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Avanti R2, 1963, refresh

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It is Friday morning early, like 3 AM, June 7th. Rain beating down on the roof woke me up. Started raining last night and still coming down. Tropical Storm Andrea is headed this way too. They say we could get up to 8 inches of rain over the next couple of days.

No word on the radiator for the 23 McLaughlin Buick yet, so am going to call today to see where they are at. Also Greg stopped by yesterday evening and dropped off three long tire spoons. So now I have no excuse for not starting to change the tires.

And to continue our "what is happening on the farm" saga. Karma the cat used up one of her nine lives and tore her back leg ACL. Took her to the vet and and an operation ensued. Here is the result. Going to be a four month recovery time. She is not going to like it much being kept confined for ten days and then in the house for months. Better than having a bum leg for the next 15 or so years. No idea how she did it.

Wayne sent me a pic last night. His 64 Corvette has been painted. He said that he had the lower section of the car painted just one shade darker to enhance the look. He get to bring it home next week.

And Greg has a report for us.

"I know, not much out of me lately. Just aren't enough minutes in the day.

One day this week I stole some time. A day for an Avanti ride. Found myself at Rob's Auto Repository. That led to a test drive in a Model A roadster he's working on. Tough assignment.

Since I'm hoping to take the '14 Harvester out this summer, I snagged the battery to test and charge. The old cornbinder has been neglected for a couple years or more?

Meanwhile back at the ranch, Avanti 5054 has been getting some attention. One nasty job I've been putting off is the replacement of the forward fuel line. That was a couple nights of vocabulary. Attached to the frame, it's not meant to be changed with the body on the car. I did it anyway. The 3/8" stainless line was installed with little preforming, most of it done as it was snaked into place. It's not over yet, a few more clips to be installed and bends tweaked.

I'd also ordered more front brake components. The calipers had arrived but I was disappointed to see that my vendor had sent units that had been sleeved and I was expecting new ones. The exchange is in progress.

Tonight I did grease the front wheel bearings and mounted the brake rotors. That's a few more parts off the shelf and on the thing.

The front shocks are being stripped for repaint.....I'm at the stage where I see all that I'm not getting done. Steering wheel needs repair, there's work under the dash that should be taken care of ( tach sender repaired and installed, instrument bulbs changed, heater installed, defroster hoses installed, insulation and carpeting in place) before I can put the steering column in place. I need to redo the rear quarter upholstery and repaint the headliner prior installation so that the rear window can go in. Dash and front trim work before the windshield can go in, And these are things that come to me without even thinking about it. Interior and carpet, exterior chrome, getting the front end tied together, exhaust \, need the brake booster overhauled and a new master cylinder and flex hoses for the brake system, clean and touchup the undercarriage....on and on and on.

I'll be lucky if I can get this thing near done by next fall (not this one).

And the day job Wright connecting rod project , I'm now boring the wrist pin holes undersize.

Signing off."








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Still Friday, but PM. Been a very wet day, rain, rain, rain. But I got the call that the 23 McLaughlin Buick radiator was done. So after farm and grocery store chores, Shadow and I headed over the mountains to Winchester and Dickies Radiator Shop. But a quick run at speed was not to be.

I had the all powerful VW Passat W8, and we got on the freeway. Of course I had to get up to speed to merge. Well at about 90 something let loose and was dragging. No place to pull off in the driving rain so headed for my exit to the mountains. Got out and took a look. The plastic belly pan had broken loose and was dragging front end down. If I catch the lip of it, it will be ripped off for sure. Nothing to tie it up with, but found a couple of those plastic grocery store bags in the back seat pockets. So I made a rope of sorts and was able to at least get the lip off the ground, but the middle was dragging. But going 40 mph all the way into Winchester we made it to a Pep Boys. Bought some bungee cords and tied it up. Not pretty, but it worked. But no 90 mph for me today going home.

