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Cars > Crazyfast79TA’s Garage > Blog

 

I think I'm Through Bitching About How Crappy The Van Is.

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Snow came Monday and driving to work was scary! I got off early because the truck we were supposed to start on still hadn't shown up at 11:30 so Bryan let me go early. I was set to look for new tires. I went to Grand Rapids Tire first. They quoted me $745 for a set and couldn't/wouldn't do any better. I only paid $975 for the van 6 years ago. Why would I want to pay that much for stupid tires? So I went to Tires Plus. They asked what I was looking for. I told them: "black, round, hold air, with good tread". They quoted me $545. I told them I only had $520 to work with. She came back with a quote of $519.42. We took the van there when Michelle got home so they could get the tires mounted Tuesday while I was at work and they even delivered it to me! It snowed more on Tuesday and when I drove home the van held the road like never before! It snowed more on Wednesday. The van did good again. More snow today. The van is doing good now! New tires, no matter what the brand. are better than old good tires!

I've Been Thinking Again, Really.

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

I know it's starting to get old but I'm seriously going to do a V-8 swap in the S-10. I was thinking of aborting this plan and just put the 4.3 back in. But a V-8 would be much cooler and more fun! I did it in my '87 S-10 and I still have that same engine and transmission. I was saving them for my Nova but it's still a long way from needing a drivetrain. The 350 is sitting down in the truck right now. I'm still working on the motor mounts. I'm not happy with the plates I made for it so new ones are being engineered. Fuel delivery and exhaust are still in the purchasing stages. I know what parts I need but I'm not sure where the money is coming from to get them. I spent all summer working on a remodel job on our upstairs rooms so no car work happened. When that project came to an inpasse Michelle shifted me back to the bathroom trim I never finished when she started on the upstairs job. So that's what I've been doing the past week or so. Of course cutting the trim and other wood required me to use my tablesaw that's out in the garage (right beside my S-10) so I've really been thinking (and scheming) about that project. This week I had to repair a bed-side on a Ford Raptor. That got me thinking about graphics for the bed-sides of my S-10. They will come when I get around to the bodywork once it's up and running. I finally got tires for the van from the money I saved up. I told Michelle once the upstairs and bathroom projects are done I'll be working in the garage. Even if I can't get all the parts at one time I can get them piece by piece as I need them for the next step in the project. It may take me all winter but that's okay. I'd rather spend my time in the garage working on my truck than sitting in front of TV or waiting on motortopia for entertainment.. I don't get much out of TV but what I do in the garage is something that shows accomplishment. Even if it's not show quality it will be something else I worked on. So I think I finally have a priority list made out.

I Must Have ADHD! LOL!

By Crazyfast79TA

I've been making so many plans for our vehicles that I lost track of what should take priority. I need something to drive this winter since we traded off our 4x4 this past spring. Our van definitely sucks to drive in the snow but it's all I've got to drive for now. It needs new tires. That may make it better since it still has 2 of the tires that were on it when we got it 6 years ago. I did break down and I bought 2 decent used tires last spring. They still aren't great so I think it's time for 4 NEW tires. I may have enough saved up to buy a set so I'll price them out this week and see. Last year when I got laid off from Northern Performance and brought my S-10 home with a locked up engine and no transmission I planned on doing a V-8 conversion with the 350 and TH700R4 I had for my Nova. I had money invested in a CD account saved up to buy the parts for that conversion and get the body repair panels to fix the rust and damage areas. But when I bought the body pieces I needed, Jessica decided she wanted to get a Sport-Trac like her Mom so the remainder of my money went to pay the difference from the trade-in we got from our '97 Chevy 4x4. The V-8 conversion never got finished. Then late this past summer the Trans Am developed a valve-train noise. I decided to put my 350 in my Trans Am instead of the S-10. That project is still under consideration but not yet confirmed. Then I got the wild idea of doing a 4x4 conversion on our van. I found a '90 Chevy truck that would be a good donor for the needed assemblies but I don't have the money to buy that truck. A 4x4 conversion on the van definitely is not a project I want to start now. So the S-10 V-8 conversion is off, the 4x4 van conversion is off and the Chevy 350 into the T/A may be off too.. I've still got the 4.3 that was in the S-10 so I can put it back and get (or build) a transmission to back it up. I could drive that a lot easier than the van this winter. But there's still a ton of work needed just to get it running. Maybe the V-8 conversion is back on buying parts as I can afford to. Get a cam kit for the Trans Am and get it running by summer. I'm not sure which is highest priority right now, getting tires for the van or buying parts for the S-10 (whether for V-8 conversion or just to get the V-6 running again). I believe tires would be the easiest option right now. The 350 is sitting down in the S-10 right now but still needs a LOT of parts to make it work. I know how the 350 ran in my '87 S-10. That was my "Thunder Truck"! Doing a V-8 conversion in my '94 S-10 won't be as easy as it was in my '87. The '94 has all the bells and whistles and the '87 was a bare-bones truck. If I'd opt to leave all the goodies out and just make it fast, the '94 wouldn't be so bad. I'm sure I could make the gauges work and the A/C shouldn't be problem either. But the speedometer, transmission shift points and cruise control pose the problems. I'm sure they're all tied into the computer system. Using an older 350 poses the problem with the computer. I think I'm talking myself into stripping out the factory gauges and going all aftermarket. Of course all this costs money which I don't have much of right now. Maybe I could hack an old Monza wire harness in and use the instrument cluster from a Monza. I'll figure it out as I go! Just deal with the "hard parts" and get everything bolted together then deal with the tech stuff later. Get it running then the body-work will be a cake-walk! That's my forte. In the spring I'll deal with the cam problem in the Trans Am which shouldn't be too difficult. Get it done and out of the way then dig into the van! Gonna do a camper conversion and seriously thinking about a 4x4 conversion too. It won't be easy but man wouldn't it be cool! Winter driving wouldn't be a concern with 4x4! The right parts truck and it should go pretty smooth!

