Monday, November 28, 2011

Well, time flies!!

November nearly slipped past without me realizing that it was 12 months ago that we rolled Monty out of the shed for the first time in many years.

And then after another 6 months of deciding what to do with it while having the occasional illegal drive around the block, also building up the courage and getting in the right frame of mind to take to it with the tools, then finally in the May/June of 2011 the restoration began with the removal the body from the chassis to reveal the hours of work that laid ahead.......

I am totally proud and happy with what we have achieved over the past 5 months, still along way from the end but it doesn't seem that far now...

 Lets see what the next 12 months brings and many thanks for the emails and support that have been sent through over that time also... Cheers

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why the restoration? well this is why

There are times in our lives when our memory captures a image, a moment that is very special, which just sticks with you and is imprinted there forever, it will never change, it will never leave you, it is so very clear and more detailed.
Why am I writing this?, I'm not to sure, but I do know that one of my moments that I look back on often was when dad was mid through his stay in hospital, it was another hospital visit to sit and talk with dad, nothing spectacular or dramatic or prearranged for that matter but it was a moment in time that struck something special with me, it put my life into perspective and I look back on this captured image, the sounds and the touch from time to time, but more so when I am restoring this car of dads, for it is this that is pushing me to complete it

I wrote these words late one night after a visit to dad in hospital

"The alarm clock is approaching 2.57am, I am not sleeping tonight as I have been laying awake,  listen to my wife sleeping, the motions and rhythmic sounds of her breathing in time with the slow loud rain drops hitting on the metal roof have kept my mind busy for a good few hours but also constantly thinking of dad, so I have made my way up to the lounge room in the darkness while my family sleeps, switched on the computer to load up the photos that I took last night, so here I am sitting, staring at the bright white screen in my jocks and socks, not a pretty sight at this hour...
Where do I start, think!, think!.....3pm I arrived at the Alfred Hospital yesterday and I am greeted by Liz, a long time friend and mum and dads in the hallway outside dads room, I wrap my arms around this amazing woman, give her a hug and then place a kiss on her forehead and we have a breif chat, "Where's mum, how's dad," all the standard stuff as everything seems like a routine now, the hospital staff now know us and give a smile as they quietly go about their business.
Liz shows me dads new room as he has been shifted closer to the nurses station and points me in the direction of it, I enter and walk in slowly past the short corridor of blue room dividing curtains towards the large windows which overlooks Melbourne city and here is dad, sitting around on the side on the bed with his hands placed on his head and his elbows resting on the bed/table trolley, he is starring down at the ground and I straight away notice the hissing sound of the oxygen pumps working away which is new to me this visit, I stand there for a few minutes looking at him in his new pale blue pyjamas, watching him slowly rubbing both hands back and forth over his newly acquired bald head then out the corner of his eye he turns, looks up and says "Gidday, your here, how are you bud" through the oxygen mask, it sounds muffled and a little strange to me at first, then he quickly returns to that same position which obviously  must be comfortable for him, he slowly lowers his head again and keeps rubbing it so I move forward in beside him, sit on the bed, then I wrap my left arm completely around him, carefully pulling him in close and I whisper in his ear. "How are you, it will be all right dad".
We stayed like that for a what seemed like ages, life stood still, both looking out at busy lives going on down below us, we didn't say anything, we didn't need to say a word,  we both just sat there and soon dad said "Help me get back in bed mate"..
Yes dad is doing it tough and since Monday he had not had a drink or taken solid foods, a line is directly dripping a white (food) liquid into him, this is so they can monitor what goes in and out of him due to the intestine and chest infections, the oxygen mask assists his breathing which he takes off and on everything few minutes to rub ice blocks on his lips because the oxygen dries them out really quickly.
You can just see the relief written all over his face and hear the relaxing moans he makes as he rubs the ice on his lips, back and forth, back and forth until the ice block has all but melted and the cool liquid then is running down over his neck, straight away he is reaching over to his little table and wraps his weathered hand around a bottle of fizzy lemonade, quickly unscrewing the cap but shaking as he goes and fills his mouth with it, swirling the fizzy drink around and around and around then with the other hand holding a cup under his mouth and spits in back out...."Bloody hell that feels good", he looks around, gives a little grin and hands me the cup .."Put that in the bin please", reaching for the mask he lowers the oxygen back over his head, positioning it on his nose and again feels relaxed and lays there, but within a matter of minutes the legs start to kick around and his routine swings into action one more time with his arm reaching out for the cup of ice, which constantly keeps getting topped up by whoever is closest to his bed.
Dad is talking OK and alert of what is going on around him, the team of nurses and doctors are fantastic and are forever poking and prodding him with blood tests, urine tests and blood pressure test, etc, it never seems to stop, he has about five lines of liquid dripping into him hanging off two pumps directly bedside him and with dads and the other man beside dad there are machines beeping constantly, it is not a quite place but you get used to the beeping noises as then a nurse rushes in and adjust the pump and all is quiet once more........
He is a strong, gusty man who is still just going about his business quietly, but that's how dad has always lived his life...quietly, with little fuss and just no bullshit!!

