Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ruby's Cowl: The Conclusion

I know this blog is supposed to be about KITT, but since I posted about ordering my new cowl piece, I wanted to do one more post about installing it.

Saturday morning we washed the Freestyle and my mom's car. My mom thought my name decal on my Freestyle was really neat, so I put one on her car, too. Her car's name is Jade.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

KITT's Scanner

Yesterday I ordered a screen accurate scanner bar from Joe Huth. He had the bar duplicated from a bar that was actually used on-screen in the Knight Rider TV show. This scanner is as accurate as it gets! 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

KITT's Nose And Stone Guards Are Here!

A large package from Knight Designs arrived today!

"Why Are You Standing On The Car Like That?"

Jonathan and Troy decided the car did not have enough weight without the engine, so they had me stand on the K-Member while they installed the front springs and struts. The K-Member is about the same width as a balance beam, if you think about it. :)

The worst part about standing on the K-Member was the fly strip that Jonathan had hung in the garage. Its position kept me from standing up straight. 

Installing KITT's Front Springs And Struts

Yesterday after work I stopped into Troy's shop to ask him what I was doing wrong with the front springs. He said, "Why don't I just stop over there after work, and we can take a look?" I said that would be great!

After Sara got home we started working on tightening the fuel line clamps we had installed on Monday, but did not get very far before Troy showed up.

Troy started installing the spring in the same manner I had and quickly found out that it just wasn't going to work. I wasn't happy, but I sure was relieved to find out it wasn't just me. Without the engine and transmission in the car there is no way to compress the spring far enough to allow it to swing into place with the A-arm. 

We ended up having to remove the A-arm and then with the spring in place, jack the A-arm to the point that it would just start to lift the car. Sara was chosen to stand on the K-member to help add a little weight to the car. Then we used the spring compressor and impact driver to compress the spring enough that we could reattach the A-arm. With the A-arm attached, we moved the jack to the outer edge by the ball joint and jacked it up enough to install the front strut. 

We had to repeat this procedure for the passenger side. It took about two hours to install both springs and struts. There is absolutely NO WAY I could have done this without Troy and Sara's help. It was definitely a three person job. Sara was quite the trooper standing on the K-member for over an hour! Thanks Troy and Sara!

Sara (and later her Dad) took so many pictures during the install that I decided it would be better to just put them all together. Here is a video illustrating the process we went through to install KITT's front springs and struts.

Monday, September 2, 2013

"I Am Not A Mechanic!"

It's Labor Day weekend and we planned to work hard on KITT all weekend long. The plan: Have KITT on his wheels by Labor Day.

Jonathan said to throw these out. I took a picture, just in case we need to know what happened to them.

Friday, August 30, 2013

End Links, Fuel Lines And Steering Gear Box

Today when I got off work I installed the newly painted end links. 

Here is the driver side end link assembled

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Painting The Front End Links

It has been so hot and humid so far this week that I have not been able to paint the front end link hardware I prepped on Sunday. Today the conditions fell into place at just barely under 50% humidity in the garage. I was able to get the hardware painted with two coats of POR-15. Because POR-15 is the opposite of paint (as far as most of its characteristics), it dries very quickly in high humidity. I did not need to wait long at all between coats. 

KITT's Nose And Stone Guards Shipped Today

Billy from Knight Designs called me this morning and said he was shipping out the third season front nose and rear stone guards today. I cannot wait! I will do a video overview when they arrive.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Installing KITT's Front Sway Bar And Steering Brace

We had a heat advisory all weekend, but I decided to attempt to work in the garage yesterday anyway. It was not quite as hot as Saturday, but still one of the hottest days we have had all year. It was 84 degrees and very humid in the garage (about 12 degrees cooler than outside). I decided to leave the overhead door closed to keep the heat out. I started by re-installing the K-member support bracket.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Installing KITT's Fuel And Brake Lines

When I got off of work yesterday afternoon I started by applying the third coat of POR-15 to the bottom of the frame where the steering gear box mounts. The repair welds look much better with two coats of POR-15. I decided not to use the UV resistant BlackCote that we used in the rest of the engine bay because I did not want to reopen the can for one coat in such a small area. You can really see the difference in the finish between the two. The self leveling feature of POR-15 is just nothing short of awesome.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

KITT's Correct Fuel Line Arrived Today

Today after work I started grinding down the welds we made on the frame yesterday. I really was not sure how far I needed to grind them down, so I tried to flatten them out so that the mounting surface would be flat. I may need to get a second opinion on these.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Repairing The Stress Cracks In KITT's Frame

Troy came over tonight to weld the stress cracks in the frame where the steering gear box mounts. He was surprised we had missed these cracks before, too. There were a few more than he was expecting, but nothing as bad as what I have seen online. 

We started by drilling a stop hole at the end of each crack to create a stress relief point and prevent if from spreading any further. Then we used the rotary tool to grind grooves/channels over each crack. This will allow the weld to spread out and cover the area.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Package Of Parts For KITT

The parts I ordered from Shawn (OhioKARR on the Foundation board) arrived today and I unboxed everything tonight. There is something exciting about opening packages, just like Christmas. :)

The stainless steel "L" trim which was only featured on the 1982 models is a must for an accurate KITT conversion. The stainless part of the trim is in great shape and needs just a little polishing to make is shine. The black inner area will need to be touched up as the paint is worn off in spots. I plan to use thin black pinstriping to redo this area. 

Package Of Parts For KITT (Sneak Peek)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Stress Cracks Or Just Stressing About Cracks?

Today I really did not plan on doing anything other than getting the parking brake assemblies for the rear calipers, the steering gear box bracket, and the fuel and brake line bracket painted with three coats of POR-15. It is a funny thing how seemingly simple things rarely go as planned. Here are the parts before the first coat was applied.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Adding KITT's Steering Linkage

My goal for today was to clean up the garage and go through the rest of the hardware looking for other brackets that may need to be painted with POR-15. I did not end up finding anything that I thought needed to be painted aside from the parking brake assemblies for the rear calipers, the steering gear box bracket from yesterday, and a fuel and brake line bracket that I missed in the last round of painting. I am sure there will be more, but for now I think these should take care of any more unexpected surprises.

I spent quite a bit of time putting tools away and doing some general clean up in the garage. I am looking forward to being able to put the Freestyle back in the garage, but the replacement hatch glass is still preventing that and I am not yet ready to move that back under KITT.

I decided to work on the steering linkage, once I got tired of picking up. ;)

I started by bolting the idler arm back into place.

Friday, August 16, 2013

KITT's First Introduction

Cary brought over his voice box project this afternoon. He has been building a working voice box from the Knight Technologies wiring plans. It is only partially complete at present, however it was complete enough to allow KITT to make his very first introduction.

All I can say is I am glad his scanner (vision) is not operational because I can only imagine the witty retort he would have for my explanation of the current state of his body and the mess in the garage. Here is a video of his very first words.

Unavailable, Replacement, Missing And Dirty Parts

I spent a lot of time this week prepping the hardware I need for the front end install and trying to find replacement parts for items I had not planned on. 

Here is the bag of front end hardware. It contains the castle nuts, the old tie rod boots, the washer-style seal for the center link, and the dust boot for the idler arm. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

POR-15 Touch Up

Today after work I wanted to paint the damaged areas on the rear end. This is by far one of the worst spots. This is where the rear end slipped off of the jack when we were attempting to mount it in place. This actually gouged the metal.