29 November 2010

hurtlocker truck - intro

This is the perfect time to show you the Hurtlocker Truck.
About a year ago a neighbor was banging on this old '56 chevy truck.
Usually it is me that is making all the noise,
pissin off the neighbors with hammers and grinders,
so it was kinda funny being on the other side.
Anyway I tried to keep my distance as to not get involved,
but that's impossible for a gearhead to do,
especially since he was just murdering this poor truck,
basically stripping it down to the frame, engine and body.

So after a couple conversations and alot of internet searching,
we decided a donor car swap would be the best.
There are alot of kits out there,
but its easy to drop 6 or 8K and still have a pile of parts.
I had been studying a couple corvette suspension builds-
Project PT-57, 1957 Chevy Pickup C5/C6 Corvette Suspension - Page 2 - LS1TECH
1957 Chevy Pickup Tubular Chassis - Corvette Suspension - Truckin' Magazine
1955 Chevy Series 2 Truck | Custom Classic Trucks Magazine Article at Automotive.com

And all of a sudden we scored a running low mileage '85 corvette on craigslist.
With a 350v-8 and a 700r4 tranny, this was exactly what we needed.

donor 85 corvette

Ken was super stoked about this,
and we ripped it up pretty quick.
Best comment when listening to the Grateful Dead -
"This song Suuckks!!"
Best comment when working while I was gone -
"Oh yeah I had some music, Hip Hawp..."

Ken and the donor corvette

Did I tell you why it's called the Hurtlocker Truck?
Well Ken is in the Navy, the EOD section - Explosive Ordinance Disposal,
the guys that diffuse bombs, mines, crazy shit.
When "The Hurt Locker" movie came out,
he said, yep that's pretty much what its like.
As a matter of fact, not even 2 weeks after that above picture,
he had to ship out to Afghanistan for 6 months!

Meanwhile I've been chipping away at this thing.
If you clicked on those other build links, 
it's obvious that it can get out of control really quick.
The idea with this truck is to keep it as stock corvette as possible,
so the front end is clipped and the rearend has stock mounting points.
Than if anything needs replacing its a quick swap, not major surgery.
Also, the GM engineers designed the suspension  to compete with european sports cars,
so why screw with it?
That's the reason the engine is so low and set back,
with the increased weight and height, hopefully it will still drive like a corvette.

Corvette Truck

So this is about as far as I am right now.
Actually right now the body is off the frame, and the hard to reach welding is almost done.
Also the firewall is getting finished.
Holy shit the firewall is a battle.
For some reason I had this great idea for a removeable firewall, like a van.
I've been chipping away at this firewall for the past month or 2.
It has been dubbed the "elephant man" as it looks like it from the inside.

elephant man

That whole piece unbolts, so it will be easy to repair the distributor or valve cover gaskets etc.
Also there is a tranny hump that unbolts too for easy shifter access.
The insane thing is there is over 30 ft of welding and grinding needed on this thing.
I am on the last couple hours at least, its just on and on.

the hurtlocker truck

Hopefully will get the front fenders/hood started at the end of the week,
and also the brake pedal/master cylinder.
Something else to update you all with!


26 November 2010

the world is flat

You will all love this post,
it's going to be like returning to the 7th grade.
It started out as a simple "what I did yesterday" post,
and it has totally snowballed out of control.

Yesterday before the Thanksgiving feast,
the kids and I went to the shop to complete a nagging project.

map project completed

Almost 15 years ago I found this map at a garage sale.
It has a really bitchin teak frame and (right now) unbroken glass.
This is something that belongs in a restaurant, bar, museum or pirate ship -
not a house with 3 kids!
Anyway for the 2 years we've lived at this house,
it has been perilously leaning on the wall on the floor,
in the main walkway from the kitchen to the living room.
I can't believe it has lasted this long.
Well after a million hints from my wife we finally mounted it,
it took about 2 hours.
2 years of waiting on 2 hours of work!
(yeah those brackets are a little crooked, yeah whatever...)

mercator projection house map

This map sits across from the dining room table,
so its one of those things you just daydream at.
After alot of staring you just realize, what the heck is wrong with this map.
Why is Greenland larger than South America?
Why is Alaska larger than  Australia?

mercator projection legend

Well this is called a Mercator Projection map,
when the latitude and longitude are perpendicular/parallel straight lines.
Useful in navigation when needing to find actual direction pertaining to land and water position.
The problem is one inch at the equator equals 475 miles,
and one inch near Greenland or Antarctica equals 100 miles!

