I hear that, wayno. And while I am happy with the rodeo seats, they got me to thinking about how a stock seat set would be if one remaufactured them with better springs, etc.. It would not be hard to do, either. I saved my stock seats because my neighbor over the fence is a super upholstery craftsman and I am going to lean on him for advice in making new hide leather covers for them. I have an old CViking sewing machine in the basement that I do not know how to use. But it can sew leather, no problem. My thought was to take the seat covers apart and use them as a pattern. This is all formative thinking at this point, but having seen and sat in a set of nicely remade leather seats,.... THAT‘s what I want!
My 720 Resto
Posted 18 December 2017 - 08:58 AM
Yesterday, and last night, it rained a sloppy freezing rain for a good 24 hours or so. It was one of those fine mist kind of rains that enables water to penetrate everywhere. In other words, a perfect opportunity to see if the grey goo that I had trowelled around the fresh air intake for the cab stopped the leaking on the passenger side of the cab. It wasn‘t a pretty repair- I had to reach around the back side of the tube with grey mastic on my fingers and that wasn‘t easy. But it seems to have paid off because this morning, the passenger side of the cab is bone dry. After a whole lot of effort, and several attempts, I think tat I have finally achieved a dry cab. I can check that repair off the list and move on.
Next up fixing the fan flap linkage to get the air controls working correctly again. No idea why, but selecting defrost, bi-level, or vent makes zero difference and the air is not coming out of the vents at nearly full force, despite the fan blowing like mad. Time to remove the console, drop the vent controls, and see what is not hooked up to whatever... for whatever reason...
Posted 07 February 2018 - 09:47 AM
Although any thread posted here is a personal story- and that is a good thing- I have really tried not to make mine all about me. Even so, I realize that it comes off that way sometimes. Reason being is that this 720 project, in large measure is about two things; planning for the end of my own life, and finding ways to stay engaged with life while I am here despite being a relatively ‘poor‘ person.
I have a great friend who advised me- in the 8th grade, on a ski lift- that one can have ‘90% of the fun for ten percent of the cost‘. Wiser words were never spoken to me. What great advice! I put it to work for myself when, after reaching for the brass ring and working my ass off to grab it- and failing- I needed to continue on in happiness and contentment somehow. Would I rather be messing around with an old Porche instead of a 720 King Cab? I love old Porches too, but I really don‘t think so. I can find at least 90 percent of the satisfaction of rehabbing my truck as any other vehicle that I can imagine.
The other bit, the part about planning for the end of my own life, falls into place when you couple an intense gerbil such as myself with the problem of low cash flow. Recognizing what I actually needed in life in terms of transportation brought me to rebuilding an old truck for myself. Since I can‘t just go write a check for one, and I can‘t afford $350 truck payments for the next sixty months, if I wanted a truck, I simply had to make one for myself. Now, at age 68, I will not need another truck in my lifetime. The Fudgecicle should do me just fine. I have the category of ‘light utility vehicle“ covered. But a truck isn‘t quite enough for me, in part because I am a greedy bastard and in part because it doesn‘t fill every one of my transportation needs.
I always had the feeling that if you owned a station wagon, you would never really be homeless. Now that is easy for me to say because I own my home, and the mortgage is retired. So unless I default on my taxes, it aint likely that I will ever really truly be homeless. But that is a little beside the point. Station wagons offer a sense of sanctuary, and I love that about them. Station wagons are way cool in similar ways to a 720 truck. The utility, the economy, the functionality- all superb values. What a great American invention!
Too bad we don‘t make station wagons anymore.
Well, I have driven a 1995 Subaru Legacy station wagon for a little over 300k of its 346,000 total miles. Holy cow, I love that car! Easily the best return on investment given cost per mile, my Legacy has one foot in the digital world, one foot in the analog world, just like my little 720. When I turned the corner on my 720 resto, and could use it as a daily driver, I made a decision and took my old Subaru to Eddies Blue Flame Automotive- our local Subaru master- and told him to rebuild the drivetrain completely. Take his time, work it into the rotation when things were slow, but bring it back to 100% solid and reliable again so that I might drive it to the end of my days. Do everything that it needed and don‘t scrimp. That was 11 months and $5,300 ago. Fortunately, I could stop by Eddies over the past year and lay some bread on him when I got a little ahead, to keep the project moving forward. The last $1,500 was a bit of a hard swallow, but all in all I hardly felt the expense.
