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!

Addasuregriptome- Part 2

Blogs make all this work look either contrived or easy.
So, lets just say that in the month and one half plus yours truly has been radio silent on this here googlemachine, I have been hard at it.
I will present to you, dear reader, the systemic progress I have acheived as of late.
Yup. ARP ring bolts. Let the thrashing commence!

So first of; back to gear housing. I cleaned it up and had it stripped at the local blasting shop. Top notch work they did. I did however, make a masking plate that was sealed to the third member flange and took extra precautions sealing the axle flanges to keep the media out.
They had it stripped in four you probably guessed, I them proceeded to paint the sucker to make the housing look oh-so-nice. So I did the drums too. Surprisingly, they were still within service limit and could be reused. I think they are the only consumable part I did not replace on this build....and it took me a little longer than four hours to bring in into glory.

Somewhere along the way, I added a drainplug to the housing to aid in future servicing. Why the factory never put one in is beyond me. Mopar engineers must have smoked alot of weird drugs.... oh, the backing plates and leaf spring pads were powder coated.

Once all the shiny hoopla was had, then I got back to putting the thirdmember back together. A stop in at the little bearing shop down the street got me a nice american made set of new taper bearings and cups for the carrier. The pinion still felt great and the seal showed no sign of leakage, so I left well enough alone there. And since I was reusing the gears, no real reason to pull it out then.

I made a couple "kentucky-windage" tools....
Tube keeps the pinion from moving, the plate bolts to the chunk for a good vise bite and the spanner bar tightens the nuts for bearing preload.

Slapped a little jizzm on the gears, set the backlash and gave 'er a look-see....
No, my jizzm isnt orange. Or is it?

Runs nice, has a consistent drag torque. I'm calling that good!

So then I got to putting the thirdmember back to its respective housing. Now things were beginning to look exciting!

Addasuregriptome is a success!!!