Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Voodoo has Landed
G' just told me I got a package today. I hear those things add 20% HP and cure baldness.
The Weather is Here, Wish you were Beautiful
Did I get that wrong? Sorry.

I couldn't help myself: http://miataville.ods.org/blog.html

Tonight in autobody class, a guy named Tom painted his mid-60's Mustang bright red. It sure looked nice. I didn't make much progress on my fenders, we were all watching the paint shoot.

Mr. Rice drove is '68 Camero to class. I wish I had my camera tonight. Several sharp looking cars to see.

It occurred to me that I have recycled titles a few times. Anyone noticed?

Is it time for another weekend yet?

Monday, March 28, 2005

I have been spending a lot of time recently reading a the 1967-1972 Chevy Truck Forums. Lots of knowledge regarding Chevy/GMC trucks being shared there.

I have also been avidly reading the MetalMeet forum. Metal shaping is the topic here. I discovered today that there will be a weekend meet just a couple miles away in Harvest, AL in May.

When there is time leftover, I also read the AutoBody 101 forums.

Did I mention the two Miata forums?

Ok, there are three others also. They are car related also.

How in the world do I ever find the time to get anything done?

Notes on tomorrow: dentist in the morning, auto-body class in the evening. Expecting clear skys and 75 degrees. Welcome to Miataville. Sounds like a good name for a blog.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Inside, Outside, Upside down

This photo was taken back in December 2004. The photo was taken inside my garage with the door open. The engine block is mounted to the engine stand. The block is shown here upside down. This photo was taken after the pistons were re-installed.

I am not certain whether this photo was taken after I re-installed them the first time, the second time, the third time, or the fouth time.

Empty Nest
All the guests have gone home. It's just the four of us now.

Weekly Status Report
I finished tapping out the holes on the exhaust manifolds today. Where are the pictures?

I finally tried out the Mig today. The first weld didn't look very good. Then I remembered I forgot to turn the gas on. The next one looked much better. Where are the pictures?

I opened the homebrew Friday afternoon. I shared the bottle with my brother-in-law and father-in-law. One 12 oz. bottle doesn't go very far. It was pretty good stuff. No pictures, sorry.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Chevy Small Block
This is what happened when I decided to fix the oil leak.
Shovel Go Deep
The Choir has a new album coming out next month. I ordered mine yesterday. Supposedly I will receive a band autographed copy for preordering.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

I Was Wrong
Mod One
Stubborn as a Well Digger in a Witches ...
Yes, I could have let my fingers do the walking but I selected not to. Today the web site finally allowed me to order my Voodoo. I selected the Voodoo Pearl Magnum Shift Knob . It turns out I am in good company on this one.

Technically this is mod #1 if you don't count all the water spot paint conditioning work I did last year.

Gmail Notifier
I finally got around to installing Google's Gmail Notifier today. It is a very pleasant feature. It just informed me that I had received an email message from Performance Buyers Club. I wonder what that could be about.

Three Words
Ground Fault Interrupt.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I have given up this hobby. It turns out I had one too many. Hard to believe, huh.
Spring Break
Brianna wants to know why I have to go to work during spring break. I want to know also.

Eighty percent chance or rain today, actually heavy storms. I drove to work and back today with the top down. I did put the top up while I was at work. Had I not, the car would be full of water.

Shop time tonight was a total fiasco. Someday perhaps I will tell the GFI story. That day is not today. David's Miata apparrently has an oil leak. Did I mention the GFI? Nevermind.

We have 5 house guests this week. That was a whole lot of people watching The Incredibles tonight.

Monday, March 21, 2005

I finally got around to buying a bottle of gas for my Mig. It contains 75% argon and 25% co2. Very exciting, eh. It's almost time to run a bead.

Class was canceled for tomorrow night due to spring break. Cancelled class is the perfect reason to have a little shop time. Tomorrow night: Madision County Wood Workers Guild/Miata Club.

I tried to order the Voodoo again this morning and again this evening. I guess if I really want it, I will need to let my fingers do the walking.

Note to self: replace the GFI in the shop.
Random Links
Well not actually that random.

