13 February 2014

like fine wine

There are a couple projects I have been wanting to post about,
and now the time has come for one of them.
The realization while writing this is a little embarrassing,
as basically this took 5 or 6 half days strung out all the way back to Halloween.
The concession is the steering,
my problem,
was finished only a day after the stainless brake line,
which was started a couple months earlier.
Fortunately my Uncle Steve is a very patient guy!
This 29 roadster project started over 17 years ago,
back when a Torrance halibrand quickchange 
cost as much as a banjo steering wheel and steering column.
The plan is to have a full fendered hot rod.
A good plan!
The first step may sound unusual,
as I just organized the parts and jacked up the car super high,
letting the project filter through my subconscious.
The TCI frame had set the steering box location,
and a Flaming River SS steering column was already purchased,
making this a clear cut project.
Get some u-joints and shaft, 
drop the column mount,
and cut a hole in the firewall.
 On paper or this screen it sounds easy,
but between each step parts were necessary,
the perfect excuse for the lag time.
By Thanksgiving the u-joints and DD shaft had arrived,
and the column could be set and not imagined.
By Christmas,
the steering wheel arrived,
changing the location of the mocked up column mount.
That above picture is one of the first times he had sat in the car!
Unfortunately the wheel didn't match my template,
and a couple changes would need to be made.
By now it's January...
Luckily Uncle Steve has the help of his son-in-law Brandon,
who fills me in on the progress as he was doing the brake lines.
The goal was to get this driveable to the BIG3 swapmeet in February,
which meant time to get my a$$ in gear!
The column drop needed changing,
one to hide the wiring harness,
and two to scoot over for more u-joint clearance.
That above picture scared the chit out of Brandon and Uncle Steve.
Just give me a couple minutes with a grinder and it'll be all right!
So nice to work in a garage where neighbors don't complain,
but actually come over to visit and see what's going on.
Finally the firewall hole could be cut.
a simple template was made to place the gap.
This was one of the more tedious parts.
I had half expected to cut a larger hole,
then make some cover plates to close the gap,
then weld or clamp a tab to mount to the firewall.
The tediousness paid off.
The slotted hole only had a minor gap,
and a split hose bushing really cinched up the column.
For the first time in 17 years,
Uncle Steve got to turn the wheels with the steering wheel!
It was a bitchin moment for everyone.
The new energy really lit a fire,
Brandon and I were a tag team around the roadster that night.
"Honey I'll be home soon"
Yeah right...
With little more than a week to go,
I'm hoping to get the call this weekend to see the maiden voyage.
Special thanks to Aunt Georgette for hanging out with the kids too!


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