Here I keep a quick log of miscellaneous repairs and improvements I have done on my hotrod. For the sake of your sanity (if you still have any left, which - if you are a fellow hotrodder - I sincerely doubt LOL) repairs are logged in as I go, so keep checking for updates. new repairs will be appended. Previous, older repairs are stored on their own pages. Use the "previous repairs" button to navigate and read about all the renovations done on this roadster.

 

                                                                           Repair log...



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Keeping a hotrod running flawlessly is a never ending task, enough to drive anyone to the brinks of insanity! But I promise you'll have a blast (well, hopefully not LITERALLY LOL) in the process! Oh, and a few blisters, nicks, cut, bruises and burns, too. Enjoy!

 

 


 

12/01/06 through 12/07/06 -  replaced front leaf spring

Well, this is WAYYY above my current abilities so this hiboy girl is smart enough to know when to call in the pros. Anything that has the potential of KILLING me, I will not fool around with. Brakes, steering and electricals are the three I will not touch. Well at least not just yet LOL.

So off to my fav hotrod shop: Hollywood Hotrods. I drop off my baby and it's hard to drive off and leave him behind. I hope he will not whine too much and will behave while in custody of Troy. I have done a lot of research and picked the brains of everyone I know and I have devised my own plan of attack. I then wrote it down and handed it to Troy. The two of us (the rookie and the PRO) picked brains some more. I was pleased to see my ideas were pretty good and I was on the right track with my approach. Troy approved all my decisions so with the planning phase now behind us I went home a bit sad (for my love was away) but fairly confident everything would go well.

WAIT! It's 2AM and I am wide awake, tossing and turning in my bed. I guess maybe I am stressing about this after all. Tossing and turning, tossing and turning... What if and what if and oh boy oh boy I sure hope all the repairs go well. Ok Faith you're such al "control freak!". It's time to give the wheel to Troy and to take a Leap of Faith (pun intended! haha!). Go back to sleep Gosh darn it or you'll be good for nothing at work tomorrow.

The first thing we tackle is the front suspension. I have ordered a brand new set of leaf springs from Posie and my idea is that the new leaf will help not only improve the ride quality but also will give my nose a little lift UP. Hence further increasing the distance between my crank wheel and my tie rod (which, if you remember had been clipping). I had previously replaced my engine mounts and raised the engine a bit which had helped the clipping. The new leaf spring would be the second step in hopefully resolving the problem for good. I had noticed my old leaf spring was sagging, had lost it's "arch" and therefore Hiboy's nose was drooping a bit. As a result the front shocks were no longer in the proper position and mostly entirely collapsed, so they were unable to do their job. The result? A car that was very rough riding!

 

 

my old leaf spring is flattening out.
It's also riding metal to metal, and making
a lot of squeaking noises.

 

My new tapered "Hollywood roll" from Posie...
Painted flat black at the factory especially for me.
The guys at Posie are so NICE. They were so very helpful
and worked for 2 hours over the phone to make sure
we chose the right spring for me.
I am impressed!! The spring features tefflon inserts
that hide between the springs but insure a comfortable, quiet ride.


 

12/01/06 through 12/07/06 -  replaced lower front shock mounts

With a nose now at a normal height, my next request has been to replace the lower shock mounts of my front shocks. After days of searching I have finally been able to locate short lower mounts. The idea I had was that if my lower mounts are shorter, then logically (it's geometry 101) my shocks would become more upright. As a result they would be able to go up and down. Add to this the extra inch and a half we gained by replacing the leaf spring and you now have shocks that are at the proper angle and in the proper position (40/60) so they are able to travel up and down with bumps and holes in the road. And by God my idea worked GREAT!! The result? Wow! Hiboy feels like a new roadster now! It's so nice to not have the CD player skip every 2 minutes! I can now hit a bump or hole and not need a chiropractic realignment the next day :).


my old shock mounts were too long
for this application. the shock is not
upright enough and unable to do
it's job properly.

My new, shorter shock mounts
are allowing the shocks to be more
upright and now they work!


 

12/01/06 through 12/07/06 -  added a Panhard bar

Nothing like driving 60 mph on the freeway, hitting a hole and have your roadster hop into the next lane over! YIKES! Scary stuff! This is called, my friends, BUMP STEER. It's annoying and scary and borderline dangerous. And Hiboys are very prone to it because of their suspension set-up. So that's why you need a Panhard bar. It bolts to the frame on the driver's side and to the steering arm on the other side and prevents lateral movement of the front suspension. If installed properly it works like a charm! I am in luck because Troy and his crew did a great job and mine is awesome! No longer shall I change zip code every time I hit a bump in the road! Thank you guys!!


a simple contraption that
can make a world of
difference! the bracket has
been welded to my frame.

