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.