Bart is also making progress with the car. The suspension has been completely removed, as shown in the photos below. The only issues remaining include removing the old bushings from the lower A-arms and 2 broken bolts. 1 bolt is in the A-arm cross-bar, and the other is in the rear end which is 1 of 4 that holds the leaf spring in place.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
The sway bar bracket on the pass side had both bolt heads break off. This required me to drill them out. I also had to cut the spring bolt to remove it. I have both the correct bolts and longer bolts for the re-install. I'm having new plates made at the office since I was unable to salvage the threaded holes in the 3"x1" steal support plate for the sway bar bracket. I'll be cleaning and painting everything that is not new prior to re-install, ie. brackets, plates, and shock mounts.
Here everything is removed from the drv side leaving just the trailing arm.
In the last pic you can see that I've started heating and soaking (with PB Blaster) the 4 main bolts for the leaf spring. I just need to get a hotter torch to be able to break the bolts free. No luck so far... I've also started soaking the bolts for the trailing arms, but have not tried to break them free yet. Hessitant to put heat on them that close to the body. The shock mount for the drv side has not budged! I hit on it until my head was pounding! I'm going to try heating and soaking the trailing arm and strut rod more before whacking it more. I'm using a block of wood and a heavy hammer to keep from damaging the mount or threads.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Santa must've wanted to get some of the heavier things taken care of as my suspension parts arrived yesterday as well...yipie!
Collin and Kailee:
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
We took Thane out back after dinner to sled down the hill. Julie pushed him down without realizing he can't stop on his own...DOH! I yelled out and she started running...dove face-first and caught his sled before running into the rocks! HAHAHA!!! We then took turns pulling him up the hill while the other went down to catch him. He had a blast! Then he threw snowballs to Simba. He saved 1 and had mommy put it into the freezer.
Here are a couple of pics with the snow and lights. The last picture was without the flash to keep the falling snow from showing in the foreground.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Saturday our good friends Chris and Tonya came down for a visit. Tonya brought her camera and was nice enough to take some shots of Thane. We plan to order some when she gets them all posted for us to view. Here are a few samples. Enjoy, they are awesome! Also, be sure to send business her way, she can be reached via her web-site here: tonyamariephotography You can also find them in our photo album.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
In the interim I'm finishing-up my 1st week at my new contract position. I accepted a development engineering position with a company called Datalux. Get this, they make computers and mounting systems for police cars! What are the odds?! This has got to be my calling!
We will be leaving following work tomorrow, around 5PM, to drive back to my home town of Flushing, MI to my grandparents' place. Sunday night we will be hookin'-up with some of our best friends for dinner (Robin, Shari, Bernie, Nikki, John). Julie then has a doctor appointment on Monday afternoon in West Bloomfield, then it will be off to her family in Ohio until our return home on Sunday.
We hope you all have a great turkey day! Be sure to watch and root for the Lions and the Wolverines this weekend!!!
Friday, November 09, 2007
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
I've also completely finished the deck including the shed underneath it and the stain/water treatment. I'll be placing lattice around the deck bottom in the spring which will conceal the shed from view.
I hope to begin work on the Vette again soon as well. I plan to re-build the entire suspension this winter once it is too nasty to drive it anymore this season. Currently I'm touching-up the drywall in the theater room and preparing to paint it.
I'll post another update soon!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
On the job front...Bart has completed and passed test #2, the polygraph, and is going for step #3, the shrink evaluation, this Friday on his way to hopefully join the Leesburg, VA PD. He also found a contract job here in town doing some small engineering project work and some CAD work. The supplier for in-car computers for police cars! It is called Datalux. It'll be better than unemployment.
Monday, October 08, 2007
Below are some pics from throughout the day, and of course the drive home. Enjoy!
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Sunday, September 23, 2007
On the job front...I'm interviewing in the Richmond area Tues, but doubt this will work out. I did have an interview with the Frederick County Sheriff's Department last Thurs that seemed to go very well. They have 4 current openings with 2 more expected in Jan as more are retiring. Obviously the pay would be much less, but it will be a rewarding and challenging job. We'll also be able to stay put with Julie keeping her job. I also have upcoming test dates in a couple of weeks with Martinsburg City and Jefferson County departments in WV which would be about 30min drives.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
First thing to do tomorrow is change the oil and fuel filter in the GP. We had to invest a little over $500 in the car to fix some needed items as it is now at about 103K miles. New drive shafts, wheel bearings, motor mounts, AmsOil trans fluid, trans filter, and fuel filter. Now all that is left are new tires and it will be ready for another 100K! What a great car!
I also have an interview with the Frederick County Sheriff's office on Thursday which is our county in VA. Then on 20 Oct I have a test date with the Jefferson County Sheriff's office in WV. I'll post updates on that also.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
The car is on-hold until I get a new job. However, the parking brakes are still making a slight rubbing noise. I've pulled it apart again already, but found no signs of any issues. I may tear it down again this weekend or next week again, time permitting. Julie's Prix has new front and rear hub bearings and 2 new engine mounts as of last weekend, and prior to that I had a shop replace the right drive shaft as it was out of true. It has over 100K on it now. This is the first major repair I've had to do on the car as it has been great. It should now be good for another 100K!
