Sunday, April 29, 2007

Installation Day

This afternoon I swapped out my treasures from this weekend's swap meet. The glove box and cab light went in easily enough. The seat belt was not much hassle either, once I got the seat out of the way.

The new belt is simply bolted to the floor of the cab. I wasn't sure about this design until I read over the entire installation process. I was worried that the bolt could pull back through the hole in the floor. But to prevent that the company included a 4 inch round washer. It spreads the load out to more of the floor panel. My only hassle was finding a spot under the truck that was flat enough and large enough for the washer to ride flush against the underside of the floor.

Once I got everything back in place I cruised the neighborhood for a while.

Good times.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Pate Swap Meet treasures

I drove up to the Pate Swap Meet this weekend in Ft. Worth. I always enjoy roaming the miles and miles of old cars and car parts. I went several times with a cousin when I was in high school. And I have gone the last three years as a car-guy in training.

The deals were not as great as the last couple of years, but I saw tons of 67-72 Chevy trucks and oodles of parts. In years parts have been a little hard to scrounge up. Also, I think I am getting better at spotting parts or my truck from a distance, which saves some time. If you can check out what the guy across the aisle is selling you can move along quickly if he isn't selling what you need.

This year I found a replacement glove box brand new for $5. They usually sell for $10 but the $5 I saved almost paid for my lunch!

I also bought a center seat belt brand new. It is not an exact match, but it will be surely safer than having the kids share a belt. The truck only had two belts originally. The belts that are now in there are at least the third set that have been installed. Which is odd, because I can't imagine that my grandpa actually ever wore a seat belt. When I got the truck it had mismatched blue and brown belts. I found the complete blue set that are now installed, because I could not stand the mismatched belts. Marge deserves to be dressed up nice!

I also bought a light for the inside of the cab. The original one is broken and the lens is missing, so Marge got a brand new reproduction for $10.

I already installed the light and the glove box liner. Maybe Sunday I'll remove the seat and install the new seat belt. I'll have to drill a couple of holes in the floorboard first, though.

My 2006 recap

My 2005 recap

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Now we both (don't) know

To the person who emailed about getting brake fluid stains off vinyl seats...

I've got no idea. Do you know how to get the smell of 40 years of funk out of my truck, short of taking a match to Marge?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Car Night prep part 1

This afternoon The Talker and I started getting Marge ready for her car night debut on next Saturday night. We finished up adjusting the front brakes and got the old brake fluid drained and new fluid put into the system.

While I was working on the brakes, The Talker would help me by holding down the brake pedal while I got the air out of the hydraulic system. It was a small thing but he was a big help. With the bleeders that are on the truck now, and the equipment I have, I usually have to get one of my friends to hold down the pedal while I bleed the brakes. It was awesome to get it done today with The Talker's help.

After we finished up I washed Marge and got her nice and shiny. Well, as nice and shiny as I can get her, anyways. Since she sleeps in the garage, I should not have to wash Marge again before Saturday night.

I need to get a few more things done before Marge's debut. And hopefully The Talker will help me out with those things, too. My plan right now is to take him with me to Car Night on Saturday evening.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Car Night hunt

In the past there have been several different locations where old dudes hang out to show off their cool old cars and trucks. I used to go several times a month during the spring and summer, back when the old dudes met in a Home Depot Parking lot. But the crowds got too large so HD asked the guys to move on.

Of course, if you ask the old guys they will say it did not work because the teenagers showed up in their "ricer cars" and started showing off in the HD parking lot. There was some of that, for sure. But there were also lots of dudes with race ready Chevys and Mustangs that sat and gunned their 1000 horsepower engines for all the world to hear and smell. I imagine Home Depot got plenty of complaints about both of those groups.

The last I heard there were two places where the car guys were hanging out on Saturday nights. So I went searching for them tonight. The first place is an auto parts store that fancies itself as a speed shop/hot rod shop. But the parking lot was empty. Stop two was the parking lot of an abandoned grocery store. No dice there either.

On my was home I saw a couple of cars lined up the parking lot of another shuttered grocery store. Viola! I found the mysterious roaming car night. Of course, I was in the Saturn, so I parked well off to the side of the lot.

There were a couple of mini trucks, four or 5 corvettes, a 34 Ford Hot Rod and a handful of Subarus. (Would that be Subari?) The highlight of the night was one gorgeous 72 Chevy SWB. Solid red with the cleanest stock 350 I have ever seen. I have seen this truck once or twice around town at other car night events, but by the lack of scratches on the bed, I don't think anyone will ever see it hauling bags of cow manure home from Home Depot.

Anyways, the weather was too cool tonight for anyone to hang out very long. I was in out of there in less than 15 minutes. Next week, spring should actually be here. And I am already planning to take the truck to her first Car Night. I better hurry before they leave me behind again.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

We might make a car guy out of him yet

Tonight I pulled the truck out of the garage for the first time in a couple of weeks. While The talker was taking his bath, The Princess and I rode around the neighborhood. Then they switched.

While I was cruising with the The Talker, Marge let out a hellacious squeal When we were turning around on a cul-du-sac. When we got home The Talker told me "OK, now let's find out what that noise was all about."

He was really disappointed when I told him we did not have time to find out tonight. It was too close to bed time and too late to start a major overhaul of the brake system tonight.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Learn CPR.
You might save your daughter's life.

I am taking a quick break from the usual silliness and whining that inhabits my blog. Also, this is going up on all the blogs. Sorry for the repition, but it is the only important thing I've had to say in a long time.

Tonight we went to our first AAA minor league baseball game of the season. We were having a great time, hanging out on the left field berm. The kids were going crazy. And they cheered when an 8 or 10 year old girl near us caught a foul ball that the left fielder flipped up to the crowd.

Less than 5 minutes later that girl was unconscious and not breathing. We have no idea what happened. EMTs made it around pretty quickly. But not before the girl's dad had to start rescue breathing. She was out for several looooong minutes. Not just passed out from excitement, mind you. This was blue all over, motionless on the ground not breathing.

How scary is that? Your kid is having a great time and then a couple of minutes later she stops breathing.

When we left the park the girl was sitting upright with loads of attention coming at her from the Fire Fighters and Paramedics that had responded. Looks like she was lucky, She has a hero for a dad. Here's hoping I never have to be my daughter's breath.

So anyways, here is a quick online CPR reference. Please review it in case it has been a while since you took a class. Then please, please, PLEASE take a class to get more familiar with CPR procedures. Go here or go here to get help finding a class in your area. I'll be looking for a refresher course in the morning.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Brake check

Last weekend I spent some time under the front end of the truck. I am starting to realize that the front suspension ans steering systems are in serious need of attention. The ball joints and tie rod ends all look to be shot, but I'll wait for a little more experienced advice before I start replacing anything.

Anyways, I way pretty sure that the front brakes had never been opened up. After I got the wheels off, I found some rivets that held everything in place during factory assembly. So it looked like they had never been serviced.

I ground off the rivet heads and pulled the drums off. No big surprises inside, except for a huge number of wasps nests that fell out of the passenger side brake drum. I tried to clean everything up and look for any obvious damage. Once I was satisfied that everything was still in place and the brake shoes looked OK, I installed a better set of drums that I had and closed everything up.

I still need to work on the adjustment a little bit. The brakes are pulling to the left a little bit now. But I'll save that for another weekend. Like this one.