I opted for a simple, black bar, as opposed to chrome.
Hiboy is understated, so adding a bunch of chrome would not be
a good move on my part.
In our case: Less is more.


 

12/01/06 through 12/07/06 -  changed the king pins

I hear they are a nightmare to replace but fortunately I did not have to deal with it hehe. Troy and his boys must have LOVED me (not) but they did replace my old, worn out, wobbly king pins and put in my new ones, which I ordered from Speedway Express. The result is a whole lot less vibration when driving around 50 to 60 mph on the freeway :).


my wheels paint got a bit banged up in the process, but nothing a new coat of paint will not fix later
(since I will be powder coating them at some point anyways.)
 


 

12/01/06 through 12/07/06 -  redid steering system and partially boxed frame

The biggest safety issue previously discovered on my Hiboy was the steering. Upon inspection, we had found that the U-Joints were tired and lose and had not been done properly and posed a safety issue. Furthermore, the initial Vega steering had been replaced by a bolt on replacement Unisteer system. Although a great steering system, the Unisteer did not quite fit my roadster as a "bolt on" and should have been custom installed in order to work right. I am not sure which of the previous owners did the install but they obviously either did not have any money or they did not care about their lives. So they did the job half assedly and just bolted the steering to the existing Vega bracket which was too high and too far left to work with the Unisteer. The result? My Hiboy's engine riding very low, the oil pan was in the way and the Unisteer system was rubbing against it. Not only did this probably prevented the system from steering properly, but it also paused a safety issue. The protecting boot was torn and you could feel a "clunk" when turning to the right. After raising my engine, I was still not high enough to give me the 1 inch Unisteer clearance the manufacturer recommended, so we had to roll up our sleeves and do it right.
 

 

Troy and I once again pow wowed and devised a plan of action: We would redo all the U-joints, put new rods, replace the Unisteer mounting bracket, reinforce it and lower it and move it to the right a bit. And since the tug and pull caused by the rubbing had caused some stress to my original frame in the bracket area, Troy fixed the hair crack and reinforced the frame in that spot via some real heavy duty boxing. When all was done, I had a new roadster. It now steers with ease and precision. No sloppy play in the 1954 steering wheel. No rubbing against the oil pan. Nice, new tight strong U-joints... Troy confided that when unbolting the steering system, the whole thing came apart after merely a half turn of the rod. Meaning that this whole time I was driving Hiboy, my life was hanging from a half thread (pun intended)... I am glad I got that taken care of promptly, especially since I was driving the Santa Susanna Pass weekly YIKES!
 


my old u-joints seem
about to give out the ghost

And it looks like someone
chopped them up at some point...

my new u-joints can
take a beating and keep ticking!

and my Unisteer box is HAPPY


 

12/01/06 through 12/07/06 -  adjusted the brakes

Troy was a sweetie and adjusted my 1940's drum brakes for me. He did a bit of research to learn how this specific type of backing plates needed to be approached and then he got everything nice and tight. And he did not charge me for it, so that was cool. For the first time my Hiboy is actually braking! With that done, I paid my bill (ouch) and went home, with an empty pocket and a light heart... And a smile on my face. I did have to stop at some point because my brakes were now too tight and smelled. So the next day Jeff and I readjusted them and backed them off a hair. One last trip to Troy the next week and we had everything dialed pretty good. No more brake problems to report since then :).



I LOVE my authentic Buick finned drums and I'll be darned if I am going to replace them with disk brakes!

