Sunday, January 27, 2008

Twas Another Glorious Weekend

I am certain I had a great weekend but I can't recall what I did. Friday evening was so long ago.

I do recall grinding the buttons off of 20 rivets on Saturday. This was of course part of the effort involved in replacing the leaf springs with coil springs. So far so good.

The diet is going well. And Saturday night is any-thing-goes night. Rosie's for dinner. Mmmm

Today was a trip to Harbor Freight to pick up a low-cost 3/8" corded reversible drill ($9.99). Next was drilling out 20 rivets to remove 6 brackets.

And finally a long ride in the Miata with the top down to enjoy the mid-40 degree weather we had today. The trip involved a nice 30 minute ride to TN, grabbing a hot cup of coffee, and then the return trip.

Friday night, as I now recall, involved me taking an online test for the ED class I am taking. No wonder I was blocking on Friday evening.

Next Saturday is tax time. Yippee.

[10.6 lbs to go]

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008


Late Sunday afternoon, the ebay auction ended. The truck was 91% sold, which equates to not at all. I will try again in the spring.

This afternoon I helped my neighbor retrieve another motorcycle he had bought. This allowed me the pleasant opportunity to look at the sellers collection of automobiles. He had a Pantera, Sumbeam Tiger, 1965 Mini Cooper, 1968 GTO, a nice old Packard, and a Studebaker Avanti. There were a couple others but I can't recall what they were. An eclectic mix for sure.

Welding class is tomorrow night.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The auction time is ticking down. Not as much interest as I was hoping for but then again it only takes one person. The right person, though.

Slightly over 10 lbs down, 13.6 to go.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Rapidly Progressing Towards Various Stages of Completion

Realizing that somethings can't be partially done, like a girl can't be a little bit pregnant, I am here to report that the truck on ebay is now 35% sold. But only 35%. It doesn't count until you reach 100%.

Diet progress: After 8 days, I have lost 7.2 pounds. So far so good, but I expect the progress to slow down soon. If it was always that easy, we would all already be skinny.

[16.8 lbs to go]

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Going, Going, ...

Last week I placed an advertisement in the paper in an attempt to sell the 1925 Chevrolet Truck. The ad also appears online.

Today I put the truck on ebay. I have my fingers crossed.

G' worked this weekend so I didn't get a chance to go out for an afternoon cruise. It might have bit a bit chilly with the top down though. (I also didn't get to go scope out the Chevettes Corvettes that are on the market, you know, for research purposes.)

The Barrett-Jackson auction begins Tuesday on Speed. I have the Tivo setup to record the whole thing, 35 hours I think. This will be much easier this year thanks to the writer's strike, without which we might actually have something recorded right now.

Regarding the blasted diet, I lost a little over 5 pounds this week. My goal for next week is another 3. My diet is one of high protein, low carb varieties. My interpretation of that basically means mostly meat, salad, and high fiber vegetables. To make it bearable, I am giving myself one day a week off: Saturday. Saturday is a good choice because I usually have a lite lunch when I am busy playing in the garage and we often have Rosie's for dinner on Saturday night. Mmmmm.

[18.6 lbs to go]

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Hold Your Comments

Comments have not been working since the beginning of the New Year. It should be working now. Just a missing symbolic link

ln -s \home\blogger\2008 2008
I have been sitting here looking at the empty editor for about 10 minutes. Tomorrow is Friday and that's all I have to say about that.


Tuesday, January 08, 2008

For Sale

1925 CHEVROLET Truck, Superior Series K, Wood Spoke Wheels, Ooga Horn, Parade Ready. $12,500. Huntsville, AL. Please email me for pictures or additional information.
I went to the tech school this evening for my first welding class. Upon arrival I found out the class had been canceled due to a lack of folks registering. I asked the woman how many more people we needed to have the class. She replied two. I then proceeded to convince a couple of guys there for another class to sign up for the welding class instead. Now with enough interested the class was un-canceled, but unfortunately the teacher was not there because, well, he thought the class had been canceled. So the first class will be next week instead.

Yesterday I started a diet. My weight loss goal is 24 lbs. For the next few months you can watch my progress at the end of my posts. I will post pounds remaining pounds to lose in this format: [24]. Accountability is good right?

[24 lbs to go]

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Today I removed and dissassembled the switches for the Miata power windows. The windows are slooooooow and I had already tried greasing the tracks so this had to be the fix.

After removing the center console and disconnecting the wiring, I removed the switch sub-assembly. The contacts for the switches were black with carbon. I removed the carbon build up using Liquid Wrench and then slid a flat file across the contacts to remove any remaining build up. Next I cleaned the rocker contacts and finally I tinned all the contact surfaces with solder. Another pass with the final and all the surfaces were level. Finally I buttoned it all back up and it was ready for testing.

Results: The windows now move faster than before, but they are still slower than they should be. Oh well, I don't roll them up very often anyway.

