Monday, September 30, 2013

Some random projects in the hopper

 First off, the ammeter. Dodges have a weak link. Seems all the juice to and from the battery goes thru the factory ammeter. Over time, with multiple dash removals and what not, one can cause more misery than its worth by having the ammeter wiring go up in smoke.
so, reading around, some fellows have taken to sticking el-cheapo voltmeters in place of the ammeter.
So thats what I did here.
Basically, splice the ammeter wires together eliminating the hot-spot and just tap off a convenient voltage source to get a more reliable reading.
Just tap into a keyed source so you dont eventually drain the battery down.
If I was motivated I would supply the meter PN and whatnot.
but I am not.
In fact, I am so unmotivated, that the instrument is still uninstalled. Just sitting on my workbench... like so much other crap....

Then theres this.
I have loved these visors for a long time. Had a craigslist moment. you know the type, where you just randomly think of something you could use and go to your local CL and search for what youre looking for?
this was one of those moments.
Hunnert bucks, delivered.
No cracks n' the lites work.

Go me.

So, speaking of CL, I have a bloodhound for an oldman. I mention to him to keep his ears open for any parts vans so that I can maybe get a set of doors of it.
Well, lo and behold, here is this 77 LWB roller and it was like 12 blocks from my shop. No engine or trans, but full of parts inside.
But only had two wheels, so with a little ingenuity, it became a roller.
price was fair for what it was.
And it had SOLID sheet metal. So solid, that I probably should heve resto'ed this one instead of Eddie!
But, that ship has long since sailed.
So I tried to not cut it up, just take a little here and there.
And I realized, I have been lucky with my pops' finding me this thing. I would be foolish to send it off to the scrap yard with anything I may need still attached.

so this is how it left last week:

The only things left were pretty integral to it making it down the road. Roofs are common from 71-93 I have been told, so that metal shouldn't be too hard to find.

I tried to get my moneys worth....

So now, as fall sets in, I have a small to-do list of fixing a little seep in the engine, and to begin interior cabinetry and console and maybe get the sound system and lighting up to par.

stay tuned, the three of you who actually look at this thing....

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Eddie Van Haulin

Eddie Van Haulin does it in style with Willie G's Bathtub just fine!

Gotta give it to my beautiful wife, we were driving around one night on an early shakedown run and she just looks at me and (shouts) over the wail of the exhaust " EDDIE VAN HAULIN!!!!"

That's it. The moniker has been administered.

Been driving the hell outta EVH. At least as much as I can afford. But, stay patient friends, still much more in the works. Just not as breakneck paced as stage one.
Still have the interior and exterior to do. Yep, its a struggle, but the mural is gonna go away ultimately.... but the final version will destroy.
I promise you that.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The maiden voyage

After a rain delay, and a little coordination to get the van out of the shop door, today was it.
My wife and I got to enjoy the van dynamically today.
It was rad.

First stop was by my Pops (Johnny Shine) house.... You could say he's kinda a car guy.
Said it sounds great coming down the road....then he cleaned the paint a little...
Pops, Kathy 'n a wierdoh
Stopped down to Lala's. Good stuff.
 Buzzed all around town. 2500 rpm is 65 mph.  Runs cool. Looks cool.

The neighbors love it.

The krylon overhaul and a space ship doghaus

I had a few things left before the first road test.....Little things.....
Like doors. That worked from both the inside and outside.
And a doghouse that stayed put, and had insulation on the inside.
...and a windshield.

I found this grille for sale on the B van forum. Im met this cool cat Greg up in Appleton and picked this thing up for a great price.
The B van forum is a great resource, and if you are into mids and have not been there, its a wealth of information!
Anyways, I got to thinking that since the exterior is going to be a few years away, I might as well make it look OK by the rattlecan tactic.


 So this is what the doors looked like on the inside. Hideous. And terrible. Now dont get me wrong, some things are just fine being singularly hideous or singularly terrible, but not both.
If I ever find the bastard who used all the LiquidNails to hold this carpet shit on I am going to hurt them.
But, as always I powered on and gave the doors a little krylon overhaul too.

Yeah, the asshole carpeted the doghaus too. Motherfucker. But the drivers compartment is nice n black now....

So I got some BoomMat. Self adhesive foilbacked foam specifically designed to be used underhoods.
Figured it would work great since the original insulation is impossible to find.
Add a little 1000 mph tape to the seams and we got us a NASA spaceship!

Added a few of the Jeep-style spring loaded hood latches to hold the doghouse down and make it tool-less to remove. Mcmaster- Carr.... they were 7 bucks a peice!

Had the glass put in. I wasn't about to do it alone. And since I watched the pros do it, saw the tools they use ( a fiberglass wedge and drift, and a neat little lockcord install tool) its still a finesse thing.
I will probably hire them to remove the glass and reinstall it when I get around to the exterior phase....
Reused my gasket and lockring.

the old gasket was still pliable. And the new one didnt fit. story of my life with "replacement" parts for b vans...

making it look easy. Lets just say theres lots of glass cleaner used, works like a champ!

the lockcord install tool. Cord passes thru the openeing as the tool nests it into the gasket channel.

ready for a dump truck
 With the windscreen installed, it was ready to roll.

The last push is always hardest

with all the other shit I have going on in my life, just getting the last 1/3 of the chassis cleaned and prepped was a challenge.
 The leaf springs had to be modified to fit. The front mounts for them in the chassis needed to be modified to fit the leaf springs. See the replacement leafs I got have an elliptical front bushing where the originals was a round bushing. this elliptical bushing interfered with the chassis point and there needed to be a little relief added. No big deal, but a pain nonetheless.

That all added up to me finding out that these leafs apparently didn't have the axle locating pin in the same location and the rear end was now forward about 3/4" MORE than originally placed. what this means, dear reader, is that now my driveshaft no longer fit.
I remeber reading a how-to article in a hotrod magazine a long time ago and that shit was like permanently burned into my memory bank.
So I did what I do best.
I cut the fucker in half.

Along the way of prepping the undercarriage, there was this amazing clod of clay/ dirt that was packed among the evap lines... again confirming to me that this van lived a long hard life on dirt roads up in northern WI/ MN. It was a fossil, a van fossil!

 And I managed to get the gas tank out without too much b.s.
The J bolts broke and the filler bushing was a swolled up, but reeplacement poarts were found at Mancini Racing, just had to look around for them. And they are not listed for fitting a van, FYI.  But the tank was scrubbed and prepped and brushed with a nice coat of the KBS chassis black. Straps were reused and painted up. Same with the filler neck.

All new hoses back there. Except the stinking filler neck to tank adapter hose. This was reused.

With the gas tank repositioned, it was time to hang the axle and get this sucker shod in some Cragars!

With the undercarriage wrapping up, I couldn't wait to get the wheels and tires back on!