The concrete contractor has been waiting for warmer weather to pour the new garage floor. It finally came for a short spell, at least long enough to pour and finish the floor. The next day the block layer came and built the wall for the studs. Then we got 6 inches of really wet snow and cold again. There were blankets over the new work to protect it some but another warmer day came and is unwrapped now. It's been a week so it is now okay to get the hot rod out and do some spring cleaning in the shop part. Ordered a rollup door to close off the shop (and protect my stuff) and putting together a materials list for construction to start. I intend to keep the new floor clear while building so that I can still back out to drive to car shows. I have all summer now to build.
All of the support tubes are fastened in, the radiator is as protected by rubber cushioned mounts as I can make it, and now the new electric fan is mounted. The wiring kit I used when I started my hot rod build had lots of extra circuits and one was for an electric fan. So that premarked wire was fished out of the bundle at the fuse panel and pushed through the firewall. The wires on the fan of course wouldn't reach so splices were soldered on along with the correct ends for ground and a spade connection to allow removal. It actually works! I had reversed the blade and wires as I wanted to put the fan out front to push and keep the engine fan to pull. Due to the way I had to mount the radiator the engine fan was always at the bottom and not able to pull through as much of the core as would be best. Now the cooler has air movement top and bottom. The fan should help on those occasions when traffic is slow or in line at bigger shows. New plastic loom was used to keep everything together and protect from weather (which open engines get) and zip tied to hold. On other projects the headers are painted and some adjustments have been made for when the hood and side panels go back on. I'm also still waiting for the floor of the new addition to the garage.
After a test fit I pulled the core supports and trimmed the firewall to core support tubes for width and welded patches over the ends. The loop of the radiator mount had a lot of now extra holes which were welded closed, smoothed off, and then repainted. The actual mounts are scrap channel from shelf legs which were drilled, fitted with as many rubber washers and shock cusions as I could devise. With a dropped tube axle and transverse spring the front end gets lots of shock. The whole thing needs some adjustments and finagaleing for alignment but it looks as if it will work. The new radiator mounts a little closer to the fan which is good and I still need to mount the electric fan of the front. Of course the hood and grill all mount off the same square tubing that holds the radiator, so hopefully I have not changed things too much.
I posted some time back in the forum asking about the possibilty of repairing an aluminum radiator. As there was nothing to lose we went ahead with my plan. If we could fix the leak then great but if not well the cooler was junk anyway. With my friend Tom we cut the corner of the tank above the leak for access to the core. A pro had tried to epoxy it from the bottom but the fix didn't hold. After cleaning and inspecting and attempting to solder the leak we finally called a couple of shops for advice. The shop epoxied from the top this time, I guess there are issues with solder and aluminum. Any way after some adventures in aluminum welding the top was replaced and the radiator was tested only to find that the repair hadn't worked. Bubbles at the weld (which we could have fixed) and bubbles at the original leak. So lesson learned and a new radiator was ordered. It is different of course so now I need to modify the mounts and support to get everything to fit.
Work is kind of slow on my garage waiting for it to warm up enough to pour a floor, the header paint is drying and the radiator is ready to be cut. In the mean time my friend Fuzzy took me for a tour of one of the midwest's best up and coming car builders. BBT Fabrications is located in Champaign IL and has built Good-Guys award winners and some of the finest rides to hit the streets around here or anywhere else. Last summer I shared car shows with a 40 LaSalle coupe that belongs to a friend. The caddy recently went to BBT for a complete rebuild. It was a very sound, immaculate car from California. The coupe was disassembled and media blasted, the frame was boxed and a front clip and x-member were fabricated. Under the new LS engine is a complete IFS from Detroit Speed. Out back will be a Moser 9'' with four links and adjustable coil overs like the front. It is going to be an awesome LaSalle. BBT is on facebook too with an incredible Firebird, a Camaro, a 'Cuda and the Coyote equipped Galaxie was next door for some interior work. I was amazed at the quality of work this place turns out...sheet metal magic!!!