Anyway we made it to the shop and we were greeted by Mr. Dicky. He said he had not painted it as he wanted to go over the repairs. He fixed the bottom tank, making it flat again and attached it to the tubes. Fixed a couple of other leaks and a very bad stress crack up near the filler neck. We had a good conversation about the old cars. He said that he has been in the radiator business for 55 years. Does not know how many more years he has at 71, but he still enjoyed the work, and it paid the bills. He said that he is the last of the radiator repair shops in Winchester. He did great work, a lost art in today's world. I was expecting to drop a big number for payment. At the end of our conversation I asked how much do I owe you. He said $280. Are you sure I said? He stated that it was fun to again work on an old Buick radiator and that I did not bug him to get it done. He said that it was a fair price. So I thanked him, shook his hand and we were on our way back home.

So it was a good day. I will paint the radiator tomorrow and get it ready to go back into the car. Hope that the rain quits so the paint will dry. Here are some pics for you.









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It is Saturday, June 8th, AM. The rain has stopped finally. Everything is a soggy mess, but at least all the green stuff growing around here got a good drink.

Today looks like Passat day. Have to fix the splash panel and while I have it up in the air I might as well change the oil and filter. She takes 9 qts.

If it warms up today will clean up and paint the 23's radiator.

And Wayne sent me more pics of his 64 Corvette paint job. They have it all buffed and polished. They are going to help him install the headlight pods before he brings it home. Going to be a stunning car when he gets her all done. Wayne told me that he has most of the wiring done except for the main harness to the dash pod. All the gauges have been rebuilt and are ready to go back in. He has the carpet and new seats ready to go too. Only thing that has not been started is the top mechanism.




Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Still Saturday, but PM. Done for the day. No rain and hot in the sun. But I got the oil changed in the Passat and rehung the belly pan. I made sure that it would not come off unless I want it to. Err well, I hope.

Cleaned the 23 McLaughlin Buick radiator and gave it three light coats of Eastwood's Radiator Black. Looks like new.

Also took some new chrome and metal cleaner to the Boyce radiator dog bone cap. I removed the period correct Masonic topper for the show. A couple of years ago the car was at the Buick Nationals in Boston. I got a couple of points deducted for having non-factory accessories. Won't happen this time. The cleaner is called Quick-Glo. Works great.

Am also going to use it on an aluminum trim piece that goes around the radiator and tucked in behind the chrome shield. Will let you know how that works. Going to do that tomorrow. After that is done I can reassemble the radiator.

On the radiator surround. It is chrome rather than nickle plated. In fact all the trim pieces that have been redone have been chromed. This was done by the previous owner, but I did the surround in chrome to match the other pieces. I do take a major deduction for the chrome. So 400 points is way out of reach for me.

About five weeks before we head to the Buick Nationals in South Bend, IN. Have lots to do in the interim.








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It is Sunday, June 9th, early PM.

Yesterday it was overcast most of the day, but then by 4 PM it looked really nice. Nothing on radar either. So with no storms forecasted Wayne with his 72 Corvette and me with the Jaguar headed out to a BBQ at Steve's place. Remember Steve? He has the 67 Camaro. Well the Camaro is going back into the shop for non operational turn signals on the right side. Steve has done everything he knows to do to include replacing the mechanism inside the steering wheel.

We had a nice dinner, great conversation, and an overall super time. Wayne left early but Alice and I decided to stay for another hour. That was a bad decision. About half way home, about six miles to go, we got hit with a super thunderstorm. No matter, not afraid of a little rain, but it came down in buckets, and hard too, big drops. Turned on the wiper and only the passenger side worked. The driver side was slipping on the post, bummer. So we limped home, but made it. Pulled the car into the trailer, wiped her down and fixed the wiper.

