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'58 back on the road!

From: Brian Wittling
Date: April 01, 2002


Well, the long torrid tale of my transmission rebuild and rejuvination of the Fury is nearing its end! The transmission rebuild was completed finally last week, to the tune of about $2,300. I still can't sit down quite right. Man, was that thing tore up inside (the transmission that is). If I wasn't so anal about keeping everything original, I would have just found a good or better cond. used one somewhere. Anyway, it had to be towed from the transmission shop back to the hot rod place that did all the brakes, exhaust, etc. For some reason, when it was delivered to the tranny shop, it mysteriously had no brakes. Turns out the "new" master cylinder they installed was a defective remanufactured unit. The other claim by the transmission shop was that it was running like crap, that they had to use ether and all sorts of stuff to get it to start. Well, the hot rod shop couldn't find a thing wrong with the way it was running?! They installed a NEW m/c, and re-adjusted all the brakes, and even delivered the car back to my house free of charge. This was Friday afternoon. I got home from work, and fired it right up. Ran like a top just like it was before. does the transmission guy just not know how to start a car or what? Took it for a victory test-drive to a local Steak n' Shake that's still all old-school. In the summer they even have curb-service still. shift quality was fantastic, but the shift points and kick-down need some tweaking. Saturday was nothing but assholes'n'elbows trying to clean it up. Had to first get the new wide-whites mounted and installed. That took a good couple of hours. The set of rims I had were pretty rusty, and a lot of grinding had to be done to get them to seal. Of course that could have all been avoided had they been willing to put in the inner tubes I had for them, but nooooo.. no one wants to touch tubes anymore. The other delay was that I needed a haircut in a major way, and I only know of one place in the neighborhhod where a MAN can go to get a MANS haircut,(no sissy salons for me!) and they had a full-house. Wait there was about 1 1/2 hrs. So, back to the house for cleaning. First a wash, then dry, then a major polishing to get all the dead paint and ambedded greasy hand prints out. then buffing, then waxing, then buffing again... even with my new power-buffer, it was hard work! that's a lotta surface area on these cars! All that brightwork was another story entirely. I got it all done, but the gold was more a subtle improvement than the dramatic one I was hoping for. Sometime towards the end I started getting the shakes and a bad headache, and realised it was 1:30 AM, and I hadn't taken a break or eaten since breakfast. I called it quits, tried to get some sleep, but didn't sleep well 'cause I hurt so damm bad. Next day was the big show in Forest Park. TONS of cars, I mean A LOT. Mine was the only Plymouth to be found, and one of only 3-4 vintage Mopar's there. It drew a LOT more attension than I thought it ever would, especially since it's still so rough. People just flocked to it. By the time we'd left at 3:30, I didn't have a voice anymore. since it was a Concourse de Elegance type of show, I didn't bother to have it judged, so no trophies by default even :-( After the show we made the rounds to my grandparents hous in north st. louis, and then to my girlfriends parents house in Kirkwood. In all about 100 miles for the day, and I drove it to work today too. It's running smoothly, but is definately very tired. I'm still plagued by lots of blowby, and the 100-mile old oil is nasty as hell already. Must be cleaning up some though, because now I can tell the valves need adjusted from the sound of the motor. Hopefully this will help energize it a bit. I'm also currently averaging a whopping 6.5mpg. Quite a shocker going from 52mpg in my TDI Beetle to that! haha! Well, I 'spose that's all for now, thanks for lending an ear! Brian


Last changed: July 19, 2018