Shop – 2nd Week 2018

This week, in no particular order, the following was done.

My 81 Imperial Custom was gone through and anything needing attention was given attention, and listed for sale CHEAP!

Click Here for details.

Three solid days were spent with a guy coming two days a week to help sorting out the nightmare electrical system in my 67 Marlin. It had been butchered over the years and virtually nothing worked. The car is almost ready for a drive, then it will be torn down and restored. I want everything working first.

The rear window from Pro Glass has arrived, and will hopefully be in the Thug next week.

On the Screamin Woody, new Lexan arrive and I’ll start on that soon. The Fuel Pump is at Fuelab getting freshened up. I’ll put the fuel system on the car when I receive it back.

Also related to the wagon, the machinist called and said that my 9 month wait is over. I was having a sleeve hammered in and the block machined – except for decking – which will occur after rotating is ready. I took the Callies Crank to him. It’s gonna need to be turned down for stock Chevy rods, if it passes being Magnafluxed. I’ll have to wait on the crank before ordering rods, pistons and bearings. If I have to buy a new crank  then I’ll go a different way. Also, its been so long that I don’t remember if the crank came out of the 540 or 580ci. They’ll have to measure for that too. I inventoried the other parts for the motor, and I have a set of 572 heads with new valves and springs; rockers with only 7 passes (before the Indy built motor with cheap ass rod bolts blew); Jessel belt Drive and Bullet Cam; Milodon Oil Pump and Aerospace Vacuum pump; Valley pan and the Indy bathtub Intake which is about to go to Florida for modifications. Damon should be getting to work assembling it as soon as I know what to order for pistons, rods and bearings; and receive. Outside chance car might make it to Bradenton in March – but I still have a lot of work and I’m only working in the shop three days a week because of a franchise I’m in the process of buying is taking a couple days a week of my time getting it set up.

I taught my Shop Rat how to use the polisher with “Fine Cut” polish and then cleaner wax to brighten up the paint on my 79 Magnum GT. Its another of my 30+ cars that I’m making ready to sell. Went through the car last month and fixed anything that wasn’t working right. Just need to detail the interior, photo and list for sale.

On my 78 Magnum XE, I’m replacing the Dakota Digital gauges I installed 18 years ago with custom white gauges in a modified stock panel. The above photos show it mocked up in the modified dash panel, and the dash wet sanded and painted. I’m letting the paint dry for a couple of days because of three coats (the last very wet) of black hammer toned, before putting gauges back in.  CLICK HERE for the details.

Also in shop news:

  • Picked up the coach after two weeks in the shop for oil leaking through lug nuts on both steering and one tag axle wheels.
  • Mowed five acres
  • Replaced one of the six 8′ florescent shop lights with LED, to see if I like it. I do and ordered five more.
  • Did a little more cleaning, organizing and photoing parts I no longer need for sale . CLICK HERE to see what I have for sale (or need to buy/trade for) on my For sale site.
  • Photo’d, listed and sod some more furniture.

 

Deep Cleaning of the Shop Continues.

In the last year, I’ve had mechanic help come in now and then to help out. Between he, I and my shop rat – things start to get out of place with good used parts, new parts, and complete garbage laying around – instead of put away properly. Getting stuff done has taken a priority to organization and putting parts, tools, and supplies away. Currently I’m going through the shop and putting stuff away, and trying to improve organization. Yesterday I spent the first couple of hours putting good parts away, and bad parts in garbage. There was a lot of both. Then I started reorganizing the electrical crash cart, which was a total mess. I got rid of the bad short wires thrown in the cart and wound up good short pieces, sorted and bagged connectors which, somehow got unsorted. I put switches and fuses; shrink tubes and relays; and connectors in cases.

I still have six other crash carts to straighten out, but this was the worst of them. On my stacker, the door cabinet was mounted very low because of some plates I used to mount a puck lock system.

It interfered with the golf cart when loaded. So it got mounted higher today after cutting a relief hole in the back.

