|Well, the '31 is all but finished and ready to move out, except for a slight overheating problem with I HOPE is a stretched belt. This is what was wrong with it. Someone had LEFT OUT THE OIL RETURN LINE AND TUBES that drains the oil from the rocker shaft overflow back to the oil pan. I suppose it was just blowing all over the rockers and then when finally draining down just piling up at the bottom of the sidepan gasket. Here's a picture and I drew in red where the missing tube should be (people kill me):
The '57 SHOULD BE ready to get out of the garage. I bought a factory 3 speed overdrive transmission to replace my original 3 speed. The car is an original 235 6 cylinder 3 speed. I'm the 2nd owner, having bought it from an older lady who's father bought it for her brand new. Spare me the "put a v8 in it, man!" comments, because I've had my fair share and they're not changing my mind.
While I had the trans out anyway, I was going to fix my rear main seal leak, which had been there since I had the engine professionally rebuilt. I know these cars always have a leak, but this one was causing some pretty severe clutch shudder. I had some problems with the engine so I finally gave up and had a machine shop rebuild it. When I tore into the rear main seal, this is what I found:
If you notice, the copper shim is BETWEEN THE UPPER AND LOWER rear main seal! Really?? Who would possibly think that would seal, and in case you didn't notice, my bearings, which don't have 5K miles on them, are eat up. I can't buy one bearing by itself, so I've had to order a whole new set of bearings (over $120) and now I'm going to have to individually shim each new bearing. As long as I have a new set, and this bearing looks this bad, I'd be stupid not to check and replace them all. The problem is every bearing is a different size on a Chevy 235 in these years. I know, the humanity!! So, I'm going to have to go through and measure and shim each bearing. I'm not sure how to do that yet, but I bet I'm going to learn. Apparently there's a better way to do it now than plastiguage. I hope it doesn't involve dropping the crank, but I suppose if I already have to take all the bearings out anyway, it won't be that much bigger of a deal. Anyway, this is probably going to put me about a week behind schedule for getting AprilMay's car in here and beginning to tear it apart.
I also really need a throttle rod for the 235 six cylinder that would have the tab for the overdrive trans on it. This tab engages the kickdown switch. I also need the simple bracket that mounts the kickdown switch to the 1 barrel carb. If anyone knows where to get one, let me know.
This setback was super frustrating because if both cars had been fixed by now (which they SHOULD have been) then I could have EASILY rolled that engine into the garage on the bare concrete side and had PLENTY of room to store it.
About the '37: Since I already plan to have the entire drivetrain out from under the car and the whole interior is going to have to come out I figure it would be easier to just set the body off to the side and build the car with the body off. That will make plumbing the brakes, fuel lines, gas tank and everything else so much easier. Since I'll end up with just the frame, I'm going to have it powder coated. We intend to keep this car for a long time, so I hope this will add a lot of protection from the elements.
I'm going to run a Chassis Engineering independent front suspension setup (http://www.chassisengineeringinc.com/). It's completely bolt on. We intend to use all bolt on equipment as much as possible. In future years, we may want to return this car to original because that's kind of our thing, so I'm keeping that possibility open.
I intend to use a Ford 8.8 rear end from an explorer. 1995-2001 to get the disc brakes in the rear. Unfortunately, they didn't make a 3.08 in those years, so I'll have to go with a 3.27 rear end. If this doesn't give us the good highway mileage we want, I may later switch in some 3.08 gears. I'm going to use the Chassis Engineering bolt on rear end kit.
For brakes, I intend to mount the master cylinder under the floorboard on the frame like most people do. I haven't decided which kit to go with for that. I also haven't decided which company to get a radiator from or to convert the original gauge cluster to work with the late model PCM and harness. I suspect that will be one thing that will eat up our budget.
Eventually, I hope to get some reproduction 8 inch artillery wheels with some white wall tires for that original look but modern performance.
I'll be running a vintage air unit for heat and air and try to hide it as much as possible.
All the bodywork and paint will be down the road after we are able to finish the car, get it driveable and then save up for the paint and bodywork.