Plans For The Battle Wagon

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

I'm stuck driving the van yet again. The Trans Am is down (again) for the winter, the '97 Chevy 4x4 we had last year is gone and the S-10 still isn't done. I've been planning on making the van into a camper. Got some plans going. I found a van that I'd like to get and use parts off but the phone number on his sign doesn't work. I don't know how to get hold of the owner so it's off for now. I found a 4x4 Chevy for sale last week for $1400. My boss is friends with the guy selling it so the owner said he'd work a deal out for me. I would use the front part of the frame, the trans and transfer case and rear end from the truck. I'd keep the engine in the van. This seems like the easiest way to do a 4x4 conversion in a GMC van. Then I'd use the engine from the truck and the transmission from the van for my S-10 conversion. But for now I'll drive the van like it is and get the S-10 running with it's original 4.3 and an old transmission I have.. Hopefully I can get things going before winter really sets in!

Okay, ANOTHER Project For "Thunder Creations"!

By Crazyfast79TA

I've been talking about fixing the van up as a camper. it's gonna happen. But I've also been talking about making it 4x4. At first it was just a joke about putting a switch in the dash labled "4x4". But now I'm getting serious about doing it for real. Today I found a 1990 Chevy 4x4 K1500 pick-up for $1400. The guy that has it is friends with my boss so he said he'd work a deal out for me. It's got the aluminum Chevy wheels that almost all K1500's come with but he said it would go cheaper with the ugly steel wheels that were on it when he got it. I don't care what wheels are on it. Steel wheels can get painted. We checked the wheelbase, 142.5 inches. The van is 125.5 inches. I'll chop the frame behind the torque boxes and graft it into the van unibody frame. Change the rear end (to keep the rear gear ratio the same as the front and also same bolt pattern) and shorten the driveshaft. I'll keep the engine that's in the van and bolt it to the transmission in the 4x4 chassis. The trans would not be computer controlled in 1990 so I wouldn't have to worry about interface problems. The 4x4 shifter is on the floor so I wouldn't have to worry about the transfer case or front axle lock-in being computer controlled either. I'm not sure of the speedometer drive either. It wouldn't matter too much about the wiring anyway because I could take whatever I needed to from the truck and make it work in the van. After the van is up and running I'll have another running V-8 that could go into my S-10. Hmmm... But before I would be able to tear into the van to convert it to 4x4 I have to get something (planned on the S-10) running so I'll have something to drive. The 4.3 is still planned for the S-10 for now. Boy is my portfolio for "Thunder Creations" growing before I even get it opened up! Let's see..."For-mule-a" Trans Am, 4x4 GMC Van/Camper,V-8 S-10, and possibly my Nova! It sounds like a lot of work but that's what I want to do! I'm not so interested in regular body repair and definitely not working on big-rigs for the rest of my life! Restorations and custom builds is my "happy life"! Paychecks are good, but I'm not happy with the regular stuff. If I can't find a job doing what I like, I'll just make my own! Kinda made a funny about the shop name: "Broke-As-A-Joke Autobody". Michelle said no, so it's still gonna be "Thunder Creations".

Modified Hood Bird For Formula Hood

By Crazyfast79TA

I may have to change out my Pontiac 400 because of internal damage. I'll use my Chevy 350, a TH350 from a '76 'Vette and the 12 bolt posi rear end from my Nova. So I'll be test driving my Nova in Trans Am clothing. The T/A will finally act like a T/A is supposed to! I'm not going to try to get the shaker to work with the T/A hood with a Chevy powerplant so I'll be using the Formula hood that was on my parts car that I stripped. But I'll have to get the Pontiac driveline fixed and tuned for return when the Nova body is ready for it's driveline. But with the way things go that may be years from now! But here's the hood bird modified for the Formula hood.

