Wednesday, July 31, 2013

A groovy night and a little street racing in the mystery machine!

Tonight was a real blast. We went to a cruise night that was at the Valley Fair mall. The weather was a little warm but otherwise perfect. In fact Utah set a record for the hottest July on record! I have come to realize that I like the cars and trucks that are unusual. I kind of get sick of seeing the popular cars that are at all the shows. That is why I have the pictures of the cars that I do in this post. We saw this 1952 Dodge at the show and it is exactly the way I want to have the international look when I am done. I think it's perfect. This was actually Isaac's favorite car of the show. I am going to sand the international down a little so it shows the different colors it has had through the years like this truck has. I really like it. It makes me more motivated to get the truck up and running. It had a cool old motorcycle in the back of it also. Dixie said I should put our old Yamaha in the back of the international when we get it done. She also said that we should find the owner of this truck and tell him that I was his brother from a different mother because we had the same tastes. Ha ha. I sure liked this truck. She may be right.
 Here is Isaac standing in front of his favorite car of the show.
 This Impala was about the most beautiful car I have ever seen. This one was the one I chose to be my favorite. It was amazing! I have always loved these years of Chevy's. This car was perfect in every way. That is why it got my vote as the best in the show. It is definitely too nice for anything I have ever owned though.
 The music was playing loud and Dixie and Ellie were dancing to it. This picture would be better if it was a video. 2 Beautiful girls dancing and a really nice Impala in the background.
There were 2 pink cars at the show. Ellie liked both of them but she is pointing to her favorite one. It was a cool car. It reminded me of a VW squareback.
 We had just finished looking at all the cars and this groovy van pulled up. I had to blink and make sure I hadn't gone back in time to the 70's. This thing was truly a work of art. I didn't say it was good art, but it was a work of art. We ended up staying another 20 minutes just looking at this van. I really wish I had my camera with me instead of just my phone. This thing time warped in right from 1975.
 It had everything that the vans that were considered cool at that time had. The spoiler on the back, it had some plexiglass sun roof panels, a truly amazing mural painted on the side of it and that was just the outside.
 We talked to the owner and he had picked it up in Texas. It had gone through a hurricane and that is why the front turn signal and marker lights are missing.
The paint work was really cool and all original form when it was first painted. It was a pretty unique mural.
 The inside was period perfect just like the outside. This van had it all with plush carpet, mini fridge, sink and of course a bed. It was wall to wall shag.
This one ended up being Dixie's favorite car. Ha Ha. It made me laugh all the way home and I am still laughing. We hit Arctic Circle on the way home for some ice cream. It is huckleberry days there and I had an awesome huckleberry shake. If you haven't had one I recommend it. They are delicious. On the way home we were heading down 7200 West and a hot Nova pulled out behind us and was trying to be cool. He was all over the road trying to get traction and it looked like he was just learning how to drive it. I laughed and stopped at the red light. He pulled up on the side of us so I told Dixie I was going to race him. The light turned green and by the time he realized he had been beaten off the line by a mini van I was pulling him pretty good. He then proceeded to step on it and he lost traction so I pulled ahead more. He finally got it together and passed me but if we were bracket racing I would of whooped his butt! I laughed for a long time about that. I am betting he doesn't tell his buddies about that race tomorrow. I wish we had video of it because it was really funny. Anyways, it was an unusual, groovy, fun night with the family. I laughed all night long but maybe heat stroke and an overdose of huckleberry's made me delirious. I will have to ask Dixie if this stuff really happened in the morning.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lulu's engine

Me and Isaac are still disagreeing on the name for the new bug. I am going to start calling it Lulu and see if it sticks. Anyways, Isaac has been really excited to get going on it so we decided to get tuggers engine up on a stand so we can clean it up and get it ready to install in Lulu. I decided that it's a lot easier to use the engine hoist to install the engine in the stand then it is to round up some neighbors and lift it up on the stand. The engine is really light so we just used some straps and hoisted it up.
 Like I said, Isaac is really excited about it. He hung out in the garage with me most of the day.
 We got the engine installed on the stand and we started working on the exhaust. I made some really cool custom exhaust pipes for the baja but the older pipes just rusted away and wore out. They had to go.
 Here you can see the cracks that formed on the exhaust pipes. There is no way to weld up this sort of crack on the thin metal of the pipe. I quit driving Tugger because of these cracks. I didn't want to screw up a valve by having an exhaust leak like this.
This is the really sad part. When we installed this engine it looked great. It had a polished alternator and the paint was in great shape. It is amazing how fast an engine can go downhill when it's always out in all the weather. We are planning on removing all the tin. We will then clean it up and powder coat it all. It will be nice to have it enclosed in the engine compartment and not out in the weather.
 Isaac is removing the exhaust. It was pretty crusty from all the rust. We got them removed and the engine ready for some new exhaust to go on.
 This shows some of the corrosion that has formed in the 3 years that the engine was exposed. I am planning on polishing all the aluminum up back to it's former glory. We are going to powder coat the engine tin black and blue. It should look pretty sharp when it's done.
It was kind of a lazy day and we didn't get a ton accomplished. I think we can get the engine out of the blue bug in the next week or so and then we will figure out which tin will be installed on the new engine. It will then take another couple weeks to get things cleaned up and ready to install. It shouldn't be long before you see Lulu cruising down the road. Keep your eye out for her!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

