Journal: April 2000
04/05/00, It's been way too long since I've touched
the car, but it just makes it more fun to get back to it. I had some problems
with my steering shaft so I'm getting a new one made. The guy did a nice
job welding the first one, but it had a bit of a wobble to it and it rubbed
on the front of the footbox. I could probably use it by adding some washers
under the front pillow block, but I'd rather be safe than sorry so I had
Factory Five send me a new extension piece. (They did this for the cost
of shipping. Gotta love it!) I already have a second lower shaft from
the non-tilt shaft shaft I bought, so it's not a big deal to have a new
one made. This time I'm going to use some sleeves inside the steering
shaft pieces to keep things straight.
Monday 04/17/00, The local Autozone didn't have the SAE double flare tool in stock, so I spent the better part of Friday running down parts for the brakes. I actually could have bought everything at NAPA, but they were out of one critical fitting. Suffice to say that for what I would have paid to buy a good double flare tool, I bought all of the pre-flared brake lines and fittings. I guess if I was building a show car, I'd get a little concerned about the looks of the adapters. For a novice like me they sure make life easier and I feel more secure knowing I've got good brake lines. On that note, lets talk steering columns. I got the second one welded on Friday. I couldn't find any sleeves with the correct diameter to line the pieces up with, so I ran a piece of all-thread through them and tightened it down with nuts and washers on each end. All seemed nice and straight, but when I got it home and tried it out, it still had enough of a wobble to hit the front of the footbox. I figured at this point there wasn't much I could hurt so I chucked it in the vice and tried to"tweak" it. Guess I don't know my own strength, since I tweaked it good and ended up with two pieces. Very scary, but better now than at 75 mph on the interstate. There is a good solution though, Throw money at it! I called Mike Mack at Tri-State Motorsports and ordered a one piece shaft. It was $75.00 for the plain steel shaft ($125 for chrome). I could have saved time, money and aggravation by buying one of these from the start. There is also the warm fuzzy factor of knowing that this thing wont come apart at a bad time. (As I noted earlier, FFR now ships a full length shaft with the kit so welding isn't necessary on new kits.)
Installing the brake lines went pretty well. It takes a little imagination and luck to get the bends right, but it's not hard. The great thing about the pre-flared lines that I used was that they all fit perfectly. I used a 20" piece for the front left, 72" for the front right, and a 72" coupled to a 30" for the rear. Here's a link to pictures of the brake lines and a diagram of all the parts needed to use pre-flared lines.
04/24/00, I hope that those of you that celebrate
Easter had as nice a day as I did. Our family spent the day relaxing at
my brother's place and had one of Aunt Cheri's great Easter dinners. They
should all be this nice.
I also installed
the new steering shaft that I received from Tri-State Motorsports. I have
to tell you that I opened up the package it came in and thought "I
paid $75 bucks for this?". It's just a piece of formed pipe cut to
the correct length. The key here is that it's formed to fit over the upper
and lower shafts. It was money well spent though and in hind site I really
wish I would have bought one in the first place. In my opinion it's safer
than welding the stock shaft to extend it and it sure is a lot less hassle.
In the coming week, I'll be finishing up the fuel lines, then I'll be installing the battery cables, cutoff switch and remote terminals. After this I'll start cleaning up the engine. Can't wait to get started on it.