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
The last job didn't quite work out as they found they need to find someone with extensive experience with Pro-E CAD. They sent me to training, but I was still not able to do advanced modeling. Being that it was a small group with a fast paced evironment it was not a good fit. The group and the entire company was a great place to work, but I guess something else is in store for me. So, I'm now comfortably back home with the family in Winchester and back to job hunting. I've already had a few calls from recruiters with possible interviews being planned, but more on that search later.
Since I have free time, and we hade in-store credit at Lowe's from returned items I decided to start costruction of our theater room! YES, we are going to have an actual theater room. It won't be too large as it will be approx 17'x14'. Below are a couple of photos. The one photo is looking through the back wall where there will be a recessed cavity to hold the surround system and the projector. On the far wall we will have a drop-down screen. The room will be lit with rope lighting and will resemble an actual movie theater. This will be awesome! I'll post updates as I go.
We also received a coupon from Home Depot for new purchases. So we are planning to get the materials for me to build our deck. Julie is tired of walking the dogs down stairs all the time to let them out. So once it is done she will be able to let them out on the deck. Next spring I look to place a paver patio at the walk-out connecting it to the deck. The deck will be about 16'x16' just big enough for our patio furniture.
Monday, August 20, 2007
I then was able to make breakfast for Thane and take him to/from school. He enjoyed Thursday as I took him in the “vroom-vroom” car since he was upset that mommy had to go to work. I think he figured since I was home she did not have to work either. We then got a call from my parents late Friday that they were heading down then instead of Saturday morning. They ended-up arriving at aboot 3AM!
Saturday I spent most of the day replacing the wheel bearing assemblies on the front of the GrandPrix. The GM dealer quoted me $470 for the left front hub bearing stating that the part was about $300 of it. What a load of $h!7!! I purchased the hub bearing for $110 at AutoZone and spent about 30mins to replace it. The only delay was getting the right size socket for the main axle nut and the nearly frozen bolts holding the bearing in place. I sprayed the bolts with PB-blaster and they came out with a little muscle. We then went to visit Uncle-Ed in Martinsburg at the annual Bike Night weekend. We had a few “Flint” Coney dogs from his hotdog stand “Sig’s”. Upon returning home I decided to get the other hub bearing as well and replaced it. Now all that remains are the lower control arms, as the bushings are pulling out of the arm requiring new ones. I’ll need to see what is involved with replacing them as I might do those as well to save another couple hundred bones!
I’m also currently looking for a new rental apartment, as my co-worker has had enough of me…I guess I’m too clean and organized to be in a bachelor’s pad! hahaha
To finish…Here’s a quick video of a new up-coming professional cyclist! He was a little distracted with the neighbors on their motorcycles, but he can peddle pretty good!
That’s about it for now.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Yup, I stayed in NC for the weekend to attend a race in Greensboro. I entered the SS class with the 2nd biggest gear, 2.13:1 (32/15). The guy with the biggest was Manny, a new acquaintance who is stationed at Fort Bragg as Army - Special Forces, he ran a 2.29:1 (32/14) and ended up 3rd.
Headline of the race was, Leader blows the race! The starter announced everything he could think to say on the start line…where to find the johns, where to find the medic, that you can eat or drink anywhere, blah, blah, blah, …finish is at yellow tent. Well I caught the last thing and upon gapping the guy on my wheel by about 50 yards approaching the start/finish area I saw the yellow tent and an opening in the fencing. I yelled and pointed, “Finish!?” To which I got no response so I took the exit….WRONG! DOH! There goes the guy around the bend to the correct finish! Oh well, 2nd for me, it was fun though, and the guy who won, Jason who was riding a 2.125:1 (34/16), was very cool about it being that I controlled the race and gapped him at the end only to miss the VERY POORLY marked finish!!! DOH!!! Karma I think, as I’ve never done that but have been guilty of heckling a few buddies about the same thing in the past! hahaha I over heard him telling others that it was a hollow victory and pointed to me while saying I was the best rider of the day. I ended up chatting with him for about an hour along with the others in the group while we waited for almost 2hrs for the results! Brought back a lot of memories of a particular Michigan race promoter in that situation! hahaha
Basically my strategy worked perfect, well obviously almost, in that I made sure to get myself in front to be the 1st in the woods to set the pace. I kept it easy as I had no idea what gear anyone was riding or how good they were or what my fitness comparison was. The 1st pic below was mid-way through lap1, with the 2nd being on the last big climb of lap2. At the transition area of lap 1 I allowed the rider to pass me and followed him around the open grass fields. Then just before entering the woods I easilly jumped back in front to do the pace setting. About 1/2 way through the 2nd lap I slowed a touch with hopes he'd jump in front so I could size him up. He did, but it didn't last as he took a wide detour around a log pile not wanting to go over it. It was just about 2 miles to go and he was back on my wheel. I'm thinking he was testing me at this point as he picked it up a lot and I hung like a monkey on his back. The course then shoots out onto a paved path for about 500yds then into a steep climb back into the woods before getting back on the path again. I gapped him good there then cruised on the path. As I looked back he was spinning like mad to catch me, and just as he did is when I attacked again to exit the path to the "wrong" finish spot...DOH!
So, now I have a $50 gift cert to the promoting bike shop in Greensboro…Anyone want it for $45? Let me know! The next possible race is Sept. 23 at Hobby Park in Winston-Salem. I will ride with these new comrades to check out the course, and maybe bump up my gearing a little to a 14 tooth cog. From what I hear it should be similar to PLRA and should be fun!