May 2012

Optimist Prime

Yeah... I'm optimistic that it'll never work...

20 May

Well, there's not a lot to report so far this month... I spent a few minutes many weeknights, and an hour or so each weekend trying to get the operating rods and bushing out of the steering column. Finally, I had the column clamped into a vice, at least one foot braced against the vice, and both hands hurting as the control rods dug into my skin. I actually bruised my fingers at one point. By wiggling the rods back and forth, while applying the kind of tension I mentioned above, I was finally able to get the rods to come out. Oof.

Once the rods were out, I went into more effort in getting the bushing removed. Even with the screws removed, it took considerable effort to get the thing out. I ended up running to Home Depot to get a 4 foot section of sucker rod (rebar) to use as a long drift. Many whacks later, the bushing came out. It's probably still useable, but some pieces of it got chipped off, so a new one is in the plan.

While we were out buying rebar, we popped into Wal*Mart and bought a 5 gallon fuel container. A short bit later, we stopped by a gas station, and we picked up about 5 gallons of kerosene. That evening, I went to work cleaning the majority of the heavy grease out of the steering gears, the banjo, and did a preliminary wash-down of the axle- and torque tubes. Unfortunately, there's no way I can get down in the innards of those things, so I guess they'll go to thie dip tank fer sure.

As I was looking at my 5 gallon bucket full of very black kerosene, I had a stroke of genius. Or maybe just a stroke. I'll let you decide. I thunk to myself that with kerosene at near five bucks a gallon, I should find a way to filter it, some, so I wouldn't be wasting so much money... I took the kids over to an Advance Auto Parts to buy a few bucks worth of stuff. We picked up a fuel filter, a few feet of Tygon tubing, and a primer bulb. I thunk I'd just use the bulb to force the kerosene through the filter, and into the other bucket.

Pure Genius...

Genius, huh? Well, I had mixed results. First off, let me say that a fair amount of the gook will fall out of solution, and leave a nasty mess in the bottom of the bucket. This only takes a day or so to happen. The filter will catch some of the rest, but the kerosene still looks pretty black in the "clean" bucket. And, lastly, I went too cheap on the bulb. THe "good" bulbs were nearly thirty-five bones. I went with an el-cheapo that set me back about ten. I got my money's worth, I guess. The bulb wouldn't pump the fuel worth a hoot (bad valves, I guess), and then it fell apart after about 50 or so squeezes - the rubber actually started to melt. D'oh! After that, I just siphoned the fuel through the filter a couple of times. It cleaned it up enough to use it some more as the first-pass cleaning on the really dirty stuff (like the banjo), but I think it would've just made other parts dirtier. It was good enough for a first pass on the backing plates, that's for sure - they were a real mess.

26 May

I started to do a little work today, but honestly, there's not much to do right now. I pulled down the differential, and cleaned some of the muck from the gears and axles. That's about it. So, earlier this week, I stopped by a mechanic's place, and asked if he knew anyone with a "dip tank," like what was pretty common back in the "old days." I think I said previously that I'd found a place on the way to my work, Local Machine Shop. Google has the address correct, but for some reason finds it in the wrong place. They've got no web page (that I've found). Anyway, I popped in and talked to the guy for a bit, and they can do the job, but he wouldn't really quote me a cost - it's sort of a minimu to fire up the tank (heaters, chemicals, etc), and then add on how much crud he collects up and has to dispose of. Needless to say, I want to get my parts cleaned up some, before hand. Especially the really dirty ones.

So, anyway, back on subject. I popped into the mechanic's, and he pointed me to a machine shop (Pasadena Diesel) that's maybe three miles form my house. I popped in there, and these guys have a split shop, part machine shop, part diesel shop. I hung out and BS'd with them a bit, and it turns out the diesel guy works on flatheads, has two Model A's of his own, they were currently working on some one-of-a-kind flathead V8, they have their own glass-blaster, cleaning rotissere, and they also work with the other guy with the dip tank. I was pretty impressed with these guys' apparent ability. Turns out their neighbor in the shop next door also rebuilds Corvettes and some other types. There's a whole world of exprience betwene the three of them, that's there for me to lean on.

So, to shorten the story a bit, they said bring some stuffin, and they'd give it a whirl, or if it looked too bad, they'd take it to Jim (the guy with the dip tank). I think I'll be bringing them some stuff in a few days...

28 May

This weekend is over. Y'all probably had a good time, fishing with the kids, grilling burgers, goin' to the pool. Basically enjoying the three day weekend that's sort of the unofficial entry into Summer.

Please take a few minutes to appreciate the hard-won freedoms we have, here, in this country. Let's raise a toast to our brothers and sisters that saw the elephant, and didn't live to tell about it, okay?


Last modified on 10/09/12