Chapter 23

It’s Spring! and there is still at least a foot of snow on the ground out there. The rumor is that by the time I reach 60 years old (in 6 days) it will be 50 degrees out. This is important, as I can’t get to my racecar trailer and truck until I have access to my snowed in storage facility. That sets off a series of possibilities, most importantly the part where I trailer the Tribaker to Shakopee for Eric Leivestad to look over my LP installation.  I think that I have it right, but there are still tubes sticking out of the mixer body that I’m not sure how to plumb.  In the meantime, I will fill the overdrive unit with the special lube I ordered which is easier on the bronze parts, top up the crankcase,differential and gearbox, and put hydraulic fluid in the clutch/brake systems. We will see how well I have made them leak-proof! Then, with a new fuse in the waterpump circuit (last pump was seized and blew the fuse), I’ll add coolant.  Water at first.  A few little electrical things to add…. I found a reverse rail overdrive lockout switch. Very interesting to find out that the old Willys wagons and trucks also used this, and that the planar front suspensions used on their two wheel drives was a direct copy of the old Stude one, if not the same tooling for certain parts…. I ordered one from     http://www.kaiserwillys.com/

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On my birthday, I’ll root around in a junkyard for an impact switch to add in series with the wire providing power to the ignition. This is a ball bearing that sits on top of a set of contacts, completing a circuit. If there is impact, the ball bearing comes off and shuts down the vehicle. It can also double as an antitheft device. They are usually in the trunk of Ford sedans or the passenger kick-panels of Ford trucks, and are commonly just thrown in for nothing when you buy other stuff at the junk-yard.

I took a breather from “engineering” to work on a couple of the fun projects where I have been delaying gratification…. I made a cardboard template for the driver’s side engine/frame cover. This will turn out pretty smooth. My only decision will be whether to make it two-piece (upper-lower) or one piece.  I have time to savor this decision. The passenger side will be the same perimeters, but because of the mixer and exhaust will be much more fussy to do.

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Also, as a treat, I’ve been working on the windshield. I wanted a Hallock or Duval style  windshield. They are really based on rather flat surfaces, which would require loads of sheetmetal work to the top of the cowl on my car, so I fashioned windshield frames out of cardboard, glass templates out of masonite, and started to fab a frame that would give it the “look”. A pet peeve is chopped or hammered rods that either minimize or obliterate forward vision for the sake of style.  I have suffered through enough motorcycle windscreens whose tops were directly in the way of my line of site, and I don’t wish to succumb to that issue when sitting in this thing. What that means is that at least for routine use, the glass may extend up a little higher, and it MAY look a bit “dorky” to some observers!

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Starting to look like a vee-hickle!

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