Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Point of No Return

Up until now, folks, I have kinda worked within a somewhat loose budget. Nothing so clever as to have calculated the cost of everything, although I have kept pretty much every single receipt of everything I have bought for the truck, and, well, let's just say I am at the point of no return. Right about now.

What do I mean by that?
Well, I think, with a bit of imagination and a suitable buyer, I could probably come fairly close to getting a large percentage of my money back. We are in loss territory now, but not significantly so. Maybe a few grand over what I might expect to sell the old girl for.

Not that I plan on selling it.

My wife has already told me Dorothy is part of the family now, and you wouldn't sell one of your family members, would you? (well, I could probably part with a family member or two if it meant being able to buy a new Mustang with all the fruit).

No. The Point I am trying to make here is this; the truck as it stands is in need of a lot of work to make it into something that I would call a pleasure to drive. Sure, it goes, starts and stops well enough, and the body is okay. But I know that it isn't going to last for long the way it is.

The engine runs, though quite poorly and if you have been following my boring old blog this far, you will know that I am having engine issues, seemingly to do with the cam. I still think it is fuel related and am waiting to hear back from a carbi guru to give me a good picture of what he thinks might be the issue. If it is carbi, then we can do something about it. However, it could be cam, and that is a different story. Sorry to repeat a lot of this info, but this is the point of no return.

If I sell it, I get out of the deal with a moderate loss; satisfied that I have put the truck on the road with full registration and a right hand hook to boot. Collect my 25 grand and leave it for someone who has more funds/skill/time than me to complete.

I really think that is what is needed.

This is a head and a heart issue.
The head says sell the damned thing. Count your losses and look back on it fondly as you spend the rest of your life pondering what it might have come out like. Upside is, if I sell the truck we get to own our home. That is one big upside. Downside is, well, I guess I can take up stamp collecting...

The heart says just get it fixed. Get it looking really nice. Raise the budget and just keep working on it. Downside is, a couple more years to pay off the house, but at least we can have some fun with the truck.

Problem is, there is more than one in this family, and though my wife is quite supportive, there must be a line drawn in the sand somewhere for all of this.

Do you know, I did the same with my beautiful Buick Century; made an executive decision one day that I was never going to afford to get it looking really nice, which is what it deserved, and so I sold it to some retired panel beater who turned it into a beautiful car. Happy ending... for him. Not me.

Still to this day, I sorely regret selling it to him. When he walked away the first time and then came back to make a weaker offer I should have just slammed the door in his face and kept the Buick.

The constant angst of justifying expenses weighed heavily upon me in making that sad decision.

The same considerations are upon me again.

Ironically, the truck has cost me way more than the Buick ever would have.

Sure, I have had a lot of fun. And I DO like the old tart.

But if I am going to keep it, I am going to have to spend a lot more money on it. Now that, hopefully, is going to be good for you guys, as there will be plenty of projects coming up. Beginning with...you guessed it...the engine!

The other day we were quoted $1300 to have the cabin reupholstered, which included doing the big Cadillac seat, carpet and side trims as well as the ceiling.

Still in two minds as to whether to flog the Cadillac seat off in favour of a smaller and lighter Ford one, or have it reupholstered. The thing weights half a ton and is full of motorised componentry, cables, and such like. It all works, but it is not something I need. If I buy a good quality seat already upholstered, I'll save a lot of money.

Anyway, went for a drive last weekend. Not far, but she behaved well enough. Weird noises coming from somewhere sounds like something rubbing under the engine bay. Has a regular thrumming sound to it...like a fan belt sound though slower and not in synch with the rest of the engine.

Also discovered a slight leak from the radiator hose inside the cabin. That aluminium firewall mount was a cheap ass ebay item and now I am wondering whether the thread is starting to fail on it as I have tightened it to near breaking point and it has finally stopped leaking. Though I suspect a little more movement and the metal will shift again and we will have leaking all over the place. I wonder why they make these mounts in aluminium? Wouldn't steel be better? Steel has less propensity to wear in my opinion. Especially when it comes to threaded things.

Also discovered another leak under the engine. Somewhere near the mechanical pump. I am hoping it is just that oil vent drain thing that was leaking last time. Just in front of the pump there is a hole which started seeping oil a while back. Blocked it off and until yesterday seemed fine. Will have to have a look at it. Always something to do.

This weekend three of us are heading to Crookwell, NSW to check out a swap meet. If you remember, I purchased some US racing mags from one of  the local Ambulance officers in town and I promised him I would bring the truck up one day. Well, sadly it won't be this weekend. Just not running well enough for that. But should be a good day, anyway. I will take my camera. I understand a couple of American car clubs might be in town, and there's always time for a few snaps which I will be bringing to you.

