This week, in no particular order, the following was done.
My 81 Imperial Custom was gone through and anything needing attention was given attention, and listed for sale CHEAP!
Click Here for details.
Three solid days were spent with a guy coming two days a week to help sorting out the nightmare electrical system in my 67 Marlin. It had been butchered over the years and virtually nothing worked. The car is almost ready for a drive, then it will be torn down and restored. I want everything working first.
The rear window from Pro Glass has arrived, and will hopefully be in the Thug next week.
On the Screamin Woody, new Lexan arrive and I’ll start on that soon. The Fuel Pump is at Fuelab getting freshened up. I’ll put the fuel system on the car when I receive it back.
Also related to the wagon, the machinist called and said that my 9 month wait is over. I was having a sleeve hammered in and the block machined – except for decking – which will occur after rotating is ready. I took the Callies Crank to him. It’s gonna need to be turned down for stock Chevy rods, if it passes being Magnafluxed. I’ll have to wait on the crank before ordering rods, pistons and bearings. If I have to buy a new crank then I’ll go a different way. Also, its been so long that I don’t remember if the crank came out of the 540 or 580ci. They’ll have to measure for that too. I inventoried the other parts for the motor, and I have a set of 572 heads with new valves and springs; rockers with only 7 passes (before the Indy built motor with cheap ass rod bolts blew); Jessel belt Drive and Bullet Cam; Milodon Oil Pump and Aerospace Vacuum pump; Valley pan and the Indy bathtub Intake which is about to go to Florida for modifications. Damon should be getting to work assembling it as soon as I know what to order for pistons, rods and bearings; and receive. Outside chance car might make it to Bradenton in March – but I still have a lot of work and I’m only working in the shop three days a week because of a franchise I’m in the process of buying is taking a couple days a week of my time getting it set up.
I taught my Shop Rat how to use the polisher with “Fine Cut” polish and then cleaner wax to brighten up the paint on my 79 Magnum GT. Its another of my 30+ cars that I’m making ready to sell. Went through the car last month and fixed anything that wasn’t working right. Just need to detail the interior, photo and list for sale.
On my 78 Magnum XE, I’m replacing the Dakota Digital gauges I installed 18 years ago with custom white gauges in a modified stock panel. The above photos show it mocked up in the modified dash panel, and the dash wet sanded and painted. I’m letting the paint dry for a couple of days because of three coats (the last very wet) of black hammer toned, before putting gauges back in. CLICK HERE for the details.
Also in shop news:
- Picked up the coach after two weeks in the shop for oil leaking through lug nuts on both steering and one tag axle wheels.
- Mowed five acres
- Replaced one of the six 8′ florescent shop lights with LED, to see if I like it. I do and ordered five more.
- Did a little more cleaning, organizing and photoing parts I no longer need for sale . CLICK HERE to see what I have for sale (or need to buy/trade for) on my For sale site.
- Photo’d, listed and sod some more furniture.
Ginger is the name of my favorite Magnum. Twenty years ago I had two beautiful black Magnums, Ginger and Maryann. I gave Maryann to my now 31-year-old son for his 15th birthday. Sadly for ten plus years, it has sat disassembled, waiting for my son to restore. But back to my story, I recently have been freshening up Ginger. I replaced the original leather seats with more comfortable modern leather seats.
Click Here for more information on the car’s freshening up.
Now I’m replacing the digital dash I put in the car about 17 years ago with some nice white faced custom gauges.
This is the current dash with 17 Year Old Dakota Dash gauges. It is for sale if you’re interested.
So I bought an empty gauge panel on eBay, and ordered about $1000 worth of custom gauges close to the size of the holes. I bought a large Speedometer (with Tach) that works off GPS; and a large gauge that has Volts, Oil Pressure, Coolant Temp and Fuel Level to fill the two big holes. To fill the two smaller holes I bought an Oil Temp gauge and a clock.
The two big gauge holes with the sleeves in them were too small by about 1/16″, so I had to cut the welds attaching the sleeves to the panel and pop them out. Once out, the holes were now 1/8″ too big. On the small gauge holes, I had to cut the inset hoods off as the gauges were too shallow for the screw on collars that attach the gauges to the panel to screw on the back of them.
To make the big gauges fit, I made some spacers from 4″ schedule 80 PVC sleeves, by hand sawing about 3/8″ off the end and wet sanding until they were smooth and the same size.
I mocked the gauges up to make sure they fit prior to doing any sanding and painting on the gauge panel. They did, so I glued the spacers onto the panel.
I wet sanded the panel and masked off the idiot lights.
After painting gloss black, it looked too gloss and cheesy. Some of the glue around the rings (that I swore I’d sanded all of the way off) was also showing.
So I decided to leave the coves glossy black, but have the flat portion in a hammer tone black – to tone down the gloss and hide imperfections. So I taped off the coves, sanded some more on the glue around the rings, and wet sanded the areas to get the hammer tone paint.
I hit it with two light coats with an hour between, and then a very wet coat after another hour.
