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Saturday, October 10, 2015

It's About to Get Real

After some soul searching and sage advice from a co-worker who has been down the road of VIN assignments and the Connecticut DMV, I've decided to take a bigger plunge and pull the tub on the car. As I mentioned in my last post, I found the spot of cancer in the frame and that outrigger is shot. My co-worker said that they wouldn't fly with the DMV and suggested that, along with the holes in the floor and front corners, I would be wise to do the repairs instead. This guy shares the same love for cars that I do, more probably, and has much more experience in them than I do. He also offered to help, so it was a no-brainer.

The plan is to pull the tub and put it on sawhorses in the backyard next to the black one while I clean up and repair the frame.  Of course, the tub is going back there at the start of cold weather and will endure the harshness of winter, so I intend to build a lean-to into the sawhorses to try and protect it as much as possible. Then, with a solid core, rebuilt suspension and other bits, I can swap the frame for the tub and work on that. Oh, and I'm sure along the way the engine will come off so I'll probably take care of that to, to some level, at least converting the head to run unleaded gas (valves, guides and seats).

In a way, it's a bit of a relief because at least now I know my way ahead a bit more and I've removed the anxiety of trying to get the thing to pass inspection "just barely". Since I really don't have any intention of selling the car and since it is just a hobby (though a passionate one), it can wait to be done correctly.

Today, towards that end, I did some more cleaning of the garage and moved a significant amount of parts to the attic. I pulled the gas tank that I had just put in (though had not piped or filled) and otherwise made small inroads into pulling the tub. Since this will be the second time for me, I hope it will go a bit smoother, though I will be taking much more time in labeling and documenting everything much better since I'll want this one to go back together someday. Unless some suspension mounting parts become painful (like the radius arm problems I had with the black one), I suspect I should be ready to pull the tub by the end of next week. Out of town next weekend, though, so hopefully the weekend after that it will be ready to pull. Then, the fun will begin.

As for actual work, I decided to tear apart the windshield washer motor and remove that 50-year old grease as well as clean it up and refurbish it a bit. The wire that runs from the internal brush to the windings was in bad shape so that will be replaced.

Mostly pulled apart. You can see the insulation cracked on that wire. It did work when I pulled it out.

The usual suspects.
That was about it, really, for the car today. This morning, however, I had the pleasure of taking the family to see the christening of the USS Illinois (SSN 786) at General Dynamics - Electric Boat here in Groton, CT. As a career Navy man myself, this was one of the only major Naval ceremonies that I had not witnessed. The Navy and the shipyard approved cameras, which was a surprise. I didn't think far enough ahead and failed to charge my point-and-shoot, so the pics were with my cell phone.

As a native of Chicago, Illinois, Michelle Obama was asked to be the ship's sponsor and she laid the keel about 16 months ago. The weather was beautiful, the speakers were actually pretty good (though I don't think my boys agreed) and it was another impressive show of our nation's military men and women. I had actually contributed a very small part to the ship's construction, testing some of the nuclear plant before I switched jobs, internally, to now teach nuclear theory, so it was nice to see it all come together. She has a few months before she is ready for sea trials.

Obviously we weren't that close, but the official party and crew are on the ship.
Michelle Obama, the ship's sponsor. Again, not a great picture.
This is the USS Colorado, under construction, looking aft. Inside that little tan building sits the reactor plant.
Since this was the USS Illinois, the theme was Chicago and there was a live Blues Brothers-style band (funny...the lead singer said they usually didn't start playing much before 10 PM let alone before 10 AM), Chicago-based food (loved me some Chicago hot dogs) and everyone got a pair of Blues Brothers sunglasses. Don't worry, those were not your tax dollars at work as the shipyard pays for all of that stuff. Of course, your tax dollars pay the shipyard, so...

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