Monday, February 22, 2010

Great Moments in Horse Trading


I try to stay away from making any sweeping and definitive statements about my dad because a) he was human and b) I was only alive for half of his life and of that I was only critical for less than half of that. What I will say though is that I never heard him use the term “Bucket List”. That is a term that I just cringe when I hear. I just read an article in the latest VTR mag that used the term in an annoying article about people driving and trailering their Triumphs across the USA without incident. I take that personally as I almost died twice and got arrested (in that order) to bring one to Canada from KC (the trip outlined early in this blog).

Bucket List is getting up there on my list of hated terms right next to “Parrothead” or “Guesstimate”. If I ever use any of these terms I would like someone, doesn’t matter who, to walk up behind me and put one right between my ears Sopranos style.

Dad did however travel to Italy, Africa, Scotland, most of the United States and Baffin Island – among other places. He had been nose to nose to both polar bears (Baffin Island) and militant lesbians (Texas Dyke Bar). He wasn’t bigger than life he just said yes to more things than he said no to. I try to live that way – it’s a short life and if you live it right you don’t need a bucket list. Please don’t use that term anymore – it’s the verbal equivalent to socks and sandals.

But I have to plug the one fellow who crossed the US in his 1962 TR4. His blog is a good read even if he does use the term “Bucket List”. Go to: http://brianjones.tumblr.com/

Moving on to new business I bought a MIG welder. Yes, yes I did. It’s the most beautiful MIG welder I have ever seen in my entire life. The car gods willed me to buy it.

As I stated last week I sold the moped for five-hundred dollars. Because the car gods willed it the Lincoln Weld-Pak 140 (the biggest 120 volt welder Lincoln makes) was on sale at Canadian Tire for four-hundred and ninety-nine dollars. The sale ended on February 18th and I waited as long as I could to think on buying it. The retail price is $650. Remember I’m the guy who impulse purchased a car in KC last year. I really wanted to think this one through.

I even went as far to throw a stink bid in on a Lincoln Weld-Pak 100 with a cart that was on Kijiji.com for 745. It also had a bottle of Argon which I would need. This was the same guy that told me he didn’t need any more junk when I offered to trade the moped. I offered him 500 dollars for the whole setup.

Since we last emailed this fellow had sold off his bottle and offered me the just welder and cart for 550. I then still thought about this decision as his used MIG would be a little too old to come with a warranty. Usually the warranty thing would not be an issue but MIGs have rotating parts and I have a rule about warranties that falls down the line of moving parts and no moving parts.

I was very proud of the amount of thought I put into this decision. I hope it’s a sign of latent maturity. With my 500 dollars from the moped deal, seven dollars and ninety cents in Canadian Tire money (which stacks as high as a thousand dollars in twenties in real money) and Ruffin the wonder mutt I proceeded to head to three different Canadian Tire stores to track down this unit. I actually inquired about stock in town at the first Canadian Tire I hit but had to pass another on the way to the store I was told had the unit in stock. I stopped in just to make sure.

It was the last day in the sale and so late they weren’t even advertising the sale price anymore. I got the last one this store had and with my Canadian Tire money and GST the total came to $517.09. I then found a brand new welding cart on Kijij.com for $25.00. Thank you Al! MIG welding cars hover around the $100-150 range.

So for $542.09 I got a brand new welder , cart and three year warranty. I love when a plan comes together. I still need a bottle of Argon but I will still be under budget when I get that.

That’s all that happened this week on the car. Most of my time right now is devoted to finding employment. This car project will stop dead unless I can get this resolved. DANT DANT DAAA!

Stay tuned...

Monday, February 15, 2010

Progress – Sweet Progress








The car and I had a good week – meaning meaningful employment and I are still at odds. I spent Tuesday evening, Wednesday and Thursday working my ass off. It wasn’t pretty; I was quite unshowered and disgusting by the time Thursday afternoon rolled around. Tuesday night I logged 5pm ‘till 2am, Wednesday from 9am ‘till midnight and Thursday 9am ‘till 3pm.

I spent most of the time grinding. I started off with the wire wheel on my angle grinder until it caught on an edge of the shock tower, flipped out of my hands, nicked my ear and the top of my left shoulder. It was at that point I went to Canadian Tire and got some wire wheels that fit my drill. The drill had considerably less torque and was way more manageable.

I eventually setup a stool which I clamped a small vice to and used that and my drill to grind paint and rust on the A-arm parts related to the left front wheel. I did that for most of Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Tuesday night I spent stripping paint and rust out of the wheel well and inter-fender. I also spent some time on Tuesday dry fitting the rocker panel. I mocked it up to see how close it would fit. You’ll see in the pics it looks good.

Throughout the day on Wednesday I painted the interfender. I primed with a zinc-based primer. This might be controversial but, after a few coats of the zinc, I sprayed an old school red primer to match what was on the car originally. Later I that night I sprayed a few coats of a flat black. This is not correct but it looks good. What would be correct is body color and then rubberized undercoating. After all the primer and flat black I sprayed a few coats of a clear coat.

