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Got A '69 Valiant (4dr.) Signet!

Discussion in 'A Body: Duster, Valiant, Dart, etc' started by Volunteer, Nov 9, 2004.

  1. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to October. Another 'fast' month come and gone. Nice to hear from 'Seag' and sorry to hear about the Valiant.
    I'm also in a bit of a 'lull'. Had to transfer insurance over to the Ramcharger after 3 weeks because the Signet hadn't been driven at all. I got to the point where just about everything was stripped off. The rear bumper is still on but once it's off I hope to replace it by next spring. You've never seen a worse one. NO dents but the chrome got so bad that previous owner just covered damaged areas with mega 'foil-type' tape and then painted over everything with argent, 'bumper-chrome' or whatever. Oh, it looks fine from about a hundred feet away. :blink:
    I noticed there's a small area to patch at the rear mounting pad of the right side spring. All the other frame pieces and the rockers are totally damage free.
    I pretty much finished the dents in the right fender and left driver's door. It is very difficult to restore the factory lines that run longitudinally along the sides of the body. (I refered to 'integrity' in my last posting). Sometimes I can use masking tape as a 'guide' and other times a drawn line will work. It takes lots of time and most 'putty' that goes on comes off during the sanding/shaping.
    I won't be too fanatical about the lines being perfect, as they are quite low down and it really doesn't take much 'deviation' to cause the light to reflect in a way to indicate something is not quite right.
    I did 'wet-sand' everything and could see any other minor dings as the surface was wet. Found a real good primer, sealer in a spray can (by Krylon) and it's easier to do body work over top of it.
    The finished areas will be sprayed with 2 or 3 coats of a 'high-build' primer (as required) to fill minor scratches, and sanded in between.
    The trunk took a lot more work than I figured. It had already been 'puttied' in a few areas on the top and mainly on the rear, drop-down portion. I had to grind old stuff off because it was cracking, although very thin, and had trapped minor amounts of moisture underneath in several places. It's definitely a 'no-no' to put any putty over rust. So, all that 's left to do on the trunk is to apply some 'high-build' and sand as much off as I need to.
    Yes, I do have one or two pictures of the car (from before touching the body) but none are specific as to show the complete damaged areas. I am not usually one to take pictures all the time and do regret it afterwards when it's way too late. I hope (to remember) to take a couple pics of the lower quarters before touching them. It's difficult enough to shrink the size of my photos (to around 600 by 800 pixels?) and I have NO idea how and where to post them.
    So for now, because of my horrendous 'time-constraints', the Signet will sit in my garage; likely all winter, and that way I don't have to worry about keeping it covered and dry.
    Have a wonderful October everyone.
     
