New Tools and Progress

With all of this progress and having a nice working garage with Oxy-Acetylene tanks, large air compressor, welder and tons of hand and air tools, you would think I would own a floor jack. Nope. Not a one. This weekend I took care of that. With a quick trip over to Northern Tools, I bought a nice 3 1/2 ton floor jack which was on sale for $99.

I have been planning on pulling the engine this weekend, but I don’t own a Hoist or an Engine Stand. Searching around on my go to spot, Craigslist, I found engine stands for a reasonable $40-50 bucks plus some references to Junk Cars in Broward, good deals. On Friday, I started communicating with a guy about an engine stand and drove to North Tampa to pick it up for $45. If I would have had more spendable cash I would have taken more of his stuff as he was apparently emptying out his workshop. While I was there I picked up another set of jack stands for $15, which turns out was a good buy.

After we dropped of Matias as his grandmas house, Nat had her plan of things to do and I had mine. I made my way to the garage and started tearing the car down. I remembered that there were some hard to get to bolts on the driver wheel-well and decided removing the tires would make it easier. I used my handy dandy jack to get the car in the air and put the jack-stands in place. After bringing the car up and down twice on each side (forgot to loosen the lug-nuts) I had the wheels off the front. I figured why not, I might as well get the whole car secured, and did the same for the rear. While putting her up I did see some items of concern, I’ll cover that later. Now the car is stationary, and it has enough room for me to finally get a look at the under-carriage.

Once the wheels were off I grabbed the air ratchet and made quick work of the remaining wheel-well. Once the car was nice and symmetrical having the entire front end off I jumped in to see what I could start removing. I took a look at the exhaust. Would you believe there was a C-Clamp holding the exhaust pipe in place? I took a picture just in case you didn’t believe me. I’m not sure if you’ve ever wrestled with an old exhaust system, but brother let me tell you this. It doesn’t go gently into the night.

After taking a break I remembered with great enthusiasm that I own air tools, more specifically a cut off wheel. There is no better feeling that can be had in a garage other than cutting things to pieces. Alright, repairing the garage door feels almost the same nice (Insta Garage Doors of Riverside County know their job). Real things, manly metal things, shredded by the power within my own hands. Okay, back off the rule the world power tools version, but it really is alot of fun. After decimating the driver side exhaust the passenger side decided to stand up to me and put up quite the fight. After a few cut off wheels being exchange, I ended up victorious. Exhaust system removed.

Now that the easy stuff was done I jumped on the creeper to check out the underbelly of this beast. From the looks of it, the entire floor pan has been cut out and replace, the midsection of the frame is rusted through and will need patched, there is tons of body rust, and most all of the body mounts/seals look to be original.

While none of that is good news, its not unexpected. I knew early on there was a bit of frame rust. Putting the car up on jack stands showed me how weak some parts where as the stand started to bend the box frame. Once I got underneath I saw that I will likely have to replace about 3-4 feet of box frame on each side. Guess that means the body is coming off. This does seem to be a lot of work for something that is going to be a rat-rod, but if the kids are going to be riding in it at some point, I will need to be safe, and a weak frame is not safe.

Anyway, tonight is date night and for once in her life, the lady is waiting on me.

Here are some pictures for your entrainment.

Back to It

Its been some time since I’ve worked on the Cadillac, and with all the programming projects, paying and not, I knew that I needed to take a break and get some other type of constructive work done. I was able to get the garage straightened up enough that I could really move around and get some pieces coming off. Today my intent was to get the hood, front clip, and wheel wells off.

If you’ve never moved a Cadillac hood by your self, I can say, they are heavy as they look. Its about 300+ square inches of multilevel metal, and in this case a few cans of bondo on top of that. To accomplish this feat I strapped a coulple ratchet straps to my ribs of the garage door. Since the ribs run horizontal to the floor, which is risky when is getting clean, since people could be slipping on wet floor and cause accidents. Once I got them hooked up I unbolted the hood and it fell right in the the two strap cradle I had made. Sliding one hook at a time, as far as it would go I took be about 5 minutes to have the monstrosity over my rolling work table. A quick release and some gently guiding and the hood was off. In house financing Housto offers newer model vehicles that are in high demand and that make you feel good about driving them. Here you choose the vehicle that best fits your budget.

