31 January 2011

chief goes to GNRS - part 1

Now that all the rush and deadlines are over,
I better write any memories out before I forget!

When we left off it was 3am thursday morning.
Luke and I had chief running but no brakes.

Typically brakes are the first thing I try to get done,
just in case the car starts and I get that wild hair to just go.
Well that's what happened.
I had adjusted the brakes first thing that morning,
but didn't bleed them.
There is a double curb/stairs leading to the shop,
so we have ramps to negotiate this.

adjusting brakes,
wife in background seeing where I've been for 2 weeks

Of course I jumped the gun,
mispositioned the ramps,
and just barreled down the stairs!
No problem really,
Chief was made tall for this very thing!

(I'll get the video compiled of this soon...)

This one's a good one though.
You'll see Luke, Brandon and my wife Dani run to stop me,
before I hit the lunchwagon!

Good times, good times...

My family really pulled through on the send-off.
They knew what was going on the past couple weeks,
and were probably glad to see it end!

My dad making this a show car!
Brandon & I bleeding brakes.
Mom taking pics & video

They also knew of my sleep schedule,
so wanted to make sure nothing bad happened!
Definitely a good thing!

My brother Trevor had agreed to tow the package up there,
and my cousin Brandon had the lucky trailer.
Trevor's not too happy when I almost took out the left backing plate!


Probably a good idea to let them tie it down than,
while I tried to button stuff up.

pig's foot & fuel leaks

I must admit it was a bit emotional for me to actually drive it around the block.
It was over a year and a half down, like a reunion with an old friend.
An old friend with a cheap TJ boob job and facelift none the less...

trailer queen king jack

Hopefully one of the last times on a trailer!


After some logistics errors,
(i.e. forgetting my wallet and most importantly sunglasses)
2 hours later we were in Pomona, half an hour before load in time.

spirits of el merendero

So we did the traditional El Merendero mexican lunch stop.
Good food here.
45 minutes later the place was packed!

3 long lines of cars already!

With Chief running,
we were able to make the long haul to the suede palace.
The timing couldn't have been more perfect,
as I was directed to a nice corner spot right in the middle.

show car 

I kinda realized here that Chief's more of a go-car not a show-car.
Lotsa little leaks on the floor and really all over.
Definitely looks better with some road scum covering the plentiful imperfections!
No problem, we had reached the destination.

new old west

I've forced my story down your throats for the past couple posts,
so its kinda obvious what a mission this was to get up here.

The weird thing was seeing all the other cars,
and knowing each one had its own special history of completion.
Yep, just like that Indiana Jones movie!

toothpicks in my eyes
Luke/Pigpen, me, Trevor, Brandon

Thursday is a great day to see all the indoor cars,
and lotsa freaky people cleaning these cars too.
There are a ton of other sites with pictures of these cars,
so I'm going to be selfish and not show you my versions of these.

Okay, okay...
How about a few more unpopular ones ...

ultimate work car

What can I say, I love this thing.

Right out of high school I had a boat building job,
and a couple brothers, Pablo and Pedro, had lowriders.
I'd take this one as is.

ambr 1951

This car really sparked my next hot rod build.
Its a '23 with a v8-60 flathead,
and just has a really cool tight fun-driving look to it.

ford roadster

I've got a steel '27 roadster body, the small ford flathead and most of the parts already.
There would be a double motormounts for the larger 85HP swap...
circletrack racer style, but with lotsa small details, like chief.

big mouth 27 roadster

little bits of this and that with the cool bellypans and tracknoses.

hopup roadster

Whaddaya think Greg?

mercedes sleeper

This thing was also totally bitchin.
A board friend (rotten rodney) was on the paint crew for this thing.
I guess it has an AMG suspension. Crazy.

rudy and paul's mistress

Of course the 40 merc from Rudy and Paul is insane.
Hard to photograph with my borrowed point and shoot with that deep black.
Multiply my crazy by 1000 to know what these guys went through/are going through,
to get it here!


Like one of my own kids though,
I wouldn't trade this little 1929 roadster pickup for any of the cars,
*as long as I got the $$ difference in cash though!


Anyway after getting totally overloaded by all the cars and bikes,
we went to Chabbot Engineering and met up with
Shinya and the not often photographed Zap and even more rarely seen "Menacing Ayu"...


Just missing the Pigpen rendition of the flailing arm blow-up guy

a real workshop

I had realized it was a good idea to go back home when at the GNRS show,
when I started forgetting old friends names.

We left Pomona/Azusa kinda dazed -  machinery overload!
Although I half-planned on going up on Friday,
getting some much needed rest was more important.

like leaving your dog at the pound

Stay tuned...


