28 February 2013

deja vu at the BIG 3 - 2013

This years BIG 3 swap meet was the typical curve ball.
Every year is the same but different.
Last year I was thrashing on the chocolate & cheese roadster,
the year before this area was flooded and closed down,
the year before that there was a good steady rain all weekend.
cousin brandon slinging at the BIG 3 swap meet san diego

Like I wrote a couple days ago,
this was the year of the conscious procrastinator.
I waited til the very end to get everything together,
and in a (not bad) way paid the price.

#21 for possibly the last oldies month installment.
- four seasons - big girls don't cry
Yeah what a way to end the month but here it is!

First off...
Remember when I told you that our RPU Chief had battery issues?
Well after starting it up a couple nights ago,
the poor thing also ran out of gas.
Basically Jakob and I would have been stuck about a block away,
which would have been way worse than the 15 minute jump-start frenzy.
We got off lucky!
krown rockers - big 3 - 2013

This year the layout was really sparse.
The swap spaces were sold out,
but many sellers didn't feel like braving the 70 degree so-cal winter.
The buyers weren't as thick either.
Tough with craigslist and ebay taking over the market.
big 3 swap meet 2013 - san diego

Not to say there weren't some good deals.
This is the place to go for the guys that aren't internet friendly.
Part of the fun is in the search and actually talking to someone.
1939 ford deluxe sedan

Another cool aspect is seeing where these parts should end up,
as a car or truck.
To many of the sellers,
the Big 3 is more of a car show than a parts swap.
1954 studebaker pickup truck

The rusty 40 has some patina competition with these two.
30's buick i think

This was a cool 80's Sportsmobile Ford van.
Not sure the differences between the quadravan.
I'd love a diesel version.
The perfect armageddon vehicle.
ford sportsmobile 4x4 van

Here's something my cousin-in-law Brandon was drooling over all weekend.
A sweet custom paint 1978 honda 110cc pull-start ATC.
If it had started he'd have brought it home.
1978 honda 110 ATC

These are so off my radar.
After a couple walk-by's,
I started seeing parts of these things all over the place.
Didn't realize they had such a cult status.
1978 honda ATC 110

I'm really glad we brought the old dock cart.
This year we really scoured the swap meet,
doing a thorough walk a couple times each day.
Basically I'd sell something and go for a stroll,
picking up something else that had caught my eye.
I haven't done that much walking in a long time.
aluminum dock cart

Our friend Mario had brought this beater Schwinn Stingray to sell.
We had made a handshake deal early on,
and man it was a lifesaver for the kid(s).
Instead of trudging behind me in sheer agony,
the bike made it much more fun.
They'd either pull one another on the skateboard,
or try to outsmart the security guards.
Now it's home.
Gotta work that thing off now on one of Mario's rides!
70's schwinn stingray

So let's see what else we scrounged up other than that bellhousing and multimeter.
skateboard parts score

A friend Victor was basically giving this skate stuff away.
I hadn't seen him in years so it was great to catch up.
That blank is really cool fiberglassed with the stringers.
saginaw 3-speed overdrive transmissions

This is where my scores took a bit of a wrong turn.
The guy I got the chromed bellhousing from had these saginaw transmissions.
He basically gave them away and I couldn't resist.
This was exactly what I didn't need - heavy and dirty.
The gear oil leaked all over the cart and the van.
Whatever I couldn't pass them up I love these OD transmissions.
ford wheels

The only thing I was really on the hunt for was that ford rim on the bottom.
A 15 inch 5x4.5 inch lug pattern.
Impossibly more difficult to find than they should be.
Years ago I scrapped these things.
One guy wanted $180 for a pair!
I found this one for cheap and never found the second.
The other wheels are 14 inch,
and really I should have passed on them even for the $10!
victor j-28 +  j-27 + 550-j torch set

