Some of you may know that I have a little YouTube channel. I've had it for a few years now and I enjoy making videos that I think will benefit people in some ways. I've covered things like simple gun modifications, car related projects, and even BBQ.
A few days ago Google sent out an email to all of their video creators stating that if smaller channels do not meet certain minimum requirements, then they will no longer be allowed to monetize their content. Although I don't have many videos, some videos that I have made have gotten quite a bit of views and are watched regularly. What I don't have is the minimum amount of subscribers. The new YouTube rule is that I need at least 1000 subscribers (I currently have a little over 400).
This is a hobby for me and I enjoy making an occasional video for the same reasons that I enjoy documenting my builds. My Cougar build thread has over 700 pictures which document what I have done and it also has a lot of technical details that I think other people benefit from. I am certainly not making a huge amount of money from my content, but it is fun to get a check from Google once in a while. For full disclosure, so far I've made a whopping $400 over the course of 4 years. Not exactly life changing...:hand:
I am asking for everyone's help in reaching the 1000 subscriber mark in the next 30 days. This is a tall order considering it has taken me years to get where I am today. So I am asking for your help! This is a great community and I would appreciate it if you would be kind enough to subscribe to my channel and share any videos that you might find useful.
I've just been super busy and I really don't have a place to work on the car. So if I was to tackle it, it would be basically in the driveway and the car would be unmovable for a while. I can't seem to get the urge to actually DO that!
I can't believe that it is the middle of March already. The weather here has been funky, with a combination of really warm days and then followed by cold days and even frosty nights. Regardless, not much to report on the Cougar, but a small update none the less. Nothing like driving a hotrod on a relatively regular basis.
After coming home from LSFest last September, I noticed that my driver's side rear tire was showing chords. I guess that solves the mystery of why I couldn't hook up! Overall I am very pleased with how long the tires lasted and how they drive on the street. They may not be the most optimal for drag racing, but let's get real here, this car lives 362 days of the year on the street.
I wanted to get through the winter without having to buy new tires. This wasn't a big deal because I really don't drive the car if it is raining. But finally it was time to get new tires. I ordered up two new Mickey Thompson drag radials. It looks like Mickey Thompson made some changes to their tire line-up. The drag radial with treads is now called ET Street SS and actually has a pretty decent looking tread patter that is probably way better in the rain than the old drag radial design. I ordered the same size, 255/60-15.
There was some drama involved with finding a local tire place that would actually promise to be careful with the wheels and not damage them. The first place (a national chain) just refused to do the work. The next place was great and clearly understood that damaging wheels is not acceptable.
I am digging the new tread design:
Thanks for reading my relatively boring update.
I am still looking for subscribers to my YouTube channel, and would appreciate it very much if more of you would subscribe.
I am also looking for some input. I am getting a little bored with the overall look and I was thinking of changing things up a little. I want to ditch the intake and install an Eliminator style scoop to cover the hole in the hood. I am also thinking about lowering the front a little and giving it more of a rake.
As always, any and all input is welcome and appreciated.
I am looking for some advice on what to do with the paint. Being that the car lives outside and the sun is pretty brutal in Alabama, the roof and other top surfaces are taking quite a beating.
I have read that various "rat rodders" use a product called Penetrol to seal old paint and keep the bare metal spots from rusting. I searched around but was unable to find detailed information or really any sort of "before" and "after" pictures.
I was thinking of basically taking a ScotchBrite pad to the whole car to knock off the flakes and rough spots, then coating the whole car with Penetrol. I like how the ICON "Derelict" cars look, but I am sure they use a different process.
If anyone has any suggestions, I would appreciate it.
Andrew, I know you like "patina" and at the risk of overstating the obvious, your car has it in spades! Understand you wanting/needing to do something about the "paint" (if it even still qualifies as such) "permeability", sorry to say that I have no suggestions.
I think the quickest way is to shoot clear over it (I think polyurethane is most durable) after removing the loose bits, but probably not what you are after?
Perhaps an clear epoxy resin could work as well, although that could turn into a mess if you're not used to work with it.
Although I have never heard anyone using it on a car, I've used it on other surfaces, so I think it might work (don't shoot me down if it doesn't )
Or you could wax it periodicly, more often than on normal paint though.
In my never ending quest for minor improvements, I decided to tackle a small issue that I've had since the start. For my stereo, I am using a little Kenwood Bluetooth amp. I made a video a while back about its features.
The amp has a built in USB port that I have been using to charge my phone. While this worked OK, I found that the phone charged very slowly and that if I was streaming Pandora, and was listening to it through the car stereo, the charger actually did not keep up. So over the course of a long road trip, the phone battery would eventually die.
So I went on Amazon and picked up a dual USB, 4.2amp (total) charging port. I was originally going to put it in the panel that holds the controls for the amp, but that was not going to work for various reasons. Instead, I opted to install it where the original cigarette lighter used to be inside the ash tray. This involved enlarging the hole to 1 1/8" which I did with a Dremel tool and a small carbide bit.
The charging port also has a voltage display, which is kind of handy to reference before even starting the car.
