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Your toughest auto chalange


windjamer

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In order to help lower my blood pressure may I talk about the good old days and ask, What was your toughest auto chalange.???? In 1975 I pulled into the lot at our service center and found a (dont remember the year)forign p o s there. I let my self in poured a coffee and asked the boss, What the heck is that pos.? With a silly gren on his face he said that Dicky is a Masserati. Next ?? what the ---- is a Masserati? ANS., with that same look, you will find out. That should have been enough to send me back to my truck and right back home to bed, But fools rush in and God hates a coward so I opened the door to the back shop and went in. Aganst the wall where three large wooden crates shiped from over seas. I pried open the first and found a striped and I do mean bare short block big enough to (I sware) power the track vech. I drove in Germany. The second a standard tranny, fly wheel and and clutch pk. The last held exhaust manifolds a intake with three carbs, generator, starter, wires, brackets and everything else for that pos. Boxes and boxes of stuf. OK boss what do I do with this ? Ans put it togather, make it run. Yea right. do we have a book? Is there a book in town? Hell, is there a book in the country?? Ans. We can send over seas if you realy need it. A week later some times puting the same part on more than once and some times in a differant place working 8-10 hrs. a day my chalange was met the puzzel togather and I rec. a $20. tip from a happy customer. Never saw one befor, hope I never see one again

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Several times I have done body jobs where everyone else gave up in despair. Once I started a job at a new shop, my first job was to restore a 1959 MGA. The front of the body was in one end of the shop, the back end in the other end of the shop, and the frame in the middle. The car was literally rotted in half.

The boss was too cheap to buy any parts so I hand formed everything from sheet metal. He was too cheap to buy a brake too so I had to do everything by hand.

For a laugh I cut a picture of an MGA off a calendar and pinned it to the wall, the car was too far gone to measure from and the picture was my blueprint ha ha.

Also I once did a Karmann Ghia coupe for the same guy, that I used up 2 full 4X8 sheets of body metal. Man was that thing rotten. I made "patch panels" for the doors that went all the way up to the door handles. Again, no point asking for parts - make everything by hand.

In another place I got to do a 1965 Mustang where the first guy cut out all the bad parts leaving the body with the strength of a damp cardboard box. Then he couldn't figure out how to fix it.

First I had to jack it up and true everything up. Then weld it together without warpage. Keep checking and rechecking as you go.In the end I got it back in one piece and perfectly straight.

By the time I was done replacing all the damaged parts all that was left of the original car was the drive shaft tunnel and part of the roof. This is literally true.

Some people have amazing delusions of grandeur when it comes to fixing some rotten old shitbox. Provided they don't have to do the actual work of course.

I would tell them they could buy the best rust free one in the world for less than it would cost to fix their heap but they would insist I go ahead.

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Wayne my daughter and son in law own the busness now, but I called the boss(retired but still my best frend and boss) to see if he could remember the year of that thing.He couldnt eather, late fiftys early sixtys 4 door v12. As I remember it had a body style a lot like a checker. Gas tank door on top of the left rear fender. Like I said, never saw one befor hope I never see anouther

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I think mine is going to happen this weekend. I have a 2001 Impala that won't release the brakes so you can drive it. Was barely able to get from my parents house to mine (7 blocks). The anti-lock brakes apply for no reason and the traction control has the brakes applied full time. Talked with some mechanic friends and I need to chase the wiring harnesses and find where it is rubbed through and repair the wires. Hate computers on cars!!!

Mom's car ('66 Coronet)will be easier to fix. Find brake fluid, fix leak, blead and brakes should now work.

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A good friend and customer brought to me, lets call them remains and parts, to build a 1911 Marion Roadster once. It was a bushel basket case with a ton of missing parts. It took about 2 years of spare time to make missing parts and piece it back together. My mission was to make it run and drive which I accomplished. I guess that is the toughest car that I did to date. I do not have any before photos but here are some of it finished.

100_0536-A.JPG

100_0539-A.JPG

I have done with so little for so long that I am now qualified to do almost anything with nothing! laugh.gif Dave!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Bob,

Love your Indiana truck. From all accounts it's been a labor of love, dedication and persistance, 1980 to date is a looong time.

