The Countdown is On!

APRIL 14, 2011 – Gasoline Girls Prep for a Road Trip to Vegas!

If we’ve seemed a bit quiet in the blog-o-spehere, it’s because we’ve been busy using our fingers for wrenching instead of writing.
Why? Because Thursday, April 21st, Kristin, Becky Sue, and Lori will load up their classics, do a little pre-road-trip-good-luck-dance to the car gods, and hit the road for Viva Las Vegas!  That means we have just ONE MORE WEEKEND to get our cars ready! We’ve already done a ton so far this month, but still have more to go. Like what you ask?

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KRISTIN and STUDIE:

I’ve been hard at work getting Studie’s brakes upgraded and dealing with transmission pan issues.

The brakes have been outfitted with a dual-reservoir master cylinder and steel-braided lines. They work wonderfully now! I’m not going to ever lose my brakes again!

The transmission pan has been giving me nothing but headaches. After dropping the pan to fix the issue, I discovered two issues. First, there’s a small crack at one corner of my housing. Two, one of the middle bolts would not loosen and ended up breaking off! Upon trying to extract it, the bolt wouldn’t budge a pinch. The only option left is to drill it out. I wanted to see if I could avoid that, so affixed the pan using “right stuff”. The pan, however, continues to leak….tooooo much!

I also just changed her oil, checked the spark plugs, and tightened the valve screws (it was leaking a little oil.) The only other mechanical issues would be to lash my valves, check my air cleaner, and change my fuel filter.

The more exciting Stude plans for Viva Las Vegas have more to do with beauty! Stude still wears her original 1955 paint – and I haven’t wanted to mess with that yet. That has all changed though – because Studie’s roof has been metal flaked! So the white part now sparkles and shines in the sun! It was exciting to add a little bit of a custom touch to Stude’s exterior!

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BECKY SUE and GITA:

I will admit I have dragged my feet a little on finishing the motor swap project. I drive the Comet to and from work every day but it is definitely not advisable to take her on such a distance without changing the front suspension. Things I have done in preparation for the road trip include:  replacing my old water pump with a new aluminum Edelbrock one, new thermostat, and had my radiator and block flushed of all the rust that had built up since that motor was sitting for over two years. I changed the oil after my rocker arm snapped in March.

There are a few little kinks that I would like to work out before we hit the road, such as: the motor is still running a bit hot when I am driving at slow speeds which leads me to believe that the fan is not doing a good enough job to keep it cool.  At freeway speed it is fine but it would be a nice idea to get a fan shroud on before we head for the desert. The lower radiator hose I installed when doing the water pump is a flex fit one and it is not the getting the greatest seal. It is also rubbing on other components and I fear that it might spring a leak on the road or something, so if I can find a better fit this week I will  swap it out.  Like Stude, Gita was also leaking a little bit of oil but tightening down the valve covers seemed to help.  Kristin and I will both be leaving our pink mark on the world together as my transmission is leaking as well. For me it appears to be a seal which getting to means about 8 hours worth of work and I do not see that happening before we leave because if I want to drive the Comet to Vegas we need to finish the front suspension!

Monday night I drove to Huntington Beach to take advantage of a smoking Craigslist deal on 65′ mustang upper and lower A-arms, Granada spindles, Granada disk brakes, leaf springs, strut bar, rear shocks all for 300 bucks! Now I still have to get my hands on the steering components before we get wrenching on Saturday! I just might have to borrow some wheels and tires for the front just to get me there and back because I do not know if I will have the budget for all of this plus the cost of gas! On top of all this, a girl’s got to get her hair done! Yikes! Such little time!


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LORI and BONDORELLA:

My projects were a bit more on the trivial side, since mechanically Bondorella has all been redone, but still… they were projects I wanted to finish in time for Viva.

First of all, the botched headliner I put in a few weekends ago had to be addressed. Seriously. Bondorella couldn’t be seen with cracked, sagging cardboard!!! So last weekend, Kristin and I made it look at least a little better by covering the cardboard in a fun, sparkly metallic polka dot vinyl. Yes, the Franken-scar is still there in the cardboard, but I’m hoping the whimsical pattern will so “wow” people, they won’t notice (yeah right!). Down the road, it will certainly need to be done right.

The other big project this month was putting a ’51 bed in my ’48 truck. After weeks of postulating how to make it work, I FINALLY figured it out. Otherwise, where would I have put everything?? Like my clothes, and cameras, and more cameras, and the ice chest full of goodies, and spare gas, and spare coolant–you get the point.

Also, thanks to my man, I have a working stereo! A few weeks ago I mounted the stereo in the glove box, and the speaker behind the old grill, but had no clue how to do the wiring. He came to my rescue on this one–although next time I’d like to do it myself. Wiring is a must learn.

I also had the rusty water/coolant flushed from the block and radiator (same day as Becky Sue!), put oil in my fan, tightened some loose bolts on the fuel pump, took out the old vacuum wipers and put in electric (what a pain!), and used the old vacuum line for a cute little interior fan… so really, all I need to do now is a good once over of all the belts, hoses, and fluids! Then yay!! Bondorella’s first Vegas trip!

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As for the other girls, Rosa is in the process of moving to a new place, so won’t make it out. We’ll miss her madly. Neither will Pati since she has school responsibilities and so many car projects. Adele’s joining us this Saturday to help with Becky Sue’s suspension project, but Vegas isn’t in the cards for her this year. And Michelle will be there for the full four days of Viva, although has decided not drive Silly Willy until the suspension issues are worked out.

If you plan on trekking to Sin City for Viva Las Vegas, be sure to seek us out! Studie, Gita, and Bondorella will be part of the car show all four days. Look for the sparkly banner we made (seen here on the wall while Kristin and Lori work on Bondorella’s headliner). Viva Las Vegas will be the banner’s grand debut!

Want to help us out with gas money for the trip?? Check out our LOOT! page, and buy a super swell supporter T-Shirt! Not only will you look fabulous, you’ll help us with our journey!

And of course… look for updates on our most excellent adventures in LAS VEGAS!

Until then…

Later gators!

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6 thoughts on “The Countdown is On!

  1. Great to see all the hard work it’s a exciting time for you all, hope you have a safe trip and drive careful take your time! Get lots of pic’s for us to see. Cant get there this year but will shoot for the next one. Cheers!

  2. Hey girls

    I already want to wish all of you a good and safe trip, and a great weekend in Vegas. Hope to see lots of pics !!

    Have fun !!

    Grz. Jos

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