  2. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to November, '06 as we (many of us) sit back and wait for winter to rear its' ugly head. I imagine some of you have had a 'taste' of it so far, depending on where you live and at what altitude.
    I'm lucky so far. It's been down to about 20 to 22-F. the last couple mornings. Picked the last tomatoes Oct.29th. :blink:
    Not much happening on the car subject. Ramcharger has been 'swapped' for the SRT 4 (until end of March '07, at the latest but I will only drive it with dry roads and decent temperatures. Hard to say right now but I could be doing a lot of walking through Dec. and Jan. Not a big deal. I will probably miss not riding mountain bike even more. :(
    So, Signet is covered so as to not get any rain or snow either on it or under it. I will concentrate on the chrome pieces as good as I can and all of the (4) door panels need some re-glueing.
    The arm rests are pretty much intact, except for being slightly darker than the (blue) panels.
    If I was totally serious about restoring the interior the carpet would need replacing. The dash is good (so far), except for a one-inch crack on each end where it curves downward. It's only noticeable when either door is opened.
    As I probably mentioned before, the head-liner is flawless and the package tray will need (at least) re-coating or replacing. But, I am not going to spend a fortune on this car, no matter whether I keep it indefinitely or 'flog it' in the spring. I will be able to pull the hood, trunk and either left door (as necessary) to work on once the weather improves by end of Feb. My garage is not set up for any heat source and there are things I can do in the basement (not related to priming, painting.) I will spray under neath the hood and trunk myself as well as any parts such as door jambs.
    Come spring, the floor of the trunk will either be sand-blasted or 'rust-morted', depending on the extent of the 'roughness'. The only 'pin hole' is at the bottom of the spare tire well, very near the big grommet.
    Back to the chromed pieces, all four wheel mouldings show signs of corrosion primarily on the edges where the screws go in but nothing so bad to compel replacement. (actually pretty good for about 38 years of use.) I trimmed the inner edges and buffed off any irregularities. Eventually I will treat and/or coat the surfaces above and below the screw holes before these pieces are re-attached.
    I am still thinking about different tires and wheels and am not at all concerned about the 7.25" rear and 9-inch brakes. In fact, the first 'upgrade' I would consider is the change to power steering. It's a tough call because this would definitely add onto the curb weight.
    That's about it for now. I hope everyone has great success with their own 'winter' projects and that we all get through the season relatively unscathed. I may have said it before but the worst part (about winter) to me is not so much the cold or snow, but the shortage of daylight hours.
    Remember also that I'm sometimes not 'logged-in' for over a week so I can still be contacted by email. Take care and have a good November. :)
     
  3. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Time for (monthly?) 'blog'. :D
    December already here and winter indeed has 'reared its' ugly head'. Had first cold and snow a couple weeks ago and now just recovering from the coldest temps since last January and the coldest November in 21 years.
    By no means as bad as what other cities (in this province alone) have experienced. With record rains, damaging winds and then record snow falls in and around Vancouver, (that totalled about 14 inches), our 'paltry' 1-inch of precip., rain and melted snow, is comparatively insignificant.
    However, still cancels out any and all (outside) mechanical/body work until likely into January. Depends on whether or not a mild spell happens, but right now the sun sets before 4pm. and there's still a few minutes yet to lose.
    Valiant is parked as it was last month and the Satellite is keeping it company, with Challenger on other side of yard. SRT-4 gets the dry, secure, unheated garage. I haven't driven it since N.24 when the weather started to change.
    Not much else to say right now except that if I don't hear from (whoever reads this by the end of the month) please have a great Christmas and holiday season, and especiallly a SAFE one for those of you who are serving your country overseas. :)
     
  4. benevolance

    benevolance Member

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    Howie

    Hope you had a good holiday....Merry New Year! :lol:
     
  5. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Peter, and welcome one and all to the new year. Let's hope it is a whole lot better than the previous.
    Still doing the 'daddy daycare' thing as my projects and misc. tasks tend to pile up a little. I have been having trouble with my cable modem for the past week and after composing a long email message or a similar posting, the system would go all haywire.
    At just over an hour ago I was ready to send a reply on the Tech Support & Help page and everything appeared to freeze when I clicked on Reply. The modem was not blinking like it should so I called my local Cable/Internet provider and (which is common) was put on hold.
    After 10 minutes the service rep answered and, like I expected, he was situated in the Kelowna office which is 110 miles away.
    Right away this guy knows my address, probably due to the fact they have my phone no. on their records. Then he knows right away that my computer is on and what it's 'address' is.
    I explain that the (4) lights are not doing what they should and he suggests a 'power bump' may have altered the settings and the modem is kind of stuck between one and the other. It took about 20 minutes while he 'played' with my modem settings and then I was able to test it right away.
    Basically, no 'shucking or jiving' and the little beastie is behaving like it should. (fingers crossed).
     
  6. benevolance

    benevolance Member

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    Howie

    Fix up the house and sell if the mean is 280k
    Lots of houses here where the winter is oh no terrible for 1/5th of that....

    Leave you enough room to play around with a few other projects....
     
