As many of you are undoubtedly painfully aware, this has been an awful winter in the Midwest. Normally, I am inclined to fire up the propane salamander and go out and get to work, but this winter, I’ve barely touched a wrench. As the temperature in Michigan began to flirt with the freezing mark last week, I was able to get out and wrestle with the loose passenger side kingpin on my ’53 Buick.
Here’s the steering knuckle and support, back from the machine shop. With no press in my garage, I didn’t even try breaking the old kingpin free from the spindle assembly; after all, it had 61 years of grease and familiarity on its side.
I was also able to take the Dirty Dart out to get some new 13″ shoes. All in all, it was a good week. With warmer weather hopefully around the corner, what are you working on in your garage?
I feel your pain, it’s still well below freezing here. Nothing happening in the garage yet.
I have an awful lot of work to do this spring. VW project needs wiring, fuel system and steering column, Kawi Concours needs tires, wheel bearings, brakes and valves set. Honda VF500 needs carb cleanout and valves set (a miserable job).
Everything is still packed away in my single car garage. This weekend I am going to rebuild my 1/4″ Craftsman Ratchet, just got the kit this week.
It’s a start…
You should be pleased by the weather forecast then. It’s finally going above freezing during the day!
Naah can’t be, It’s just a goverment ruse:
“Seven day forecasting is kind of a sham anyway. Anything past day five is just throwing darts.”
So true, or as I like to say: Weather forecasts are just horoscopes with numbers.
I’m in exactly the same situation with it even being too cold for the “propane salamander” this winter. On the bright side, that gave me time to write articles about my vehicles for CC. 🙂
Been working on my ’66 Chrysler Windsor this winter. Finally had enough warm weather to finish welding-up the rear bumper brackets and patches in the trunk floor.
Next task is to remove the interior so i can do some welding on the chassis, then start removing trim to prep the exterior for bodywork and paint. I’m hoping to get all those things done by late May and get it off to the bodyshop.
Garage? You have a garage? I have not even a concrete slab upon which to wrench, merely the good earth and a shade tree. Color me envious.
Me too oh well
Since it is my 40th birthday this year, my wife has finally given me the green light to purchase an old classic to work on and restore. To say I am anxious to get one and start working on it is a great understatement.
Unfortunately, the snow is chest-deep in my yard after the fresh 16″ we received yesterday. There’s a possibility of another 10-12″ this Sunday as well.
I figure the weather will only be warm and dry enough by mid-July.
As they say, Canada has two seasons: Winter and August.
My oldest brother lived in the UP of Michigan for a few years. They would refer to summer as “six weeks of bad skiing”.
It has been so brutal here in southeast Wisconsin that I actually had to take my DD to a mechanic to do the timing belt and water pump.
I’d always heard the two seasons as Winter and Road Construction.
I thought it was Winter and Bugs
That’s Pennsylvania. 🙂
Letter home from a Spanish colonist in New Mexico during the 1700s.
“New Mexico has 9 months of winter followed by 3 months of hell.”
Tidying a slightly rough rear wheelarch on an MX-5 mk 1
I just have a good deep cleaning to do on 4 cars, but I prefer to do this in the driveway where there is more room and the light is better. Actually, I do have some rotors and front brakes to do on my Fit, as well. Now, if I could only find the time . . . .
Related, but not cars: At my place, the workshop is a bicycle shop, and despite the weather I’ve had a number of projects to complete for customers. A ’69 Peugeot PX-10 restoration, building a long haul touring bike for a college girl who’s taking four months off this summer to noodle around the country, and a few other bikes. And once the bikes were done, there was getting my free Craftsman tractor running (it’ll have a snowplow in time for next winter).
The shop is heated by one, sometimes two, kerosene heaters, and I normally pay for the kerosene on the same credit card as I do my gasoline for the cars. This winter, my gas bill has more than doubled since I’m using the shop daily and keeping it heated half the day.
I have been doing bikes for about 20 years and try to get away from it. It’s hard to do. I started when my 2 bikes were stolen out of the garage while we were on vacation. I then bought used bikes at Goodwill for as little as $2.00 and put one together for myself. I had enough parts to do 2 more and sold those. Unfortunately, I messed up a Peugeot frame not knowing about the French fixed cup….. I still have the fork, in case someone needs it.
It’s a great hobby because the projects are limited in scope.
I’ve started gathering old bikes, too…mainly Schwinns from the 60s and 70s, but my favorite bike is my ’72 Raleigh Sports. I grabbed a one-owner ’77 Sting Ray (frame date from a month before I was born) for $65 last Labor Day; it cleaned up really nice. I was going to flip it but I can’t…I just fell in love with it.
Here’s the Sting Ray…
She: “how many bikes do you need?”
Caught this Moulton recently. Even comes with his signature, albeit unblurred.
And I let one go: Linear recumbent, $200.00 at the Salvation Army Store. The only thing it needed was tie rod ends for the USS.
Living further south than anyone else who has commented, I wish I could say it’s been above freezing all winter. We all know better than that.
