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Archive for the ‘Sandy’ Category

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Sandy had her first day out since she fell victim to Hurricane Sandy. She attended an important local car show to help celebrate the life of departed friend Roy Jones.  Roy was a huge fan of classic cars and an avid supporter of charity car shows put on by Georgia Cool Cruisers and other local car clubs. In the years he owned Galaxy Diner, Roy hosted dozens of shows supporting many great charities. Today’s memorial show celebrated Roy’s memory and continues the legacy of charity and community Roy left behind. Today’s show also was a fundraiser for two of Roy’s favorite charities — Fisher House and Toys For Tots. Preliminary numbers are that over $1,200 was raised for Fisher House and more than 200 toys collected for Toys For Tots.

Sandy performed admirably, traveling the eight miles to the show and four of the eight miles home under her own power. This may not sound all that impressive, but it is important to keep in mind that since the hurricane and prior to this morning, the car has been driven around the block once at Asphault Adventures‘ New Jersey headquarters and once at Crash’s Atlanta pad. That’s it.

Sandy now has headlights (low beams only, direct wired through a toggle switch), parking lights, turn signals, and brake lights via a manual (literally – hand operated) switch, all via homemade wiring and a 6-circuit fuse block. The run around the block yesterday and the drive today suggest that the carburetor is in dire need of a rebuild, that first and second gears are on their last legs, the brakes need some serious adjustment, and that the front tires need some spacing as they are rubbing against the inner fenders in 90-degree and tighter turns.

The most immediate problem, however, is that the electric fuel pump (which Crash insisted on mounting near the engine rather than at the fuel tank – yes, Jim, you were right!) overheats and stops delivering fuel to the carburetor. The fuel pump gave out just as Sandy arrived at the show this morning (phew!) but gave up the ghost halfway home – at the worst possible intersection. It could have gotten ugly except for the flatbed tow truck that happened by, and the very kind driver who was happy to give Sandy a lift the rest of the way home. (Atlanta THOTC fans, please call Ken Kianpour of Red Ivey’s Express Towing for all your towing needs at 404-325-5192 — definitely a friend of banger cars and those who drive them.)

Next up will be mounting a new electric fuel pump at the tank where it should have gone in the first place, replacing the broken mechanical fuel pump to provide a backup, and doing a drain-and-fill on the transmission to see if it helps eke a little more life out of first and second gear.

Please look for photos of some of the absolutely awesome cars keeping Sandy company at the show in a subsequent post.

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Resurrecting Sandy, a 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook that drowned in Hurricane Sandy, has proven to be the Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse’s biggest challenge yet. That is saying a lot for a team that has brought a $150 1989 Dodge Shadow, a $200 1973 Plymouth Valiant, and a $300 1969 Dodge Dart Custom back to life from under tarps and woodpiles and abandoned behind barns for glorious 3,000-mile journeys to raise over $12,000 for charity over the course of five rallies in five years.

Sandy was on her way to the crusher when a friend of Team Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse (Jim Thwaite of Asphault Adventures) rescued her, knowing Crash and Burn would want to get this unusual classic back on the road and competing in rallies to raise money for charity. Jim not only rescued the car, but hosted it in his garage and did the lion’s share of the work to get the car running and ready for transport to Crash’s pad in Atlanta.

After spending days submerged in water above the dashboard during Hurricane Sandy and a year rusting after the floodwaters receded, the car was a total loss. Water had seeped into the engine and transmission leaving them unsalvageable – discovered only after weeks of effort to restore them believing they had been pickled before the storm. The drivetrain ultimately was replaced with “leftovers” from the hot rod conversion of a 1949 Dodge sold to the team for the scrap value of the metal. The gas tank, differential, and radiator took in some water as well, but ultimately would be saved after the investment of hours of effort to recondition them. The entire ignition system was destroyed by corrosion and rust and had to be rebuilt from scratch – a custom-wired 12v ignition circuit based on 1970s Ford F-100 parts. A one-wire GM alternator was installed using a bracket custom-made by Jim to provide charging.