Before 1975, this was actually a standard,
as this was approved by the Department of Defense.
Interesting how map technology from 1569 was standard for over 200 years!

So after a couple minutes researching,
I found out that there are many different map "projections",
all trying to map out a round ball onto a flat paper.


Some of the most recognized now being the 1961 Robinson projection -
a standard before 1998.

Robinson Projection

Recognizable as the latitudes (east/west) are straight,
and the longitudes (north/south) are slightly curved.
This map proved the power of the press as Rand McNally pushed this view,
although it is more distorted than the following version 40 years older.


The 1921 Winkel Triplet projection which is supposedly the most accurate,
and has been the National Geographic Society standard since 1998.

Winkel Triplet projection

Recognizable as both the latitudes and longitudes are slightly curved.
Winkel tripel projection - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tissot's Indicatrix - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Definitely one of the most mathematical versions.


Personally I like this one the best, the Hammer Projection designed in 1892.
This one seems the most true as the north and south poles
 are the actual converging points of the longitudinal lines,
rather than an unrealistic straight line which is the general compromise of global maps.

Hammer Projection


To throw even more irons in the fire,
this map company reproduces 17 different map projections.

Gallery / Nevron Diagram for .NET / Maps / Map Projections

Before today I never really thought about cartography,
just took it for granted.
I'm sure you didn't either.
Maybe this will help when you're watching jeopardy?


getting back to our House Map.

Pacific Oriented Mercator Projection

After looking at all these maps,
what could make this outdated map even cooler than most others?
No its not that USSR still exists,
or that the altitude/color legend is totally useless.
(Greenland and Antarctica are almost all white,
 which would basically mean their coastlines are 2000' cliffs)


Its that this is a map oriented to the Pacific Ocean.
Almost every world map (non-globe of course) I've seen is the Euro-centric Atlantic map,
as we all know it's the real center of civilization!
Now that Japan, China and other asian countries are the real manufacturing powerhouses,
this might be the correct way to view the world!

test next friday...


24 November 2010

23 November 2010

Liar's Club

Do you remember the game "Liars Club"?
If you do you're gettin old, it's from the 70's.
YouTube - Liar's Club - Propeller
Anyway a bunch of burnt celebrities got hammered,
made up stories about random inventions,
and the star-struck contestants would bet up to a whopping $100 which one was right.
Great show.

Anyway here goes.
My brother is good at making exact blueprints.
What do you think this is?


Blueprints on actual paper, way better than napkins or restauraunt placemants.

A- big engine motormounts?


mounted motormounts

B.  Independent rear suspension setup?

Corvette rear suspension

C. Shark corral?

Shark Corral

Isn't this fun?


22 November 2010

(and sister)'s birthday

Well better late than never I guess.
Macey, the (and sister) part of this blog,
had her 4th birthday yesterday.

4th birthday

Her brothers have made her pretty tough.

Perich kids

I can't believe 4 years have gone by so fast!

pregnant wife - Dani

Even though her water had just broke,
it was almost 8 hours later that Macey popped out.

Way to christen the 40!

Her Mom was really stoked we used the 40 to haul ass up to the hospital.
It was the most reliable car at the time!

Happy Birthday Macey!


20 November 2010

steal your face right off your head

Ok, what does hunting deer and the grateful dead's "steal your face" have in common?
Read on...

"steal your face"

My brother Trevor has a new obsession - big game hunting.
Actually its been a progressive obsession from the water to land.
mule deer in san diego
This was a mule deer he shot last week, a forked buck, good for the last days of the season.
Stalking and shooting the deer may be the exciting part,
but remember you have to be prepared to pack the animal out.
Thankfully he didn't have pics of him field dressing this thing.

If he did one of these blogs,
you would know the story of the hunt in minute detail,
other than the exact location in san diego anyway!
Since its mine, i'll get right to the fun part.

skull collection
This is his current skull collection, some deer and a boar.
The process for doing this is alot of work in itself,
skinning, trimming, soaking and boiling. 
Lotsa fun.