Sitting on the bed, with my arm wrapped around dad, holding him tightly...... that's my moment!!..

This photo below was one of the more happier times when visiting dad in hospital, my brother Stuart and I arrived for a visit one night shortly after dad was admitted, we were all in fine form with the "one liners" and jokes, I remember it so clearly and when we left dad, he was in very good spirits, I love this photo of the three of us.....

Friday, November 25, 2011

1928 Chevrolet start up after 50yrs of sitting

This is a nice little video of how easy these old cars will fire up after sitting for many years..
The gentleman in this video is Ron Beam from San Jose CA USA - The host of  which is a very informative site for 1928 Chevrolets also Ron kindly sent me over a few spare parts for Monty free of charge from his large collection a while back so thanks for that once again Ron, they were certainly put to good use.. 

Love that sound!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Resto: Main timber rail work

Today I laid out the timber rails then marked the 6 x holes to line up with the old existing mounting holes in the chassis of the chev, although this seemed fairly straight forward I was not 100% sure on where the edge of the timber should sit, at first I thought the inside edge of the timber rail should run along the inside edge of the chassis but after sitting the cowl in position when clamped down I was way out at the front by about 15mm each side hhmmmmm, this didn't look right, and wouldn't work either..
I rang Ray who quickly ran the tape measure over his car here and there and yes we both agreed that his car could be out also, thses cars are all a little different and "ya going to have to fly by the seat of your pants with this a little"....was the conclusion we both came to.
So I continued to measure a few things, stand back in the corner of the shed, scratch my head and have a good look, with nothing to lose I sat the cowl back on top for the umpteenth time and buggar me it all lined up right this time, I removed it all again and then marked the holes, drilled them out and dropped the bolts through, that part was done and out of the way for now........

Next I had to mark and notch out the 2 x timber sections where the cowl timber uprights that holds the front door on extend down through the main rails on each side and yes being a non timber person who has not done any work like this before it can be a little daunting when standing there with the saw in the hand hoping that I have marked it in the right spot because if I haven't and stuff it up and am toast.
It all worked well and everything after I notched it out  sat and locked in place nice and firm and looking at these photos it is all just sitting there and needs to the screwed and bolted down tightly, but I have some painting and other work to do first.  A rewarding few hours work for me and another step closer..... Cheers

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Resto: Stage 2 Starts - The body

Today, Sunday was a quiet day with the lawns being mowed, some gardening completed and also a few other odd jobs around the house were knocked on the head, the kids were coming and going with the swimming pool getting a good workout and then there was some time spent in the shed cleaning up a few things and also admiring a couple of items that I brought for a song mind you up at the Bendigo Swap Meet in central Victoria yesterday, Ray and myself made the 700km return trip with a 2.30am start on Saturday morning to be there by 6.00am when the gates opened and I could not believe the crowd that was there at this hour of the morning as the sun was coming up, bargain hunters everywhere as we ran to the "$10 Big Breakfast" tent for bacon and eggs and that much needed coffee, 2.30am start, what were we thinking!!

So today after lunch I removed all the temporary timbers that we had installed to hold up the vacuum tank, steering wheel and foot control for a test drives that we had done over the past months and I removed all the "hot wiring" as well so that I can start to install the new timber rails that Peter from NSW made, the same fella that made the timber steering wheel, brilliant work from a very talented craftsman, thanks Peter once again.

I also have the cowl back now from panel shop and you can see in the photos I had new replacement "lower panels" welded into place on each side as the original sections were completely rust away, the panel beater also cut out rust and old bog, strengthened and then fixed both mounting point locations for the windscreen frame where it attaches with 3 bolts on each side of the upper cowl.
I have only just sat the timber rails and cowl onto the chassis for photos purposes as when it is installed properly the cowl sits and locks in under the timber rails but rests on top of the chassis.