28 January 2011

R.I.P. "Jalopy Joe" Moody

On wednesday Jalopy Joe Moody died.

Trippy coincidence cause I was wearing his shop's long sleeve T-shirt that day too.

1935 ford four door chopped

We had a good time putting the "29 day" 1935 fordor together in holy shit 2006 already?!
Joe could be a crotchety old fuck but anyone would if they had just beat cancer,
and had to be examined every couple months.

Very common sight to see him cruising main street on his Indian motorcycle.
He also obtained the old "red dot II" roadster.

joe with his dad and painter bill

He started his Jalopy Joe's shop right up the street from me
and he really pushed getting the local cars & bikes out to his monthly shows.
Hope this will keep on.

crack team - joe, rey, nevada, paco, me
owner, electrician, grunt, painter, crazy guy

Good times Joe!



27 January 2011

chief - lives!!

Unbelievably, Luke and I got Chief running,
and not running as in oh the engine starts with some random wires and a squirt of gas,
but running using all the switches, plumbing and wiring that will be the car.

I gotta say really that it's not unbelievable.
Luke and I make a good team when it comes to completing big projects with little time,
actually a ton of time but only in one day!
I think we worked almost 15 hours with hardly a break!
Not many people can work until 3am,
and also work until 3am without being useless.

The bummer is he's moving back to his hometown San Jose.
But that's only a 6 hour drive away,
I'm sure I'll get him down here to help out again.
Thanks Bro!


I am astounded at how much got done, right too.
Screwed up and didn't take a picture with the headlights on.
(May edit later)


The only thing needed to drive it (safely) is bleed and adjust the brakes.
What was I thinking, working headlights  before brakes?
Oh well.
I'd like to adjust the clutch too and synchro the carbs but thats easy.
After the GNRS i'll do the overdrive switches, reroute the oil dipstick,
double battery switches (2 6volt), foglight wiring, last half of the bellypan...

Really I just want to drive it!

See you guys up there...


26 January 2011

chief - crunch time

Its getting down to the wire over here.
A couple days ago (thursday)  it looked like this.


I have/had this mental timeline,
but time was going a little bit faster than planned!
My mindset was making sure the things done were done right,
or at least ok.

This metal wrapped wire was scabbed off a boat project.
Perfect for headlights and stuff.
I didn't know how to work with it, but finally figured it out.

learning curve

I like wiring, its just important to slow down and focus on it.

On the last post I wrote how I was studying the old pictures of Chief.
This made me realize that it was a little more important finish stuff that was visible in a 640x480!
So on Saturday I dug out the bed.

Holy shit this was on the side of the garage covered in dirt and cobwebs.

uh oh

The bed was always a little half-assed.
Lotsa weird  thick bondo on the bottom hiding the lack of steel,
and tons of dents - this was an old work truck.

After drinking some push-button cappuccino from the liquor store at 9pm,
I had wire wheeled the whole bed, free of the bondo and alot of the paint.
At least all the dripping house paint and big dents,
by about 3am!
Love that sweet spot after midnight!

The next day the plan was to throw the bed back on.
It should fit right!?
I had my little helpers...

stink eye

Somehow everything was off, only about 1/2 inch,
but it wasn't the LEGO-style kit I was planning.

wanna play video games now?

They helped me put the old frame back on,
and also the side apron pieces.
Fun getting the kids involved.

squared finally

The bed was never really solid.
It actually almost fell off on the freeway in pieces once.
Another time I was delivering a full size 60's juke box,
thing was so big it stuck almost half past the tailgate.
The damn thing slid out on the road,
tweaking the hinges pretty good.
(remember that Ed?)

By now its Sunday night, time to get this thing together.
Unfortunately it was too dark for my cellphone camera,
but I got it about 90%,
of course at a wrong angle to the cab...

So Monday,
I'm ready to get an early (9ish) start.


Of course a bird had fried a transformer on the power lines.
No electricity and no shop for the whole morning.
Since my brother had his shop project stalled now too,
we went to one of the best hardware stores in San Diego,
a place called Marshall's off Miramar Road.
 Tons of hard to find stuff that I needed,
copper washers, circlips, shrink tube - random necessities.

We also saw this bad-ass wagon.
My wife wants one of these now!


By Monday evening I had gotten alot of little stuff done...
Generator/stand, fog lights, re-angled bed, headers, dash, fuel cap,
 rearview mirror, wheel skirts...
This doesn't seem like alot,
but everything needed to be either reassembled, refit, wirewheeled/painted, massaged...

