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June 2006

Well work on poor old Vicky has slowed to almost nothing. I am busily saving for my trip to
the states in September. I am off to a friends wedding in New York. But I am also going
to Washington DC to visit the Air and Space Museum and then down to Florida to tour KSC,
somewhere I have always wanted to go since my dad went there 35 years ago to see Apollo 15
launch. I have been into space stuff for as long as I can remember. Traveling from NZ to the
US is horribly expensive for me since the NZ$ is only worth little more than half the US$.
But that's OK, the car will be here when I get back. No rush!

This bloody garage is taking forever to build! The weather meant they couldn't do the
concrete for some time. I didn't pressure them and eventually we had a week of good
weather and the concrete was poured. Came out really nice too. Very hard and smooth.
The frame was delivered last week but so far they haven't been in to assemble it.

I finally got around to setting up the carbs. I used my home made balancing device and
it works great! The black piece bolted to the front of the carbs is a steel plate. To
this I soldered two small copper tubes. These are arranged so they both point into the
carb throats at the same point on each carb. The copper pipes are attached to the
actual manometer. This is simply a piece of wood with a U shaped tube made from clear
plastic hose. This is filled with water which I dyed with food colouring. The length of
hose to each copper pipe is the same. With the engine off the manometer is set up so
the height of water is the same in each half of the U tube. When you run the engine you
can see any inbalance in how much the carbs are sucking by a difference in height in the
water columns. You simply adjust the carbs until the heights are the same again and then
the carbs are balanced.

One thing I am uncertian of is my mixture setting. I use the lifting pins and raise them a
tiny amount but I can't tell if the revs are changing at all. I know I must be reasonably
close since the car starts very easily and runs well idling smoothly at about 950rpm. I will
leave it at that for now until the car is actually on the road then I can really set it all
up correctly.

July 2006

Leaks have been driving me mad. First the master cylinder had a tiny leak around the pipes
and bolt in the end of the cylinder. Those I fixed. Then the thermostat housing and
top radiator hose. I bought a new gasket since the ones that come in the top end pack
seem awfully thin to me. The individually bought one seems much thicker. Better hose
clips solved the hose leaking problem but I am not sure I have solved the thermostat
housing one. I also had a fuel leak in the front carb overflow so I removed the carbs
and made sure the fuel valve was clean and seated correctly. I readjusted the floats and
that leak is now gone. Finally I had an oil leak. These can be hard to find, especially
in a dark garage and against a black engine block! I used a trick to show the leaks. I
dusted (well, smothered) the engine block in talcum powder. The oil leak then shows up
easily as it washes the white powder away. Of course then you have to wash the engine
to get rid of all the powder but it sure smells nice when you're done! I think there is
still a very small leak around the tappet covers but so far that doesn't seem to cause
any dripping onto the floor. The main leak was the one shown here and is where the oil
pressure gauge pipe attaches to the block.

July/August 2006

Finally some progress on my garage. It is very solid and well made but bloody hell, it is
taking a long time.

August 2006

They finally got in and did the driveway. They did a nice job but again it is taking forever.
The garage is complete but you may notice something missing. No door! Supposedly they were
supposed to fit it early this week. It is now Saturday and no door. They did however have
the cheek to send me the final 'Garage completed' bill! Needless to say I won't be paying
that one until the garage is actually finished.

This is pretty bloody ridiculous. The garage is being built by Bettaway Buildings. They do
nice work and their garages are much better quality than your Skyline or Versatile ones
but they are slow as treacle. I signed the original contract at the start of November 2005.
It is now almost September 2006. How can it take 10 months or more to do a simple garage?!
First Auckland City Council took months and months to approve the building then the weather
was bad so they couldn't do any concreting. I understand that. But even then there seems to
have been a lot of time wasted. This door for example. Why the hell isn't that done already?
So as far as Bettaway are concerned yes their garages are much better quality for not much
more cost but be prepared to wait a very, very long time for them to get one built for you!

Finally, after 10 months or so I have a finished garage! They came and fitted the door. Looks
good now and the door has an automatic opener which is great. All I have to do now is have
the final inspection done then wait three weeks or so for Mayor Dick (no boobs is good boobs)
Hubbard and his band of merry theives, sorry I mean the council, to finish off the paper work.
Then once I am back from the states I can have it wired up, put bars over the windows and
have an alarm sensor fitted then build a workbench and some shelves then start moving things
in there. Not least of all of course poor old Vicky who has been long neglected since this
garage thing has been going on over winter. Come summer I should be able to get the bodywork
and wiring done then start saving for the expensive stuff. Seats and trim and carpet and
finally paint! There isn't much left to do really. Windscreen, new springs to get the ride
height correct and the above mentioned things and she is done.

Would you bloody believe it. Just when I think it is almost all over the automatic garage
door stopped working properly. Now it doesn't close. I don't thing the main spring is set
up correctly so the door is under too much tension to close. You can hardly close it manually
as it just wants to spring open the whole time. How hard is it to get a damn garage built
and working right?

September 2006

OK, they came and fixed the door finally. The spring tension was all messed up. I also
finally got the keys to the side door. I was told they were posted out to me on a Friday. By
Wendesday the next week they hadn't arrived. This was a worry since I am on holiday overseas
for several weeks and would like to make the building secure. After I told them I needed
them in a hurry they dropped them off to me at work. Guess they hadn't been mailed out afterall.
Now I won't be able to have it inspected until I get back as the council will probably want to
see inside it to check it out.

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