Ready (almost) for Carlisle.

Over the past two weekends I have installed the front disk brakes, installed the bigger front sway bar, packed new bearings, bled the brakes, adjusted the rear drums, adjusted the wheel of death, reinstalled the front bumper, IMG_5571washed and vacuumed the car, waxed the car, IMG_5572tightened the passenger valve cover an eighth turn, armor-alled the upholstery, Rain-X’d the windshield, test drove, adjusted the fuel tank float, IMG_5573tightened up the wiring under the dash and started casting around for a tool kit for my travels.

I’ve been pleased to see the engine temperatures no higher than 190, and the alternator seems to be working. The right turn signal worked great in the garage, then  stopped working on yesterday’s jaunt to Home Depot, but then started working today when I went to Lowes.

And now I have a flat tire.


The other wheel was a little loose. I must not have set the bearing lash right. I tightened the big adjuster about a quarter turn and the big washer under it just barely moved then when pried with a screwdriver (as it should). So hopefully that’s all good now and I did not mess up my new bearings during the 40 or so miles I drove.

The drive today was beautiful. I hit Lowes for a new BBQ grill cover (yeah, cleaned that with oven cleaner today. Also: watered plants, weeded the front stoop, trimmed the shrubs, weed-wacked the back yard, ran a weed-n-feed over the lawn). I also bought a bit of stove pipe to make a cover for Bridget’s heater hoses, which jut out of the passenger footwell. Hopefully I’ll get to it in a few weeks.

Looking for the right kind of metal in Lowes, one of the store people, tall guy about my age, named Mike, asked if he could help. I told him I wanted a quarter round of pipe, a foot tall, flanged on both sides… He finally wrang out of me what I wanted it for.

“I have an MG,” he said.

“No kiddin?”

He says he has a 1968 MGB. He’s had it for 25 years. It is unrestored. He is putting a new top on it now. He does things as money permits.

I also bought dog food and dog treats at the Pet Smart across the parking lot. Standing in the checkout line, the guy behind me asked if I would wait a minute so he could get a shot of Bridget. “Sure,” I said. I’ll get a shot of you in it too, if you want.

IMG_5577That’s Bill. He had a heck of a time getting in the driver’s seat and even more trouble getting out. He did not seem to mind.

Rolling down Rt 24 a few minutes later I heard a pet store bag rustling behind me. Then the receipt came flying around my head like one of those cartoon birds you see when someone gets clobbered in an old cartoon. I finally reached back and grabbed the bag–why did I leave it back there?–and realized I hadn’t. It was Bill’s cat food.

Back to the Pet Smart. Bill was gone, so I went inside and explained what happened. The cashier said she knows him and set the bag aside.

I had adjusted the float on the fuel tank when it got down to the tail end of the R section. I brought it back up to halfway between the last line and the R. Now we were down in the trailing<R again, so I headed to the gas station. Thought she’d take at least 8 gallons. Took only 7.4. So I still have more than 2 gallons when the needle is in the middle of the R’s tail.

Got home and discovered the flatting tire on the front passenger side. Can’t find a nail in it. Will drop it off at the tire shop tomorrow.




About stuntmidget

I'm a poor mechanic and general wisenheimer. I love old cars and the stories behind them, true or not.
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