Chris McKitterick (mckitterick) wrote,
Chris McKitterick
mckitterick

Hot-Rod Newport build progress: T-minus 2 days.

Yesterday saw me working on the project from around lunchtime until 3:15am. Tons of things done, some big and some small, such as making custom bolts and studs as demonstrated here:



Look at all those blazing needles fly! The plate beneath the grinder wheel would sometimes glow red from molten steel - and those red-hot fragments of hurtling metal are... interesting when they bounce off exposed skin. This is one example of the thousand times I had to make a custom part for this build. Here I grind the head off a 5/16" 24-count-thread #5 bolt and carve the ends to make a stud for the transmission-downshift lever at the throttle.

More custom parts: The next photo shows a custom heat shield made from insulating material over a shaped aluminum plate, bolted to the tranny pan (using two custom brackets) to protect the transmission fluid from heat radiating from the VERY close (almost touching) exhaust header on the passenger side:



And more custom work: Here's the, um, "exhaust system" - at least as much as it'll have before this weekend's Greaserama show:



That woven stainless-steel bit between the header reducer and the short piece of exhaust? Not a muffler. No time to build a full exhaust before Friday, I'm afraid, so I rigged up this shorty turn-out pipe to blow fumes out behind the front doors, at least. Even so, mine will not be the loudest car at the show, though I expect it'll be the loudest on Kansas Highway 10 for many miles. This will be interesting ;-)

Oh, and it's starting to look more like a hot rod now, too! Check out how the American Racing Torq Thrust II vintage-style 17" wheels tucked under those sedate fender skirts:



After figuring out how to remove the skirt (drop the latch in the center; tap skirt with a rubber mallet at front, top, and rear; then pull down and out at the rear where a peg sits in a slot - two pegs on top and one at front won't budge), I cleaned, de-rusted, primed, and painted the brake drum as I had up front. After the paint dried, I installed four missing screws into the hub cover and new lugs and torqued 'em down. Viola! Complete makeover. The wider-than-stock rear tires just fit inside the wheel well, and the fronts will get 1-1/2" spacers to get the right stance. Oh, and I discovered that only the front-driver-side wheel uses left-hand bolts; the rear was swapped at some point to accept standard right-hand-threaded lug nuts... after I already ordered a couple sets, naturally.

Other successes: finished the custom tranny-downshift throttle linkage and installed it, installed lots of hoses and misc. related bits, completed a bunch of wiring, cut and ground and installed various bolts and studs and so forth, battery tray adjusted to fit battery, battery support plate drilled and painted and installed, anti-acid and vibration-damping mats installed beneath and around battery (also installed - which required trimming even there), heat-resistant covers installed over fuel line and transmission-cooling lines near driver's-side header, and a bunch of other things I can't recall. Hell, I worked on it for a few hours today, about 14 hours yesterday, 8 hours on Monday, and so forth.

Tonight after class: finish prepping and installing the other rear wheel, pull the front to prep for the soon-to-arrive spacers (*fingers crossed*), install the driver-side "exhaust," finish installing the hosiery, and anything more I can manage before I fall dead asleep!

Chris
Tags: hot-rod newport, vehicles
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