04 May 2015

low-tech and wingin it

No matter how computerized and wi-fi'd things get,
there'll always be a place for low-tech wingin' it.
A friend acquired this workhorse of a sailboat,
known more for it's history as a smokers lounge
than as a sailing rig.
Did he know what he was getting himself in to?
One thing I've learned,
there's no easy way to stop momentum
once the ball is rolling.
This thing had another history,
a coop for nesting seagulls and shore birds.
The PO's ex-girlfriend had left all the hatches open,
probably even filling the cabin with bait,
attracting enough birds to coat the inside 
with a thick layer of guano.
There was bird chit in places birds wouldn't ever go.
Fortunately I missed the cleaning part.
(I'll try to edit in some before photos)
The original plan was to pull this boat anchor out on the mooring.
How could I resist not helping with this challenge.
Plans changed when the boat needed hauling out.
Didn't make it too much easier.
Also didn't change my part in the puzzle.
You think this is a good secondary use for a Ford axle?
The original vision was to do this Bahama-style,
swinging the engine onto the dock 
or our whaler,
with the boom.
really wanted to try it,
but this was stressful enough.
The mast rig held strong as an A-frame.
Mark wasted no time jumping in to the poop hole.
Fertilizer easily an inch thick.
holey chit...
This guy Jared couldn't wait either.
Fortunately the owners son Phil has friends that don't mind getting dirty.
My secondary responsibility was streamlining the operation.
Boatyards pull every trick in the book to get more lay days.
Guess I'd do the same in their position,
more time on land is more money in pocket.
The yard penciled in Thursday to crane this sucker out.
6 days later?
Uh no...
They may have a slot Monday morning...
Guess they didn't expect us to power over the weekend.
Anyway by Sunday night both engines were chained and ready to go.
On Monday I was on call.
No texts early on..
Cool I had other stuff to do.
9:13 - "hey mark, what's up?
10:22 - "I'll go check"
10:37 - "haven't heard anything yet..."
10:55 - "we're on the clock in 5 minutes!"
Of course I'm 10 minutes away.
While in the drivers seat,
the operator goes down the prep list.
Other one chained - yeah
Hook straps - yeah
Gee, thanks for the heads up!
At $350 an hour billed every half hour,
glad we were prepared!
The blocks were in and out in 20 minutes.
Since I was the only one wearing a hard hat,
I got to take the pictures.
Re-entry went smoothly,
Even with the rebuild being larger and heavier 
with the head and cooling system installed.
Another axle strength test...
Mark was happy but this was the easy part.
With a little sweat and gravity defying tricks,
the Perkins diesel slid into place.
So if your searching online,
a small diesel can be pulled out using the boom!
With new thru-hulls, valves and bottom paint,
the boat could float again.
We'll do the hard part,
get it running...
Thanks Phil, Nolan, Jared and John for your help,
and not getting injured in the process...

30 April 2015

#tbt whaler 13

Yesterday Macey and I were driving around.
She wondered who the new owner of her yaya's (grandmother) old car was.
That was worth a Thrifty Ice Cream stop.
Not sure what her attachment was to the SUV,
but it was neat she realized it didn't just disappear.
Today a strange coincidence happened.
The new owner of our whaler 13 came by.
I'd been wondering what happened to it.
We found out he had been living a parallel life.
Almost immediately after acquiring the old beater,
he tore through it.
Sanding, fiberglassing and painting the hull,
and adding a workboat like wood rub rail,
somehow pulling it off inside his garage.
The fumes and fiberglass dust is bad enough outside in the wind.
It happened to be nearby,
so I had to take a look.
He wasn't kidding about the tugboat style push-bar!
Since he's a boat mechanic,
the whaler is basically a tool,
modified to serve his purpose,
while also an example of his abilities.
I'm envious he beat me to it!
Fortunately his styling is different than mine.
Maybe a stainless pushbar on ours will do the trick...
Cool he kept the wood benches,
that was quality mahogany.
And the old Zuke and tiller seat.
here's to it's second life,
or third...
Great job Whaler Joe!

23 April 2015

the Moreno Coupe

I've been waiting at least 7 years for this project.
It seems Mario had tested me with a series of other small tasks,
to see if I was capable.
His Dad had lost interest,
and so did the rest of the family.
Lucky him!
The coupe was a mix of 60's-80's trends.
It had some of the baddest ladder bars known to man.
So thick and improperly side mounted,
the rear couldn't be lowered.
The mighty gap!
Like most old cars,
the smooth body hid a dirty mess,
new parts with no drive miles,
rusty from neglect.
The slow dismantling process,
uncovered the truth behind traditional hot rod engineering.
These clamps were made 
for the emergency brake.
The crossmember was a work of art.
More custom holey chit.
The builder kept the same drilled bolt theme throughout the e-brake line.
A last look at the custom crossmember.
Now where to start.
The rear end was to be remounted with 36 radius rods.
The 50's chevy Posi needed to be stripped of random brackets.
The welds were very traditional.
This is what 3 hours of torching and grinding get you.
I hope he wants to reuse this!
The front had other issues.
The engine was too far forward,
so the radiator was bumped out of alignment.
With the engine out,
the grille placed the radiator to the hood.
Over an inch off!
Space was tight even with this custom shorty water pump and pulley.
Possibly another reason this 302 ran hot.
What an honor to cut out a cherry firewall!
Don't worry most of it will go back.
The engine was mocked up,
positioned with space for an electric fan.
Almost 5" from before.
A gearhead friend Jason suggested a mechanical fan.
Saving almost 2.5"!
That's a big difference when modifying the firewall.
Before - the rear spark plug hidden...
After - much better.
That's ford in a ford problems.
Custom motor mounts were made from choice scrap.
Gussets made to fit.
Way better than modifying a universal kit.
Clean and strong.
I'll grind and finish weld when the engine is out.
With the engine front mounted,
the tranny mount/crossmember was up.
A lot of open space to work with,
cause there was no x-member left in the center!
More parts made from premium grade scrap.
This was 1/4" all beef.
Now it'll be strong.
Next step is mounting the rear end,
or maybe the firewall.
Next time...