Posts Tagged ‘Street Rod’

What's wrong with this picture?

What’s wrong with this picture?

Last night I drove the Diamond T out to the State Park to have dinner with my wife (we’re camping, it’s a “working” holiday, so I was only going for dinner, having to work today).  When I left the house, something in the front of the Diamond T made a “clunk” noise, but I was backing over the edge of the garage’s cement pad and didn’t think much of it at the time, and drove to the campground with out a care.

We got in the truck to go to a local pub, when I backed up to leave our campsite, that same “clunk”, but again, rough ground, bumpy, turning, no worries.

We got to the rangers station and Kim said, “I smell anti-freeze”.  I had just noticed it too, and looked at the temp gauge which was about 260.

Not good.

I went to turn into a small parking area, and the steering wheel turned almost 3/4 of a turn before anything meaningful really happened.
“This is BAD”, I said as we finally turned in and stopped.

Getting out and looking under revealed a waterfall of coolant from the radiator, and the steering idler had come apart, letting the center link drop down and forward, hitting the bottom tank of the radiator, punching a hole in the plastic tank.  It would steer going forward, so we made a big U turn in the parking lot and got back to the main visitors lot.  I called Hagarety Insurance’s road service number, and soon a roll back was loading my prized possession up and hauling it home.

There’s a new radiator in the garage already, and I’ll have to pull the grill shell to swap the radiator, but it could have been worse. Nobody hurt, the truck isn’t bent, and I learned to tighten all the bolts in the steering…

Got my first “bad review” in the “Roddin’ at Random” section of this months (June) issue of HOT ROD. Bummer.

Actually, there are two, and they’re pretty funny, although I’m sure the authors, HOT ROD magazine readers, didn’t intend them to be funny.

The first one, referring first to a line in a feature about another (brown) car, says, “Brown is the new black? The Trunk Speedster on p. 35 Apr. ’10 Hot Rod is not a PT Cruiser? You got me!”

Well, Duh. He couldn’t tell it’s really a Prowler? I mean, come on dude, get yer eyes checked!

The second guy says (also in reference to the “Brown is the new black” line in another car feature), “Turds are brown, it should be against the law to paint a car brown, green, or yellow”.

OK. I’m guilty. How much is the fine?

The GOOD comment was very nice, made sense, AND the editors titled the letter “McCool Stories”. The writer says,

“I’ losing interest in feature cars that were put together by committee. You know, so and so did this, and to make this one off weet ride, only to learn the this and that is nothing more than selecting vendors and writing checks. We need more storeis liek the about Brian McCool and his Trunk Speedster (I don’t call it that, by the way, it’s the “Fordillac” to me) [April issue] stories about the guys who are acutually doing the thinking and the work. Great job, Mr. McCool. Great car, great story.”


Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the ’51 wagon is still in the midst of the rear end swap. I have axle blasted, ground reasonable smooth, primed and painted black, and it’s under the car. The spring pads are welded to it, it’s clamped down firmly, minus the 2″ lowering blocks I had on the car before. We’ll do with out them this time.
Turns out the driveshaft will work, shortened an inch with a new rear yoke to take the proper U-joint. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the axle is a little bit wider than the original, which I knew. The tires have (barely) enough clearance from the inner fenders, but the fender skirts hit the tires. I could (and may well) just leave them off, as the car looks good without, but I do want to be able to at least put them occasionally.

With a little trimming and a new bracket, I have them mounted, with half an inch between them and the tire. Close, and maybe too close to have them on towing, but we can put them on. I may modify the wheels, sort of “un-reverse” them, to give a little more backset, but won’t if I don’t have to.

So, that’s the news here from McCool’s Garage this week. Stay tuned for more progress, as it happens.