This morning I got out the aluminum trim ring for the radiator and commenced to polish it by hand and with the Dremel buffing wheel, using two kinds of cleaner polish. After three hours got her done. The trim ring was in OK condition, not good/not bad, but fine for a 90 year old car. Got the radiator, trim ring, and the surround back together. I still need to put in the mounting screws that hold the surround to the radiator. I have to do some pushing on the bottom to make everything lined up again. It is pretty close to being a good fit, but the radiator is a little out from the bottom of the surround. Going to work on that this PM, but it may be that is the way it is. I do not to push too hard on the radiator.

So, here are some pics of the radiator. Put the dog bone cap back on. It looks pretty good. I have to make a couple of rubber pads for the feet to protect the frame, but that is a few minute job. Also have to run to the hardware store for some new bolts to replace a few crusty ones that are on there. So far so good.






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It is Monday, June 10th, PM. Waiting for big storms to hit in a couple of hours. Only time will tell if we get hit or they don't get over the mountains.

This morning I headed off to our local mom and pop hardware store. A much better selection of little things and much higher quality than Home Depot. Had to pick up some new bolts and washers for the radiator mounting assembly, front fenders and the light bar. While I was running out Greg was coming in. He was on the hunt for some rubber grommets for the black Avanti.

Got home and put the hood protection lace on the radiator shell and glued down the ends to stop them from flapping around. Look more professional, aka factory. Also put on a good coat of chrome polish to give it some protections. Looks great. It is ready to go on tomorrow. Here are some pics.

Also I took a look at the mounting plate for the radiator. It is actually three pieces that come together and all meet under the feet of the radiator. It is uneven and about 1/4 difference in height. I did not put anything in there, aka shim, when I put the radiator on many years ago. The car came to me in boxes, maybe about 25 to 30 of various bits, some small, some large. Right now I have put all the spare small parts in baggies and have two boxes full of screws, nuts and bolts.

I went through the baggie file this morning and found some body mount rubber. I have several rubber round type and two squares that seem to match the foot of the radiator mounting feet. So I think I am going to use the squares. Here are some pics. Tell me if I should use the round type. Rubber will not hold any water so whatever the choice it will be good.

Will spend a couple of hours tomorrow AM cleaning up the front of the engine too before remounting the radiator.

Oh, Karma the cat is doing well. We have her crated during the night but is free to wander around the bedroom during the day. She is on pain medication, but does not seem to be in any distress. But like all cats, she still wants out. This pic is of the outside of our bedroom door.










Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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John: I have square pads under my radiator mounts for my 25. That's what my parts book shows. Looking good! As to my 25. Now to finish putting the oil pan back on. Yesterday I spent an invigorrating afternoon on my back "Plastigaging " the rod bearings. Conclusion... this engine is quite tired. All bearings show some minimal scoreing and only 2 still had shims. I had to resolder one of the joints on the oil line to the mains and repair a hole in the oil pump screen unit. Also lapped the oil pump body and cover to get back to the .002 clearance. Hopefully this will boost the oil pressure a bit. The gasket kit I have has the 2 piece pan gasket and 2 lengths of 5/16 square cork for the front and rear. Onward to South Bend! Larry

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Pat, no on nickel, it is chrome. The previous owner chromed almost everything that should have been nickel, so I continued with the radiator. That was my doing. And yes, I get a serious deduction when it is professionally judged at the Buick Nationals. It is what it is.

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Larry, good job on your 25's engine. I hope to be able to drive mine down the road by the weekend. I have a ton of cleaning to do, some parts to put on, and adjustments to be made. Looking forward to South Bend.

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It is Tuesday, June 11th, AM. Going to head out this morning to replace bolts, washers and nuts on the front end of the 23 McLaughlin Buick. Then will do some serious cleaning and waxing before I drop the radiator back in.

Oh, and we have a late night Monday report from Greg.