Yes, garage time is a spring activity; my goal is to simply return to owning a garage. My rental pole barn is out of the rain but has no floor and it has huge open areas under the walls. Raccoons crawl under with frequency.
The pickup needs some new pads on the rear and that will be a Saturday morning in the driveway.
Been above freezing all winter here, and I’m at the same latitude as North Carolina.
SoCal of course…
There is a much more favorable breeze coming from the Pacific than there is the Missouri River!
My machine shed is finally rebuilt after last year’s tornado, but the back half is currently an ice skating rink (I excavated in anticipation of gravel and concrete yet to come). My first project will be pulling everything out of the “good” half of the shed and cleaning up the mess caused by the storm and the shed being open to the weather for most of a year. Then, hopefully, I’ll clean my two VW Beetle pans (’62 and ’63) and start hanging some running gear on them.
I did get some wrenching time in last week, though – had to pull the PTO idler pulley from my son’s 10-year-old Kubota garden tractor and replace the bushings in it – they were worn enough to let the pulley cock sideways, throwing the drive belt with alarming frequency.
It was 74 here on Monday…..and time for mowing, as the grass was getting ankle high. Which involved waking up all the power equipment. As usual, my favorite 1960s vintage mowers started up instantly….unlike my late 90s riding mower, which pretty much needs a new plastic lower carb assembly every spring. I buy them for $12 a pop online, and always have a spare one handy. Damn Tecumseh, although it’s a god engine otherwise.
Check http://www.pure-gas.org for a station near you that sells alcohol-free gas. I just bought about 40 gallons of it for myself and all of my neighbors outdoor power equipment. I add Stabil to it and it will last for a good year if not two without going bad. You won’t have to mess with that carb every season. Also, add fuel shutoff valves if the tank is above the carb.
I worked on so much lawn equipment a year ago that had bad fuel system parts from the alcohol that I bought a 25 ft. spool of 1/4″ fuel hose and I have already used most of it.
74 degrees sounds almost like an abstract thought to me now. No salt AND 74 degree weather??? I gotta get out of Michigan…
Being from FL, some of our best weather for wrenching is winter when it’s generally dryer and cooler without being too cold. This winter we were a lot wetter and a little colder and windier than normal. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it.
Projects include getting the Ford 9″ center section built with steeper hears an used detroit locker for the ’65 Galaxie. I also need to attend to the ’72 F100 rear brakes since one has started locking up prematurely. The next really large job will be bodywork on the Galaxie–ugggg, I hate that.
All my attention’s going to my never-ending whole house reno…once that’s done, toward the end of 2014, then I’ll head back to the garage…
My spring project is getting my (used but new to me) Bendpak SP-7X scissor lift set up in my garage so I can change out the engines in the following vehicles:
1997 Trans Am convertible (my new midlife crisis car; blown head gasket)
2003 Buick Century (MIL’s car; one dead cylinder)
1997 Honda Civic (one of my DDs; one dead cylinder due to carbon deposits holding open and burning an exhaust valve)
I have all three replacement engines sitting in my garage right now – it’s no wonder I don’t have any space in there!
I need, no, want to get the Trans Am done first, so I can take the entire family on some nice Sunday drives this summer.
And I’ve got to put a new roof on a garage, empty out a storage unit, install a gas furnace, fix a bunch of lawn mowers, help friends get their cars going . . . it’s not pretty when one spreads one’s efforts too wide!
My spring project is getting this 1962 model Scoutmaster in good enough condition for a June trip to the wilds of New Mexico… That doesn’t leave a lot of time for wrenching, with the possible exception of my bike. (Syke, I am jealous of your vocation.)
As soon as the snow melted off, I drove the ’64 out of the yard & into the garage so I could start in on the massive rot repairs it needs. The hope is to get all the rot repair done so I can get paint on it by the end of the season. At a minimum I want to get the cab, inner fender & rad support rot fixed so I know the underlying structure is solid even if the outside is bad for another season.
I have the fenders & grill off and have started welding on the inner fenders. Of course the weather is now mocking me by being snowy, cold or rainy every time I have some free time. The truck is about 12″ shorter than the garage, so while I can store it there, it needs to be at least partially outside to be able to work on it.
Going to try really hard to get a couple hours in at least this weekend.
Just a pic of what I am up against,
If you can weld, you can make it work!
This spring project business is why I got the hell out of Dodge, er, Pennsylvania, and moved to Southern California. My garage is smaller, but that’s mostly as I’m saving to buy a place.
Instead, my spring project has been to spruce up the backyard and plant some gardens. But the weather hasn’t been appreciably different from December.
No garage,,, just an asphalt parking spot provided by district housing. 🙁
One day will be sunny and 70 the next day will be 40 mph winds, dust storms, and barely crack the 50s.
I’m getting whiplash from the changes.
It’s actually (yes, actually) against the condo association rules to work on your car in the parking garage. I ignore that rule, but whenever I open the hood on my car, a concerned neighbor will invariably ask me what’s wrong with my car. I’m running out of diplomatic ways to explain the concept of preventative maintenance to these people.
