18 Jun 05
All work and no play makes derekf a dull boy.
Not too much accomplished - work-work continues, preventing the play-work.
What I have gotten done:
- The El Camino is registered and insured again and returned to driver status.
- Got all four tires mounted on the car. The new tires are STICKY compared to every other tire I've had on the car - rain or shine, they're just attached to the road; fixed the hydroplaning issues that I've always been plagued with. For some unknowable reason I forgot to order the other two center caps, so they kinda look bad on the driver's side right now. I have not have them balanced yet so driving at highway speeds isn't so good.
- Picked up a set of Hotchkis tie rod sleeves new in the box for a good price.
- Waffled back and forth on getting a set of ATS's upgraded tall spindles but decided against - mainly because of the cost. I may end up buying a set later.
- Got a set of brake hose brackets to weld to the rear axle from Meanstreets Performance. They look nice.
- Found a pair of Moog K5250 offset upper control arm shafts finally. Pressed in one of the bushings into each of the UCAs.. but it looks like my press is not quite large enough to fit the UCA in so I can press the other with the shaft in place. I think I've got a workaround by cutting the (insert whatever the term is for the bit the arbor plates ride on) in half between the front and rear sides and replace the height-adjustment pins with bolts. It's not my favorite plan though.
- Wife got a new car (well, new for her) - an 02 Tracker with only 17k miles on it. Started me thinking I could use a new car too; still not convinced it's not a good idea as the Saturn has needed way too many repairs lately:
- Engine temp sender failed, so radiator fan wouldn't come on
- Replaced that, two weeks later the fan failed
- Replaced that, developed a mystery water leak. Eventually tracked down to the water pump shaft.
- Replaced the water pump, (plastic) radiator tank sprung a leak
- Replaced the radiator
- Hopefully that's the end of the Saturn cooling system woes. The radiator replacement was Wednesday so it's too soon to tell. I went ahead and replaced both hoses while I was doing the radiator and the serpentine belt when I did the water pump, so I think (I hope) I'm running out of areas for the cooling system to suck. I just wish the AC in that car cooled worth a damn at less than about 70 MPH - it's hot here in Texas. Downside for me of getting a newer car is that I'm so damn picky (if I'm going to spend that kind of coin, I want a V8 with RWD)... so whether I got a Corvette or a Camaro, I'd want them to be parked in the secure area inside the gate - and there's not room for the Elky, the Chevelle, the wife's car and a new car for me back there - so the Chevelle would have to go.
- Contemplating swapping in an LT1 or LS1 into the Elky to get fuel injection and overdrive tranny, both of which would be nice. That'd also get the engine and tranny decision for the Chevelle pretty well settled.
- I did pick up (between the past couple of swap meets) a set of the proper 65 SB valve covers and air cleaner (sorry, no pics); it'd almost be a shame to not use the valve covers since I got them so cheap, but I guess I'd get over it.
- Also picked up a gallon of Sherwin Williams Ultra 7000 single-stage black paint at the last swapmeet, plus reducer (for a total of 1 and 1/2 gallon of sprayable paint, more than enough to redo the El Camino) for a really great price - only one problem: Ultra 7000 is their BC/CC line, so I'm not all that sure what I really ended up with. I've talked to the local SW retailer and he's asked me to bring in what I bought so he can identify it... so maybe it wasn't such a great price, we'll see.