Posts Tagged ‘transportation’

17342997_10213039500804834_3213163995760765948_nWow.  I am so happy right now.  Body is on permanently.  Engine in temporarily, I’ll pull it out to finish and paint the firewall.  Had a moment of “OH NO!”, when setting the engine, as I’d raised the center (flattened) the front crossmember an inch to lower the front, which lead to some initial interference between the crank pulley and the spring U-bolts.  I had room to shove the engine back 1/4″, which let the pulley drop down behind the U-bolts, I’ll have to fill the existing engine mount holes and cut new ones in the frame pads, but there’s plenty of room for that.

Almost done enough to set behind the wheel and make Hot-Rod noises!

A friend on FB suggested that a full width stainless dash might “flow” better than the small center panel, and lots of people, including my wife, thought the two side panels were just too “busy”.  So, back to ALRO steel I went and  had them shear me a 2’x4′ piece of mirror polished stainless (I got extra, in the likely event I screwed up along the way) and I got busy.

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In last weeks episode, you’ll remember the ’34 was up on wheels, hood and grill shell aligned, body mounts made, steering box in, and the 283 fired for the first time.  Now, it’s all apart, separated into big automotive chunks, getting all the previously tacked together, mocked up chassis welded up.   

The next time it goes together the chassis will be painted and complete, the 283 will be detailed and wearing two fours, not the single Holley it has now, and the body will be wearing a coat of shiney —— paint.  

It’ll be a busy winter at Cool McCool’s Garage!

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There are a myriad of thankless, frustrating chores to do when building a car, that go un-notced and unappreciated by most, but I think I’m through with the most aggravating of them.  The steering box, which eluded my efforts yesterday to place on the frame and not have it occupy the same spot as the exhaust header and engine mount, I figured out today.  It was tempting to start ordering new parts, but I went out this morning with a new outlook and got it mounted under the engine mount, below and just forward of the exhaust dump, and where the drag link and tie rod are parallel, as they should be.

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I ordered the lovely finned aluminum backing plates with Lincoln self adjusting and self actuating internals from Wilson Welding (thanks Bronson Battle Creek for the bonus that paid for that!), they’ll look killer with the Buick brake drums I already have.  There are some needed trinket parts on the way too from Mac’s Garage,  and I have to bend the steering arms down for clearance due to the dropped axle, but that’s the extent, as far as I can see, of the fabrication/modification I have yet to do before I blow it completely apart.

I’ve decided on color for the body and interior, so the next phase is final welding and finishing of the chassis, then prep it and the body for paint.  The top bows are mounted, lowered into the body 2″ to match the chopped windshield, the weathered Haartz canvas will be trimmed at the bottom edge to meed the body at the belt line the way it should.  The door gaps have been (roughly) fitted, the hood and radiator gaps fitted, and I think I can duplicate the shimming, twisting, tweaking and twisting that got them as close as they are.  The engine and trans are out, I hope to have a couple buddies come over Thursday (my 62nd birthday!) and lift the body off the frame so work on the frame can commence.

Having a ’34 highboy roadster has been a dream of mine for almost 40 years, hopefully by next spring a car very similar to the one gracing the cover of this issue of “Rodders Journal” will roll out of my garage. It’s a long road, but I’m getting there…

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So far, we can’t complain. 

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See that guy, with polishing compound in his beard, ears, eyes, reflected in the trailer?  That guy, yup, right there, the one who said he wasn’t going to polish another trailer, that this one would be painted.  Looks like he’s polishing a trailer, doesn’t it?

I was going to simply acid wash the trailer and call it good for this fall, but after I got done with the wash, I didn’t like how it looked.  I had bought a new buffer, pads, and Nuvite polish from Vintage Trailer Supply, so I had everything on hand, and started in.  I bought some 3M Super Duty rubbing compound, which I’ve used in the past for the first cut, but it’s SO messy, greasy, flings all over, that I tried the Nuvite G7 I’d bought, and it works MUCH better!  Not nearly as dirty (although you wouldn’t know that by looking at me!), cuts better, and doesn’t fill the bonnet with greasy left over compound.  It’s a winner.  C grade compound after that for the 2nd cut, and it’s as good as I can get it with a rotary buff.  I’ll have some residual swirl marks, but it’ll be fine.