Going To Getting Back To Work In The Garage Soon

By Crazyfast79TA

Well the upstairs remodel work I spent all my summer working on is finally drawing to a close. Paint, trim, carpet, then move Jessica's stuff up there and then I'm done with it! I have to get the S-10 running again (with it's original 4.3 and a rebuilt 4L60E) so I have something that gets a little better mileage than the van or the Trans Am. Then I get to tear into the T/A engine to find out what happened in there. If it's more than just a cam replacement then it' getting my Chevy 350 that's built to 1970 LT-! specs. THAT would surely wake up the old slow T/A! I'll also be freshening up a '76 Corvette TH350 trans to go with the LT-!. I'll paint my Formula hood and do another bird (modified to fit behind the scoops) and call it my "For-mule-a" for testing out my Nova drivetrain before the car is actually done. After those 2 projects are running I'll get the van in and get the rust and crash damage fixed. I also plan a camper conversion to make our camping trips a little more pleasant than an air mattress on the floor and food in a cooler. I want to make a bed frame that folds against the side wall and elevated off the floor. I should've bought that mini-fridge I saw at a garage sale a few weeks back. Maybe I'll find another when I'm ready for it. I was also thinking about added electric hook-up access for camp-ground power. If I could do what I'm thinking I'll have power outlets to plug the mini-fridge, a small TV, and a small heater for those chilly weather camping trips and actual lights instead of flashlights. Then there's the paint-job. I'm planning cheap and easy. Nothing fancy but something to make it look better than it does now. I call it the Battle Wagon so I'm thing along that line. Michelle won't let me do cammo so I'm thinking retired cop van. Why not? LOL! I still have hopes of opening my own shop this year too. I may be more serious about this than Michelle, but I know she will jump in and help me any way she can once I get it started. Big dreams for a little man. Gotta have dreams or else you're only surviving and not really living. Having dreams come true is something that's so hard to come by but so satisfying when it happens. Start out small and build up from there!

Battle Wagon Update Ideas

By Crazyfast79TA

We got our van shortly after we got married and drove the family to Valley Fair for Dustyn's birthday. Not long after that Bradee parked it in the woods trying to avoid hitting a deer. We sort of repaired that damage. After that we drove it to Ohio to drag my S-10 and a load of my stuff back to Minnesota. That ruined the transmission. We replaced that. We've been using it as a camper quite a bit. We just pull the seats out and use a blow up mattress. I want to do a proper camper conversion and fix the rust since it looks like we're going to keep it. It's not a good winter vehicle so I'd like to do a 4x4 conversion too. With the right parts truck it shouldn't be too hard. I think the best paint job would be a retired cop van look. Blues-mobile vanner style! lol! Ideas, ideas, ideas. Just gotta keep them cheap enough to do and usable enough to keep the van.

First Snow Of The Season!

By Crazyfast79TA

NO KIDDING! October 3rd and snowing already! Not supposed to stick, but it's still snowing! We had a cook-out planned for this week-end to celebrate my birthday and Dustyn's too. We just went out to eat instead. That's okay too I guess. No prep and no clean-up. I guess it's time to get the lawn mower set to go into storage and wake the snow blower up. I may put the grill in the shed too instead of the garage. I've still got a lot of things to put away before the real snow hits. Winter is here early. Figures! Summer took it's sweet time to come, why would it stick around? Oh well, that's Minnesota for ya!

Re: I'm back with bad news that may produce something good.

By Crazyfast79TA

If I do the 350 Chevy into the T/A and make it a test mule This is the hood I'll use to make it a For-mule-A. It's another of my play on words that have more meaning than just what's written. I'll paint another bird on like I did for the first hood but I'll modify it to fit behind the scoops and stripe it to accent the scoops. Instead of the "6.6 Litre" or "T/A 6.6" it will have "For-MULE-a" in the "Formula" script.

400 needs some attention

By Crazyfast79TA

Friday on my way home from work there was a rattle in the valve train in my engine. It was accompanied by some sputtering and backfiring through the carb when I tried to accelerate. I don't know what happened for sure yet but I suspect it is a broken valve spring or a stuck valve. I've suspected a worn camshaft since it never really revved like 400's I've had in the past and it didn't have the guts I experienced before from Pontiacs. I'll tear into it soon but if it turns out to be more than just a worn cam I've got other plans that came in a dream last night. I wanted to get my Nova together for the Weekend Of Wheels car show and poker run for next year. Money problems this year has deferred the Nova project indefinitely. In the dream I had I changed directions for the 2015 W.O.W. event. The Nova won't be ready but parts of it are. The engine is ready except for the Holley carb. An easy rebuild for sure. I have headers for the Nova already. Next I have to change the fluid in the 12 bolt rear end and new brake hardware and shoes. I still need a trans for it but I have a '76 Corvette TH350 that needs freshened up sitting behind the garage. If the 400 in the Trans Am needs more than a new cam, all these Nova parts can be installed. It will DEFINITELY wake up this car and make it my Crazyfast79T/A again! Looks like I'll be driving the Battle Wagon sooner than I thought but at least the T/A will be spared from snow this winter! When it comes out in the spring it will be stronger than it came out when I finally got the 400 installed a couple years back.

