The postal service has brought me a nice large box of goodies. I ordered a few things from the frozen lands of the north. Ok not really very far north, but frozen anyway. Iowa to be specific and Karen, the person I spoke with to get a invoice for the combined cost of the 5 items and shipping to Maui missed a day of work because her car wouldn’t start. Brrr, I think it was 78 degrees that day here.
Being 2000 miles from the mainland, shipping is a significant expense and I take every advantage to save a bit. Amazon has free super saving shipping which is great but they don’t have a lot of parts needed for this project.
Ebay seller gonefishing69 seemed to have a good selection of parts I could use. I bought a new manual steering rack for a Ford Mustang II, apparently a popular choice for Hot Rod projects. It came with tie rod ends and mounting hardware. I chose a stainless steel cylindrical tank for the radiator reservoir. A proportioning valve and a 2 lb. residual pressure valve round out the brake parts and I chose red seat belts to complement the yellow/orange color scheme I’ve picked for the paint job.
Not very exciting but every bit brings me closer to completion.
Today I purchased five wire wheels and hubs that I found on Craig’s List. Included were the chrome knock offs. They are 14″ rims from a MGB that have been sitting under the seller’s house for a few years. A bit rusty, but should clean up well. Aside from the difficulty of finding a set of wheels and hubs anywhere for a good price, I was pleased to find these a mile from my house for the sum of $150.
I was going to build the car with the slot style alloy wheels that I have from the Datsun truck donor and switch out to more authentic 19″ wire wheels when I could afford the $2000 plus cost that would entail. Now I can get a somewhat authentic look at a much lower cost. True, the taller wheels would look better, but I plan to drive this daily and so it will be good to have tires that are more easily available. The 165 SR 14 tires on the wheels I just bought should be more easily available, though I may look for taller ones to get a more period look. Either way, I can have a pair of spare wheels and tires on-hand to swap out when necessary.
This web site has excellent information on wheels and tyres, more than you will ever need to know. Ever wonder what all those marks on your tyres mean? He has the answers.
One issue with wire wheels is the fact that they need tubes in the tires. Having tried to find tubes for radial tires before and facing blank stares from all the 19 year old tire jockeys I’ve asked, I almost gave up hope that such things still exist. Yet exist they do and I’ve found an on-line retailer that carries them. Coker Tire has a nice range of historic tires and carries Michelin tubes. I’ll still have to find a garage that has worked with wire wheels and is willing to put in the talc power to keep them from over heating. Balancing wires is another issue as most tire machines don’t have the adapters to do a proper job. Surely someone here is willing or remembers the old days. It certainly won’t be Costco, as much as I like the store for modern things.
Previous to that, I’ll have to get the tires off, so I can get the rims sand blasted and painted. I’ll keep tires on two of them so I can use them for fitting and moving the build around when that time comes.
A lot of work remains to be done, but finding wires locally makes me quite happy since I’m keeping good parts from the steel scrapers, saving money and getting a more authentic look. An even happier fact is that these parts were basically free to me. I took a computer that was given to me that had a failed part, replaced that with another donated part and sold the computer for more than my new wheels and hubs cost. So, I converted computers that would have gone to the scrappers into working machines, found a home for them and got parts that I needed, again keeping them from the scrappers and bringing my project closer to reality. Sweet!
I’ve been looking on ebay for interesting things for the construction of the car. I found this gauge and decided I must have it. It has all types of terrain listed on the face. I won’t actually hook it up to the tires, but thought it would be an interesting feature for the dash.
I’ve gotten a few more parts for the car, I’ll detail those in the next post…
I’ve cleaned off the engine and am starting to losten rusted fasteners. It’s in pretty good shape inside, at least what I can see. I will probably have to have the valves tended to since they have been exposed to the weather a bit, but as long as the cylinders and rings are in good shape, the rest should be pretty straight forward.
Putting the engine up on the bench will allow me better access. I had to wait till we put a roof on the side lanai, keeping out rain from above. However as I’m finding tonight with heavy showers after months of no rain, that there’s quite a bit of blow-in from the side. Still, the eingine is covered and it’s not a big deal.
Here’s a quick video of the hoisting:
I'm putting the Honda engine on the bench to get at a bit easier than on the ground while I tend to its needs.
Raising the engine
The noise that’s heard when I pull on the ropes is the horizontal, somewhat rusty, rod that passes through the engine mount arms spinning as the ropes pass over it. Not ideal, but better than buying more pulleys. I love moving things with block and tackle. I once moved several 600 lb cast iron radiators up to a second floor by myself with just some rope and pulleys. You get awesome power due to multiplication of your efforts, basically like a lever.
For now, I’ve gotten the exhaust system off and that’s a good start. Soon I’ll have the engine apart and have the heads looked at by a machine shop. I’ll probably buy new valves as these are showing some corrosion from the moist air.
It’s a new year and I’ve taken the time to get to know the Honda engine a bit better. It’s been a while since this engine has seen a wrench and its missing a few nuts and bolts from its removal from the previous owner’s bike. I took off the coolant pipe and found that the coolant has dried up and left some residue on the inside of the pipes. I should be able to wash that out and dissolve the gunk easily enough. I also had a look down the intake ports at the valves and while I did see some surface rust, things looked pretty good. I’ll take the engine apart anyway to check it out and have bought a gasket set for that purpose. I’m worried about corrosion on the cylinder walls but things have looked pretty good so far otherwise. Both inspection ports show a very clean engine interior. That’s terrific.