Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Finally Paint andThe Engine

By the end of August we had Steve Lundberg finish the body work and paint the carhe did an outstanding job. Finally we could put the engine in ,fuel cell, wire the car ,seats and 5 point harnesses and test drive the car. Piece of cake. WRONG!! We put in many late nights with the help of Jim Blett without Jim's help we couldn't have completed the car on time. Also during this time I lost my mother which was difficult also. Jim Austhof and Dan Turrell were also a huge help. It's good to have friends to come when help is really needed. We worked the last three months day and night plus working full time at the end we had the last two days off. All we had to do now was drive to Veracruz which was only 3000 miles away. Piece of cake

Monday, March 12, 2007

Broke Down

This photo was taken when we lost our alternator on the forth day the cow was just walking down the road and decided to camp right there. One of the many creatures roaming Mexico.
"Picture courtesy of Bret Haller and

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Assembly Finally

We started putting the car back together and found out we had put things where we couldn't remember where put things. If you ever rebuild a car no matter how good your memory is you tend to forget. We got and 1800cc engine from our friend Jim Blett the Volvo expert who happens to own Swedish Car Service . He happened to throw in a free Volvo 122 with the engine all we had to do was remove the engine. Jim did the rebuild on the engine and it was one hell of a terrific job. Tom and I wore surgeons outfits while we did this mainly for laughs and Tom's son in law Sean got them for us. We got the disc brake parts engine and tranny from the 122. Jim Blett helped us with the conversion from drum to disc brakes. One of our salesmen from where I work gave me a couple of Grammer air ride truck seats he had . We really appreciated these during the La Carrera they were locked down during the speed sections and while in transit we had the most comfortable car that was there. You tend to take quite a beating in the car all day and these seats proved to be real well worth having in the car. We had Pat Chapman recover the seats for us they looked really good . The fenders needed to be fixed and Yorge Da Velder did one hell of a job. We must have gone through 3 spools of wire welding the car. I think Tom got fleet price on the gas. The only way we could have done all the work to the car was to do the work ourselves and have Jim Blett to help steer us in the right direction.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Roll Cage

We weren't quite sure how we going to do the roll cage so we went out and bought pipe insulation the foam type to get an idea as to what we wanted. we laid the whole thing out and then went on line to find a place that would bend the cage. Tom found a place they sent us the information they needed to do the bending and the next thing we knew the bent tubing arrived and we were on our way to building the roll cage. We had to cut holes in the roof to get acess to weld around the top of the cage by the roof. The back holes we turned into air vents. The front holes we welded up .This is when I found out Tom cannot weld! The part of the roof he welded looked like a soup bowl .We got a lot of laughs out of this. One thing about working on this project we made fun out of the mistakes we made and we never had an argument. The nice thing about working on the roll cage is it got me off the cold floor. I complained to Tom one day that the beer was warm from his fridge so the next time I came over he had all the beer on the floor and it was cold.

Friday, March 2, 2007

The Big Fix Is On

After the car was fully disassembled we started the repairs of the body tub and going through the suspension rebuild of the front end. With Jim's advice we had the rear axles magnafluxed we had 2 sets they were all good. We took the front end apart and went through each piece to be sure all was still in a good safe working order. We tried to follow the old saying "you're only as strong as your weakest link" This really paid off because we did have a good solid strong car.When we were putting the rear end back together with new seals and bearings we found out Volvo had the bearings opposite of what we were used to so we had to come up with a way to pull the bearings back out. we looked around the garage and finally came up with a old gaer puller and got the thing out. That's when we started our loud laugh kind of a HA HA HA HA HA!!! When working one of us would start to do the HA HA and both of us would do it. we scared the hell out of Dave Ress doing this one time he thought Tom and I were coming to blows. We had to explain the whole story to him. Dave was taking OTJ training welding with us I taught him how to weld and he would help us with the Volvo. He was redoing the frame on his MGA . this worked out good for all of us. I still think Tom chills the floor in his garage. The metal fabracation was done by Tom and I. When we looked at the rockers we decided to cut them open when we did there was nothing left inside rust had taken its toll . we ended up getting 2x2 tubing and connecting it front to back on both sides and to the body tub it made for a stronger car. we made our own rockers and when we were done it looked pretty good. I got the name "Yorge Da Velder" doing the welding on the car.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

The Disassembly of the Car

Right after Christmas Tom and I had the week off for vacation so we started the disassembly of the car. We thought it was going to be a breeze just take the car apart and a little cleaning and reassembly and we're off to the La Carrera. The more we took the car apart the more rust we found. The floors on the car were pretty much gone and we needed solid floors for the roll cage so we replaced one section at a time welding both the top and bottom of the panels and we added some support onto them also. I still think Tom chilled the garage floors every time before I would lay on my back welding the bottom of the car. We spent a lot of time just rebuilding the floors of the car. All of the rebuild was done after we got out of work and many weekends. The first year if we wanted a weekend off we did it later we found out that may not have been the best idea. Taking on a project like this is not an easy job especially if you are doing all the work.
Thankfully we had a Volvo expert living by us Jim Blett who gave us more help and information than you can imagine. Jim proved to be a very big part of this project and we got to be good friends with him while working on the car.
I will try to post more later Tom will also be posting on here .