31 December 2011


Jake says...

Happy New Year

Have a Happy New Year!


30 December 2011


Xmas 2011 marks the kids (boys) official graduation from Lego's to plastic models.

1963 chevrolet impala
jaxon perich - 11

It was a shocker earlier in the year to see one of the Lego shelves
being cleaned out for the Hot Wheels collection.

1968 ford mustang
"gold digger"
jakob perich - 10

Last year they got some Erector set kits,
and it was sadly a bust.
Maybe the timing was wrong,
or maybe it's just that the Erector set's just don't look that cool.
Whatever it is,
the idea of following instructions is the same with all 3,
so I was a little wary that they would enjoy,
and have the patience,
to build models.

model building

They had started with the expendable airplane models at the shop.
Surprisingly the paint, the glue, the tediousness,
didn't scare them.
That night they wanted to start the car models at home.
Sounds good to me!
The wife came home to a house full of fumes.

mini A-frames

That night's plan was to finish the engines and let them dry.
I showed them how to make some A-frames out of the scrap.


That was one of the fun things in my brief model time,
using the scrap and melting the pieces together.
I don't think any of my models ever looked like the box pic.

jake's mustang 302 engine

That first night,
they whipped through the engines and moved onto the frame and interior.
I was surprised they liked the painting so much.
Fumes maybe?

jaxon's chevy 327 engine

 I tried not to take over with their building,
so I showed them how to use sandpaper and a razorblade to clean up the nubs.

1963 chevy impala model

On Jake's mustang we radiused the rear wheelwells a bit for the bigger tires.

1968 ford mustang model

The other help which I'll not do next time was spray paint the bodies for them.
We used some of leftover paint and it happened to work well.
There is still paint all over the walkway.

1968 ford mustang
"gold digger"
jakob perich - 10

Late last night they finished them up.
I'm still a little surprised that they stuck with it.
For their first car models,
they turned out really cool,
and more importantly had fun doing it.

1963 chevy impala
"road kill"
jaxon perich - 11

There are more models in their stash,
so stay tuned for more modelmania!


26 December 2011

lessons learned - xmas 2011

Happy to say that I safely navigated the potentially treacherous waters
that can be the wife's Suarez Family Christmas.

xmas 2011

This year I brought up the orange bottle of Old Grand Dad 86,
and Jorge and I successfully polished it off without a hitch.

power trio

Okay I'll give some credit to my cuñada Stephanie,
who reluctantly had a half-shot!

This is why it was such a big deal.

xmas 2009

Two years ago we were on fire.
Jorge and I started drinking about 10pm christmas eve,
and by about 2am we finished off 2 bottles of tequila,
a Hornitos and a Patron Reposado.
Crazy enough to contemplate a 3rd bottle too...


Ween - Fluffy
(on the porch)


By 4am I puked out most of it!
Suffice to say it was an interesting night.
The more I drank the more spanish I spoke.

on the porch
christmas 2009

What a christmas morning,
waking up on the porch cuddling a 5 gallon bucket!

Hey we didn't knock over the christmas tree so we weren't that bad!
My kids still give me chit for that night.

Good times...


24 December 2011

Christmas Fun

Here's to a Merry Christmas.

perich brothers
& sister

As usual the one pic that came out with good smiles
was mildly off-center!

peace to all

The boys had been with my brother/wife for a week up in Utah,
so that left the christmas tree prepping to Macey.

outside storage

First thing to do was go through our outside storage.
Time flies it seemed like I just threw it out there.

christmas tree stand

This little stand has been around for a bunch of xmas' now.
Good little stand.

Macey's choice tree

We were lucky,
and brought home the first tree Macey picked out.

perich's xmas tree

We've been carting around these ornaments for a long time.
Out of the boxes only the strong survive.

red lights

The boys came home to a christmas-y house.
Took about an hour to get back to our normal chaos!

wild west xmas
Jaxon, Macey and Jakob

You know I can't just say Merry Xmas without some photo-babble!

Happy Holidays!


23 December 2011

hurtlocker truck - modem buster

The past couple days have been crazy.
Ken's getting deployed next week,
so the idea is to get as far as possible before he ships out.
Unfortunately his time is taken up by other things like family and work,
but last night we thrashed hard for a couple hours and got to this point.

1955 chevrolet pickup truck
1985 corvette running gear
Hurtlocker Truck

Yeah from where you're sitting it probably looks the same as the other pics I've forced on ya guys,
but here's some behind the scenes action.


Yeah I know I can't hold you're attention for 25 minutes,
but this is an extra long post!
Open another page and just play this while you're checking other stuff out!

Grateful Dead - 08may1977
Scarlet (begonia's) - Fire (on the mountain)

In the old tape days,
I'd listen to the first 30 seconds over and over.
What am I saying, still do!


When I left the engine was getting cleaned up.

1985 corvette L98 350

It was in amazingly clean condition for being 25 years old.
Maybe it was a replacement engine?
The donor 1985 corvette had 67K miles on it,
and had body damage from a fire.
I did a plastigage on the easy to reach forward crankshaft bearing,
and it was really tight at about .003-4,
so I decided to not take off the rear windage tray and check the others.
One of the rods was checked at .003+ so I didn't do any others.
I can't believe it was barely worn in.

The perfect candidate for a rattle can rebuild.