Next step: Take the car out for a Sunday afternoon drive. The temperature was in the mid 60's so how could one not take a drive.

I made a quick stop at a neighbors house before leaving the 'hood. Another local was there also. I hung for a few minutes discussing various matters of extreme importance with the two gentlemen.

During this conversation I found out that I had a friend who had done the "Russian Bride" thing. It was a really amazing story.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The current odometer readings are:

2006 Charger R/T: 11,497

Last years reading was 5,784. Total mileage for 2007: 5,713 miles.

1995 Miata: 105,037

Last years reading was 100,774. Total mileage for 2007: 4,263 miles.

1925 Chevrolet Truck: 17879

I don't recall logging the odometer reading on this one in the past year but I am pretty sure the odometer hasn't moved. At all. Because it doesn't work. My swag for actual mileage for the truck in 2007 would be somewhere between 100 and 200 miles.

1972 GMC: 30520 or 03526

Like the 1925, the odometer(s) for the GMC have not moved. Not because they are broken but because the truck is (still) disassembled. Why two odometer readings? I bought a spare at the junk yard two years ago. I actually bought the second for its plastic bezel. The odometer was a (free) bonus. Today I learned that my odometer is apparently not the original for the truck. It is from a '69. The spare is from a '67. (Date codes are inked on the back side)

2002 Tahoe: 83,479

Again, I did not record a value at the beginning of 2007. I also put a few miles on this one driving it to various vacation destinations.
The weekend snuck up on me. What a pleasant surprise. I suspect this can only happen if you don't go to work for a while.

The sky has gray all day today but there was practically no wind. Around the middle of the afternoon, I decided the Miata needed to roll toward no place in particular. (It had been parked since New Years Eve Day.) I was quite successful in this venture in that I did get to no place in particular in a reasonable amount of time.

While going no where, I stopped an observed a motionless C3 parked in a previously used automobile facility. I copied down the VIN so that I could research it online. It was a nice black car with a gray (leather?) interior. Visually it had a few minor problems, for example the passenger side seat belt needed to be cleaned and the leather boot around the manual stick could stand to be replaced. Online research revealed the car to be a '77 with the standard L48 engine package. The L48 is a small-block Chevy, 350 cubic inches, and made between 165 and 185 HP depending on who you believe. This is a relatively low number when you consider my much lighter Miata had 140-ish HP from the factory. Still, a C3 is a pretty cool car. $7355 is a weird price if you ask me.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I picked up a copy of the American Classifieds (North Alabama Edition) today when we stopped at a gas station. Just checking to see if there were any interesting cars listed.

1. 1964 Corvette Convertible ($39k) - red and black
2. 1966 Mustang ($1200 OBO) - definitely a project car.
3. 1967 Camaro Convertible ($15.5k)
4. 1965 Malibu SS Convertible ($16.9k)

And of course the low budget stuff

1. 1968 Beetle ($2900)
2. 1963 Impala ($1500)
3. 1969 Chevy P/U ($1200)

And a few more Corvettes

1. 1990 Corvette ($8800) - Black
2. 1976 L82 Corvette Stingray ($8500)

The 1976 L82 is a third generation (C3) Mako Shark Corvette. The L82 was the designation for an optional engine package which produced 205 HP. The base engine produced only 165 HP. Learn more at Wikipedia
Home Again
Yesterday we visited Ruby Falls. This turned out to be pretty cool. You ride an elevator down a couple hundred feet in the ground and then fallow a twisting path thru the rock almost a quarter of a mile before you walk into a large cavern containing the Falls. According to the story, this cavern was discovered by accident while trying to gain access to another cave.

Afterwards we didn't stop for lunch at Krystal's. The Krystal's corporate head quarters is in Chattanooga. I figured that lunch here would be an experience of some sort. The kids protested (a lot) so we ended up at a local Mexican establishment down the street.

Just for the record, it really does it exist: The Tow Truck Museum.

Afterwards we caught an afternoon movie across the street from the hotel. National Treasure: Book of Secrets. The movie gets a rating of good enough.

After the movie, Terry pointed her pony towards Atlanta. From the 4th floor of the hotel, we could hear the ponies snorting when she cranked it up.

The rest of us returned to Big River Grill and Brewery for dinner.

We woke today to another frosty morning. After breakfast in the hotel, we loaded up the Tahoe and headed towards home.

Once in Alabama, we took a 5 mile detour to visit Russel Cave National Monument. This is the 3rd longest mapped cave in Alabama measuring over 7 miles long. We only got to go in about 30 feet.

This afternoon, after arriving back home, I took the '25 out for a short drive clocking in about 8 miles. The temperature was in the high 40's but was plenty warm with my fleece jacket, gloves, and a warm hat.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Vacation Time!

NYD we reached escape velocity and exited HSV. We travelled via Tahoe to Chattanooga where once again we are busy chatting about noogas.