As an added afterthought, I thought of something else I could do to make my T/A a little more unique. I've got the Formula hood from the parts car I stripped out. I'm not sure how the shaker would fit with a small block Chevy under the hood so I could straighten out the dents and ripples in the Formula hood, paint it black and do another bird on it. Since I wanted to build my Nova to be used as a test mule I could combine that idea with the use of Nova parts in my Trans Am with a Formula hood and call it "For-mule-a" I'm sure I could get one of the local graphics vendors to make the nameplates for me. What do you think of that?

Giving Up On The S-10

By Crazyfast79TA

I've come to the conclusion that I just don't have the time or money to play with this toy now. I've decided if I'm going to build a hot-rod I'm going to build the one I REALLY want done. The Nova. I've had it for so long and planned so many things for it but kept putting it off for the right time. I feel it's do or die time. I'm going to return the S-10 back the way it was and just drive it stock and shift my efforts to the Nova! It won't be easy but it will help with my morale. Getting this car done for next year is my goal! I feel if I'm going to work on something it better be something worthwhile! Yes, the S-10 would be cool, but the Nova is higher on the list! So everything I had planned for the truck will be shifted over to the car. All my "extra" time and "extra" money will go toward the Nova. For me it will be much more rewarding! The S-10 is still getting the bodywork done and a new paint-job, but it's going to be the 4.3 under the hood and just jet black paint. Nothing fancy, just nice. It was fine before with 190 H.P. so why do I need a 300 H.P. 350 in it? The Nova deserves the 300 H.P. and a flashy paint-job!

I Wish My S-10 Was Done!

By Crazyfast79TA

Went to the weekly cruise in at the DQ tonight. There was some cool cars there. I couldn't park by them because there wasn't any spaces left so I just parked in the normal customer lot. People still stopped by my car and to check it out. I checked out an S-10 in the lot with the classics. It had a 6 point roll cage, fuel cell in the bed, traction aid devices and big tires. It reminded me of "Thunder Truck". When he fired it up to leave I was a bit surprised by it's sound. It had such a smooth idle with no rumble. My 350 had more lope and rumble when it was in "Thunder". That's the same 350 I'm putting in my '94. I'm gonna have so many people scratching their heads! The truck is going to look totally stock, but not so. I've got things planned for this truck that I've seen in other newer trucks. Things that weren't on or in S-10s. But it's going to be so subtle people will wonder if it came that way. this winter I'm going to be real busy!

Car Show / Swap Meet / Poker Run Time again!

By Crazyfast79TA

It's something all the car folks around here look forward to. It used to be put on by the 2 car clubs in town but one dropped out because the members are getting too old to do all the work. The city stepped in to keep the Sunday Show at the fairgrounds and the swap meet the entire weekend. The other club puts on a really good show (that's judged fair) and has a participant poker run after a good chicken dinner. Along the way on the poker run they have stops where you receive cards that you trade in for a poker hand. There is also spots along the way that the hot-rodders get to show what their machine will do. It's fun if you can do a righteous burnout, not so much if you can't. I've been on the run twice and neither time could I produce smoke or put rubber on the quarters. This year I plan on changing that. When I got the car running while I was working at Northern Performance Brad used his "top-of-the-line" timing light to set the timing right on spec. Telling the truth, I never trusted a timing light. I always tuned them "by-the-seat-of-my-pants" method. It worked on my Chevelle, Monzas, and S-10. The engine runs okay it just doesn't have any guts to it. I've got a week and a half to get something figured out without taking the car out of service on week days. If it's not timing it could be carburetor trouble. Easy fix? Maybe. I've got 2 Holley carbs in the garage. One is on my 350 that's sitting in my S-10 and the other was rebuilt years ago and used on my '72 LeMans. The one in the S-10 needs freshened up and the one that was used on the LeMans is in a zip-lock bag in the trunk or my Nova. This week-end I'm going to try them out in the T/A with the adapter plate I used on the LeMans. If they don't work I'll try a rebuild on the Q-Jet on the 400. If it's not a carb problem it must be a cam problem. If that's so, then I guess I'm stuck just going for a cruise without any burnouts.


UPDATE 7/20/14: I worked on the T/A a little today. I got the oil pressure gage hooked back up. I did a small adjustment on the carb today. It helped a little. What did more was a twist of the distributor. The adjustment I did on the carb had to be undone because the timing adjustment made it pop back thru the carb. I still have some fine tuning to do but I know I'm on the right path, I got some rubber! I got this week to get it running better than last year.

