Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cleaned up and on the road


My Camaro is FINALLY back on the road.  After a cruise around the neighborhood, she was do for a good washing.  As always, it's a lot later in the season than I had originally planned, as there are only a few big car cruises left over the next few months, but I will be at most of them.  My excuse?  Well, we had daughter #2, Lily Mae, so that pushed everything back a bit.  Now that she's ready to go, I plan to be at both Woodward and Hines Drive this year, and possibly Frankenmuth.  Toss in there a visit to Norwalk Raceway Park in a few weeks, minus the Camaro, to check out some NMCA racing, and the next month or two should be a blast.

I have decided that I'm not going to push that one day at the track this season.  I have too many small items to shore up on the car, some of which I wasn't planning until winter.  Also, the replacement of my shifter cable was intended to shore up an occasional 1-2 shift that sometimes slips.  That wasn't the case, and instead will be freshening up the trans this winter.  Also in the plans are a rocker arm stud girdle, plumbing in my roll control and new brake distribution block/proportioning valve, have the torque convertor cut open and inspected, 5 point harnesses, window net, and push/pull style kill switch. A set of sticky Mickey Thompson's are also on the list.  With all that done, I hope to be ready to bang some gears early in the season.  When I say early, mean EARLY!  Like around the first track day if all goes as planned.

It's been way too long since I've been to the track.  13+ years to be exact!  For a big chunk of that time, the car had sat, awaiting to be put back together.  The rest of that time, well, as stated above, the car just hasn't been track ready.  I hope for all that to change in 2014.  My friend/partner on the 68 Firebird, hopes to have his fully caged 88 Formula ready for the track next year as well.  So we should be able to hit the track two cars strong, until our 68 is finished, then we could possibly be pulling up 3 cars deep!  With a few other friends whom I'm pretty confident I could lure to the track, some good, fun years of racing could be in the near future.






Ready to go!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Driveshaft installed

After picking up my driveshaft, I battled the mid 90's and high humidity to get some work done on the Camaro.  I hope to have her on the road by the weekend.  I wrapped the rear end fittings with pipe thread tape installed the ones I could, leaving the main plug free so I could see when the fluid level was sufficient.  After topping it off, I installed the plug and fill cap, and everything appears to be leak free.


Next, I was on to installing the driveshaft, a 3.5" monster.  I was a little skeptical how tight of a fit it would be, and removed a portion of my driveshaft loop to make installation easier.  After the rear loop was removed, installation was a breeze, and I snugged up the u-bolts.  I immediately realized that the current position of the loops was going to be an issue, and quickly decided they would need to be removed, new holes drilled, and both loops relocated.  So, out came the interior.

After several hours, the heat started to get to me and I decided to call it a day.  I will get back at it tomorrow, getting the brakes bled, loops moved, and interior back installed.  I have a new shifter cable on the way, to replace the one that seen it's limit of heat.  With a little luck, I will take a short ride either tomorrow of Friday.





CCI Driveline


Today I made the trek up to CCI Driveline in Casco, MI.  I had spoke to one of the guys at this year's Detroit Autorama.  I ordered my driveshaft on Monday, with a one day turnaround, though I wasn't able to make it up there until today.  For a little over $330 I got a 3.5" steel shaft capable of withstanding transbrake launches backed by 2,000 hp, plenty for what I'm gonna throw at it.  I was able to meet the owner, Mike Cameron, as well as one of his sons.  This family knows what they are doing, has arguably the best driveshafts in NASCAR, and will be my go to for any future purchases.

Here is a shot from inside their shop where the magic happens.

CCI Driveline
Address: 9568 Marine City Hwy
Casco, MI 48064
Telephone: 586-716-1160 or 586-725-2247
Fax: 586-716-1162  

CCI Driveline

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Brake install complete

The brake are now complete.  The lines are all installed, after 3 orders from Jegs before I got the correct fittings I needed...a mistake on my part.  I still need to bleed the brakes, and tighten up a few hanging fuel lines.  I took my driveshaft measurements and plan on ordering my custom shaft on Monday. We should be back on the road very soon.



Here you can see one of the tabs I welded on the housing.  Initially, I was having trouble with my welder.  Come to find out, I needed to switch the wire in my mig, which I assume gets hotter.  Once I had the correct wire in place, it melted my axle tubes like butter, fixing the tabs to the tube after the first spark.  At some point later down the road I will clean up the welds with a grinder and repaint it.  It's pretty tight confines and figured I'll drop the housing later on to clean them up with ease.


Hard lines plumbed.