My best score was this Victor torch set.
I've got too many of the big 315 versions,
and have always wanted the smaller style,
mainly for brazing or gas welding.
Someday I'll get a jeweler's  torch too.
VICTOR 315 vs j28 vs j27 vs 100 torch

Here is a good comparison of how little the j28 is next to the 315,
the two cutting torches on top.
The yellow capped one is the j27,
and the bottom is the medium duty 100 series.
For guys that weld/braze for hours these light torches must be a relief to use.
The bummer is the little torches also use a smaller hose fitting.
Another bummer is I don't do as much gas welding right now,
but these could change that!
big 3 swap meet

Wow got a little distracted there!
For next year I'm gonna try to get my own space,
instead of taking over Brandon's!
I've got some ideas to go a little bigger,
so we'll see how that works out as the year goes by.
Always a good time..


27 February 2013

KIDS - 1 CANS - 0

I'll tell ya what,
you don't want to be an aluminum can in our backyard.
zombie can target

I'm trying to imagine how many shots its taken to do this!
jakob perich - sharpshooter

Jakob's got the sharpshooting bug.
He'll plow through his homework and go pluck away.
holey chit

Shortly after this shot...
decapitated can target

Jakob - 1 , Can - 0
jakob perich

Way to go Jake!

#19 for oldies month...
Marty Robbins - El Paso - 1964
funny how the hosts are wearing the cowboy getups,
but not the band.
Cool aussie TV version.
It's better to have some cans hanging up around the yard.
Much safer for the birds and cats.

We scrounged around for some new targets,
and realized we had a serious lack of aluminum cans.
Gotta start drinking more corn syrup or beer!


26 February 2013

Chief's Big 3 Weekend

The Big 3 Car swap meet was this past weekend,
so the previous thursday I got the roadster pickup (chief) dialed in.
hot rod

We took a short drive and other than some briefly square tires,
there were only a few issues.
leaky oil filter

One thing that was a bit of a nuisance was this leaky oil filter.
Over time it went from a couple drops to an all out gusher,
so bad that I had zip tied an oil diaper around the cannister.
dried gasket

Upon inspection the reason was obvious,
the rubber gasket was brittle, cracked and compressed.
Must have been 50 years old.
One of those "I'll get to it later" projects.
replacement gasket

It took about 10 minutes and a scrap of old neoprene to fix that problem.
To celebrate I took out a can of ancient motor oil to top the flathead off.
unocal custom motor oil

Next on the list were the kick plates for the floor.
I had cut them out over 2 years ago,
but never installed them.
tappin holes

A re-thread of the original floorboard holes,
some match-up holes to the kickplates,
and the panels were secure enough for the weekend.
- 15 minutes tops.
So much for the extended night of work.
aluminum floor

The next day (Friday) I packed the van full of swap junk.
You're not a true gearhead unless you have this kinda stuff.
re-enactment of swap meet load

The boys and I dropped off the goods at the spot,
and we made a quick stroll through the rows.
We were home early enough to get a good nights sleep.
The plan was to drive CHIEF out there like last year,
like a show and sell.
perich brothers (and sister): Good Times at the Big 3
Well wouldn't you know it,
somehow I had accidentally flicked a switch thursday night,
and there was no juice.
Both batteries were drained.
My leisurely saturday morning quickly turned
into the frantic failed attempt at jump-starting the rig,
tough to do with the 6-volt system.
double dead optima batteries

By 7:20 I knew it was a bust,
and the gates closed at 8am.
Jakob and I transferred our stuff to the van,
and we were off.
We made it there with 5 minutes to spare.
Rest easy Chief...
probably sunday at the big 3 but pretend it's saturday

The Big 3 swap meet is surreal,
as many sellers renew the same spots every year.
I could swear most were trying to sell the same junk!
It's like yesteryear was yesterday,
even though so much has happened since then.
chromed ford flathead bellhousing

The swap meet was great,
and we were able to trade a bunch of my heavy junk,
for other people's dirty heavy junk.
I'll write more about that later.
chromed ford flathead starter plate

One of the best scores was this bitchin chromed flathead bellhousing.
If you look at Chief's interior shot again,
you'll see this is exactly what is needed between those 2 kick plates.
Super cool.
I'll have to add swapping this out on my long list of STD (sh*t to do).

