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The "Whatever" Project

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  • Misadventures in wildlife management. Getting a chipmunk out of the garage. Yesterday I finished up with a project for the neighbor. We then assembled the thing on their deck. Meanwhile, the garage door was open. A perfect invitation to chipmonks to invade. Well 1 at least. And it found that my garage shoes make a nice bed/nest. I thought I had gotten it out of the garage, but it circled around and hid in 1 of the shoes.

    Okay so today getting ready to take Maggie to an appointment, I opened the door from the mud room to the garage and the chipmunk bolted from the shoe. Fortunately it ran under the car, and not into the house. I thought it was out, so off to the appointment, and a little shopping, then home. Backed the car into the garage, and went around to help Maggie get out, but guess what? It was still in the garage. In the shoes again.

    I was banging on stuff with a 3 pound hammer trying to make sure it was gone. Last thing was to thump the shoes before opening the mud room door. 1st shoe, nothing. 2nd shoe, again nothing. 3rd shoe, still nada. What's the chance it's going to be in the 4th shoe? 100 percent! And I didn't even have to thump it.

    That little critter was off and running, and right past Maggie's feet, out of the garage door and heading for the front lawn. I threw the hammer at it but hit the engine hoist. Which was good, as it made lots of noise right next to the chipmunk. It was gone, and we got the garage door closed quick!

    I need a hungry garage cat!


    • we have neighbor cats..... the benefits are pretty good. I can chase it out without getting a complaint from the management; I don't have to feed it; and if it gets predated then I simply call the neighbor to dispose of what was left....

      of course, the downside is this is the good neighbor so the typical method of pest cat removal is a bad idea.
      Doing it all wrong since 1966


      • Originally posted by SuperBuickGuy View Post
        we have neighbor cats..... the benefits are pretty good. I can chase it out without getting a complaint from the management; I don't have to feed it; and if it gets predated then I simply call the neighbor to dispose of what was left....

        of course, the downside is this is the good neighbor so the typical method of pest cat removal is a bad idea.
        Well the north neighbors take care of some feral cats that wandered in a few years back. There was 4, down to 2, I think. They are well fed, on all kinds of things, chipmonks included. The problem is that there's more than 2 cats could ever decimate. We also have a female fox, but her kits never stay around. She takes care of a few. But even so, the chipmonks have exploded the last couple of years. Oh well, just have to keep the garage door closed unless I'm in it.

        BTW, do you know that foxes have a scent defense mechanism? And it smells just like skunks? They don't spray, but as they are a smaller predator than most, it's an effective method. And it doesn't linger like skunk odor, altho when they walk by an open window in the evening it still smells...

        Just saying


        • Sounds like you need an air rifle!

          1.54, 7.31 @ 94.14, 11.43 @ 118.95

          PB 60' 1.49


          • Cleaned up the garage today from the messy engine tear down. Spoke with the engine shop. Got a plan coming together for the new engine. Now if you remember old mangy, it is a 68 327 250 hp pickup truck engine. It's got the special ultra low performance single hump (dromedary?) camel hump heads. 74 cc chambers, 1.74 intake valves, and pressed in studs. Yeah no performance heads!

            It had a cast iron quadrajet intake and carb, single point distributor, and cast iron short water pump. And none of that is going back into the engine.

            So here's the deal: anyone want the heads, intake, carburetor, distributor, and other miscellaneous extraneous stuff, FOR FREE, come and get it. It's not worth shipping to anyone, so if you're within an hour or so drive of Gansevoort NY, let me know that you're interested and come get it. Otherwise I'll be sending it down the road to the recycling yard.

            On other news, started on the seat mounts. Got a template made for the seat back support (CAD of course...), and picked up the stock to make them. That's tomorrow's project...


            • Okay so I'm still making a little bit of progress on the Whatever project. Now don't laugh too much, but back in March or maybe early April, my nephew was here for a swzp meet. While he was here, I had him help me with a few odds and ends that required at least 3 hands. One of those was setting the height of the roll bar. I posted a few pictures of me and the kid (hey he's still under 40...) with the roll bar mocked up. Once we agreed it looked good height wise, we measured it and I wrote the dimension down on a piece of cardboard, which I promptly set aside and misplaced. Been looking for it for at least a month now.