Here's where the "steal your face" comes in...

"steal your face..."
Gotta love a dog and a hunter with a sense of humor,
or just a really good bottle of scotch!
It's still close enough to halloween, right?

"...right off your head"

Anyway if you don't know where the phrase
"steal your face right off your head" came from,
here it is...from the song "he's gone"

One of their slower songs but wait til about the 1:00 mark.
This is a cool version as its their first time playing it live,
but it's also cut a little short.

Try this next one on its a great early version.

(Jump down to #19 there on the right)
 It's a whopping 14 minutes long but its worth the jam at the end (9:00 - on)

For one of the dead's slow songs, it's still a good work tune.
Definitely some trippy lyrics too,
actually about a guy that ripped them off and disappeared,
not about a guy skinning a deers face and putting it on his dog!

Good times.


chief - slow going

Well I thought I'd be alot farther along,
but between trying to be responsible and finish $$ projects first,
it's slow going.
Really I should have just powered on this roadster pickup all last week.

gas cap - needs polishing

Fortunately this old gas cap is stainless so it should polish up ok.
Anyone know where to get a replacement seal?
This one is like a raisin.


If I had a choice of being a restorer or a fabricator -
Cleaning, painting and bolting stuff on vs making something cool.


The seat bottom was always a small step above a torture rack.
It was great on the short drives, but damn anything over a couple hours.
I guess thats true with any seat though really.
Anyway expect a new seat bottom pretty soon,
maybe with a cushion?

horned chief vs screaming chief

One of the best things about cleaning.
The rediscovery of a (gasp) replacement chief.
The horned chief in the background getting ready to take out the screaming chief,
well he actually was the second chief, the first one disintegrated in the sun.
The broken ankle on horned chief just doesn't make him fit for the job anymore.

Thanksgiving week though,
shit will get done this week.


17 November 2010

mush III - what the fork!?

This is a story about as exciting as I feel today.
Right when I think some momentum is underway I get that schoolyard cold that happens when you're a dad.
No problem, I'm a firm believer in 'over the counter' drugs and some generic dayquil will do the trick.

Anyway this post is quite personal,
reaching back probably to my single digit years.
awesome forks?

What could be so special about a couple of forks you ask.
Well that top brass-like fork i've been using since probably 3rd grade.
It is the last fork from the family set left.
(There is also one tablespoon and a teaspoon left, equally cool but not as notable today,
and a bunch of knives which are rarely used, you'll see why...)

I've dragged this fork around with me over the years to 9 different houses and 3 different shops.
I learned that it was easier for me to have the minimum amount of dishes early on,
otherwise they pile up and doing the dishes becomes an event instead of a quick chore.
Hey I lived in the back of a kayak shop for almost 10 years!

My brother Trevor was surprised that I still had that old fork,
and was even more surprised when he realized it was more than a fork -
a forknife.

Incredible, you're thinking.
This tool eliminates the need for a knife in the majority of meals.
I filed this down in '94 or '95 and it totally changed my eating technique.
It is in our utensil drawer right now!

Weren't we surprised when someone ran with the idea and made an almost disposable version!

new and old forknives

If I had known this was a marketable tool I could have patented it,
 gone to china with my trusty forknife, gotten a military or walmart contract,
and retired to homes around the world, or just a nice shop!
I would have called the business something other than "light my fire", but whatever.

Before you think I'm crazy,
go out and find a good candidate to make you're own forknife,
you will be converted.


15 November 2010

stool time IV

Again with the stool!

junk sorter
We've been walking around a pile of milk crates for the past couple months.
Absolutely nothing of any real value. Ridiculous.

electronics stand
Not everything I do needs a grinder.
The temporary replacement music system is almost ready to post up here.

wood and metal scrap
What more is there to say!

family heirloom
My grandfather was an aviation repair tech in the navy during WWII.
Basically one of the guys on board an aircraft carrier
that got wrecked planes back up in the air.
He retired after running the shop that built miniature warships for radar tests,
I'll make sure to get some pictures of them, really neat detail.
Anyway he was able to score some sheetmetal tools and this is one of them.
It is supposed to cut through 3/16" steel but I am happy just as a sheetmetal shear.

elephant man

 Just making sure the ergonomics are going to work in this thing.
The removable firewall is so friggin ugly.

child labor

Now you know why this stool gets so much use.
Just kidding.