 


 

01/10/07 -  added a right side mirror and a carb spring

Hiboy now back in my hands, it is up to me to continue the small weekly repairs. It is about time I add a swan side mirror to my right flank. Twice already I have almost changed lanes right on top of another car, cause I could not see them. Problem solved. I wish I could say it was an easy repair, but nothing ever is when it comes to Hiboy. Drilling was a breeze, but the windshield's bolts were in the way and it was VERY hard to access the area from under the dash to bolt on the mirrors. I say mirrorS with an S because since they come in pairs, I replaced the left one as well. I did this on a week night alone in my garage, it was relaxing although a bit time consuming, but thanks to my TINY fingers I was able to finally get that bolt and washer in. The rest is history :). Another thing I did was play a bit with my carb springs. The ones I have on are very soft so the gas pedal has no resistance to your foot pressure AT ALL, it makes for a fun ride but a very tiring one after two hours spent driving. Why? cause you cannot rest your foot on the pedal, you have to hold it up with your leg muscle for EVER. And it gets old fast. So I bought 3 different springs at Pep Boys and experimented in replacing them, but I found that combining my old black springs with one extra metal spring gave just the right amount of tension. Now I am happy, Hiboy is still fun to drive, but I can at least "rest a little" more when driving long distance. Plus I now have THREE springs so no way this puppy is ever going CRAZY on me! (the only one allowed to go crazy around here is: ME.) :)

Hiboy oh my Hiboy... How handsome you are and I am nowhere done with you :) !





you really need to click on the photo above, really really do.
 


 

02/04/07  -  radiator mayhem, revisited...

Ooops, I did it again! Right back to square one. Radiator fan blows, I don't catch it immediately (I do check my engine temps once every 10 min or so), it is a hot day, Hiboy blows his top. I am heading to a hotrod book signin and suddenly there are green blotches on my windshield??? RATS. Ok, I am far from home but no need to panic, been there done that. I replace my fan fuse (AGAIN) so now it's back on. I wait for the engine to cool off and the radiator hose to go limp (hehe) and then I unscrew my cap some to release pressure. Things are going to get messy but we'll live. I drive out to my event and then back home. So here we are, back to tearing the whole car apart to get the 1932 radiator out and BACK to the shop (take TWO). This time I insist that he not give me back anything less than a BULLET PROOF radiator. "I don't care what you have to do to it, but make it as strong as a tank". And so he did. He was cool and did not charge me as he felt that perhaps he should have done this the first time around. I was dreading readjusting the hood and all, since the first time (remember?) it took us 5 hours to figure out why Hiboy was all crooked LOLOL. This time I was smart (and had gained experience). So I marked everything prior to unbolting the radiator. When it came back from the shop 4 days later, I put it back in the same spot and when Jeff helped me put the hood back on we had a PERFECT FIT from first try! Boy was I proud of me! I had to clean up all the green mess of course but that was relaxing. All in all, the easiest going repair to date :). PS: I am happy to report that although my fan blowing fuses problem is not yet resolved, the radiator is no longer puncturing pin holes when the temps climb up some. At least one of two battles won :).




so here we go AGAIN!



Hiboy looks so funny with nothing on!
I cease the opportunity to do a big engine 
and firewall cleaning while things are so accessible


 

02/20/07  -  oil spewing engine problem fixed...

Ok THIS was the easiest repair to date. Rather than keep changing oil filters in my vent whatchamecallit I remembered a hotrodder/friend's suggestion: "Oh, just tie a towel around it". Sounded :'weird' at first. By now it was starting to sound like music to my ears, but I added my own twist. One quick visit to Sports Chalet and I came out with a pack of black tennis wrist ban. The rest is history :).




And you know what? It works!


 

03/06/07  -  replaced fan fuse AGAIN on the go...

Nothing like a chick with leopard tight pants under the dash of a hotrod at night... Gives you shivers, doesn't it LOL ? Well, I blew yet another fuse and this time it melted the fuse box. So can't replace the fuse no more. I really need to fix this problem but because I have wanted to redo my whole electrical system, I have been pushing it off... It will cost me a lot of money to have Patrick figure out what is going on and I could use those funds to pay for the new wire harness and new Centech fuse box... On the other hand I am sick of the fuse blowing. Tonight I am on the road and I have to stop because my engine is getting hot again. Don't want to take a chance and have to tear down the whole hotrod AGAIN to fix the radiator AGAIN, so I decide to stop, call my friend Jim and have him meet me at Bob's Big Boy, where I am sorta stranded. He gives me a ride to Pepboys and we pick a heavy duty fuse box. Of course he wants to help me replace it but I growl at him "Back off".. I think I may even have nipped his hand... hehe... I want to do it MYSELF. It was fun too.




