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| 08/18/06 Update
Its August already? We have as few as a dozen nice weekends each
year, so I just havent cared to waste any of them in the garage, under a car.
Besides, with garage temperatures hovering around 100 degrees (or more) and 90 percent
humidity, the lakes been looking much more inviting.
In the past week however, the temperatures
been getting a little cooler and the garage is starting to look more inviting. A couple
weeks ago I rotated the tires on my wifes Altima and lost a gallon or two of sweat
just doing that.
I was reprimanded by a few of my friends for listing all the
bugs on the car that have yet to be addressed, like the torque
converter, fuel management and nagging fluid leaks. They questioned why Id share
that with everyone. The reason is simple
I dont care who the builder is or how
nice or new the parts are, its rare to build a car thats perfect in every way
right out of the box. If it happens that everything is perfect, its
nothing short of a miracle. Even the best builders have a few bugs to fix
or things to change, once the car is together and on the road. Its all part of the
build and something I think should be shared, since this is a show-all, tell-all project.
I think Ive located all the little things
that need addressing now and intend to spend the winter correcting them all. Of course I
wont know until spring if I was 100% successful but with any luck the car will be
entirely bug free next season. Ill keep my fingers crossed.
Im going with a 3000RPM stall converter this time and will have Jay
Egge replace the front seal and give it a quick once over. The transmission problems are
nothing that they did or didnt do. The torque converter stall (2400) was my choice
and Im sure the increased pressure and temperatures because of the converter
constantly slipping at low speed and at idle, have cause the seal to fail. It didnt
leak when they dynod it and when it was first installed but its definitely
gotten increasingly worse the more I drive it.
Before I tear into the transmission again, Im going to change the
fluid, install the new pan and fix the transmission cooler scoop, so I can drive it up to
Watertown SD September 9th for their annual rod run. I think if I put a disposable diaper
under the inspection cover that I can make it up with one change. Hopefully Ill have
enough ground clearance to run a diaper :)
I figure whats the worst that can happen?
The transmission could overheat and fail (doubtfully) and Ill be forced to pull it
out and take it into the shop - something Im going to do anyway. This will be the
longest run this car has made in one stretch (about an hour drive). The tires havent
been balance yet but I dont think a couple more hours will affect them too much.
Other than that, Im sure the engine will run fine and there are several gas stations
to fill up between here and Watertown. Ill start saving up for gas right now ;)
A few weeks back I had the privilege of giving a 13-year old boy
(Dalton) a ride for his birthday. His mother works with my wife and she said her
son is so enamored by Project33 that she has to kick him off the computer all the time.
She said the best birthday gift they could think of was a ride in the car. My wife told
her Id be happy to give him a ride anytime (birthday or no birthday) as long as it
isnt raining. True.
We fired it up and went for a cruise over to an
area of town thats being developed that has no traffic and a straight smooth stretch
of new blacktop. I dropped it into 2nd and punched it. We kept the tires smoking nicely
through 2nd, 3rd and 4th gears until we had to slow down for an intersection. She hooks up
nice and straight now with the stiffer rear coil-over shocks with just enough side to side
drift to let you know the big meats are spinning. Oh yeah!
At the intersection a guy went by and gave us
the thumbs up and Dalton was totally in the moment. The best part was when we returned
home and he got out of the car. He had an ear-to-ear grin and was literally shaking from
the adrenaline rush! I bet he builds a car some day - we have a convert! :)
Speaking of adrenaline rushes, I was in the same shape a
couple weeks ago (shaking and smiling) after I crewed for Kelvin in a Sailing Regatta. The
winds were steady at 25 gusting to 39 MPH with 3 to 4 foot white caps. We sailed his Hobie
16 (just like ours) to second place in the long shot race - a 30-mile race
that goes 15 miles down the lake and back.
Sailing a Hobie 16 in forty MPH gusts is
bordering on insanity but a race is a race and its tough to back down. It was the
most intense sailing Ive ever experience and it will probably be years before I ever
experience similar conditions. It was FAST and erratic with the huge gusts and big waves.
It was also an extreme workout! We had all we could do keep the boat upright and to stay
aboard. I felt like we were in a National Geographic special on extreme sailing
As they rounded the cape of Africa in the tiny boat, gale force winds tossed them
Roughly forty racers from seven states entered the event. Almost half turned back
after tipping their boats repeatedly. Of the remaining entrants, five boats were damaged
and one poor sailor ripped an opening in his hull that was beyond repair. One entrant even
went to the hospital for seven stitches to a slit foot when she slipped off a boat. We
never tipped but came close a few times. Kelvins one heck of a sailor! I know I
would have had the boat upside-down right off the start. The adrenaline rush lasted the
rest of the day! I think Im addicted. The photo above was taken the following day
when the punishing winds had subsided.
On Sunday the Mayflies hatched. They were everywhere,
covering cars, out houses and the sails of every boat in the regatta. I don't think I've
ever seen them so thick.
When I got home I had to research the Mayfly on
the web. This was the last day of their two year life and the only one out of the water,
during which they molt twice, mate, and lay their eggs in freshwater. Wow! and I though I
had a busy day! Thankfully they don't bite or sting - they're just annoying for one day a
One last thing
a feature on Project33 in the October 2006 Street Rod Builder magazine (a Buckaroo
Publication). I cant think of a better magazine to cover the car - after all,
its all about the build! I talked to Josh Kaylor, who wrote the feature, today and
hes pretty sure it will be in the October issue but hes not certain. If you
dont subscribe (you should) or dont have it at your local news stand, you can visit StreetRodBuilder.com
to get a copy. If youve never seen the magazine, youll be hooked.
|Until next time, Keep the sunny side up
and I'll see you in Watertown, SD Sept. 9th!