Also in the stacker, the aircraft cargo track that got ripped up when I had to lock up the brakes with a car on the lift – had a new one cut, edges ground smooth, bent to fit beaver tail, and screwed down with new screws, lock washers and nuts.

The Magnum has been sitting for a couple of years. Recently the gas was drained, carb rebuilt and car running and tuned before replacing the carpet and seats. It drives great, but brakes were horrible. Originally it was suspected to have been the master cylinder – so that was removed and inspected. It was fine and the brakes bled and adjusted. Brakes still sucked so car was jacked up and both rear wheels still turned while brakes were applied. Since the they bled fine, it is suspected that the pistons are froze up inside from sitting so long – and ones are on the way.

Also in the “spent a lot of time and money fixing the wrong items” department, the hydraulic clutch on my 99 Drifter 1500 motorcycle was slipping. It got replaced last month. Now it has a slight delay engaging. Bleeding didn’t help so I bought a used master cylinder and a rebuild kit as new is made of unobtainium. It was rebuilt and put on, but same issue existed. the slave cylinder was bled, and same thing. The hose between the two was removed. While 150 psi of air was introduced at one end, less than ten psi comes out of the other end – meaning 20 years has degraded the hose and its collapsed. It too is made of unobtainium, so I’ll have to take someplace that can take a hose with banjo fittings.

So a lot of hours were spent wasting time yesterday. Heading to the lake for the weekend, so thrashing resumes next week.

Fall Shop Cleaning

I spent last week at my Little Cabin on the Lake, mostly turning it into a smart home. While I was gone, I gave my Shop Rat the task of doing a Deep Fall Cleaning of the shop. He started in one corner of the building and moved clockwise cleaning/washing walls, purlins, garage doors, shelves and the floor. Below are some photos of his work.

He was also tasked with spreading three yards of dark mulch.

When I returned Monday, I took the coach to the Spartan shop (120 mile round trip) to fix oil leaking from lug nuts, opened a ton of packages of parts needing to get thrown on cars, and mowed the five acres – which had gone wild from all of the rain. It was kinda muddy still, but there was a forecast of another week of rain, so it was mow now or wait a couple more weeks.

Finally, I took some photos of the rust detail on a 60 Plymouth I bought ten years ago to part out, but have decided to just sell as is instead.

The rest of this week I intend to further organizing the shop while having the shop rat detail the inside of the stacker. Then back to work on the wagon and my street car collection.

Early October Shop Updates

Been working in shop more than posting this week, as I’ll be spending next week at the lake with family. I usually live at the lake Friday through Monday and at the shop Tuesday through Thursday – but after being gone two weeks racing, I had a shop thrash going on this week.

I picked up the rear bumper to my Magnum XE (I point out XE as I also have a black 79 GT) and installed.

The ten year old and squeaking serpentine belt was replaced with a shorter one that was required after changing the heads from iron to Edelbrocks. I took the car for a hard drive (110 mph to) to test the belt. While that’s good, the brakes were mushy and won’t lock up. They’ll have to be dealt with when I get back.

Almost 20 years ago I put the above Dakota Digital gauges in a custom dash panel for my Magnum XE. To me the Kool Factor has gone away. I ordered a Kustom set of gauges that I’ll install into a stock dash panel, after I scuff, sand, and paint flat black with plastic adhesive paint. I’m still thinking about what to do with the “Idiot Lights” on right side of dash panel, as the gauges handle that monitoring.

If you have a 75-79 B Body and want my old Digital dash panel with gauges, lights, and switches, its yours for $300.

Moving off the XE and on onto the Magnum GT. The leaky valve cover gaskets were replaced as was the sticky brake light switch that keeps draining the battery. I’ll detail and sell that car as part of my new “Reduce my foot print and make more simple” philosophy.

The 81 Imperial I’ve had since 1986 (I restored with a 380hp 360ci, street strip trans, 8.75″ with 3.55 gears…) had the AC, Power Seats and power antenna fixed. Found a gas leak when it was filled with 93 octane, and replaced the line. The gas tank and straps were new when I restored it many years ago. It now runs perfect and has zero issues. It too needs to be detailed so I can put up for sake when I get back.