Nice thing about having it inside the ashtray is that it is completely invisible when not in use. Now the phone holds its charge while enjoying music on the road.
Despite the fact that I am trying to sell the car, I can't help but tinker with it.
The other day I was doing some unrelated things (I had some trouble with the DBW going into limp mode) and I accidentally spilled a little alcohol on the hood. I noticed that the alcohol soaked into the hood and made it a lot darker, which I liked. This lead to some further experimenting. I did a portion of the hood and I rather liked the results:
Various people have also suggested trying penetrol, so I did a portion of the roof, and I liked what it did for the paint as well.
What prompted all of this is that before it got too cold, I wanted to do something about the roof, trunk, and other horizontal surfaces. The sun has really done a number on those areas. You can see how badly the paint is flaking on the roof:
The trunk wasn't much better. You can also see how the clear coat is just coming off on the top of the rear quarter.
So I grabbed a palm sander with some 80 grit and went to town. What a mess!
I sanded the roof, trunk, hood, tops of the fenders, and basically all other areas where the clear was checkered and coming off. This was after I rinsed the car. The hood was still wet, but you can see the roof, rear quarter, and tops of the doors have been sanded. All of the light areas is where I used the sander.
Then I started to coat the whole car with penetrol. I used a green scotch brite pad to apply it.
Here is the whole car after everything was coated with penetrol.
Today I finally got started on the electronic steering project. I've also been meaning to address another problem. All you Ford guys know how the stock pedal pivot points are made. Ford decided that it was a good idea to use some sort of pot metal bushing that was swedged into the pedal box. High mileage cars really suffer the most, but even my low mileage car had really wobbly pedals. The clutch pedal takes the majority of the load and it also holds the main support shaft for the brake pedal.
Mustang Steve has been a round a long time and I had one of his kits for fixing this problem. He sells a nice set of parts that allow you to replace the stock bushings with roller bearings. So while I was waiting for a few more parts to arrive for the electronic steering, I figured I would go ahead and fix the wobbly pedals. Since I already pulled the steering column, it wasn't but a few more bolts and the pedal box was taken out.
Here is the pedal box with the pot metal bushings reamed out. I used a step drill then an angle grinder.
Then is was time for a little welding. My wife is out of town for a few days, so naturally, what better place to weld than in the kitchen. That door leads to the one car garage, which is holding my GTO, without any spare room. The welder is parked just on the other side of the wall right next to a power outlet. Perfect...:smoke:
The kit from Mustang Steve includes these little bearing sleeves that have to be welded to the pedal box. Don't judge me...it has been a long time since I have fused metal together.
The bearings support the shaft for the clutch and the brake pedals.
Here is the whole thing put together and assembled for good.
It was raining sideways this morning, but by the early afternoon it had stopped, so I decided to make a little more progress.
The first thing I did was fix the attaching points of the lower column support. From the factory the column support is held in place with sheet metal screws that go into the firewall. I figured I can improve on that a little. I got an inexpensive rivnut kit on Amazon, drilled out the holes and installed 1/4" rivnuts into the firewall. Sorry for the weird picture, but I forgot to take a picture this afternoon so I took one with a flash light.
The UPS guy showed up and brought me the lower steering shaft bearings. I ordered two kinds. I really liked the one on the left, but it turned out to be disappointing. As it turns out it isn't a bearing at all, but just a swiveling bushing. The bearing on the right will do nicely. The bore fits on my steering shaft much better and there are two set screws in the retaining collar. The three hole bearing will go back to Speedway.
I then made a paper template of the column support, transferred it to some 16 gauge steel, and punched 4 holes in the appropriate locations. I made the holes a little bigger so there is a little bit of give and take when the column gets installed.
I am going to wait until the column is done to mount the bearing, but it will go something like this.
As I mentioned before, I am going to use a 1.5" ID steel collar to attach the upper column tube to the Toyota motor.
The OD of the collar is exactly the same as the OD of column tube. I figured it was going to be a challenge butt welding that collar to the end of the tube. Now, if I only had a little lathe!!!
I used my angle grinder with the thin wizwheelofdeath and "machined" a step in the collar. The tolerances for this sort of thing don't exactly have to be to the .00001". Turned out pretty nice!
There is a little bit of a tapper in the step, but it fits really nicely inside the column tube. I figured this will be much easier to weld, since I won't have to worry about blowing through the thin wall of the column tube. A couple of taps with the hammer and that sleeve will fit perfectly inside the column tube.
Tomorrow I should make some more progress. The second column will be here, hopefully around 11:00am. The weather should be good too, with only a 30% chance of rain.
To do list:
1. Measure and cut the upper column tube.
2. Weld collar to tube.
3. Figure out what to do for the upper steering shaft.
4. Decide if I am going to add an extra mounting tab for the motor on the pedal box.
That should keep me plenty busy tomorrow. Wish me luck!