Two years to the day since Hurricane Sandy ravaged New Jersey, the Cranbrook has been transported from Jim’s garage in New Jersey to Crash’s garage in Atlanta, and the second phase of Sandy’s restoration to the road will begin over the Thanksgiving holiday:

  • The rest of the electrical system, from the switches to the bulb bases, was a total loss as well. A decision has been made to rewire the car using a 12v hot-rod wiring harness and fusebox. This conversion isn’t yet complete and some challenges remain with finding replacements for the 6v blower motor, horn, and windshield wiper motor that also were destroyed by the storm waters. The entire dash cluster was submerged and was corroded beyond repair.
  • A replacement dash cluster has been obtained but hasn’t yet been installed, and several of the gauges may not be compatible due to minor differences between sensors and outputs on the 1949 versus 1952 engine and transmission. The team is debating whether a digital dashboard using an Android tablet and new wireless sensors may be a future project and a way to extend the life of this classic Plymouth.
  • The brakes and wheel bearings were a total loss as well, and everything except the master brake cylinder has been replaced. For safety’s sake, a rebuild or replacement of the master cylinder is in order.
  • The 1949 transmission appears to have some 1st gear issues and likely will need to be rebuilt or replaced.
  • The differential (a seemingly never-ending Achilles’ Heel for the team’s rally cars) needs to be gone through as it took on water in the flood, and a rebuild or replacement may be necessary.
  • The steering and suspension need to be gone through, and some replacement of bushings and bearings likely will be required.

It may take a while but Sandy will drive again. Assuming all goes well, Sandy’s first rally is targeted to be Asphault Adventures’ West Virginia to Key West Rally in May/June 2015.

Please look for updates on Sandy’s restoration on Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse’s Facebook page and here on the team’s website (www.thotc.com) for updates.

Thanks for reading, and see you on the road!

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Thanks to Jim Thwaite at Asphault Adventures, Sandy’s seized engine has been set free! It is too early to call the patient cured, but hopes (and pulse rates) are running high. A new head gasket will be applied shortly to facilitate a more complete diagnosis of the patient.

Stay tuned for Episode Seven – With The Turn Of A Key…

 

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Apparently, Murphy continues to ride as an unofficial and unwelcome Third Horseman…

Looks like the engine in the Cranbrook has some…er… small… issues contrary to what was represented by the seller. Friend Jim Thwaite at Asphault Adventures  is showing tremendous ingenuity (and patience) in trying to get thing moving again, but drastic action may be required if the Cranbrook’s “freely turning” engine proves to be anything but…

A couple of possible options being explored:

  1. Find a replacement running Flathead 6 engine and swap it in. While the most easily executed backup plan, these engines are not as pervasive as the Slant 6 and finding one could be a bit of a challenge. The team is putting word on the street to its many Mopar fans that such an engine is being sought… perhaps Murphy will look the other way for a moment and one will turn up.
  2. Rebuild the existing engine. This option looks costly and complicated, especially as compared to swapping in an identical replacement engine. However, if we can diagnose the exact point of failure, it may be a less-ambitious endeavor.
  3. Go Rat Rod-lite and swap in something other than the correct engine. On the plus side, this is potentially inexpensive and comparatively easy, especially since conversion kits for both Mopar and Chevy V8s are readily available. Finding a more contemporary replacement engine shouldn’t be a big deal, and would result in a far peppier Cranbrook than the Chrysler engineers ever intended. (For the record, a Slant 6 is not really a viable swap no matter how much we want it to be. We checked.)
  4. Go full-on Rat Rod and do a chassis swap. Friend Jim discovered that there is less than a 0.5″ difference in the wheelbase of the Cranbrook and of a Chevy S10 Extended Cab. While not an the least expensive or or complicated option, it would yield a Cranbrook-looking street rod with plenty of pep, modern brakes and suspension and possibly even air-conditioning. However, the team is just not sure how driving a Chevy in Mopar clothing will sit with the team’s Mopar fans…

Stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

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Well, it looks like the instrument cluster definitely had a salt-water soak. Our guess is that all of the electric gauges will need to be replaced. The oil gauge temperature gauge should be OK as on this model, a tube actually brings oil to the gauge to actuate a thermometer rather than the contemporary method of having an oil temperature sender send current to actuate a gauge.

The magic question is whether it will be less expensive to replace individual gauges or buy a complete, working cluster.

