The mustang has been in her stall all summer as I slowly worked through removing all her layers of grime. First a hot wash with dish soap to strip her of wax; then a traditional clay-bar polish (I guarantee this was the first time ever for this step- wow. so. much. yutz. and blue paint); then a hot foam as lubrication for the new Mother’s “clay” micro-cutting pad- again, wow. even. more. yutz; then it was time for the pneumatic polisher. I decided I would not attempt to use cutting fluid or a cutting pad, as the 45 year old repaint from some archaic shop in Great Falls, Montana is a question mark regarding thickness and stability. Pros have a thousand dollar meter to read how thick the paint/clear coat is, so they know whether to cut or just polish. I decided I could live with some scratches and swirls vs creating a real disaster, and went with a microfiber polishing pad and polishing fluid. For a minute I thought of using cutting fluid with the polish pad, but decided to just try out the polish/polish first. Dead clear-coat and blue paint loaded the pad really quickly. No matter how many pros tell you that seeing the paint load up the pad is normal on an old car, it is a bit nerve wracking. I had to stop every cubit of surface and blow out the pad- it would create a cloud of debris (I wore a particle mask!).
Today I began the final step: ceramic coat (Avalon King). I completed the hood and the trunk, or all the upward facing surfaces. I hope to complete the rest tomorrow morning. The old girl really pulls down a lot of product, and requires a long fussy hand buffing. The results were worth it. I rolled her back into the garage for a “dust-free” environment for the first two hours of cure, then rolled her back out into full sun for an hour or so of UV fix for the ceramic. The day climbed from 80-85, then I pushed her back in the stable as the real heat came on.
The trout are all finished out. When last we saw them, they were undergoing reconstructive surgery from their car attack. Since then I set a new cold patina to etch and seal the naked bronze, then went about color matching. They are all dolled up with patina renewed, and the entire form cleaned and waxed. When their sister pair is released from police evidence, I’ll finish out that set, then add new stainless steel mounting poles to both sets.
Triple digit heat finally let off today, allowing triple trout triage. The double trout set is still held as evidence in the City’s court proceedings with the driver that smashed into them, but I thought I’d get started on the big triple group. The car had slid up and over the front fish of the group, gouging in many deep lines along both sides of the fish and worse, pushing a big running dent.
Feller work shown is where E gets bored and grabs the camera. Not pictured is all the fun stuff, like; putting up the 12 new Bluebird houses, checking all the other bird houses and finding lots of chicks and getting pushed off of the last few houses by a bossy bull; switching out road bikes for mountain bikes (E’s birthday present) and cycling in the morning up over Kibbey Ridge to find a guy from SLC making breakfast from the back of his truck on his way to Glacier, then a twilight ride down the road a piece to spot Elk (singular this time) and seeing the Snipe fly from the marsh below the corral upon our return, as well as loading them onto the truck and heading up Belt Canyon past Neihart to ride a dirt road alongside a mountain stream (same that we had skied last year); enjoying a big hours long mountain thunderstorm from the front porch (while Nora chatters her teeth until slipping into a pill-induced bliss); Xander and Voices kill at minimum 14 mice (all-time record) plus they ate a few…; the house was swarmed by a sudden Gypsy’s curse of fat flies, hundreds roaring and driving against the doors and windows (while the kitchen door was in triage and before the storm door had been resealed)- followed by me with the big shop-vac removing the scores that forced their way in; dinner down at our cousin’s ranch outside of Belt; the whole time it felt like the 1970’s or 80’s- just cool nights, mild days, rainstorms- and finally a big fire in Helena sent the now-seasonal smoke billows on our last day, reminding us that the arctic is 30 degrees or more above normal and the collapsing jet stream is why our weather seemed “normal”; just as we near the foot of Malad pass in Idaho we watch from under the dark twilight of a churning storm ahead as the craziest verga down force of violent wind and rain hits from directly above in a hovering smoke that levitates with violent speed over the hillsides and mountains, and we are soon facing a wall of ripping waves that dwarf the truck, then we punch into the wall with a gale pushing hard from the side and down, as we pass through the whole truck lifts for a dizzying moment, then into the sideways car-wash zone with cleansing hail set to new-dent-level we motor up the steep pass with the highway transformed to a standing waterfall upheld by screaming wind. The most different weather I’ve ever been through, and I’ve been in some pretty different weather up on the 14er peaks.
Up at the Montana ranch for the last 10 days of July, spanning our 10th wedding anniversary, and E’s birthday. The hills and pastures were still green. The little front pictured here dropped our night temps to 38 degrees, with daytime highs in the 70’s with a few “hot” days in the 80’s (our overnight lows in SLC are about the same as the daytime highs at the ranch).
Does this look like a free lawn mower? It looked and ran in the “free” category when I picked it up last weekend. No “before” picts (I thought it might just be a hopeful fail), and though it had belonged to an urban lady with a tiny yard, it looked like it had been used to cut fire breaks along stream beds, set low to the ground and run over rocks, winding the wettest tall grass, and binding it all on the deck with a spray of oil, then left in the Utah sun to bake it all in, with a bag full of whatever it ran over, turning the bag sickly pink and rust. And it ran rough and burned oil- but it ran.
I took the carburetor apart, cleaned and refitted it, snapping off a lead to the fuel petcock in the process and had to order one in. It arrived after a few days and I parted it out, changed the oil & spark plug and air filter, and put in non-ethanol gas. And I sharpened the blade and refitted it while the machine was empty of oil and gas. It fired right up, blew a last little cloud of smoke as it warmed up, then settled out and ran clean.
Now it just has to make the 530 mile jump to Montana.