So now the fun begins as the timber work was always going to be the big test.... We'll wait and see I guess!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A chance I couldn't knock back

After our little bit of fun yesterday and before Ray left to drive his lovely Chevrolet back to Melbourne he "through me the keys" so to speak of his 28.... "You have a drive of this", hhhmmmm this will be good I thought, my first real drive of a restored 28 and no rust, just shiny paint everywhere you looked.
All I can say is what a great experience it was cruising at a respectable 45mph out on the Princes Hwy and to Ray's credit it goes great and does everything very well just as I thought it would, steers, brakes, corners, and at 45 - 50 mph the engine is just humming along with a nice feel to it and also a nice note out the back through the tail pipe, we cruised along chatting and laughing about the day we just had.
We soon came to a holt out front of my house after the 20 mile drive and I handed the car back over to Ray who was quickly on his way back down the street again and headed for Melbourne which would be a journey of 66 miles to his house.....Cheers mate and thanks for the drive.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Endurance Run Results

Gidday All,

Firstly I must explain that given an open flat smooth bit of paved roadway accompanied by one stripped down 1928 4 cylinder Chevy and Ray turns into a complete bloody mad man who could of given "brocky" a run for his money on the track in his prime, this photo below is say it all of the speeds that were acheived in the first few laps..... There was no holding back on the corners either!!.

BTW did you notice the new "tandem" style of seating that now sits proudly across the bare chassis, one old wooden "chairsaw" carry box was very comfy and serviced it purpose well, anyway back to the days task.... With the trip metre set at 00000 Monty rolled off about midday with all the zest and enthusiasm you would see at any major motoring endurance challenge and soon we had hit the 3mile mark with smiles all round and it was bloody flying really with the old speedo nudging the 35 mph mark on many occasion with us both venturing out on "Contour Road" for the run up and down the street at 45 mph and I can tell you that with no body panels around you and just the old wooden steering to hang onto, the wind was really flying through the thinning head follicles before you had to jump on the brake pedal and swing it around through the gates and back onto the enclosed "race track".... Monty was going great, "This thing is flying Grant"

At 9.2 miles travelled things turned a little sour and the "Flying Monty" well, did shit his pants so to speak, and that bloody fuel issue from last week rose its bloody ugly head again and promptly put an end to our day... "coffee time Ray" as we sat for a moment to contemplate what to do...
We checked everything again, like last weekend, spark plugs, points, distributor, coils, all good so it must be a fuel problem.....BUGGER IT!!....... Then Ray showed a side of himself that I had never witnessed before with old Monty, the normally quiet, meticulous, city mechanic suddened turned and without me looking he took a quick disliking to the vacuum tank and started to wack it with his hand a few times.....WTF I thought and then the next breath he says "Try that, give it a start".........BANG the engine was purring like a kitten again, so with that in mind we have come to the conclusion that the vac tank needs to come off and given a good check over....
"The Pits"

With another quick lap completed Ray came into "the pits" at 9.5miles travelled  for a quick fresh oil change and filter drain before I went out for a couple more and the day was looking good with the car running well now and "The Pits" fully stocked with lamingtons, buscuits and coffee and also clear blue skies overhead with the temp sitting at a pleasant 28c degrees, the scene was set and we had plans to drive some distance..

At 10.4miles travelled disaster struck us BIG TIME!.... The fuel problem came back once more and no matter what we tried we could not continue the endurance run any further, "beaten yes, disappointed no". Monty was soon hooked but up to my ute and we towed him back over to the resto shed where I will pull apart the tank properly on the bench and have a good look at it in the next few days, thems the breaksI guess!!
So there you go folks.....A great day was had but a few more miles would of been lovely but besides that Monty pulls out of corners really strongly, "doesn't it Ray"?  and shows great potential for a road going car which will not be to much longer I hope..


The next morning early on went the computer to check the emails and sure enough Ray sent through one:

"Grant remember last week when I said we were not looking outside the square. Well there is a way to prove it is or is not the vac tank once and for all, or maybe the vac tank tap.
Suggest you try this if you want, as you were going to strip it anyway, and you can do this first.
1. Remove the top and all the guts of the vac tank so its just like a small petrol tank.
2. You will need to remove the vac line from the manifold or blank it off at the hose end, and try to start the bugger. make sure that condenser wire is not shorting anywhere.
3. If it starts and runs good could be that vent where petrol was squirting out. Never seen that before.
OK then so out i went and tried this in the resto shed ASAP and Monty fired straight up and sat there idling fine, so back in went the vac tank internals and on went the top and screwed down tight, I hooked up the pipes and hoses then started it......All fine again, but for how long??......

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Resto: Before and After pix of the engine

Before: but with new spark plug leads installed

After: before body is re-installed and when all mechanical work is completed but fuel vacuum tank and fuel lines are still all "make do" because there's of no firewall to hang them off and also the wiring is all just a "hot wired job" at this stage.