  7. Charrlie_S

    Charrlie_S Member

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    That mobile home isn't worth squat. In that location, he probably can't even get insurance on it. It is the property the develpers want. My thoughts are he should sell before the next hurricane season.
     
  8. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    I agree. That's exactly what I was referring to. (the LOCATION value).
    Suppose only an idiot would refuse to sell his 'mobile' (today) but perhaps a bigger (dummy) would buy a (future) $1.5 million mansion on same property.

    Kind of makes me think about the person who wins a Power Ball that may 'net' him $30.mil. and then he states that he is going to keep his 'menial' job. (I was going to say something such as a cess-pool cleaner) but don't want to offend any members here who may be part of that profession. :D
     
  9. benevolance

    benevolance Member

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    Howie

    Som,e of us wish we could get a job as a cess pool cleaner.... It is a sweet gig :blink:
     
  10. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    :lol: --with emphasis on the word 'sweet'. ;)
     
  11. Bearhawke

    Bearhawke Things happen for a reason

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    Now: try capturing and bottling some of that methane to power your car! :lol:
     
  12. benevolance

    benevolance Member

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    Actually Bearhawke

    Of all the alternative fuels...Methane is the only one that is realistic... Today you could buy a small compressor at the home depot and start mulching leaves and grass mixed in with trash, food.. and some water in a compost container....And you could power your vehicle on methane no problem.

    A guy in England was doing it 50 years ago...Made a few small adjustments to the carb and the car ran fine on Methane...

    Not so much in the desert...But back east and in the Pacific North West people have a gadzillion leaves on their properties....And if you wanted to collect leaves from a couple neighbors you would have all kinds of fodder to make fuel with all year long.

    This is one of the things I have long wanted to try....But time marriage and a couple households to run have prevented that sort of thing for me.
     
  13. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    heh, heh. 'Prevent' is such a nasty word. I prefer to use 'delay' instead. You know some people are seemingly the eternal optimists (with glass half full).
    If truth be known, my 'glass' has been stuck at half empty for years.
    But now it's Story Time.
    I have a friend right here who is presently restoring his '72 Challenger (340) Rallye. Everything in his life is going great right now. Job gives him '4 on and 4 off' and once the weather improves then it will be full steam ahead on the project. Life is good. ;)
    Unfortunately all is not well and it goes back to last fall when he 'farmed out' the body to a guy who apparently works out of his own garage. I won't say just how much the deal was to get the car to the ready to assemble stage, but it would require between 50 and 75 hours at about $40.Hr.
    My friend knows how to Mig and has most of the tools and knowledge to fabricate and install replacement panels. But, he preferred to trust someone else to do the final body work; everything between the sealing to the final coat of clear.
    Well, things were going alright but there are always roadblocks and misc. curves thrown at you. In his case it was the need to replace the trunk and hood due to metal 'integrity' issues. Both items were purchased new/repro and both had to be prepped accordingly.
    By mid-november the weather got really nasty with snow and very cold (-5 F.) temperatures. But, a nice, clean, dry, heated shop should be up to the task, right? (That's a luxury I DON'T have otherwise I'd be able to proceed with my own Signet instead of having it 'hibernating' for 4 months.)
    Anyway, I talked to my friend a couple times before the Holidays and once in early Jan. (07). All seemed to be coming along fine. The Challenger was pretty much all painted with perhaps just inside the trunk area to be done. Items were ordered such as seat upholstery, carpet, grommets, weather-stripping, moldings, etc.
    So, I get a call the other day and my friend said that he had let the paint set for over 30 days and was beginning to install minor items such as the side marker lights and mirrors. Almost immediately (to his horror) he noticed that as soon as he touched or rubbed small areas or moved an item into position the paint would begin to 'flake off'. :blink:
    He was telling me the story pretty much the way I'm relaying it here. Of course the first thing in my mind was "what could have happened to cause the paint to not 'adhere' correctly to the primer?" Even unsanded primers would not do what was happening.
    Ready for probable answer?
    Well, it seems this trained?, experienced painter/bodyman went ahead and painted the car when the outside temp was well below freezing and not only that, his garage is unheated and was very near the outside temp as well. :ph34r: Have you ever heard of such a thing? How stupid can anyone be? Even a moron can read directions on primer and paint products. Good grief!
    Now my friend is at the end of his rope. He has paid this guy most of the money 'up front' with no receipts.
    As I type this there may still be room for discussion or compromise but as it stood yesterday the bodyman figures he's spent enough time on the car to this point and anything further would require further funding. Hey, not a chance.
    We talked about a few 'options' (when my friend called me) and depending on whether or not he 'calms down' enough to resist tying this guy into knots there are a few plans to mull around.
    Back to the beginning when I was first informed of the existance of this particular body/painter, it all seemed like a pretty good plan, definitely a good deal for all the work to be done. Even I would have assumed that the guy's shop was large, clean, warm, dry and well-equipped. That's almost a 'given' for someone who endeavors to do ANY (quality) bodywork and paint . I honestly cannot recall whether or not I asked my friend (last sept.) if this bodyshop had a spray booth. I likely assumed that as well but my friend would (logically) have been on top of the situation since he'd been to that shop many times and I never have even once.
    My goodness. And people wonder why I used to drink. :(
    I wouldn't even attempt to apply sealer or primer or (especially) paint to my ($200) Signet unless conditions were very close to ideal. Sure, I can understand someone doing thier best and you end up with one or two 'runs' and a few specs of dirt, but what kind of idiot would paint in near zero (F.) temperatures and expect positive results?
    I'm sure I will hear more about what is going to transpire but as of now my guess is as good and anyone's .
    Thanks for reading and have a good rest of January. :unsure:
     
