37: New Acquisition - Engine Stand!

Nearly one month to the day that TD found "our" engine hoist, he found and purchased a new engine stand. Again, finding one at a local estate sale for only $25 (retail for around $100) it was THE find of the day.

Even I am getting excited about these things.

Engine Stand. *Ta Da*

Combine the two new acquisitions together and you can see where this is all heading.

me: "So we are definitely yanking the engine then?"

TD: "Probably."

me: *nodding as if I understand everything that is going on*

me: "So... are we doing something to our engine or getting a replacement?"

TD: "Probably."

As fall is upon us and the snow and cold right around the corner – and seeing that our garage is not heated - Abbey will soon be covered up and we (TD) will be contemplating and planning her transformation (engine wise) during the cold months.

Just like all vintage beauties, Abbey will hibernate well in the garage under wraps.

Spring is fun in the Midwest farm country not only for what the ground offers in terms of new growth, but also for spotting the first vintage vehicle out on the road. These wonderful vintage beauties are the exotic birds of our area. They appear when it is warm and leave when it gets cold.


36: ROAD TRIP! - Funks Grove Leaf Peeping

We recently took a road trip down to Funks Grove, Illinois.

Funks Grove (via Wikipedia) is: A historic unincorporated community on U.S. Route 66 in McLean County, Illinois, southwest of Bloomington. The grove for which the settlement is named is a National Natural Landmark.

Neat link for more info and photos: Funks Grove

Around 1824 a man named Isaac Funk settled in this area. The Funk family started selling "sirup"--yes they spell it that way--and continue to sell it today (I have some in my refrigerator). It is so popular that you have to know when they are processing it and get on down to grab some or you'll miss out.

Visit the sirip store in the off season and you just might get a private walk through of the processing area by one of the family members.

Funks Grove is a gorgeous forested area with year-round beauty and home to abundant wildlife. People don't think we have much in the way of fall color out here in corn and soy flat country but we do! Blue skies and the shades of orange and red are rampant in our area and Funks Grove is a treasure trove and quiet little secret enjoyed by everyone who visits.

 The trees were just starting to change and drop their leaves.

Warm fall days like these are just made for old Chevy trucks and this vintage Chevy advertisement proves that. There is something about driving with the windows down and hearing the crunch of fall leaves under the tires that makes everything right with the world.
Chevy tough and still bringing joy to people decades later! 

I like to imagine Abbey on her farm long ago doing what this truck is doing.

Happy Fall y'all.


35: New Acquisition: Engine Hoist!

Local household auctions are great for finding things you need while working on a vintage vehicle. 

If you don’t believe me, take a look at THIS baby.

This is a 2 ton engine hoist.

Purchased new they can run a couple hundred bucks, but at the recent auction TD snagged it for $75. I think he smiles every time he walks by it. $75 by the way, is what you would pay to rent it for one day here in town. Renting would also include driving out to get it, loading it in your car, unloading it and setting it up and the return back to the store. Now you understand why he smiles when he walks past it in our garage.

If you've been following this engine discussion saga you "get" why an engine hoist would be needed for Abbey. This new hoist just puts us one step closer to making a definite decision.

Actually, TD doesn't really need an excuse for new tool purchases, or going to household auctions for that matter. I generally refrain from attending those things but this time he got a hoist and a tossed in a vintage Halloween decoration for me so...win-win.


34: Compression Testing the Engine

We compression-tested the engine.
First you rent a compression tester. I didn’t even know this was possible, but then again I didn’t know about compression gauges and/or testing. Live and learn.

The premise of this test is to see what the overall health of the engine is. This helps when making assessments on engines...like doing a rebuild VS purchasing a new one.

Compression Testing
The compression gauge is stuck in the spark plug hole (minus the spark plug) and the starter mashed. Using a handy-dandy clipboard, make a grid chart for all 6 spark plug readings. This is a much better idea than trying to remember which spark plug had what gauge number associated with it. Numbers are recorded and on to the next spark plug hole.
This little gadget by the way is FREE to rent from any O’Reilly Auto Parts store. No kidding. Actually, O’Reilly (a national chain) rents a lot of equipment free for the asking. They figure when you find something wrong on your vehicle (and you probably will) you will come back to them for the parts. Very clever marketing.
After the first round of gauge testing and numbers are recorded down the line, each hole gets tested again but this time with a bit of oil squirted into it beforehand. The comparison tests (with and without oil squirts) tell the mechanic if the issue is a worn piston ring, a blown head gasket, leaking valves or both rings and valves. That last paragraph was for any gear head reading this blog (which is doubtful).
If you’re really curious (again doubtful), detailed discussion found here:

I asked TD what Abbey’s health diagnosis was and he said she was in full blown cardiac arrest.
Afternoon and evening discussions continued well into the next day about an engine rebuild or purchasing a new engine. 
At one time TD said, “You know, when we bought the truck you just expected to pay for it, and then hop in and drive it straight home 3 hours on the highway." 
That’s when I did the laughing. 
I told him back then I didn't know about the Old Car Domino Effect.

I’m learning.