Saturday, December 29, 2012

setting up shop

The sharper eyed regular readers of this blog will have noticed one thing about my new garage: it's about a third of the size of the Green Room. This meant that once the car was rolled in, and the rest of my stuff piled around it, there wasn't really much room to do any work :( Add in the complications arising from moving house for the seventh time in the last eight years (!), and it's no surprise that several months elapsed with the following view pretty much intact:

I knew moving was going to slow down the project a LOT, and when I did finally get some free time, it was mostly devoted to making some extra space in the garage. I started by building a very strong and sturdy platform over the front of the car, which I can use for storage.

2"x4" joists supported  by a pair of 4"x6" posts
add closet doors
and start piling it up...

After a seriously long time spent shuffling boxes around in the dim glow from one light bulb, I had my workbench in place, some shelves on the wall, and a huge pile of boxes. It took the best part of three months to get this far, because I've been busy with other stuff.

Later in the story another platform got built at the back corner of the garage and I started getting stuff organized a little bit. The hardest part of this was trying to cut lumber on my miter saw without any space to work in.

Slowly the pile of boxes got smaller as stuff was unpacked, shuffled around or thrown out. I also sold off a lot of the excess furniture I've acquired over the last few years.

Really felt like I was getting somewhere when I had space to put some shelves up.

A few more weekends invested and this is pretty much how my new workshop will look for the rest of this garage. Now, back to the car....With a little bit of luck, 2013 will see the car running again! Happy New Year :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

the best of the green room

A lot happened on this project in the year it was housed in The Green Room. Without question it was the most productive portion of the project so far, and that includes a four month period where hardly anything happened at all. Looking back at photographs of the project over this time really helped get my motivation to keep moving forward in the next few months.

Monday, November 19, 2012

last minute hitch

I was supposed to be a pair of fenders and the front wheels away from rolling. The fenders went on quite easily (doesn't everything by the fourth time!), and I didn't waste much time on the alignment.

So far, so good. Now the wheels....well this was where I ran into a snag. You see my brakes came from a Granada setup that my friend Terry donated to the cause, and while I used the spindles, the rotors had either worn or been surfaced below the minimum I had to throw them away...which is exactly what I did, soon after I acquired them.

Now you see it... forward a few months, and it's time to move the car...and no rotors. Fortunately it wasn't a big deal to get a pair of replacements. At least it wasn't a big deal after I paid a visit to my buddy Mark at the Vic Hubbard Speed Shop. As well as the rotors, Mark sorted me out with all the bearings and seals, and for a great price too. So all good....well, not so fast. What I didn't realize, when I ordered the "Granada rotors", or even while I was installing them, was that the hub on these discs is larger than on the Mustang rotors...which means, in layman's terms...that the wheels won't fit on. Oh $ boy error :( This would be bad enough anytime, but on the day before I needed to move the car I could have got by without it.

These are the roller wheels I have on at the back of the car - part of a set of four that I stole from my friend Terry's backyard while he was at work. They used to have the limited edition center caps until our friend James took them off and sold them! One day they will be replaced with some Magnum 500's and a set of classic BF Goodrich treads.

But.....nothing I could do was going to make these wheels fit on over the rotors I just installed, so I made yet another frantic SOS call to my good friend Chuck...and after a quick wave of the BAMA magic wand, we managed to borrow some appropriate wheels from one of the guys at Mostly Mustangs in Oakland. These wheels actually came off a Jeep. It's not quite the look I'm going for, but seriously, I don't know where I'd be without my car-guy friends....probably still trying to change my oil pan gasket.

Looking more like a drag car than ever:

Leaving, as it arrived, on the back of a flat bed:

Settling into the new home:

to be continued....

Sunday, November 11, 2012

front end install

The moving deadline has been and gone since my last post, and the car is now neatly ensconced in its new home....but the whole episode was far from straight forward. When I left off last time the car was a front end installation away from rolling anywhere, so that's where I'll be picking up. Removing the front end was actually one of the first things I did after the last house/garage move, so kind of fitting to (almost) end there. This was the condition of the tie rods after I removed them:

looking a bit better after encountering the wire brush
painted brake gray at the same time as lots of other small parts

I replaced the stock outer tie rod ends with larger ones to facilitate the upgrade to V8 spindles which have a slightly larger hole.

replacement parts on left, stock on right
the threaded connecting brackets were zinc plated
In the future I plan on replacing the original steering box with an aftermarket replacement, but I'm still a long way from deciding which one to get, so it made sense to spruce up the original box and put that back for the purpose of moving the car. Fortunately I accomplished this well in advance - I actually got a bit carried away and painted the box brake gray, so it may survive a while longer.

40 years of oil and grime
so clean... deserves two pictures.
back in the car again.

And now to the brakes. I always planned to swap the 4-lug drum brakes that came with my car for some decent disc brakes, but the Granada swap wasn't exactly what I had in mind....until my friend Terry donated a Granada set up that had previously been installed on a 67 Mustang.

first sight of my "new" brakes in Terry's '63 Ranchero

The dust shields, spindles and caliper brackets got worked over with ye olde wire wheel, primed and then painted with the same Duplicolor black I used everywhere else.

also had to do a bit of bashing to fix some dents here

Which takes us to here the picture below - all ready for assembly, but very little time left, before moving day, and a house to be packed up in the background....almost panic time in fact!

So I did what I always do when I need help with my car: reached out to a buddy, this time round my friend Chuck from BAMA. With his help, we got the springs compressed with the floor jack (!), installed the shocks, and then bolted on all the front end parts in just a couple of hours. Unfortunately from the point of view of this blog, I was acting as tool dolly/part locator for a lot of this time, so I didn't really have time to take many pictures.

Chuck bolts up the steering
love the black and gray look (with dust)
zinc plated shock tower brackets
more zinc, blah blah...

After Chuck left I installed the support brackets and latch for the hood and my new one inch sway bar with polyurethane bushings which I got from Mustangs Plus. It wasn't strictly necessary to put all of this stuff back but I did anyway because it means less parts to move/store The rear bumper and valance were bolted back on for the same reason.

Hope to see a lot more of this in the future (minus the garage door!)
So, just a pair of fenders and two wheels away from rolling....