  14. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    What about other grains and especially corn? Suppose this is going on already but in small scales.
    When I worked years ago at a chemical plant that manufactured synthetic resins, we purchased and consumed many (vile) chemicals, one of them being formaldehyde, which was produced from Methanol, which was produced from Natural Gas.
    Today, considering the cost of Nat. Gas AND the stuff out of our pumps, it only makes too much sense to switch over to 'blends' or even Alky (from grain, corn etc.) It's a whole other topic and it's been made widely known why every initiative has been 'slow out of the gate'.
    So, with that Editorial, welcome to Feb. Hope the weather is fine where you are. Still waiting for the end of winter (as promised by groundhogs everywhere) :angry:
    Not that big of a deal. Days are much longer and the sun feels not to bad (if lucky enough to have it).
    Cabin Fever is one thing but having to stare at 4 covered cars plus one in garage can be slightly depressing. All in all it's going to make the arrival of springtime all that much sweeter.
    I've never been much for (winter) holidaying in warm climes such as Hawaii or Mexico. Yes, it's great to get away from winter for a few weeks but when returning home before mid-March or so, it's back to the 'doldrums' and you have nothing to show for it except a bit of a tan. :p
    Besides, I only need ONE summer per year and wouldn't trade four seasons for anything.
    Began 'polishing up' all the trim pieces from the Signet. The mouldings from around the wheel openings are not in the best shape but they will do for now. Have any of you recently prices the new/replacement ones, especially for '67? to '76? Wow! Not only that, I think that a 'non-adjustable' (no cable) type right side factory chrome mirror is over $200. from a few select suppliers.
    I still have to get another rear bumper and eventually different (blue) F & R seats. Have to check to see if 2 and 4-door cars used the same size carpetting but I'd guess they do.
    The friend/acquaintance I mentioned in the previous post (who settled for some moron to paint his car) has slightly better news. Seems he's still getting some honest effort from the guy but basically had to strip ALL the previously painted areas down. This included all door sides/jambs, under hood, under trunk and entire engine compartment.
    I told him a couple days ago that there was absolutely no rush, as winter was approaching, and perhaps the painter got mixed signals when he felt 'rushed'.
    This time the job will be continued when (and only when) conditions are close to ideal and the rest of the car will definitely be done in a proper booth. I recall many of you who are in the know or in the business. I don't have to mention names but I can definitely picture you all shaking your heads and perhaps saying "tsk, tsk, tsk".
    Hope to find a new home for the SRT-4 by end of March. Although I listed it on several (US) sites such as 'lemonfree', I expect it to stay north of the border. Perhaps too many 'issues' to get it moved south.
    Not a big panic or anything, but my brother won't be able to (legally) drive, perhaps within a few months, and I won't be taking over the payments. Sooooo.......... :(
    That's about it for now. So many projects and so little time. Now, what to do first. :unsure:

