Winter To-Do List

Winter’s chill has set in for good here in Ohio, and the Tempest is safely tucked away in the garage for the season.  I was scrolling through some photos and stumbled across this one from a warm summer day at work earlier this year:

That’s my car flanked by a colleague’s 1969 Buick Skylark and another coworker’s 2010 Dodge Challenger.  Sometimes it’s nice to work in the automotive industry, if only for the gearhead camaraderie.

Anyway, now that it’s cold for a while, it’s time to put together the to-do list for the winter.  This year’s edition:

  • Replace the rubber hose that’s currently serving as fuel line from the tank to the pump with pre-bent steel lines.  Funny, I’ve had several cars with rubber hose for fuel lines and never gave it a second thought; now that I’m older (and presumably wiser), it scares me a little.
  • Installing the used TH350 three-speed transmission that’s been taking up space in the garage for over a year.  The original ST-200 two-speed in the car has a terrible first gear ratio, making hard launches and smoky burnouts an impossibility.  Adding one with a normal first gear will do more to make the car fun to drive than anything I’ve done yet.  I’ve yet to decide whether I’m going to tear into the used tranny and put in a shift kit or just bolt it in and cross my fingers.
  • Disassembling and cleaning the carburetor, again.  Never assume that a “new, in box” rebuilt Ebay carb will work out of the box.  This will be the third time I’ve had it apart to fix various leaks and other issues.  I hope it’s the last.

I should be able to complete those tasks before spring.  Of course, I said that about last year’s brake upgrade, and we know how that went.

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2 responses to “Winter To-Do List

  • D.G. Peterson

    I found this by accident. I certainly have more in common with this site than the absurdist commentary and BS the rest of the auto blogosphere spits out. Thank you. I, too, am a do it myselfer, who was employed at my Dad’s dealership in 1959 as a car washer at age 6. Good on you for the Tempest. But, you know what? I’m glad they don’t make them like they used to. My Dad’s demonstrators in the late 50’s and early 60’s needed new tires at 10k, new brake shoes at 12k, perpetual adjustment to either the mixture or the choke setting for cold starts, and timing changes – sometimes the little town we lived in would get such bad gas that every car we had out there would begin pinging like a death rattle. No such thing as a car with 100k miles that was worth any more than a per pound estimate. No, I’m spoiled now, and while the styling and memories are great, give me modern amenities every time. Thanks again for your work here.

    • themagicboltbox

      Thanks! I agree that modern cars are superior in almost any measurable way – horsepower, safety, comfort, reliability, etc. But they certainly lack the character of old cars, and I often wonder if, 30 years from now, I’ll feel the same way about , say, a 2011 Lincoln. Somehow, I doubt it.

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