12/30/2012 Bad day... paint problems and coolant catastrophe.

With school, work and family, I haven't had much time to work on the car. I have driven the car 580 miles, and was pleased at how well everything was going... until today.

My plan today was to media blast the remaining items that I had set aside and get them painted before next semester starts. The remaining carb and the fuel filter body was getting glass bead, and the steel engine compartment parts were getting sand blasted and a spray with black POR-15. The blasting was done without incident, but the painting proved difficult. Despite a washdown with acetone and grease/wax remover and a tack cloth, the heater box continued to fisheye and had to be stripped and repained three times before I got a satisfactory finish. Finally the paint looked decent and was set aside to take Cristian to Subway because he was craving.

The trip to Subway was uneventful and pleasant as the weather was perfect today. On the way home, disaster struck. About 3/4 of a mile from home, I started to smell strong anti-freeze and noticed that we were leaving a pretty heavy trail of antifreeze. I decided to make a run for it, and drove straight home without stop. The temp gauge was between N and H, and rising. I immediately turned the car off and found that one of the freeze plugs had popped out with force and was in the frame rail.

I have noticed that my parts supplier has quite a range of quality to their parts. Some parts seem very good, others are junk. I had a feeling when I put those freeze plugs in, that they were not great. Today confirmed that. I looked online and brass is preferable to steel, and a lot of people have trouble with those plugs. Im not looking forward to replacing the plug while the engine is in the car, but we'll see.

Finally after the paint dried, I assembled the heater box. I guess there is now no better time to install the box as most of the coolant has been drained for me...

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