2005 Saturn Vue 4 cylinder spark plug change

We had the Saturn Vue back in the shop today. The neighbor hit me up to change the spark plugs in it a few weeks ago and we finally got a little time. Here it is just after I pulled it in. It has 137,000 miles on it and the plugs have never been changed. Changing the plugs in a vue is one of the easier vehicles to do. Everything is pretty accessible and on the 4 cylinder all the plugs are right on top of the engine. That's nice because your not right against the firewall with no access.
 The first thing you need to do is remove the duct assembly. To do that remove the plug that goes to it, and the pcv hose. Then loosen the 2 clamps on the duct. There is a push pin attachment that just pulls up and out. You can then remove the duct.
 I put a paper towel in the intake plenum to keep any dirt from getting in there. Just make sure you REMOVE it before you put the duct back on. This is what it should look like now. There are (4) 10 MM bolts on the top of the coil pack. You need to remove them.
 Remove the wiring harness plug that is on the coil pack. You will need to remove the gray little clip and then you can remove the plug.
Now just pull up the coil packs. My hand looks all funny because they were hot and it was burning my fingers when I was trying to get a picture.
 I vacuumed the top of the engine off so nothing would fall down into the cylinders. This area is always full of dirt, sand and other debris.
 Still vacuuming it off.
 I also took my blow nozzle and blew out the spark plug holes as an extra precaution.
The first plug looked pretty worn. This is comparing the old one to the new one.
 A long extension works great to get to the plugs. Here the 2nd one is coming out.
 This one was really worn. The electrode was almost gone from it.
 The number 2 and 4 plugs looked like this. I was surprised that the car didn't have any misfire codes. They were definitely in need of a change.
A lot of new plugs are gapped from the factory. These ones needed to be gapped. They are set at .045. I had to adjust the gap on all 4 plugs.
 They tell you NOT to use anti seize on the plugs when installing them so I didn't. The torque for the plugs is 15 ft lbs. The old ones came out just fine so I didn't worry about not using anti seize. They say not to use it on this engine because it will cause you to over torque the plugs.
 Now just install everything in the reverse order of removal. The 4 bolts for the coil packs are torqued to 89 IN lbs. It only took about 45 minutes and that included cleaning up the engine compartment a little and checking the oil and tires. Not a bad job to do so there is no reason not to change them at 100,000 miles like they suggest.
Well, the baja is going away one piece at a time as people come and buy parts off it. We should be able to get the new blue bug into the shop and get the engine removed from it soon. Isaac is getting really excited to start on it. Hopefully the weather will cool down a little bit. It makes it a lot easier to go out in the shop and work. Check back and see if we get things rolling on "old blue" as Isaac likes to call it. I am leaning toward the name Lulu. What do you all think?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sanford and Sons Speed Shop?

It's been a total rust fest in the shop the past few days. I have felt like Sanford and Sons. Isaac has been out with me watching the deconstruction of Tugger our Baja bug. We have swept up piles and piles of rust from the floor and tonight we cut up the body and loaded it into the truck. We then swept again. Here we are just after we got the body off.
We pushed it out to do some more sweeping and cleaning up in the garage.
 The pan is actually in pretty good shape compared to the body. Hopefully someone can use this pan and make a cool dune buggy or use it for a bug body they have.
 Here are the sad remains of Tuggers body. It doesn't weigh much so I am not expecting to get much from the scrap yard. I still have some more stuff to put in before I go there. I am glad I don't own a wrecking yard. It's not that fun scraping cars.
I am keeping these 2 panels I cut off tugger. I will eventually use these on the blue bug that is replacing the Baja. I will weld these onto it to remove the crescents so I can remove problem areas of rust that the newer bugs have.
Hopefully the days of Sanford and Sons are almost over in the shop so we can get back to doing some fun cool stuff. I think Isaac will get more excited over the blue bug when we get an engine in it and drive it around. He has been a real trooper helping me scrap out his beloved baja. I promised him the steering wheel and the license plates. Check back and see whats coming up in the future for the shop!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sad day at the shop.

