We've gotten about a week of much better temps so garage work ensued. After asking advice in the forum, the cap on the Vega steering box was polished as best as it could be-in place, including smoothing the bolt heads. They were polished when removed. Then the box and the frame around it were painted to take care of road rash, along with some touch up on the shafts. The headers having been repainted were then re-installed and things checked for starting up to cure the header paint. Winter looks to be coming back for awhile so may wait for better days to road test.
Winter we've certainly had, a lot more than we have had for several years. In spite of that I have made some progress in my cold garage. The raised shock mounts and new shocks are on and the measurements are what I wanted. Need a lot less snow and ice to find out if the ride has improved but at least now I have shocks that work. Also added to the list this time was to replace the top flange on the right hood side, where vibration had worn away a screw hole. After a couple of poor ideas and starts, a new metal strip was tacked across the mounting surface, ground down, trimmed to size and drilled. A pair of washers were tacked on to reinforce the mounting holes as a little preventive measure. Flat black should slow rust on the inside and the outside was sanded, primed, and sprayed with Duplicolor's can of ''school bus'' yellow. On the other side of the hood a similar repair was done at the bottom. So hopefully things are tighter and more solid for a few more miles.
While watching it snow more I totaled up my ''stats'' for the year, 2013. I seem to drive about 3000 miles each season as I did this year for a total of 14900. I participated in and drove to 30 car shows for a total of 134 so far. I had 11039 hits this year on this journal. I know there are rodders that drive very much more, across the country even, and attend more shows. But me and my homemade hotrod are doing okay.
I have spent the last month working slowly due to the cold weather INSIDE my garage. No heat yet. I have applied a thin coat of filler to mold the mounts in and of course would sand most of it off only to find more pin holes or dimples to fill again. So sand , fill, and repeat as needed. I would also apply a coat of primer to better see where to refinish. I have finally gotten tired of sanding on my knees bent over or sitting on the cold floor and started to put a top coat of color on. The first coats were rattle can Duplicolor Chrome Yellow but it turned out to be too light. Then I found ''school bus'' yellow and liked the color match much better. The next coats and finish will probably wait until after the below zero and foot of snow forecast for the next week. So far so good I think. The pictures show all of the steps I've used again, but the first is the final color and finish.
Continuing with the shock mount extensions, the more I look at the welded tabs the more it bothers me. At first I thought a skim coat of filler would do to smooth things out but the tabs are just too wide. I'm afraid to grind too much off and reduce the strength at the business end of the mount. My next great idea is to add 1/4'' rod and basically outline the mount below the tabs. There will be a round shape detail from the tabs no matter what so maybe just continue that line down the mount. It would also serve to widen the top of the mounts and so blend everything together. I will finish the welds on the rods, both sides of the mount, and then fill inside to smooth the round into the flat sides of the mount. It might be a nice detail. I really need a better camera for this, mine doesn't focus close very well but hopefully you can see where I'm going with this.
Continuing on with extending the shock mounts. Thinking it would save some fabrication time, I bought some frame tabs from Speedway's catalog. I ran a bolt through them to clamp on the shock mount and checked the measurements, then I asked my friend Tom to weld them in place. He is a much better welder than I and I don't want any of this to fall off. The next step was to cut some metal to box them in, just for looks as they should be strong enough any way. Then the sheet metal was clamped and tacked as it was bent over the tabs. As I tacked the boxing on I appreciated the effort Tom had to put in to work in the very tight spaces between headlights and brakes. A quick trial fit to insure that everything would fit and work. Now comes the grinding and shaping and finishing. Still lots of work to do.