I hung the suspension parts I finished sripping on a string line and sprayed them flat black and clear coated Thursday morning.

The paint removal with the drill is a slow progress. I saw that Canadian Tire has bench grinders on for 50 bucks. The purchase of one might be in my future. A blasting cabinet would be ideal but that’s not in the cards.

I am impressed with the outcome of my three days of work but I am rather distraught with the time it took. I must have at least 50 hours into the single wheel well and still some mileage to go.

I returned to Calgary Thursday evening, bought a pizza and Krista and I nursed our newly neutered pooch through recovery. I am not sure which one of us, the dog and I, where in worse shape on Friday. I was worn right out from the long hours of my blitz. Ruffin was walking funny.

I sold the Moped this weekend to a kid from Canmore for 500 dollars. The Lincoln 140 Mig is on sale at Canadian Tire for 500 bucks. I haven’t made a decision to invest right now as my future is still rather uncertain. At the same time that price is 150 bucks lower then retail. That won’t last very long.

Stay tuned…



A quick shout out to a fellow name Scott who sent me this pic of his father with his Topaz TR6 along with an inspiring email. Scott also lost his dad too soon but still has the car and has kept it up. This Blog is about fathers and sons.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Parts!!!



There is very little excitement going on in my life right now as I am STILL unemployed -anyone out there looking to hire the former GM of a small software development firm with an education in marketing and addictions to TWIT podcasts and Wired magazine? – and oh ya, a car project that resembles a coke habit. I’m on the verge of going and eating worms. But, before I breakout the shovel, inspiration knocks – my parts have arrived!! Well, most of my parts – still waiting on my fender.

Torture – as I know it – is having parts and not being able to get to the car. We had a couple of events here in Calgary that I needed to attend so no car time this weekend.

I am however headed to the car tomorrow night for two days of working. The bad news is I am headed there without a MIG welder. I saw my MIG budget squirt out the tail end of our small dog that had a stomach bug. He required a vet visit, meds and special food for a week. Oh, well.

The coolest thing from this last week is when I discovered www.6-pack.org I planned to swoop in and drop a link to this – The-World’s-Greatest-But-Yet-To-Be-Discovered-Blog – but I stayed and found the richest TR6 resource I’ve seen yet. I’m still only half way through the forum and links.

So in summary: I have parts, I have a dog with the shits and still no job. The wedding is 179 days away.

Stay tuned…

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Parts and Mia Culpas



Parts are on their way!!! Len Drake from Drake’s Motors in Kelowna, BC (http://www.drakesbritishmotors.com/) got right on it after he received my email last week. A few emails over the afternoon and we had a good list and a good price. Len even deciphered the part numbers for everything I had earmarked for TRF and put together the Moss equivalent.

The parts coming (should be here Wednesday) are as follows:

6 CLIP BAFFLE SEAL
1 SEAL FRONT BAFFLE PLATE
1 BAFFLE PLATE R/H
1 ROCKER PANEL END CAP L/F
1 ROCKER PANEL END CAP L/R
1 ROCKER PANEL END CAP R/F
1 ROCKER PANEL END CAP R/R
1 SILL PANEL OUTER R/H
1 SILL PANEL OUTER L/H
1 BAFFLE PLATE L/H
2 KIT FT WING MTG
2 KIT REAR WING MTG
1 SEAL GRILLE TO HOOD
1 RACK BOOT KIT
1 TRUNNION ASSY LOWER R/H
1 TRUNNION ASSY LOWER L/H
1 BALL JOINT UPPER Pair
1 MAJOR FT SUSP KIT
4 WASHER RUBBER
2 MOUNTING RUBBER STEER RACK
1 TIE ROD END SET
1 BUSH KIT POLY TRAIL ARM
2 BUSHING LOWER CONTROL ARM
1 BUSH SWAY BAR MOUNT URETHANE
2 U-BOLT SWAY BAR MOUNT
2 BRACKET SWAY BAR
1 MOUNT STEERING RACK SOLID
1 REAR SHOCK CONVERSION
1 74-76 FRONT RIGHT FENDER
2 FRONT SHOCK OBSORBERS


This should be enough to keep me going for a few weekends at least.

This is not all I’m going to need but it’s all I could afford – hello Ichiban noodles.

My future in-laws stopped in at Mike’s to drop off a cheque for me and take some pics of the motor. The motor was still at the machine shop and it seems no amount of harassment would convince Mike’s to disclose the location of the machine shop.

Being that my groomsmen were all here in Calgary for the kilt fitting there was no progress on the little car. There was however two nights and one afternoon of copious drinking that left wives, girlfriends and one fiancée a little put out. It could be a cold February for all involved.

I have to also apologize to my brother Neal and his wife Michelle. No one should have to come home from the movies to find their hot tub B&E’d by three large drunk and naked men. That might have been a little offside.

Stay tuned…

PS: still in the market for a job and a MIG welder (in that order I’m told).