    P.S. Enjoy the GAME, guys. (Don't ask me to bet on a winner) - explains why it's so quiet on the forums. zzzzzz -_-
     
  15. benevolance

    benevolance Member

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    Howie

    Here in S.C. most all the fuel you buy is blended 10% with ethanol...Which I think is a great idea...It is cleaner and raises the octane rating for better more efficient burning.
    Realistically if they reduced the amount of oil used worldwide for automobiles by 10% we would see a noticeable price drop for crude oil and we would all benefit.

    The thing of it is that our governments do not want the price of fuel to go down they want it to go up.... They make their money taxing us on a percentage of the value of fuel...So the more it costs the more they collect in revenue.

    Cars like the Prius are a scam...They do not live upto the hype...But even still they do give 50 miles to the gallon and If all the cars out there were better on gas ...and overall consumption was reduced by 25% the price would also decrease by roughly 25%

    This would bring on a catastrophic crisis for the US government... billions of dollars are collected in Oil and gas revenue from taxes

    America uses 20 million barrels of oil per day folks...90 million gallons per day that is 33 billion gallons a year guys...Which is worth

    At least 600 billion collected in Gas and oil taxes...

    For simple math's sake...A reduction of use for crude oil by 25% which would result in the lowering of the value of crude oil by 25%....Would mean less oil used and less tax collected on that oil because it would be worth less....

    The monies collected would drop from 600 billion to 375 billion....So 225 billion a year in taxes that the government does not have to do any work to collect...They just let us fill up our cars and turn up our thermostats.

    For all the work that scientists do to come up with fuel additives for cleaner burning...And all the emission controls such as air pumps and catalytic convertors Simply reducing the amount of fossil fuel burned by 25% would be the most effective pollution control by far the world has ever seen.
     
  16. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Hi, Peter, and thanks for the input.
    In your Jan.07 post you referred to 'methane' but I'm assuming you meant to say 'methanol'? :unsure:
    As far as gasolines with 'ethanol' added, we've had this (in western Canada anyway) for many years now, under the banner of Mohawk or Husky (parent co.). The mid-grade (89-octane) blends contain 5% ethanol while the (92-octane) contains 10%. About 8 or 10 years ago, when Husky took over the majority (of Mohawk), our local stations had previously tagged the 'premium' grade at 94-octane and then, almost overnight, this rating was dropped to 92. However, several years later, some stations closer to Vancouver still posted '94' on their pumps. No explanation given for the drop in some jurisdictions while not in others.
    I've never had a problem with this particular 'blend' and still use it once in a while but, with today's volatility in pricing, more of us are 'shying away' from our brands of choice and crossing the river to pay a few cents less (per liter) at one of the stations on the Rez. :ph34r: That's a whole other topic, though.
    A few months ago, in one of my Ramcharger threads, I touched upon the subject of a certain gasoline 'additive'. I had heard about a link so did some (actually, 14 pages! of) reading to get the jist of Acetone as a Fuel Additive.
    The site was very informative and easy to understand. It is not a 'gimmick' but based on the reducing of molecular 'surface-tension' to allow a more thorough (hense, cleaner) burn of the base hydrocarbons.
    I never really had the perfect opportunity to test the theory myself, other than driving the Ramcharger a few miles every 2 weeks. I DID see a (subtle) increase in power and the idle speed increased (for no other reason) from 900 to 1100.
    My brother's SRT-4 was a better candidate for testing because of the regular trips and (previously) known average economy. When we used the common ratio of 3 ounces Acetone per 1280 ounces of gasoline; 3 oz. per 8 (CDN)/10 (US) gallons, his (mostly highway) fuel economy increased from average of 32 to slightly better than 41 mpg with no other changes or adjustments. He was as big a 'skeptic' as the next guy so this was indeed good news to him.
    One of the 'links' to go to and read is pureenergysystems.com . Then, scroll down to Tier 3, Acetone as a Fuel Additive. There should be (alphabetical) testimonials based on brands of cars and information on exactly how and why Acetone is a perfect 'fuel' (in its' own right).
    Another related link is peswicki.com and there's much discussion about alternative fuels and additives. Some of it is very intense. ie. the subject title 'Hydrogen Boost Your Car' at (url) hydrogen-boost.com. How about a Saturn getting 81 mpg?! I haven't read this latter link/topic as yet, since my main intention of today's post is the subject of Acetone.

