Category Archives: Jibber Jabber

All that fits nowhere else.

Interiorizing

To continue sheetmetal hell, I have reached the point of Corvette invisibility on the inside of the Falcon.  Some people spend their time figuring out how to make more money, be in charge, take over territories, cure diseases, or other useful things.  I just burn metal . . .

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Sheetmetal Hell

The Falcon needed some updating here, since I sullied the blog with so much other crap in semi-recent history.  The Ranchero moved to Tennessee, hopefully to a new owner who’s not too pissed off at my dumb ideas/executions.  I did get the Ranchero running and driving decently, so that was a valuable exercise in the whole wiring/computerizing area–nobody likes pictures of wires, though, so it won’t be seen here.

On to the Chevy that Ford never made, but with some clarifications.  The interior is intended to resist twisting in the body, for the betterment of suspension functionality and tire contact with the ground.  What this means is that when you see the tubing in the transmission tunnel (backbone) and the firewalls (front and rear), it is there to provide torsional rigidity; much of the tubing in the rear firewall area (not shown now, but later) is actually only there to lay panels on, but there is some resistance functionality present as well.  This approach makes the panel work somewhat easier, but then again, not so much.  Much of the (firewall and backbone) tubing is very light, .065 to .095, so what you’re looking at is not a tank in the making.  There’s a good month in this shite.

Pictures will show brake mounting place (3/16 plate for dual Wilwood masters/pedal), some steering gear mounting (part of which is temporary–the donkey dick), seat mounting structure, more tubes, and obvious sheetmetal.  Yes, I mounted the lower steering bearing to a 2×3 tube.  It’s flippin’ sweet, especially since there’s barely any angle to the rack.  There’s also an exhaust mid-section welded up in there (3-inch single from two 2.5″ pipes off the headers).  There’s more to come . . .

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Lumberjack Motherfucker

There was inspiration in the air when I grabbed my semi-new Fiskars splitting axe earlier this afternoon.  In your hand, the thing’s like lightweight dynamite, or maybe a Glock .40 after you’re used to two-handing an S&W .44 mag for years on the range (whatever yours may be).  It’s all murdered out, just like the early Glocks, and it’s full of plastic, so you know it’s modern.  On that note, the Harbor Freight maul I’ve been sweating the last couple of years also has a plastic handle; it’s anything but light, but has been perfectly serviceable (I even bought a new one as a back-up:  H-F Maul.).  The banana yellow-handled maul was designed to give you some kind of sasquatch-level tennis elbow, at best . . .

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I’m not really sure how I came across this thing a few weeks back–I suppose I was just wasting time on the internet, and there it was.  I had to see it, feel it, swing it around in an aisle at Lowe’s . . .  I proceeded to read reams of hyped posts of confirmation (in the thousands) on Amazon, then found that people actually post shitloads of wood-chopping related videos on YouTube, some of which are both weird and surprisingly entertaining.

So once I managed to check one of these things out, I went to Lowe’s, where they had one for about $55.00.  I almost ordered one off Amazon, but with tools, much like with shoes, you really should put your hands on the thing before you pull the trigger, no metaphors intended.  Upon physical examination, I found that the axe was made in Finland; plastic or not, I tend to trust anything that is made or even designed in Scandinavia.  That place is teaming with crazy engineers, and their education system makes that of the U.S. look like perpetual pre-school.  So there was cred right there on the handle . . .

Compared to the maul, this thing is super-light.  When you pick the axe up (yes, I’m using the fucking “e”), especially once you’ve spent some quality time swinging an 8-10 pound maul, the axe feels like a tennis racket (racquet?).  What’s more important is this:  Everybody who’s bought one of these things says it splits as good or better than a maul.  That’s like being able to shoot .50 caliber bullets with an AR-15 (shoots .22 derivatives–light weight).  This is fucking efficiency through engineering, one point of which is a super-sharp blade (with which one should very carefully avoid hitting dirt, rocks, and shins).