"Trying to get something done during the Monsoon season. The new brake caliper cylinders for the black Avanti arrived today. This evening they were assembled to the bracket castings, pads and keepers installed. While I wait on the new stainless crossover and inlet piping to arrive, I decided to get started on mounting the calipers to the spindles. This takes a while as they must be shimmed for proper alignment. The initial shimming done and while I wait for the piping to show up, I'll do something else.

The front shock absorbers have been cleaned, primed and painted. I want to renew all the rubber bushings before I return the units to the chassis. A trip to the local NAPA left me with the realization that I need good old Rob to research the part numbers if I'm to stand any chance of getting them .

Other than running into Mr. Unimog at the hardware store and lunch with Mr. Davis, it was an uneventful day.

That's about it for tonight.

PS. If any of you Avanti guys want in on the Dunlop caliper piping, Classic Tube will be in production next week, and they gave me a good price. Now would be the time.




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Pat, no on nickel, it is chrome. The previous owner chromed almost everything that should have been nickel, so I continued with the radiator. That was my doing. And yes, I get a serious deduction when it is professionally judged at the Buick Nationals. It is what it is.
I thinks chrome looks better anyway.
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It is still Tuesday, but early PM. Been working on the 23 McLaughlin since about 9 AM, just quit at 2 PM. Done for the day unless I get a notion to put on the headlights.

Cleaned up everything on the front of the engine and then mounted the radiator to the car. The radiator must weigh a good 60 or more pounds. Put it on the square pads and everything lined up. Even put a bit of plastic mat under the radiator to help protect the frame paint and the bottom of the radiator itself. I then remounted the headlight horns.

While looking over the rubber pieces I spied a couple of pieces that I had put into a baggie. Low and behold they are an exact fit for the headlight horns and the fender. So put them on for good measure. Alice help me start the radiator hold down bolts. It is not a one man job. Trying to wiggle the wedge bolts under the frame rail was a bit trickie, but we did it and the radiator is secure.

I then hooked up the radiator hoses, braces, and temp sensor bulb. And finally I have the front end a coat of wax and some elbow grease to shine everything up. A good job for today.

I still have the headlights and hood assembly to put back on, but think I will clean up the engine bay before they all go on. With the hood off you have a lot more room to maneuver.

Here are some progress pics.






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Still Tuesday, getting hot outside so moved fans into the garage so I can continue working. But I had to take time out to jump on the tractor and mow the front 1/4 acre in front of the house. Have to keep the homestead presentable.

Mounted one of the lights on the light horn. The other one has a broken socket. Used some JBWeld to put it back together. Will let it cure overnight and see if it holds. You will not see the repair unless you look under the light. Can you guess that this is not a show car? It is a great driver. I also have to spend some time under the car cleaning the frame and suspension. Just dust and cobwebs from the winter.




Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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It is Wednesday, June 12th, PM. Done for the day. It is hot and muggy outside. Storms heading this way this evening, and severe storms all day tomorrow.

Mounted the other headlight this morning. The JBWeld set up nicely. Here is a pic of the car with her eyes.

Connected up all the electrics and have lights on everything except the headlights. I will add a ground wire to each of them tomorrow and see if I can get them to light. But the back light works along with the stop lamp, the cowl and fender lamps work also. The fender lamps were a requirement in England. They are marked Lucas.

Not much else going on except I have a bad case of poison something or other on one arm, and it looks like hell and feels worse. Tell me how much I love farm life. Oh, I am finding a tick or two almost every day eating into my old body. I hate those little buggers. They are really bad this year.







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It is 4 AM on Thursday, June 13th. Up earlier than normal. Waiting for the huge storm that is suppose to hit us today at some point. Lots of weather just to the north of us right now.

But in the lull before the storm Greg continues to press ahead on his black Avanti. Here is his report.

"More done on the 5054 Avanti. It's not coming as fast as I'd like. Almost the middle of June already.

Getting the front shocks back in place shouldn't be that big a deal. I decided to replace the rubbers and NAPA should certainly have them. Well, you know how that goes with today's counter help. After several trips, a call to NAPA Rob for the part numbers that the counter guys didn't know how to find, I scored the replacement rubbers.