    At this point in time, I can only imagine doing a 'test' on my SIGNET, since it's likely to be parked for at LEAST two more months. Even with the 'primitive' (by today standards) single-barrel carb, I would love to see what my previous best of (28.5 mpg) could realistically improve to. :rolleyes:
    And now I shall go the the link about 'Cold Fusion'. B)
     
  17. seagull03

    seagull03 Guest

    A station in Wahnapitae - I think it was a Husky but I'm not certain - sold a "green" 89-octane blend about ten years ago, 5% ethyl alcohol. I ran the Buick on it. The heap seemed to like it. Mind you, 5% ain't much. I'm given to understand that the "oxygenated" goop sold in New York in the winter was a 10% blend. I couldn't tell much difference.

    The Polara likes anything that's 92-octane or better. I time it to run best on that. 91 is okay but she still pings with 89. The '72 Val needed 89 or better when timed to spec. It could be that the junk they sell in Ohio is sub-par, I dunno.

    Anyway. The '73 Polara still runs wonderfully at 95950 miles. I've driven it 41200 and it's still running better than it did when I picked it up a little over three years ago. I think this is the first one that hasn't gradually deteriorated on me. I figure it's a combination of my keeping after the maintenance, using synthetic (Mobil 1) oil, and all those highway miles. The quarters are beginning to rot again - I'll get on it in the spring - but she still turns heads and draws compliments. I just went over it yesterday, tightening all those screws that work loose with time and giving various hinges and lock mechanisms a few shots of WD40. That's all that was needed after a winter of banging around on these crummy roads here. Timing is right on, plugs are clean. An oil/filter change and front-end lube are due in a few hundred miles; then we're good to go through the spring.
     