I realized both of my step ladders, and the planks I use as scaffold to get up on the roof and polish are at our sons house in Dexter, they  used them painting and a little kitchen remodel in their new home.  The steel ramps on sawhorses are great for doing the sides, I can’t get up on the roof to polish.  Darn.  So, I’m going for a tu-tone bare metal scheme, only the sides below the drip rail will be polished (for now), the roof and back will be left the dull white acid wash.  Later, when I recover from polishing the sides, and I have my ladders and planks back, I’ll get ambitious and do the rest.  For now it’ll look interesting, and much, much better than it did.

Tomorrow I want to get the 2nd cut completed on the curb side (shown), I still have to do the upper panels between the windows, and then move on to the street side.  It should go faster than today, since the wash is done, I should be able to polish the rest in about 4 hours.  Then, I’d like to get started on the screen doors and get the curtain rods up.  Kim is finishing up the curtains tonight, so it’d be nice to see the interior with the barkcloth curtains in.

In other news, the Zip-Dee awning arrived today, my buddy Jake Moomey is going to stop by Saturday and help install it, he put one on his Spartan this spring hours before they left for Camp Dearborn, so he’s experienced!

That’s all until tomorrow, time to take an Aleve and pass out…

Took the fridge door off the Spartan today and painted it.  Looks great, cheap enamel with catalyst, laid down like glass.  Tomorrow I can put it back together.  One more thing done.

Dramatic progress on the Spartan Manor. The interior is all varnished, it looks great. Frustrated by difficulty I had rolling and brushing the final costs of polyurethane, I tried spraying it. Much better, although it acts like un-catalyzed enamel, easy to hang a curtain. I soon got the knack of it again.
I made the bathroom door from a short wardrobe door and upper cabinet door from the salvaged 49 Royal Mansion my friend Mike at New Holland brewing gave me. I’ve used 6 of them in this build, they look heat.
Hopefully this burst of ambition will continue, I’d like to have it done for the Gilmore Red Barns show the first weekend in -August. It could happen!

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IMG_9435Finally, I got varnish on the interior of the Spartan!  Two coats on the forward 1/3rd, and one coat everywhere else.  The cabinet doors, drawers, and all the other little parts also have two coats.  I got two coats on the part of the interior, shown above, because I put the second coat on while the first coat was still a bit “tacky”.  You can see the break at the piece of trim over the counter top.  Everything beyond that is just one coat, and is visibly duller than the forward panels.  Now, sand everything with 220, then another two coats, and I can start putting this thing back together.

We’re ordering the foam for the cushions, and Marmoleum for the countertops this week, once the varnish is done Kim will make the cushions (we have the material for them and the curtains) and I can finish up the hundreds of unfinished chores yet to be done, and hopefully it’ll be so we can use it this summer.

Following are more photos of the interior, the first are of the paneling just stained, a mix of Golden Pecan Minwax oil stain, and a bit of yellow paint, and then with varnish on.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel!

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I’ve got to be better at updating this page!  My excuse is that since there was no way I was going to get it done for the TCT Spring Rally three weeks ago, that I might as well relax.  And, my grandson came over, and we went camping twice, and the lawn needed to be mowed, and, and, ad infinitum.   Anyway, after a month long hiatus on getting much done on the trailer, today I finally got stain on the cabinet doors and kitchen drawers.

I used Minwax oil stain, Golden Pecan to try to get close to the original finish on the wardrobe doors I salvaged from another old Spartan.  It’s very close, the wildly different grain pattern and colors of the various sheets of 3/4″, 1/4″ and 1/8″ all seems to blend together pretty well once stained.  I touched a couple places on those original doors where I sanded through the varnish to bare wood, the stain is an identical match color wise on those panels.  A little more brown on some of the other new panels, but it’ll look pretty uniform once the poly is laid down.

13423830_10210295670130782_5732773268147114612_n13417522_10210295667530717_3312347055759742893_nWe’ve had two wonderful weekends camping with the Tin Can Tourist this spring.  Last weekend in Muskegon MI at Hoffmaster State park on Lake Michigan, and the third weekend in May in Milford at Camp Dearborn.  We’ve been using the little Tini-Home canned ham trailer, it’s cozy and comfortable, but I’m anxious to get the Spartan done so we can stretch out a bit.

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