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Newport progress

Two big steps forward:

1) Over the past couple of days, I pulled the gunked-up old heads off the 383 block, determined to rebuild the stock block if necessary rather than go crazy with a new, bigger big-block. Turns out it's unnecessary, because the short-block, at least, was rebuilt as advertised, and here's the proof:

Note the ".030" on the piston crown (meaning it's been bored 30 thousands of an inch oversize and had its pistons replaced) and the cross-hatching in the cylinder bore: This is an engine that just needs some cleaning up and it'll be ready to rock! The black guck is just carbon on the piston; I'll carefully remove as much as I can and maybe run some alcohol injection to finish cleaning up the pistons, but it should burn off over time because it won't be getting the too-rich fueling from a carb anymore now that it'll be running fuel injection.

2) Mike and I drove the Saab to Kansas City today to pick up new shoes for the Newport, a set of American Racing Torq Thrust II 17" x 7" wheels shod in brand-new rubber for the price of just the tires, basically. This photo gives an idea of how they'll look in the front wheel-well - I think they're pretty snazzy, though the hubcap on the stock wheel behind looks a bit silly!

Whatcha think?

For comparison, here's the stock wheel and tire:

Now I'm going to restart this computer, because it's freezing for a few seconds every few seconds. That's fun.



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:34 am (UTC)
Nice wheels!
Apr. 29th, 2009 05:20 am (UTC)

Speaking of wheels, when would you like to practice more on yours? And shall I ride it over to your place? I seem to recall you already scoped out a safe area to test-ride, correct?
Apr. 29th, 2009 05:29 am (UTC)
How about this weekend? I'm actually going to be in town (gasp!), so anytime Friday, Saturday, or Sunday works well for me.

And yes, we should probably get it out of your garage at some point. :D

I figure we can start test riding on the sidewalk, then maybe move up to the parking lot or even the area around my new house - it's in a relatively quiet residential neighborhood with good pavement.
Apr. 29th, 2009 05:31 am (UTC)
Sounds fun! We can talk more as weekend approaches - and it isn't tornado-ing out there....
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 29th, 2009 05:26 am (UTC)
Thanks! I know what you mean, and wrenching is such a fine variation from the daily staring-at-monitors work I usually do.

In fact, last night I actually found myself smiling while I pondered the simple yet magical innards of that 383 Mopar, my hands greasy and shoes smelling of radiator fluid. When I became aware of this simple joy, I only smiled wider. A bit later, I took a moment to sit inside the car on that big bench seat and just sat there smelling the vintage-car perfume of vinyl and steel. I put my hands on the broad steering wheel, toyed with the joystick-like vent controls, listened to the stainless-steel music of the radio buttons as I ran my finger beneath them... it was lovely.

Nope, the guy in the mirror isn't me; he's the previous owner. I need to take more shots of it in a month - when it's back on the road!
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean! And it's a pleasure to disassemble a machine, examine how it's put together, the engineering and design, and put it back together better than it was before you started.
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:05 pm (UTC)
PS: Awesome bike collection! Holy cow! And a nice variety!
Apr. 29th, 2009 05:09 pm (UTC)

Is there room in this boys club for a gearhead girl?

I was never happier than when Jbird let me take the 920's starter gears apart and play in the oilpan.
Apr. 29th, 2009 05:48 pm (UTC)
Girls are always welcome!
Apr. 29th, 2009 02:28 pm (UTC)
Those new wheels really are very pretty! It was great to see you so excited about them.
Apr. 29th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
I'm picturing every tiny puff of smoke out the tailpipe having a little ".030" in the middle of it....

- E
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
Apr. 29th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC)
Definitely the wheels in the top photograph! The stock wheels are bland to the point of tackiness.
Apr. 29th, 2009 04:06 pm (UTC)
That was my thinking, too. And I figured, if I'm having fun with the engine, the outside of the car should look sexy, too ;-)
Apr. 29th, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
Woot woot! shortly - you shall set sail!
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )

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