  18. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Time for a little update from the O.P. (or O.B., take your pick). :lol:
    Got through a very 'quick' March. The weather never did match last spring and I'm still waiting on the apricot blossoms. It's shaping up to be a very pleasant Easter weekend. First forecast this year for over 70-F. So much yard work to catch up on.
    Signet is still parked as it was all winter. With regular gas up to $1.10/ Liter, or $5.00 ($4. U.S.) per gallon I find it quite enjoyable to ride the bike more often.
    Going to have to figure out what primary vehicle to drive within a week. I insured the Ramcharger for 4 months, to end of July, but it looks like I'm going to surrender it for eventual 'execution' within the next week. :unsure: (here's what led up to this decision). My brother had a 'fender bender' (actually clobbered a Toyota) almost 3 months ago and I finally traded vehicles with him two weeks ago. (yes, he's got the SRT again). The damage is at the front right corner with the fender crumpled in, plus bumper, grill and all related trim pieces. The hood still closes fine but nothing lines up.
    I took it in for an assessment a week ago (with an open mind) to see what my options are. I do have up to two full years to begin any process, but some of you already know that this 'jalopy' has pretty much been the most unreliable vehicle I've owned in the past 35 years, and that includes a couple of TR7's. It has a 'tired' engine and needs several emissions components, complete exhaust, rad service, all 4 shocks, rear leaf spring work, rear bumper, couple of door latch mechanisms, air cond (clutch) relay, a new windshield ($200. deductible, but I can buy one for about $165.) plus plenty of smaller items.
    Anyway, the assessor wrote it up and I took the papers to a body shop I've used before, so they could find out if the parts are readily attainable. I wasn't sure at the time just how much the estimate was but I predicted it to be somewhere between $800. and $1000. So, I was a little under. The first draft was just over $1900. and five days later the maximum was finalized at $2140. :ph34r:
    There was a good chance, as of the day it was assessed, that it would be written off. I was unsure of the other options open to me. Option-1 is to have the truck repaired and I would pay only the ($300.) deductible. Option-2 is for the insurance company to pay me 75% of the total estimate and then I repair the damage myself. In this case, the truck would have to be first repaired to a reasonable (safe) condition BEFORE they give me the funds. Option-3 is to have the truck 'written off'.
    So, this is where I'm at. If I was to sell the truck in the same condition it was before the January accident, I'd probably get $2000. for it. If I decided to have all the damage repaired (per $2140. estimate) and THEN went to sell it, I'd likely still get only $2000. Remember, this would be a repaired vehicle, and there's no way to recoup that kind of work; unlike genuine improvements or 'upgrades'.
    It's more 'cost-effective' for the insurance company to 'buy' the truck from me and then ultimately have it 'euthanized'. I will 'net' $2200. and never have to worry about future repairs, failures and emissions concerns. But, in all honesty, it is a bit like having your old, faithful 'hound-dog' put to sleep. :(
    So, that will leave me with one less vehicle and (in the interim) I will probably insure the RX7. Yes, it is only a '2-seater' and could use a new clutch. (23 years on original isn't too bad).
    The Signet is still at the stage it was last October. I have to sort out the curves and body lines on the driver's door, then reconstruct the bottom 1-2 inches on each rear quarter and then shoot the 'high-build' primer and sand and then shoot more and then find someone to shoot the B7 blue. I then have to detail the trunk compartment myself and eventually the engine bay. Really would love to pull the Slant and freshen it at the same time as I do the detailing. Right now TIME is a major concern. Still have the usual priorities and assorted commitments and there's not much (time) left in each day for such projects.
    The Neon transaxle job went well and now I'm working on a '74 Challenger Rallye that has a LOT of 'issues'. I wouldn't know where to begin when describing the various repair details. It's been 10 days now and car still isn't adequately 'road-worthy. Perhaps I'll give a recap in next post.
    That's about it for now. Have a good (Easter) holiday and rest of April.
     