I came across this via slashdot. And then I read this one. I would link you to the main page but it contained words of questionable spelling. Ok, ok, here it is, but cover your eyes.

I hope you don't waste too much time there.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Bone Yard
The trip to Pitts near Athens occurred on Saturday. David M rode along. We took the Miata running with the top down. The trip to the salvage yard was unfruitful, meaning I didn't bring home any goodies. They had more than a dozen trucks of my era, including one short wheel base which was yellow. I wondered if it was a DOT truck.

I found several cars that I felt David couldn't live without. He must not have felt the same way. He didn't by a single one.

Rides on interest. Late 60's 3 door suburban, one VW beetle, and an old International truck with the top removed.

I was looking for exhuast manifolds. They had roughly 15. All left side. I wondered what happened to all the right side manifolds. That was odd. I was also on the look out for inner grills, side mirrors, and anything else interesting. It didn't occur to me at the time but I should have been looking at the leaf springs as well.

We looked for Miatas also. Not a single one out there.

The Miata is running very nicely now. It sounds so much better with the exhaust all buttoned up. Zoom zoom.

I tried to order a Voodoo knob tonight. I have been considering this purchase for most of the last year. Once I finally decided to move forward with it, the first three web sites I tried either had quit selling them or were having server problems. Maybe tomorrow.

House Guests
We are expecting 5 house guests this week. Ginger's brother and his family are driving down from Maryland to spend a few days here. Expected arrival: Tuesday afternoon, Departure: Sunday. It will be an interesting week.

Ring Ring
Last night the phone rang. I don't normally answer it but the CID said it was iMike calling from Austin. Very unexpected call. It was good to hear from you Mike. Now I know what I can do with my left over cell phone minutes.

Truck Update
Today I installed the alternator. And the radiator support. And the radiator.

Because I had been so unsuccessful looking for exhaust manifolds, I decided to try to repair the ones I have. Each has 3 bolts that connect the output to the exhaust pipes. One bolt was missing. The remaining five had no threads to speak of. They also seemed to be permanently attached to the manifold.

I had been spraying the bolts everyday for the last week with penetrating oil. The effort was wasted. I tried to remove two bolts. I twisted these two bolts in half. Finally I decided to re-tap the holes. This required cutting off the remaining bolts, drilling a hole thru the manifold where the original hole was, and finally tapping the hole (re-threading it). Today I managed to get all six holes drilled out and two re-tapped. So good so far. It appears these manifolds will work out all right. I should have snapped a few pic's of the process but I didn't. It was very interesting though. I felt as if I had really accomplished something.

Sunday Afternoon Driver
And to close out the weekend, when G' got home from work this evening I went out for a quick spin in the Miata. It was a bit cool again. Nice ride though, even with the barn doors open.

Did I mention that David's Miata came with a hard top? I will definitely have to try it out.

Today's entry was not spell checked, proof read, or hyperlinked!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

One Year
Earlier this week I started wondering when I got the Miata last year. This morning I decided to check the blog archive. Well it turns out I got the Miata on March 19, 2005 which was a Friday last year. I recall I made the offer on the car from my cell phone from my shop during the weekly Thursday night woodworking session. (It has since moved to Tuesday and been put on hold for the auto body class.)

So today happens to be March 19th also. This calls for a celebration. What better way to celebrate than to take it for a drive today with the top down. Assuming the weather cooperates I am driving over to Athens today to visit a boneyard.

The weather forecast is high or 58F, 50% chance of rain. That also means 50% chance of no rain!

Home Brewsky
Mike E. from work has created some homemade beer. He offered to bring me a bottle so I accepted. David E. and I made some in the past. Some were good -Indian Pale Ale. Some were toxic - an extra stout come to mind. Yesterday I found a bottle hiding under the seat in the Miata. (I moved it to the trunk for transporation and placed it in the fridge for chilling down after I got home.) David M's Miata was parked next to mine. I saw a bottle under his seat as well. I considered acquiring his bottle but then thought better of it. It this stuff turns out to be rocket fuel, I definitely don't want to drink two bottles. I plan to open 'er up this afternoon. If this is my last entry, you know what got me!

