Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Glimmer of hope

It's been a long weekend and the car's been hinting at starting but.....ugh....I'll post about it later.  I'm going to watch Grand Prix.

Friday, November 21, 2008

TRAINING FILM - Le Mans -what the heck!?

I had this poster up in my room when I was a kid and that was probably the last time I saw the film.  So I netflixed it so I could do some video training.  All I can say is "Le Mans - what the heck?"
Le Mans VS Caillou - If you haven't watched PBS Kids you might find it a bit disturbing.  Mainly because there is virtually no conflict.  I remember watching Caillou with Jack and waiting for something horrible to happen and it never does.  Caillou lies...he corrects himself and apologizes, Caillou borrows a toy....he gives it back, Caillou makes his sister cry...she stops.  Anything tense that might happen get's resolved quickly and in the most peaceful manner.  
Just like Le Mans.  The other team's winning....they get a flat.  Steve McQueen's asked by a reporter what he thinks of his rival....McQueen says he's "one of the greatest drivers in the world."  McQueen replaces a driver who's just about to retire....the driver gives him some advice and wishes him luck.  The widow of the driver McQueen possibly killed winds up in his trailer....they drink tea and talk.
It is amazing how untense this movie is...
Le Mans VS On Any Sunday - Bruce Brown's "On Any Sunday" came out in 1971 and is possibly the greatest motorcycle racing documentary ever.  Le Man's came out in 1971 and is basically a documentary but doesn't quite go all the way.  The crowd footage from Lemans and On Any Sunday are almost interchangable - Kid's with their fingers in their ears, old people, wacky hippies, groovy girls, drivers brooding then occasionally smiling.  The big difference is LeMan's trie to have a plot and doesn't have a wacky narrator and goofy really could've used a wacky narrator and goofy music.

   - What I learned from Le Mans

1. Crashes only end two ways* - a) minor damage and a short stop in the pits b) massive fireball
      *that is, unless you're Steve McQueen - in that case your car is a gnarled mess but you're fine.

2.  You win because the other team gets a flat or has a bad starter.

3.  This is an important one - When not driving just wander around.  Go to your trailer or a carnival or have a snack.  Just make sure that even though you're in the middle of a race and you're the most famous racer in the world, you're compleatly out of touch with your team and the race.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

London Calling - the week in working on the car

The Happiest Belt - In order to remove the smog pump I needed to replace the belt it used with a lawn mower belt.  To do this usually requires a lot of wedging, shoving and pinching.  Unless you're me this week.  Then you drape the belt over the pulleys and forget about it.  Later you work on the starter and the pulley catches the belt and you're done!
Custom Ignition - We have two electrical engineers on our team (this means you Paul and Eric).  So, who wires up the Who can complain about getting one.
Custom Block off Plates - So to remove the smog stuff I made some snazzy aluminum block of plates and used extra washers to hold them on.
Green Disclaimer - I've been removing all the smog equipment and was feeling a bit guilty. Until I realized what the 1979 equipment did.  It basically added air to the exhaust so it would come out cleaner.  Well, not really "cleaner", it has the same amount of pollutants,  just with a higher air to exhaust ratio.  Now I don't feel so bad.
Vacuum Hose Clean Up - It may not look like it but nine tenths of the vacuum tubes have been removed.  I owe a huge thanks to a site that gave a how two on this operation, but they're not getting it until this thing starts.

London Calling has wound up on the ipod more than I thought possible.  I can't quite explain it but it's definitely music for working on cars.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Owned By an Aircraft Mechanic- pt 4

We found this lovely Delta Airlines swizzle stick while tearing out the carpet.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Screwdriver Party!!!

When Jack was 3 he used to play "screwdriver party." It involved taking all the screwdrivers out of my rolling tool box and  puting them all over the garage and the house (if he was lucky).

I never throw away screwdrivers and because of that I have I wide assortment of broken, bent, rusty and glue covered models.  I don't throw them away because I know I'll use them at some point.  As in the case of the Mazda's carburator.
I needed to put the throttle back on.  Of all my screwdrivers there was only one that had a long enough shaft to reach the tiny philips screw but a short enough handle not to hit the fire wall.  Screwdriver party!

