Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Dash Fitting

Dateline - 05/17/2014 - Worked on fitting the center wood dash pieces in the car this weekend.  I have not had the whole dash in the car for a long time and I need to finish up the woodwork on the dash, so I thought this would be a good weekend to work on that.

The situation is that the center dash piece that holds the five smaller gauges was cut a bit too small in height originally  Matt and I did the best we could, but changes happened in the dimensions of the car over the build out and there was a significant amount of space to fill.  So last fall, we added a piece of the backing material (9 layer plywood) to the bottom to extend it about 1/3 inch and also so that it would "wrap" around the edge of the center console.  We cut it as best we could to fit, but knew that some sanding would be needed to fit it correctly.  The sanding is what I did this weekend. This is very fiddly work because I need to sand the wood down to precisely fit between the left and right hand wood panels, the dash pad and the center console.

Now that I have the shaping done, I need to glue a book matched piece of maple veneer to the backing and shape it to fit.  Then it will need to go through the flat bed sander to get the faces even.  Then I can concentrate on final finishing of the wood (shellac, grain filler, lacquer clear, polish)

Since I had the whole dash in the car, I thought it would be a good idea to test mount the five gauges and see how they fit in the car.  I was very disappointed to find that they don't!  They are much deeper then I thought and with all the wire in the center area from my re-wire, there is just not enough room, especially around the oil pressure and water temp gauges.  So, I am yet again re-routing the wiring!  I will be glad when the wiring is done!  It sure turned out to be more work than I ever expected!!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Still Cleaning Under Hood and looking at Upgrades

Dateline - 05/10/2014 - I just realized it's been a couple of weeks since I posted last.  During that time, I've been concentrating on cleaning up the engine bay and getting ready for paint.  There is a lot there and it required more work then I expected, of course!  But as of last night, I have the engine bay completely degreased and the rusty areas painted with rust inhibitor.  I've welded the hood latches and sanded the underside of hood.  So, except for a few details, the engine bay is ready.

Of course, now that I have the hood off, it really made sense to look at the engine detailing too.  I pulled the alternator, power steering pump, water pump, crank pulley, carburetor and distributor off to give myself some room and gave the engine a good degreasing also.  This will also make painting the engine bay much easier.

Last week, I started looking around on the Summit Racing site, which is never a good thing for my bank account.  I found a set of billet aluminum pulleys that I really like that use flat grooved belts instead of V-belts (http://www.marchperf.com/pg66.html).  I thought of going with a serpentine belt setup but the conversion kits run over $1,500 and that seems extreme, even to me!  So I'm going with the pulley replacement which will allow me to use the original equipment, but will look really cool too.  I like the fact that the alternator will be moved from the high mount position to a lower mount.  It will make the engine look a lot less cluttered.  I've got plenty of room for it, so that should be no problem.

The aluminum pulleys will get rid of the horsepower robbing belt driven fan, so I will also install an electric fan on the radiator.  This has always been something I wanted to do, so now is the chance.

I also found a polished Edelbroch intake manifold to replace the one I currently have which is stained and really doesn't look very good (http://www.edelbrock.com/automotive/mc/manifolds/sb/27011.jpg).  A new polished one will go well with the pulleys and really make the car stand out.

I think I'm going to keep the cast aluminum Micky Thompson valve covers.  These are really worth quite a bit and are pretty rare.  I'll take them off and clean/polish them up so that they look nice.

So, I'm going to put these on order so that when the car comes back from paint, I can do all the detailing on the engine while the fenders and hood are off.

Here are pictures of the car from this weekend.

Engine Bay Front - Engine Stripped

Engine Bay Right Side - Engine Stripped
It's funny when I look at the car now, I'm thinking, "Hmmmm.  It sure would be easy to take the engine and tranny out right now.  That would make it really easy to paint."