Monday, March 15, 2010

Too Many Distractions

I really wanted to spend a lot of time in the garage this weekend working on Glinda’s body, but it didn’t happen. Saturday, in Baltimore, was a rainy, miserable day. The morning was spent hunting down a set of exhaust manifold packings (gaskets) for Ringo. Fortunately Rich, a friend from the local Corvair club, had a set he could part with. It's great having other Corvair folks in the area.

I believe it was sitting in front of the TV while eating lunch that doomed the day for garage time. I just couldn’t drag my butt out of the comfy, warm house and into the nasty, damp garage. I justified it by having to play chauffeur to Mikhaila at 2 o’clock – not enough time to make it worthwhile. Lame, lame, lame.

By dinner-time, the rain had abated, and at 8 o’clock it had stopped, so it was time to replace Ringo’s leaky packings. Even though I could only detect gas leaking from one of the ports, I replaced all six to be safe. I did notice, however, that the #5 gasket looked a little suspect, so that plan was a good one. That repair went well, and he was off the jackstands by 9:30.

Yesterday afternoon Ariel drove Ringo back to school. She got about a half-mile away when the new packings started smoking. I hadn’t used these kind before, so I had no idea to warn Ariel about the smell. She freaked out and immediately turned the car around and headed home. I assured her it was the hot, new gaskets, and told her the smell would go away in a few miles. It did, and she and Ringo made the 90 mile drive without any other incidence.

I did go out to the garage yesterday afternoon. Since it was the most accessible area in need of work and the replacement panel on Old Betty seemed, I decided to start Glinda’s body work on her right rear fender. With the grinder’s wire brush wheel spinning at 11,000 rpm, it didn’t take long to be enveloped in a Bondo fog. It was a more extensive expedition than I’d hoped, but I finally found the end of the filler. Fortunately, Old Betty’s equivalent quarter-panel is nice and solid. I then turned my attention to Old Betty applying some masking tape to keep my hacking lines relatively straight. With a cut-off wheel replacing the brush wheel, the grinder got the panel about 98% cut off. The last two cuts had to be made with my little air hacksaw. I also needed to remove Old Betty’s rear bumper and exhaust system to access all around the panel. In removing the exhaust I discovered an interesting kludge. A previous owner had broken off the ears of the exhaust manifold where the exhaust pipe flanges are fastened. To provide a secure assembly, they used hose clamps to retain the bolts and nuts to the manifold. Ingenius.

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