Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Edsel rear window

Monday Dad got motivated and installed the rear glass on the Edsel. I got in on the install and so did a friend, Pete, who jumped in and asked "Is there anything I can say that will help?".

Of course there is, now shut up and grab a end before we drop the glass and have a really bad day.

It slid in perfectly. Dad used a old trick from way back when dinosaurs roamed the planet. He wrapped a string around the rubber on the outside of the window. Then as we placed the glass in and set it in place he yanked the string out, allowing the inside section of rubber to lock into place. I had never seen it done before so at first I thought he was crazy, which is normal, then after it was done I told him I'll keep him around a little longer if he keeps those kinds of tricks coming.

I've been working for dad coming on 17 years this summer and he still amazes me with old tricks and ideas that I had never seen before. I'd have to say I'm lucky to have him showing me the old tricks while I show him the new tricks.

Speaking of old. 34 years old today, yippy, but at least I can still act like a kid. My wife was nice enough to score me one of these for when I race online. Sweeeet :)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Huh? or Der?

This weekend classic car owners, owning automobiles and trucks from 1930-1935 are being asked to bring them to downtown Madison if they'd like them to be used in a upcoming movie.

Bring them on down to be looked at

My first thought was, "cool, Wisconsin cars in a movie." Then I read further into the story. and went "Huh, what freaking idiot thought it was a good idea to have classic cars come out in this weather to be photographed?" Even if you trailer them, where the hell are you going to park all those trailers considering the location your asking the owners to come to?

Owners are asked to bring their vehicles to West Mifflin Street between the Overture Center and the central branch of the Madison Public Library between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Few rambling thoughts this afternoon. First, the people that own these cars appreciate them on a level I doubt the movie producers understand. Second, unless the owners are attention hounds I can't see many people driving their classic car during our wonderful weather we are having here right now. Even if it does warm up the roads are going to be slushed to hell and I doubt the owners want to see salt and grime on a car they spent so much money purchasing, or restoring. Third, why not just ask owners to fax, email, or come down with pictures of their pride and joy. I guarantee if they have a car that old, they have quality pictures to show off. And lastly, why not wait a few months so it's warm out and they are on the road.

Oh, Oh, wait, this is lastly.

A good majority of vehicles that old licensed in Wisconsin have either Antique (which doesn't need a special permit), Collector, Special Collector or Hobbyist plates on them. I'm pretty sure during the month of January you need a special permit to operate on public roads, and you need to apply for the permit. So, I'm sure there is still enough time to get that permit, right? I mean the DMV moves at lighting speed, right?

Yup, you do.

Hey, maybe I am wrong, maybe owners will come out in mass numbers to get their car in a movie. If I am wrong, that's cool, cause Wisconsin could use the money, the owners could use the money. Heck, I'd probably let my toys in a movie if I had some idea they weren't going to be fubared, weren't going to be mistreated and I'd get paid good. But I dang sure wouldn't drive any of them downtown Madison in the middle of winter just to have a picture of them taken when I could take a picture to them.


The paper on Monday had a nice story written up about those that showed. About three dozen owners showed up with pictures of their classic cars that where era correct. Two people actually showed with vehicles, I don't know if they trailered or drove them.

Anyway, it's nice to see that Wisconsin classic and antique owners braved the weather and used their heads at the same time. Showing up to help get the movie to be here, but bringing good quality photos instead of punishing their cars in the middle of January.

Headliner progress

Progress on the Headliner. Dad spent the better part of Wednesday and Thursday putting it in. He still has a ways to go on it also. Patience is the key to installing one properly. Follow the instructions also. It took me a few hours of explaining "don't cut that headliner before it's in" "don't ass-u-me you can trim it before it's in" before Dad put the scissors down and listened. The old Edsel manual explains to put it in from the back to the front, which I helped dad do but after that there are no more details. My personal experience from doing a few Camaro headliners is to then start at the center and work your way out to tighten the headliner up. Once it starts looking good you should expect it to shrink up on it's own once some nice warm summer son cooks the roof. We heated the roof up pretty good with the Radiant heat over the last few days and you can tell it's tightening up very well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Cobra and Edsel work

Seems the cold weather and heavy snow over the last few days motivated Dad and Dan. They've both put in a good amount of work on the Edsel and Cobra over the last few days. Dad has begun putting the headliner in the Edsel. He was going to lay it on my shoulders since I've done a few headliners over the years but when he realized that meant he had to work on customers cars, answer the phone, and greet people he suddenly decided he could handle it.

Dan has started applying body puddy on the Cobra lines where it was molded together. He also has been painting away and putting some parts in place. He almost has his entire package of parts bought and paid for. Most everything is brand new also and it looks like he should land just short of the 30K mark when he is finished. Not bad for a turn key car with about 90% new parts, if not more.

Me, I'm steering clear of the two of them. They are focused and set on their agendas so I'm only chiming in when they come to me for reference on something, or need something tracked down. I did manage to solve the missing Dampener in the Valve Spring from the World Products. A few phone calls and finally reaching someone who would send me a replacement put us back on the right track. If they need a extra hand I'm there but for now I'll get work done that actually pays us money. I'm sure once each of them come closer to the expected finish dates I'll be asked to jump in and get things squared away and caught up.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Issues and issues

The good news. The engine is back, $670 dollars later it's assembled and ready for the rest of the engine components, which aren't on hand yet.

