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Cars > Crazyfast79TA’s Garage > Blog

 

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Crazyfast79TA

M –47
Bovey, Minnesota
United States

 
 

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A Week Later and I Still Hate This Truck!

By Crazyfast79TA

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

I got the brakes fixed and they work good. The radiator hasn't given me any problems. The stupid truck starts every day. But the power steering is still screwed up. The tires suck and the four wheel drive doesn't work. I'm about ready to find a truck that needs an engine and part this p.o.s. out!
I just realized I'm messing up my new year resolution of trying to be positive. So I'll start over.

This truck starts every day and the brakes work good and the radiator doesn't leak. It looks like it would be a good candidate for being a parts donor to a deserving truck. I could do the same with this drivetrain as I did with my '87 S-10. Wouldn't it be great to find a 4x4 S-10 that needs an engine? I could have 2 V8 S-10's! See what being positive can do! Oh boy! Are the wheels spinning in my head! I'm going to have to check out craig's list!

Flag On The Play

By Crazyfast79TA

The Ref has thrown a flag against winter! I had started on my S-10 then winter jumped the start and delayed my game. So what if it's a 15 yard penalty against winter, my game is delayed. Oh well. That just gives me more time to plan what to do so I can make it all right without set-backs. It's not going to take me 9 years to get this S-10 right like my '87 did. I'm using the same engine and trans so I know what it will be capable of. I also know the problems it took to get it right on that truck. I did my share of hit and miss on it to know what worked and what didn't. This time I won't be building my own headers. The motor mounts won't be welded to the frame either. I won't have to use Monza bucket seats, this truck already has buckets. I've already gone through the braking system, too. I know the 4.3 radiator is sufficient to keep it cool. It will need a posi rear (I can't remember if this truck has one or not) and the widest tires I can fit in the fender wells. I'm not going to try to find a fan blade or shroud to fit between the water pump pulley and the radiator. I'll have to find electric fans. I also have plans for my own "Northland Edition" package. I'm going to use the factory in-tank fuel pump and install an electric choke on the Holley carb. I'll also install a block heater and possibly a battery tender for winter time use. I don't have everything figured out yet, but I think winter is going to give me the time to work it out in my mind before I have to turn any more wrenches in the frigid garage.

Work has been held off on account of cold weather

By Crazyfast79TA

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

Sad to say, yes, I've decided to hold off work until it warms up a bit. Winter in Minnesota is bitter cold and lasts forever. Not like it was in Ohio! There is was cold (but not as cold) for only 3 months or so then it warmed up again. This just gives me more time to plan everything out and save up the money to fund it all. I know once it does warm up I'm going to kick butt on this project! I WILL have this hot-rod done for summer! I also have other plans for summer like getting things around for my own shop. I talked to a guy today that's interested in having me do some work on his dually Chevy. That's just one. There will be others too. The more I get done before summer actually hits, the better! My S-10 is just the beginning! It may bring other hot-rodders my way! I hear a knock at my door. It may be opportunity. I will make it happen! This S-10 is going to be a blast!

"Cold enough for ya?"

By Crazyfast79TA

That's gotten to be so cliché already this year. We've had negative double digits for lows each night so far and today we hit a balmy 4 above. Get set for frigid temps coming! -30 Monday with a wind chill approaching -50. Oh goody! Reminds me of "The Rodeo Song". 40 below and I don't give a...you know that one. It was cold enough recently that I didn't pull the Trans Am out of the garage to pull the Chevy 4x? in to try to fix the problem with the 4x4. I just hope we don't get too much more snow before I can get it done. I haven't had any problems starting up or driving yet. Michelle's Sport Trac does great in snow and on ice. That's an excellent truck! I want to get back to work on my S-10 project soon too. I've got plans for that truck! But meanwhile I'm just going to try to stay warm! Hope all of you can stay warm too!

Happy New year!

By Crazyfast79TA

I'm going to try to stay positive on this one today. I know I've done my share of complaining this past year, so my New Years "Revolution": I am going to stay positive. Last night at the New Years party, Greg made the resolution to "be more vague". He had fun with that one when we asked what he meant He gave plenty of vague responses to our questions. My sample of me being vague was to the question "what do you do for a living?". My answer was "I work on cars." It used to be "I restore old cars." Now I just work on cars. As long as Bryan has work for me, I'll do it. I'm still going to try to get a shop of my own going. I am going to keep trying even when everything and everybody is trying to tell me not to. I'm still waiting on resolution to my Dad's estate. It' been in probate for over 3 years and facing chances of having the case dropped. My sister is facing problems with her end of the estate, too. I'm supposed to get the bank account my Dad had and she's supposed to get the house. The bank account is tied up because of my Dad's "companion"/girlfriend. My sister is facing losing the house because of delinquent property taxes. She's lived in the house since Dad died in 2010 without paying any rent or mortgage. How can she not afford to pay the taxes? I've been doing everything I can to keep us afloat here. I can't float her, too. No matter what happens with the estate, I'm going to try to stay positive. No matter what happens with my job, I'm still going to try for my own shop. It's going to cost a lot to get started but I'm sure once I get it going it will pay for itself. "Build it and they will come!" It would've been a lot easier for me to do it when I was still in Ohio. I had a reputation there and plenty of connections. Here I am in Minnesota. The new guy in town. Everybody I've run into is new to me. I have made some impressions, though. I have to find a "niche" and go with it. Classic cars, classic trucks, body repair, paint, hot rods, something just has to be "my thing". But I don't want to be stuck in "that" category. I want to be able to branch out and do the things I "feel", not just what everybody else "feels" I should do. I want to dazzle people but I'm not looking for fame or fortune. I just want to leave my mark and live comfortably doing it. I want to be diverse, but not scattered. I want to have a direction, but no limits. I'm just going to look for my opportunity and when it knocks on my door. I'm going to swing it wide open! I'm known as "the guy that drives the 'Bandit' Trans Am" already, but I want to be more that that. What's it going to be like when I get my V-8 S-10 done? Or my Nova? What about other cars I've worked on since I've moved here? I've got my foot in the door here, but I just haven't found a way to open that door. I know some day soon I will. But no matter what hits me, I'm going to do my best to stay positive Happy New Year everyone!

