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It’s A Miracle! Work Resumes On the ‘B’east!

Well folks, it’s been a long, long winter up in this part of the country but Spring seems like it’s finally making an appearance. And none too soon.

I took a break from the new business venture—Plan B Illustrations—(as well as some honey do projects that have been building up over the cold weather) and finally made it out to the garage to see if I could make some headway on my punch list, starting with installing the new steering cross-member that’s been sitting on the work bench since las fall.

This is one of those projects that should have been simple. After all, the basic idea hadn’t changed only that the x-member was now going to mount inside the frame rails, instead of outside, to provide better clearance for the oil lines (dry sump) and the tie rods. You just know when it’s supposed to be easy it will turn out to be anything but. And so it was.

Getting the member in place went, more or less, without much fanfare. Oh, the steering rack was kind of a pain to work around (I still had the hoses hooked up because the system was filled with fluid) but tying it out of the way fixed that. Heck, even the nuts and bolts were more accessible than before so I hit the bonus round. Not. Time came to re-mount the rack and, much to my surprise, I couldn’t get it to slide back in. What the heck! It came out of there! The hoses were, at least, part of the culprit so I went ahead and unhooked them and drained the fluid. Problem solved. Not. Next I found that the oil line I was originally trying to clearance was now squarely in the way. Aaarrgggh!

Nothing to do but disconnect the offending line and create a nice little oil slick after the fluid missed the container I had thoughtfully parked where I thought it flow. Finally some good news though—the rack slid in. I’m feeling better, if not buoyant, but my joy was to be short lived. I gathered up the mounting hardware, slid back under the car, fully expecting to finish up. Not…yet again. The extra gusset I had so cleverly welded onto one of the mounting tangs interfered with the mount casting on the rack. It wasn’t much—maybe 1/8″—but enough so the rack mounting holes wouldn’t line up.

And that, folks, is where I left off.

4 hours on the garage floor and the best I have to show for it is that the new cross-member is in. Progress, yes, but certainly not the auspicious beginning for the season I was hoping for. Ah well, today is a new day and I’ll get back out there and finish up the rack.

Now, what about those oil leaks that seemed to spring up over the winter?

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