In other news the motor created exhaust today!!!! more on that soon....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dusty in Memphis

With the fires and everything I spent Saturday working on the car all by myself.  I decided to focus on putting the carburator back together.  The problem is, that in our fit to yank the engine out we didn't really pay attention to what went where.  And I hate carburators.  Luckily I put on Dusty in Memphis.
The advantage of working alone is you can listen to whatever you want.  And sure I could feel sad a discouraged by the carburator but I really couldn't feel as sad as Dusty.  Plus the album is slow and soothing enough that you really don't feel bad taking things apart and putting them back together three or four times.
Punker Solution - I couldn't find that teeny cotter pin, luckily I did find that rusty safety pin.
Another advantage of working can work wherever you want.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cars of the Harris Fire - Part 4 (other)

Car work has been slowed today by the closure of the 5 and 210 freeways.  The latest Sylmar fire has allowed the crew to stay home and enjoy their Saturday.  
    So, here's my last installment of the Cars of the Harris Fire.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A morning at the Pick-a-part

Dennis and I met up at 10am this morning at one of Sun Valley's beautiful pick-a-parts.  Niether of us had been for years and along with being stunned by the landfill mountain that had formed behind it, we were stunned by the prices!  $50 for a radiator? $20 for tires?  Who knew?

It wouldn't have been an issue if we hadn't found a 1978 RX7 that was in surprisingly good shape.  We got a muffler, water neck and a spare radiator.  I don't know if we'll use the radiator but this one seemed to be in great it's good to have as a back up.
Things I forgot about Sun Valley Pick-a-parts
1. Wear long pants
2. Wear a hat
3. It's smelly
4. Bring a rag
5. Bring a hammer
6. It's smelly
A tip - when removing an intake manifold make sure you remove all the bolts before trying to "pop it loose" with a crow bar.
The brakes were actually worse than the ones on our car and the only other RX7 in the lot had no brakes at all.

inspiration - Brown Rainbow pt 2

I'd love to go with a movie paint job.  Netflix just sent me LeMans, Grand Prix and Winning.   The I come across more these awesome brown rainbow paint schemes.   Actually these are more in the orange rainbow palete.  The first two are Mazdas and the last is a sweet Mustang II  that was decaying across from our Mazda at the storage lot (very surprisingly, it wasn't in the $500 range).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cars of the Harris Fire - Part 3 (not cars)

This is my Fuji Rabbit 90 that I had partially restored and then stored/dumped in my parents barn.
and, along with some other bike, is my first bicycle, a Schwin Sting Ray.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Track

So, I'm getting excited about the race.  I checked out the Thunderhill Raceway website and they have some nice video of the track.  I think all the drivers should watch it and memorize it.  Make sure to look for places to pull off the road when a wheel falls off.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The roll cage is in!

Wow, what a Sunday.  Rhonda, Dennis, George and I took on the roll cage.  Gutting the car was easy.  Getting the roll cage together was more of a challenge than we thought.  After employing everything we had including child labor we realized that the generic looking brackets were actually for specific places.  So we took it out assembled it in the driveway marked everything and then took it apart and put it together in the car.  It turned out great!  we have something that looks like a race car!!!

Cars of the Harris Fire - Part 1

It's been a year since the Harris fire swept around my parents house in east county San Diego.  Here's part one of the Cars of the Harris Fire.
The hinges on this mercedes must've been made of aluminum, the doors fell away in a really nice symmetrical way.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

More on the car

George, Dennis and I spent Sunday putting the engine back in the car.  Maybe not so much "putting", maybe more cramming, jiggling and stuffing.  Even with so much room and such a small engine, it still took forever. 
Well, now it's in and as you can hopefully see it turns.  So it's pretty much all uphill from here.

The Landcruiser is back

and waiting for it's place in the garage.  It looked much happier at the Miami Art Museum.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The engine is in and it moves

Not "moves" as in "runs" but moves as in it rotates like it should....too tired to say anything else.....I'll update with video soon.