A hotrod girl never leaves home without the bare essentials: red lipstick, black eye liner and a toolbox :)
   


 

02/10/07  -  got rid of one annoying SQUEEEK problem

You might remember that a while back I raised my engine a hair. This resulted in my tranny touching the floor pans and in terms this resulted in the most annoying continuous squeak squeak  while driving. At first it drove me crazy, but since I am already crazy, I soon became immune to it. I drove for two months straight with it. But today is the day when I seek, find and destroy Mr. Squeak. Pulled out the carpet, tore down the wood floor pans and found the problem area. Grinded the floor pan in that spot and put it back. A few bolts later and a lot of bathroom sealer, my hotrod was quiet as a carp :). Cool by me, I like my doo-wop music free of sound effects :)




Pulling that carpet out was no picnic.
 

 At some point I go through a moment of deep
doubt and distress when it comes to the
efficiency of the tools at hand LOL -

just take a look at the expression on my face
EPIC! :)

 

 

GOT IT! Found Mr. Squeak.

The hotrod has been desqueakified.
Peace and quiet reign once again.
one layer of carpet layer, I am back on the road (quietly).

 


 

03/20/07  -  installed 12 inch glass packs mufflers hehehehehe

I must have the most quiet and polite hotrod West of the Mississippi ! It purrs like a kitten instead of roaring like a lion. And that really pisses me off, so I decided it was now time for Hiboy to change his tone of voice with me. We visited Morse Mufflers in Burbank. The quest? Give Hiboy a shot of testosterones. The long Smiffies mufflers were cut out and the most radical available mufflers installed instead. I went for the shortest glass pack those guys carried. Hey, if you left it up to me, I would go with straight pipes. No, REALLY. But to be 'nice' to my neighbors and other drivers and to not attract too much attention from the local law enforcement (I am running no fenders, no windshield wipers and no front license plate) I figured the glass packs might be an Ok compromise. I drove in with a kitten, I drove out with a dragon. Now that's more like it. Since then I can't seem to keep the foot off the spoon shaped gas pedal. Go Hiboy GO GO GO! It is a delight to hear him GROOOOAR each time I give it gas.... :)))))... I am in hotrod heaven.




hiboy on a pedestal:
where a deuce belongs

LOL !


cutting the new pipes


 Et VOILA!



 

03/24/07  -  replaced my rear lights bulb, lenses & seal.

Rats! Sean was following me home from Bob's Big Boy last Friday and he said one of my rear tail lights is OUT. I got a new bulb at Pepboys (that was the EASY part) but I can already see that getting to the old bulb to replace it is going to be just another series of gravity defying gyrations. It figures. The front lens won't come off. I can touch the bulb when I reach from the back, from inside the trunk, but I cannot unscrew it, not enough space / clearance. I post a message on my favorite hotrod forum, "clubhotrod.com" and a few members immediately come to the rescue. I find out there is a tab at the top that prevents the lens from coming off, so it is a matter of pulling out and then up, otherwise it won't detach. Now that I have been enlightened, I try again and meet with immediate success. But the party is not over yet. The rubber seal is old and falling apart and a friend gave me a new set so I might as well change it. But wait: To replace it I now have to remove the whole tail light assembly. But wait: To remove the taillight assembly I have to climb inside my rumble seat trunk and lock myself in. That's the only way to access the rear nuts and washers to unbolt the tail lights. It's a tight space, dark and uncomfortable. Good thing I am not claustrophobic ! I need an oxygen mask and a good flashlight LOL. But that's OK, cause I've done this before. A few twist of the wrench later both tail lights are sliding off the body. Good then. Oh but wait, while I am at it, why don't I lay a nice coat of gloss white paint inside the tail light? I was told it would make my rear light A LOT brighter. But wait: To remove the bulb part I have to unscrew it and it is a bit crooked making it hard to undo. I guess you get the point, what started as a simple "let's change a light bulb" project ended up taking four hours. But in the end I had nice traditional lenses back on my hotrod, new light bulbs, new rubber mounts and BRIGHTER tail lights. And since I worked alone, it was a relaxing repair. Now done, I tackled grinding down my trunk latch a bit more to make it fit prefect. I bought a drummel last week so I had a chance to try it. It was a real pain but after 30 min of grinding and going through no less than 3 stones, my task was completed.  And hopefully we won't have to mention the latch ever again :).




well that rubber seal
has seen better days!

 


while I am at it I
even polished everything


I mask then spray paint
the inside gloss white



baby's new butt. next (sooooon) we get rid of the radials.

 

u Left: Photo by Alan Greene , who's Automotive fine art
can be viewed and purchased at www.asgphotowerks.com


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