Sunday, May 31, 2009

On Track

Nothing is ever easy for me. There is the plan, there are contingencies, and then there is reality.

I did the timing, and installed the new carb setup. Hooked up the lines, and got in and turned the key. One cylinder was firing, but the car wouldn't even come close to running. I decided that I knew nothing about the condition of the carbs on the new intake, so I replaced them with the other set of carbs that I had already rebuilt and rejetted.

I sprayed some starting fluid in the throat of the carbs, and voila' after a couple of trys the car fired up and ran. I still need to adjust the idle, and put on the water pump and radiator and hoses, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The guy across the street is still in the middle of stripping the car down to bare metal for the paint job, but is making good progress. I think now that my goal of having it ready for the Boeing Car Show this summer is absolutely possible. That would be sssooooooo cool. I have about six weeks. It all comes down to how much overtime I have to work between now and then, and what other things I need to take care of.

I need to figure out why the lawn mower won't start so I can mow the back 40. I need to get someone to repair the siding on the South side of the house, and I need to get a new heat pump installed.

Oh well, I guess I won't get bored any time soon.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Two Down

Now the Truck is all complete and runs like a top.

The Z has the ground effects kit installed and painted.

Two down.

The third is underway.

The guy across the street started doing the body work on Frankenhealey last night. I worked on the timing. Problem: Timing lights only work when the car is running. I have to time the car so it WILL run. There is an easy way to do this with a light bulb and breaker points, but I have replaced the points with a magnetic trigger system. After messing around for a while I decided that the way to get around this was using an ancient circuit tester I had laying around.

This is the really old type that is a bullet shaped plastic thingie with a gas bulb inside, and two leads with straight probes on the end. It was made for testing wall outlets. Put one probe in each slot of a wall outlet, if the bulb lights, you have power.

So, if you turn the engine over until the timing mark lights up, and pull number one plug wire, and loosen the distributor, if you rotate the distributor until the bulb lights, the timing will be right on.

So I did that, and finished up setting up one carburettor and intake setup and installed them. Tonight I will hook ou all the hoses and the gas line. I might even see if it will fire up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What a Nice Weekend

The weather Gods and the calendar aligned in a weird convergence this weekend, and we had three days of perfect weather. It was so great to have time off and good weather. Not that I accomplished a great deal, just a little here and a little there.
We went to see "Angels and Demons". We both enjoyed it. I had read the book, and it was vastly superior to "The Da Vinci Code". I have always felt that "The Da Vinci Code" would not have been such a literary and cinematic success if it wasn't for the Fundamentalist Christian preachers making such a big deal about it. Forbidden fruit always tastes sweetest. Of course the movie wasn't as good as the book, but that is almost always true.
We had company on Sunday and I cooked pork tenderloin in cranberry chutney. It turned out just fine.
I got Zelda the Z back from the neighbor, who had installed the ground effects kit and painted it. It is spectacular. I have had the kit for a couple of years, but never could get around to putting it on. I pulled out the radio and got it working again. Can't be running around without tunes. I drove it to work today, and whenever I stopped someplace, people approached me and wanted to know about the paint and stuff. Pictures to follow soon, but today was overcast, and I want full sun to take the pictures.
I got back to work on Jenny the Jensen Healey. I am currently tearing apart two carburation systems to assemble the ultimate out of two good systems. No hurry here. It will get done when it gets done. I also futzed around with the water pump and got everything ready to start putting things back together. Next I need to retime everything to make sure I have the timing right. Then put on the intake manifold and carbs, put on the waterpump, hook up the hoses, install the radiator, and fire it up. Then finish with the brakes. If everything went right, it could be on the road in a couple of days.
HAH! When have things ever gone right?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hats off to Mrs A

I haven't been around much lately. Just too much going on, and stuff I didn't really want to get into at all.

We rescued "i" from the clutches of CPS and bought him home. When they release him, it is into protective custody, so you can't just give him back to mom until CPS says so. The protective custody is for 72 hours while they sort things out.

R wanted to be bailed out, but I told her I had something more important to take care of, getting "i" taken care of. Mission Accomplished. We had him for the next couple of days, but we both work. Mrs A volunteered to stay home and take care of him. I told her I would do it, but she insisted that I go to work, and she stay home.

So she stayed home and took care of him. I love her so much for stepping up and doing this. He is not her biological offspring, but she has a big heart. By the end of three days, she was more than willing to turn loose of him. So was I. I love the munchkin, but I am getting a little long in the tooth to be raising an infant. Same for Mrs A. I just hope R understands just how much she owes Mrs A.

CPS in their usual arrogant irresponsible manner, accused R of all sorts of things and threatened her with taking "i" away from her. They lied about what we had told them, and generally terrified her. They let her know that if there was any hint of drugs they would be taking "i". She blames some of this on us, and seems to have lost sight of the fact that if it wasn't for us, things would not have turned out so good.

