It’s been a while since my last entry, so I figured I’d better at least make an attempt to update the journal. Most of the last few weeks have been spent painting and cleaning parts. I made a decision a few weeks ago to powdercoat those parts which will be exposed to road grime and the weather, and to paint parts that wouldn’t be exposed to too much grime. The painting job is done except for the front beam assembly. I want to spend a day removing welding spatter from the front beam assembly before I paint it (and from the rear diagonal arms, before they’re powder coated). All of the parts that need to be powdercoated have been sorted out, media-blasted and are just awaiting the funds to do so.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been standing in front of a wire wheel, de-rusting nuts, bolts, washers, screws and all of the small miscellaneous parts that go into making a car. It’s amazing how many there are. If I had a spare $300, I could buy a vibratory tumbler and get the job done in a day — but then I’d have to figure out where to store the darn thing untl the next job came along. So, I’m just doing it the old fashioned way. I made the mistake of backing into the rotating stone on the other side of the grinder’s motor two days ago and discovered that it doesn’t take long for a stone rotating at around 8000 RPM to take a chunk of your elbow’s skin off. Ouch. That’ll leave a mark!
I’ve also set aside a group of parts that will need to be buffed and polished. These include things like door hinges, aluminum moulding strips, key latches, “Bradley” badges, etc. Once all of the hardware has been de-rusted, buffing out parts will be the next job.
In the meantime, I received the new seat sliders a few days ago. The old ones had rusted tight and couldn’t be disassembled because of the way they were constructed. By having the sliders available, I’ll be able to incorporate mounting structures into the sub-chassis instead of just bolting them to the floor pans as the previous builder had done. Mounting the fiberglass seat buckets to the sliders will require the fabrication of some custom mounts and I suspect that that’ll be a job coming up shortly. The seat pans apparently had at least two previous sets of sliders mounted to them and, as a result, they have a lot of unnecessary holes in them. Patching them up will be a job that comes up in the near future.
I took the roll bar (T-Top support) to a racing shop a week or so ago and asked them to weld on a pair of 1/2-13 nuts to act as mounting points for a pair of shoulder harnesses. The original Bradeys didn’t have shoulder harnesses. They suggested a different approach as they were concerned that welded nuts might not hold in an acccident. Instead, they drilled and mounted a pair of 1/2-inch high-strength steel bolts thru the roll bar from the back side (outside) of the roll bar. This is probably a better approach, although I’m not sure that I like the pair of 1/2-inch holes that had to be drilled thru the bar on each side. Seems to me like the welded nuts might have been better.
It hit 108 yesterday here in Las Vegas. That will pretty much kill a landscaping project that I’ve been working on in our back yard until September or October. It’ll also give me the opportunity to work inside on the Bradley a bit more. Oh, the advantages of having an air-conditoned garage…