First welding

John Wilkins came by last night to help me weld the pieces on.  Pretty cool stuff.  I had never seen welding before so it was interesting to see it happening.  I even did the front right bolts myself.  It’s not that difficult to do but I think it’s very difficult to do right.  Learned a lot about how welding works and how best to do the welding.  This kind of stuff is the reason I’m building this thing!  Put up one pic of a weld.  More to come later.  Thanks very much John, especially for staying so late.

POR-15

Painted all of the suspension and rear-end pieces yesterday with the POR-15 that Mark gave me.  That stuff does harden like a rock!  And it is absolutely true about it not coming off of your hands.  I’ve got the tattoo’s now to prove it.  Also drilled the first pieces of aluminum.  I’m looking forward to mounting those in the next day or two.  Went shopping for various parts on Saturday.  I basically walked away with nothing.  It’s absolutely true what I’ve heard about the knowledge level of the kids working at the big auto stores…clueless.  I ended up at a smaller place where they seemed to know what I was talking about at least.  Still didn’t end up buying anything as they didn’t have exactly what I was looking for.  For instance, I wanted KYB shocks and all they had was Monroe.  I think I’ll probably go with the Monroes though.  They are definitely less expensive.  Tonight, John Wilkins will be stopping by to help me weld some stuff onto the frame.  This will be my first official attachment of something to the frame!  Could that be considered the beginning of “the build”?  Hey, it’s only been a year and a month since I took delivery!  I also managed to get the Upper Intake off.  Unfortunately I had to chop up the top plaque.  I don’t really care about the plaque as much as I want to be able to get the screws out so I can add a new plaque later.

Cleaning the rear end

Spent last weekend cleaning parts.  Mostly worked on the suspension and rear-end pieces.  I tried to scrub all of the pieces down with Super Clean first and then I hit them with a wire brush on a drill.  It’s coming along pretty nicely so far.  Mark Raidt dropped by and saw the operation for the first time.  He was nice enough to leave me his left over POR-15 and some other cleaning supplies.  Thanks Mark!  Before I start painting the POR-15 on I want to get the bushing replaced on the front lower control arm.  I might make it a goal to get the rear-end and rear control arms painted and mounted this weekend.  I’m not going to put the front suspension on until after Monday.  Monday is when John Wilkins will be dropping by to do some welding for me.  Actually, I’m going to try to do it myself with his welder and his help.  Thanks John!  I took the front upper arms out of the box and started assembling the shocks.  I think that’s my first official work on a part of the kit!   Hopefully things will start moving much faster now!

Super clean

Got the last driveshaft bolt off with some brute force.  Reorganized everything in the garage so I can get to things easier for cleaning.  I started cleaning some smaller parts finally.  The Castrol Super Clean is some pretty good stuff.  It really gets the junk off.  Unfortunately it has a tendency to go everywhere also.  From what I’ve read it can suck all the oil out of your hands if you don’t wear gloves.  I’m sure that as I move on to some of the bigger parts the stuff will be going everywhere!  I managed to break several torx bits trying to remove the plate that goes on top of the upper intake.  The four little torx bits don’t want to budge at all.  I might end up cutting into the plate just so I can get to the bolts underneath.

Driveshaft bolts

Banged away at the transmission bolts again last night.  Managed to get one more off but the last one doesn’t want to budge.  I sprayed more Liquid Wrench on and I’ll try again tonight.  Not sure what to do if it won’t let go.  I also received a package from Tri-State!  Got the Cleckos and a new steering shaft.  I didn’t like the idea of taking a chance on the welds breaking with the recommended method of extending the steering shaft.  Now back to the cleaning!

Stuck bolts

Finally got to some cleaning today.  If today is any indication, the cleanup process will take longer than I’d like.  Hopefully everyone is right in that getting to the go-cart stage is quick.  Most of what I did today was disassemble the front arms and start on getting the driveshaft off the rear-end.  The driveshaft is proving troublesome as I was only able to get two bolts off with the impact hammer.  I sprayed it liberally with Liquid Wrench but nothing.  Hopefully letting it set for a day or two will make the difference.  I also muddled around with the engine a bit.  Took all of the accessories off the front and started looking at disconnecting the vacuum and wiring lines.  I tried to remove the “H.O.” cover off the upper manifold and in the process destroyed two torx bits!!!  Argh!  Sprayed them with Liquid Wrench also and I’ll give them a couple of days to soak in.  Looks like cleaning will take a couple of weeks.