One thing I discovered when I pulled the cheap ass Johnny Law Motors crap sound deadener away was how noisy the cabin was without it and the carpet, and even though this deadener is junk, it made me want to install some better stuff.
On ebay they have pinjing and happy tiger sound deadener, as well as the traditional dynamat (at twice the price, but I think I will do the pinjing thing this weekend.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

2016 Bargo Show and Shine Post Mortem

Well, despite the gloominess of the weather, thousands of people flocked to the charming town of Bargo; specifically the Bargo Public School (which apparently organised this event- now WHAT a COOL SCHOOL!)
I dragged my long-suffering wife to the show but I could tell she was a little tired of the whole scene, so, sadly, I had to cut the visit short. Still managed to grab a handful of shots before the battery in the camera ran out. This expensive little Nikon CoolPix takes a decent shot, but I am discovering that it is treacherous on battery power. Oh well.  I didn't take Dorothy up there as it is just not running that well, and it looks like a POS as well, so maybe when funds improve next year.
So many great cars and trucks to pick from. There were a small number of bikes but by the time I reached them the battery had long gone, and my mrs was running low on energy as well. Next time, I think I will just go by myself.
Here they are! Enjoy! Click on 'em to make 'em bigger!
(This merely represents about one quarter of the cars that were there. Maybe even less. There were so many, and they were tucked everywhere around the grounds.

Carrying their theme to extreme. Yes, it looked like a real coffin in the back. Not everyone's cup of tea, and definitely not mine, but, a lot of blood, sweat and darkness has gone into it.

Now, this is more my style!

Lightburn Zeta. Check out the powerhouse under the bonnet! You only need two fingers to count the pistons.

Well, if you are gonna have an O'Keefe on your bonnet, it might as well be Johnny and not nephew Andrew...arrrgghhh!

The sheer exquisiteness of these murals had to be seen to be believed! 

in cinemascope 

Matching trailer. This work of art sounds too good to be called a trailer!

The whole shebang! 

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Dorothy's Tray Out of Alignment.

One thing I noticed since I have been messing around with the bedwood (which, sadly, I have more or less given up on with my current ideas and am probably going to buy the proper damned wood and do it properly which is what I should have farken done in the first farken place but never mind...) is that the bed is out of alignment. Probably to be expected since it has had an interesting life in the past, I am sure.
As you may or may not be aware, it has had its tailgate welded up at some stage of its life, and could pose a problem when I try and fit proper wood to the base.
However, (and I don't know how long it has been like this) I discovered that the bed was not sitting square to the cabin, as on one side there is about 5mm gap and on the other about a 25mm gap. Check this out. It looks a little worse in the photo than in real life, and I have been able to correct it a little, but still not real good.

The thing is, there are a few areas in which the bed is bolted to the chassis, and none more so than these bolts at the rear (see the second photo)

If I try and push the bed forward, the holes fall out of alignment, but if they are lined up, then, it looks crap as in the first photo.
Could this mean the cabin is out of alignment? I noticed when I went to rebolt the stepside up. The rear of the running boards bolts into the front of the rear fender, if you know what I mean, and it was a good couple of inches out. Either the running board needs to come back (and that means the front fenders need to come back into alignment or I need to take some serious measurements of the whole thing to work out what is going on.
For the moment, I pushed the bed forward, redrilled the hole a little to bring it closer, and bolted it up. It could also mean that the bed might be wrong on the other side as well. The gap is just wide enough to not rub the cabin, but that is about all.
These are the sorts of things that frustrate the hell out of me. It is clearly not correct. And to make matters worse, I have kinda aborted my bed project after spending about $100 on cheaper options. Sometimes, you just have to fork out and buy the proper stuff even if you cannot eat for a month.

Speaking of food...no, don't say anything about food...I am back on my diet again. Atkins shakes. Three meals a day. I wanna stick to it, this time, and shed about ten kilo's by the end of the month. I celebrated the start of my new diet last night with a KFC Zinger Burger and fries. Washed it down with a Pepsi Max.

Is there no hope for this lad, I hear yhou ask?
Hmmm. Come back later!

I will have this bed sorted out by then.
Also, next week I am planning on taking Dorothy to the Bargo Show and Shine with the intention of entering it into the comp. My main intention is just to mix with some people, have a chat and chill.
See what happens next week!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Kembla Grange Motorlife Museum 7th Annual expo 2016 post mortem

Best day of the year, very friendly bunch of folks, great morning for a nice stroll. We took the truck for a run. Didn't run too badly considering it needs, like, basically a new everything, but we got there. No breakdowns. So must have been a success!
Anyway we were there as spectators only today.
Here is a little taste of what was on offer.
We actually didn't go into the museum, so I can't tell you what is in there. But on the grass there was plenty of action.