Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How many pieces does this thing have?

Not being incredibly mechanically inclined, I was very nervous about tackling a Carter Carb rebuild. We got the kit from Kanter. It looked easy enough, some gaskets, some screws and some pins.

How hard could this be, right?

Well the instructions were a joke. They actually said, "Disassemble the carburetor. When reassembling the carburetor, do so in reverse order after replacing the parts in this kit."


There were no other instructions, so we took a million photos and took everything apart. We were looking at the linkage thinking, no way are we going to be able to get this all back together.

Slowly and methodically we took it apart.

We went picture by picture to reassemble this thing. There were times we thought there was NO WAY. But when it was all said and done....

Now hopefully it doesn't set the car on fire.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


We took this weekend off and went to the Goodguys Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale. Here are a few pictures.

Here are my parents, Fran and John. They are the most important members of "Team Pickle."

We will be back at it on Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Stripping the Parts

Last Tuesday we removed the master cylinder and replaced it with one purchased from Kanter. After having a little difficulty reattachng the brake lines, we found that the master cylinder had a leak. So we sent it back to Kanter for "evaluation." (?)...

So we shall see.

Today we pulled the gas tank and removed the sending unit. It looks like one of the previous owners bottomed out and smashed the bottom of the gas tank. No holes though. It may have just lessened the capacity of the tank.

After removing 57 years of crap around the sending unit cap, we got the screws out and we were able to remove the unit. It was frozen solid and immovable.

"What the Hell is THIS??"

When we got it out, we soaked it in parts cleaner. My parents swore by the parts cleaner. Sure-as-shit after about an hour, the float moved freely up and down between "full" and "empty."

We also removed the oil-filled air cleaner to get to the carb. This stock air filter is in great condition. Maybe I could get a few dollars for it on eBay. We removed the carb so we could rebuild it and clean it. So I have no way of knowing how that will go....

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

First Inspection

There was a tremendous amount of surface rust. But I bought the DVD instructional set of Paint-u-cation. I quickly learned that that this rust wasn't anything that an angle grinder and a cup brush couldn't handle.

And on the trim as well..

One major fault with the vehicle that was left out of the original description was that the floors were rusted and crudely patched. Since we weren't technically going to "restore" the car, I wasn't too concerned.

We even discussed leaving the floors and spending the money on moor important things...like taking 6 inches out of the pillars.

I took off what was left of the rear fender gravel/mud guards.

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Behind that was rust, rust, and more rust.

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I figured this would be a good place to start with my cup brush.

And what about that first ficture of the roof? Here it is after I took the cup brush to it. The grinder is time consuming, but no mess from chemical strippers. Nice.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Some Ideas

I have collected a few ideas on what I want to do with the Pickle. Here are a couple of pictures of '50 Pontiacs. They've been shaved down. I like a lot of what they have done, but I am going to keep the silver streak chrome and illuminating Indian head. I have received mixed opinions about leaving some of the chrome. But I figure that if it doesn't look good, strip it and fill it.

I really believe this is the same car, Just photoed at two separate times.

My dad, growing up, had two '32 Fords and one '34 Ford. I heard many stories about how they were chopped and channeled. The interior compartment was so small that they had to sit on a crate to see through the mail slot windshield. After years of hearing this, I decided to that I wanted to customize the car as he and his friends would have when he was young.

Dad said the first thing he would have done was to take every ounce of chrome off of the car. But I want a little different of a look. But everything else will be as it would have been in 1956, when my dad was 16. To lower it, we are going to cut the springs in the front, and in the rear we are going to have the leafs de-arched and maybe a leaf or two removed. If that isn't low enough, we are going to add some lowering blocks.

So that's the mind set. Of course I am not too set in my ways to change, but that's our starting point.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Pickle Finds a New Home

In August of 2006 I was at the end of my rope. My parents and I had been looking for a project for about a year. We had always been in the VW world, fixing up Bugs and Karmann Ghias.

We had really decided on a hot rod, but because of the whole "rat rod" scene, the market for any type of rod was laughably expensive. Mercs, Fords, and most Chevys have been arguably overdone.

So we wanted something a little different. We looked all over the Phoenix area. Didn't have much luck. I looked all over the internet. Sites like Classic Car Trader and eBay weren't much help either.

I was aware of a site that may be the answer I was looking for. It is almost a mythical place where the members still revere the classic car and sit at the hub of hot rod culture. This was going to be my savior.

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Jalopy Journal's Hokey Ass Message Board would lead me to a guy by the name of FunHater who was a member of the car club Them! out of Tulsa.

He had a 1950 Pontiac Silver Streak. It was rough, but had a running flat 6 in it. That was huge to me. Even though I am not going to "restore" the car, I wanted to customize the car as my dad would have done in the 50's. Putting a boxed LS1 in it just wasn't the route I wanted to go. The current paint job was a paint brush coated lacquer that was the worst looking PICKLE green. FunHater had affectionately nicknamed the car "The Pickle." And so she was named!

So off the money went to Tulsa. I hired a small shipping company and two weeks later, The Pickle was mine....