The leaking gas tank in my 58 Dodge Pick up was repaired, and it too needs to be detailed and sold. Also in the photo is my trailer of three yards of mulch I picked up yesterday. That’s to keep my Shop Rat busy next week.

Speaking of the Shop Rat, he washed the Coach (above), sanded and painted the tongue of my old Aluminum trailer with POR15, and cut 2′ X 4′ shelves from 3/8″ plywood to replace shitty stock particle board shelves that have bowed and broken.

I put together a milk crate with two bottle jacks (one of them air) operated, an impact wrench, and sockets in my Stacker trailer. I have 150 psi air supply from the coach. I mounted a 50′ air reel to the compartment connection to reach the trailers. I’ve used once the air setup to change a Stacker tire, and it is now a no problem 10 minute job by me alone – compared the PITA Dallas and I use to go through.

I fixed the trunk seal on the Thug, and the Rat washed it. Waiting on the rear glass from Proglass. I’ll be tearing the trunk down over the winter for another coat of spatter paint and clear, and to polish the aluminum. The car also needs to go on the lift for the Rat to scrub the underside and for me to inspect and tighten suspension. I really hope to have the Screamin Woody ready as primary car for Bradenton, and for the Thug to go to back up duty. Maybe Dallas will run once or twice next year as his car is kn need of a total rebuild as he’s working too many hours to deal with it.

Speaking of Screamin Woody, the underside was painted and the rebuilt rear end and 4-link reinstalled.

The high HP 383 that will be going into my 60 Plymouth Post Street car is now finished. The engine compartment has been cleaned, scuffed, and is ready for Petty Blue paint. It will ultimately be wrapped to look like a sun bleached Petty NASCAR that has been left outside since 1961.

One of my all time favorite cars is a 1967 AMC Marlin. It is the rarest of the three years Marlins were made, and the only year made on AMC’s full-size Ambassador platform. The 65-66 were built on the shorter Rambler Rouge platform. They looked weird being that short of a fastback.

So I finally bought a nice southern 67 Marlin about 15 years ago. I drove it for a couple of weeks and then parked it to wait for a restoration. This week it got pulled out to be made running, before being tearing down to restore. It had no brakes, so they were replaced. The fuel pump was missing – don’t ask me how or why. Anyway the 67 for a 343 ci was a one year only, and impossible to find. The 68 was also a one year only, equally hard to find. Both have the fuel filter as part of the pump, one on top and the other on the bottom. Everything I found on the internet says only option is to replace with an electric pump. I was able to find a new 68 for a 343, and it works perfectly. Why isn’t that on any AMC forum? So car runs great, except for a whistle from a failing carb to intake gasket. I ordered the gasket, but it had to be removed so I would order the correct one. Engine uses  Motorcraft 2bbl carb. The GM distributor had the points replaced with a Pertronix electronic, but needs the gasket I ordered to test it. Once the car has been taken for a drive, it will be torn down. Engine compartment, interior, trim,… I’ll sent car to be repainted Red (always loved red with Black top Marlins), chrome to chrome shop, detail engine and covert to 4Bbbl. I need to see what interior I can locate in black. Based on that, I’ll decide if I will change to black or keep gold.

So that’s this past week at the shop.

 

Back Home, Back to Work

So last night I returned after 15 days of drag racing, dropping my Coach off for service, and visiting the “Outlaws” in Western New York. Click here if interested in more of the details on that. Anyway, after 4,000 miles of driving I was 30 miles from home when someone jumped in front of me as the Toyota that was in front of me (with one tail light and no brake lights) locked up the brakes. I had to lock up the brakes harder than I’ve ever had in a rig this big. So hard that the coffee maker in the coach flew into my wife. This morning when unloading the cars out of the stacker, the Genesis on the lift ripped the aircraft L Track out of the lift from that emergency stop.

So got the stacker unloaded and flipped the rig around and opened it up so my wife could clean out.

