Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Louvers? Louvres? Lovures

Put new ones on - how ever you spell it.

If Foose can do it so can I?

I watch overhaulin - I've seen the drawings. I dabble in art - why not - So here's my first attempt on a drawing of the Blackbird.

Thanksgiving - Autorama

Got a late call from a friend in HALFTX and said there was a open spot in Autorama. So here's a picture of the car at the show. once again - allot of fun, and it's always good to watch people take pictures of the car.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

HALFTX Boctoberfest von Riss

Picture from the HALF meet.

a Camaro snuck in

And my Bird Debut

Sunday, November 9, 2008

First weekend work on BlackBird

Friday night UPS dropped off the new set of leaf springs, heavy duty shackles and new bushings. With a little internet research I figured that this was a doable project this weekend. Had enough jack stands to do the work safely and it gave me an excuse to run to Home Depot and buy a new Torque wrench. Let me start by saying this is an easy procedure. Lift this, disconnect that, remove, install, reconnect - BAMM - Done.

6 hours later.
4 - F Bombs
2 - Son of ..
#1 Quote of the weekend - Why the F won't this J-nut work! ( Passenger side)
#2 Quote of the weekend - Damn you J-nut ( Driver's Side)

I won't kid myself. I am a novice at best, as a shade tree mechanic. However, I am a Mechanical Engineer. I teach people about the Space Shuttle. I can read a service manual, read the internet, read a schematic, and use a wrench. And I am still amazed that something so simple (mechanically speaking) is such a huge pain in the rear end.
My arms are tired. But the springs are in.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Long line. Euphemism for Tax assessors office. The car is titled though, and has some classic plates. The previous owner gave me some brand new 1968 Texas Hemisfair Plates that look sweet with the black paint job. The only problem was that the old Colorado plate was tacked on with security screws. So I got the grinder out and heated up the screw enough to melt the plastic inserts. I sprayed the plates with a clear coat to add some scratch resistance and after it dried attached them to the car. They look sweet and I put them on with my own security screws. I cut some pieces of black tubing to put a spacer between the plates and the screws so they don't scratch up with road vibration.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


My first project car has been sold to my friend Carl. I hope to help him out with the car to see it finished.

as for the blackbird my wok is just beginning. So far I got the front pillar vynals inserts in with some 3M adhesive. Got a manual choke set up on the carb. I then took the emblems i repainted and put them on the new bird. I ordered some new rear shocks and I am about to buy new rear multi leaf springs, shackles and bushings since the old one sags.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Emblems painted

Took some modeling paint and made the old look new. Then hit it with some glossy clear to protect them.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mid-Life Crisis?

Soooooo. I got another car. Is this a problem? And my wife is okay with that? has the pregnancy gotten to her? Maybe? I found another HALFER that need to sell. His price met what I thought the car to be and before I knew it I was driving it home. I think I have Firebird Fever. Pontiac Pneumonia.

2 inches more

Room is getting tight in the garage. I have playing Tetris with my toys for the better part of a year. So finally convinced myself that there is no reason why this beautiful motor should be sitting on a stand. So I gave my friend Carl a call and he graciously helped me 'drop' the engine in. Without the radiator support in the way is went in pretty effortlessly. Now that it is in is looks like a car. A car with no front fenders; but a car that has the potential for going somewhere other than from one side of the garage to the other. Now I can get rid of the huge 2 ton engine hoist and free up a huge amount of realestate. Also discovered that the 4 speed Muncie is the matching numbers for this car.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Interior dash componets reinstalled

Little work, some cussing and I didn't end up with anything missing. So dash is repainted and wiring is reconnected. I refurbished the kick panels and they look as good as new.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Update - Dash is almost done.

Interior is coming together. Funny how easy it came apart, and how hard it is to remember how it goes back.... Where does this extra screw go? I guess it's good when all the pieces you categorized in little bags find a place back on the car.
So here are some pictures of the final firewall.
The OLD the New chassis black

The in between Por 15'd

I think I am doing something right. Also painted the front dash and got the the dash pad and all of the driver side reinstalled. The Steering column was also reattached back to the new rag joint and manual steering box. Still need to recondition the kick panels and reinstall the heatercore and heater box. Then I'll get the radio and heater controls back in. Then finally the glove box will go home. So one more good evening of stuff to do.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Hurricane over. The car is OKAY.