Had a mini "Connonball Run" yesterday

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

Attended a wedding of my step-son's friend yesterday. The entire groom's side of the wedding party were hot-rodders. My step-son got his '56 International pick-up rat rod running for this. Garrick had his '74 Charger running before the wedding but couldn't get it running for the "Cannonball" to the reception dinner. Also in the run was a supercharged late model Mustang Cobra, a Hemi Ram truck, the father's diesel Dodge with my T/A rounding it out. Sad thing about it, I belonged at the back. My T/A was so pathetic! It's not the same with this Pontiac 400 as it was with the Olds 350. I don't know if it's only a bad carb or if the cam's wore out, too. I just know this engine is the weakest hot rod powerplant I've dealt with. Even the 305 I had labeled as "5.0 Liters Of Junk" on the aircleaner in my Chevelle was more of a powerhouse than this 400! This one doesn't run like the 400 in my '73 LeMans did. That was the most "beastie" stock engine I ever owned! This 400 came from a '75 Trans Am. I should've gone through it completely before putting it in my '79 Trans Am. Now that it's my only running vehicle I can't tear into it. I don't know what I'm going to do for the "Poker Run" after the annual "Weekend Of Wheels" car show at the end of July. The T/A has proven itself weak the last 2 years and then this last attempt nailed it. The S-10 is not even near ready. This summer is a bust for me. No fun in it for me. No money to do anything with and no time to do anything even if I did have the money. Working on the upstairs room remodeling has taken most of my time. Buying Jessica's Sport-Trac took my project money. And working on the Peterbilts at work has taken all my strength and desire to work at home. 2014 is a bad year for me.

Should I Shout or Whisper?

By Crazyfast79TA

I want my truck to stand out but I was thinking "subtle stand-out" with a paint-job like my S-10 model with the Toyota wineberry pearl over Honda black pearl. But I've been thinking lately, what if I copied the paint-job on my '87 "Thunders-Truck" S-10? It wouldn't have the same effect as it had on that truck with the "Wild-Side" Choo-Choo Customs bed but it would stand out. I don't really know what I want to do with it. Plain black? Wineberry pearl over black pearl? Mighty Mouse- Red over Yellow? I get the feeling that no matter what I plan, it will change as I attempt it. I planned on rebuilding the transmission at first but got delayed and the rebuild kit got used in the van. Then I brought the truck home and found the engine was locked up so I started with the V-8 swap. Midway through that I found out the V-6 wasn't locked and thought about putting that back in. Then I said "Heck with it! I'm V-8ing it!" I had money saved up to get all the body parts and materials to fix up the body and also enough to buy the parts to hot rod it too. But after ordering the body parts we helped Jessica get her truck and that took up the money for the hot-rod parts and the paint-job material money. Now I'm stuck saving up again. So I think a lot. A LOT! Help me out with some advice!

Update On The Hold-up On The S-10

By Crazyfast79TA

There's really nothing new to say. I had to spend the money I had re-saved for buying headers to make a payment on Jessica's Sport-Trac. She said when she starts her job she will pay me back. If she pays me back for the taxes and registration we paid to get this truck for her, I'll have the most of the money back that I had saved up before to buy the headers, fans, fan relays, fuel regulator, and the other parts I was going to buy before. I don't know when that will be, I still have to come up with the money to buy a new air compressor so I can do the bodywork and paint-job. I got the parts for the bodywork. But before I can work on my S-10 I have to finish the work on the upstairs room Michelle and I are remodeling for Jessica. They are going to take care of the paint and trim after we get done with the drywall work.

Still Waiting And Saving Up!

By Crazyfast79TA

Filed under: /blogs/browse/t/vehicle/v//p

It's been over a month since I cashed in on my CD account I was saving up to build this truck into a nice little hot-rod. Instead of all the money going to my truck I helped my step-daughter get her own Sport-Trac like Michelle has. It's a little older but still in great shape. But that's part of the reason my S-10 is waiting. It's been waiting for years, what's a couple more months? I'll keep tinkering as I can. I did get the new radiator support, tailgate, cab repair panels and bumper end cap. I just need a new air compressor to do the bodywork and paint-job. I still need more money to get the cooling fans, fuel pressure regulator, headers and dual exhaust to do the mechanical portion of this project. I'm still a few hundred short of the needed dollars to do this.

Drop Back And Regroup!

