23 March 2017

Princess - 1989 Ford F-150

Using the hot rod for a daily driver was a blast,
until heavy rains were predicted.
Craigslist hunting took precedence during any free time.
After weeding through dozens of sub-$1000 ads,
this jewel popped up.

A 2wd 1989 Ford F-150 long bed 
with a 300 6-cylinder and manual transmission,
hand crank windows and locks...
just what I needed.

While there were many cars,
having a hauler that can help with the future move seemed like a better tool.
I'd have loved to get another van,
but they're a premium up here,
either to keep stuff dry or as sleeping rigs,
I'm not sure.

A work friend drove me down 20 miles.
The truck looked and ran great!
There had been some recent repairs,
starter solenoid, battery... starter, clutch,
as well as some shady wiring mods.
I didn't ask why,
but about 18.75 miles into the 20 mile drive back,
I found out!
At the time it was 7:20pm,
raining... dark,
and I was ready to call it a day.
So was the truck,
as it died as soon as we reached our exit.
Holey Chit!
Too heavy to push,
I was barely off the freeway on the side of the road.
Poop rocks!!
I called the old owner,
and he basically had fixed the same problem,
without ever testing the charging system.
Most likely the alternator was bad.
The walk to my temporary home wasn't too bad,
but by the time I rode back on the bike with the voltmeter,
a tow truck and emergency vehicle had already arrived!
Holey double chit!!

Fortunately the guy was super nice,
and pushed me up the hill,
to guess where?
Within 60 feet from where the Mazda was snagged!!
Holey triple chit!!!
The spot,
the neon,
the situation,
it was a surreal experience,
especially after blowing my wad on a busted vehicle.
I rode the bike back and got the spare battery
that I had been jumping the hot rod with.
Oh did I mention that part?
The rains had wreaked havoc in the 6-volt system,
so I jumped it with a 12-volt spare from the van,
all week long...

The fresh battery got me to my bed,
and actually got me back and forth to work a few times,
til the weekend when the alternator was replaced.
So here it is in all its chromed trucker girl glory.
I swear the previous-previous owner
musta had the cheesy chrome catalog wish list.
For a work truck,
the bumpers are so flimsy and thin.
I hope this isn't how Ford made them,
definitely wouldn't tow the hot rod with these.
I've always wanted to rock 
the chrome girl license plate holder,
truely complete now.
I'll be calling this one princess...
The interior has the must have "Hang 10" pedal kit,
complete with the little brights switch mini foot.
Thankfully the radio works!
First car in 15 + years with non-stock tuneage.
The sides are graced with the weakest running boards,
they're barely bolted on,
and the bracketry is Home Depot after thought.
There's actually a string of lights on the side too.
Interestingly enough there's a magnaflow muffler 
and catalytic converter,
although it sounds stock,
at least I won't be hose clamping aluminum cans
 on any rust holes.
The directional wheels...
Oh yea...

It didn't take long to realize I'm a van guy,
trained to drive around with precious junk at all times,
however with a truck there's no hiding it.
Tough to park and go to the store.
Camouflaging with rags will only work so long.
A chance Craigslist score procured a perfectly fitting camper shell,
or as Oregoners say it "canopy".
I've got to admit every Craigslist deal has followed with a chat fest.
People here are so nice and interesting.
This was found in the Washington town of Battleground,
and picking it up was the perfect excuse to visit the area.
Thanks Corey!!
And lastly check this out,
an actual tree growing in the windshield.
It is so tough to grow tree seeds,
and here they grow on a car,
in 55 mph wind.
I transplanted it to get later when we move.

Hopefully this one sticks around...

17 March 2017

Big 3 parts exchange and more!

I'd been preparing for the Big 3 parts exchange for months.
Ok more like mentally preparing.
If this PDX thing seemed to work out,
then the February swap meet was gonna be the parts purge.
In typical form,
physical preparation started when I flew in Friday,
thrashing to get to the spot that night.
We did exceptionally well,
so much so we filled the van up a second time Saturday night.
The rule this year was not leaving the stall.
Instead of scrounging the stadium lot for goodies,
Jaxon and I focused on giving junk to new owners.
It worked!
At the end the garage was still full.
Remember we had emptied the shop the week before,
and sorting keepers and ditchers took a lot of space.
In hindsight with one more day,
we could have gotten rid of so much more.
The marginal keeper chit was better than the majority of junk other swappers had brought. 
Of course it rained all day Monday,
the cleanup day.
Even the dogs didn't want to be outside.
One thing that didn't sell was this rearend,
we spent an hour dismantling it.
I told the kids never to use the torch in rain gear...
This ended up having the best '36 radius rods,
and the shiniest torque tube I've ever seen.
Perfect parts for the cradle robber.
The kids kicked but,
the rain was a non-issue.
They're ready for wet Portland!!
The hoods are hiding their smiling faces...
The flurry of the weekend didn't last long,
and not enough time was spent just hanging out with the wife,
but we really accomplished a ton,
and I could pay off the credit cards a bit.
Or so I thought!
As ya may know the Mazda beater had disappeared.
Definite bummer to walk up to an empty spot.
Fortunately the old hot rod took charge.
Actually it wasn't charged,
the rain had wreaked havoc on the 6-volt system.
Even with a reserve battery it wouldn't start.
Fortunately I had a spare 12-volt to jump it...
This lasted all week!!
No biggie it ran great.
(How to charge 6's with a 12 volt charger!)
After 8-9 years I can't believe these optima batteries are still functioning!
I'm gonna be in trouble when they die,
as the battery box is designed specifically for their flatness.
With no rain for that first week,
the roadster was the perfect daily driver,
however with long rainy days in the forecast,
Marathon craigslist hunting paid off,
as this jewel was scooped up for the exact amount of junk we had given up.
Nothin like exchanging parts for parts!
The credit cards will have to wait.

