Sunday, September 27, 2009


I replaced the rusted fuel line and the leaking fuel rail hose, and attempted to make a flare fitting for the new metal line, but the stupid $25 flaring tool won't do it. (Every time I buy cheap tools I suffer, oh how I suffer.) I'm going to have to get someone with a real tool to do it. In the meantime I just used a hose with clamps, pressurized the system, and cranked away for a while. Nothing happened, which is about what I have come to expect. At least gas wasn't spraying out of every orifice, or any orifice actually, which is a legitimate achievement. I poked around a bit under the hood, finding and fixing vacuum leaks, and cleaned a couple of spark plugs, and then tried again. The engine turned over and over, and suddenly one cylinder gave the tiniest little cough. I got excited and cranked away, then another cylinder coughed, and I teased it into life, choking and missing but finally settling down to a bumpy idle. It clattered horribly and I traced that in about two seconds to the water pump, which is banging around and wobbling on its shaft like Britney Spears after midnight. I was somewhat surprised to find that the power steering still works. I can't run it long since the cooling system is in bits so I killed it, finished installing the master cylinder and started it again, and then actually backed it out of the garage under its own power, coughing and spitting and leaving a trail of dirt. I had to borrow Ian's little chair to sit on. The clutch doesn't feel too good, but at the moment I can live with it. I pulled it back in (so we know first and reverse work) and now it's time to start actually putting things back together, and getting the brakes to work. I have exactly four weeks to go.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Its last days must have been horrible

Some lovely pictures - the interior (which looks like pictures I've seen of salvaged submarines), the .45 shell holding the tar in, and the radiator. I can't believe this car ever ran before it stopped running.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


I repaired the entire fuel system except the injector rail - clean tank, new filter and a nice clear prefilter to check fuel flow, a spare pump I had from the Spider, new rubber hoses, the works. (I found a .45 shell plugging the outflow line from the tank.)

I reconnected the disconnected lines under the hood to the fuel rail, and tried to start it. Nothing happened which is about what I had expected, but after some fiddling I realized the fuel pump wasn't running. I poked and prodded and tested and found (eventually) that the spare fuel pump is in fact dead. I removed the fuel pump from the Spider and installed it in the Brava, and triggered the switch on the air flow meter that starts the pump. Bubbles went through my prefilter, I became excited, and then a geyser of gasoline shot from beside the manifold - apparently the crimped rubber hose is old and shrunken, so I'll have to replace that. Then I noticed a spreading puddle of gas on the garage floor, dripping from the driver's rear floor pan, and discovered that in addition to the leaky rubber hose, the metal high-pressure fuel line has rusted through.

I won't deny it, this is a bit of a setback. I'm going to have to run new lines, and that kind of stuff takes a lot of time that I am rapidly running out of. I've got to have this ready for the cage and seat installation in the next three weeks at most, and that's cutting it pretty thin, and the brakes still need to be fixed, and the clutch replaced, if I can manage it.