By Crazyfast79TA

After reviewing my whole project plan I've decided to drop back and regroup. I'm accepting delay now and the real possibility that I won't have my S-10 done for this summer. It's a bummer for sure but not the end of this project. It just refuels my desire to do it better than my '87. My '87 was done in stages. The first one out of necessity when I broke the transmission and couldn't afford to replace it with a junk-yard unit. I was working as a pizza delivery driver and couldn't afford to have a downed vehicle. I had the 350 and TH350 from my Monza sitting in my garage. It was 1992 and not many guys in my hometown were V-8ing their S-10s yet. I was the 5th and knew I couldn't do it like the other four did with kits. I had to improvise and be creative and cheap. I had a buddy that had a scrap yard behind his shop that allowed me to dig for the parts I needed. I got it together in less than a week for a total cost about $40. Maybe it wasn't done right but it worked. Thunder Truck was born. It had a growing reputation and plenty of challenges. I didn't lose many but I ended up breaking the transmission case. I replaced it with a 700R4 from an '83 Trans Am GTA. Now it was fast with overdrive. It deserved a paint-job now. So I painted it red. I got a new IROC hood that they were throwing in the scrap bin at work because it was damaged and couldn't be sold as new or sent back to GM. I couldn't sell it so I cut it up and grafted the IROC louver section into an S-10 hood and added Buick Park Ave hinges for a custom flip forward hood. When I went through hard times and was losing my Cameo that I rebuilt after a terrible crash. Instead of getting a used stock box I got a Choo-Choo Customs Wild-side box. I wasn't letting that box go with a re-poed truck so I pulled it and put on my '87. Time for another paint-job! Red and yellow with a silver lightning bolt. After I married my first wife she had a Ranger she bought just before we started dating and we talked about having 2 trucks and no car. The Ranger was newer and had a stock box for hauling, so I decided to sell my S-10. I didn't let my 350 and TH700R4 go with it. I kept them since 2001 waiting to get my Nova done but that hasn't happened. Then divorce happened in 2004 and everything fell apart in my life. I had my Trans Am as my only vehicle when she left and took her Ranger. I got my own Ranger that turned into a P.O.S. I traded it off to get my '94 S-10. I didn't have plans to V-8 it until I broke something inside the transmission and I'm having trouble finding a replacement. My 350 is still here but the 700R4 still has something broken in it. 700R4s are easier to find here in Minnesota than a 4L60E 2 wheel drive transmission. I figured out the motor mount situation and V-8 S-10 headers don't cost much more than standard Chevy headers now. This truck already has an electric fuel pump with a return line. I just need a pressure regulator to cut pressure down for my Holley. I'll have to get electric fans for cooling. It all costs money and takes time to save up that money. Summit will save me some money by having free shipping on orders over $99. I can order the parts one by one as I get the money. I may have "lost" the $700 I already had saved up, but I'm still working so I still have money coming in. I just have to be more selective on my spending habits until the S-10 is done. I can build it in stages but won't be years between each stage. Weeks or months but not years. It will be done and done right on the first try!

Going Nowhere Fast!

By Crazyfast79TA

Like everything else I try to plan, either delayed, dropped, or changed. This one has portions dropped, others changed and it's all delayed. Seems like I had a good plan. I had the money saved up to do most of the work and get most of the parts. I started working but got pulled off for other "life" issues. Winter was bitter cold and spring took forever to arrive and once it did my money had evaporated. I wasn't sure what parts to order first so I got the body repair parts ordered. I ordered them from autobodyparts.com. I got an order confirmation e-mail, with a note that I would receive a shipping confirmation e-mail in 2-4 days. I never got that e-mail. I e-mailed them asking about my order. No response. I e-mailed them complaining about not getting a response. No response to that. I was staring to get pissed. The parts came Wednesday. I opened the boxes and checked them out. Tailgate, check. Radiator support, check. Left mirror, check. Right mirror, check. Right bumper extension, check. Right cab corner, check. Left cab corner...where's the left cab corner? Check the packing slip. There is no packing slip! Why isn't there a packing slip? What kind of yah-hoos am I dealing with? I e-mailed them asking about my missing part. Checked my e-mail Thursday. No response! Now I was really pissed! No e-mails telling me when the parts are shipped. No e-mails to tell me a part was missing. No e-mail apologizing for the inconveniences. So I called them Friday asking about my missing part and to complain about the un-professional communication tactics they practice. The associate I talked to explained that the e-mail system is automated (by motortopia?) and he checked about the emails I had sent them. He said the e-mail address they had for me had a misspelling for my e-mail address. How could that be? Every e-mail I "reply" to automatically enters the e-mail address so how could they get it wrong if it was truly "automated"?. Sounds like they just didn't want to admit to human error. Anyway, the left cab corner was not available from their regular supplier and they couldn't locate another supplier so they just refunded my money for the part, not including shipping. But I found another supplier myself and I got the cab corner coming. So now I'm wondering if I should've ordered my mechanical parts before the body parts? Could Summit screw up like that? They never did before (to me) and neither did Jeg's. When I got parts for my T/A from National Parts Depot Ames and Performance Years, none of them screwed up! Heck even J.C Whitney didn't screw up when I ordered an exhaust system! I guess the lesson here is "order from a reputable company, not an internet company you never heard of before".
Now that that part of the rant is done, I'll get back to the original idea here. Should I have kept with the first plan I had of getting the hot-rod parts for the truck first and get it going? or should I get all the parts at the same time? Looking at how the money I had evaporated when others found out it was there, I should've blew it all myself at one time!