It's That Time Again! The Annual "I Wanna Burn This Truck" Season

By Crazyfast79TA

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

Seems like it happens every year about this time. We're well into snowfall season and something goes bad on this truck I guess that just because I'm the "car guy" I'm supposed to know what's going on with all the vehicles even when I don't drive them. It may be my fault for not doing a weekly check on each vehicle and make a repair list and schedule the repairs. Someday I will get everything caught up so there won't be any more lingering problems. I finally got the rear brakes fixed. I also tackled the leaking power steering lines while I had it in the garage. I checked the anti-freeze level (first time since new radiator install) good for-45. Now it seems like I'm going to have to tackle the transfer case. I hate winter!

Here's the rundown on what I've fixed on this truck since we've owned it:
Tires...always needing tires!

Front axel engagement actuator...you know, that electrical gizmo that engages the front end when you flip the 4x4 switch.

Fuel pump...Dustyn replaced in high school auto shop

Power steering hose...Dustyn replaced in high school auto shop

Wiper motor pulse board...Kevin had a stick wedged in it to "fix" it. I used the one out of my S-10 to actually fix it.

Driver's window...Came loose from lower frame. Glued back on.

Right taillight circuit board...Bulbs were good, board wasn't.

Trailer lights plug...Had 3 different pig-tails and none of them worked. I installed a new one and did away with the cluster that was there

Front brake pads...Just worn out.

Tune up...Plugs, wires, cap and rotor.

Fuel pump wiring harness...Shorted out inside tank.

Right inner tie rod end/Idler arm...Probably needs the rest replaced too

Battery...Just like tires, always needs attention.

Radiator...Somebody (not me) tried patching it with fiberglass once before.

Rear brake lines...Rust, rot, and age took their toll on entire rear part of the system.

Power steering hose...Dustyn didn't remove old "O" rings when installing new hose before, so I had to remove old "O" rings and do it right this time.

I know there's a ton more stuff to do on this truck that I don't know where the money's going to come from for repairs. I know we can't afford to find a replacement truck, so I guess I'll do what I can when I can.

I still hate winter!

P.O.S.2 Rides Again!

By Crazyfast79TA

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

I had to fix the rear brakes and fix the power steering after my step-daughter slid into/over a sign in the median after she missed a turn she couldn't slow down for in the snow storm we had a couple weeks back. I guess me driving my Trans Am wasn't bad enough, she didn't want me to get my S-10 done she had to wipe out the sign. Michelle wanted me to get the P.O.S. fixed so I pulled the S-10 out and started on the P.O.S. in and started replacing the metal brake line from the front all the way back, the hose, lines going to the wheel cylinders, and the wheel cylinders and hardware. I also fixed the power steering lines that Michelle's son had replaced. He followed the instruction pretty good. He put the new "o" rings on when he installed the lines. Too bad he didn't take the old ones off first. Oh well it's all good now. Maybe I can get back to the S-10 now.

Update On the V-8 Installation

By Crazyfast79TA

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

There isn't much to say right now. It's been displaced, again. I had to pull it out of the garage so I can replace the rear brake system in the '97 Chevy 4x4. Now the weather has put a stumbling block in that as well as my air compressor blowing up, again. I really want to work on the '97 and have it to drive through the winter if I don't get my S-10 together..

Cranky Old Bastard Starts Every Day

By Crazyfast79TA

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

Yup! I drive my Trans Am every day, even when there's five to nine inches of snow on the ground and it's 20 below zero. Oh yeah, it's a cold hearted beast for sure, but it fires up for me each day, even when my wife's Sport-Trac won't. Now remember, I don't have a block heater in it and the choke has been inoperative on the carb. I mean it when I say it's a cold hearted beast. It takes longer to warm up than to drive the 10 miles to work. It does great on the slick roads, too. I watched a Jeep Wrangler spin out in front of me and about a half mile on a Blazer spun across the median and ended up going the other way. My T/A was rock solid! I told my wife driving 40 MPH in this weather is like driving 100 in the summer rain. Things can happen real quick if you aren't paying attention. I just don't want to see what's happening under the ice build-up on the body. I'm sure it's not going to be pretty in the spring thaw. Oh well. it's a good thing I know how to fix it back up!

