Friday, June 28, 2013

I’m Getting REALLY Nervous

Last weekend was an eventful one, Corvair-wise, but not one that resulted in me getting greasy (and thus getting Glinda closer to being back on the road). I'm concerned that Glinda will be ready for the imminent departure to Michigan. I need to find another gear and get going.

Saturday morning dawned early with the lovely Loriann and I driving up to the Corvair Ranch to pick up the newly-bushed front control arms. Unbeknownst to my willing wife, I’d also intended to dig through Jeff’s bin of coil springs in search of Heavy Duty (HD) versions of the LM fronts and rear. After greeting Jeff, I dropped my truck’s tailgate, pulled out a milk crate containing an example of Glinda’s current coils, a Vernier caliper, tape measure, and two pairs of gloves. When I handed her a set, she gave me a incredulous look and asked me I expected her to do with them. “You’re going to help me find some springs,” I replied. Grudgingly, she followed me to the bin as I explained what we were hunting for. Within 20 minutes, our mission was complete – and her sharp artist eyes were the reason it hadn’t taken much longer. She’d found the springs just by looking through the grid of the bin. I was mightily impressed. A few minutes later, I’d paid Jeff for his work along with a few parts I needed from him and we were on our way.

About thirty minutes down the road, my cell phone rang. It was Jeff, and he was looking at a box of control arms complete with nice, new bushings. I’d been so focused on finding springs, I’d completely forgotten about the control arms. Irrr. An hour was wasted running back up to Gettysburg. Once home, there were a number of chores I needed to deal with, so no more garage time was available.

Sunday afternoon I bid farewell to the lovely Loriann and Mikhaila for their week of mission work in central PA. Afterwards, I ran over to Gary Segal’s to buy some new rear suspension bolts and then on to another ‘vair friend’s house. The purpose of this visit was quite sad. Rich has been fighting lung cancer for a while, and the decision was recently made to stop fighting the battles and make the most of his last days. He has an extensive collection of cars, parts, and tools, and, while his son is keeping a number of vehicles and the parts and tools to support their restoration and maintenance, there will still be a very large stash of goodies that will need to find new homes. Back when I found out about Rich’s terminal situation, I offered to help the family in any way I could. A few days later, I got an e-mail asking if I’d be willing “to dispose of his Corvair items.” It is his wish that the local club members get the first opportunity to buy items, but then it will open up to the surrounding chapters of CORSA before going up on Craigslist and eBay. Anyway, I got to Rich’s house and spent about an hour talking with him and his son, Vince, about all things Corvair. Vince gave me a tour of the collection so that I had a sense of what would be available. Bins of parts (including quite a few sets of wheels), shelves of tools, and at least two vehicles will need to be sold. I’m hoping I get to see him at least one more time before the cancer claims another victim.

Since then, I’ve been putting in quite a few hours at my paying job as well as spending yesterday and Wednesday at the mission camp. Last night, after returning home, I headed out to the garage and worked on the backlight installation and suspension. I inserted the trim clips and coated the mating surface of the pinchweld with primer before moving on to removing the useless inner bushings from the rear strut rods. After modifying their replacements, I partially pressed them into place. My vise doesn’t have enough oomph to fully seat them, so they’ll need to be shoved home by a real press. The last task of the day was removing the nuts and freeing the control rods from the crossmember. The first nut took about an hour of heating, soaking, beating with the imact wrench, heating again, more beating, and finally standing on the end of the torque wrench de-seized that which was one. A few minutes after that, I had the nut off and the rods rusty threads cleaned up. I tried the same approach to the other rod, but instead of breaking the nut-to-rod bond, I broke my torque wrench. It was then definitely time to call it a day.

Today I visited my favorite toy store and bought the largest ½ inch breaker bar Harbor Freight sells. Tonight that nut is mine.

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