My shop rat will have a big job of washing 4000 miles of bugs off of it. Speaking of Shop Rat, while I was gone his main job was to take the under belly of Screamin Woody to bare metal, and to apply two coats of POR15 Silver and Black.

The clutch on my 1999 Kawasaki Drifter 1500 was replaced before I left. While the tank was off I figured it was time to change the color from that ugly Maroon, so the fenders got taken off. While I was having the Thug’s body damage fixed at Randy Standsbury’s in Louisiana, I took the bike’s sheet metal for bright metallic red pearl paint. That was delivered last week, and put on the scooter today.

Back to the Woody. The Ford 9″ was torn down, inspected and case painted before I left, and then reassembled today.

My Shop Rat stripped the Four-Link when I was gone, and I taped off ends and hit it with a couple coats of red.

The tail lights and fin trim is now back on the wagon.

I hope to have the rear suspension back in; and the rear compartment stripped, spatter painted, new fuel cell and weight boxes installed by the end of October. The goal is to have the car finished (still dealing with engine) by New Year, and well tested before Bradenton.

I also opened two weeks of boxes that came in while I was gone and mowed the 2′ high grass.

I wanted to paint the “Leaning Tower of Power” that came out of my 60 Plymouth today (Shop Rat made paint ready while I was gone), but only so much time.

Also ordered wipers for 46 Olds; Front and Rear seals for the Screamin Woody’s motor; rocker adjusters for the 383 Motor going into the 60 Plymouth; and brake master cylinder and fuel pump for my 67 Marlin.

Tomorrow is Doctor appointment day, then a weekend on the Lake. Monday I pick up the Magnum’s bumper from the chrome shop and hope to get quite a bit done Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the shop. So much to do, so little time.

Finishing Up The Indy Race

About a week after the fact, but I’ll tie up the loose ends from the Indy race in this post.

Starting with the All Star race, I’m not All Star worthy! All weekend long up until I smacked my head, I was chopping the tree down. However, I red lit for the first time in competition in three years On the All Star race. I when I passed the red light, I figured it had to be 00something red, but it was more than that.

Later that night the ladder came out for the Big show, and I drew Russ Konkowski, one of the very few cars faster than me. I had calculated a few numbers in the bag to play the stripe. We were the first to go down the track Sunday morning. As I made the left from the staging lanes onto the track, the sun was low and right in back of me. I left with a paranoid light after going red in the All Star race. At the thousand foot I could see nothing out the back window from the sun defracting off all of the scratches on the rear window, after it popped out and passed me the day before. As I was coming up on the MPH cone I looked out the side window, saw nothing and got on the brakes pretty hard. I crossed the line first, and saw the win light in the other lane, telling me I broke out.

Russ couldn’t run the number and I gave it to him because I had no idea where he was on the track. In Texas there’s a saying “Sometimes you’re the bug, sometimes the windshield.” I was the bug that week.

I did manage to squeak out a Top Ten in points for the year.

So we loaded up, I made arrangements to leave the trailer and race car at the track, and I drove the coach to the factory in Northern Indiana, while my wife followed me in the street car.

Got to the factory at dinner time, drained the tanks, filled with water and settled in for the night. Up at 5 am, closed up coach, loaded up the car and did a walk through with their service writer. We then drove to Hamburg, NY so my wife can spend a week with her sister. The coach was suppose to be ready Friday, we were to drive there today (Sunday), and we’d check it out tomorrow. However, I got a call Friday that it  wasn’t ready yet. The plan is to leave tomorrow morning, spend the night in the Coach, and hopefully the part they’re waiting on comes in Tuesday for them to install it. Then to Indy to get the cars loaded into the Stacker, and then back to Texas.

Thug’s Qualifying At Indy

First round of qualifying at Indy was at 1 pm Friday, one hour earlier than scheduled. I usually set up to go a number slower on the first round, and then go for broke on the next two Qualifying. I felt like I had  a good launch, so I lifted at the MPH cone.