Still Working On Installing The 350 The Right Way

By Crazyfast79TA

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

I don't know what happened, but I can't upload pictures to albums on Motortopia anymore. Advance uploader won't show up and simple uploader only loads 2 pics then no more. There won't be any albums. I'm still working on my S-10 project and taking pictures along the way. I don't know how I'm going to keep all my friends up to date on my progress without pictures but I'll try. I'm too ticked off right now and don't have the time to type it all out. I'll try to find a way to keep you posted.

Got To Test Fit My 350 In The S-10!

By Crazyfast79TA

I only had to work half a day at the shop today so I came home and started tinkering with my S-10. First I called Karcher about the missing hose connection part for the pressure washer Michelle got for my birthday. It will be here in 3-5 days. I took advantage of my short day at work by bringing my motor mount plates with me to use the air at work to die-grind the bolt holes together where they needed to be slots. I didn't finish off the edges, that can be done after I know they fit properly. I came home and started fitting the motor mounts to the plates and bolting them to the engine. I already had the accessory brackets removed from the 4.3 and bolted to the 350. I changed the water pump over already. I got my power steering pump pulley puller yesterday (finally!) and pulled the pulley off, changed the pump over to the 350. I lifted the 350 off the dolly stand and bolted the motor mounts on. I looked at the truck and thought "why not?" so I maneuvered the engine over to the bay and sized things up. First I had to tie the wires out of the way then get the engine over the target. Umm, Houston, we have a problem. It won't fit with the water pump and accessory brackets on. That's okay. I put the sawsall to work. I cut the top of the radiator support to give a straight shot in from the front. It's going to make installing the engine and trans together as an assembly a lot easier! I started dropping the engine in lining up the motor mount bolt holes, and checking clearances as I went. It's close, yes, but not as close as my '87 was. That one I had to figure everything out as I went along. this time I had a plan. It changes a little as I progress, but it's still working! After getting the engine to sit down on the mounts and getting the bolts in the holes, I started checking everything out. Power steering pump has close clearance, but it's clearance. The distributor drops right in without the cap on. Oil pan clears the cross-member good. There's plenty of clearance for the bell housing. The starter is going to be in the same location as with the 4.3 so that won't be a problem. Now for the exhaust. I thought the "high mount" 305 manifolds would work. Nope. Well, the passenger side might work, but driver's side definitely no. The head-pipe flange hits the motor mount plate, points directly at the cross-member, and blocks the dip-stick hole. I thought about the conventional manifold. It won't clear the motor mount either and it interferes with the steering shaft. Looks like I have to dip into my cash stash and call Summit for the headers I was checking out when I started planning this project. That's okay, too. I was eventually going to get them anyway, this just gets it done right away. I tried the radiator in. It won't clear the water pump pulley or sit down in the locating holes. There's going to be some fabrication going on like my '87, but this is going to involve an A/C condenser, too. The oil cooler block adapter won't change over to the 350 so that means I won't be trying to get those lines to run through the mess. The power steering hoses may need a little "re-directing" but they'll work. The throttle cable, kick-down (detent) cable, and cruise control cable will all need attention, but seems easy enough. The cam system that runs the cruise control on the throttle shaft will have to be fabbed up for the Holley carb. That Holley needs gone through also. I'll add an electric choke to it while I'm at it. I'll use the in tank pump and use a pressure regulator at the carb. I'm just glad the engine sits down in like I wanted. I can't wait to get this thing running so I can have my "Hot-Rod" S-10 again!

I Be Buildin' Me A Transmission This Weekend!

By Crazyfast79TA

I got my transmission clutch spring compressor tool yesterday! I ordered it Saturday from Tooltopia. They said it would be here in 5 to 7 business days. It was only 3 days! Now if Northern Tool would send the power steering pulley puller! That was supposed to be 3 to 5 business days. Oh well! I started fabricating my motor mount plates tonight. I have them cut out and ready to drill some holes but I can't find my box full of "project bolts". I can drill the holes I need and tap the one that need tapped, but I can't bolt them together until I get my bolts. The last couple evenings I was tracing wires down and sorting out what I needed and what I don't. The only wire I'm going to have to cut is the coil wire so I can put the pigtail for the HEI on it. I'm not sure how I'm going to recalibrate the tach yet. I found a website that tell how to do it, but it involves diodes and such. Maybe I'll figure it out. Hey, if I'm going to tackle a 700R4, why not a tachometer?

Doing Some Research And Remembering

By Crazyfast79TA

I worked on the engine swap in my S-10 after work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. I didn't go out to the garage Thursday. I spent my time looking at the pictures from my '87 S-10 and looking up parts and tools instead. I found some motor mounts that I liked but figured I could fab some up almost like them for less money. Tonight I spent my evening sorting out wires and such to figure out what went where and what wouldn't be hooked up and the things that needed hooked up, how they would hook up to a Holley carb equipped 350. Still thinking on that, but the "nuts and bolts" end of it is pretty much figured out. This is gonna be sweet!

Third Day (night) Of Wrenching...SUCCESS!

