Saturday, August 22, 2009


Looks like someone wasn't using Fiat-approved coolant.

turbo boost on

We've been offically accepted for the race, and I've started working on the car in earnest. I got it out of storage this morning and pulled it into my garage (displacing the poor Mercedes), and filled up half the big trashcan with junk I've pulled out of it. I need to remove the AC system, and re-install the gas tank, install new fuel lines and filter, and the new pump, and then get a battery for it and oil the cylinders and try to start it. It looks like the previous owner was having a little trouble with it - there's a bag of nearly new spark plugs in the trunk, the plug wires are new, and there's a few loose relays rattling around in the back with notes taped on such as "Might work", "Works but intermitantly [sic]", and other encouraging phrases.

It's still blazing hot outside so I've knocked off work for the afternoon.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Erroll came down for the 4th of July weekend, and we started ripping things out of the car. After we got the back seat and carpet out, we realized the original color had been quite a nice shade of Italian red - it's a shame how that disappeared under a few coats of Maaco. We got most of the rear trim out (choking on dust likely infected with bubonic plague), found the floor pans to be in excellent shape, and turned our attention to the gas tank. The tank is mounted in the trunk, against the front firewall, but for some reason the fill tube passes through the rear compartment above the rear deck on its way out. So we're going to have to reroute that, and weld over the holes on the parcel shelf to isolate the tank from the passenger compartment. I disconnected the fuel lines, and as I pulled the bottom one away from the tank, a long thread of tar stretched out between it and the tank fitting. We got the tank out, drained the stinking tea-water that was left instead of gas, and started spraying the inside with dish soap and the pressure washer. Great gobs of tar started coming out - we piled them in the street next to the curb where the sun melted them into little shiny tar puddles. We sprayed, and soaped, and sprayed, until the great raggedy pieces of tar became small gravel-sized pieces, then ceased altogether, and water flowed from all the orifices. A look inside showed the tank to be in pretty good shape, with some bits of tar stuck here and there (looked like it had been parked with about half a tank of gas). We sprayed a bit more, and then left it in the sun to dry and cleaned up all the tar puddles with an old dustpan. The fuel line is clogged, so we'll have to clean those out somehow - paint thinner and compressed air possibly. I found the extra fuel pump from the Spider, and I'll install a cheap clear fuel strainer in the line just out of the tank so if any chunks come through, we can easily clear the line. The fuel sender was a rusted mass, so either we'll have to get a new one or just guess at the amount of fuel remaining.