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As promised, pictures of the progress so far: Superdash
Now time for a little advice.
1. When your hands are covered with resin, from 'glassing, and a friend stops by, don't offer said friend a beer, and hold one in your own hand for a while, until the resin cures to your hand, and the bottle. I must have used a quart of acetone trying to remove the bottle from my hand while my buddy was rolling on the lawn laughing himself to tears.
2. As the resin drips and sets on your workbench, make sure your tools, your root beer, your cigarettes and your cell phone are NOT on the workbench.
3. When you have a half empty bottle of root beer on your workbench, look inside before taking a swig. Wasps really hurt when they sting the inside of your lip. The emergency room personell aren't particularly amused when they are treating you for anaphylactic shock due to severe allergies, and your somewhat wet resin all over your clothes is sticking to their gurney and paper shirts.
I'm using "cheap" resin that the local family owned auto parts store provided. Its rather generic in packaging, but by the smell I'm thinking its an Alco product, probably a poly resin based on smell and price. It eats all sorts of stuff. Latex gloves, paint brushes, plastic window screen (which is why I used fiberglass on this), and acetone takes it right off... probably poly. Actually, I thought these gloves weren't latex, I didn't read the box... just the price tag $5 for 100 univeral gloves, I couldn't resist.
Actually, if we wait until early to mid spring (after we all thaw out), I'd be happy to host a "meeting" at the house here. With my back, I wouldn't mind a few extra hands to help guide the 351 out, and the 500 twin-turbo stroker in. Then you guys can eat and drink while I swear at the assembly I have a few guys lined up from a mailing list I run as well, as well as a boom-style tow truck so those participating don't have to struggle moving 1100lbs of engine on a rickety engine crane across the driveway. Or a few weekends prior to that, I'll have the new engine assembled on my run stand, while I fire up the fuel injection for the first time out the back garage door, that might be interesting too. Or both!
Though with some of my friends... Kenny might not leave here with his high-boy in-tact, it might get an "accidental" conversion to EFI while its here.
Couple years ago one of my friends (from the other list) showed up from far, far away with a carb'd car, and the group of us whimsically went to a local yard, collected a ton of EFI parts, and converted his car across the weekend. 12mpg coming out here from the midwest, almost 22mpg on the way home, with a darn nice idle. The GM ECM in a tupperware container was a nice touch
I really don't get to breathe between projects, as there are no gaps.
Yesterday's dollar day was fun actually... Replaced my steering column with a red one from a 95 Town Car, moved my switches and wiring over, and its working really nice. I also removed the airbag as I have no use for that. In fact, I went through the trouble of drilling out the 13 rivets that hold the plastic steering wheel pad to the airbag assembly (as the pad gets destroyed when the bag fires), then proceeded to cut the unfired bag off in little pieces, then drill out the 12 rivets that hold the aluminum air bag firing assembly (the ignitor and charges of sodium azide and potassium chloride) so I can remount the plastic part to the metal "tray", and back to the steering wheel so it looks complete.
So I can toss the ignitor assembly, I'll be firing it tomorrow in the street. I figured throwing it into the trash would be unkind to my prissy garbage men Just have to gerry rig a metal open top container (trash can?) and long wire so it explodes safely and doesn't make a huge mess or danger anyone.
Also took out the seating, and started to put in and measure up the minivan seats I acquired... though the front buckets are too tall. Sitting on them my head hits the headliner, so I'll have to rework them another weekend, so I put the original seats back in. Very soon everything will be red to match. I discovered my "original" steering column was not the original, which explains why it was black, not red. Underneath it has the unnecessary wheel position sensor only found in Lincolns, Crown Vics, and Marquis' of similar years. So someone did a swap at some point. At least now I have tilt, and the wheel isn't in my face anymore. I have a caddy telescoping/tilt column but I decided that's too much rewiring for a cold sunday. In between all this, I managed to slather another two layers of fiberglass on the dashboard. While its still ugly as hell, and not shaped quite the way I want, at least the plastic shell and the fiberglass are one solid unit. Took it off the ducting/support structure this morning and it didn't even creak. Only 5 more layers to go!!! Too cold though, I only get two layers a day, tops... takes soooooo long to cure. It would go quicker if my wife would allow fiberglassing in the living room
My T1 is still dead (can you believe this?), so no pictures just yet.
But, the fiberglassing aspect of the dash is completed. Its quite structural, yet flexes enough that I can work it over the ducting/support thing. Took advantage of the nice weather today and put three layers on the outside, and two on the inside, using large pieces to make it as smooth as possible, to minimize my sanding and bondo efforts, to get a near-perfect finish.
If the skimming doesn't go well, I'll cover it with vinyl to match the interior. I've already purchased it, just in case. If I don't need it for the dash, I'll use the vinyl to recover the overhead console and the new floor console, once I put in the new front seats.
The computer bit worked out pretty well, after recompiling the linux kernel... oh... 200 times I finally got the USB mouse, USB miniature keyboard, USB GPS and ACPI functionality to work. I bored two holes in the back of the case, and attached 4-prong connectors that enable me to provide DC power from the truck, as well as DC power out to the monitor (that shuts off when the PC shuts off), as well as a 500ma line "Remote" to turn on and off all the amplifiers and what not, as well as connections for two high current relays, one of which closes its contacts when the computer is on only, the other I can control from software.
Next, to make the climate control interface and get that working as well, so I can get the heater controls of the floor.
Getting there. When the T1 is back I'll provide links to the new pictures. Not bad for a first attempt, if I may say so. I might redo this in the spring, depending how the final result comes along. Its not quite the way I wanted it, but its close enough, at least for now.
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