Grandma is taking the kids to Chuck E. Cheese today to celebrate Grandpa's Birthday. I have passed on the invitation for myself. The Miata beckons.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Spring Park, September 2004
Bondo Baby
Green With Envy
iMike got his truck running today. I wish I had mine running. It is also St. Patties day.

Breath Deeply
This evening I took the heat shield off the exhaust manifold on the Miata. I also had to move the K&N filter. I looked around but didn't see any cracks in the exhaust manifold. Next I cranked her up and felt around in there. I found it! Or rather felt the air flow, and then saw the problem.

The Miata sure has a lot of stuff packed in tightly under the hood.

On the 2nd exhaust port from the back, the manifold connects to a tube. The tube sneaks behind the engine and disappears. The nut connecting the tub to the manifold had come loose and slid down the tub. I connected it back. Hand tightened and then used a pair of plyers to give it another twist. I didn't have a metric wrench big enough to fit it. Assuming I had one the handle would have been to long.

The heat shield is held in place by a handful of 10 mm bolts and 3 nuts. The heat had really affected the bolts. I twisted the head off of one will removing it and off another while reinstalling it. A previous owner had already removed the head from yet another. It should be fun removing the headless bolts and putting new ones it. It is fortunate that the bolts connect to tabs with thru holes. I can probably spin them out the back. Hopefully.

No more exhaust leak.

The car is clean, the top is down, and the tires are shiney (sp?). It is ready to roll and it did for just a few minutes this evening. I wish it was warmer.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Hello, Hello, Hola
I just tried out a feature of Picasa 2 which allows me to upload photos to my blog directly from Picasa. It uses something called Hello. It attachs a goofy icon to the entry. I will have to play with this some more before I decide if I like it.

Anyone counted the number of times I have used that title since November?

Miata Mod
I have recently been struck by a strong urge to mod the Miata. I have been thinking a Voodoo would be nice. I also like the idea of a Big Red Button. Today I came up with another idea, and this was is easy and inexpensive. Actually I can't believe I have not seen someone do it already. The idea is to mimic the rear view mirror in the MiataSpeed, meaning, to paint the front of it to match the body color, red! Instead of the MiataSpeed logo though, I would probably use a Zoom Zoom decal, assuming I could find one with the right size font.

Brian, Have you considered doing this one? Also have you painted your brake calipers?

I think it is now official. David M. is the owner of a new to him 1991 Mazda Miata, black. New seat covers are in his future. His windows are slower than mine so I suspect he, or we, will be lubing those up in the near future.

This morning I awoke to the sound of rain falling on the roof. Hmmm. That rain sounds 'heavy'. When I looked outside I discovered the heavy rain was actually sleet. The recent warm weather brought a few flowers. Does this look odd to you? Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Truck Update
Today I re-installed the power steering pump and connected it to the steering gear box.

A little body work was done prior to the power steering pump. Picture this: Me in the back yard with the bed side up on saw horses. After one application of paint stripper, I switched to the speed sander. And finally in an effort to speed up the removal of the bondo, I switched to some old wood-working tools. A hammer and a chisel. Very effective if your trying to remove 0.250 to 0.500 inches of bondo. Be careful not to scratch the beat up metal with the chisel though. Mr. Wallen can pound the dents out on Tuesday, if I don't beat him to it.

I also quizzed the neighor about setting the distributor timing.

Miata Update
Today the weather started out nice. By the time I finished all of the above, the clouds had rolled in and it started to get cooler. I went ahead and washed the Miata even though rain was likely. I had two helpers. I estimate all the help only doubled the amount of time it took to wash the car. I sure am glad we weren't washing the Dodge. That thing is so big we would still be out there washing.

I must admit that I was inspired to wash the Miata by the presence of another Miata.