The bushing for the eye end of the shock wasn't quite right. Too long and too big around, but I was able to shorten and lathe turn the excess. The bushings were lubed and pressed into place.

So, with the new nuts and washers from the hardware store and the temperature in the tin barn at Perfect *, I just got back from hanging the shocks in their places. I'll go back to double check and tighten next time.

Things are coming, but at a snail's pace."

Johnstone. For your interchange:

NAPA shock abosorber replacement rubber mounting washers 650-1113

" " (with modification) bushing 650-1110



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It is Friday, June 14th, AM. The big storms came and went yesterday. The entire area got hammered, but the storm was split by our mountain and went south and north of us. Good deal.

Wayne came by early this morning and picked up the open car trailer. He is bringing home the 64 Corvette today. Hope to see it tomorrow or even this PM if he needs help getting it into the garage.

Going to fill the radiator on the 23 and pull her out of the garage for a wash job and general cleaning.

And Greg has a report for us too.

"The forecast of bad weather missed. Although we had a squall come through first thing this morning, for the rest of the day it was rather pleasant. Especially this evening. Good climate for the tin barn.

I spent a while tightening things under the front. Also, I'd noticed that there was a clearance problem between the steering ram and the high output blower pulley assembly, a closeness due to my choice of front engine mounts. They sell mounts now that are intended to be used with the R-3 carburetor enclosure to prevent it from rubbing the underside of the hood. So it rubs the steering ram instead. Another job I hadn't looked forward to was the loosening and lifting of the front of the engine to allow me to slip a couple large flat washers on the mounts. This gave me some room.

Even though I'm not looking forward to the windshield/rear window installation that lies in my future, I know that I must get started on the upholstery reclamation before that can happen. The rear quarter panels have now been taken apart for new cardboard and batten.

The vinyl is in pretty good shape but I need to do a lot of cleaning before anything goes together.

So ends another full day."


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Still Friday, getting late. Just a quick update. Wayne hauled his newly painted 64 Corvette home. I am going over tomorrow to see it and will take some pics. He is happy with the job, but the painting showed up a couple of flaws that everyone missed, so he will have to decide what to do.

Talked to Steve re his 67 Camaro. It is back in the shop, for more electrical work, will be back home in a couple of day. Of course after a nice weekend when he could have been driving it.

I worked off and on the 23 McLaughlin Buick. Filled up the radiator and it did not leak. Of course a hose needed a little extra pressure on one of the clamps. Good to start the engine. After "tickling" the carb, and giving her full choke, she fired right off. Pulled her out of the garage and let her warm up. The old engine sounds good, even without an exhaust system.

Gave her a good wash, cleaned up the engine bay and did some minor tinkering. Tomorrow the hood and engine side panels go back on. She will then be complete again.

I did get one headlight to work by adding a ground wire to the socket. The other side is a no go. Will do more investigation on that tomorrow.

Here are a few pics. I have a fitted bedsheet to the top. I have it there to protect the top from the dust and the cats. They just love to sleep up on the top. Nice place to view the world from.








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Thanks Chris. Yes, she is a nice old car. But it is like driving an old tractor with very little brakes. You really have to plan ahead as only brakes on the rear.

Still Saturday. I did some clean up work on the Jaguar. Heading to the local car show with Wayne and his gold Corvette. Speaking of Wayne I did run over to his place this morning and saw his 64 Corvette. Stunning. Two tone blue below the bumper line. He calls it a shadow effect. Looks neat. Here are some pics.






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Roger, Wayne says he has the formulations from the supplier. Thanks the reminder.