14 November 2010

bike time IV - Shelby model 40 - flying cloud

1937 Shelby Model 40

Bike Time IV is out a little earlier than planned.
(My current project has been nicknamed the "elephant man"
so it will be hidden from public view til the last possible moment!)

The fourth bicycle up in my typical stark, soul-less, reference-like photographs 
is either a 1937 Shelby Model 40 or Model 42.
The only difference really is with or without the tank,
so until someone says otherwise lets call it a 40!
hockey stick chainguard

We used to call the chainguard the "hockey stick",
not sure if it was just us or not,
but the reveal does look like a hockey stick.

Typical of prewar bikes this one runs a Morrow hub,
a skiptooth chain and a sweetheart ring gear on dogleg cranks,
with some Torrington 10 pedals
(Schwinn used a similar ring but was a little beefier looking.)
Check out those deep fenders!
This is where the date can get a little tricky,
as there is a square cut end typical on earlier bikes,
and an angled cut end typical on later bikes.
Fortunately 1937 was the transition year.
shelby wishbone

Gotta love that Shelby wishbone design.
I wonder if one guy fit, welded and filed down the frame,
or was it an assembly line?

peanut tank

This is the peanut tank.
Strangely enough this tank has no holes.
Another tank I have has a light switch and a wire outlet.
It's got some neat lines,
and the top view shows a streamlined fish form.
My rattlecan paint job definitely doesn't do it justice!
Prewar Shelby

On top of that fender sits a beater Delta Horn-light.
Some shelby versions had an S drilled into the sides instead of those slots.

delta hornlight

This one isn't hooked up but it will buzz with a battery jumper.

flying cloud

This frame came with this badge, so I left it there.
Shelby and Western Flyer used a bunch of different badges,
but since this one has a pirate ship on it, why change it!

Shelby bomber frontend

So simple but a frontend unlike no other.
Some LONG Torrington handlebars, on a Wald 3 stem,  truss rods
and some old coke bottle grips that leave your hands black.
-the blackhand bomber!
The front wheel has a very common New Departure hub.
This bike loves going downhill, but not stopping.
(Just wait a future Bike Time will have a rare New departure front brake.)

dropstand down

Just like early motorcycles, Shelby used a dropstand.
Some bikes had bolt on ears and others had ears extended on the dropouts.
dropstand up

When looking at early frames,
check out the area where a newer kickstand could have been.
If it has been crimped than its going to be a beater bike, or a clunker.

dropstand spring in action

Check out those fender struts.
Something so simple can be so not simple.
The axle keeper is riveted to the 2 flatbar sections,
making it one piece,
instead of just using 2 separate bent bars.
Later models had some crazy curved struts that I'll show some other day.

Shelby Flyer

Can you imagine getting one of these when you were 13?
About as close to a motorcycle as you could get back then.

Wide bars!

I can't believe there's no close picture of the seat,
but it should be somewhat correct for the bike.
Instead of having 2 holes in the seat frame,
a special clamp holds down the 2 pieces.
Oh well.
What could make this seat incorrect,
is the bottoms of the 2 springs are tapered,
whereas earlier bikes they usually were cylindrical.

I'm going to blame my Shelby addiction on an old friend,
Ritchie Vanderwick, up in in Ventura.
We'd go back in time 70 years on some of the coolest night rides.
I had a ton of old one-speeds and he really schooled me in on what was going on,
back when you could find old cruisers that happened to be prewar classics.
Even though I had some relatively rare bikes, schwinn autocycle, cycleplane etc.,
I can't regret selling them as that is what started my nest egg for my hotrods.

Actually the most important collecting lessons I learned is because of these bikes,
and that is to focus on a certain brand or model and try not to get too spread out.
This is a good lesson especially if you are a natural hoarder, are poor, have other interests etc.
Now the pile of stuff you have can be interchanged, essentially upgrading parts for parts
One of the main things is you can learn to say no to certain deals.

go dig up an old cruiser and get out there!