Thursday, May 21, 2009

Back on my feet again...

Today is a big day in the scheme of things. I got the truck back on it's feet again in the front.

I wish I could post regular and significant updates, but life is so hectic nowdays. I have been busy parting out an old 80 model truck that I bought awhile back. I bought it to steal some parts for this 63, then sell the remainder to recoup my money, effectively netting free old truck parts. It's a diabolical plan, but it worked.

Funny story about that...I posted the 80 model engine up for sale on Craigslist. A very distinguished sounding fellow calls me and arranges to come pick it up. He shows up in a Ford Mustang convertable. Not a nice classic or anything, just an 80's model beater. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what he had in mind until he borrowed some tools from me and removed his trunk lid. That's right, he had me set a 700 pound greasy, leaky engine into the trunk of his car. I kid you not. The car sagged it's poor suspension to the bumpstops. Last I saw him, he was headed North with a steady stream of dirty anti-freeze leaking out of his trunk. Mind you, this engine sat taller than the roof of his car out of the trunk. It was absolutely ghetto freakin fabulous. I wish I could have gotten a picture of it without insulting the fellow.

Since the last post, I have worked another 20 hours or so on the old truck. I finally got the spindles, bearings and rotors all cleaned, refurbished and powdercoated. Today, I installed all of it and screwed a pair of wheels in place so I could lower it off of the jack stands.

Keep in mind, the wheels are just "rollers" as car guys refer to them. Just something round and rollable to run until I put the final wheels and tires on for good. Rest assured, the final wheels will be works of art. Nothing will make or break a car project like a set of nice wheels and tires.

I still have yet to do, refurbishing the steering mechanism. All the tie rods, idler arm and steering box have to be cleaned, rebuilt, and you guessed it, powdercoated. That's probably another 20 hours of work or so. The truck will roll right now, but there is no way to steer it without these parts in place.

On a side note, sorry if today's post in uninspiring or unimaginative. I have an absolute screamer of a migraine today. I'm laying on the couch in the shop with the doors closed, lights off and a fan blowing on me. I'm still nauseous and violently ill, but it will let up pretty soon. They always do.

Side note number two: My buddy Scot called me yesterday. He has my powdercoating oven finished and ready to be picked up. I currently have two ovens, but this one he built for me is the grand daddy of ovens. You read that right, I paid another man to build something for me. This guy, Scot, a fireman I work with, is absolutely, beyond all doubt, the most capable and intelligent person I have ever met. This guy can build anything and do it better than anyone else could. His dad was an honest to God rocket scientist on the Apollo program in the 60s. Scot isn't far removed from such greatness himself. So, I paid him to build me a big oven for powdercoating larger parts. The inside dimensions are 4 feet tall, 2 feet wide, and 6 feet deep. I'd have liked to had an even bigger oven than that, but due to residential electricity and wiring, I couldn't go any bigger. Using a typical 50 amp electrical circuit like my shop (and most all non commercial shops) has, I am limited to how many heating elements I can run. We had to use some formulas and calculations to determine how many watts worth of heating elements that the residential shop wiring would allow, then calculate the volume of oven that these elements would heat effectively. If I'd have spec'd a larger volume oven, the necessary electrical draw to heat it would have exceeded any wiring short of a commercial structure with industrial wiring.

But, nevertheless, the oven we (actually he) built will allow me to powdercoat pretty much any automotive or motorcycle part as well as anything else I could dream up to coat short of a whole car frame.

I have been terribly busy powdercoating parts for other people lately. I'm not making money or anything, but the barter system is alive and well. I got an engine and transmission for the truck, a whole stack of cool wheels, and a tailgate recently just by bartering my powdercoating services with different people.

The headache is letting up some. I discovered a long time ago, that a very effective headache remedy is to take a BC Headache Powder and pack it under my tongue. This absorbs the medicine directly into the bloodstream. If you swallow the medicine, it must pass through your system and me metabolized by the liver prior to being distributed throughout the body. My way gets it all into your system and fast. The liver tends to only absorb about half of any given medicine, significantly diluting the effect. I came to this whole epiphany one day years ago when I was taking care of a heart attack patient on the ambulance. It's SOP to spray nitroglycerin sublingually so it goes immediately into the bloodstream. What's good for nitro is good for headache medicine.

Next update will be have oven porn pictures and hopefully more old truck updates.

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