Mrs A is a little more than pissed that R can't seem to recognize how much we went out of our way to help her out. I can't say as I blame her at all.

Needless to say it has created a great deal of tension at Chateau Warren. Once again I am caught in the middle, trying to make peace and generally getting beat about the head and shoulders from both sides.

Oh well, it's not the first time, and probably not the last.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Word of the DAY

Giberate (jib-er-ate) To create or write dowm gibberish.
I fat fingeted a word today, I meant to type generate, and it came out giberate. I liked it so much, I want to keep it.

Hey ma, it followed me home, can I keep it?


Saturday, May 16, 2009


Story One: "This is the Police, we have your daughter in custody. She is being charged with two counts of leaving a child unattended in a car, and one count of Shoplifting. She is heavily intoxicated and uncooperative. Can you come and get your Gransdon, or do we need to contact social Services?"

Story Two: "Crystal went into the store and stole the food, and then ran off she was supposed to be watching the kids, but got scared"

Story three: "I wne into the store and Crystal was supposed to be watching the kids, but she left to go over to the gas station. I never stole anything and I had one beer".

Story Four: "I ran into XXXX down at safeway and she said she would watch the kids while I ran into the store real quick and picked up a couple of things. Evidently she took off. I was in the checkout line, when some people came in talking about a bunch of cop cars in the parking lot. When I looked out I saw they were around my car. I ran out to find out what was going on. I still had the groceries with me but had not checked out. So they charged me with shop lifting. I had money and every intention of paying. I had one beer."

Eye witness: "I saw a young woman pull into the parking lot. She had to climb out of the passengers side of the car. There was no one else present. She went off into the store and left the two little ones in the back seat of the car."

Friday, May 08, 2009

One Done (Again)

I took yesterday off. When I got up to go to work, the truck wouldn't start. It is also my last chance to take a day off for God knows how long, so I wanted to get the truck up to snuff.
Having fixed everything else, I had decided to bypass the clutch cutout switch, regardlless. There are times when I want to turn over the engine when the truck is in neutral, and I don't want to climb in the truck and push in the clutch.
So I bypassed the switch. The truck still didn't start, so it has to be in the ignition switch. In order to pull the ignition switch, you need to diable the airbag system and remove it from the vehicle, remove the steering wheel, and remove the switch. Too much work.
For $7.00 you can buy a solid brass starter button. Since I never use the cigarette lighter, I utilized the hot wore and hole from the lighter to install the button. Cut the wire to the solenoid out from the wire bundle, made a jumper wire to go to the other terminal on the button, and voila' you have a pretty much bulletproof starter switch, The rubber boot blends in nicely with the dash, and no wires show.
Mrs A said "You're a kind of McGuyver, aren't you?"
I was sooooo proud

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

None Done

When I was coming home from work today, I got as far as 7-11, and when I went to leave, the truck died, and when I went to start it back up.........nothing.
Having eliminated the battery, battery cable, alternator, starter, the fault can only lie in a couple of places. The cutout switch that is attached to the clutch, and the ignition switch itself.
No mere mechanical object can out-stubborn me. I WILL WIN. Eventually.
As soon as it stops raining, like maybe June, I will go out and do some diagnostics and figure out which. Having eliminated all of the other possibilities, I should be able to figure it out.
All I have to do is make a jumper wire to go from the battery to the solenoid, and jump it. If the starter turns, the problem is isolated to either the clutch cutout switch or the ignition switch.
It should be easy to find the clutch cutout switch. That being easy, it is probably the keyed switch itself.
Oh, and my laptop keeps freezing up.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

One Done

The truck is back on the road.
You can't imagine the relief when I got in it, turned the key and the starter worked, the truck started right up. There are lots of things that could have gone awry, then I would have had to tear it all apart and do it again. I think I might have said a few bad words if that happened.
The next thing is to fix up the Z after her little temper tantrum the other day. I still have no dash lights, and one turn signal does not work. I put a new bulb in the turn signal, but it isn't working sounds like a lazy Saturday project to me. If the truck proves to be reliable, the Z will be going across the street to have the ground effects kit installed and painted.
That leaves Frankenhealey. I need to get busy on the car. If everything went right (and it never does) I could have it running in one day, but with reworking the distributor, installing the new carbs, figuring out a new linkage system, installing the water pump, it looks like it will be some months to get it all together. The goal is to get it running enough to drive it to the company car show this summer.
Unfortunately, I will be going back to seven days a week soon, so it limits my time to work on the cars. Even when the sun is out and the temperature is good, I find that I have a limited amount of energy. No more can I consistently work my eight and come home and put in another four at home. I think it is more mental than physical, not that it matters, because the result is the same.
At ant rate, one down, to to go. It must have been all the fingers crossed.