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Want to know what's up with Project 33? This area is updated monthly to let you know where we're at with the project. The latest Articles are featured in the What's New? area of this site and are in reverse chronological order. To follow the build up  from "day 1", go to the From the Start link and keep clicking on "Next Article". To view Articles on a particular subject, use the Search option of this site with the area you wish to explore as your keyword.

  08/18/06 Update      

It’s August already?
We have as few as a dozen nice weekends each year, so I just haven’t 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 lake’s been looking much more inviting.

In the past week however, the temperature’s been getting a little cooler and the garage is starting to look more inviting. A couple weeks ago I rotated the tires on my wife’s 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 I’d share that with everyone. The reason is simple… I don’t care who the builder is or how nice or new the parts are, it’s rare to build a car that’s perfect in every way “right out of the box”. If it happens that everything is perfect, it’s 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. It’s all part of the build and something I think should be shared, since this is a show-all, tell-all project.

I think I’ve located all the little things that need addressing now and intend to spend the winter correcting them all. Of course I won’t know until spring if I was 100% successful but with any luck the car will be entirely “bug free” next season. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

I’m 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 didn’t do. The torque converter stall (2400) was my choice and I’m 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 didn’t leak when they dyno’d it and when it was first installed but it’s definitely gotten increasingly worse the more I drive it.

Before I tear into the transmission again, I’m 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 I’ll have enough ground clearance to run a diaper :)

I figure what’s the worst that can happen? The transmission could overheat and fail (doubtfully) and I’ll be forced to pull it out and take it into the shop - something I’m going to do anyway. This will be the longest run this car has made in one stretch (about an hour drive). The tires haven’t been balance yet but I don’t think a couple more hours will affect them too much. Other than that, I’m sure the engine will run fine and there are several gas stations to fill up between here and Watertown. I’ll 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 I’d be happy to give him a ride anytime (birthday or no birthday) as long as it isn’t raining. True.

We fired it up and went for a cruise over to an area of town that’s 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 it’s tough to back down. It was the most intense sailing I’ve 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 violently about”.

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. Kelvin’s 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 I’m 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 year.

One last thing… Watch for a feature on Project33 in the October 2006 Street Rod Builder magazine (a Buckaroo Publication). I can’t think of a better magazine to cover the car - after all, it’s all about the build! I talked to Josh Kaylor, who wrote the feature, today and he’s pretty sure it will be in the October issue but he’s not certain. If you don’t subscribe (you should) or don’t have it at your local news stand, you can visit to get a copy. If you’ve never seen the magazine, you’ll be hooked.


Until next time, Keep the sunny side up
and I'll see you in Watertown, SD Sept. 9th!


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