Saturday, September 8, 2018

Mundane Automotive Tasks

Mundane, but necessary, like a lot of grunt work.

Doing some clean-up work on a few items so I can paint them tomorrow. I took my Cooling Plate and buzzed it off with my orbital sander and some 140 grit. It put a nice, smooth, flat finish on it, and also gave the surface some "tooth" so the paint will stick better. This will get painted wrinkle-finish black.

Then I prepped two pieces of headlight trim that screw down to the hood. They fill the gap between the leading edge of the hood, and the back edge of the headlight pods. These are stamped steel, and the paint was weathered but solid, so I cleaned them, and then scuffed them up with some 220 grit. These will get painted satin black.

I'm going over the grille right now. I scrubbed the living daylights out of it in the sink with hot, soapy water (Dawn works very well), and several different brushes to get in all the nooks and crannies, and then went over it again with some of that semi-lame "No Scratch" blue Scotch-Brite I have. Even though it feels "squeaky clean", it still has splotches of road film on it that don't want to easily come off. I went through this with the two big pieces of black plastic headlight trim that go on the front and sides of the headlight pod and hide all the mechanical bits. I finally gave up on trying to get them clean, and went over them with the green Scotch-Brite I have, and a ton of my "Sanding Juice". It gave them a very clean, "brushed" look, and after treating them with Mother's "Back-To-Black", they look ready for their close-up, Mr. DeMille!

BUT....the grille has TWO-HUNDRED AND SIXTY-EIGHT of these little hex-shaped holes in it, and I don't want to spend the next six months cleaning each and every one of them by hand! So since it's really clean right now, it's getting painted satin black tomorrow when I do the headlight trim.

I took my little "spare" laptop, and set it up in the garage. I patched the audio into the receiver, and now I can stream YouTube audio, or play CDs and DVDs in the garage.

Tonight's music to work on your car is by the Allman Brothers Band and is their "At Fillmore East" live album, one of their best.
The wife hit the rack really early, as she's bit depleted from a week of relatives, and watching the little guy from the afternoon they left until early this evening.
And just in case you think I spend all my "spare time" in the garage, I don't. We're going out tomorrow afternoon after I finish the painting, and just going to stroll around Old Town for a while, and then go out to dinner.


  1. I took the 33' vertical antenna down a week or so ago. It worked "as expected", which wasn't as good as I'd hoped for. Sometimes antennas will work better than predicted, and sometimes worse. This one worked about as well as predicted, which isn't as good as the portable vertical I have.

    I made a drawing of the flange I need to either make myself or have made, and then I'll get the welded on a 12' length of some 5" well casing, and we'll sink that in the ground and backfill it with concrete.

    This will put the base of the antenna about 8' above ground, and the radial wires will extend from there to the four corners of the yard, where they'll be tied off to some mast with the far ends 6'~8' above the ground.

    This will be a "better" installation than I had in Long Beach, so it should work at least as well as it did there, which was pretty damn good for a simple vertical with elevated radials.

    I still haven't decided if I'm going to put in a tower. I have a good system sped'd out with parts list and Bill Of Materials, but I'm having second thoughts about building it.

  2. And you're being PRODUCTIVE! :-)

    1. Thanks! I have a lot to do on the car now that we have the house pretty much squared away.

      Still want to build out the electronics shop in the basement, but not so sure anymore what I want to do with radio.....

  3. Replies
    1. Brings back many pleasant memories of my Hot Rod Days back in Illinois.


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