Eric W

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Eric W last won the day on August 29 2016

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About Eric W

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  • Birthday 12/06/1968

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    '55 Buick Special 2-dr, '51 Buick Special 4-dr 41D, '51 Buick Roadmaster 2-dr HT 76R

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  1. Been a while, but I got to cleaning up behind the firewall in the wiper pushrod area. Someone's been using spray-on grease in there for a while. Didn't get a before photo, but it cleaned up well. Also did a couple of the hoses and black plastic parts around the engine. Need to get to the hood prop base (also greased like crazy) and other dirt collection areas under the hood.
  2. Pulled the shipping hooks front & rear. On the rears, the 2 nuts at each location go back on because they hold other items. These hooks are not for towing or recovery - they served to secure the cars to the ships' decks for transport from Japan. Saw a video where the guy was claiming massive weight savings from removing these. I weighed them - 1 lb, 8 1/2 oz for each of the rears, 1 lb, 7 oz for each of the fronts, and 9 oz of bolts for a total of 6 1/2 lbs removed. I'll hold onto these parts in case there's ever a need or desire to put them back, but I don't need to drive with them. I may add a front screen for debris protection - there's 2 styles. One with cutouts to work around the hooks, and another that needs the hooks out of the way.
  3. Attempted to clean the rims today. The paint isn't in so great shape, and they won't really clean up. With the numerous aftermarket (or stock) options, I don't know that I feel very strongly about making more investment in these tired steel rims. They're 2 different date codes - two with 1990, two with 1994 - so something happened along the way. The rim date codes are split diagonally (right front & left rear). The tire date codes are split front/year, 3 years apart. They'd put "tire blackening" goop on the tires, which was smeared all over the rims & along the fenders. Might just go the low-cost-enjoyment route & have the no-tread rear tires replaced & not think about improving the rims for a while. Space-saver spare has a hole in it, so I'll be replacing that. Repainted the wiper wing (or whatever it's called). Got the emissions done yesterday. I'll get the license plate this upcoming weekend. Full-time job & all that.
  4. Thank you, John & Harriet Cole. John, for taking care of this Miata for so long, and Harriet for allowing me to be the next caretaker. Maintenance records back to February 16, 1991, sold in Springfield, MO, with 158 miles showing. For the first 60,000 miles or so, it's just periodic maintenance. After that, there started to be more things needing upkeep, including, right towards the end, another timing belt & complete transmission replacement. The neighbor who was helping with the sale said that John had bought this at retirement as his hobby car. So it wasn't ever driven very much, as 3700 miles/year for 29 years shows. John knew exactly what he wanted, and he kept it that way. This is the BASE model. No power steering. No power windows. No cruise control. No alloy wheels. No ABS. No radio, speakers, or antenna. No leather-wrapped steering wheel. Defined as much by what it doesn't have as by what it does. Here are the photos when I looked it over & made a short drive this past Saturday. 107k miles and 29 years on that engine. Ok, so it's not one of the multiple sub-30k mile first-generation Miatas that you can see on the Miata-specific forums. Not sure where those are hiding anyway (hiding way out of my price range, for sure). I'd been looking at NA (first-gen) Miatas for a couple of months now on the c-list. I could spot the good ones - reasonable prices, and 50-100k miles. They'd appear and be sold the same day. With a full-time job, I just couldn't ever get to any of these - and I was looking out at a 500-mile radius. They do show up fairly regularly - once or twice a month. Then there's the next tier - 100-150k examples, nearly all with some modifications. Last week I had the idea to see if there's a website for a local Miata club. And there it was, an ad placed just the week before. But with key descriptions like "new transmission 2019", "new air conditioning compressor 2017" and "like new, always garaged & babied", and a very reasonable price, I thought for sure it would be gone. The local Miata club members must already have their cars. I left a message with the seller, and made sure I got out there within a couple of hours of him calling me back. Anyway, I didn't want to post anything until the money was exchanged, open title in hand, and car in my garage. Ok, not the usual AACA restoration story, and I'm sure there's more to do here than it would at first appear. But hopefully it's not nearly as much as I've done on my 1950's-vintage cars. There was a Miata advertising campaign recently, something to the effect of "when you were you" that featured memories of bad things that you did to that first-generation Miata, and reminding you that it's time in your life (30 years on) for another one. Made me think of the two Miatas I've had before this one. I'd bought my first one in 1996, a 1993 lease return, and it was my daily driver for about 3 years. I had some epic adventures with that one - 2000+mile road trips with the destination being the Tail of the Dragon at Deal's Gap. I'd never been there before, and what little was on the internet back then made it out to be one of the ultimate places for a car like this. It was. I also have a photo of it at the Southernmost