This is where I’m at right now. I’m out of town until Tuesday, which is little more than 48 hours to cure. I’ll pull the tape off Tuesday, mount the gauges – and I’ll post some photos of the finished product.
Last week at the shop, time was mostly focused on a “Fall Cleaning”, organization of the shop, and getting my 67 Marlin running and driving right. The 67 Marlin is a very rare car, one I spent almost twenty years looking for the right one. AMC made the Marlin for the years, 65-67. In 65 & 66 it was based on the compact Rambler Rouge/American, making it look pretty weird being that short. However, in 67 it was on the full size Ambassador platform. I bought this car about ten years ago and put it in the corner. A couple of weeks ago I pulled it out of the corner to start its restoration, which starts with getting it running right before tearing it down.
The brakes were replaced, and parts (carb gasket, starter, alternator fuel pump, Pertonix electronic ignition, battery…) ordered. Gas was drained and fresh gas put in; car finally was started and running Tuesday.
I want to restore the car in red with black roof and interior. I did a little walk around the car to document the before and have a reference. My Shop Rat felt it was a great time to discuss where he put the six thermostats from my lake house, that I replace with Nest thermostats.
A month earlier, we were working to get my 64 Imperial convertible (also not running in ten years) running again. I took it for a little ride to figure out what still needs attention. I’ll be getting new tires, exhaust soon; and bought the caret dye to redye seats.
I treated the Thug to a new car cover, and I ordered a new Pro Glass rear window – which ought to be at the shop by Monday.
The majority of my time was cleaning and organizing the shop.
That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.
There are reports of an Old Man dressed in a Larry David costume demanding kids give him 70% of their candy!
In the last year, I’ve had mechanic help come in now and then to help out. Between he, I and my shop rat – things start to get out of place with good used parts, new parts, and complete garbage laying around – instead of put away properly. Getting stuff done has taken a priority to organization and putting parts, tools, and supplies away. Currently I’m going through the shop and putting stuff away, and trying to improve organization. Yesterday I spent the first couple of hours putting good parts away, and bad parts in garbage. There was a lot of both. Then I started reorganizing the electrical crash cart, which was a total mess. I got rid of the bad short wires thrown in the cart and wound up good short pieces, sorted and bagged connectors which, somehow got unsorted. I put switches and fuses; shrink tubes and relays; and connectors in cases.
I still have six other crash carts to straighten out, but this was the worst of them. On my stacker, the door cabinet was mounted very low because of some plates I used to mount a puck lock system.
It interfered with the golf cart when loaded. So it got mounted higher today after cutting a relief hole in the back.
Also in the stacker, the aircraft cargo track that got ripped up when I had to lock up the brakes with a car on the lift – had a new one cut, edges ground smooth, bent to fit beaver tail, and screwed down with new screws, lock washers and nuts.
The Magnum has been sitting for a couple of years. Recently the gas was drained, carb rebuilt and car running and tuned before replacing the carpet and seats. It drives great, but brakes were horrible. Originally it was suspected to have been the master cylinder – so that was removed and inspected. It was fine and the brakes bled and adjusted. Brakes still sucked so car was jacked up and both rear wheels still turned while brakes were applied. Since the they bled fine, it is suspected that the pistons are froze up inside from sitting so long – and ones are on the way.
Also in the “spent a lot of time and money fixing the wrong items” department, the hydraulic clutch on my 99 Drifter 1500 motorcycle was slipping. It got replaced last month. Now it has a slight delay engaging. Bleeding didn’t help so I bought a used master cylinder and a rebuild kit as new is made of unobtainium. It was rebuilt and put on, but same issue existed. the slave cylinder was bled, and same thing. The hose between the two was removed. While 150 psi of air was introduced at one end, less than ten psi comes out of the other end – meaning 20 years has degraded the hose and its collapsed. It too is made of unobtainium, so I’ll have to take someplace that can take a hose with banjo fittings.
So a lot of hours were spent wasting time yesterday. Heading to the lake for the weekend, so thrashing resumes next week.
He refused to touch it since it wasn’t wrapped in $100 bills!
I spent last week at my Little Cabin on the Lake, mostly turning it into a smart home. While I was gone, I gave my Shop Rat the task of doing a Deep Fall Cleaning of the shop. He started in one corner of the building and moved clockwise cleaning/washing walls, purlins, garage doors, shelves and the floor. Below are some photos of his work.
He was also tasked with spreading three yards of dark mulch.
When I returned Monday, I took the coach to the Spartan shop (120 mile round trip) to fix oil leaking from lug nuts, opened a ton of packages of parts needing to get thrown on cars, and mowed the five acres – which had gone wild from all of the rain. It was kinda muddy still, but there was a forecast of another week of rain, so it was mow now or wait a couple more weeks.
Finally, I took some photos of the rust detail on a 60 Plymouth I bought ten years ago to part out, but have decided to just sell as is instead.
The rest of this week I intend to further organizing the shop while having the shop rat detail the inside of the stacker. Then back to work on the wagon and my street car collection.
But they’ll be disappointed once they have it and then have to sift through dumpsters for food after the country collapses.