Got a 9.768 on my 9.75  index. We calculated what I would have run without lifting, and it was a 9.753. Another bad decision. Tough crowd here, so I was number 8 of 53.

I have a street car on the lift, as I’m dropping the motorhome off at the factory and then driving to Western New York for my wife to visit her sister while the coach is being worked on. When walking under the lift fairly fast, I smacked my head on the landing puck on the underside of the lift. I got woozy and fell hitting my head on the trailer fender. When I rolled over and put my hand to my head, blood was gushing out. I had blood running down my hand and arm; and my face and gasses were covered in blood. I staggered to the coach to get my wife to wet down a towel to stop the bleeding. Meanwhile another racer in the staging lanes saw me and ran to the NMCA guy directing the staging lanes. He sat me down and called the ambulance, which stopped the race. They treated me, bandaged the head up, and had me sign a waiver refusing to go to hospital for stitches. I was going to go after the second round, which was suppose to be in another 15 minutes. However, they pushed us back another two hours and we were the last ones down the track – following Pro Thug and Radial Wars, which takes a different prep. I figured the starting line was going to be garbage, and set up expecting a 1.38 60′. Another bad decision, as I had a 1.36 60′ and broke out by that difference. That moved me down to 13, now with now 63 NSS racers.

 

After that round, we called the Urgent Cares in the area and was told I’d have to go to a Hospital Emergency Room. I didn’t feel like I wanted to pay a $400 deductible to spend a Friday night in an Indy Emergency Room. I self treated by rubbing some dirt on it and drinking heavily for pain management.

Didn’t sleep worth a damn last night. It was midnight when I went to bed and at 2 am I had to deal with the Carbon Monoxide detector blaring. We were to race at 8:30 am, which means they call us to the line at 7:45. I got out of bed at 6 am, got the weather station set up, generator running, and the car pushed out of the trailer. At 7 am I started the car, took it for a ride to warm it up. I parked the car in my pit and put the charger on.

The weather was thirty degrees cooler, calling for a lot of weight to be added.

At the line the car stuttered and bogged. Not sure if it was low fuel pressure, wrong jetting, or the car not being warm enough for the cold air. Maybe a combination of all. Anyway the bog caused a shitty light and a horrible 60′.

That caused me to get knocked out of the All Star Shootout. Worst yet, my back glass blew out at 136 mph.

There was a mandatory NSS driver’s meeting after Q3. I wasn’t wanting to go, as I knew I was out of the All Star Shootout, and that’s what it was about. Doug Duell insisted I go, and I thought maybe he was going to pick me as his “Champion’s” choice. The way the shootout works is that 16 NMCA racers go against 16 Victory Series racers. To get the best of each, they each take the Top Five from last year and the 9 best qualifiers (who’s hot this weekend) from this race. Then the past Champion picks one. While Doug and I are good Buds, we’re also strictly business when it comes to racing. Doug picked Doug Wright, who has been on fire this year. It was the right choice. So the rest of us NMCA racers (about 20) Each got a Raffle Ticket for the final “Lucky Dog” pick, and my number was called. I haven’t been feeling lucky this weekend, and debated giving it to someone else.

So now I’m in a race with a car that bogged, has no back window, and I have a screamer of a headache from the day before. Randy Stansbury, who installed the Pro Glass back window when he painted the car, started putting it back in. Barry Dorn, who has done a few came by to help him.

They had it in in less than an hour. Thank you very much Randy and Barry. I then put on some of my wife’s “Happy Camper” duct tape to hold it in until the new Pro Glass, NASCAR window tabs and molding clips arrive at the shop.

So right now I’m “Chillin”, trying to shake this killer headache, before they call the first of five rounds for the “All Star Shootout”. Sunday, NSS has the eliminations or all 63 racers at 8 am.

Qualifying At Indy

First round of qualifying at Indy was at 1 pm Friday, one hour earlier than scheduled. I usually set up to go a number slower on the first round, and then go for broke on the next two Qualifying. I felt like I had  a good launch, so I lifted at the MPH cone.