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The team’s new banger rally car Sandy has been delivered to her temporary home at Asphault Adventures’ southern New Jersey headquarters. Triage will begin shortly and a repair plan put together. The hope is to get the car running well enough to drive it back to Crash’s Atlanta pad… er… soon.

Many, many, many thanks to Asphault Adventures’ Jim and Kelley Thwaite for snapping up this Hurricane Sandy drowning victim and doing so much to help THOTC put her back on the road!

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Thanks to a heads-up and feet-on-the-street support from our good friend Jim Thwaite at Asphault Adventures, charity rally team Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse (THOTC) has rescued a Hurricane Sandy drowning victim and added it to the team’s stable. THOTC has run three other Mopar rescues (a 1989 Dodge Shadow, a 1973 Plymouth Valiant, and a 1969 Dodge Dart Custom) to varying degrees of victory in five rallies over the past four years — racking up over 10,000 miles driven and over $11,000 raised for charity along the way.

This latest acquisition — a 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook sedan — was mostly restored before taking an unplanned swim in the horror of Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, the previous owner subsequently developed medical issues and is unable to restore the car to its former glory. The previous owner wanted to see the car go to someone who would cherish it and restore it to its former glory, and THOTC is lucky enough to be that someone!

Here is what we know:

  1. The engine and transmission were pickled prior to the storm and seem to have escaped the worst consequences of a salt-water soak.
  2. Some of the electrical components did not fare so well… The starter, voltage regulator, flasher relay, condenser, points, and rotor (at minimum) will need to be replaced. Parts are being sourced and the hope is no additional electrical work will be needed to get the car running.
  3. The carburetor may or may not have been submerged, and so a rebuild or replacement may be necessary to get the car running.
  4. The brake switch, door-jamb switches, turn signals, and headlamps all likely were submerged and so probably will need replacement, to be determined once the car is running.
  5. The instrument cluster may have been submerged, and so replacement of the cluster may be necessary. Also TBD once the car is running.
  6. The wheel cylinders, drums, shoes, and brake lines all took a dunking and so may need some TLC before the car can be driven. Also TBD once the car is running.
  7. The interior needs a good cleaning, but is otherwise in exceptionally good condition.
  8. The body is in great shape except for one dent in the rear left fender. The hope is that the paint and chrome will again shine with some TLC. The dent may be left in place (after treatment with some rust preventative) as a battle scar from its Sandy experience.
  9. All the glass is intact and in good condition.

The car is being transported to Asphaut Adventures’ New Jersey headquarters (conveniently near to where the car was purchased) where triage and first-aid will begin. The hope is to get the car road-worthy so it can be driven from to Crash’s Atlanta pad for ongoing TLC as soon as possible.

THOTC would be grateful for some input from those with more experience with this era of vehicle than the team has:

  1. What other concerns arise from the car having been drowned in the storm?
  2. The car currently is still 6V positive ground. Keeping in mind this will be a banger rally car and so potentially may break down away from the convenience of auto parts stores that carry 6V+ components, what are the arguments for and against doing a conversion to 12V-? What are the devilish details associated with such a conversion other than the typical generator conversion (or swap to alternator)/fuses/bulbs/voltage reducer for the gauges?
  3. Any suggestions for an aftermarket wiring harness for this vehicle?  An online search reveals a large number of generics — no two alike — that claim to be “compatible” with this car. While the team tries not to be stingy when it comes to making our cars road-worthy, please keep in mind we drive for charity and anything we spend on the cars comes out of our own pockets. In short, budget-minded recommendations are especially appreciated.
  4. The car came with a beautiful set of bias-ply wide whitewalls in good condition, and THOTC would like to keep them that way for shows and other formal events the car may attend. The team’s thought is to acquire a set of wheels that will fit the car and install a set of drab and boring — but more durable — contemporary blackwalls for the trip to Atlanta and for use on rallies. Any suggestions (other than junkyards, which may be hit or miss…) for where to get four wheels in working condition? Also, any suggestion about what size contemporary tires will be best on those rims for the stated purpose?

Please stay tuned for updates about the resuscitation of this beautiful classic Mopar, its new career as THOTC’s “southern” rally car, and the team’s ensuing shenanigans.

Thanks for reading. See you on the road!

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