Yeah, that's my car cover/dog bed.


Finished brake installation.

Open lug nuts installed.

Back on the ground for the first time in a long time.  Still dirty as hell, I think I'll wait until I get my driveshaft installed, and can move the car to the middle of the garage before bustin' out the power washer.

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Roadkill: Episode 17

I have to admit, a Gremlin vs a Prius didn't sound all that entertaining.  I was wrong, as the head to head battle did keep my attention.  I took more satisfaction watching the tank crush the Prius however.

1969 Camaro: Wilwood Dynalite Pro Rear Brake Installation

As promised, here is the installation of my Wilwood Dynalite Pro rear brake kit.  The installation of the kit is complete, though I am waiting on some fittings, hose, and tabs in order to complete the system and be able to bleed the system.  I am VERY impressed with this Wilwood brake system.  While the instructions are a bit vague, they do offer online instructions which I'm guessing are more thorough and with more diagrams.  The installation is very simple, and anybody who has installed brakes can easily figure it out.  All future brake upgrades on my cars will be with Wilwood components.

I had planned on installing a combination distribution block/proportioning valve, but that will wait until next winter, as will my Hurst roll control.  Once my parts arrive, I will weld on my brake hose tabs, install the lines and fitting, and bleed the system.  Next up, measure and order a driveshaft, which I hope to do in the next week or two.  This is going to be quite a late start to the cruise season, but considering it's due to our second daughter being born, I'm not the least bit upset.



Dynalite caliper installed.

The rotor minus the hat.

Rotor with hat sitting in place.

Hat installed on rotor with allen head bolts.



I've never installed safety wire before, and I think I may not wrapped them properly, as it was kind of a pain in the ass.  That said, the bolt is only able to loosen so far before the bolt would be stopped by the wire, so while perhaps not installed 100% correctly, it would serve it's purpose if needed.

Rotor installed.



Dynalite calipers.


My little helper, Emma.  She's becoming quite the little mechanic.

Caliper isntalled.  All that is left is finishing the plumbing.


Friday, July 05, 2013

My Girls

I've been dragging my feet lately regarding my blog. As you can see above, there is a very good reason for that.  On 6/18/2013 Lily Mae Chesher was born into this world, and another little girl was added to our family.  She has been nothing short of spectacular!  So as you can imagine, my time and sleep isn't quite back to normal yet.

Now that's not to say I haven't found time to slip out to the garage a few times.  In fact, for the first time, our first daughter Emma Sue joined me and got a little dirty.  Her curiosity got the better of her, and before long she was playing with my wrenches.  I took a minute to show her how and ratchet wrench works.  She then took the wrench, put it on the driver side studs across from my, and began wrenching away.  She also got to sit in the Camaro for the first time while I fired it up.  Though a little startled, she thought it was pretty cool.  She has already been back out to the garage a few times since, and it appears I've gained a little helper.

As far as progress goes, I have my Wilwood rear brakes installed, but still have to finish up the plumbing.  Something I didn't take into account is the lack of brackets on the Moser M9 for my plumbing, so I will be adding a couple brackets prior to running the lines.  I hope to get the remaining fittings and parts ordered today and finish up the brakes next week.  I then plan on getting the driveshaft ordered within a week or two, and I will be ready to cruise at that point.  I will try and get my brake installation photos uploaded today and post them.

Lambrect Collection up for auction

In recent weeks I have received a comment on my blog, emails, text messages, and even read about this collection on the net.  Arguably one of the most unique collections in the world, considering the low mileage on some of the cars.  The Lambrecht collection is the type that doesn't come around but once in a blue moon.  Owners of Lambrecht Chevrolet in Pierce, Nebraska, the Lambrachts spent many decades collecting more than 500 vehicles. Just when you think all the "barn finds" have been found, a collection like this comes to light. The camera woman is about as shaky as they get, and a voice/personality straight off the Home Shopping Network.

I'm a bit torn on collections such as these.  First off, it makes me sad to imagine a car just sitting for so many years.  To me, each and every car has a personality.  Cars are built to be driven, to be enjoyed, and to create memories.  These cars have simply sat, never used for their intended purpose.  Many, I would venture to guess, my NEVER be used regularly.  Some, with their low miles, will simply be moved to somebody else's collection, where they will continue to sit.  Almost makes me as sad as looking at cars in a junk yard, which while have served well over the years, are now destined for the crusher.  To me, not much separates the 4 mile collector car from the one sitting in the junk yard.

Scores of new Chevys stored for decades undriven finally up for sale