Vanning is a compulsion, an obsession, an occupation, an affliction, a fascination, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it, must. Those who don't, think it's a waste of time. For me it is a calling.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Back in the garage

Yes. Its been a while since I updated the ole blog. It's been a long winter, and I spent most of it in the garage. The Early has me jazzed. I have never been this excited to get a van done. With the possible exception of the Flying Eagle. Which really isn't finished, but that's another In the last episode, our hero was in the middle of finishing bodywork on the front doors and openings. All the while, fighting slow hardening bondo, slow drying primer, and choking on bondo dust. BAMM!.... ZONK!.... BOINK!

sorry, I had an attack of Adam West. Holy rocker panel Batman lol

One of the things I've always wanted to do on an early Dodge,is some custom trick to change those ugly headlights. The factory trim rings are hideous. They protrude. Don't fit well. and don't lend themselves to any bolt on that looks any better. I've been mussing on this one for some time. The stock ring has to go. But how do you fill all that space between the light and the body. The headlight sticks out beyond the body ring. So I decided to recess the whole light assembly similar to the sunken taillights. Problem was there isn't a lot of room behind the bucket to set it back very far. We cut out the mount and bucket and modified the bucket to allow it to go back nearly 2 inches. Doesn't sound like much but it does the trick. Before

After Then we had to get rid of those mounting holes,to make the ring smoooothe then fill it all and make the correct taper inward. Gona be COOL!  Reminds me of the lights on the turbine car Chrysler built in the 60's The Boys were down a couple times to help. We got a lot done. Some of this stuff just can't be done by one guy (or at least one old one lol). Helped me pull out the Engine to paint it. They helped fabricate mounts for the new heat and air conditioning system. That's the new Camaro synergy green. That's also going to be one of the colors on the outside of the van... Also made a mount for the new fuse block and wire harness. and began modifying the tilt steering column that is going in . The wiring harness is a complete harness from an Astro van. All the Dodge wiring was removed and everything from front to the rear lights is being replaced.. Yea, I know the die hard Dodge guys hate me, but I wanted to build it like a hot rod. How many 32 fords have there been with Chevy engines in them? Millions! The donor Astro had a new engine and trans. and I want to modernize the mechanics so everything that makes it go is from the Astro. Gas tank ( that bolted right in) fuel pump , 350 small block-fuel injected, tilt wheel ,4 speed overdrive trans. Complete wiring harness, cruise control, intermittent wipers, power windows, even the seats, that fit like a dream. Which I love by the way. ( no damm car seats in MY van) besides I have worked on Astros a long time and this will be easier to fix when needed. Wiring is a time consuming task. A lot of it can be stripped out. Stuff I'm not going to use like the stock heater controls (getting heat and air from Vintage Air). power door locks and the like. Wiring up the taillights and rear interior. The biggest problem is where to put it all. The Astro has an ecm (computer) that controls all motor functions. It has a crap load of wires in it. I need to put it some where inside the van and close enough to the engine so I don't have to lengthen or shorten all those wires. I already have done that with some of them ,but I don't want to do all those. The best place so far is in the wall right behind the driver seat. Close enough to the motor. I think it will work,, I'll know better in a week or so. Yea and that's only half of it LOL
Radiator out of a c-6 corvette will be mounted under the front floor. Low and at an angle. Just like in a vette.(my sons idea). more on that when we get to fabricating the mounts.
I did do some other stuff besides work on the van. I went to Detroit for the Autorama and the Pinstripers panel jam. This is one of my donation pieces. that was a great time. Good to see Scal, Tramp and all the other cool stripers.

Finished fixin the paint on the Nautilus.
Finally got it on it's way home to Calif.
Just had to put this one up.. I love it..Vance wanted a fink on his tool box at work.. TOOLS = FOOD. Ain't it the truth! HA HA HA.