  19. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Already well into May. Time to exercise my fingers and give a little update. (edited day later-see bottom)
    Signet is still parked and covered as it has been since November of '06. Hope to get into the final stages of the body repairs with possibility of having it painted around mid- July. Optimism has never been one of my qualities. (ie. glass half empty). As I type this, our local (87 octane) gas is up to $1.29 per liter, which equals $5.85 per gallon or $4.68 per US gallon. That would put (91 octane) to over $6.30 per CDN gallon. :ph34r: Personally I'm not doing a lot of pleasure driving these and I'm sure there are lots of others in this same position.
    On a 'lighter' note, Ramcharger is indeed gone. Never did find out its' ultimate disposition but I'm surmising someone will purchase the whole hulk and get it back to decent shape. Not a lot of perfect parts to sell as scrap so not much to be gained by 'wrecking' it.
    Had the '74 Challenger Rallye here for over 6 straight weeks and spent countless hours doing all kinds of repairs. I probably worked on it for at least 30 days and averaged better than 2 hours per day.
    Hard to imagine what it was like to drive this thing before I started. There were steering issues you wouldn't believe. Beginning with the column itself, the lower bearing was basically non-existant with metal rubbing on metal. Used bearing parts from earlier Satellite column to repair it. Anyone who's done a complete column 'tear-down' will understand all the components and functions that have to be inspected, detailed, repaired, adjusted, lubed and replaced. Not rocket science but never-the-less time-consuming. Fix it correctly the first time because it's not as fun to do all over again.
    The steering geometry was so bad, partially due to having the riding height cranked way up, which creates excessive Negative camber. The 'toe-in' was roughly measured out at almost a full inch of TOE OUT. Nasty stuff. T/A's were worn so unevenly that the inside (tread) portions had exposed steel while the outer tread looked to be over 60% to the good. Plenty of brake issues as well but drums, rotors and calipers were fine.
    There were problems with carb and kickdown linkages, charging system, horns, radiator, hoses, front frame sections (mainly around bumper brackets due to previous fender-bender), gauges, lights, wiring, switches, distributor, timing gears/chain, water pump, lower control arm bushes, front shocks, one upper ball-joint, idler arm, interior trim pieces, misc. body/paint flaws and I could go on and on. Don't have my list handy.
    In this relatively short time the ($6500.) car has probably doubled in value. Seriously, there isn't much left out there. As an example, in the town my brother lives (125 miles north), he told me there is a '73 Cuda at the local GM dealer. Turns out it's from Arizona, has 38,000 orig. miles, is a 318 automatic, is yellow with the correct wide black side stripes and is there on consignment. So far the offers are up to $17,000.
    The Challenger I worked on has a '77 (360) - 2Bbl. engine that has been upgraded with a '70 (340) intake and Eddy 600 carb. Seems to be all stock because it idles at 18 inches of vac. and runs very, very well. Oh yeh, the car had no console and the shifter was one of those B&M ratchet types that really stands out (in a not so cool way). We located a console and linkage but one rod in particular had to be fabricated and all the other pivot points either re bushed or shimmed to take up the slack. Again, potentially time-consuming in order to do it right (and permanently). Even the shifter (T-handle) was in pieces and had to be played with in order to get the internals working as they should.
    Yes, I could go on and on with the repair details but this would only result in a complete loss of interest in the whole subject. :unsure: Oh, did I mention the heater box assembly?
    Only one 'clip' that holds the two case halves together was found to be in place and the entire unit was not suspended properly from the main cowl intake. At least the core itself seems to be fine.
    Then, there were misc paint/body flaws which consisted mostly of cracks and 'blisters'. These select areas had to be prepped and spot painted to give a very close match. The trunk, hood and doors were badly out of alignment and windows had to be adjusted.
    No radio inside but I'm working on it.
    All in all this car required a lot more work than my Signet. Hard to imagine it was being driven considering all of the safety infractions. I'd never allow any of my cars to deteriorate to this level.
    Having a nice looking E-body to cruise around in definitely takes some of the sting out of the reality of the gas prices. But, you can't do any cruising with an empty gas tank. :(
    Well, suppose I'd better call it a night. (so very tired).
    Hope your own projects are progressing as well as expected and that you have a great June.

    *edit-
    Well, on sunday afternoon, (May 20) I decided to pressure wash back yard and had to move around some vehicles. Figured I'd do a good job so the Signet would have to be moved out and then back again. I put a battery in, added about 4 ounces of gas to carb vent, cranked it for 3 seconds and (true to form) she fired up and quickly settled down to smoooooth idle. Not quite sure but it must've been at least six months since I last started it. Ah yes. Life can be sweet.

    *edit again - I tried to post a Link to Photobucket but the URL's would not open once all was said and done. Back to square-one.
    Anybody know an easy/effective way to do this?
     
  20. Volunteer

    Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    -- continued from previous post--

    Had her all 'loaded up at the chute' and all I'd get when Clicking (on displayed link) is the Photobucket homepage. :(
     

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