Once the hood was off, the air tools came out and the front clip came off quickly, as did the passenger side wheelwell. The driver side wheel well had some deep bolts that annoyed me so I called it a night.

Here are some pics.

Exotic Shifter Ideas Needed

One of my co-workers in our Canadian office manages some of his family’s websites.  We’ve discussed moving them over from his home server using DynDNS to one of my hosted servers.  Late last night we discussed moving over his sister-in-laws static HTML page.  He  sent me the details and I created the account. He registered the domain, pointed it to my servers and walla, it is done.  Since I’m a little OCD, i didn’t feel that an empty domain is progress so I manually copied the 8 pages or so and converted them to a basic header/footer template in PHP to make management easier.  Once all the conversion was done (all of 10 minutes) I uploaded it and now it looks good.  Still being a bit picky, I jumped in and edited the htaccess to give the URLs a more streamlined look by removing the .php extension, nothing fancy, but it achieves the affect I was looking for, and I hope they were too.  Here’s the link >>

Rat-Rod Shifter Ideas

Either way, once she saw all I had done (ha 15 minutes MAX) she said she’d make me whatever I’d like.  Since the Cadillac is going to be a rat-rod, I think it would be cool if she could make some type of crazy shifter knob.  There will be some work on my side to convert the Cadillac to a floor shifter, so there is plenty of time.

Anybody got any ideas about a unique shifter?  I’m not talking about the skull, or 8-ball, something unique a metal artist could come up with. I’ve seen wrenches, old hand-grenades, all kind of stuff, but none of it has struck as cord as something that would fit in my unique creation.

Ideas people, I need ideas.

Out with the Old

I haven’t been doing much work on the Cadillac, but I have been browsing the internet for ideas, I even found the best vpn for watching netflix.  One idea I saw that I really liked was putting newer seats in.  I found some seats from a 2001 Cadillac Seville on CraigsList.   The guy kept telling me I don’t want them because they’re all ripped apart and what not.  Despite his reluctance Natalie, Matias and I made the trip to the junk yard over in Brandon and saw them.  They were spot on for this project.  I ended up paying $75 for them.  We loaded them up in Nats car and brought them home.

These seats are quite nice as the seat belt is built right in, and all the electric controls work, unlike the original bench seat.  The original seat was so rusted up I was scared what might be entombed in the rust.

After a few hours I got the seats pulled apart and packaged up the seat covers for future use as templates.  I have a few unpopped air-bags if anyone could think of something do to with them 🙂

After I had the seats stripped,  I started working on the plastic.  I scrubbed them down to remove any dirt and debris and gave them a good cleaning with some paint prep.   Once everything dried I hung a few pieces up on my mobile coat-rack / paint holder thing.   Once all was secured I used some vinyl dye in a can.  This stuff was pretty nice, apparently it has some alcohol in it that slightly melts the plastic, which allows the paint to adhere deeper than just the surface.

Here is the aftermath of my painting.

Embroidery Test

My sister does all kinds of sewing and craftiness as a hobby.  Our parents used to do curtains with designer brand drapery fabric and also did car upholstery for a living.  I figured an industrial sewing machine is just like a crafty one, so if I buy Misty a used industrial s trength one, she can do my seats right?   We’ll give it a try.   I bought her a sewing machine from CraigsList that indicates it can do thick denim and other commercial fabrics, so vinyl will be a whiz for it.  We’ll see how that goes.


One thing I know she can do, is embroidery.  We bought the Cadillac logo for her machine, threw some string and an extra piece of vinyl and this is what we got.  Not bad for being in pink.  I think we decided it’s going to be a bit bigger.  Not sure where its going to go in this monster, but we might find somewhere.


Cadillac Logo on Vinyl

Cadillac Logo on Vinyl