By Crazyfast79TA

I started working on this Monday evening after work. 7-10. Worked on it again Tuesday night. 7-10:30. Today I only had to work in the morning so I had from 1:00 until I had to go to church for dinner and teach Bible lessons to 10 and 11 year olds at 5:30. I've pulled engines out of many cars in bad work conditions and I do have to say that this wasn't one of the easiest or best conditions, but I didn't lose my temper (too much) and only had to cut one wire. I don't know how many zip ties were holding wires and vacuum lines to something or another, but this engine compartment was all "fubar". Tomorrow I get to clean the floor and start cleaning the frame and stuff to get it ready to receive the 350/700R4 once I get that ready to go in. This is going to be one cool truck when it's done! My '87 was pretty awesome, but that took years of "hit and miss" to get things right. This one is starting off where the other ended. I know what works for this, more what doesn't work. This truck has more "goodies" that I have to make work without the computer. It will be a bit of a challenge, but I'm up for it!
NO FEAR!

Engine Swap Has Begun!

By Crazyfast79TA

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

I got the truck in the garage Sunday. There isn't a whole lot of room to work, but I'll make do. I started taking things out. The pulley won't come off the power steering pump. The bolts don't clear the air conditioning compressor clutch. I started disconnecting wires and deciding which ones I won't need with the carbureted V-8. The radiator wasn't too bad to get loose and out. This truck has a built in oil cooler. That will come in handy with the 350! This is going to be a cleaner/neater install than the '87 I built 20 years ago. That was one of the first 5 in Findlay, Ohio back then! I've got more wires and stuff to contend with, but I also have the (bad) experiences with a first-time V-8 conversion. I didn't use a kit or have a whole lot of others to reference. Good news about this one, the truck came with a 4.3 so it's more of just a length issue than anything else. The '87 was a bare bones 4 cylinder to start with. I had to fabricate all the brackets and stuff to make it fit and work. Hopefully all the stuff with swap from the 4.3 to the 350 with minimal problems. Some things I see as problems right away are the tach and speedometer. How do you convert a factory V-6 tach to work with a V-8? The factory speedometer was electronic but the trans I'm using is mechanical (cable type). Since I'm using a 700R4 instead of a TH350, I'll be able to use everything from the 4L60 to mount it and use the same driveshaft. The radiator should be sufficient for the engine, it's what I used in the other truck. Should go fairly quick this time! Not a lot of engineering to do with minimal fabrication.

All My Stuff Is Home!

By Crazyfast79TA

It took a lot of patience and "plan B's" to get it done, but my S-10 and tools are home from Northern Performance. Last Saturday Michelle and I tried to get our garage cleared out to make room for my toolbox and my truck. That didn't leave time to go to the shop to get them so the plan went to Sunday after church. We went to the China Buffet then the grocery store before calling Dustyn to meet us at the shop to use his truck to pull the S-10 on the shop trailer. I figured I'd get the trailer ready for the job and get my toolbox in the back of the S-10. Well. the shop door lock had been changed so I couldn't do that. Dustyn wasn't there either. I didn't figure it would be a good idea to pull the trailer with the S-10 behind the Sport Trac and Michelle and I had other plans that we had to take care of so we left. Monday wasn't good after work. Tuesday and Wednesday was taken up with church activities. Thursday didn't pan out either. Friday I went in and picked up my last check and made plans with Brad to get my truck and tools on Saturday. He told me the trailer wasn't available but I could use his tow dolly.Saturday morning came and we went to the shop with our "Work Horse" truck to pull the S-10 ourselves. Brad wasn't there so I used my air tank to pump the tires up on the S-10 and tried to hook up the tow dolly. The ball on our truck was too big for the hitch on the dolly. There were no ramps on it and no wheel straps. Off to Rapids Rental for a tow dolly. Got back to the shop and still no Brad so Michelle and I got the S-10 on the tow dolly and waited for a little while longer for Brad or Dustyn. Neither one showed up so we took off and unloaded the S-10, returned the dolly and headed for the birthday party at 1:30. Today after pot luck lunch at church I called Brad to find out if he was going to be at the shop today and he was on his way there. We got there right after him and he helped me get my toolbox loaded into the Sport Trac. We came back and I went about finishing the garage clearing before unloading it. Got that done, unloaded the toolbox, got Michelle to help me move the S-10 into the garage, and got 3 loads of laundry done What a day!

Well, I pissed somebody off again!

By Crazyfast79TA

Seems that someone sent me a message complaining about someone else constantly posting blogs filled with plagerized script. I sent a message back to find out who to he was referring. I never got a message back. I checked back in my inbox and the message is now blank and the member's page is empty. I also checked on my friend list and they're gone. Must not want to be my friend anymore. Boo hoo. Then I started thinking they were referring to my blog posts. If ANYONE thinks I'm copying any of my blogs from other sources or any of my cars aren't really my cars, they're wrong! Who would have such lousy luck or lame stories as I've written about and why would I want to copy it and claim it as mine if it weren't true? That would just be dumb! I don't have facebook (because I don't have the time for it, don't play games, and I DON"T need the drama that goes with it) so I just come on Motortopia and type about the car stuff that's going on in my little part of this pathetic world. I'm sorry that I don't live a "rock-star" life or have a "reality show" to follow me around 24/7 to entertain everyone, but this is MY life!.

