It runs! Oh hell yes, it finally runs!
That's me sounding like a lunatic in the video and waving the (crappy cell phone) camera around like an idiot. The waving guy is co-insane man and the guy twisting the key, Eric. The thumbs-up guy is my dad, Kiko. It's my dad's garage, and he'll be driving this heap too.
(If you just want to see pictures of the thing, scroll down to the bottom and click the photo to go to a gallery.)
That it starts is quite the feat. This beast has been inoperable for several months now, the whole time in the process of an engine swap. Having reached the point where it moves under its own power is quite the milestone.
After fighting with the wiring harness for what seems like forever, Eric and my dad figured out what wires were cut when we pulled the harness out of the donor car (major props, guys). But that afternoon, once it was finally time to crank it over, we just heard a starter spinning all alone.
Upon pulling it out we discovered the starter gear wasn't pushing forward to engage the flywheel. I cleaned it a little, gave it a few liberal sprays of PB Blaster and let it sit for a few minutes. Then I took it to our battery and smacked the solenoid terminal several times with the jumper cables. Freed up pretty quickly.
Shortly after that was done, we got to the video at the top.
Somewhere during that day, I made a shift knob for the car out of a billiard ball.
Twelve was Richard Nixon's number when he played football in college. Check my blog a little later on for a how-to on making these. It's easier than I expected, though supplies are expensive.
In other news, Eric scored an amazing headless mannequin with poseable arms for free. Yes, free. A high school friend of his works somewhere that was pitching a bunch of mannequins, so we got lucky.
You like it.
All this good stuff went down yesterday. Today, I was by myself. I put the wheels on, tightened down the axle nuts, installed the battery (when we started the car the first time, the battery was sitting on the floor and we attached jumper cables to the terminals), and set the thing down. I drove it down the street and back; I'm not going any further than that until we resolve several pending issues:
1. No exterior lighting (brake lights/turn signals).
2. No instruments. Don't know if it's overheating or losing oil pressure until it's too late.
3. Steering column is pretty loose. We'll need to attach it in some better way than how it is now.
In the mean time, enjoy this album of glamor shots I took! Take special note of the badass side-exit exhaust with single cherry bomb! The entire exhaust, manifold back, is made from pieces of the original exhaust, with the exception of two store-purchased adapters. (Click the picture below to see the full set of photos).