Well, all good things come to an end and, eventually, Eddie finished his job. When I say ‘finished his job‘, let me tell you, this car has one of the last three brand new 2.2 liter Subaru engines available from the factory. It is absolutely brand new in every mechanical sense. I‘d show you under the hood, but you would need to be wearing an adult diaper, so please appreciate my concern for your chair.
Interesting side note, during the rebuild I saw another 95 Legacy wagon show up at Eddies. It had been pranged slightly and the hood was bent a bit. Eddie told me that the lady loved that car so much that she was going to do the same thing that I did- rebuild it and keep it. Interesting. So I am not a ‘lone kook‘ after all...
Point being, my transportation needs are now fulfilled from now, until the end of my driving days. I am totally covered, totally content, and paid up in full. It wasn‘t easy, but save for some continued wrecking yard fun and regular maintenance, I am done! In fact when I croak, just recline the seat, stick me in there behind the wheel with the radio on, and roll the entire sheebang into a big pit out east of the mountains and bury me there. Talk about 90 percent of the fun for 10 percent of the cost- oh man!
Excuse me for the personal ranting here today, but I am pretty excited about getting my old warhorse “Subie-Doo“ back home again. I even painted her wheel covers, as a show of appreciation. I thought you might understand.
Posted 08 February 2018 - 08:57 PM
Good question! I can imagine an argument in favor of each one. I love my daily, but I have the new tranny ready for the 4x4 and a trip to remote areas of Nevada all planned for it someday. After that, it may go away. And my mpg truck is so damn clean, it is gonna be hard it sell, though I must, I suppose. Fudgecicle wins, I suppose.
Posted 09 February 2018 - 04:39 PM
I used to serve a client in Pioche, Nevada. Actually, I still do some work for them. Great folks all over Lincoln County, Nevada. I also attempted to write a book about Mrs. Wah, the famous boarding house / restaurant lady from up in Casselton, next to Pioche. That project still haunts me. I hear tell of a road that goes from Casselton all the way down to I-15. It is supposed to be abut 100 miles of real remote Nevada, which I love anyway. So one idea I had, once I got the 4x4 stable and strong, was to run down there and check out that road with it. I took this very same Subaru wagon up it from the I-15 end for about 6 miles before it became unfriendly to a low slung Legacy, but it looks like real beautiful country that winds up into the high desert.
Here is a little movie that I wrote and directed a few years back, set in Pioche, Nevada.
Posted 14 February 2018 - 06:21 PM
Posted 19 February 2018 - 10:31 PM
To illustrate how the warped mind of an old codger works, I had sorta wondered to myself if having my big, soft, automatic transmission equipped Legacy back in hand would mean that I relegated the truck of limited ‘role playing‘ service, carrying loads, etc. And after I had a brand new factory key cut to celebrate it is true that for a week or two, I jumped right into the fresh ‘new‘ Legacy when I headed off to get coffee or run an errand. In fact, I left the truck idle in the driveway long enough that when I did kick it over, it took some coaxing.
But then, after a bit, the novelty wore off and I drifted right back to the truck as my daily. Not only is it more charming to drive, but also people like it, talk to me about it, admire it, want it. I just never tire of the long stroke torque curve and the incomparable ‘trundleability‘ of driving it. The other day, I parked downtown just behind a really nice looking yellow 620 that was leaving its parking spot. I was driving the Subaru. I tried to park quickly enough to tell the driver I admired his taste in trucks, to slow him down long enough to get the story on it. But driving the Subaru, he had no reason to linger and he just drove away. I know the sound of a freshly and correctly rebuilt Datsun 4 banger when I hear one. If I had been driving the Fudgecicle, he would have waited.
Posted Yesterday, 04:29 PM
The stars are lining up: no real obligations this weekend, combined with decent looking weather.
The annual is due on the Fudgecicle here, and I plan to do the tear down of the front brakes of Fitty Buck Chuck.
Who knows, maybe I get the entire sheebang done if I gut it out.
Not much for gutting it out these days, but you never can tell when the old bones will get fired up for the task.