NO FEAR!

By Crazyfast79TA

I look back at different parts of my life and the different situations I've been in and I've always leaned back on this saying... NO FEAR! I'm not a big man. Never was and never will be. Maybe I wasn't always a good man, but I'm trying to be the best man I can be. Maybe I haven't always been as strong as I wanted to be or thought I was, but I never let that hold me back. In the '90's I had all the "No Fear" T-shirts and even a big No Fear sticker inside a Chevy Bow-Tie on the back window of my pink (actually violet pearl over red) S-10. Earlier this year I was involved in a community sponsored Personal Empowerment Class. At the end of the class each of us had to come up with a Personal Empowerment Statement. It was to be; 1) Short 2) Positive 3) Happening right now 4) Specific 5) Said with meaning. The statement I came up with was: I am ambitious. I can start my own shop with the right support. I will involve the ones that I feel will help me the best. The whole class applauded me. The instructor said she believed I would do what I said. Our church Pastor has had several sermons that touched on me. I've gone and told him when they had. He thanked me, but I had to tell him "No. Thank YOU Pastor Todd!". He had given us books at different times of the year to help us on our walk with Christ. I found that that walk isn't something to hide. Walking with Christ has freed me up from different things that kept me bound down. Last week Pastor Todd's sermon involved John 5:1-15. Read it! The 3 key statements Jesus made to the invalid man was: "Do you want to get well?" Then Jesus told him "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." He came back to the man later and told him "Stop sinning!" As Pastor Todd was going through his sermon I was following in the bulletin and in the phrase "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." I crossed off "mat" and wrote in tools. God spoke to me that day. I told Pastor Todd how I changed that phrase and why. He believed that God spoke to me also. Lo and behold, Thursday we had a shop meeting about the changes taking place. Some employees went to part time, some got laid off. None got to stay full time. I was one of them to get laid off. Yes, I was broken hearted at first. This was a job I dreamed of my whole life! Restoring classic cars! Now it's done? It ate on me on the way to the bank to cash my last check, at the store on the way home, and on the drive on the way home. Is it really done? Then it hit me: "NO FEAR!" One door closes, God opens another! I'll start doing work in our garage! Michelle was upset when I told her I got laid off. She didn't sleep well, she had a bad day in class today. She was so unsure of the future. So am I! But I learned something from my past, you can't fail if you never try! But I did fail, I never tried to open my own shop. Even when I was in the most opportune time of my life with the most to gain and the least to lose. Now I'm too old to "worry" about failure! Brad pointed me in the direction of another shop that was looking for a body-man. I went and talked with Bryan today. I start Monday morning. We're going to see how it works, but I'm going to be pressing hard to get my own shop started!
NO FEAR! KNOW GOD!

All Good Things Come To An End

By Crazyfast79TA

We finished the '67 Riviera we had been working on and the customer came in last week and picked it up. This week we had everything done on the '68 Firebird we were fixing another shops screw-ups and it's ready for pick up. I got the interior and inside of trunk area ready for paint on the '64 Sunbeam I've been working on for so long. I was working on my boss's Studebaker pick up truck the past week or so trying to make patches for the rear edges and lower parts of the fenders. Everything seemed to be coming together. But a shop meeting we had near the end of the day today let me know otherwise. The owners decided it was time to downsize. One of the pumper truck drivers got laid off and the other got put down to part-time. The "old timer" part-time body-man got laid off. Dustyn, my son in law, that does the sand blasting, metal fabrication, mechanical work, and interior work got put down to part-time/full-time when needed. I got laid off. All effective today. I should've seen it coming, but the shop always pulled though before. Not this time. Sad day for me. Maybe it is time for me to open my own shop.

SOLD! and gone!

By Crazyfast79TA

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

FINALLY! I've had to look at tis pile for 5 years now! First is took up space in the garage. Then Michelle's oldest son, Dustyn took it to his high school auto shop to finish the upper end rebuild. Too bad his helper in the class was stronger than smart. When they were installing the heater hose fitting instead of using teflon tape or some other thread sealant, he just ape armed the thing in, cracking the intake. Dustyn drove the car home and parked it beside the garage. When Bradee, Michelle's other son, got his license, he wanted to drive it. Dustyn agreed to replace the lower intake manifold if Bradee bought the parts. He got the intake replaced but had a problem with the injectors not seating right and an O ring in the fuel rail tore. The car remained parked beside the garage waiting for repairs. I had no desire to fix it since I wasn't involved with the foul up. Michelle found a buyer for it if we could get it running. Terry agreed to help get it going. We fought with the firing order, gassed out plugs and a tank full of old gas. After we took care of all that, the injectors still weren't seated right. We fixed that and then the upper intake filled up with fuel. We tore it back apart and discovered the intake valves weren't opening. He tightened down the valves and we put it all back together, It still wouldn't start. We gave up on it Sunday. It was raining Monday and today. That didn't stop Terry from working on it today while I was at work. He found a wire connection that we missed in the dark Sunday and plugged it in. The car fired up! He took it down off the jack-stands, aired up the tires and was ready to take it home. Michelle signed over the title and it was a done deal! GONE!

The Heater Core Replacement Is Complete!