It is Sunday, June 16th, PM. Just got home from the car show. Wayne met up with me at 6:30 AM, and we motored into town. Registration was to open at 7, but the early birds must have arrived really early as their was probably 50 or so cars already in their positions on Main Street. But we found our spot on a side street. We like it because it is out of the sun for most of the day. The downside is that we do not get the traffic that the main street does. But that suits us just fine. We had a great day visiting and talking to folks. Met a couple of Jaguar folks who were just starting to restore their cars. So they took lots of pics and I have their emails to send them more information to help them with their projects.

The show is a local one. Most of the cars are modified more modern cars. There were a few original cars, but they are in the minority. I think that there were about a dozen or so British cars there, and the Jaguar was lumped into that class. At about noon a team of six judges appeared and seemed to be pretty knowledgeable about British cars in general. There was no way out of the show streets as every avenue of escape was blocked so we were all resigned to stay until three PM, by which time most of us were thoroughly baked from the sun.

Oh, and Greg and Barbara came by. Good to see them. So we talked a bit and they were off looking at the cars. He had brought his 1921 Dodge touring car just to take it on a run. It was not in the show. About an hour later they came back. Odd, but good seeing them again. But Greg said that the car would not start and did I have any tools so he could remove the fuel line from the vacuum tank. So I pulled out the Jaguar tool roll and gave him what I had. Should do the job. A few minutes later he came back and said that the vacuum tank was dry. Alice had our Passat so he took Greg and Barbara back to their place for fuel so he could full the vacuum tank to prime the system. Hope they made it home OK.

Anyway, back to the show. Wayne and I waited for the awards since we could not leave anyway. I was surprised when our name was called for 2nd place. 1st place was given to a very nice MGA, restored to the nines.

So it was a good day, a very good way to spend Father's Day with lots of families and dads. Here are some pics for your enjoyment.

And Greg just called. They made it home. He had to stop a couple of times to refill the little vacuum tank as it ran out of fuel. So the vacuum tank has an issue. Greg said that he had just rebuilt it, in 1971.





















Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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It is Monday morning, June 17th. For your morning coffee we have a weekend report from Greg. Here is his report. Make sure you watch the video. It is a good one. No wonder Greg loves his Dodge.

"It's been a good weekend for sure. Saturday was beautiful, a great day for working on the black 5054 Avanti. It was also a good day to chase parts in the maroon Avanti, Seabiscuit. Shot some undercoating in the right front fender well and then got started on the supercharger cooler, the reservoir stuff. Some of that equipment hangs from the bumper bracket and you can't tighten it up until the bumper is in place and adjusted. I don't have a replated bumper yet, so nothing under there can be secured. Just off the shelf.

Saturday night we traveled to Culpeper, Va , the site of the Library of Congress Film and Audio lab and repository. Our Wright Experience associate Paul Glenshaw was showing and narrating his accumulated film clips of the 1908 Ft. Myer aviation trials . We were there just to heckle him. Quite a nice presentation.

Sunday....well, there are two old car shows to attend on Father's Day. Barb and I chose to make a quick walk through at the local. We took the '21 Dodge Brothers because it is easy.

No quite so, this time. Attempting to start it for the ride home, it wouldn't. Quick troubleshooting revealed the carburetor and vacuum tank were dry. Never troublesome, the vacuum fuel pump wouldn't, so Alice Feser, who was there as moral support for John , drove us back to the shop. Armed with a can of gas, a funnel and Crescent wrench, we got it running again. A couple stops on the way back tells me that the vacuum tank needs a rebuild.

With it back in the shed, it was time for Barb's ham dinner.

Then a call from my oldest, and it was off to spend time with Nathan. That was a great way to end a great weekend.

As for the enclosed, let's title it Barb drives the Dodge...........

Making it brief, gotta go."

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It is Wednesday, June 19th. Tim, our son, and family arrived from Seattle at 2:00 AM. But by early afternoon we had all recovered from a very late night to start on the 1923 McLaughlin Buick tire switch. The first one took us almost two hours, the second one about 30 minutes. Once you figure out how to do it, it goes pretty quickly. Will do the other two in the next couple days. We also got the hood back on the car too. It is looking whole again.



