11 April 2012

a happy Easter thrash

So you guys remember the 1950 chevy that I picked up for a friend from Texas/Norway...

Hans' 1950 chevrolet

The plan was for Hans to fly in from Norway on Sunday,
then drive it to his home town in Texas Monday morning,
to be able to work on Wednesday.

perich brothers (and sister): car jamming

Well after the spring swap on Friday,
the next day I started on the brakes.
The original goal was to swap out this front bendix brake setup he had found,
but they were too far gone to make it worth the effort.

The plan was to do a quick check of the brakes,
and then do some minor stuff like change the oil and put on some mufflers...

1950 chevrolet on jack stands

With the Lincoln finally gone,
the chevy was raised up for a quick check of the brakes.

1950 chevy non-bendix brakes

After a cleanup,
they seemed to be in good working condition.
The next step was to fill the master cylinder.
Easy right?

Holey Chit.
There was barely any fluid in it.
Somehow there was enough to move the brakes this whole time.
No problem,
let's just fill it up...
Holey Chit.
After a couple slow pumps,
the pedal went right to the floor.
The fluid changed from clear to black mud.
Not a good sign.

Now it's about 5:30 or so on a Saturday evening,
and it looks like the master cylinder needs to be rebuilt or replaced.
I've got a bit of experience from my Dad's '54,
so I knew this was a pain in the ass to remove,
tucked in between the frame, floorboard and exhaust.
Oh yeah,
there's also the problem of finding a rebuild kit for a 60 year old car!

I emailed Hans to update him on the dire situation,
and he called back within minutes.
He must have channeled some good luck.
after a search through all the auto parts store websites,
the only rebuild kit in town was actually in stock at a semi-local O'reilly's.
It looked like Easter Sunday was going to be a long day!


Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia - I was made to love her - 1973

They played this tune only 8 times,
and the link below is the rippingest one.
Click on it and than on #9.

www.tauthal.com ~ Jerry Garcia & Merl Saunders 1972/02/06

Thanks Chip for digging this one out!


Sunday morning I was ready to go.
There were a few tricks online and in the manual about how to remove the MC.
After dickin around with it for an hour,
the kids Easter Egg Hunt and a pancake breakfast set me straight.

how to remove a 1950 chevy master cylinder

When in doubt,
grind it out.
Hans was gonna kill me,
but time was of the essence.

holey chit

It took longer to cut the hole
than it did to pull the master cylinder out.

1950 chevy master cylinder

The reason why these are tough to remove,
is because the pedal is attached to the master cylinder.
Notice I had to cut off the pedal pad too.

papa's garage

With only an hour before the big family get together,
the goal was at least to disassemble the MC.
Again, easier said than done.
No luck taking it apart at my Grandparent's garage.

big guns

The big nut was a strange 1 5/16" size.
Fortunately we had the wrench at the shop.
It took some hammering to remove it.

rebuild station

No wonder the piston wouldn't move in the master cylinder.
Jammed tight with rust.
A quick hone job and it was ready to rebuild.
Unfortunately that would have to wait.
We were already an hour late,
and Hans was set to arrive in 4 hours.
No problem.

At 6:30 pm I picked Hans up from the Greyhound station downtown.
A quick stop at the car parts store and the shop for some tools,
and by 7:15 we were thrashing on his car.
Forgot to even ask him if he was hungry.
By 10:45 the master cylinder was installed,
pedal pad rewelded on,
brakes bled,
and even the oil/filter changed.
Hans forgave me for the butchering of the floorboard!
(This was all done outside in the dark with 2 - 75 watt light bulbs)

Perfect timing cause his brother Tom was flying in from Texas at 11pm.

1950 chevy dinner table

After a traditional mexican dinner,
the car was loaded and ready for it's first test drive.

1950 chevy tail dragger

Must have been a weird feeling for Hans,
after a month of preparation to be actually driving this thing.

Tom & Hans Blom and the chevy

By midnight we were on our way to the shop to install some mufflers.
The straight pipes ending under the front seat weren't cutting it!

after midnight exhaust installation

Hans had bought some really nice stainless Porter mufflers,
and we had found the correct reducers/tubing at the store earlier.
The two of us double teamed on the car to do the best hack job possible.
There was no way he wanted to lose those beautiful mufflers on the highway!

T. Perich & H. Bloms
midnight special

By 4am we did what we could.
A sweet couple mile test drive on the freeway confirmed they were good to go.
Tom had found the "old grand dad" bottle,
and finally Hans could celebrate too.
After an hour of actually meeting these guys,
it was time for me to head home.

They were lucky to be able to go on a road trip together.
I was spent enough to go to work,
and somehow they rallied up in the morning and headed east to Texas.

Yuma water pump

About lunchtime I got an email,
and they had a small water pump problem in Yuma.
At least they made it over the grade first!

somewhere in Arizona

By monday night they had made it to Tucson, Arizona.
The car was happy at 70 mph and 19 mpg.
Not bad!

It was fun to be a part of their adventure.
Look for the car at Bonneville in August!


No comments:

Post a Comment