It doesn't feel like I got a lot done this weekend on the car, but I guess I did get more done then I thought I would.
Because it was pretty decent, I decided to roll the car out of the garage for a bit and see if I can get it running. As I said the car has sat for 4 years or so and that never bodes really well but I figured why not give it a shot.
I bought a new battery for the car, and installed it in the trunk, leaving it disconnected for the time being while I went over the rest of things. My dad and I started at the back and put a bit of fuel in the tank, just to give us some more fresh fuel to start with. My friend said that when his dad put the car to sleep he did put a gas preservative in the tank but I will not chance it, and as I get closer to getting it running for good, I will clean and flush the tank properly.
Next we went over the electrical systems quickly, making sure that nothing was wrong/frayed/chewed/hacked/missing (circle where appropriate). After that I checked the fluids in the car and topped them up as needed. Next I connected the battery and nothing blew up, so I put the key in the ignition and turned it on. I didn't kick the starter over yet I just wanted to make sure that things were initially okay. The only result from that was the hazard lights turning on, the stereo firing up and the fuel pump humming away.
Not bad so far! My dad primed the carb and I kicked it over. After a tense few seconds the engine boomed to life and promptly stopped. We primed it a bit more again and I choked off the carb completely, this time the car started much quicker and stayed running!
I was quite pleased. I let it idle for a minute and then went to turn off the choke, only to have the car stall out again. I guess some carb tuning is in my future. I decided to shoot a quick spot of video of me starting the car.. Why? Because I could.
As you can see it starts, it barely idles, and DAMN DOES IT KNOCK ON SHUTDOWN. I am going to have to sort that out ASAP. I think that since the car has sat for so long there is an air bubble in the cooling system from evaporation. A bit more coolant and once the engine runs a bit hopefully that bubble will work its way out of the system.
Next I decided to tackle the holes in the deck lid where the wing was. First I took down the paint. Let’s play count the layers of paint shall we?
I think that we are up to 7 or so but I may be wrong.
After sanding it down to the metal I cut a piece of aluminum so that I could use it as a backing plate to give me a surface to weld against. I have seen this done but never have tried it myself so why not give it a go right? Well it turns out I learned a few things:
A) Taking a welding class 2 years ago was helpful. I learned stick, MIG and TIG welding which will end up coming in handy on this project I am sure
B) Not using those skills in 2 years makes you VERY rusty! I mean I couldn’t lay a decent weld to save my life when I grabbed the torch again. Luckily I was able to practice on a few pieces of scrap, and then welded the handle of my dad’s snow blower so I was able to warm up a bit
C) The welder I have doesn’t feed wire fast enough with a consistent enough spark. So I now have what I have deemed…. THE WORST WELDS IN HISTORY!
Ego deflated, and light waning I decided to call it a weekend and packed up. I guess I have to find a way now to locate a better welder which is going to eat into the car budget even more now. Fun!
This was the weekend in a nutshell for me and progress has been made which is a good thing. For those of you who don’t want to see the rest you can skip on to the comments now and bypass the sap/rant parts of this post.
I have a few things I want to address so here we go:
First, I want to thank Jalopnik and the entire community here for their support, and kind words. It has meant a lot to me to get the wonderful stories from people and to hear their own struggles with weight loss and to hear their successes as well. Keep it up guys I know you will get there!
Second, while the car has been a great carrot at the end of the stick for me, the string that held that there were my niece Emma and my nephew Ethan. I wanted to make sure that I got the chance to see them graduate from college or university, not just see them maybe graduate grade 6. I will not have kids, and I adore spending time with them, this project is something that even they are getting involved in, helping out wherever they can. This is yet another reason I needed to dot his.
Next, to the people who felt the need to send a bit of e-hate my way I just want to ask you to try harder next time. Being someone who has been fat most of my life, your comments were weaksauce. Snorlax comparisons, calling me a hipster douche, not very creative guys. Come on. When you hear those things all the time for years, they sorta lose their impact. Next time try comparing my former weight to the weight of the car at least.. or ask if before I lost the weight the car fit me more like a suit. At least go for style.
Finally I want to address something that one poster said in particular. It was a sarcastic post of one line that stated “I too enjoy rewarding myself after paying for surgery.”
You never feed the trolls, I know, but I have to lay this out there for everyone who has been thinking similar things but didn’t post them.
I live in Canada. This means that my surgery was covered by provincial health care and did in fact cost me nothing. Well the actual cost of surgery was nothing but the additional costs associated with this were absolutely not free.
I live 3 hours from the bariatric clinic. This means that each appointment I have had is a 6 hour drive for me. This means that for me the average cost of merely the trip there and back was about $75 for me. I have had a total of 8 trips to the clinic so far and have more in the future, not to mention that I needed a hotel for 7 days after the surgery so I could be close to the hospital.
Now bear in mind that I will be in a state of malnutrition for the rest of my life as a result of this. What this means is that I will lose even more hair (DAMN) and I have to be on vitamin supplements, calcium, B12, fibre, and iron for the rest of my life. I also have had to buy 4 complete wardrobes. Working in computer support for a medical school means I have to dress appropriately so every 3-4 months I had to bin it all and start fresh.
This is part of why I am on such a tight budget with this project because the costs are much higher then you realize. I am not complaining mind you but it is just another bitter pill to swallow.
Imagine for the rest of your life.. No soda, no coffee, no tea, and no fruit juice. Imagine having to count every calorie, or that it now takes 45 minutes to 1 hour just to eat your meal which ends up being about 1 cup of food in total. Picture your birthday without ever having cake again, but you get to watch friends and family eat the cake they get for you.
While I didn’t pay for the surgery, you can bet I am paying for it in more ways than you realize. This is what I went through just to get healthy, so to hell with you if you don’t like the fact that I bought a car as a reward. I think that I deserve it.
Thank you for reading and I hope you are enjoying this as much as I am.