A question though - The front part of the frame you found, was that from your truck or another truck?

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They're all a challenge.

1. 1929 Whippet - want to find parts for those???

2. 1937 Plymouth pickup - parts are a pain.

3. 1940 Plymouth pickup - parts are a pain, wood reconstruction is even worse.

4. 1978 Ford Mustang II King Cobra - unibody contruction, some metric fasteners, emissions equipment - NOT FUN!!

5. 1942 Ford fire truck - Ford parts were fine, but American LaFrance parts are a pain..... Sure is a lot of red, and it is hard to undo 30 years of "jerry rigging"

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I have a bad problem of seeing a cheap car and seeing in my head what it would look like when their done.My wallet will not tell my brain to save my money and buy a completed car.You take alot of time to fix these cars up then some guy wants to buy yours on a moments notice.Sorry,that guy would pay dearly for grief and time spent.i'm showing a car this weekend that i have driven about 30 feet backwards(yes,it goes forward)that i've had about a year now.Not all the electrical problems are fixed yet so i don't drive it on the road.Some guy will cross my path and want to know if it is for sale.Yeah,suuuurrreee it is.

Jeff Mealer

Mt. Juliet,TN

1965 Buick Riviera

1965 Pontiac Bonneville

1960 Cadillac"Satan's Car" Coupe Deville(this car will NEVER be fixed)

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Back about 1963 a neighbour owned a '55 Pontiac that had a wiring fire and the entire harness under the dash was a toast. He asked me if I would rewire the car. I had no manual or even a test light so it was all trial and error. It took me a solid week to finally get the car wiring sorted out. The neighbour never paid me. frown.gif

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The one I always remember is changing the rotor on my 1986 Celebrity, which was somehow siezed to the shaft. If you've ever seen where the distributor is on an early 2.5L A-car (back-center of motor) you can imagine what it was like. Prying that thing off without ruining the distributor was insane. I should've just pulled the unit and have done with it, but I was younger and dumber then. blush.gif

It took six hours. There isn't even so much as a set screw on the dang thing!

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Being retired or is it retarded I go into the shop mornings to run some erands for the boss (my daughter) drink her coffee and maby locate a hard to find part. Befor Christmas she told me she had called the dealer and every salvage yard she could find looking for a fuel fill pipe for a 96 chrysler product. The dealer said it was obsoleat and not avalable anyplace in the US.All the local yards said they didnt have one so I went to my favorite site www.car-part.com. (Its nice to know) This conects with every major salvage yard in the US. I found one in Fla. called the 800# to confirm and with my trusty credit card had them ship the part to me.It took one day to get from Fla to Syracuse ny,about 60 miles from me.It arived in Syr. Dec. 23, the tracking # said I should rec it Jan 4th.Its on time Go figure.

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  • 2 weeks later...

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Ozstatman</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Bob,

Love your Indiana truck. From all accounts it's been a labor of love, dedication and persistance, 1980 to date is a looong time.

A question though - The front part of the frame you found, was that from your truck or another truck?</div></div>

Sorry it took so long to get back here. The frame I have is made up of 3 frames and two parts I had made. Only the rear half and part of the middle are from my original frame from my truck. The bad thing about restoring something that no body else has is you don't have a pattern when parts are missing so it takes a long time to find what you don't know you are missing. In this case I knew I needed a frame but how long and what did it look like? When my fenders fit the bolt holes I knew it was the right one.

Bob

http://www.angelfire.com/in/Bobshome/indianamotortruck.html

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My most difficult project to date will be a 1938 Buick Coupe that I am presently working on. When I pulled at the front seat, the entire floor from the gas pedal to the trunk came with it, including the L. rocker panel.

There are only 2 body mounts left holding it to the chassis. There will be a little creative engineering on this one! I have already welded in 1"angle irons to hold the body shape and I will make a jig to lift it by the firewall and trunk lift arms, the only place strong enough to hold it while I add a "bottom " to it.

Roger

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