Wrench Scramble 2015 is Underway!

Ranchero project car Five years (to the exact day) ago I wrote about learning to avoid getting stretched so thin that project cars are more stressful than fun. Apparently I unlearned that lesson because as of tonight, all four of my cars are in need of services ranging from routine maintenance to a complete drivetrain swap. I’ve gotta get cranking, because the Ranchero needs to be race ready for the Arse-Freeze-apalooza at Sonoma Dec 5-6th. If I could just take like, two months off from work I could get all caught up, but alas, we don’t have paid leave for vehicular health issues. I can’t tell my family to fend for themselves while I live in the garage, either. So instead, the plan is to re-jigger what I do for Hooniverse. Ironically, all too often I find myself deciding between working on Hooniverse or working on cars. That’s about to change.
Relax. This isn’t a goodbye or even temporary disappearance post. It’s more a warning about what you’re likely to see Tuesdays and Thursdays (my days to ensure the schedule’s filled out). Instead of beautifully edited prose or eBay/Craigslist finds, you’ll be getting mediocre cell phone picture documentation of the shit-ton of car work I’ll be cranking out over the next two months. It’ll be a mix of How To, How Not To, or even me asking you guys for help.
With that in mind, hit the jump for a rough To Do list

2012 Mazda

  • Oil Change
  • Four new tires
  • Dire need of a thorough detailing inside and out

1964 Ford Falcon

  • Replace entire front suspension and steering
  • Two new wheels
  • New rear leaf spring bushings
  • Hopefully not new motor mounts (one looks a little squishy)
  • Half-ass methods to slow down roof/gutter rust when really the whole thing needs metal work and a paint job

1969 Jeep Wagoneer

  • Address Squishy Brakes (either just a bleed or a new master cylinder)
  • One more attempt to make fuel sending unit and gas gauge work properly
  • Re-install door panels
  • Re-install door speakers
  • (Maybe) wire up old stereo/amp components with Aux in from phone (no head unit)
  • Re-drill rear spring perches so tires don’t rub on compression
  • Shim rear axle/leaves to address driveshaft vibrations
  • Address massive oil leak (intake manifold again?!!?!)
  • Paint needs love in the form of serious rubbing compound cut followed by a couple coats of wax
  • Sell that mofo, use proceeds to buy a 1991 Suburban and car trailer (that logic sound familiar?)

1962 Ford Ranchero

  • Buy six new wheel/tires (15″? 16″? 17″? What tires?)
  • Rebuild Craigslist 8″ rear axle housing (brakes, brake lines, bearings, seals, etc)
  • Install 3.55:1 diff in said 8″ axle
  • Install said 8″ axle in car
  • Address flipped/fncked up rear spring and shackle setup
  • Install rear shocks
  • Get cage from Evil Genius Racing
  • Source, install seat
  • Rebuild column shifter
  • Re-wire car with battery in bed and LeMons-legal kill-switch
  • Mount Craigslist transmission to motor
  • Reinstall motor/trans
  • Rebuild 1bbl carburetor
  • Lengthen/shorten driveshaft as needed
  • Various other LeMons rules required things (taped sharp edges, mount fire extinguisher)
  • Apply theme

So yeah, follow along with me, starting later this afternoon.

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20 responses to “Wrench Scramble 2015 is Underway!”

  1. fede Avatar

    I wasn’t able to comment on the “what do we want from you” hooniverse ask the other day, but this kind of content would have been my answer.

  2. engineerd Avatar

    If I lived closer, I could help*.
    *By help, I mean drink your beer and mess stuff up so you have to rework it later after I leave.

    1. mdharrell Avatar

      Maybe he can ship some beer to you and then mess up a few extra things on his own to make up for it.

      1. engineerd Avatar

        You’re a genius.

        1. mdharrell Avatar

          Mostly I’m just hoping you’ll send me some of the beer if this plan works.

          1. engineerd Avatar

            But of course!

          2. Vairship Avatar

            Based on your new purchase, we should ship you jenever or brannvin.

    2. jeepjeff Avatar

      I’ll mess something up for you, just so Tim gets the full experience rather than pretending he wasn’t the one who broke stuff.

  3. dukeisduke Avatar

    Tim, if I didn’t live 1500 miles away, I’d swing by and help.

  4. 0A5599 Avatar

    It would be helpful, now that you have written down the tasks, to sort them by priority instead of by vehicle. Detail the inside of the Mazda? Bottom of the list, at least while you have toddlers. Tires for the Mazda? Much more important, but what’s this, six MORE tires? Buy them all at the same time and ask for a fleet discount. Oil change? Time to teach the kids.

    1. mad_science Avatar

      Yeah, the Ranchero is the critical one as the clock is ticking. The really painful thing is the timing of the cage: it’s out of my hands for a week.
      The Falcon needs to be finished so I can get it out from in front of the garage to do the Ranchero work.
      The Mazda needs an OC with high enough priority, the if all else fails I could have a shop do that, particularly while it’s getting tires.

      1. Vairship Avatar

        Have new tires put on the Mazda, then loudly complain about how dirty the tire monkeys made the interior! 😉
        (And about how they left their sippy cups in there).

  5. Tanshanomi Avatar

    “If I could just take like, two months off from work I could get all caught up…”
    I say this to myself all the time. Total feels, bro.

    1. theskitter Avatar

      This times 20.

      1. mdharrell Avatar

        Forty months would feel about right for me, too.

        1. nanoop Avatar

          My employer is pretty flexible -I’d prefer paid leave from my family…
          (I don’t mean it that way, hon!)

  6. Sjalabais Avatar

    Wow, this is the first time my thirst for a classic has been reduced by a weeny bit. I’m looking forward to watch you work though.
    Btw, I just got an amazing deal for summer tires because the tire shops stock up on winter tires now. Might not apply to your climate, but I paid about 30% less than usual for quality Uniroyal RainExpert 3.

  7. Xedicon Avatar

    Sweet! I always love some wrenching nightmares I mean stories to make me feel better about my own garage adventures!

  8. Roody Avatar

    Would love to see the for-sale ad for the Jeep posted on the site once it’s done…if it’s ever done? Projects take forever, I know the feeling (as do we all)

  9. salguod Avatar

    I feel you, although for me it’s my 4 daily drivers that need work. I manage a fleet of hoopties. My projects are less intensive, however, and I’m in the middle of the work rather than at the start. I’m also racing against the cold weather, though.
    2007 Prius, 165K
    – 2 tires
    – Oil chnage
    – New hatch exterior latch
    2005 Mazda 3, 165K
    – 4 tires
    – Oil change
    Recently done:
    – 4 new rotors
    – rear pads
    – 4 struts
    – New CD changer from dead Protege
    1998 Escort, ~160K (odo was out for a year)
    Recently done
    – 5 New wheels & tires from dead Protege
    – New speed sensor
    – Oil change
    1996 318ti
    – New control arms (this weekend)
    – New oil filter housing
    – Oil change
    – Fix mystery surging (assumes I can diagnose mystery surging)
    – Diagnose & fix sunroof (scrapes paint)
    – Install silicone wipers from dead Protege
    Recently done:
    – New diff cover & mount
    – New mirrors
    Plus, the 1960 T’bird (152K) has all kinds of needs, but all my money & time have been spent on the fleet. Something’s wrong with this picture.

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