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.
Friend Fuzzy had been talking about plans to rework the seat mounts in his '36 Chevy truck. The seat was too flat and too far back and had no adjusters. So I said let's do it. When I arrived at his garage the truck was up on stands to get at the fasteners underneath and the seat was out. The fabbed up mounts were angle iron pieces with welded in bolts. Fuzzy did some measurements and went about making new holes in the floor while I removed mounting bolts to allow for longer replacements. Part of the plan was to raise the front of the mounts to tilt the seat back a little which was accomplished with square tube spacers I made. Once the new holes locations were decided and drilled the carpet was reinstalled and the seat replaced. I won't go into how much fun we had trying to align holes in everything. A test drive proved that the adjustment was just what was needed for driver comfort on road trips-which we all wanted to be soon. The '36 will be his primary ride this summer as he is trying to sell his Tbucket.
I'm wrapping up the winter projects. After measuring every way I could think of there was only going to be about an inch of gain in lowering the seat riser. Too much work for too little gain. So the interior was reinstalled, insulation, carpet, and seat back. The overhead panel was touched up and put back in along with a plug for the hole in the dash. There was a thought ticking around to make a drawer in the seat base for all the junk that I kept in a box under the seat cushion. Now if I need the wiper blade there is no need to search for it or the wrench to put it on with. Recycled boards were grooved for a bottom panel and squared up with a drawer front routed, sanded, and painted. The drawer pull is a small piston from a compressor. The finished drawer just sits/moves on a support to keep it level with the cab floor. The seat cushion was replaced and the interior was complete but for the oil pan used for the shifter console. I wanted to wait until I was sure the newly fabbed "stop" didn't interfere with Drive. As it happened this was also a good time to replace the old (also recycled) lights in my garage shop. It's so bright now I can actually see what I'm doing, no more excuses. At any rate the hot rod finally fired up and pulled easily into Drive and drove back in. So the shifter stop at least doesn't prevent getting into gear, now to see if it works as well preventing untimely down shifts. Next up is spring maintenance , changing oil and filters, and cleaning. Also plans are made for the "old guys" to trip to Indy for the World of Wheels show, car stuff to do.