Saturday, January 3, 2009

Front Beam


Another year is here. Christmas has come and gone faster than the year before as always. However, we made it through the annual saga. Our vacation was cancelled due to Nick’s viral throat infection. When we took him to the doctor we were crossing our fingers and hoping that he had strep. I know that sounds morbid and twisted but there is truly logic behind this. Because of the modern marvel of antibiotics a child can be cured within 24 hours of an illness. If the illness is viral it can take anywhere from 3 days to 10 days. We knew if his illness was viral we’d have to cancel the trip. His immune system just couldn’t take the stimulation overload and overexcitement from Wally World.

The good fortune from this was that I was able to focus on the bug a bit. Jon came over again since he had some time off. We thumb ducked a bit pushing some parts around trying to find some things to do on the oval. I hadn’t planned on working on it so I never ordered any parts. We pulled the engine apart to get a better look at what we had to work with. It’s in pretty good shape but it looks like the left cylinder head needs a little attention. There is a list of parts that I need before I can get it started so money will continue to be the limiting factor. Overall it looked pretty good and just a bit dusty. The best thing about Jon coming over and putzing around was that I got the inspiration that I was looking for. I have felt bad that I haven’t put any time into the car since I started the MBA program. I went to bed looking forward to the next day so that I could clean up the front beam and get it back on the floor pan.

The next day I cleaned the rockers and the valve covers. I shot from WD40 in the ending and plugged up the holes with paper towels so that the engine stays lubed. Then I started cleaning the front beam with a wire brush and engine cleaner. It took a fair amount of time but it came out looking great. I painted it with the rust converter, etching primer, and black paint and it looks amazing. I lubed the tie rod ends and hung my hat for the day. I’m in a pickle though. I’m tempted to use the same 4 bolts that I have for the front beam to attach to the frame head but they are a bit rusty. I’m going to try the hardware store to see if they have new ones. If not then I’ll just scrub them and use them anyway. I think getting the front beam back on is a big milestone as well.

My next step is to order a bunch of parts that are needed for the front beam, the rear transaxle and the floor pan in general. I’m saving the brakes for last on the floor pan initiative because they are damn expensive. The front disc brake conversion is going to cost me about $560 alone! This way I’ll have some parts to get going on the project for awhile. Once I get the front beam and rear transaxle done I’ll get the engine up and running so I can attach it and start running it. I think it will keep me motivated.

Crap….forgot to take pictures. Better go do that.