Where Is My Project Headed?

By Crazyfast79TA

I'm having a conflict right now. This project started out like a ball of fire but it has gone up in smoke. I saved up money for a year. I had $1400 saved for this project. That wasn't going to be enough to get all the mechanical parts I needed along with all the materials for a good paint-job. I made the call to make it look good so cut the V-8 out of the plans and ordered the body panels I needed. I had enough left over to get the body-work materials and possibly paint, too. That money evaporated! Really! I don't know where it went! The parts I ordered on the 11th for $463 still haven't arrived! The rest of the money was supposed to buy tires, a used transmission, an exhaust repair job and the paint-job. But the money is GONE! I know this truck won't be done this summer now! It's going to have to be built one piece at a time. I'm not going to short-cut it now! I'm pissed about the money being gone and since it didn't get spent on my truck and I'm going to have to scrape money together now, and every penny will be made to count! I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do, but I'm going to do it!

Ding dong! The truck is gone!

By Crazyfast79TA

Ding dong! The truck is gone!
Ding dong! The truck is gone, which old truck? The Big Blue Truck!
Ding dong! The Big Blue Truck is gone!

Wake up- sleepy head, rub your eyes, get out of bed!
Wake up, the Big Blue Truck is gone. It's gone where clunkers go. Below-below-below. Yo-ho, let's open up and sing and ring the bells out!

Ding dong the merry-oh, sing it high, sing it low. Let them know!
The Big Blue Truck is gone!

Okay now that I've got the "happy dance" done, here's the news. We (my wife and I) decided I was not going to waste any more time or money on the old blue truck so we decided to trade it off. I knew we were going to take a beating on it, but in the long run I know we'll be better off. Michelle really likes her Sport-Trac and Jessica (her daughter) really liked driving it and refused to drive the big Chevy anymore. I found a GMC Sonoma SLS 4 door 4x4 S-10 type truck that I thought she would like. Looking at it she did, but driving it she didn't. So we looked at other trucks. She wanted a full size truck not a car. I don't think she realizes how much gas they take compared to a car but that didn't matter to her. We found some trucks on-line in our price range but they were out of town. The closest we found was in Aitkin which is about 45 minutes from here and we had to go through there to get to where we were to meet Michelle's Mom for Mother's Day lunch. As we pulled in the drive I spotted this Sport-Trac parked up by the building. We didn't even bother looking at any full size trucks when we found out it was in our price range. We took it out for a drive. I liked it so I gave Jessica a chance to drive. She liked it a lot! It was time to talk trade-in value on the Chevy. I knew it was going to be low. However I DID NOT want to drive the blue truck back home after we found a vehicle Jessica liked. They got the price down enough on the Sport-Trac and trade-in on the Chevy high enough that it was at the point we were pre-approved for on the GMC. By the time we got all the paperwork and faxing taken care of and getting all our stuff out of the Chevy, Michelle' Mom gave up on us for lunch (12:20) and left us hanging and told us to have our own fun. We did!

ABORT..ABORT...MISSION COMPROMISED!!!

By Crazyfast79TA

Plans for V8 S-10 have changed. I cashed in my CD I had invested in for car projects and started pricing everything I needed to do the job properly and found I was coming up short. I would have enough to get all the mechanicals taken care of or else get all the bodywork and paint materials and make it look good, but not enough to do both. I think it's going back to V6. The real reason I was going to put my 350 in was the 4.3 was seized from sitting beside the shop for 4 years. When I drug it home and started wrestling the engine out I grabbed the harmonic balancer and it rolled the crank over. So the option of putting it back in is still there. It was a strong reliable 4.3 but the trans gave up. If I were to use the 350 and the 700R4 behind it which I had in my '87 S-10 I'd have to rebuild it or replace it. In other words I need a transmission with either engine I want to go with. I really want it to look good. So I'm leaning more toward the bodywork than the V8. I'm still going to make it run good! But I have ideas for paint! I'm referring to the S-10 model I have featured as my profile pic. I want something dark but not plain black. Red is too overdone and not dark enough. The paint on that model is real car paint that I can duplicate on a real vehicle. I can get all the body parts at discount prices and get jobber pricing on paint and materials. Doing the V8 conversion is way more expensive now than when I did my '87 and that one took me almost 9 years to get it right. I don't want to tie up that much time on this vehicle. So change of plans is in order.

MOTORTOPIA HAS DONE IT AGAIN!!!

By Crazyfast79TA

THEIR INEPT I.T. DEPARTMENT HAS THE SYSTEM SO OUT OF WHACK YOU CAN'T EVEN PREVIEW A BLOB POST BEFORE SUBMITTING IT!!! I WAITED FO 45 MINUTES BEFORE I GAVE UP!!!