We started out the morning doing some necessary cleaning and rearranging of the driveway. I looked at it last night and it looked pretty bad so I decided to stash some cars down the side of the house and to pull the trailer out of it's winter slumber so we can get it ready to go for the 1 and only camping trip we have planned for the year. The driveway looked like a used car lot for awhile. Isaac helped me steer and push all the cars around and then helped me hook up and pull out the trailer. He did an awesome job.
This is almost as bad as it has ever been at our house. I  told my neighbor that having a lot of cement is a blessing and a curse. I always want to fill it up but at the same time I don't want it to look like crap.
  So tonight this is how it looks. It will eventually be a little better because Ed (the white bug) will be back in the garage. He is kicked out for the time being. I don't think this scene is an eye sore for anyone which makes me feel better.
Now onto the reason that today is a sad day for the shop. I decided that with the new bug, we have to get rid of Tugger. That is our baja bug if you don't follow the blog at all. We have had Tugger for over 3 years now and he has been a real trooper. He was the winter vehicle for me and never failed to start up in the cold and never left me stranded. His issue was cancer. He had very bad rust. I looked for a long time to replace his body with one that was in better condition but couldn't find the right deal. I picked one up yesterday and so I chose to scrap out Tugger. I decided to do it quickly so I could clear some room in the driveway. I guess I am writing this to make myself feel a little better for killing off a really cool car. I hate being the one that ends the history of stuff. Sounds stupid but I guess I am just a weird person that gets emotionally tied to my vehicles.(This is new to me because I used to buy and sell and never feel bad about anything)  Maybe I shouldn't name my cars. That might help. Isaac is attached to Tugger more then I am and that makes it even harder. He broke down today in the garage and I felt like a total loser for killing his dream of driving it. He was with me when I first picked it up and he has loved it ever since. Here he is the day we picked it up. He seems so little in this picture. He was sure proud about being there.
I promised him that the blue bug is his if he wants it. I am not sure if that helped him or not. He is really sad. He seems to get attached to all the old junk I have around here. He really likes the old International also. Anyways, here are some pictures of the day. You will see through a lot of the pictures the severity of the rust. I just couldn't justify the time and money it would take to repair it all. This was under the back baja panel.
 Lots of rust around all the fenders.
 This is what made the baja a bad choice for being a winter vehicle. The heater channels are completely rusted out. In fact the drivers side is non existent. In a VW bug the defrost and heat for the front of the car is all run through the heater channels. I had to keep a norwex rag on the passengers "OH crap" handle so I could wipe off the inside of the windows when they would get all fogged up. I also kept a scraper and used it on really cold days for the inside of the windshield to get the ice off it.
 This is where the drivers side ducting SHOULD be. The previous owner used a piece of a reflective road sign to patch the outside quarter panel but the duct is completely gone.
This is the passengers side. This duct is still there as you can see. It is starting to rust out though.
 Here is a hole that goes into the drivers side. When I went mud bogging with the Isaac this was one reason I came home with a wet foot.
 Here is the beginning of the end for Tugger. The parting out has begun.
 Fenders are removed. I am going to try to use all the good parts I can. Hopefully they can help out someone who is building a bug.
More rust. He was a good looking blue at one time in his life. The 70's brought out the metallic maroon and time made it an ugly brownish color today.
 More rust again. The tires are good though!
 Engine is out. Me and Isaac are going to detail the engine before we install it in the blue bug. It has taken a beating being exposed to the elements for 3 years. We will clean it up and do some powder coating before it goes to it's new home.
 Glass is out and the doors are off. It's getting pretty bare now. I plan on cutting out some patch panels that I will eventually use for the other bugs so Tugger will live on.
Here is an example of the main bolts that hold the body on. They are pretty corroded. I really hate the salt they use in winter around here. Arizona cars don't have rust like this. They just have really trashed interiors from the heat.
 This is the front section of the body under the gas tank. I still had 6 gallons of fuel in it so I have plenty of fuel for my lawn mower, tiller and snow blower. We swept up a huge pile of rust that had fallen off during dis-assembly. It turned out to be a very dirty hot job today.
 Tugger was all over the garage. We organized the piles and took some pictures so we could put up some ads on Hopefully this stuff will sell.
Another view of the Tugger explosion. The body is free and ready to come off. I am trying to figure out a way to remove it and get it put into the back of my truck so I can take it to the scrapper. I think I will have to bribe some neighbors to come over and help me lift it by hand to get it in the truck. I don't think my engine hoist will lift high enough to do it that way. Me and Isaac sat for awhile discussing ways to do it.
 I am hoping that someone will buy these and make another baja bug out of them. they are still in OK shape.
 I am going to take the body to the scrapper and try to sell the pan with the good title to someone who needs one. The pan isn't too rusty. If they have a decent body they could use this pan and title.
We are not sure exactly how we are going to build the blue bug. We are toying with the idea of building it as a class 11 lookalike. That is like this one pictured below.
If we do this we can use the tires off Tugger. I think they look really cool. I will let Isaac decide what he wants to do. I guess the only thing we can't do is lower it. I promised Dixie we wouldn't!