atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

More Thoughts About Cars

Harbor Freight has a rather nice tool chest on sale for around $180. It's not the armored tank of a tool chest which is sold by Mac Tools or Snap-On, but it also runs about 1/3 the price. I think it'll be adequte for my needs, and I have picked out a place in the garage to put it. All I need to do now is be able to move stuff around in the garage....

I've got enough tools now that I think I need to get them out of tool boxes and into a tool chest--something I can organize better than "sockets on the bottom and combination wrenches on top", I mean. Having been into cars as a hobby for 4 years, now, I have invested enough money in tools (cheap ones though they may be) that I have a rather large variety of them.

Doing serious car work requires owning some specialized tools. You can get by with a decent set of sockets, combination wrenches, and screwdrivers, but you'll probably end up collecting other tools. Besides the basics I just mentioned, I've got tools for brake work; for body work; a set of taps and dies; three timing guns (!); a vacuum gauge and the associated piping; a manual vacuum pump; a set of precision measurement tools; a line flaring kit; a set of electrical test tools; a hand rivet tool; a wheel puller set; two gear pullers; assorted wire brushes; and other things that I won't list in the interest of not making this list any longer.

All these items are spread out across the garage, in tool boxes, on the workbench, under the workbench, etc, etc. When I want a tool, I have to look in all the storage locations for it.

At this point there are few things a car can need which I cannot fix, given sufficient time and money for parts. I can't paint them, and I can't do four-wheel alignments. Serious frame straightening is also out. But if the body is good, I can fix anything else that's wrong with the car (again, given time and money for parts).

The next thing I need to learn is welding, of course. If you can weld, there is no limit to what you can do to customize a car.

I have some welding to do on the Escort, and on the '86 Fiero. The Escort--well, that's obvious, considering the state it's in. The Fiero has some minor rust-through on the rear upper frame rails. It's repairable; I just need to fabricate and weld in some patch panels. Of course, all of this means that I must learn how to weld thin sheetmetal...something which will take both time and patience.

I also need a reasonably portable table of some kind with a non-flammable top. I can make something out of an old card table of mine if I can just get over to a building supply store and buy some cheap-ass ceramic tile. I don't want to sit on the ground and weld, after all.

I'm hoping to get going on the Escort project over the 4th of July weekend. I have the first four days of July off. I intend to buy a remote starter switch and try it on the red Escort.

AND, by the way, the Escort project has now officially been named "Project Red-Green". Since I will be taking parts from a RED Escort to fix a GREEN one, you see....

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