Bringing the van changed the flow,
or better yet,
bringing the van changed my alcohol flow.
Instead of preparing to drive the hot rod home to swap to the van,
the van was the last refuge.

#17 for oldies month
Ben E King - Stand By Me
I had met up with a couple friends,
(imagine picture here - rotten rodney, lurker mike, marlene)
that introduced me to the joys of straight vodka,
with a slice of orange.
It's a high-class buzz compared to beer!
washing machine fire

After some fun conversationing,
the wife picked up Jakob that night.
The trooper of the day for sure.
Fun kid to hang out with.
Bummed now I didn't take more pics!

I retreated to a comfortable chair and the bonfire.
Mario, Brandon and a couple friends were hell bent
on burning all the firewood.
Let's say 2+AM rolls up pretty quick!
Simpson 260 series 3

I'm tangenting off a bit here,
so to focus back on Chief,
and cut this post a little short...

The next morning I scored this really cool multimeter,
a late 50's Simpson 260 series 3.
Amazingly enough the company still makes an upgraded version.

The Simpson 260 Resource Page - Information - Photographs - Free Manuals
knight auto analyzer  kg-375

Which will supplement the old knight meter I usually use.
simpson 260 series 3 - works!

When I got home sunday,
the batteries were all topped off,
the meter worked,
and Chief was ready to be fired up.

Too bad I ended up passing out!

More on the swap meet next time...


25 February 2013


I may have hinted that the neighbors cats around here are basically useless.
There's one scroungy orange cat that's a good mouser,
but the fat house cats are protective of there squatter domains.
dead mouse

Over the past month we've had signs of a(?) mouse inside the house.
The first time in almost 5 years.
I thought it was a night lurker,
but one day while I was writing one of these posts,
I could have sworn a little mouse ran in the mini hallway.
A bit later I could have sworn it ran the other way,
probably munching on the kids hidden candy wrappers.

What is this #14 for oldies month?
James & Bobby Purify - I'm your puppet

At night we'd wake up to one of them gnawing on something in the wall.
That grating noise makes you feel kinda dirty.
tuned mouse trap

The mouse was so little the traditional traps weren't working.
I even tuned the end of the trap wire to be more sensitive.
last resort = d-con poison

Finally I had to resort to the poison.
Not sure what is more humane,
getting snapped in half,
or dying a slow death by dehydration from the brodifacoum poison.
Whatever it is,
it's better than finding a live mouse on a glue trap.
dead mouse re-enactment

Or is it?
Now we've got to watch our feet for dead mice.
I thought they were supposed to go back to there dens to die.
Somehow this one found its way to the kitchen,
and the wife found it after 10 am!
Guess it's better than a foul smell coming from inside the wall!


skate rats II

The boys and I met up with an old friend we hadn't seen in years.
Last time he saw the kids they looked like this.
jaxon & jakob 2004

Okay maybe a little bigger,
but this is probably his memory of them!
(not the video!)

It was fun hanging out.
Tim had a ton of old stories from when they were young,
and a couple before they were around.
Definitely had to filter out some of the rough parts!
He even remembered the spill that Jakob did on his skateboard,
probably close to the time of that picture above.
After that I didn't push the skating thing on the kids as much.
tim delaney, travis + jakob + jaxon perich

It was good to catch up,
and made me realize I need to not be so much a hermit,
and see old friends more.
Also I got to get the kids out skating!

Good to see ya Tim!


21 February 2013

hot rod amplifier

Last weeks adventure with all that McIntosh gear
gave me the not-needed distraction to pull out
my own MC2300 that I grabbed a couple months back.
It has been quietly waiting,
stashed behind a speaker in the living room.
A great place for a 130+ pound amplifier.
McIntosh MC2300

Here's a refresher...
perich brothers (and sister): basking in the blue glow

Oldies Month #12
Otis Redding - Hard To Handle


Like most deals I get,
this one needed some fixings.