Here's the "liar's club" session of the day.

a. stool?
b. metal detector?
c. freeze plug installer?

My Uncle Steve has all those specialized mechanic tools you see in the pics,
so he dropped this kit off along with the pulley puller.
So strange using the right tools for the job!

brass freeze plugs

Early on Ken had popped out the freeze plugs,
and flushed the engine out.
We had taken an old freeze plug to the auto parts store (o'reilly's)
and  he had asked for a couple of them.
The counter guy held it up and asked "what is it?"
It was kinda funny.

freeze plug install tool

So if you guessed C you were correct.

nice brass freeze plugs

Way better than using an old wood dowel.

Ken had gone billet crazy and gotten a bunch of new trick pieces for the engine.
This was a big learning curve for me.
I thought this stuff was supposed to be easy bolt-on chit.

silicon oil pan gasket
aluminum timing chain cover

After replacing the timing chain,
(original wasn't too bad but had a plastic gear)
the new aluminum timing chain cover popped on easily.
We found a cool one piece oil pan gasket,
and it was a little tricky to fit into the tight groove of the cover.
A little stretching and it popped in ok.
I thought the oil pan would go on easy at this point.
Melling 55s1 oil pump screen

Oh yeah I forgot to mention the old corvette oil pan.
My uncle noted it must have been a high capacity oil pan,
and it had a longer oil pump screen or pickup tube,
so the new oil pan wouldn't fit.
(The correct one is Melling 55s1)
I used a 5/8 wrench to help tap onto the pump.
aluminum oil pan

The next small problem was the oil pan.
If you look at the new seal,
the corners are rounded out.
The oil pan has a sharp edge on it,
probably needed for the original 4-piece gasket.
There was huge gap that bolt compression wouldn't fix.
modified aluminum oil pan

If you look closely the corners are filed down.
Still a tight fit but won't smash up the seal now.

So now we're ready to put this damn thing on.
The only thing I'd have liked is some baffle in the oil pan.
bottom's up
aluminum oil pan installed

This is probably why I'm not as excited about the mechanical stuff as I used to be.
It takes such a long time to do stuff that's doesn't seem like it should take as long!
chevy 350

I ended up resorting to my helper,
old grand dad.
old grand dad whiskey stash

No it wasn't to get wasted, just smooth things out.
I only needed enough to not be able to drive home.
Nothing like being held hostage at the shop with alcohol breath!
Good stuff, tastes like apple juice!

new floor reinforcement

The next day the main goal was to fix that part of the floor I had cut out,
and then paint the bottom of the body so it wouldn't have to be removed later on.
quick fix

There were a handful of little fixes to do.
hoist it up,

That chain hoist has proved invaluable.
The paint is a linear polyurethane boat paint,
super strong stuff.
There's a flattening agent in it and I rolled/brushed it on.
It actually looks good!


With the cab strung up to dry,
now it was time to get the tranny and engine in the frame.
custom transmission stand

I figured this would be an easy gasket and filter swap right!
700r4 transmission

All I had to do was pop the old filter out and throw on the gasket.
I've worked on aod's and th350's and they were easy enough.
Well I don't know if this is normal but the little oil ring got stuck in that hole.

700r4 filter and old oil seal

I had to pop out the old one,
it has a steel inner structure so it doesn't just slide out.
On top of that,
I had to file down the lip cause it wouldn't fit all the way into the hole!
What next!
engine/tranny in!

Things went smoothly for a while.
Engine and transmission slid right in.
aluminum driveline

Thankfully the driveshaft also fit.
I gotta say it looks trick.

It was getting late,
so I thought,
"let's do some easy stuff like put on the water pump"...
stock aluminum water pump

Ken had cleaned it up earlier,
and it had some life left in it.
Of course it didn't fit.
modified aluminum water pump

As a result of that aluminum timing chain cover,
those little bolts that hold on that plate made a big gap!
Fortunately had a stash of little SS button heads.
stock aluminum water pump
aluminum timing chain cover

By 8pm Ken got off his leash and came down to join the fray.
We busted ass and got the front suspension installed.
This was a big deal for us.
He had spent hours cleaning it,
replacing bushings and ball joints.
Hurtlocker Truck
1955 chevy truck frame
1985 corvette running gear

This was the first time it had been on wheels for months.
Time for a little celebration.
old grand dad
coke chaser
$11 of goodness

The whiskey shot and coke chaser meant Ken was stuck at the shop for another hour.
Good trick huh!
He also found out how the Grateful Dead 1978 power set comes into play!
(no that's not the correct steering column angle!)

It also motivated us to get the body and some other parts on,
and see what the real ride height was going to be.


I was happy with how that rolled paint had turned out.
The flatness really hides any screwups.
No he doesn't get the steering wheel!
street truck

I've got to say this truck is gonna be a bad ass driver.
Ken's really spared no expense in getting some trick parts for it.
I can't personally afford the "billet collection",
so it's been fun figuring it all out for him.
Hurtlocker Truck
Hurt Locker Truck

Before Ken's mini cooper turned into a pumpkin,
we threw the fenders and bumper on.
Right now the big 22" DONK wheels are out back,
and the 17" wheels are in front.
At least it's big and littles!
Let's hope he gets some good rims when he gets back!
1955 chevy pickup

After Ken left I had my own little sober up celebration,
burning all the boxes!
bon fire

Thanks for tunin in!

Good times...