              So earlier today my big (smaller) brother called to wish me happy birthday. We got talking about stuff and I told him about it. After lunch today I got some time back in the garage, and started on the seat pan and seat back supports. Moving stuff around, I picked up the piece of cardboard I had written a to do list on, and put it out of the way, wherein it promptly fell over and onto the floor, face down. Guess what was on the back of the cardboard?

              Yup! The dimensions! I have looked at that list, and moved it around the garage for the last few months. Do you think I had enough brains to look at the back of the cardboard before today? The answer is kind of obvious. So now I have a roll bar cut to a length that is probably a tad longer than necessary so I have wiggle room, but at least I don't have to put the body back on and redo the measurements.

              So now I just have a small pair of brackets to cut out and the seats will be mounted, and then it's time to get serious with the welding. And the engine. And a radiator. And the floor. And the rear crash bar. And... well I'll just take a picture of the to do list when I take pictures tomorrow and post them all together.


              • PICTURES! 90 some degrees and I'm sweating my @$$ off making the seat mount today. So here's a few pictures of the progress.

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ID:	1321697 I still have to make 2 more bolt down straps, ran out of 1/8 x 2 cold rolled steel. They'll tuck tight to the curves on the outer parts of the seat frame. And then the 2 seat pans need to be trimmed to the shape of the frame and it all gets welded together! The seats are not going to move!

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ID:	1321699 That thing vise gripped to the support hoop is 1 of the 2 seat back supports. When I finish up on the system, there will be a plate welded to the support hoop, and the seat back braces will bolt to that plate. I want a little bit of give, just in case I ever get rear ended.if it is welded solid, it could give the passengers a really bad hit in the back. The way I've designed it, there will be potential for the 2 plates to slip absorbing the initial hit. The alternative is to fabricate an offset into the mount which would fold up a little bit in an accident. I'm still ruminating over the design, so it might change.

                Finally, I found the dimensions for the roll bar yesterday, and cut an fitted it to the support hoop.
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                I plan to make a brace from the top of the hoop down to the frame somewhere around the front edge of the fuel cell. Being this is not a race car, the hoop is going to be bolted to the stubs welded to the support hoop. There's a 3 inch section of tubing that's a fug snit inside the hoop legs. I'll cross bolt it with sleeves inside of the stubs so it won't collapse when the bolts are tightened. And saddle washers on the outside to support the bolt heads and nuts. Maybe not necessary, but it won't hurt...

                Finally the rear brace. I don't know yet. It's got to be removable so the body can be put on, and it needs to be functional just in case. I have some ideas, but it has to wait for now, until I get a bunch of the little details finished, and put the body back on for the next trial fit.

                More fun!


                • Okay so I drilled some holes today. Got the seats mounted, bottoms and the rear braces. Click image for larger version

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                  From the top: looking forward overall picture. 2nd picture a little closer, so you can see the seat back braces. 1 part bolted to the seats, the other part welded to the support hoop and 2 bolts thru in shear. When all done, there will be grade 5 bolts holding the 2 pieces together. There's a little bit of clearance Clarence between all of the assembly, so that if an incident from the rear should occur, there is a little bit of give. The bolts will bend and eventually shear, maybe preventing a back injury. Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it...

                  The rest of the pictures are just details. If you look closely at the 2nd picture there's a section of tubing across the frame behind the support hoop. It will be attached to the hoop, just below the outward bends, and then diagonals will go from it to below the roll bar, giving it punch down support. Eventually there will be a tube bracing the roll bar to the rear, but I'm waiting to put the body back on before I fabricate that one.

                  So progress


                  • New pictures! I was in the garage today and finished fabrication of the bracing for the rear internal support hoop and the roll bar.
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ID:	1322062 Compare this picture to yesterday's and you will see the cross bracing just in front of the quick change, and the 2 diagonals up to support the roll bar. I may change to a full width roll bar. This only would require moving the right side attachment stub over to the right side of the support hoop and moving the left side outboard a little bit as well. That change would allow me to make 2 rear braces, which would be able to be attached to the frame rails clearing the rear deck lid. It's being contemplated. Maybe...

