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!


1 comment:

  1. Posted at 3:24am! Burning the midnight motor oil? We'll tie a rope to the bumper of my hot rod and I'll pull you into the show if necessary. AJ