Got a 9.768 on my 9.75  index. We calculated what I would have run without lifting, and it was a 9.753. Another bad decision. Tough crowd here, so I was number 8 of 53.

I have a street car on the lift, as I’m dropping the motorhome off at the factory and then driving to Western New York for my wife to visit her sister while the coach is being worked on. When walking under the lift fairly fast, I smacked my head on the landing puck on the underside of the lift. I got woozy and fell hitting my head on the trailer fender. When I rolled over and put my hand to my head, blood was gushing out. I had blood running down my hand and arm; and my face and gasses were covered in blood. I staggered to coach to get my wife to wet down a towel to stop the bleeding. Meanwhile another racer in the staging lanes saw me and ran to the NMCA guy directing the staging lanes. He sat me down and called the ambulance, which stopped the race. They treated me, bandaged the head up, and had me sign a waiver refusing to go to hospital for stitches. I was going to go after the second round, which was suppose to be in another 15 minutes. However, they pushed us back another two hours and we were the last ones down the track – following Pro Thug and Radial Wars, which takes a different prep. I figured the starting line was going to be garbage, and set up expecting a 1.38 60′. Another bad decision, as I had a 1.36 60′ and broke out by that difference. That moved me down to 13, now with now 63 NSS racers.

 

After that round, we called the Urgent Cares in the area and was told I’d have to go to a Hospital Emergency Room. I didn’t feel like I wanted to pay a $400 deductible to spend a Friday night in an Indy Emergency Room. I self treated by rubbing some dirt on it and drinking heavily for pain management.

Didn’t sleep worth a damn last night. It was midnight when I went to bed and at 2 am I had to deal with the Carbon Monoxide detector blaring. We were to race at 8:30 am, which means they call us to the line at 7:45. I got out of bed at 6 am, got the weather station set up, generator running, and car pushed out of the trailer. At 7 am I started the car, took it for a ride to warm it up. I parked the car in my pits and put charger on.

The weather was thirty degrees cooker, calling for a lot of weight to be added.

At the line the car stuttered and bogged. Not sure if it was low fuel pressure, wrong jetting, or the car not being warm enough for the cold air. Maybe a combination of all. Anyway the bog caused a shitty light and a horrible 60′.

That caused me to get knocked out of the All Star Shootout. Worst yet, My back glass blew out at 136 mph.

There was a mandatory NSS driver’s meeting after Q3. I wasn’t wanting to go, as I knew I was out of the All Star Shootout, and that’s what it was about. Doug Duell insisted I go, and I thought maybe he was going to pick me as his “Champion’s” choice. The way the shootout works is that 16 NMCA racers go against 16 Victory Series racers. To get the best of each, they each take the Top Five from last year and the 9 best qualifiers (who’s hot this weekend) from this race. Then the past Champion picks one. While Doug and I are good Buds, we’re also strictly business when it comes to racing. Doug picked Doug Wright, who has been on fire this year. It was the right choice. So the rest of us NMCA racers (about 20) Each got a Raffle Ticket for the final “Lucky Dog” pick, and my number was called.

So now I’m in a race with a car that bogged, has no back window, and I have a screamer of a headache from the day before. Randy Stansbury, who installed the Pro Glass back window when he painted the car, started putting it back in. Barry Dorn, who has done a few came by to help him.

They had it in in less than an hour. Thank you very much Randy and Barry. I then put on some of my wife’s “Happy Camper” duct tape to hold it in until the new Pro Glass, NASCAR window tabs and molding clips arrive at the shop.

So right now I’m “Chillin”, trying to shake this killer headache, before they call the first of five rounds for the “All Star Shootout”. Sunday, NSS has the eliminations or all 63 racers at 8 am.

The Thug Is In The House

We’re up at the NMCA Finals, and the Victory vs. NMCA Showdown at Lucas Raceway in Indy. Deb and I took a leisurely 2 1/2 day ride up here from Texas. It was relatively uneventful, with the exception of breaking a strap on the street car that was on the lift. That required me unloading and reloading both cars in a Walmart parking lot. Basically we left Monday afternoon and arrived at the track at 5 pm Wednesday.