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It is Thursday morning, June 20th, early. Plan on continuing the cleaning of the 23 McLaughlin Buick. I need to get under the car and do some deep cleaning. It will give me the opportunity to try out the new Leslie creeper that I bought myself as a Christmas present.

Meanwhile, Greg is pressing on with his projects. Here is his report from early this morning.

"I know, it's been pretty quiet. There's been a little progress, but seems there's always a snag. Something that needs to be ordered, a couple 8-32 screws from the hardware store that hold things up. I've gotten the two lower rear quarter upholstery panels for the black Avanti ready, but to do the uppers I need to have more panel board. Ordered today.

The stainless brake crossover lines aren't here yet, but even if they were, I need new fittings. They should be ordered tomorrow.

I got another (small) box of parts in the mail today. Another car payment. In it, a new tachometer sending unit circuit board. I'd robbed the one out of 5054 to keep another car going, now it's time to pay the piper. He's expensive. Before installation the board must be housed in the old sender . Would have been an easier job if I'd been more observant. The printed instructions go on and on about how this thing was tested before it left , if you wire it wrong or look at it cross eyed and it doesn't work, shame on you. No returns. Being very careful to transfer the wires to the right location, I was unable to see any labeling on the new board. After making a couple email inquiries, I accidentally noticed some very tiny characters on the opposite side of the board. Wires secured, I then closed the unit and attached it to the harness. Now I need screws to mount it under the dash.

While under there, I changed out a few instrument lamp bulbs. The Avanti uses red colored bulbs and any deterioration of the color negates the red glow. Today's shipment included some new bulbs, but not enough. Need to order more. Changing them isn't a chore to relish with the steering and emergency brake in place.

Defroster hoses to order and install, on and on.

As for the day job. Still gnawing on the Wright V8-60 connecting rods. The main beams are roughed out on the bandsaw and now I'm milling on the caps. It occurred to me that there was a flaw in my plan. These rods will need to be left or right hand. In order to do this I was going to make them ambidextrous and just swap the direction of the cap to have the oil dipper point the right direction. Here's the rub: to maintain the strength of the boss for the bolts, I've offset them to be integral with the beam. It occurred to me that with the bolt boss offset, I can't swap the cap direction. I'll have to leave the cap heavy in the dipper area and finish them when know where they go. Or maybe I'll make the caps with both dippers and eliminate the one I don't need? I'll get back to you on that one."







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Still Thursday, but PM. My work is done. Spent the afternoon with the rear tires for the 23 McLaughlin Buick. My "helper" left me for the day, but I promised I would not mount the tires. But nothing was said about taking them off the car and taking the tires from the rims. I also put on the new/old spare. It is a Universal brand tire that I bought when I purchased the car in 2005. It did not have a spare tire. This tire has been on the ground so it looks a little used. At least some of the nubs are worn off. So it will be the spare and the four new Universal brand tires will be on the ground. All five have the same tread pattern and looks the same. I then put on some leather preservative on the straps that hold the spare tire on and remounted the tire to the rear of the car.

And a reader wrote me and asked the cost of the tires. Well, $1200 and I picked them up when up at Hershey, PA for the big AACA meet in October. I did not buy new flaps or tubes. That would have added another $80 per tires. So far my tubes and flaps look to be in good shape.

I did take a look at the date code on the old tires, 1970 looks to be the year of manufacture. They are the Lester brand and look new except for the checking on the outside of the tires from old age. But the still have a life to live. I am giving them to Paul Rose of Vintage Restorations in WV. Paul has an original 1923 master roadster that still runs and drives. But he uses it sparingly and uses it primarily for display. These tire will be much better that what is on the car now.

I also included a picture of the hood. Polished them up. Looks good.

