Monday, September 12, 2011

Moving Right Along

This weekend was filled with a hodge-podge of activities; many were typical chores of a homeowner seemingly unrelated to fleet maintenance (pushing grout into the cracks of bathroom tile floor, putting away window A/C units, pruning rose bushes, spreading mulch and making a long-overdue run to the dump). The last two actually were important towards getting Ringo back on the road. We’ve had a pile of mulch in our driveway for the last couple months. Since it blocks both the garage door and the gate to the backyard, it had to be moved before I could empty the utility trailer now overflowing with junk Corvair parts and yard cuttings. The lovely Loriann and I shoveled, wheelbarrowed, and spread mulch until we’d blazed a pathway wide enough to maneuver the trailer out of the yard. This same pathway is also wide enough to squeeze Ringo through for his maiden journey which will, I hope, be in the very near future.

After returning from the dump, I took my dirty self out to the garage and removed Ringo’s gage cluster from the dashboard. After disassembly, I cleaned the speedometer drive and lubricated it with WD40 until it spun freely again. I replaced the gas gage, cleaned the clear piece plastic lens, and reassembly the cluster. Installing it back into the dash wasn’t too bad until it came to the part where I got to lie on my back and plug all the little bulb sockets back into their mounting holes. With that complete, I lubricated the steering shaft bearing as best I could, and then reinstalled the steering wheel and all its hardware.

Next on the agenda was ensuring the heating system worked. Previously, Ariel couldn’t run Ringo’s heater fan since it would blow the fuse. I cleaned all the connections to the fan motor, so now was the time to test it. With the battery charger providing juice through the basically dead battery, I turned the switch to high and was greeted with a nice flow of air out the two floor ducts. I left the motor running while I took a short break and came back to the garage a half-hour later and found the motor still running nicely. Hopefully, it behaves the same way when powered by the alternator. While testing the motor, I discovered the cable that actuates the right defroster vent was broken. I disassembled it from the lever and the vent door, and added it to my to-buy list.

I also laid out the two carpet pieces and gave them a good cleaning. Sadly, the water that has leaked into Ringo’s interior for the last few years has taken its toll. The carpet is not the nice red it was when new, but rather a spotty, orange-ish not pleasing to the eye. After talking with Jeff at the Corvair Ranch this morning, I intend to try spray vinyl dye to resurrect these pieces since I can’t afford new ones.

Today the lovely Loriann is buying a quart can of Evercoat Everglass body filler. I chose this filler since it is supposed to be waterproof and I need to fill the small holes and rusted through areas of Ringo’s body. I won’t be able to paint the backside of the filler, so it’s important it doesn’t absorb any moisture that would cause the new paint to bubble. While a quart is probably not enough to complete the job, it will be enough for a first coat – the one that plugs the holes.

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