Thursday, the track opened at 8:30 am, and we had the pit set up, credentials established, car tech’d in by noon.

Time trials started at 1 pm. Air was a horrible 4200′. I ran a 9.77 without weight.

2nd test and tune hit was a couple hours later. Starting line was horrible and I had a bad 60′.

My final hit was a little better when I took some air out of the slicks.

This morning we had a Time Trial at 10 am. The air was obviously much better, with a little tail/cross wind. I didn’t run with weight, although it was predicted I should put 60 pounds in to hit my 9.75 index.

So the First qualifying is scheduled at 2 pm, hot lapping us for the second at the end of the 2 pm group.

That assumes the weather allows all of that to happen.

Wheelie Bars, Trees, and Bumpers

At the shop Friday, I accomplished the following at the shop:

Last coat of red on the read end housing for Screamin Woody.

That was two cans of red primer and three cans of Banner Red paint. Also, cleaned, scuffed, taped off, primered and painted the wheelie bars.

Pressure washed the engine compartment of the 60 Plymouth after removing hood. The underside of hood needs to be taken down to bare metal and painted Corporate Blue.

The front suspension needs to be rebuilt, washed again, scuffed with brown 3M pads, painted Corporate Blue, and the front suspension painted POR15 Gloss black. The reason for Corporate Blue is that the car will get wrapped to look like the King’s 60 Plymouth (His first Top Rank NASCAR car) that sat out back of his shop for 50 years.

Headers are on the 383 that will go into the 60. Oil pan just came in. Still waiting on a push rod and a pair of adjusters to finish. Yes I’ll put a new Wix 51515 Oil Filter on it.

Bumper came off of my 78 Magnum – Ginger. It took a three hour drive with me to the chrome shop, to be stripped and re-plated.

They jumped on stripping to bare metal and sent me these photos.

They promised it will be ready in three weeks. We’ll see! The huge full width  bumper mount will get wire brushed and a couple coats of black POR15.

While on the topic of Magnum, the radio (from a 99 Durango that I Installed 15 years ago) was pulled out and tested as it has it’s volume and reception goes up and down. It works bench tested, but in car its a big power draw. Testing still required to figure out.

And staying on the subject of my 78 Magnum, about 15 years ago I made a custom dash panel and filled it with Dakota Digital gauges. The tach has gone dim on me, and they’re not as Kool now as 15 years ago. Below is an old photo, as the column shift has been replaced with a floor shift and console.

So I bought a stock dash panel to fill with after market gauges.

The gauge holes measure two at 4″ and two at 2 5/8″. 4″ gauges are limited, and I’m two holes short for a full set if I couldn’t find a combo. While pricey, I did find what I needed.

I ordered them with a white face with black day face and green on black night face. Ordered a clock and a oil temp with same face and bezel to fill the 2 5/8″ holes. It rocked me about a grand, and will take 4-5 weeks to make. I’m sure there will be a lot of Dremel tool action to the dash panel to get them in.

The sheet metal was removed from my 99 Drifter 1500 and taken to Randy Stansbury for a 3-stage metallic red paint job. The clutch was rebuilt and drivetrain serviced a couple of weeks ago. Got the frame all purdied up while waiting on sheet metal to get delivered to me in Indy.

That’ my now almost 31-year-old son on the bike. Saddle bags, windshield and Baby Ape Hangers bars have been added over the years.

Red and black is my favorite color combo. I hope it looks good on this bike.

Finally the trees. At my little cabin on the lake, I had a 30′ Oak tree that died. I had a professional crew come out to take it down and grind the stump down. It was surrounded on three sides by a pool, patio and wrought Iron fence – so I wanted no part of it.

Also had three 30-gallon Mexican Fan palms planted.

All in all, I’ve had a pretty busy and productive week. The plan is to just rest this weekend by paying bills and reconcile checking accounts, catch up on some computer work –  and watch the Stros, Texans and NHRA. Monday we head to Indy for the Finals.