Oh, and I have an issue with the Jaguar. The aluminum hood or bonnet has a split in the flange that tucks under the hood shell. The hood has a single prop rod that holds it up, but it is way back and hood cants itself from the stress on that side. All the hood weight is on that little space. So the metal fatigued and just broke. I has to thing about how I am going to repair the split and reinforce the lip to handle the stress on that side. I will talk to Greg about it, maybe even take the car down to him. I know that you can probably weld in a strong patch, but that would wreck the paint job and I am not about to do that. I will post a pic of the problem later on.










Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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Still Thursday. Went out and took some pics of the Jaguar bonnet damage. Suggestions for repair would be appreciated. I also can see some repairs made in the about the same spot under the paint. So it is a long term problem. I can eliminate the strain on the bonnet by using a very long prop rod/broom handle in the front of the hood to the hood lock below the radiator.





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Michael, I asked Greg the same question a couple of days ago. Of course he looked away and mumbled something about being way behind and waiting for parts. So I guess the answer is "no progress". He did tell me that the car is all done and is now ready for the engine. He also said that he has to get back to it soon. So I expect that when the weather turns chilly he will be back on it.

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Still Friday. Talked to Greg about the Jaguar hood issue. Here is what he recommends.


I talked to my airframe restorer expert Greg, and he said that the

only way to make a permanent repair is to cut and weld in a

new piece. However, he recommended a semi permanent fix

until the next paint job.

He is going to cut and bend a two feet long piece of

aircraft aluminum strip and then bent it over on itself. So

it will be in the shape of a flat U to fit over the broken

section. It will then be pop riveted into place with

aluminum studs. This will give it the necessary strength to

support the twist in the hood when using the prop rod.

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John- With the myriad choices of adhesives today from Loctite and others can't the patch be bonded on the inside of the hood and flange to be less obvious than the rivets? There are specific compounds now for all materials and conditions it seems from aerospace to automotive to home construction and on where something ought to do the trick.

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If a full resto becomes the work you could grind off the added part or feather the edges and hide it with new paint on the underside keeping the strengthened area? Just seems cosmetically cleaner than rivets without a resto in sight.

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Bill, will check the shelves at Home Depot and see what they have as well as the local restoration. Going to visit Paul Rose of Vintage Restorations next week so will see what he has also.

It is Friday, June 21st, PM. Worked a bit more on the tires for the 23. Got the tube and flap in both tires and are now ready for installation on the rims. That will have to wait until Sunday.

With my help gone, and my promise to not mount the tires on the rims until he returns, I jumped on the creeper and began the cleaning of the underside of the car. With a spray bottle of Fantastic and a couple of rags, I started from the back and moved to the front. After about an hour I was done. Kinda nice rolling around on that creeper, nice and smooth, and comfortable too. Beats crawling around on your back and elbows. Now I would not want to eat off the frame, but at least all the grime is gone. Here are some shots of the after.





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Still Friday, PM, sun is setting for the day. Another item or items for the 1923 McLaughlin Buick are the tools that came with the car from the factory. I have a bunch of 1920's tools that came with the 28 and the 23, plus a couple of other I pick up along the way. The attached couple of pics is what I have. There are duplicates of some of the wrenches.

I have to dig out my McLaughlin factory parts manual as I remember seeing a diagram of the tools that came with the car. That little picture will be my factory documentation for the judges at the Buick Nationals next month. They require that a set a tools be displayed, and they should be clean and in good working order. I have to do some work on mine to make them presentable.

In 1923 most of the tools were in a individual pouches in the driver's side door. The rest were stowed under the rear seat. In the 1928 Buick, everything was under the front seat. I do not have pouches in mine so they are just going to be in a tool bag consistent with the period.

I know I am missing a ball peen hammer and a set of pliers for sure. I think that I do have the pliers and Joe Hopkins on this forum has the hammer for me.

Will give you a report on what I am missing when I find that book.




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