September is over and I have little to no work on the car because of it. We lucked out and had no flooding. I have to say I am sick of fixing fences. Post hole digging is a good reminder why I went to school to get a degree. My right arm is also like Popeye from all the hammering.
I did finish the steering wheel tonight. I finished cleaning the chrome and horn buttons. The chrome was cleaned with some soap and water and some aluminum foil. There was a weird funk that was growing on the chrome. Looked like some primordial algae from the 60's.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

GOOD weather in HOUSTON??

This Saturday was beautiful and work need to be done on this rare occasion.

I decided to tackle restoring the old deluxe steering wheel. It had major cracks on nearly every facet and some minor cracks at the edges of the spokes. I had picked a restoration kit from Eastwood that I had heard about and decide to give it a shot. I didn't really worry about ruining the wheel since I have a Grant red/black wheel that would look real nice too. I followed the directions which really isn't my strong suit. I cleaned the wheel with some soap and water and began to make the cracks bigger per the instruction I used a dremel and an assortment of metal files to enlarge the gaps into a V-shape. Then I mixed the two part putty to make a dark grey mush that smell like old shoes. I used a heavy amount to fill the cracks. Bought a $1.50 set of plastic putty knifes and went to work. I tried to get all of the air bubbles out when mixing but still managed to find some later on. I cover the wheel which made it look like a cancer growth had consumed the wheel. Then let is set in my hot garage for a week. No the hard part. Sanding was a boring pain. I stared by knocking the biggest chuncks with the dremel sanding discs. I had also bought some sand paper (150, 220, 320, 400 and 1000) and some 3M sanding blocks (60, 220, and 320) with worked well for the contours. Two seperated nights of sanding and then some more on Saturday finally got it to a point where it felt smooth to the touch. I used some Eastwood plastic prep cleaner to get what dirt I could off. Then hit the wheel with some SEM plastic adhesion sprey. after about 15 minutes I used SEM Landau Black. I applied two coats but it didn't have the gloss I was looking for. So I sprayed some clear coat semi gloss for a little protection. It look pretty good for my first attemp at something like this.

Another project I got started on Saturday was redoing the firewall. Unfotunately, I found out the the previous owner painted right over the original paint with POR15. Not that I dislike POR 15 but I saw places where it was pealing since it was applied in that way. After I had removed all of the components off the firewall I had also noticed that they didn't applied under things like the windshild wash motor or the heater core cover. Boaght some 3M sanding wheels and got to work on the firewheel and forward dash (under cowl). Then I reappled a new coat of POR15 and sprayed some primer after about 45 minutes (when it was still tacky). Later I will spray pait it with Some POR15 Chassis Black coat. It SHOULD look great but I need to get a good HVLP first. So that project is going to be put off for a week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Another coat?! Save me dolly

Many inventions/discoveries have effected us all. Of course the internet and it's cornucopia of porn sites. But the invention of craigslist is great. The world's largest garage sale. No more traveling to questionable neighborhoods. People's crap comes to you right on your own computer. My most recent find on craiglist is a set of wheel dollies. $60 bucks and I have a good set of 4 dollies. Steal. Now I can move around my firebird and make more room in the garage at will. Assuming of coaurse I move all the spare parts off the floor and out of the way. But tonight I moved it all by my self and faced it towards the garage door without crunching the wall. So this week I can start sanding off the por 15 coating on the firewall and give it a coat of primer and SEM trim black to match the top of the dash. I wanted it closer to the opening of the garage so the dust won't completely settle all over my tools in the garage. I also picked up a good random orbital sander to get the job done as well.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


The flat black for the top of the dash works alright, but the front instrument panels needs a little gloss. Rustoleum Black Satin (7777) worked great. Hit the front with a couple of coats. But plane on adding one more coat tomorrow. also got around to sand/prep/painting the glove box door and matching it with the same black. The back of the door still has the original sticker so I masked it and will not pull it off. I will work around it, it's been there for 40 years and will be there for another 40. I had ordered some new dash knob bezels and cleaned the knobs up some. I took a good scrub to all the faux woodgrain bezel covers for the center dash, ash tray and radio cover. All look good. once I hit the dash with a final clear coat I will start installing some of the instuments.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dash Painted

So after a good wipe down with a degreaser I got to work on the paint. Masking is essential and time consuming. And you always find a little sliver of paint where you are convinced that you put tape over. Got two coats on it and killed every bug in the garage by evacuating the area of breathable air. Ventilation was good in the garage but the smell of drying paint still is nausiating. The finish is more of a flat black and I am considering making the forward portion more of a semi gloss. I don't want the top to be glossy though because of sun glare.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Got a little work done today. Began prepping the dash for paint. Going to use SEM Black Trim on a suggestion form Yellowbird. Hope it turns out okay tomorrow.