By Crazyfast79TA

It took way longer and was more work than just a normal heater core replacement. I wanted to finish the A/C removal a previous owner started and get the defroster working again. Last winter when I was getting the 400 installed I took the A/C box on the outside of the firewall and removed the evaporator from the chamber and cut the box to make it just a heater box. I did the same on the inside part of the unit this time. I removed the blend door that mixed the A/C air and the air that goes through the heater core. Since there is no longer A/C I didn't need the door that went to the under dash duct work. Besides, I have kick panels from a non-A/C car that has dash vents included. The previous owner also pulled the vacuum hoses out of the back of the control head switch. I went online to research pictures and checked on the unit from my parts car. I got the defroster vacuum motor to work properly and the heater works good, too. The only snafu I had was when I pulled the unit out I had to work around the capillary tube for the temp gage and the line for the oil pressure gage, I fractured the oil line. I lost 2 quarts of oil on the way to work today. I need to fix that. I just used a pipe plug to stop the leak until I can fix it properly. Now I carry oil, trans fluid, and antifreeze and some basic tools in the trunk along with my detailing kit. I'm glad I was the one that put this car together and "in tune" with what it tells me.

Changing My Trans Am Heater Core

By Crazyfast79TA

Well, I know one thing for sure. This ain't no Chevy Monza. Call them junk or econo-crap of whatever you want, but they were fantastically engineered little cars! I could change a heater core in one over my lunch break at work. This piece of crap Trans Am took over an hour just to get the lower heater hose disconnected! Oh "just a hose clamp?" I can hear you say. The inner fender has to come out and the lower fender has to be unbolted, all without scratching the paint. Then to get the diverter chamber out from under the dash was another job in itself! The glove box had to be removed, the console had to come out and then the control cables and vacuum hoses. Oh and thanks to my own cleaver thinking, I had to take the temperature sender out of the cylinder head to get more slack in the capillary tube to try to get more clearance for the chamber box to come out. Then a wrestling match ensued. That darned thing didn't want to part from it's "home". I got it out, and it was clear a new heater core and the diverter box wasn't going back in the way it came out. I tried this way and that way and it just wasn't working. It was getting close to midnight and I knew I had to have it drivable for work in the morning. So I just took the heater core mounted in it part of the box and screwed it to the firewall, hooked up the hoses, and put the temp sender back in the head. I checked all the connections and filled the radiator with antifreeze. I fired it up and ran it to get it heated up. No leaks and had semi-controlled heat in the car. It's rude and crude, but it works for now until I can figure out how to get the diverter box back in. The diverter box itself needs some re-engineering of it's own. Since the air conditioning parts have been removed along with all the under dash ductwork (by a previous owner) the vacuum hoses, motors and doors haven't worked right. I want it to work like it was meant to, air conditioning or no. A previous owner wasn't aware of the proper way to disconnect the vacuum hoses from the control head. Instead of removing the whole cluster as a "plug in" part, he pulled each hose out. The hoses were just hanging under the dash when I got the car. It took me a while to figure out enough to get the heater to sort of function. It still wasn't right.I may use parts of the Monza heater box that I still have or see if I can adapt and modify the Firebird A/C box to work like it. This will be an interesting challenge! I don't need the blend part of the chamber since there is no longer an evaporator in the system. That will eliminate 2 of the "mystery vacuum hoses", one to push the door and the other to pull the door. It would also be a lot easier to work on the box later on if it could be removed in two pieces. I'll figure it out and make it work properly and be effective. I dug the unit out from my Firebird parts car. The hoses and switch head were still intact so I could compare them to the unit in my car. I found pictures online to verify the unit I had was correct. I tried looking at the hoses on mine up under the dash. I had to remove the plug in from the back of the switch head, They were connected, but some of them are no longer needed since I removed the blend door inside the box. I made sure I had the engine vacuum hose hooked up right then I made sure the defroster door control hose was hooked up. I'm not sure if the outside fresh air door works now (or if it ever did since I've owned the car) but that's not really necessary since I have kick panel and dash vents from a car without A/C.
UPDATE 10/13- I finished the heater/defroster box install last night and today. I made tabs on the inside of the back of the box and straps on the front to hold it together in the car. I had it all together and checked out last night, but waited until after church today to install the glove box and console.

Oh What Fun It Is!

By Crazyfast79TA

Rain is not a good thing on your day off. I haven't cut my grass in three weeks! I still have that Grand Am jacked up beside the garage trying to get it running and out of here. I found out it wasn't a shorted out battery in the Trans Am, it was a melted terminal end on the positive battery cable. I spent most of Monday evening shimming the starter and replacing the battery cable. I still haven't replaced the heater core. That's not good for October in northern Minnesota. It's supposed to rain tomorrow also. Today I had to replace the radiator in the "Work Horse" today. We got a call from Jessica around 11:00 Wednesday night. She was on her way home from work and it overheated on her. I should've been in bed but pulled my boots back on, went out to the garage and grabbed a couple jugs, filled them with water, grabbed a funnel and headed out on a rescue mission. She was all worried I'd be mad about the radiator going. I told her "It's an old truck with a lot of miles on it. Don't worry about it, I'll fix it this week end". So it decided to rain today. What a surprise! Thursday Michelle got new tires on her Sport Trac and the shop told her the front brakes needed replaced, I figured that, too. I replaced the rear brakes this summer when they went "metal-on-metal" without the "squealers" letting us know about the wear. Thank you Morrie's in Wisconsin for your state mandated safety inspection before the sale. They bent the squealers for added time before pad replacement. I planned to do that today after I got the blue truck done, but I was soaked and wanted to get dried up and warmed before going back out. It started pouring rain while I was in the house. It got dark and it's still raining. We've got plans after church tomorrow so brakes are scheduled for Monday after work along with my heater core. We'll see how that works out. Sucks that the garage is still full of garage sale crap. Roll off dumpster would clear out ALL the crap! Maybe some day I'll have a garage I can work in and park the cars in.

