Wednesday, July 27, 2011

One Giant Leap.....

I remember Jon bringing over that engine.  I thought it looked so good.  I was excited because the rumor was that it was running at one time.....I suppose all engines do now that I think about it.  I remember taking it apart wondering how long it would take to put back together.   Longer than I thought!  I mean seriously, how could it possibly come back to life?  There is no telling what could happen.  I've only taken an engine apart.  I've never actually put one back together!  I had all these parts and I'm genuinely not completely certain what to do with all of them.  Nonetheless, I pressed forward.

But now the day had come....I couldn't stand it anymore.  Jon and I have been coordinating, talking, and getting closer to firing this engine that has been hibernating for just about 20 years.  
Jon was to come over in the early evening.  We had a few adjustments to make; valve adjustment, points adjustment, timing, etc.  I decided that there was no time to waste, so I made all the adjustments before he came over.  That way there was ample time to try and get it running in case something went wrong.  The two of us were able to pick up the engine and maneuver it onto the transmission with little trouble.  We tightened it down and attached the starter, which is 6V.  I decided to keep that despite the rest is a 12V system.  That way, the car will start with VERY little trouble. 

I forgot that I had to fix the boots that go over the transmission and the swing axle.  I still needed to do a transmission fluid change and I couldn't do that until I fixed the boots. If you recall, I F#$% up a boot one night with the heater wire that was sharp.  I took out my rage on our poor garbage can.  Times were tough at the time and I was pretty stressed out.  The best part is that Steve was able to witness (translation....laugh his ass off) me embarrass myself.  Anyway, I took the plug out of the bottom of the transmission and being magnetic, it yielded what I'm calling the "Revenge of the Black Booger".  All sorts of sludge, metal shavings, seal springs, etc showed up there.  I cleaned it out good and we put new oil in the tranny.  All set.
We hooked up the battery with all the wires and cables looking like someone dropped loose spaghetti around the engine.  It would do the job though.  We fed it some gas and starter fluid and checked to see if the carb was functioning.  All is good......we jumped the starter.....and nothing.  The engine was turning but no firing.  We finally realized the coil wasn't getting any juice.  The rig we created wasn't so good after all.  It was a remote starter that needed to be depressed harder.  So I pick it up and press it down harder while Jon jumps the starter again......Brumm...Brummm.....PaaaaaaDOOOWWWW!  It turns over in 5 seconds or less!  Sure it backfired a bit and choked a little, but the damn thing CAME TO LIFE!!  I got so excited I forgot to hit the accelerator and it stalled :)  We started it back up and let it run for a bit to break it in.

 The conclusion was that it runs great.  I need to rebuild the carburetor, weld in the J-Tube exhaust pipes, change the main seal (we had trouble putting that in and thought it might did), and then she's all good! 
This was a major turning point.  I feel like I'm ready for the body to come back, get the wheels done and back on.  I'M READY TO DRIVE.  The day is coming that I'll be taking the family for rides to the grocery store. I already love this car and it's in pieces.  But it's alive now.  It's no longer a dream or fantasy. 
 My wife, Whitney, even said, "I can't believe it's actually running".  She was truly in awe and in the moment that the time is coming.  I've done many successful things in my life.  I've been a Bartender Champion (at least twice), I've been Sales Rep of the Year (the only rep to do so three times in a row), I've earned my Eagle Scout rank, I've climbed to the top of the tallest mountain in New Mexico, and many more accomplishments.  But I haven't felt that kind of excitement in quite a long time.  I literally jumped for joy when I heard that chirping and puttering from that crappy old engine.


JonTurner said...

(in my best Italian accent)
"da engine, she's a runnin'!!"

:) :) :)

Thanks for letting me help out & be a part of this -- that was a lot of fun! (Even though I'm still coughing up fumes! LOL)

It's a great thing to bring an old machine back to service, and a shame they just don't build 'em like this anymore. You know, I had to look at the first photo twice to remember how ugly the engine was! You've done a great job getting this car together -- all your work has been steady, purposeful, deliberate, with the end goal in mind. But it's a journey and you've been collecting experience, skills (and tools) along the way. It's a downhill run from here and you're picking up speed!

So congratulations on your MAJOR milestone! The next will be the return of the body to the pan, after that, re-installation of the interior, and finally "road ready"
with the inaugural drive with the family for ice cream. :)

dneos said...

Thanks for sharing such an interesting story.