The needle was broken on the left meter.
A NOS replacement was found on ebay,
but never the time to swap it out.
The light so-cal rains were a perfect excuse.
McIntosh MC-2300 Amplifier

After seeing Sean rip his amp apart,
I figured how bad could it be.
Unlike stereo receivers
which are very delicate in there intricate layers - tuner/amp/preamp,
the MC-2300 is built to repair.
It's really the hot rod of vintage solid state amplifiers.
Everything is held together by screws or machine screws,
no fragile glass or plastic - all aluminum or sheetmetal.
Other than remembering where the wires go,
the layout is very accessible.
MC 2300 minor repair

The front plate could be partially removed without taking knobs off.
There had been some definite hack work done in the past.
The light fixture had some custom hacketry added,
which had perplexed me earlier.
I figured out that the light mounting bolts on the meters had broken off,
and so the tech had rigged it up.
mc2300 meters

The meter swap could have been a quick fix,
while also solving the light mounting problem.
Out of curiosity I took apart the old meter.
busted McIntosh 124-018 meter

Lo and behold the needle was laying inside the housing.
Better yet the needle wasn't broken,
and wasn't a needle but actually a straw or tube.
It easily slid back over the actual gauge pin.
Guess I'll save the NOS meter for later!
Still need to get that light assembly solidly mounted.
fixed McIntosh 124-018 meter

The next issue was the driver cards.
Something wasn't quite right with the sound,
and the heat sinks wouldn't heat up evenly.
At first I thought it was some toasted transistors,
but when the cards switched sides,
the unevenness would follow.

Basically if you look at those 8 heat sinks,
the 2nd and 3rd would be hot but not the 1st and 4th,
then the 5th and 8th would be hot,
but not the 6th and 7th.
mc2300 guts

The driver cards belong in those 2 empty slots,
there between the autoformers and heat sinks.
Like I said this thing is built to repair.

Late last year I had sent them to the McIntosh guru Terry DeWick,
but he's so back logged they're still there.
Fortunately Sean let me borrow a couple in the meantime.
1Y McIntosh MC2300 driver cards

After a quick install,
the old amp was back in business.
I'm no electrical technician,
but it seemed like it needed some juice to burn the cobwebs out.
I swapped the cards back and forth,
to do that heat sink test again,
and after a couple hours just idling and some mid-level playback
the amp has really come back to life.
Like all 300 watts per channel have been unlocked.
What can I expect from 40 year old capacitors and transistors!
I'll need to do some research on upgrading those later on.
test system - sansui 9090 + MC2300 + 4-JBL 4311

Now it is hooked up to the computer using the sansui 9090 as a preamp.
I also hooked up all 4 speakers to draw more power out of the amp,
and it seems to like it.
There is a row of ohm connectors ( 0.5/1/2/4/8/16) in the back,
with the wires hooked up parallel on the 4 ohm post.

Resistance = (Speaker A x Speaker B) / (Speaker A + Speaker B)

and 8x8ohm/8+8ohm = 4ohm
However some say these JBL 4311's are closer to 5 ohm,
so that would be 5x5ohm/5+5ohm = 2.5.
MC 2300 backside

Yeah this stuff gets a little technical!
One thing I gotta say is when this thing is semi-cranked,
the heat builds up in there,
and those 2 fans kick in.
Sure there's no sound difference,
it's just plain cool!
inside MC-2300

I will say this thing has a really sweet sound.
Most say there's a warm tone and that would be a good term.
While it's not necessarily louder than the 110 watt 9090,
there is a bigger or fuller sound, like getting hit by a good size wave.
Also I bet this could handle another pair of speakers without a sweat.

 Anyway let's see how long this thing can last in the middle of the walkway!