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February 27, 2006

Car Show

I showed off my Pantera last Saturday. I didn't take many pics of my car, and though there were a lot of very fine cars there, I only took pics of the ones that I found interesting. I invite you to check out the photo sets for kewl pics.

I really had a great time at the show. My leg muscles hurt from all the wandering and not sitting, but the show was very well attended. It was neet watching people stare at my car. Children ran up to it and pressed their faces at the window. All the car owners were very friendly.

There's a gap between the very expensive and the just enough to keep you from buying it prices. Most of the projects went for about $4k, and I guess that's the accepted ammount to separate regular folks from their money. The Corvette was murdurously expensive considering the total lack of car under that car. The Vega was a humble reminder of my Monza. It too could have been a trailer queen... except it was a f**ng Monza! The kit cars just looked so cheap. Even if they'd been shiny and perfect, I was overcome with cheap. Maybe it was the lack of trim, or the bezels or something more intagable. I suppose the shelby replica was very well done for a kit, authored by C Shelby and all. But it's a race car and that's much easier to duplicate than a luxury GT or even a Gremlin.

I'm really digging the early '60s land yachts. They'd be more fun than my E350 van, but so much more expensive. Another car to savor and protect. I don't need that right now, do I?

February 26, 2006

Geneva & Tractor

This is a movie file sent from Jennifer of her antique Ford tractor with Geneva riding it.
click on the links to see the movie
& Jim-n-Pher's home site

I think this qualifies to go under the heading of "guest cars" because i've done a little work to the Ford in the past.

February 25, 2006

metal sculpture

I thought I'd show off some of the things i made. It isn't anything someone else with a torch and a welder couldn't do, but i'm told they're good. There are more, but i failed to take pictures of them all before giving them out. If anyone who reads this has any of my previous sculptures and can send me pics, I'd like to post them. Just contact me through "comments" or my email. If you dont want your comment posted, let me know. Comments may or may not be posted, or may be edited at my discretion.

Click on pics for larger view.

Above is a dragon i gave to my sister for her birthday. The wings are a water pump impellor from an old firebird pump. The eternal pearl is a CV joint bearing.

Below is gimpy frog. He's finished now, and no longer gimpy. I managed to get him a fourth leg and painted him green, but failed to take another pic. He is currently residing in St.Louis county, MO with my friend Tammy.

I finally finished this garden dragon (below) for Geneva. It was supposed to be a birthday present for her about 3yrs ago, but I wanted to put the wings on. I was foolishly waiting for the arrival of a non useable ring gear for the wings, but decided to use a good one which I'm sure I'd never install again anyway.
The neck and body came from the cam and crank shafts out of her first ill-fated ford ranger 2.3 engine. The head is a piston connecting rod from same. The wings are the old ring gear from my Firebird differential, chopped in half. I welded some 5/8 rod to the bottom for ground spikes. She prefers the rusty metal look to paint. The wings should rust in a few weeks.

update 2/26/06 13:32:00
i decided the dragon needed a tail. I almost had it done, and the welder ran out of argon gas :(
it's not easy glueing cast iron with a mig welder, and it's not weapons grade, but it's sufficient for yard art. I just have to keep breaking the welds and re-doing them until they dont break. It wastes a lot of wire and gas. I dont know when I'll have more argon.

NEW 3/11

previous project

I thought I'd start filling in some of these other sections. These are some pics of Sean's BMW. More pics can be seen at http://spkorb.org/bmw.html
And i have more pics of the frame-down on my yahoo photo page.
We finished the work last spring, I think.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

For some reason I kept encountering an internal server error when uploading the last 2 pics, so i hosted them through imageshack.us

Volvo Radiator

Victoria's radiator bought the farm. The side tanks are plastic, and one swelled up and cracked. Not surprising after 11yrs and possibly 150,000miles.

The car has no conventional radiator cap, only a pressure sensative overflow tank cap. After installing the new radiator, I let the car run until the fan switched on and off, but it never burped out it's air pocket until we actually drove it, then had to add about two quarts more. It might have one more burp left in it, so i gave her a gallon of coolant mix to take with her, with instructions to check the level next morning. At least it's not as bad with the air pockets as a Cavalier. In fact, the Volvo seemed very well engineered. It did take me quite a bit longer to do the job than I expected, but then I was treated to a Fudrucker's burger... YAYY!