All this little stuff really made it look like a car though.


I'm really happy how the bed came together.
It is still a little beat but not nearly as bad.
There's a saying how when you pull the big weeds,
you discover all the little weeds.
Well I can handle the little weeds for now!

rear view

I like modifieds, but Chief has a long wheelbase,
and looks better (to me) as a truck.


So today (tuesday) I had pretty much given up making this a running car.
There are no fuel lines, brake lines,  battery cables, accelerator pedal...
I had misplaced a pile of stuff, and spent hours looking for it.

Well Luke/Pigpen had been up in San Jose for the past long time,
and showed up just in the nick of time.
He knew where the missing pile was...

missing parts

The spoon pedal was key here.
I had found another one but modifying it would have taken an hour or more.

I had just  bought new brake and fuel lines,
at least to try to get some stuff to look hooked up.
But with the new-found original lines as a guide,
this made it alot easier to do some of the trickier bends,
or at least practice with the old line!

(Unfortunately the frame is totally different,
otherwise I would have just thrown all this stuff back in!)


Of course that meant tearing the radiator/hoses/bellypan out...
The rear ones weren't too tough,
just made them swoopier than before.


With Luke back in town there's an actual chance of firing it up.
There's a ton of work but we have about 12 hours of work time tomorrow (wed),
which is actually 12 hours (x2) instead of 12 hours (x1).
Thanks Luke!

Yes I do dislike not having a solid running car,
but it has made so much progress in the past 2 weeks ,
that I'd rather have a decent looking car for the GNRS.
Hopefully there's enough people to help push it around!

Chief's back!

So I gotta leave you all with this.
This is Jake, my #2 kid.


Always makes me laugh!


23 January 2011

calling in the troops

Yesterday I watched the kids while my wife was at work.
We made a deal to go to the shop,
get some parts and supplies to paint some Chief parts,
than go  home, maybe let them play video games.

little helpers

My brother had scrounged a stack of crates to organize junk with.
Within minutes they had made use of the building blocks.
A stairway, a taller stairway, a tower, a couple fort designs...
The tower was tall enough to need hardhats!

Half an hour later I was ready to go,
but they weren't.
That's a good sign right?

Simple pleasures...


21 January 2011

chief - motivation

Crunch time.
Less than a week to go.
Today is (hopefully!) wiring day.


The original plan was for all new wiring and use the old switches.
Than I finally found the old harness and considered just cleaning it up and reinstalling it,
it was a bombproof harness, all soldered and shrink wrapped ends. time saver.
Than I considered moving the fuse box to the frame and blah blah blah.
Than I realized that I was thinking months and years ago,
and there were reasons things were placed as they were.
As I get more spun out the main thing is to not re-engineer the plan,
just go forward...
So the revised plan is to mix it up, replace some wires - headlights, fuel pump...
 and reuse others - charging/generator-regulator...

A ton has been getting done though.
Its funny cause instead of completing one project,
I'll bounce around doing whatever I can get done the fastest.
The method actually works.


Lotsa stuff just takes time, as it needed cleaning or rebuilding or painting.
I don't want to redo stuff so its worth it to do it right.
slowly but surely

I added a couple brackets? to hold down the center of the windshield.
It really stiffened it up, and didn't burn the nickel plate on the other side, whew!
Fortunately the plexi-glass fit with only a small notch.
My brother Trevor gets the job of redoing the glass though,
he cut and buffed these and he's got good attention to detail that I'd rush through!


The front half of the bellypan is basically done.
I'm happy with it, from the top anyway!

way better

Damn, nasty looking starter there.
There's always something!

Chief -motivation #1

I've been looking at old pics alot lately,
seeing how certain things were positioned.
It's actually given me alot of motivation,
the GNRS show will be fun and is a great deadline to shoot for,
but really having it on the road after over a year and a half takes the cake.

old shot 

This is also where my goal for the deadline shifted.
I love driving to the shows, or just driving the RPU around.
However I'm planning on being a little bitch and using my cousins trailer.
Yeah Yeah Yeah...
There's a couple reasons -

One - I don't want to get stuck 60 miles away and miss the shows load time.
Two - Its probably the shiniest and cleanest it will ever be,
so since it is the GNRS (suede palace but still)  it is a good place to be shiny and clean!
Three - I don't want to half ass stuff just to get it freeway reliable.
Four - I can camp out in the van instead of blowing money on a 10 hr hotel stay.

trail or trailer?

There's enough time for time for that.
So now if I can at least jockey it around that will be fine by me.


6 days.
Holy chit.


Ok, times a wastin...