Saturday, September 17, 2022

Hayward Airport Open Day

Hayward "Executive" Airport, as it likes to call itself, had a Open Day last weekend, their first since 2019 for some reason. In addition to the various 'planes on display (see below), they reached out to several local car clubs to add to the display, including BAMA. The jewel in the crown of our cars was the '68, making it's first car show appearance since Ponies and Snakes 2009. 

One of the best display pieces was an original Huey that saw action in Vietnam. By taking these photos, we contributed to the cost of keeping it operational.

Anyone want to fly on a Bomber? 

Surely the original pimps motor ?


Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Getting Serious in the Workshop

I've wanted a really nice table saw - well, a cabinet saw actually - for a long time.  Finally I have the space, the 220 V outlet and the green backs. Or I did have, before I exchanged the latter for the SawStop™ ten (10) inch 3.0 HP Professional Model with the 36 inch fence. (See the full spec here). This is what (most of) the saw looks like when packed and palletized. 

After unpacking, adding the cast iron wings and mounting the control box and motor cover the saw looks like this:

So far so good, but this is when I discovered I was missing the 36 inch rails. Not the easiest thing to mislay, as you can see from the photo below. The main reason I use the online retailer in the link above is because of their post-order service, so I was only without the rails for a few days.

This is later after I have added the rails, the extension table, and cut my first timber. I love my new cabinet saw!

This photo is from further away; you can see the dust extractor in the background.

There was a very satisfying quantity of dust in the extractor bag after the first few cuts:

We actually acquired the dust extractor a few months ago. We bought it as part of job lot that also included a band saw, a bench-top planer and a jointer. Basically we ran across a deal that we could not refuse. I've been waiting until the cabinet saw was up and running before getting the rest of this kit organized. The band saw is going to live in the basement next to the steps/storage platform. In this location it can be connected to the dust extractor and the 220 V circuit. The band saw is on wheels, so it can be moved away from the walls if we need to cut large workpieces.

The jointer is also on wheels. We don't anticipate using this tool very much to start with. I will have to extend the dust extraction system into the other half of the workshop before we can get it up and running.

Stay tuned to see what we can build from our first few sheets of plywood now that we have all the big boys kit!

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Mustang Running Again

Installing the replacement transmission was a fight, but it was definitely one that was worth winning. Just getting the tranny into roughly the right place under the car was hard enough. I ended up tying it to a scrap piece of 2" x 8" lumber so I had something flat to lift with the floor jack. 

After much wiggling and wrangling, I was able get the transmission to within a quarter of an inch from where it was supposed to be - I just could not get it to slide all the way in (!) close the gap to the bell housing:

Eventually, after much pushing, pulling, swearing and banging my head on various bits of the car, I broke the golden rule and used the bolts to bring the transmission into it's final position. I was careful to tighten the bolts gradually, and keep rotating from one to the next. This process was very successful - there was basically no resistance to installing the bolts. But, all in all, it took most of a day to accomplish this operation.

The next weekend I re-installed the driveshaft and the park brake cables and adjusted the clutch. After that I put the car back on the floor and, with the transmission level, filled it up with ATF. Hopefully this will prevent future seizures. With that done, I test drove the car 10 feet out onto the driveway. Even after sitting for the best part of a year the engine started up right away! 

I flushed the radiator/cooling system while I had the car outside, and then I tested reverse gear by returning it to the garage. I am planning to take the 68 to a show at Hayward Airport next weekend. Before that, I have some very serious cleaning to do.

Monday, August 22, 2022

More on the Mustang

Time for the re-build...well, not so fast! As I mentioned in my previous post, there was nothing obvious wrong with the clutch. But there was something obvious wrong with the transmission: it was totally seized, which makes sense, given the symptoms of the breakdown. I also discovered that an oil leak at the rear main seal is/was responsible for the huge stain on the garage floor.

Still, neither of these discoveries was going to stop me and one of my BAMA friends from installing my sparkly new MDL clutch and remounting the bell housing:

The following weekend...or more specifically the day before yesterday, at the time of writing, I expended much effort to put the Mustang back on the ground and push it out of the garage. Well, as far out of the garage as I could manage on my own given the driveway slopes upwards. I only got it this far by bending down and physically turning the front wheel a few inches at a time while nudging the wheel chock forward with my knee. If this operation sounds incredibly dangerous, then I have described it accurately. 

Next job: power wash the garage floor. I was totally fed up with rolling around in oil-impregnated concrete dust...

Much better:

Installed my new rug which came from the living room - the light patch in the middle used to be under the coffee table. Give me six months, and there won't be any light patches!

I couldn't run the engine because I haven't put the starter back in yet, and I've heard it's not the smartest thing to do inside a garage anyway. So I pulled the drain plug, and left the car overnight.

The next morning (or yesterday), I pulled the crossmember and most of the steering so I could get to the oil pan. The very first thing I ever did on this car was change a leaking oil pan gasket, although that was back when the car had a six-cylinder engine. 

With the pan out of the way, I could remove the main bearing cap and change the seal - the seal comes in two (2) pieces, so it can be changed without taking out the crankshaft. The photo below shows the main cap with one half of the replacement seal installed. It is deliberately proud by about 3/16 on the right side so that the seal and the cap do not meet in exactly the same place.

All back together and topped up with fresh oil. After 24 hours, there is no evidence of oil leaking from the pan or anywhere else. If I can say the same after driving a few miles, I'll be quite happy, especially as I did this all on my own with having an accident or breaking anything. Or having to make a second/third trip to the auto parts store.

As I mentioned above, the cause of the original breakdown was a seized transmission. It takes a lot for this to happen under normal use, but apparently it is quite common when the transmission does not have any fluid inside it (!) I know this because I have a friend that is retired but still builds and rebuilds transmissions in his home shop. After he took my T5 apart he said the only reusable part was the case. I went by and picked up one of the destroyed parts so I could keep it in my garage. This is a reminder for anyone who is thinking of running their transmission without enough (or without any) fluid:

It turns out that the labor and parts cost to completely rebuild a transmission with new parts (minus the case) is not far away from the cost of a new one, even when you know someone "in the biz." So, the next time Sam and I can work on the car we will be installing the little monkey below. This time, we might even fill it up with transmission fluid. 

To be continued....

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Painting the Basement

After many moons, and twice as many suns, one bright evening I was distracted from my post-work cuppa and quick scan of the interwebs by a large box thudding onto the porch. The epoxy floor paint had finally been delivered! Cue more rejoicing than that time I won an Edward Jenner on the National Lottery.™ 

I am using the same beige concrete paint I laid down in the garage, only this time there is no oil to get off the floor first. It is debatable whether the concrete needs to be etched/cleaned with muriatic acid; I didn't bother since I know the concrete is brand new, and the surface is far from perfectly smooth. I did however do a very thorough vacuuming, a power wash and then another vacuuming. 

After all the prep, I was ready for a I roped in Sam to help with the painting. It took us the better part of two (2) hours to apply the base coat: 

We had to wait six (6) hours before we could apply the top coat, so we headed upstairs to have some scram and watch The Godfather. Then it was back to the painting:

As you can see it came out very nice....

Until you step back a few feet and can see that we ran out of topcoat about halfway through:

There was nothing we could do at this point except clean tut' brushes and put the project on hiatus. Fortunately, the next batch of paint arrived in less than two (2) weeks, and we were able to get back to work:

I did consider hanging around in the basement for a bit longer, just so I could watch the paint dry....but then I had a better idea: time to order the cabinet saw I've been drooling over for months! No doubt it will feature in this blog soon enough ;)