                    So once I got that fabrication finished, it was time to strip away the support hoop and the roll bar seats and cowl support hoop so tomorrow the body can be put on. Here's a picture of the thing stripped:
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                    • Woke up early today, so I got into the garage early as well. Put the body back on and reinstalled all of the support structures and seats. Here's a couple of pictures out in the driveway.
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                      Not bad, if I do say so myself . Later, I'm going to simulate a hood, using hardware cloth. You know the stuff: square mesh wire screening. Just always remember to duct tape the edges so it doesn't punch a bazillion holes in your body, or the car's either! What's neat about it is it can be shapedby hand to compound curves with just a little stretching of some of the wires. I've never had much experience with sheetmetal doing this, but we used hardware cloth back in the DIRT days, Jim would then have something to work from, a template so to speak. I've often wondered if it could be fiberglassed over but never tried it, cuz I don't know how to work that stuff. Might be time to try!


                      • Pedals today. Modifications to the Mini pedals AND the original bracketry. Here's a picture of the setup so far...
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ID:	1322195 There's plenty of room above the bellhousing and to the right of the pedals and steering column setup. Therefore, and because of that, a set of bell cranks so I can mount the master cylinders to the right. And another good thing is that they will be above the height of the calipers and hydraulic throwout bearing. Easy to bleed.

                        That took most of today's time in the garage. Oh, I did check out the new F1 spindles on a 34 beam axle. The camber is just barely positive, like a half degree each side, nothing that can't be adjusted in a large press. Modern radials like a bit of negative camber, so I'll adjust it before use. Why am I messing with the 34 axle you might ask? Well it might end up in the Whatever project instead of the tube axle. Slightly wider, so with the quick change having really heavy duty grand national hubs, I can match track widths with wheel offsets.

                        Finally I also dug out the small journal 327 block and the 283 forged crank. Again why? If they pass inspection, the Whatever project might end up with a 302. I'm still wary of the cast crank in the 327, and if I need new rods as well, then the costs come out practically the same. And I get an engine that will rev higher.

                        So more tomorrow or Sunday...


                        • Not much to show. Been wanting to see what it's going to look like with a full hood for a while, so this am I got some butchers paper out, and simulated what a hood would look like.
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ID:	1322220 Was feeling lazy, so I didn't roll it outside. But these pictures give enough of a view for now.

                          The rest of the day is NASCAR, and making drawings of the pedal bracket modifications. I've got some dimensions and clearances, and an engineers pad. Should be enough for me to design the system...


                          • PICTURES! Lots of PICTURES! Rolled it out for some pictures this morning to check from a distance. I like the stance. Click image for larger version

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                            So someday I'll make a hood out of aluminum and it'llbe killer! Yes I am biased...

                            Next I removed the paper and pulled the firewall assembly out, and reassembled it on the bench. Here's a picture or two of the assembly on the bench.
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                            Look closely and you'll see a bungee cord holding the pedals up in 2 of those pictures. That's the maximum up the pedals can be, the 3rd shows them just hanging free. Even in that position there's plenty of travel. So the first step is to fabricate the mounting brackets and get the assembly bolted to the inner firewall. From there I can also rework the steering column support so it's not so clunky, and tie both together, making a much stronger mounting system for both.

                            Finally I have some enginerding to do, getting a little bit of bracketry and bell crank stuff figured out to mount the master cylinders in that big open space above the bellhousing and to the right side of the steering column and pedals. Nothing else is going there so why not???

                            so this afternoon after lunch I'm going to Harbor Fright to get another fan, a pedestal one. The garage is quite hot especially when I put the daily driver in it hot...

                            You'd think after almost 7 decades I'd know better... Nah!


                            • Got the modifications to the pedal assembly in progress today, and it looks like a good way to get them in the car. Here's a couple of pictures of them so far:
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ID:	1322447 Next is a rework of the steering column support so it's not so ugly. And it was hot out in the garage today...


                              • Nothing picture worthy. Drilled and tapped holes to keep the bellhousing attached to the engine side plate. Kept dropping it because it was a balancing act keeping all of the parts lined up. I could see needing 3 people to get the engine in. I pretty much work by myself, so think it thru and solve the problem. Ordered a new master cylinder today. Should have bought it 3 months ago. $20 more expensive now. Figures, right?

                                So anyway, stopped on the pedal project until parts get here. I suppose it's time to get the engine totally apart and take 2 blocks and cranks to the engine shop now...

                                Oh well, so much time, so little to do... wait, reverse those words!