This thing is worth it.  I will say no more, as unlike the people who post on Amazon.com, I do not chop two cords of wood per day (or year, for that matter).  If I did, I’m pretty sure I’d hate my life with great passion.

Spending money on a good tool is like a revelation, every single time.

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Going to Work

It’s a cool video.  Think of it as what it should be like when you go to work:  .

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In case anyone didn’t throw up . . .

Here’s a pic or two of the current state of the car (my summer project) that’s so liberally colored this blog:

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No, there’s nothing left, short of body parts, that was made by Ford.  The old cage will need to be cut out, as the new engine position is about a foot back from normal.  I’ll be sitting further back, when there’s a floor and a seat, than where the cage’s main hoop currently sits, which is a no-no for avoiding contact with tubes.  Since the new central frame (2×3 tubing plated, braced, and welded to the C4 Corvette front and rear frame sections) is now welded to the body’s rockers, I don’t have to worry about the body crunching up for lack of support, so at some point, chop-chop goes the old cage, or at least most of it.  (Yes, it could have been done far better, anyway . . .)

What’s weird is that since I’ve begun desecrating this once Fordy-Ford, I noticed that the Dusold Designs Camaro has taken on a very similar bent with weight distribution, mass centralization, and Corvettiness . . .  I wish someone would post some damn pictures of the current state of that thing.

If anyone was wondering, law school is a great way to divert one’s attention from stupid car tricks . . .

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Proactive Destruction

See the progress in getting to the core of my Ford Falcon re-engineering project.  It’s shockingly easy to rip a 1992 Corvette apart with your bare hands (gloves are recommended) in an afternoon…

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Excuse the tarp–I hate looking at non-moving things in my driveway…

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This pile of crap is the dash, carpet, sound deadener, etc.  The green speaks for itself.  At this point, I need to do some serious measuring, take some notes, and figure out how much of the rear tub comes off, whether or not I have to unbolt the aluminum tank subframe yet (yes, I do), and where to cut the thing in half for the extension…

At some point soon, I’ll also have to figure out what I’ll be using for a firewall, how much, if any of my existing cage will transfer, and so many other freaking things, like what I’ll do for a tranny crossmember, and what I’ll make for a new differential torque mount.

For the uninitiated, the C4 Corvette supported the transmission by running an aluminum beam between the fixed rear differential and the tailshaft of the transmission–there was no transmission crossmember.  I’ll need to make two pieces to replace the old single piece, since the new transmission bolts in underneath, like in a normal car…

New skill to come:  plasma cutter usage.

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Back to the next thing…

So rather than continuing to feed off of rotting meat, I’ve decided that one year of law school was enough.  It was not one too many, because the idea had been in the back of my head for a long time, like more than 20 years, so it had to be tried.  It was tried.  It blew.  Life is too short for that shit.  Back to regularly scheduled idiocy.

During the last month of law school, I decided that the Falcon needed some chronic redirection, since it had come to piss me off a bit.  In other words, I’d built the car to a point where I didn’t really like driving it anymore, unless I was doing so in anger.  This resulted in a car that gets most of its mileage on a trailer, which is exactly what happened last year.  Granted, I had some good experiences doing the autocross and track thing, and I intend to do more with this car, but it needs a bit more balance.  So I ripped the thing apart and sold (almost) everything that was bolted on.  The new story begins with the following:

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That’s a 2011 5.3 LS (Chevy, motherfuckers), with a 6l80 automatic behind it.  It makes about the same power as the former Ford Racing X302, but without the commotion; it will greatly increase driveability and mileage, while calming my nerves.  It will necessitate creating considerably more room in the following part of the car:

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Before ripping the old pile apart, I finally began some body work on some dents that had been accumulated over the preceding couple of years:

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The interior remains pretty hard:

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Final decisions on suspension have not been made yet, but it will not involve shock towers; most likely, it will not involve the original rear sheetmetal subframe, either.  That’s okay, because there’s a shiny Miller 211 waiting to get to work, after I rent a plasma cutter to remove much of Ford’s original brilliance…

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