) I’m then told that I have an appointment for 9-1 today. It’s 1:30, and I said “and well?”, and she then asks if he’s there. I said, “no, that’s why I’m calling”. She says “Hold on while I call them”. I intended to get a haircut on the way, so I pulled into the barbershop, waited for two cuts in front of me, and get my haircut – all while holding the phone on speaker telling the whole barbershop that my call was important, hold for next representative. The whole barbershop heard my story and the nasty synthesized hold noise. By the time my haircut was finished, I was still listening to hold noise. I drove another ten miles, got to my appointment and hung up. No one called me back.
  • So after the appointment I call Houston Air Comfort, and was told I’m the next call he’ll go on. I told her that my employee leaves at 4 and she said he’ll be there before 4. I’ll assume that its an instant fix as they must. I’m betting he won’t have the parts I told the girl to have him bring. I asked if they don’t give a courtesy call when people wait four hours and there’s a no show, and she said no.

Conclusions

As I write this at 3:30 Thursday, no one has shown at my Beasley residence, and I’m at the lake for the weekend. This is the type of service you can expect if you sign up with AHS for a home warranty, or call Houston Air Comfort for AC repair. You will waste a lot of time and money! I’ll update as this saga plays itself out.

Meanwhile, I’ll tell my story to all who will listen (and post all over the Interweb) as I’m pissed and insulted from the piss poor customer service. The above is 100% factual!

Epilogue:

Thursday 4pm, no one has shown, no calls from anyone. I’m now paying overtime for employee to sit and wait. I have posted to both AHS and Houston Air’s Facebook page a link to this page, and have link to AHS via their chat. 

Thursday 4:24pm Tech calls to say that he’s 45 minutes away. So lady who told me he’d be there by 4 LIED, as did the one who said they’d be there between 9am-1pm. I asked if he had blades and he said no. He said he’d not have blades today, by MAYBE it would be fixed tomorrow. MAYBE! Would you believe these liars?

Thursday 5:25pm Repair guy finally shows up for his 9am-1pm appointment, and in 30 seconds determines it needs fan blades! Well Duh, I told them that Tuesday morning. He doesn’t have so someone will be back tomorrow or Saturday. I’ll hold my breath. Stay tuned.

Friday 4:17 pmNo one came, no one called. I called Houston Air Comfort and they said the tech is off Fridays and they don’t know if he got blades or not, and won’t know until tomorrow. Great customer service. Waited all day, never so much as a call.

Saturday 8:57 am (Day Five in Texas August without AC)Called AHS and went through the whole drill and was again transferred to a disconnect. I figure that’s what they mus do if no one is available to take call  Called again, went through the drill and the call was answered by someone who couldn’t get her company name right. I explained my story more than once, and was put on hold for about 20 minutes. She came back and said Houston Air Comfort ordered blades and they won’t be in until Monday or Tuesday. I asked if she felt that was acceptable, and she said yes.

Monday 9:45Day 8 no AC. Couldn’t sleep last night. 9:45 am Call Houston Air Comfort, as they never call me when they 8 hours late don’t come Friday as promised, don’t come Saturday as promised. Lady says I’m not on any schedule. WHAAAT? She can put me on schedule for tomorrow 9-1. Last Tuesday they put me on schedule for 9-1 and he showed up a 5:30 pm, looked at unit for 30 seconds and said he be back in morning with parts. I’ve called Friday and was told he’d be here Saturday. I called AMS Saturday and told he’ll be here today. I call today, and told he’ll be here tomorrow. I post facts on American Home Shield;s page, an now banned for posting there.

Tuesday 2:45 pm Yesterday I was given a 9 am-1 pm appointment for today, and  told he’d be here at 9 for his first call. No one has come or called. I call Houston Air Comfort and told he broke down an hour and half ago. I said that wouldn’t have affected me if he’d been here at 9 am as promised. I asked why someone doesn’t ever call on the four times someone hasn’t shown up for appointments. She said she was the only person in the office, and was busy getting him a tow truck and and ride, but would have called me. I asked when someone was going to fix the AC and said needed to put me on hold to find out. Ten minutes later I got a dial tone.

Tuesday 3:00 PmI call Houston Home Air Comfort back, and a different lady answers. So much for the lie of being the only one there. I tell her I’m done with them, cancel the call, I’ll go buy the fan myself and fix. She says she wants to transfer me to yet another lady, and I said “Don’t Bother, cancel the call and watch for me blowing up the Internet about them”. 

Tuesday 3:05 pmThe third lady calls me to say that someone was  leaving then to come fix. I told her to not bother, I’m done with them. She said that they had already bought the part, and need to fix. I relented and told her to have him hurry.

Tuesday 4:15 pmTech calls to say he’s 15 minutes.

Tuesday 4:45 pmTech arrives and takes less than 5 minutes to put fan on.

Thug Ready To Go Back Into Battle

If you’ve read “Dave & Buster’s Excellent Adventure“, you’ll remember that my car didn’t have a full charge on the batteries for my Bye run in the Semis, and I had a stutter that felt like either lack of fuel or loss of ignition. I was able to get about 20 minutes of a charge before the Final, but I was dead right from the start with a 1.39 60′, and a couple Stutters in the run. Then about 150 miles from home, while driving in a bad storm, some idiot going about 30 pulled in front of my rig traveling in the left lane going 70. I locked up the brakes and was able to avoid hitting anything, but the car moved into a jack pouch and damaged the rear fender.

So, since I didn’t have a backup ignition and the batteries were a couple years old, I ordered a new 7AL2 Black box, new charger and two new batteries, just to be safe. While they were being shipped, The oil filter was cut open to see if there was any bearing material, as I felt the car might have been getting slower. The filter showed no gold, and in reality we had a strong tail wind Thursday and Friday; and a moderate tail cross on Friday and Saturday.

Moving onto the valve train, it was inspected and valves run. All was good. It was noticed, when getting the motor warm enough to run the valves, that the fuel pressure was a pound and half low. That too might explain speed falling off a little. My carb’s jetting was 113 square, and it has now been leaned up a little to 113/110.


Despite my batteries (when fully charged) being just as strong a week later, I replaced them anyway since I had bought the new ones. I’ll either use the older ones in the wagon, convert the Vitamin C to 16V, or sell cheap.

Pulled the Gold 7AL2 out of the Thug, and put it into The Vitamin C – just to make sure it runs right the next time I run that car. The Thug’s batteries were put in the Vitamin C, and it’s 7AL2 put in the trailer for a spare. While doing that, it was found the ignition wire had a very poor crimp in it, and it was a very loose connection. I’m pretty sure that was causing the stutter. That’s now fixed.

Also goin ons at the shop this week, was catching up mowing my five acres and the five acres of Miss Lavone (a sweet 93-year old lady) next door. The new air cleaner and valve covers on my 46 Olds street rod got a coat of gold paint, and drilled for breather and PCV. The Olds also got a new fuel pump and all it needs to be finished is an interior shop to do its magic and a new exhaust system.

Also had to reattach the fascia on my youngest daughters Hyundai, which appears to have been damaged by a concrete parking stop jumping in front of it.

Today, Randy Stansbury drove in from Louisiana to fix the damage from coming home from Joliet. While the primer was drying, he polished the car. Look at the below photo compared to the one at the beginning of this post.

Randy then laid a coat of base and clear over primed repair, and I’ll try to Blend Buff next week.

So after the blending, I’ll load the Thug into trailer to make room for a project, and I should be ready for Norwalk.