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| 11/29/02 Update
`Tis the season!
The season for hibernating in the garage that is! There's not much daylight this
time of year so the bright lights and white walls of the garage are my answer to SAD
(Seasonal Affective Disorder).
The roll cage is
almost finished and I have a hot date with a TIG welder next week! Once the cage is welded
and all the bolts are added to the sleeves, progress won't seem so slow. The cage was a
major hurdle to overcome. I've never done anything remotely like it (other than bend
electrical conduit) and I didn't want to screw it up. I also had to overcome the desire to
walk away from it and work on other parts of the car instead.
People often ask how one can find the patience to build a car
"from scratch". The answer is easy - it's a bunch of small projects all stuck
together. With me, the smaller and quicker the project, the more rewarding it is. Like the
turn signals in the headlights. That only took a small amount of time and yet made me feel
like I'd really accomplished something. The roll cage on the other hand has drug on too
long and I'm really glad to be able to move on to other things. Many of these "other
things" require the finished cage to proceed.
There's an order in with Flaming River for everything to
change the steering linkage to a 3-U-joint setup. I don't know why I didn't do that
earlier but change happens! I guess it's easier to change it now
than later and I'm only out an aluminum steering shaft and a little time. Changing the
linkage will do three things;
- Make the column angle more comfortable
- Make more room for the brake and gas pedals
- Increase the exhaust header-to-steering shaft clearance
Speaking of change...
It never fails. Every time I make a change on the car a few followers of the project get
totally confused. Sorry to throw you off but this is a "real time" project and I
don't think there's a builder alive that can honestly say they've never changed something
that they already thought was finished when they were building a car. Even the pro
builders end up making unforeseen changes at times.
I'm also guessing that sometimes they'd like to make a change
but it's too late. I once saw a car built by a pro builder (whom I still admire) with an
example of this. The car had a nice recess in the firewall for the distributor but there
was one small problem... when the body was installed it laid directly on top of the plug
wires (at the distributor). In fact it was so tight that the body would have to be raised
(or engine lowered) to replace a plug wire or distributor cap. OOPS! These types of
problems are better addressed now, during the build, than later. I just hope I've spent
enough time staring at the car and thinking things through to avoid as many of these
glitches as possible.
I've rattled on long enough - time to grab some Thanksgiving leftovers and head
back to the garage. I hope I still fit in the car come Spring!
Until next time... thanks for visiting and keep the shiny side