Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Best Easter Ever

I could not have asked for a better Easter than the one I had this year. A couple of days ago I went over to Ron's to see how the pickle was doing and I was amazed. The engine and throttle arm are completely installed. The throttle arm was fabricated from scratch as will be the clutch arm. The clutch arm had to be fabricated because we switched the stock column shifter and tranny with Muncie M22 with a Hurst 4-speed floor shifter.

As I stated in one of the first posts, the floors were one of the things that really bothered me about the car. Ron, being the jack-of-all trades that he is, had replaced the old worn out floors with a skillfully patched mosaic of sheet metal. I could not believe it. It had been made with 22 gauge steel and is much stronger than the original floors.

The entire passenger compartment is going to be sheet metaled in, even behind the rear seat upright. I plan on dynamatting the entire thing since I am running Flowmaster 40's and functional lakes pipes .

Ron welded in sheet metal over the firewall. The firewall is very clean and smooth now.

The entire exhaust system is done. There are just some turn outs just past the muffler. This is temporary. We have a 10-bolt rear end from a '62 Nova that will be installed. While that is being redone, I am going to take the leafs to Dunbar Spring. I will see if they can de-arch the leaf springs to get the rear end lowered. After that is done and they are reinstalled, we will see where the ride height sits and determine if we want to go with any lowering blocks. Then we can run the exhaust over the top of the rear axle to make sure there is enough clearance.

For the front coils, I have been talking to Coil Spring Specialties.
I have ordered a 3" custom spring to drop the front end. I am trying to avoid having to install the dropped uprights. Although these are great to drop the front end, they are about $300 and you have to heat the steering arm and bend it into place to fit the dropped spindles. I have no idea how to either install the uprights or heat the steering arm to fit. The steering schematics is a little intimidating to mess with. But like before, I guess if screw it up, there is someone out there who can fix it. So we will see.

Ron, while doing all of this incredible work, has also built seven engines for customers. Just a little history on Ron: he did two tours in Vietnam. When he came back to the States, he borrowed a few dollars, and started his own machine shop in his garage. At some point after that he started driving a Catepillar earth moving machine. He built freeways for 30 years and is now enjoying his retirement. He builds engines now- from the basic Chevy 350, to high-performance 800 HP racing engines. He is an amazing guy, I am fortunate on many levels for having been introduced to him, and having him be a huge part of this project. Here he is next to his beautiful engine.


vietnamvft said...

thanks for share information of experience. i haven't know this information.

The Pickle said...

Thanks for the feedback. I am learning as I go.