Nice work Andrew. I went with a Scott Drake roller bearing setup for the pedal hangar on Isabel, you just remove the pot metal bushings and the new parts go in place and are held in the hangar with external snap rings. The only rub is if you have the "wrong" type of hangar with different OD pot metal bushings. If you do and remove them, the kit will not work (ask me how I know!). The MS kit would work well in that case (but is a lot more work!). In any case, thanks, as always for sharing your adventures and projects with us!
Made some really good progress today. The UPS truck showed up right on time, but then my buddy Jack asked me if I wanted to get an early lunch. Needless to say, I didn't get started until about 1:00PM. I keep forgetting that it will get dark around 5:00PM!
I mentioned before that the 1.5" bore collars have the same OD as the steering tube. So I attached a couple of them to the Prius motor assembly and mocked things up in the car. The motor ends up being clocked at about the 2:30 position. I wish I could move it up some more, but the wiper motor is right there. I thought about using some sort of smaller motor for the wipers, but given the time frame of this project, I will have to leave that for another day.
It looks like it will be in the way when viewed from a low angle, but in reality, when sitting behind the wheel, the motor is barely noticeable. It also doesn't get in the way of the feet. Oh, BTW, the new bearing pedals feel amazing!!! Super smooth and just solid.
Also, the steering ECU is going to live up against the firewall, over in the corner where the dimmer switch lives. You can sort of see the spot in the picture above.
With the Prius motor mounted, I was able to take some measurements. I had to take into account the collar that I machined yesterday, etc...etc...I expanded the slot a little so the set screw would slide in.
Here is the cut upper tube.
I needed it to be 14.5" total, with the turn signal portion of the column attached.
Then came the scary part. I knew that when I cut the column tube, it wasn't going to be perfectly square. I also knew that the collar "machine" job wasn't perfect either. With that said, I had to make sure that the collar was square to the tube. I actually messed up the first time. This was my second attempt and I think I got it good enough for what this is.
Rotatesd 90 degrees.
With the tube tacked to the collar, it was time to mock it up in the car, one more time. The length was perfect and the stock upper column support fits perfectly with the anti-rotation tab fitting in its slot.
Then came the paralysis by analysis. As I mentioned earlier, my plan was to make a shaft on the output side of the motor and pass it through a bearing that was to be mounted to a plate (I made this plate yesterday!) in the location where the stock lower column support attaches. As I was looking at the mounted motor and feeling how much it rocked up and down, I just wasn't comfortable with my original plan. I know people have done exactly that and the steering shaft will of course help to stabilize the upper column, but I just didn't feel comfortable with it.
The output shaft has a lot of torque on it already and then stressing it in other directions to stabilize the whole column seems like a big ask for a 3/4" shaft. I decided that I was going to build a lower tube. Having a lower tube that attaches to the motor will put the loads of holding the column rigid on the tubes, and allowing the shaft to take only the forces of steering the car.
I was at Tractor Supply yesterday, buying some hardware. However, I looked all around the store just to see what they have. I remembered seeing some bearing flanges so I went back today with some measurements in hand. I ended up buying these (came in a pack of two). The size was right and they are stamped out of 14 gauge material. Plenty sturdy for this project.
What I needed to do next was to get them concentric with the output shaft. I ended up using the bearing from the firewall mount and wrapping it in making tape to make up for the diameter difference. The ID of the bearing fit the output shaft of the steering motor perfectly and I kept it in place with a couple of set screws that are on the bearing collar.
If I was This Old Tony (from YouTube), I would have machined a perfect alignment tool for the job, but I am working in my kitchen FFS...
I then took the lower bearing from my old column. This part is obviously not stock but came from TCP as part of their rack and pinion kit. At this point, the lower tube is not cut to length.
You can also see that I have the steering shaft installed and it is attached to the coupler that matches the splines of the Toyota motor and transitions to 3/4" smooth bore. I then pushed the steering shaft and the tube up against the flange. The flange has a smooth tapper and the tube has the factory square cut. This forced the tube to be concentric and square.
Then I fired up the welder and made some tacks around the circumference of the tube. Yes, I forgot to grind the zinc platting off the flange. Yes, there were fumes...pray for me....please...
After tacking the tube to the flange, I mode holes in the flange for attaching hardware and installed the whole thing, passing the lower tube through the lower column support and into the engine bay. I don't have pictures of this because it was almost dark out. With the column installed, I mocked up the intermediate shaft from the rack, and laid out the right length for the lower column tube. Here is the final lower tube, cut to length.
There will be a total of 3 bolts that hold the lower tube to the motor assembly. That is all the holes that are driller and tapped in the motor casting. There is another hole that is marked, but not fully drilled or tapped. I thought about drilling and tapping this location, but I figured the 3 bolts are plenty, even though they are not symmetrically located.
And here we have it; the whole column, sans the upper portion. The upper shaft is the stock Toyota shaft. This needs to be cut and mated to the Cougar upper shaft.
Tomorrows task are:
1. Finalize the lower shaft.
2. Complete the upper shaft
3. Quick strip and paint the upper column in parchment color and lower column in black.
4. Install column for good.
5. Wiring and testing!
If you like what you're reading, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. I will have videos of all this uploaded next week.