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View flynbrian48's profile Entries: 253
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03-01-2010 03:45 PM This is more like it!
Got rid of the butt ugly van column, and in with the Diamond T's original (or most of it) column and wheel. I shortened the shaft and jacket, used part of the van column inner shaft (the "double D" end the u-joint fits), and the end of the vans jacket with the bushing, and "Viola"! The perfect match to the beautiful dash and gauge panel.

The van column made my eyes hurt, looked totally out of place against the dashboard. Now, I'm happy.


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  [Entry #153]

02-28-2010 06:30 PM En-gauge-ing project
Having sold the DT's original gauges on ebay for (almost) enough to get the new SW "Wings" series 6 gauges, I then had to make a panel to put them in. The idea I had was to make a gauge panel that looked the Diamond T "Deluxe" dash panel, which I guess was a Packard panel and gauges. So, a trip to ALRO steel netted me a piece of polished stainless 20 ga., and I set to work.

Rough cut the panel, and rolled a bead around the proposed perimeter with my buddys bead roller. The panel was trimmed to the edge with a cut off wheel, and I then had to cut the hole for the gauges.

I'd asked for advice, and several guys said they'd used bimetal hole saws, lot's of oil, and had good luck. I didn't. Ruined the two new ones, but I did have nice marks on the panel from them, and used the cut off wheel again and had the holes cut in no time.

Did an engine turned finish with a 5/16 bolt chucked up in the drill press, with a pad on the head and a piece of 320 gr. DA paper. Eyeballed the pattern, I'm VERY happy with the results.

The blank center will be home to the headlight, cargo and fog lamp switches, starter button and ign. switches. High beam and turn signal indicators I'll find places for after the rest is laid out. Not bad for an afternoons work, huh?


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  [Entry #152]

02-25-2010 08:25 PM Don't force it, get a bigger hammer...
Out with old, tired, lame TBI350 that I was already apologizing for, and in with the "new" (OK, it's well seasoned) 6.0 LS1! I was regretting choosing the 350, and with a little encouragement from my wife (doesn't hurt to have a car featured in HOT ROD to get additional spousal enthusiasm!) Had to get a out the torch and notch the frame, even with the GTO headers, and grease up the sides a little, but it's in.

It LOOKS more appropriate, and fills up the tiny engine bay completely. I'll be able to lose the awful, awful, awful looking Chev van column, and use the trucks original column and wheel, for which I found a "Deluxe" brass horn button that'll have my name engraved on it. This one never had the original owners name or business name engraved, the space is blank, so that was a good find. I have a set of SW wing series gauges, and they're going in a machine finished dash panel I made to mimick the "Deluxe" cab dash. Those two things, and the new engine, really have me fired up now about getting this thing done!

I felt a little bad initially about not using the 350, after all, I bought the van it was in specifically to use in the truck. But, I can rationalize that I still have the front suspension under the truck, I may end up using the fuel tank and pump, definately will use the Reese hitch, trailer brake controller and wiring, and the vans master cylinder, booster, and pedal. Those things alone would have been more than the 800 bucks I spent on it, and my neigbor, whom I gave the conversion vans interior to, has plowed the drive for us all winter. Plus, I used the vans ralley wheels, which I really like, on our '48 Pontiac with the new tires on them. I've also still got the 350, which, with a conventional distributor and the new Edelbrock carb and intake I have, will make a good engine for a planned project. So, no regrets, no apologies, no remorse!


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  [Entry #151]

02-20-2010 03:21 PM Chopping the Thunderbird!
I've had this car languishing in the shop, serving as an expensive shelf ever since it got bumped in a parking lot 5 years ago. I was going to fix the dented quarter, and repaint it, being tired of the dark candy plum color, but DA'ing most of the paint off was as far as it got.

I've seen some killer mid to late 50's cars with wrap around windshields, like the 'Birds, sunken into the cowl, and just love the look. This week, since I haven't yet gotten the 6.0 to mount in the Diamond T, and it's too cold to paint the Milusion, I got off my butt and whacked the w/s posts out of the 'Bird!

The result is just what I envisioned. 2" chop, uncut glass, it changes the profile of the car very subtly, but noticable. I don't want it to look "squashed", and this is perfect. The original hardtop (the car was originally a coupe) is removable, but I've never had it on. I'm going to cut the top as well, and lean the rear glass forward, to slim the "C" pillar.

I think done this way, the car will have some character, and we'll actually use it with the top on. I have a convert top to, also removable, but I'm not sure I can chop it and retain the proper geometry for it to fold. We'll see...


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  [Entry #150]

02-15-2010 03:13 PM OOPS
Didn't upload the pics...


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  [Entry #149]

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