Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fuel line: phase 2

When a broken fuel line means progress...
Here's the story: I bought a tube bender. I picked out one that I thought I could use on the lines as they were already installed, because I was not about to pull it all out and try putting it back in again. As we know, I am a very lazy restorer. Instead, I couldn't wrap my head around how the darn bender worked. In my head, I knew where and how I needed that line to bend, but no matter which way I put the line in the tool, it seemed to want to bend it in the wrong direction. Giving up on that for a moment to work it out in my head again...matching the old line with the new one to see how the bends lined up...I put a little too much force into my manhandling of the line. I felt it snap. I knew I had gone too far. 
you can see the break just below the bend
 I had a minor ...MINOR... moment of defeat. Those moments I'm oh, so used to, when I think 'well, that's just great. More money wasted and my one step forward has yielded 2 steps back.'
But this time was different!
No tears.
No dwelling on the fuck up.
No feeling sorry for myself not getting this right the first time.
That's progress!!!
This time I actually took a breath and thought, 'well, I guess I was right in the beginning. This line needs a section cut out if it's going to fit. And now the car gods have saved me more time struggling and have forced me to just cut the line.' My friends keep reminding me that this is the first time I've done this. I don't have any previous knowledge. This is a huge project for me and I have to stop setting unrealistic goals for myself. I'm doing the best I can, I'm learning along the way, and I have to 'stop beating [myself] up over the setbacks', as they keep telling me.
And this time I did! 
And it felt great!
And now I'm going into another day of car work WITHOUT that feeling of dread that I tend to get after a little thing like the line break!
Using dad's old line cutter, I made a clean cut on one end to see how sharp the blade was. I'll cut the 2 broken ends to fit it in the wheel well and add some rubber line and extra clips to keep it secure to the car (since I accidentally bought two new sets of clips). 
I considered using some of the nylon line and the quick connects I have but that would call for a whole different flare on the lines. Plus, it's right in the wheel well, where there will be a lot of rocks and debris flying up from the tires, so I thought the rubber lines would be a stronger option. See! I'm learning.

I'm still working on 'test fitting' the fuel tank to get the right placement for the bolt hole. I attempted to do it last weekend but I'll need a second set of hands to make it less frustrating to get the tank in and placed right.
I'm also still working out my plan for the welding projects that need doing...the trunk weld is gonna be fairly large but doesn't have to be pretty...and I can do it while the car is in the port. The floor weld, which I got a full new pan for, will need to be done close to last, I think, as the doors don't open all the way while it's trapped in the carport. Which also means, I have not been able to get the front bench seat out. The car port is looking pretty gnarly these days...the rip from when the storm lifted it off the ground, plus the thinning of the tarp and holes from tree branches that have fallen on top, and now the ripping at the corner poles...but it's been up for a few years.
I just need to make my plan of attack and stick to it from here on out, I think.
Tires need to be mounted, since I'm about done with the brakes. Still need to get the shocks on.
I just want to make sure I don't need to get back under the car before I finish all that up. But then there's the exhaust! ok...too much looking ahead again...focus! focus!

In the meantime, if it rains like it's supposed to today, I have been researching my carburetor.
The manual I have been using for my car is not exactly for my 1967 Barracuda. It's for 'Dodge Dart/Plymouth Valiant 67-76, 6-cylinder engines/also includes Barracuda (67-69), Duster and Demon'. When I looked for a Haynes manual, this was all I could find for my make/model/year. So it's been helpful, but not exactly perfect. And the Carter BBD carb is not in this book.
I love youtube. And I love the random people out there in this great big world, willing to share their knowledge on the internet.
I really don't want to take my carburetor apart, but at the same time, it would be nice to have it all clean and pretty when I'm ready to put it back in the car. Of course, first thing's first, I'll need to get the old manifold and headers out of the car!

Lastly, I am a little concerned with the positioning of the new ball joints and knuckle on the front brake conversion and I'm hoping that once things are on the ground it'll all line up.
hoping that fills out and sits right once it's greased and wheels are down
I'm also feeling that anxiety about tightening the torsion bar back up, since it's as loose as it'll go without taking the bolts right out. I keep reading the manual to try to get the correct order of operations with this and the shocks and the torsion bar. Unfortunately, I was startled out of sleep by a dream of the bar snapping as I was tightening the bolt. 

So that's where I'm at. I keep going through it thinking 'oh, I just need to finish this up and then that...then I can move onto the engine...ugh...the exhaust...dang, I still need to get the tires mounted. and bleed the brakes once they're done...the welds...the window adjustment can wait...good thing I wasn't planning on putting in a new headliner or carpet!!'
Basically it's almost finished!! hahahahahahaha

Saturday, July 8, 2017


A quick update before moving onto today's project:
After the initial struggles with the brake lines connecting (or rather, not connecting) to the proportioning valve last weekend, I spent the morning of my day off trying to figure out why things weren't fitting as they should. After a friend suggested loosening the valve from the car to get a better angle to see what was going on, I ended up disconnecting all the lines and, long story short, I discovered that the diagram I had drawn myself did not match up with the photo I had. Thankfully, I remembered I had taken pictures for reference. Once that was worked out, I was able to get that all squared away and decided I'd just jump into the headache of getting the fuel line in.

And that's where we are today.
Having wrestled with the original line, trying to get it out in one piece but ultimately having to cut it into at least two pieces to get it out, I knew I was in for another wrestling match.
I had to unbend the pre-bent line in order to get an angle that allowed me to get the line through the one tiny hole where it goes through the frame.
I was able to get it through with a fair amount of struggling...and more bending and straightening of the line.
But, as we know...nothing is that easy, as to just be a little bit of a struggle. It has to be a full on brawl with these parts to get them back in!
I did finally get it pretty much where it should be...see how professional and nearly perfect it seems!
Well...the rear end of the line is a different story...
the bends are just a little off

 It's so close to being where it's supposed to be, going by the clips that are still on the car, but it's just not right.
The bends are right, but just not in exactly the right place.
I will play around this later, to try to get the line to match up with the old pattern and clips, but the bit just along the frame rail is causing a lot of trouble. I'm not quite strong enough to bend by hand and my line bending tool isn't the right size. So, back to the tool store I go, I think, before I can get these bits to match up.
***no tears were shed during today's struggles***