The bad news. Little issue with the World Product heads. One of the dampers in the spring was missing. So a new one is coming from them hopefully next week.

The IRS, there was a "miscommunication" with the proper carrier and ring/pinion set that was suppose to be ordered, so here sits a 31 spline solid axle carrier when we needed a 28 spline. I think something can be done to rectify the situation. May take some money, but anything can be done with the right amount.

We will see how next week shakes out. In the mean time Dan is painting panels and cleaning parts. He is also on me to find some more items he wants. Hopefully the next round of parts ordered goes better.

Is it beer o'clock yet?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Cobra work

Dan was fired up over the Christmas break from MATC and managed some progress on the Mk III build. Troy was also home for the holidays and put in his fair share of time on the Cobra. Dan continued part hunting and purchasing. He has finally grasped my theory on project cars and costs. Figure out what your budget will be. Then once you start, times that budget by three.

Dan also did more work on the front end. He is putting the 10th anniversary Cobra calibers and brake set up on the car. The Dash work also started. He cleaned up the holes for the gauges and started his wiring and what not. He also went hells bells on the body. Sanding and grinding the fiberglass down and smoothing out the ridges where it is bonded during production. There where some happy moments and some grrr moments. He was happy with the quality of the fiberglass body. There where maybe one or two spots he broke threw and found a small air pocket from the molding process. He was happy with this. The grrr moment was where the body was molded together. He wished they would have clay it better but wasn't upset with the job they did. Just it could have been a smaller ridge to grind down. All the body work he did so far brought back memories of working at Regal Roadsters in Madison when he was younger.

Troy's work? He spent a good amount of time doing a thankless job. He sandblasted all the parts for Dan. This may not seem like a very big deal to people reading this but Troy has never spent time at the shop actually working. He normally just paces the shop floor and driving us insane because he won't sit still for five minutes. The sandblasting gobbled up a good two, three days worth of his time so for him to be that focused on the job at hand was nice to see. The day will come when he wants to build a project at the shop and his showing the focus and quality of work that he did on sandblasting makes both Dad and I eager to see him progress into doing his own project. It will be a big step to go from sandblasting to building a car but I know Troy will gladly ask and want our help and knowledge.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Times they are a changing

How the automotive world has changed since the Edsel was made and the Prius was introduced. I thought it neat to have the two parked looking each other down like a Old Republican and a young Democrat ready to square off, start arguing, and solve nothing.

Some people may look at the picture above and figure Dad and I both died. Died and someone else must have taken the picture. Sure, Dad isn't going to go near a hybrid, doesn't want to worry about them or even deal with them and with him being 64 years old I can respect that. He put his time in and if he doesn't want to deal with the future technology no problem, it will fall on my shoulders.

People have heard me spout, bitch and complain about the "Green Zombies"(a term autoextremist.com gets credit for) and those that believe everything out of the Goreacles mouth is godly but threw all that spouting, bitching and complaining I've never said I hate hybrids and alternative fuel sourced vehicles.

I just hate that the automobile is politicized.

I love everything automotive. It's just in my blood and isn't going away. I also love the internal combustion engine, especially when it is blasting around a race track. I love my SUV's. They are functional for my family and my lifestyle. Now, in the eyes of many, mainly those who think the Goreacle is right about everything being man's fault, I am the enemy. What side am I on? I am the big evil Republican out to kill kittens and maim the world with my gas guzzling SUV I guess. Well, so be it then.

I can get the evil eye from some dude driving a little eco-box but I won't give a evil eye back. I may laugh at his angered expression and think he is constipated then wonder why he is driving that little box on wheels, but I won't think him evil for driving it. His expression and anger may just be that he is pissed my Camaro exhaust is loud as hell. Hey, loud pipes save lives :)

I really don't care what kind of car people drive. If your choosing a Hybrid that is fine with me. I am willing and able to service them. I think the technology is very interesting and has great potential but I also think we are in the infant stages of Hybrid use. Until a proper infrastructure is in place to service, fuel, and use them to their potential we will not see them take over the world and send the big bad gas engine to the wayside. I'm not just talking about the Prius above, I'm talking Hybrids across the board. Solar, Electric, Hydrogen, Bio-Diesel, Ethanol, all or any that people can think of.

But if your choosing that Hybrid because you want to make a political statement, or because you think man is at fault for global warming, or so you can thumb your nose at the SUV world and say your saving us from the big bad oil monster then your not a car guy, not a automotive enthusiast. Your just mad at the rest of us for not being in the same mindset as you. You remind me of myself when I was younger. I thought everything GM was perfect(I'm still a Chevy guy at heart), that all other brands where nothing compared to them. I'd argue with friends. The old "Ford vs. Chevy" battles and never get anywhere with it. Then I grew up. Looked at cars just like people look at their spouses or girlfriends. They choose what makes them happy, I hope. Some bounce around, some stay loyal(to a fault at times) and some have a couple different ones and even one on the side for weekend fun. Whatever their choice they did it to make themselves happy.

Now, if your buying a Hybrid because you like them, want to get great mileage, it fits your style of driving and you think they are a cool or interesting car then your getting it for the right reasons. I hope your also educating yourself on how they are different, how service should be approached and how maintenance can be. I also hope your having fun.

If your ever out and about and see my toys parked at a bar. Feel free to pull up next to me in your Hybrid, come on over and we will shoot the shit about how we love our cars and how much fun they are to drive. Cause that is what it is about, the choice to drive what makes you happy.