Miata Update - Part II
David M. came by with a '91 he is probably going to buy. I had offered to drive it to compare it with mine. He also took mine for a spin. The '91 has a 1.6 liter so mine feels like it has a little more power. The '91 is black. It has a rollbar. His paint is faded worse than mine. The driver seat cover is worn out but his plan is to replace it. Besides the rollbar, there are a few other mods. Non-factory shift and brake handle. Also chrome scuff plates (These could be factory, but I don't have them on mine). Finally, the wheels are not factory. But best of all, he is getting a killer price! No more living vicariously though Rick.
Jordan had to do a project for school. For the project he made an alien out of a brown paper bag complete with yellow yarn, red pipe cleaners, and some glued on plastic eyes. He also wrote a story to go along with the alien:

My alien's name is Mr. Funny. He likes to scare people. He was discovered when he was camping. He was discovered on Pluto. People want to learn more about him.


Were else are you going to go for prose like those.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

It was a beautiful day!

I had a little shop time today. I used to work towards getting the truck running again. I started by reinstalling the transmission shift linkage. Next I cleaned the rocker covers and dropped them on. And then a new hard fuel line from the fuel pump to the carb. I also began installing new hard lines from the transmission to the radiator. I got the back end hooked up but the radiator is not installed so the front end was left hanging. Installed a new thermostat and the freshly painted housing. The carb is back on top now as well. Finally the water pump is back in place. I still have a lot to do though I suspect completion is still weeks if not months away.

And because the weather is so nice, I definitely will need to get out tomorrow with the top down. G will be working tomorrow afternoon so it will be late in the day before I get clearance for take off.

And for the record, I went to class Tuesday night. The teacher said he wasn't going to be demo'ing anything so I came home. That was the day I decided I was coming down with a cold.

Today I felt pretty good while I was outside today, but now, not so much. All the more reason to head back outside tomorrow.

Still looking for a package from Chevy Duty. It will be two weeks tomorrow since the order was placed. Year One is having a sell. Perhaps I should cancel my order and re-order from them. Can you spell patience? I can, but apparrently I don't have any.

Now I am off to reseach how to set the timing on an engine. I know how to get the engine to top dead center (TDC), but I am not certain how to setup the distributor.

Thanks to everyone that provided me advice on how to set the choke and throttle while starting a small engine. The best part is when I forget again, I can Google my blog and find the answer.

As usual, I did not proof read or spell check this entry. Consistency is everything.

Friday, March 11, 2005

This space sure has been quite this week. I have been a bit under the weather. It doesn't help that it is cold and rainy.

G is at work and I am ready to go to sleep (7:06pm) but I need to stay up til the kids go to bed. Oh my head!

Tomorrow it is suppose to hit 60 with no chance of rain. Perhaps I will lay in the driveway and soak up some vitamin D.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Too Many Toys
Today I tried out the sand blaster. Woo hoo! It sure can make rust disappear.

I didn't get around to trying out the mig. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe.

This afternoon was warm and sunny. I setup some sawhorses in the backyard and applied some paint stripper to the fenders. I even took some pictures. As usual, they are still in the camera.

I also had an opportunity to take the Miata out for a spin. It certainly needs to be washed. It did not happen today. It also needs an oil change.

Still waiting on that order from ChevyDuty.

Yesterday, I hooked the driveshaft back up. Before putting it in place, I degreased and cleaned it up. Clean enough to eat off of. I couldn't get any volunteers.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Let the welding begin. Last weekend I ordered a Mig Welder. Today it showed up in a box marked HEAVY. And it is.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

It has been a week since the Miata left the garage. Tuesdays have been relegated to the truck while I am taking the auto-body class. That only leaves Thursdays and weekends. Well normally, but G worked today, so it stayed home. On the bright side, and by that I mean 60 degrees, I will be in the Miata tomorrow. And hopefully the sun will stay out long enough to get a little top down time in.

Today on the way home from work I saw a very nice 1968 SWB Stepside Chevy Pickup. (The 67-68 has the slanted hood, the 69-72 does not. The 68 has side markers, the 67 does not.) It was powder blue with a white top and white bumpers. It appeared to be in very good shape.

A guy at work thinks I need to build an AC Corbra. Don't know where I would park it.

I am still waiting on the fender panel.