Point on Key West at about 6am, when I could pull right up next to that marker and get a picture with nobody else in the shot. And the bad things - at one point I installed a used Sebring supercharger kit which overpowered the brakes, clutch, and fuel injectors, and proceeded to drive it right into dropping a couple of valves. Pulled the head in the apartment complex parking lot, bummed rides to work for a few days, and sold that supercharger on to the next kid. A couple more years without one, then I found a Black & Tan '94 via eBay. I was living in Connecticut then, and realized that a car like that is great in the summer, if you can afford for it not to be the daily driver. Which I could at that time. I drove that one all up route 7 - all over the state, actually, and up into Vermont & New Hampshire. It made the move with me out to Tucson in 2005, but I sold it not long after because I got into another project in the garage that needed the space. I only put a couple thousand miles on that one, replaced the coilover shocks & timing belt, and replaced more cosmetic interior parts than I thought I would. 14 years farther on, and here I am with the earliest Miata I've ever had. When I told my wife it was a blue one, she wasn't very keen on it. She'd seen too many that have faded to "light" blue. But this one makes the cut.
  5. Drove for a while today - got to the better photo spot, but need to pass by there again when the sun is lower...
  6. Ok, got the front guards on & took it down the street for some better photos.
  7. Thanks - I was able to pick up the last part from the chrome shop yesterday, but I haven't had a chance to put them on. Even though the front guards weren't what I'd call terrible before, it does make a big difference to see perfect new finish on there. That back bumper was an estate sale find for about $30. Of course, the chrome work is a lot more than that. But it was very straight, with just one small area where the bottom edge was dented a little. That's how I saw the part - they may have seen many more areas that needed a little tweaking. But overall, much more straight than the bumper I removed, which had obviously had some sort of impact.
  8. Ok, 5 weeks on the chrome. I think they had it done last week sometime, but I was out of town. They've still got one part that they weren't happy with, so I haven't installed any of the 4 bumper guards that I had done for the front. The rear parts came out great, though. Those bumper over-rides were all crunched up, and they push the dents back out & smooth it over. They did have to cut out the mounting brackets & weld them back in. They told me they would do this before they started. They said the last part would complete its rework tomorrow, if I can find time to get it (I have to leave work early to make their operating hours). They did show me the part in nickel; all that's left is the chrome & polish. Royal Plating in Tucson.
  9. Good point, John. I'll see if I can determine the exact carb & get a rebuild kit from The Carburetor Shop. I got kits from them for both of the '51 Buicks with good results. Remade the power lead for the license plate light this morning. I had cut that wire to pull the trunk - there's no inline bullet connector, at least not that I found. While doing this, I noticed the right tail light was out. Right brake light is good, so maybe a burned bulb. Turned out it just needed to be cycled in the socket some and it came back to life. The Thursday cruise "night" typically starts as soon as I can get there after work (before sundown), but going home I need complete working lights.
  10. 6/20 - I did bring it to the cruise night on 6/13, where it got all the way there, stalled out, and was pushed to a spot towards the far end of the parking lot. After getting something to eat & looking at the other cars, I did get it started again & got it home. After some thought, I checked the oil - quite low after dripping away in that guy's yard for 7 months. Added oil & brought it to the cruise night last night. Still slow to start after it's hot, but there & back no problems. I ordered the clips for the hood scripts & pulled the bumper guards front & rear. I have another rear bumper that I picked up at a Studebaker-specific estate sale. Brought the bumper & guards to the chrome shop today. The back bumper & guards as-is are a real letdown with the new paint.
  11. 6/15 - got the trunk latch working on Wednesday. Pulled the back seat, then the cardboard between the trunk & seat, and there's plenty of space between the structural supports to get back in there & pop the trunk from the inside. Also installed a machined cover plate at the radio antenna hole (custom-made for Porsche off eBay). Nicer than a stamped sheetmetal piece. Got the visor reinstalled today. Made up a little gasket from inner tube for the roof center bracket. Keeping the car in the garage, and with only 11" of rain / year here, it probably won't get wet, but there wasn't a gasket there before.
  12. Thanks, guys! My wife picked up some vintage suitcases for the trunk. Not sure where I saw the idea, but that's where I'll keep the tool bag, etc. Got to get the trunk latch working though...
  13. I'll check it out. When I search for nib file, most results are for a ".nib" file type that's part of Apple computer operating systems! But I see the paint rework tool in there as well.
  14. It's been 2 weeks of baking in the sun outside on the front fenders & doors. These sand quite cleanly. I didn't take it down perfectly smooth, so there's more material there to rework if I choose to. The one spot on the rear fender had been only 1 week, and again I didn't take that down completely, but all of this was making dust.