It's On the Ground!

I had a lot of the parts I needed laying around, and got my brake line set in the mail from Clarks. I love getting packages from Corvair people in the mail. I seriously JUMPED when I saw the UPS guy arrive with the stuff. I found out, we ordered the wrong size brake line for the blocks that I had...but after some thinking, realized I could just get a 1/4" to 3/16 adapter for the line. So to town I went, where my good Buddies at what is now O' Reilly's set me up with the part I needed.

I have learned a couple things. two of which are basically the same. I hate installing the long brake line, and I hate installing the long gas line. Both were equally non-fun. After installing the non fun parts, I basically just connected all the lines in the back and got everything squared away as far as placement and all that.

Next was the fun part. How do you get a big ol fat guy with a stomach hernia to help you lift an entire 450 pound Corvair engine/transaxle? Easy, you ask him. My father and I got all of the other cars out of the way, and he and I spent about 40 minutes putting the engine onto our creeper... our OLD plastic top, plastic wheel creeper. We hadn't been smart enough to just go ahead and build the cart first. The engine got stuck about 6 times on the way to the back of the car. We swore and heaved and panted, but we got it there.

After about an hour of getting the darn thing into the back bottom of the car, I realized there's no way in hell to get this engine high I start getting stupid and putting jacks on both sides. I promptly hit one, and the engine *almost* falls onto my arm. I yell, get out of the way, and dad and I figure out what to do. We towed the engine back out from under the car with the Blazer, and built a REAL Fitch engine cart from the book plans...complete with MDF desk board, 4 inch rubber wheel casters, and 2 by 4s.

Now, to just get the engine INTO the car!

After some heaving and hoeing, the engine makes it onto the stand from the creeper, where we get smart (so the wheels don't get stuck in the potholes we call cement under my car) and put a board over the holes.

The engine is in place...I lower the car, and Dad has ideas about leverage and boards and...well, after some leverage and some more swearing (you'd be amazed at the combinations of swear words I come up with) the engine is bolted into place.

This is phase one. we tarp it, and leave it for a week and a half.

Mounted and looking good!

Phase two.

So, I take a shower today, and my dad comes home and tells me "You know, it's gonna be 15 degrees outside and snowy next week...todays not that bad, you should go put your motor stuff back together and get that car on the ground so we can move it"

Me- *grumble grumble...just took a's 32 outside...grumble...*


So... I get on two pairs of pants, a t-shirt and a Jiffy Lube t-shirt I happened to have "accidentally" taken from my previous workplace....and go outside to size up the situation. Alright. Looks possible. The hard part was over...the engine was in place, and now the half shafts and the lower strut rods are all that needed to be put onto the car for it to roll.

I grabbed the necessary tools, cleaned off all of the bolts for the u-joint straps that I stupidly (and you'll see why) decided to reuse after 40 years of existing and rusting.

It's hard for me to explain in detail just what I was doing outside because I'm not always that easily systematic about things. Basically, I decided (with some help from the old man) that the half-shafts should be strapped to the yokes on the diff first, and then the rear wheel mounting...and THEN the strut rods.

So, I get them on, and with the help of some more leverage, push the trailing arms far enough in for the half shaft to reach the wheel mount side...that was funny all in itself, because...the transmission after all of this ended up being in gear, and when you can't're pretty much SOL...until we realized that the wheel side moves! Duh! After a laugh (which there wasn't much of today) we get both into place. As I am tightening one of the bolts, it seems to be going in REALLY far...or, turning for a long time....when suddenly...the 40 year old bolts snaps right off inside the hole. That will be a job for an easy out in the spring.

The actual lowering of the 'Vair

It took some shoving and pounding to get the strut rods back into place, but I got them in, and gathered Mom and Dad to come out and see the lowering of the car. First time on the ground since December 2004. Hard to believe it's been that LONG!

The car went gracefully to the ground...with a couple of uneasy Titanic breaking in half noises that scared us, but was really just everything moving back into place, and the car sat even (which I was really happy about)

Neutral, pushing, and tire-chocking happened, the car is moved, and the cylinders have been oiled and sealed with spark plugs to keep it happy and oiled for winter. The car rolls, and it sits just fine. I covered up holes that might entice the mice to my vehicular device, and closed her up. Now we'll see how long it takes to come back from California and finish the car! Happy Winter!

All that's left now are the the alternator...harmonic balancer..starter...wiring...brakes....