February 22, 2006

Getting a handle on it

The door handle on the driver's side of the Lincoln broke. HA-HA .... i mean oh-no! Poor Sean was reaching thru the passenger side for at least a week to open it, and might be still if i hadn't helped convince him to pick up a new handle at the dealer last Saturday. I tried to look it up on the net, and told him it would only be about $20. ooops. I think he spent about $100, and we didn't even use the entire piece (his choice).
Here is a pic of the housing which we didn't use, and i believe that is the broken door handle next to it, and a pack of hardware parts needed to install.

The new handle was also primer gray, so Sean had to paint it to match the silvery car. It was cold out, so he warmed the paint in warm water beefore shaking, and heated a small area in the garage with the high intensity work-station lamp. It came out to a very near match in color. I'm not sure why i don't have any completed pictures... I suppose i could run out and take one, but it's just a door handle.... that works now :D

More pics.
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View image these are of me realizing how easy it is to take the panel off, after trying unsuccessfully to remove it the same way every other panel was put on for at least 20yrs. I only broke 1 clip on the panel and one on the interior handle trim. Hardly noticeable, I swear. I can also guarantee the guys at the Ford dealership did the same thing the first time they saw one like this, and you never know when you'll get a rookie.

Here is what appears to be the inside of the door. Again, Sean took the pics. I cant see really what I'm looking at there, so don't expect you to. Much of the inside work was done by braille.
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Last, we have me trying to remove the last rod holding the broken piece of the handle to the door:
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it's all back together now. Works great, Sean doesn't have to look like a slacker getting in on the wrong side, and everyone is happy.

hole in the rubber

Well, that got your attention ;)
The rest is pretty mundane. Margaret's honda had a nail in a tire, so I plugged it.

I like plugs better than patches on pneumatic tires. They work more consistantly, and are cheaper and easier to use.
Here are the pics that Sean took of the misfortune. In the first pic I dont know if I'm removing or installing, so just look at it again at the end ;)
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Obviously the camera is working again. Batteries. D'oh. Also the last Austin pic was pretty big i s'pose, so i half-sized these last ones. They're boring anyway. Maybe next week I'll do the timing belt on it :D

February 17, 2006


The doors and interior are out of the Austin and into the shed. Not enough room around the car to do much of any more disassembly right now. I tried to take more pics but the camera is not cooperating. Here's the only one that worked ;)
Driver's side

February 6, 2006

Thermovalve A,B, Thermistor, Unloader... other?

The 1982 Honda Civic has one of the most elaborate choke/high-idle mechanisms I've ever run across. Rube Goldberg would be proud.
I checked what I could with a vacuum pump, and observed movement where I could while warming and throttling. It seems that the fast idle does not let off exactly when it should, but I can't get a good eye on exactly why. The choke just stays partly closed until you can coax the fast idle off. I think it might be a slightly worn mechanical part inside the choke housing, or just somewhere I can't see, rather than temperature or vacuum related. Carbs are not my strong point really, i prefer fuel injection.
Antny and I decided it wasn't worth taking further time on. It does eventually kick down. The car starts and runs fine. I'm afraid if we took further time to find the real fast idle culprit, we may find that said part was probably discontinued in 1989 anyway. If it ever gives cause for any real concern, we could probably just find an EFI system for it with a bit of work ;) It's a really cute old Civic Wagon.

So he went home.

I also checked my poor bird cylinder #4 out today. Looks like the intake valve is leaking :(
I wont know why until I take the head off. I'll take care of it eventually. It still runs well, but I'd like to get one of my extra cylinder heads dressed out and ready for a swap.

February 5, 2006

trailer lights

Here's a couple pics of the trailer and its tail lights which i busted. Anything else in the pictures is purely coincidental ;)
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February 4, 2006

saturday adventures

Busy day. I got to look at Jason's new Pontiac GTO, which i prefer to think of as a Holden Monaro with a Chevy engine, but that's semantics. It is a very nice car and I like it alot. Here are a couple pics

Cool, huh?


we had Margaret over to check her maintenance light on her Honda. Sorry, no pics of Margaret yet ;) We hooked up the generic OBDII tester and it seemed vague. After she and Sean visited one of the local parts stores to use their tester, it confirmed my suspicions that no codes were set (the "engine" light was not on). The maintenance light is on to require the vehicle owner to visit the dealership so they can shut off the light, whilst they decide how much maintenence they can recommend, and for how much money.
We shall figure out how to shut the light off and do any needed maintenence ourselves.

During these two visits, I was also involved in a brake/axle job for my neighbor Rebecca. She had an axle seal go out which got nasty grease all over her brake shoes. Sean and Margaret picked up the required parts on their visit to the store. Here are some pics.

Also... our friend Eric came by and modified some bicycle parts for his future "Great Dane Chariot", but that may be another entry.