Sunday, May 15, 2016

a good day

start of the day

Well, more than a month later, i'm ready to share some more of my journey.
My car guru and friend, Pat, had set aside a full day in May, to help me get stuff done.
After puttering around and doing a little here and a little there, to the best of my ability, that day finally came and we got some major things tackled.
Now, don't for one minute think that I'm in any way making light of the work that I have done on my own. With guidance and a little determination, I have managed to actually start this project...take a leap of faith in myself and order parts...put a few things together...and, toughest of all, accept help!
Yes, accepting help is really where it began, and something i struggle with daily. But there is no way I could've gotten as far as I have, nor could I ever even dream of finishing this, without help.

Here's the kicker: my friend sets aside a full day to help me. I clear my schedule and make sure we have a clear list and (almost) everything we need to just keep on trucking until the list is complete or the sun goes down,whichever came first.
But when have you ever had a day that goes totally as planned? For me, that day does not exist.
We were offered a free, private plane ride around the Cape for a friend's birthday, so my day was cut short...and Pat stayed behind to finish up.
It was a great day, but boy did i feel like a jerk. (He, of course, was fine...)

Regardless of my personality flaws, we got a lot done. I have days, during this project, that I look forward to:
1. the day parts started coming in,
2. the day I fixed something or put something together on my own,
3. the day the rear end finally starts going back on,
4. the day the disc conversion is finally done,
5. the day the fuel and exhaust systems are squared away,
6. the day the engine (hopefully) turns over, and ...of course...
7. the day i back it out of the driveway and go for my first drive.

Well, 1 and 2 happened months ago...and it was thrilling for a person like me. I have always had a love of old muscle cars, simply because of my dad's love of them. As I got older and had my own thoughts and feelings, I just couldn't deny the beauty of old cars...especially growing up with such plain and uninspired cars. I've really come to love the simplicity of the older engines, and the idea that anyone can figure out what's going on in there, if you just think about how it all works together.
But, let's be honest! I know absolutely nothing about cars and how they work! So running brake lines or disassembling something that I'll eventually have to put back together is a really big for me.

And yesterday, we accomplished #3. All i've been able to think about is getting that rear end back together. I've just been thinking, 'if i can just get some parts back on the car, then it'll be real. It'll be progress and a move forward, instead of just standing still and sitting on parts.'
The feeling I got when i stepped back and looked at the tail end of the car was pure joy. Finally, instead of just seeing a car seemingly hovering, as it sat on those jack stands for it's 3rd year in a row, I saw a car with a rear axle and new leaf springs. I knew that the driveshaft, with its shiny new U-joints, would be going back on soon. I knew that I could finally finish attaching the new brake lines and e-brake cable. I knew, up front, was a brand new master cylinder waiting to be part of the new braking system.
Luckily, when asked to recall how the parts came out, so we could put them back in properly, I was instead able to consult my repair manual.

I still have a long way to go before i'm at #7, when i drive to A&W for a root beer float, but progress is progress. This is a huge project that I felt like abandoning dozens of times, but did not. I'm lucky for my support system, for sure! It's a lovely feeling to have people who believe in you!

As i head into a long vacation, I have my lists started. A trip to see my mom in Detroit means i give up a saturday to work on the car again with Pat, but it'll get done, and being in detroit with my mom has a strange effect on my determination. It's the Motor City! It's where my parents grew up in the 60''s like going back to where my car was born!! (almost...if you've been here from the beginning, you may remember our car was built in Hamtramck, the plant where our great-grandfather worked!)

anyway...words, words, are some pics. I cleaned a lot of parts and am kicking myself for my lack of documentation of before and afters. One track mind, i i stole a few from Pat!
old master cylinder
new master cylinder (Pat's pic)
cleaning the driveshaft

frame rail hole :(
fixing the hole! :)

end of the day

No comments:

Post a Comment