Sunday, June 29, 2014


So last week I was trying to clean up a bit and tossed some more crap up on one of my shelves. As I turned away, I thought I saw it move a bit... I turned back around just in time to take most of the crashing mess on my shoulder and back while deflecting it from destroying the back of my car. Both the car and I cried a little but we survived. So, I spent the weekend cleaning up from that and building a new work space. As I am taking off with the kids next week, I made room to put the other little beastie away while I'm gone. I remember saying at one point that I would keep them both in the garage but you know, there just isn't room to move then. During the winter it is not such a problem but now that rainy season is upon us, I will do my best to roll the green one in at night. 
Everybody have a great 4th!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quick dash cover

Just to be sure that black was the right way to go, I stuck a cheap piece of vinyl on the dash top. It will peal right back off which is good because I didn't even take the time to sand the dash smooth after my last layer of fiberglass. I only had a few minutes between taxi driving the kids to fencing and such...
Next week I will meet with the German! He is my meticulous friend who is a master upholster.  We will decide what to do as far as stitching along the leading edge and whether to put a thin padding under the leather.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dash top good for now

I did a little more smoothing and got a final layer of fiberglass cloth on my dash top. That will be good for now as I can fill or fix anything else when I get the leather to cover it with. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Shaping the dash

Yep, spent the day filling and shaping the dash. I cut in my defroster vents as well. I really wanted to get another layer of fiberglass on top but ran out of time and energy. I'm sure I will find some time this week to get the final shaping done and get another layer of cloth on. This summer Florida sun is brutal so I need to make sure this thing is stiff. 

Check it out, I managed to refinish my steering wheel one evening last week...

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Another busy week at work and very little time for the car. I did get a couple tests done during the week with desert foam. This is the stuff used for dried flower arrangements. It's really cheap so I had to see if my epoxy resin would melt it or not. Good news!! It didn't melt!! The stuff is so easy to shape that some 80grit sandpaper will do the whole job. Today I went about fitting blocks of it to the top of my dash. Then I sanded the top into shape and put a layer of 4 oz cloth on it. When that kicked off enough, I flipped it over and put another layer of cloth on the bottom. I immediately set it back in place and weighted it so that it would hold its shape. Tomorrow it will be cured enough to have some strength and I will be able to fine tune the top and edges.  

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sorting the fuel sender

Today I managed to get the rest of my gauges cleaned up and installed. I put a small LED warning light in the water temp gauge for high temperature. Then I got all the gauge wires sorted back in their proper place. I also modified my fuel cell to accept a stock, slightly modified, fuel sender. I had to install a guard to keep the foam from getting under the sender float. The foam is a large piece of fuel cell foam which lays in the bottom of the tank and keeps the slosh to a minimum during cornering. I bent the float arm on the sender to have it bottom out before it hits the bottom of the tank. I am pretty sure the gauge will read full for the first 5 gallons but I can live with that. Just want to know when it is getting empty!!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Helping a friend

Today, I dug through my parts bins and pulled an 1800 head and cam towers. I cleaned and assembled everything, with new gaskets and seals. I had to drill out and install 3 helicoils which are thread repair inserts. These are not an uncommon necessity when working with old aluminum parts. I then shimmed all the valves and gathered some other gaskets so that I can ship the whole package to a friend in need. Tomorrow I will get back to work on my car!!

Fuel sender

Once again, it has been a very busy week at work and I have not had much time for the car. 
I did get some help from friends and sourced an extra fuel gauge and a sender to sort out that issue. 
I got everything working but still need to do some modifications to my aluminum fuel cell to fit the stock Fiat fuel sender. 

Monday, June 9, 2014


Tonight I spent a little time cleaning up guages and installing new chrome trim rings. I will leave the trim on the lower gauges black in order to contrast with the "metal" background. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Final decision!

I have been going around in circles for months with ideas on materials for the interior. Obviously, I did make up my mind on dash materials and now I have decided on upholstery. The top and bottom of the dash will be black leather while the seats and other panels will be deep tan with black accents. I will find some tan carpet for floors and rear package shelf. 

Back to the dash

Today I proved my faux woodworking skills and wrapped my dash in vinyl. I know huh? What the???
It was so cheap and easy I couldn't help it and when I have more time, I can always do something different. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

More brake stuff

Today I installed an extra set of calipers and made brackets to hold the end of my brake lines. The bracket usually mounts to the brake shield but I am not going to use them so I had to fabricate something to hold the bracket. I then ran the rest of my brake lines along the rear axle housing. 

Friday, June 6, 2014

Powder coating the calipers

I have found the patience to send the brake calipers out to be powder coated. The finish is much more durable and in the end it will be worth the wait. 
I have any number of other things to work on, so it wasn't that hard a decision. 
Tonight, with very limited time, I tossed a rim on the back with a 1" spacer to see how the track looks. Still a bit hard to tell without the sneaker on but I think it might be too wide. For now it is just a test and I have time to figure it out. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Brake stuff

Haha, couldn't help it...
I managed to get my rear brake calipers all disassembled which may not sound like much, but honestly, they are notorious for being a pain in the butt to get apart. The AC unit in the house continued to cause me problems today so I only got one piece cleaned up, still... it's progress. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Trailing arms and pan hard rod

I know the terms are a bit much for friends and family who don't know so much about cars but I can't bring myself to just call it suspension stuff...
I managed, between work, getting the impeller for the pool pump fixed, finding the short circuit in the AC system that shorted out my thermostat, and doing yard work... to get the rest of the rear suspension stuff (ok, I did it!) cleaned up, painted and hanging under the car. I have dreamt about the way the bottom of this car would look and now can see it. I'm like a kid in a candy store, all big smiles!! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Rear end hanging in place

Had a little time this evening and managed to get the rear end up under the car. Not complete, but it's back in the car and that counts big with me!!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Taking a break from electrical work

And got very messy today cleaning up and painting suspension parts. I sorted through the assortment of rear ends I had out in the shed and picked what I thought was the best one. After cleaning it a bit, I found major rust in the spring bucket. So, I gutted all the good bits and tossed the housing on the scrap pile... The next one was better and cleaned up pretty well. I am not actually rebuilding the rear end right now, just cleaning it up and run it so I know if I need to do anything to it. I cleaned up and painted the rear springs and short trailing arms. That's enough to get the thing hanging under the car and I'll clean up the long trailing arms and pan hard soon. I also pulled a couple sets of rear brake calipers from my stock pile and started soaking them in penetrating oil. Lots of jobs still to do but it is very gratifying to be putting parts on the car!!


I have been very busy with work lately but have been plugging away a little bit at a time, sorting and making connections in my wiring harness. Yesterday I powered up the entire electrical system for the first time. I still have some things to sort out but it is very exciting!!