12 March 2017

Bye sweet Mazda...

It drives my wife crazy,
cause I live my life without a plan,
however there is a framework or outline,
the details get filled in as time goes by.
One of the bullet points during this PDX adventure,
was to find a cheap truck,
something that would lessen the wear and tear
on our 1 ton van,
and could be passed down to Jaxon or Jakob.
I wrote earlier how this was the screamin $300 deal,
and even with used tires and various parts,
the price didn't break the $500 mark.
We had some good times,
at least 800 miles of them!
The van woulda been ran down 
learning the streets of Portland,
not to mention the Mazda was a gas sipper.
We got through the snow weeks,
much more fun than driving the van,
which could get unruly with the extra weight.
The little truck drove great with chains.
Most of those miles were due to craigslist scrounging,
one of the best ways to learn a city.
There are some great places hidden in town.
It'll be more fun when the family is up!
Behind the scenes,
we were heading to a deadline.
While it was a bulletproof rig,
there were some annoying issues.
It loved to dribble oil,
leaving its mark like it was an old Harley or hot rod.
I changed the crank pulley seal,
and even changed the oil pan gasket.
Even then there was a random leak.
Besides that,
it wasn't the cleanest running engine.
The original 2000cc was swapped for a 2200cc,
and had clues of a tweaker or beginner mechanic.
Gobs of RTV, 
half the exhaust was missing,
a bad driveshaft carrier bearing,
and a mystery scraping sound.
The registration was up in April,
and the goal was to either pass smog/deq,
or send it down the road.
Well I didn't mean that literally.
Every trip to SD,
I'd leave it in this spot,
across from the Max/trolley stop.
After the 4th time,
I musta got too comfortable.
The truck was gone!!
Well what did I expect.
The spot is across from a bar and mechanic shop,
on the main drag that goes through town.
Holey... Chit.
Fortunately I had the hot rod!
Good ole reliable got me to work that week...
More later!

11 March 2017

Tag Teaming Mowers & Golf Carts - toro 580d's & ez-go

The boss is on vacation,
so figured I'd do a good ole time Perich thrash.
For some reason it makes me more comfortable 
to juggle a couple projects,
vs focusing on just one.
It seems more efficient working with some clutter,
instead of spending time cleaning!
An electric golf cart shouldn't need too much work,
or so I thought.
The front wheels were crazy wobbly,
only needing a repack and adjustment,
and a rough alignment.
No wonder this thing drove with a mind of its own.
The batteries seemed like one of those trick questions,
like a test to see if I'd catch it.
Funny cause most everything here is like that!
The mowers are a bit more involved.
I'd actually started on these first,
and double-teamed them like a production line,
allowing me to order or find parts at the same time.
Also since I have no idea what I'm doing,
when there was an issue fixing one part,
I could check the other one to see if it matched.
Of course they're made years apart with some upgrades,
kinda similar on the outside,
with different diesel engines,
and electronics and controls,
and ones a 2wd the others a 4wd.
Yea sure sounds like they're the same Toro 580D's!
The cool thing is this giant parts stash.
Remember that most of the equipment here
is donated or scrounged castaways,
requiring trickery and fiddling to stay alive.
Just my style,
like hot rodding farm equipment.
Or is it like working on an old farm?
Some of this stuff is so worn out,
again it seemed like a test to see if I'd fix simple problems,
or ignore them like the previous guy.
Half of these bearings basically disintegrated years ago,
and they just kept running 'em.
I had to cut out the races with a dremel tool!
And these were like large skateboard bearings,
the type that don't come apart!
Good times...
I had kinda got in trouble months earlier,
for making things too nice.
It's a tough habit to break,
something I learned from a kid working with my Papa,
and refined throughout the years.
It runs deep in our family!
Now I just make the parts I'm working on nice,
and spot paint sections not the whole thing.
Believe me it's tough to hold back.
My rattlecan finger gets real twitchy.
There is a reason to go half-a$$,
blending between the real and imaginary,
and that's not to lose time fixing necessary mechanical problems.

As a result instead of rushing to do 2 things in the same amount of time,
I'll methodically do one thing.
If I finish the never ending list of shit to do,
I can go back and have fun with paint.
I didn't show all the stuff completed,
it's not that exciting.
Here's what it looks like on paper...
Hydraulic leaks, cylinder swap, new blades,
rebuild cutter hubs, lotsa chit.
Most likely forgot to write a couple things...
During the finish test,
I heard a weird rhythmic clanking.
With virtually no experience working on mowers,
I was like Holey Chit what did I miss?
A wrongly rebuilt cutter hub?
Wrong or upside down blades?
A 3/4" hinge pin had worn out,
allowing the blades to hit each other.
Another tricky thing to diagnose,
but easy to make a new one.
I've got to admit,
it felt good to get out the grinder and cut some metal!
Yep...Fun at work!