About once a week, before I start my truck to drive home after work, I pop the hood to check the fluids and briefly inspect for other problems. It’s not uncommon for someone to ask me what’s wrong. When I say nothing, I’m just checking the fluids, they always get the same mildly surprised look.
I am there with you certainly. I despise winter. Everything I like to do occurs in warm and hot sunny weather.
I’m still needing to button up my ’92 Jetta GLI 16v but the little taste of warmer weather here makes me really want to get cracking on the axle and/or gearbox issues my ’59 Beetle has. I really want to be in that car with the ragtop sunroof slid back and the sun shining in.
I will have to get on them both very soon. In a month and a half to two months I should be moving back out of my parent’s house (praise the heavens!) and I really want to be able to drive all of my cars to the new place.
Im in BAD need of a set of Slam Air rear airbags for the Rumble Bee. The 2/4 drop looks bitchin but it bottoms out too easy. Those lowered truck air helpers will allow me to restore my towing/load capacity and keep it looking tough.
Where do I start with my projects. My 70 AMX needs new headers and carb installed. My 69 AMX needs new intermediate pipes. I got the engine in the 66 Bonnie and drove it once last fall. Not sure all kinks are out yet. The 65 Marlin suspension is still on the ground, the interior gutted, new windshield still in box, engine still at builder (wanted that back by now) and new gaskets still not in trans. Yes I know restoring a Marlin, let the jabs fly. 401/4spd is sitting on floor in front of the 74 Jav that has been looking at it longingly all winter. Wow I just realized the extent of the hole I have gotten myself into. How much of this will still need done next spring. Some of it I have to get done or expensive parts will end up needing expensive repairs. Weather is finally warming in northern Iowa so I better get my A@& to work.
I am not working in my garage, I am working on my garage. Roof is good, siding is good but it needs the fascia, gutter and soffit done. Only then will it be worth to tackle the bird poop inside. No worries, the most classic item in it is a 1964 Puch 3 speed in that beautiful copper color. The birds were nice enough to avoid it.
Oh, I am planning to give the garage a proper electrical installation to do away with the 50′ extension cord.
Any pics of the bike? I have an Austrian Sears that I believe was built by Puch…it rides great!
Sorry no picture because I never intended to put it up for sale.
Yes, your Austrian Sears is by Puch.
Indeed they surprise you with their sweet ride. It is hard to explain. But you feel nicely balanced because of the just right weight and the just right steering response.
While I don’t think spring is going to arrive for another month the way it’s going this year, it looks like we have above freezing temps for the next week, so it’s out to the garage! We have a LeMons race in less than a month, so it’s time to get the Probe ready. I’ll be changing brakes, tires, a new radiator, thermostat housing, plugs, oil change, ABS sensor, a little electrical work, and painting the addition to the roll cage.
Then……. I’ll probably stare at the 67 Cougar that’s in pieces, and devise another new plan to get it back together.
Don,t know if this will help Aaron 65 or not but this is a pic of my 58 Allstate (sears) puch 50 moped. This is barn find sitting in the back for 40 years and started first kick after a carb and tank cleaning and a little pb blaster in the cylinder. Of all the vehicles I have I think this old weathered beauty is the coolest and most fun, and I have never been a bike man. This is a little older than Wolfgang’s so may not be right for what you have.
Ride 12 miles per week and no more Preparation H!
Mine lacks the motor and has the 3 speeds in the rear hub.
That brings back the memories. These were everywhere in Austria as a kid in the fifties, and I was quite surprised when I encountered them in the Sears catalog, along with a whole range of Puch scooters, mopeds and bikes, all the way up to their 250 cc “twingle”.
It’s fodder for another CC. Or to be exact: 50cc.
A mild Winter here in So. Cal. thankfully ! .
Because I’m slow to learn I bought the attached in spite of not yet having finished the engine work on my 1959 Metropolitan Nash FHC daily driver……
I too only have a cement slab driveway to work on , I can’t handle the direct sun like I could 40 years ago so I bought one of those canvas 20′ X 40′ ‘ garage ‘ things @ COSTCO a few years back left the sides off and after it flew away in high winds a couple times I learned to pot the vertical posts in 5 gallon tubs of cement , I love it , and simply replace the cover every couple years when the sun rots it away .
I don’t miss the snow atall =8-) .
I’m very jealous of your Minor. I’d love to own one someday when I have a little more acreage.
Thanx ! .
I well remember them new in the early 1960’s and always kinda sorts wanted one , this one popped up locally with almost NO rust and passable paint & trim , running and current tags so I grabbed it .
As soon as I finish the Met’s engine works I’ll fix the Morry’s bad brakes and begin driving it .
Oh yeah ~ the Mighty Met :
Wheel cylinder and outer bearing Monday. Sharpen blade, oil change, clean filter then mow jungle (lawn) Tuesday. Wednesday outer CV joint, fuel pump, shifter linkage arrive along with crap weather. Now just waiting for rain to stop. And waiting. And waiting…
Ive been away from home for the last six months otherwise I would have finished the 505″ Six Pack Wedge for my 1971 Road Runner. (well probably not, but I would have liked to) so it looks like it will spend another summer cruising season in the garage.