We arrived yesterday in plenty of time to get a nap in and let the kids hit the indoor pool. We dined last night at "Big River Grill and Brewery". I tried the IPA and the Vienna Lager. I believe this place is owned by Gordon Biersch.

After dinner we made a trip to the local Wal-Mart to pick up some snacks and supplies. We got to see some pretty serious snowfall during our evening outing.

This morning we visited the 'Nooga Aquarium. Actually both of them. It was cold out and very few tourist were visiting with the fish. The afternoon consisted of more napping and swimming.

Terry arrived today in time for dinner. We went to "Sticky Fingers" for some ribs. We intended to catch a movie to bug dinner went long. Maybe tomorrow.

Also on the agenda tomorrow is a visit to Ruby Falls. Google it.
While driving to visit some relatives on Christmas day I decided that this might be the year that I parked a Corvette in my garage. A Corvette or another old truck.

This creates a bit of a problem. There is not currently an available parking spot in the garage. No problem though, I have a whole year to resolve this.

In the meantime, I will start investigating cars that I see for sale so that I can be educated on what has reasonable value and what is a reasonable price. The thrill is definitely in the hunt. And sometimes the hunt convinces you that you have a bad idea. Or a really good idea. Should be interesting to see how this all pans out.

Another possible option in lieu of the fast car, is an old truck. In the past year plus I have missed having a useful truck at my convenience. If I happened to find a useful truck with the right vintage and quality it could attempt to follow me home instead.

Maybe. If I can find a place to park it.

Here are the initial search requirements. Help me look. The car should be at least 25 years old, more than 30 is preferred. The truck should be at least 35 years old, more than 40 is preferred. Either must be suitable for taking to a car show.

Shhh! Don't tell G. This is a secret.
I was just looking back at the first post from several years trying to find a reference to the only New Years Resolution I have ever managed to keep. I did not find it on the blog.

The resolution was this: "To make no more New Year's Resolutions". So far so good.

Here are a few things I did see.

Last year I posted the Miata and Chargers odometer readings. If my memory is serving me today, the Miata acquired less than 5,000 miles this year. The Charger is probably about the same.

Two years ago I learned the words Feh and Feckless.

Three years ago I had just finished cleaning the engine of the GMC.

Four years ago was P.B. Pre-blog.
1972 GMC Project Update

My hands currently have a slight gray tint to them.

Over the past two weekends I have been working on sand blasting and painting the control arms that are part of the rear suspension on my project truck.

After spending several hours the first weekend sand blasting I had what appeared to be two new looking control arms. Nice gray bare metal. The casual observer would have stopped there. Between the two pieces of stamped steel there was a gap just large enough to college small pebbles and dirt. These gap on both members were completely encased with rust.

Attempt to blast the grime out made slow progress. My next step was to marinate them with penetrating oil and WD-40. After letting them soak a few nights I used a hammer, a small punch, a screw driver, and a putty knife to knock this stuff loose. After about 3 hours I had about as much grime removed as I could hope for.

The next step was to spray some phosphoric acid based rust remover into the seem to clean up any rust in gap. And then I cleaned it out with Simple Green degreaser to remove any loose dirt that may have remained.

Once the inside was clean, it was time to clean it up for painting. The process of cleaning the gap had taken a few days and some surface rust had formed on the outside both suspension members. First I thoroughly cleaned both items with Marine Clean (also a degreaser), and then treated them with POR-15's Metal Prep (also phosphoric acid based).

Using the Metal Prep is pretty amazing. The surface rust just disappears before your eyes. (My sister likened it as one of those Billy Maze Oxy-Clean commercials). After 30 minutes of continuous metal prep application, a good rinse with water, and drying the parts off, I was ready to paint.

My intention was to use POR-15 on these just like I did on the frame. Most of the other stuff I have used Eastwood's Chassis Black on. I like the Chassis Black because it is easy to spray on. I attempted to thin (using POR-15) and spray the POR-15 but it did not seem to like my spray gun. I resorted to painting the parts using a foam brush.

The parts still need one more coat. I will have another go with the spray gun but I suspect I will end up painting with a brush again. I really like the way this stuff looks when it is dry, but it has been a real pain to apply it. If I have success with the brush I will let you know (and I will be using POR-15 on the differential.) If things don't go well, I will spray the Chassis Black on the diff. It always looks good and it is easy to use.

Another thing to mention. The POR must be cleaned up immediately if any is spilt. If you get it on your hands and don't remove it immediately, you will be wearing it til it wears off. Did I mention my hands are gray?

After several points during this entire expedition, I thought I should snap a few pictures. Before I started blasting was a good time, but I had already gotten dirty setting up the equipment and did not want to go back in the house until I was done. After the blasting was complete would have been a good time also, but I delayed thinking I would snap some shots before I painted. The before and after for the rust removal would have been impressive also. It looks like the only pictures will end up being shots after the paint is dry.