April 14...Fender Liner Finally Showed Up!

By Crazyfast79TA

I can't believe it took this long to get a simple piece of plastic! What did they have to do, retool and build it from scratch!?! They said they had one in stock, sent it to us and we sent it back. Not true. They sent a small splash shield that was wrong so we sent it back and ordered the correct one. They got it and sent it back to the warehouse. We never did get a chance to see that one. They had to order another one after we called them, AGAIN! That was last week. They did send another bumper cover instead of the fender liner! Can you believe that! The bumper cover that took a week to get and they got us another instead of the fender liner! Well, a week later we finally got the fender liner! Now I just have to find the time to install it at home!

Fourteen Days Until I Cash In!

By Crazyfast79TA

I'll be ordering parts after the 26th. Should be getting what I need to get the S-10 running and looking good. Doing the work should go quick. Seems like spring is trying to happen! I should have it ready for late spring/early summer!

Sport Trac Is Back Home!

By Crazyfast79TA

It's been in the shop for almost 2 weeks. It didn't take that long to repair the bedside or to paint the new tailgate, bumper, flare extensions, bumper top pieces and then put it together. Getting the parts was almost like it took a work of congress to get them. Dealing with the parts supplier and explaining the problems to the insurance company that was paying for the repairs and the rental car Michelle was in was also a pain. I waited until it was time for Michelle to pick it up today before I installed the broken fender liner because the new one hadn't come in yet. I was really frustrated about the timing on this whole project. I'm just glad it's done in the shop.

Sport-Trac Repair Saga

By Crazyfast79TA

I knew when this truck got hit it wasn't going to be easy to get parts. Bryan (my boss) checked for aftermarket or used parts. None available. He called Ford, parts available next day when ordered. So we scheduled a rental for Michelle and scheduled the vehicle in. Monday I got the remains or the rear bumper off, removed the bed cap and tie downs. The taillight, gas filler door, and fender liner next. All before lunch. I repaired the SMC of the bedside that was broken and had the bedside in primer before the end of the day. Tuesday some parts started showing up. The bumper attaching bracket and assembly bracket, step pad and emblems were all that came. So I cleaned up the trailer hitch sanded the bedside for blend and masked the truck for paint. I painted the hitch before leaving for the day. Came in Wednesday and waited for some more parts. Bumper top piece came in. and a fender slash shield that was wrong. I called the Ford dealer to check on the rest and order the correct fender liner. They assured me rest of the parts would be there on Thursday. So Wednesday was done at noon. Came in Thursday and waited until 10:00 for the tailgate alone to show up. No bumper cover, taillight or license lamp wiring harness. I called Ford again and was reassured the parts would be there Friday. I made the executive decision to paint the parts I had and when the bumper cover came I could paint it and finish the rest of the truck. Friday came and only a taillight showed up. I called Ford again. They checked on the bumper cover, fender liner and license lamp harness. Fender liner was in Connecticut and bumper cover was in California. Wiring harness is on obsolete Ford part. Bumper cover was to be shipped out on Friday and arrive Tuesday (drop shipped to our shop) and fender liner to be shipped out Monday morning and drop shipped on Wednesday. This is ridiculous! It should've been a 3 day (4 at the most) job and been back in Michelle's possession by Friday. The paint job (except the missing bumper cover)turned out pretty good, by the way.

Sport Trac is in the shop for repairs

By Crazyfast79TA

Took the truck in Monday morning and started tearing it down. I had the tailgate, right wheel flare, right wheelhouse, rear bumper, right taillight, and right bed cap off before lunch. Repaired the lower corner of bedside and had it in primer before 4:30. Tuesday still didn't have the new parts but sanded the bedside for blending. Removed gas filler door. Sanded left upper bumper extension and flare extension. After lunch blew all the dust off and masked it for paint. Today some of the parts came and some of them were wrong. Called to order the correct ones and check on ETA of missing parts. Tailgate, wheelhouse and bumper cover should be here tomorrow. Taillight and wheelhouse not until Friday, or possibly Monday. So today was a half day of waiting and depression set in. I was gone by lunchtime. I had to renew the license on the T/A and also on the Sport Trac so took care of that. I stopped by Northern Performance (old job) to get my painter certification paper and see what's going on. No paper to be had and wasn't much new going on there. It's mostly sandblasting and then painting that stuff. I'm glad I'm not involved with that. But anywho, if the parts come in the morning I'll get them sanded and prepped in short order. If everything goes well, seal, basecoat, and clearcoat before the end of the day. Then it could be buffed, assembled and cleaned up on Friday (except for wheelhouse and taillight).

As If There Wasn't Already Too Many Adds!

By Crazyfast79TA

I tried clicking on this. Guess what? NOTHING HAPPENED! Why was I surprised?
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