Another Day To Mess With My Schedule

By Crazyfast79TA

I think I've made it fairly clear that I'm way behind on things I wanted to get done this summer. Yesterday we started working on the Grand Am even though it was raining. We got the old gas out of the tank and put new in. We got fuel to the fuel rails and we had spark in the wires, but it still wouldn't "pop". We pulled a couple plugs and they looked "gassed". They are AC Delco plugs. I never had luck bringing them back. Autolites come back. So we held off doing any more yesterday and decide to pick up after church today. So I shifted over to working on that bathroom trim I've been putting off for so long. I got the baseboard pieces cut for the outside wall and the one side of the vanity. I couldn't do any more baseboard without door trim and the bath tub surround ends. So the I started trimming the tub end trim to fit the contoured to fit the tub. I guess I was on a different page than Michelle. I had already bought the mold resistant water resistant kind. She wanted oak like the rest of the trim. That throws off the measurements I used for the tub surround when I installed the upper wall covering pieces. I didn't know if they had that measurement materials for the space I had to fill. So we headed to Home Depot to shop for the needed trim. We picked out some trim that I can make work and make us both happy. I didn't get the trim stained or cut, so that gets put off for another time. So after church it was back to work on the Grand Am. We got new plugs and installed them. Seems the wires were on the wrong plugs anyway. We got that them straightened out and tried firing it up. Crank and crank and crank. Not even a sputter. Killed the battery so put the charger on it. After a little charging we tried again. This time the fuel line popped from rust. So we jumped in the T/A and headed to town. On the way a heater hose popped off. Now big deal. Borrowed a screw driver from O'Reilly's and had that taken care of. Hopped in to leave but the starter cranked over real slow. I had a new one in the back seat waiting for me to install. Should've done it sooner. Ended up I shorted out the battery. So we installed the starter and tried to jump it. Nope. O'Reilly's was closed by then so we ended up going to Wal-Mart to get a new battery. Okay I know it's not where you normally chose to buy a battery, but I was desperate at this point, not to mention broke. So we got a battery went back to O'Reilly's and installed it. Cranked right up, checked that popped heater hose then headed out to get Terry home after a long rough day. We're going to tackle that fuel line after work Monday. I'll have to put a shim or two in the starter tomorrow before I leave work. So what did I get done today (or this week-end) that I wanted to?

Making a plan and a list

By Crazyfast79TA

Before I get into this post, I just want to tell you that I really want to get this truck home and clean it up before I dig into it. So here goes the blog,
I started making a plan soon as I found out the engine was seized in the S-10. I'm no longer worried about getting the 4L60E transmission fixed for it. I'm going to build another V-8 S-10! This one is going to be more "rat rod" style than the '87 was. I'm not really going for speed in this one. It's going to be a cruiser. You know one I can turn the key and drive it anywhere. If this works out the way I'm hoping, it won't cost me an arm and leg to build it. The '87 taught me a lot on what should be done and what's a no-no. I plan on resurrecting my 327 from my old '69 Impala. I bought the car only for the engine so when I started driving it and decided I didn't want to keep the car I swapped out the 327 for the straight 6 that was in the '73 Ventura I junked. The 327 ran good but smoked really bad. No knocks or rattles so I'm hoping new rings will cure that. An engine overhaul kit is about $87 from Summit. I'd still change the cam and lifters. I also want to check out the Corvette heads I got as part of a trade I did a couple years back. They're rusty but complete. Clean them up and install new seals. I'll rebuild the 2 barrel that's on the 327 just to keep it simple. I've got an extra HEI distributor from my '83 Regal that got traded off. I also have the lock-up TH350 that was in that car. I had another lock-up TH350 that came out of an Oldsmobile that was given to me. But that would require lengthening the front part or the drive shaft. Or I could used the 700R4 I was saving for the Nova. Either way I wouldn't have to buy a transmission. The worst that could be I'd have to buy a rebuild kit for about $150. I've got a few different sets of exhaust manifolds I could use. There's just so many things I want to do and can't wait to dig into it soon as I get the Grand Am fixed and sold!

Plans are changing!

