Dodged the rain storms in east central Illinois and made it to only the my second show this spring. The day was very hot and humid but no rain made for a good number of cars and a large crowd. Bill's engine is together and needs just a few more pieces to get his hot rod on the road but he and the rest of the "old guys" were out in force. Fuzzy's '36 Chevy truck took first in Street Rod class and best engine as well. Well done him! This was the first show this season we were all together and plans were set in motion for at least the rest of the month. There are some spring festivals with car shows and a cruise-in on my schedule this month. With a little weather "luck" I can take in five more shows before June. Plans are being made for all of us to cruise in to see the Power Tour on its way through on June 4th.
We are starting to get the rain we're behind on so I've missed the next two drives on my list. A Friday evening cruise-in and a Saturday car show were both rained out, at least for me. So I took on a little project that has been on my mind. I bought a 3 dollar scrap of aluminum from a local welder and laid out a plan for a trim piece to go around the shifter boot. Due to the location of the hole in the oil pan console it was difficult to make the trim go all the way around, plus the hole is rather oddly shaped. Once the piece I wanted was cut out and two holes drilled to make round corners on the inside, it was formed over a pipe to fit the upward curve of the pan. After marking the holes for the fasteners and drilling, test fits made for more forming to try to match all the curves of the pan bottom.The outside corners were rounded and the edges filed and cleaned up. A little polishing and the whole thing was reassembled and put back in the cab. I like the way it makes the inverted oil pan look more finished as a console, even though no one but me will notice.
For the first outing of the season I picked up friend Bill and we drove over to the annual spring swap meet/car show. The swap meet is the main part of the event as the car show is pretty small but it serves well as a season break in trip. There was probably at least one example of whatever part you were looking for at a good price. I picked up another recycled mirror (no idea what it came from) as the mirror in my latest version of the overhead console can't swivel enough to give a good view outback. In addition to parts looking we met up with friends not seen since last year and picked up flyers for up coming events. Other than just enjoying getting the hot rod out on the road again, the best part of the trip for me was a non-event. None of the problems that I tried to address over the winter showed up. The down shift problem is fixed, the loose connection in the gauges stayed tight, the neutral safety switch was able to do it's job, and even the radiator leak is taken care of. Best of all I didn't screw anything up with my "fixes".
I recently posted to the electrical forum about a problem I was having with the neutral safety switch,or so I thought. After following the great advice I was offered and really tearing into things, I THINK I've fixed the problem. The real problem was 49 different things. The first fix was to grind more clearance between the shifter stop I made-which is a problem I often have that when I change something it causes problems elsewhere. Then I had to change out yet another ignition switch with a tumbler failure. Next was to adjust/secure the safety switch itself which may or may not have had contact with my bracket. My home made shifter console is an oil pan (sbc) upside down. After finally catching on that all worked well with the console off but not with it on,I started in on it. Removing the leather boot showed that the console was blocking full Park where the shift lever hit. Trimmed the opening more and everything seems to be functioning as it should. Happy hot rodding!!
Last summer I screwed a small camo pouch to the door panel to hold pens, Ipod, and stuff. I looked online for something else, surplus, etc., but then decided to make my own. Some scrap upholstery turned up in my horde and with some old leather boot laces I soon had a better place to keep the registration/insurance, pens, and other junk. At least it looks better with the seat than the camo.
Last summer I made a rack that fits on my bed cover so that extra stuff can be carried when I have a passenger. My chair and box usually ride inside with me. The first use with two of everything caused the rack to fold over and put some gouges in the bed rail which I have been sanding/filling/priming. There was also a small place in the back of the cab. The prep work got done and I finally worked up the nerve to touch up the paint. I still have half a gallon of the "Speed Yellow" acrylic enamel and reducer and activator from TCP. It took several coats with my air brush as the yellow is almost translucent. Of course the air brush was probably the wrong tool to use but I ended up using a cheap touch up gun for wider coverage. At least it's shiny yellow now but there are a lot of specks in the paint I would guess from dust/crud floating in my garage. So now I have to learn how to color sand and buff. DIY hot rodding is like that.