By Crazyfast79TA

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

Well, I got good news and bad news. Good news is I don't have to get a 4L60E put together for the truck now. The bad news is the 4.3 is locked up. If I have to get a different engine for it, it won't be another 4.3. I don't want to put my 350 in it, that's for my Nova. The 327 needs rings at least. I'd like to put newer heads on it, too. But I think that's the engine I go with unless I find a heck of a deal on something that runs already. If I find a running engine it probably will have a transmission with it. If I use the 327, I'll go through the TH350 I have from a '76 Corvette. My mind has been spinning since I tried turning the engine over with the breaker bar. I was bummed at first then the light bulb in my head lit up! Maybe I'll have another V-8 S-10 for next summer!

"New" Chain Saws!

By Crazyfast79TA

I scored these chain saws at the "Sales On 38" this week end! The first stop we made was at Gunn Park where there was multiple vendors set up. The first one we came to was still setting up and didn't have prices on anything. I was eyeballing the chain saws while Michelle was checking out some other things. There was some other people coming up looking at the other stuff, too. I asked him "how much?" He said "make an offer." Michelle was feeling kinda rowdy and blurted out "5 bucks!" He chuckled and said "maybe on that one" and pointed at the McCulloch. A lady asked "how much for this jacket?" Michelle said "5 bucks!" The guy took that. Another lady asked about a picture frame there. Michelle said "5 bucks!" He took $3. I kind of passed up the McCulloch because the pull cord was hanging out. I really wanted the Poulan because it looked fairly new. He told me to make an offer. Once again Michelle blurted out "5 bucks!". He said it would take more than that. I offered $50. He shook his head and said he'd take $75. I told him I couldn't do that. He wouldn't take less than $65. Once again Michelle blurted out "5 bucks!" He agreed on $55. I asked him "so it's '5 bucks' for the McCulloch?" He agreed on $10. So it was $65 for both! The McCulloch had a goofed up recoil so I couldn't even try to start it. The Poulan was a hard pull. He said that was why he was getting rid of it. He had a bad shoulder and couldn't pull it. He told me it hadn't even had 2 tanks of gas run through it. After a few good pulls it fired right up! We shook hands and was off with my "new" chain saws! We went on down the road to the other sales and on our way back down the other side when we were heading home we stopped at another one. It looked pretty ratty but we looked anyway. Michelle pointed out a chain saw case sitting on the floor under a table. Guess what the price tag said... $5! Michelle and I just laughed! I looked a little closer. It was a Poulan case. It looked about the right size so asked the lady if I could run it out to the truck and check it. It was a perfect fit! "5 Bucks" and it's sold! So now Michelle and I have the "5 bucks!" funny to share!

Changing Seasons

By Crazyfast79TA

Well, the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. It get chilly at night and doesn't warm too much during the day. Looks like rain most of the time even when it doesn't rain. The garage sale has come and gone and we still have a garage full of non-car stuff. We have to put most of it back on the shelves. What we don't put up, we plan to give away to people in need at church or in the community bins for the needy. Then I can rearrange things in the garage so I can work on my car stuff after I get home from work. There's so much I wanted to get done before the season changed but didn't get to so I'll just have to work on them when I have the money and time. Our hours are changing at work from 7:00 am - 3:30 pm to 8:00 - 4:30 pm. We'll see how that goes. We're also changing the things we work on. I guess it's going to be less classic cars to more boats and other quicker projects. I'll just have to see how that goes. I know when I worked at Mid-Bus building school busses, I had a lot more drive for my own car projects at home. Now that Northern Performance is changing subject matter, maybe I'll be more driven to work on my own cars more than current. I just hope Brad doesn't decide to down-size because that mat phase me out. I don't want to go looking for a different job. I like working for Brad. I'm not ready to open my own shop yet, either. I'm not going to worry about that stuff, but it will be in the back of my mind. I just want to get working on my Nova. If I can't put my heart into my job anymore, then I'll just delve into my own work at home for satisfaction.

I drive EVERYBODY'S car. LOL!

By Crazyfast79TA

It seems that the Trans Am that can't win any trophies at local shows or even get attention there is everybody's car. A customer's wife said "it's about time 'my car' surfaced again". Gary told me it was nice of me to keep "his car" running good after church Sunday. Deandre at O'Reilley's said it nice of me to bring "her car" back to her. Random people tell me they had "a car just like that" when they were younger. I get people telling me "nice car" all the time. To me it's just "my car". It's not a show piece. It's a 20/20 car. 20 feet away, 20 miles per hour, it looks great! Get up on it and the faults show. I built it to drive and enjoy. It seems other people find enjoyment in it too. I've had it since 1999 and don't plan on getting rid of it any time soon.

I made this device for holding a transmission for rebuilding.

By Crazyfast79TA

This is the thing I've been working on after work in the evenings so I can get the transmission together for my S-10 for Jessica to drive. I hope this attempt at transmission rebuilding goes better than my first attempt. This time I'm going to be working solo in my garage at home instead of in the shop at work after hours with my boss's help. I can do it at my pace without feeling rushed or being second guessed. You know how sometimes you can get intimidated by someone you really look up to and don't want to disappoint? That's the way it was rebuilding that first one with Brad. I want to do this one by myself to prove what my Dad said about me on several occasions..."don't tell he can't do it, because he'll show you he can!" I know Dad is gone, but I feel him watching me. I want to make him proud of me. I failed at so many things while he was still around, but I feel those failures just lead to down the road to success. I so want to be successful in this endeavor.
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