It’s Alive!

Goings on at the shop Thursday included installing the locking transmission dipstick into the Texas Thug, and filling it with fluids. The fuel system was checked for leaks, and a couple were detected and fixed. The oil pump was spun up with a drill and the topside oiling checked. One of the restrictors was not oiling due to a defect of the hole not fully drilled, and so that was fixed.

Finally the motor was started and run for a few minutes to check how it sounded, its oil pressure, if there were leaks, and anything else out of the ordinary. The below is the video of the first startup.

All went well with that first startup. A few moments later the car was started again, the timing set and the carbs adjusted. Afterward, the 4-link was checked for square and adjusted.

It was late in the day, and I’m in the process of moving over the weekend, so the car will sit on stands until Tuesday. Hopefully, I’ll find no leaks, and take it off the stands. The plan is to warm up the engine to set valve lash, and then take for a ride. If all still goes well, all that will be left will be to finish bumpers and polish the glass. It should be at the Dave Duell Classic.

Earlier in the day, I mowed the land around the shop, leaving a half acre wildflower meadow.

The power window motor was installed in a Hyundai Genesis Coupe I’m giving my youngest daughter.

I mentioned that I’m moving. Well I own a house next door to my shop. We had my elderly in-laws living there so we could care for them. In January of 2017, my father in law died.of a heart attack I hired a woman to live with my invalid mother in law and to care for her, as  I’d promised my father in law I’d do everything to not have his wife die in a nursing home. Last month, she too died.

We decided to sell our house in Katy, live at the house next to the shop during the week (so I can work on selling my collection of cars), and we bought a house on the lake for long weekends. So we’re moving out of one house, getting it ready to sell, and moving into two others. It’s a big job. The day before we were to move out of Katy and have a truckload going to each of the other houses, my daughter decided she didn’t want the built in bookcase/desk in her room. Between her and my wife — it was too much drama to not just bite the bullet. The bookcase was ripped out leaving a patch of carpet missing and a spot needing painting.

The floor was no big deal as we will have all of the carpet ripped out and wood flooring installed in the coming weeks. So I cut a piece of paint out close to the molding and went to Lowes to get a gallon of matching paint, and that whole wall was painted.


I feel getting the motor started to be a real big mile stone in a very long project of building the Thug.

Almost Ready to Start Up

Custom throttle bracket and cable assembly was fabricated up.

Inside windshield trim bought from Clay & Sons got its red color changed to black.

Painted weight box weights got a coat of Silver Hammer-tone paint, weighed and marked.

Coming down to “Home Stretch”. Need to install trans tube, fill with fluids, shifter, and check for leaks before starting and tuning. Then install windshield trim, seats, adjust shifter. Finally paint the fiberglass bumpers with that 2-Step chrome paint and fabricate the bumper mounts – then off to track, hopefully for Dave Duell Classic.

Bouncing Between Vitamin C & Thug

Today at the shop, I unloaded Vitamin C and golf cart. The Whale was moved from lift bay so Vitamin C can go on lift.

Pulled cross Ram intake off Vitamin C to put STR14 on, and learned that the Str 14 ports won’t work on a Max Wedge.

Looked at the ModMan intake on my 65 Post car that I want to make into a A990 clone, and will swap that on to the Vitamin C. The Valve covers had a lot of milk on the inside. Got concerned but oil looked good when drained.

Pressure checked radiator and it held pressure with a very little milkiness coming out of a head bolt. Hopefully a little Liquid Glass will seal that up. The car has been going through some major temperature and humidity changes in last couple of months so I’m sure that’s where the milky oil cane from. The Vitamin C still needs to have the valves run after a fresh 10 quarts of 20-50 conventional oil put in, and a half pint of liquid glass in radiator to seal any minor leak. We’ll check it again and change to Synthetic after Atlanta in a couple weeks.

On Thug, checked and adjusted Caster, filled up rear end with Royal Purple gear lube, checked all nuts under the car, finished everything under hood, cut up a near perfect grill to make a two headlight A990, and wired the head lights.

After my daughter was finished cleaning the coach, she washed all of the weights and I hit them with two coats of primer and a coat of hammered tone Grey. I still need to hit with another coat of paint, weigh and mark with the weight. I was tired of dirty hands from the raw cast iron when handling.

Sorted through three sets of Big Block Hooker Comp headers and two sets of small block. I’ll keep the better set of coated comps and sell the set needing repair and the smaller tube Street/Strip. The small block are crap so they went into scrap pile.


Tomorrow is packing day at the Katy house as the movers will be here 9am Thursday to take a truckload to lake house.

Getting Closer

The 3/8″ aluminum tubing came in so I finished the vent on Fuel system, so that’s completely finished now.

Had to dramatically trim the PPP shifter bracket to not interfere with the TTI headers. These are the “before” pics, I’ll take “after” pics later. Shifter mounted and Neutral Safety Switch now all wired.

I installed a new window net and Cam Lock Safety Harness.

Spent about an hour at O’Reillys looking at truck radiator hoses that had the right angles after trimming to fit a custom aluminum radiator and CRI waterpump. Found, trimmed, and installed – but no pics – yet.

Since the Texas Thug wasn’t going to be ready for race in Bradenton, FL (leaving early Tuesday morning) – there’s been a trash to build a new motor and trans for Vitamin C and to install it.

Motor and trans were finally installed last week. Tuesday I took it for an 8-mile drive to key in on what adjustments were going tl be needed.

Brought back to the shop to run valves and check for leaks by letting it set.

I was not at the shop Wednesday, and when I returned Thursday morning there was a small puddle of gas under car. It was discovered to have been an old fuel hose between the regulator and rear carb, so a new one was made and installed.

I took it for a harder ride, shifting at 5500 and cruising at about 5500 – which i’m guessing is about 90. No vîdeo as I felt it prudent to use both hands, instead of holding up phone. 90mph was about the best I could muster on the 35mph  narrow and bumpy back road my shop is on. I’m pretty sure a passenger would have puked! There was a little bog of a rolling start, so the carb springs were changed from orange to yellow. There was a little leak at back of one valve cover, so it was changed to a cork gasket. The transmission rolled forward a little in neutral, and wouldn’t start two out of five times in Neutral, so a shifter adjustment was made. Also the oil and filter was changed and inspected for trash. Looked very good.

Finally, I took it for a very short and not very hard run to make sure all felt well and and then let it sit for a couple hours to look for leaks. All appears well.

Today my handyman is cleaning it up while I’m at lake for weekend. I’ll load up Monday, spend Monday night at shop, and leave at 5am Tuesday to bang out 900 of the 1100 miles to my first race of 2018. I’ve had some very bad luck with motors and transmissions, and made dramatic changes. Hopefully my luck changes and I can have a good year

Vitamin C Ready – Thug Almost Ready

So we started up the Vitamin C, test the transmission, ran the valves, and adjusted the carbs. I drove it eight miles not exceeding 3000 RPM to test it and break it in. Then brought it back to shop to see if I had any leaks, check that the plugs weren’t getting smashed by the domed pistons, and tighten header bolts. Will do the same again tomorrow, this time taking up to 5000 rpm – then clean and load up.

Then moved onto the Thug.

Drilled and grommetted a hole for vent. Waiting for 3/8 aluminum fuel line to make vent, and fuel system is done. Connected Fuelab pump and filter and ran a return line to fuel cell.

Made the lines from regulator to carbs

Installed Radiator ad trans cooler, wired fan and water pump to relays, got head light wiring started.

Should be able to start car when I return from the Bradenton race.

 

Decision Time

On Thursday, electrical from switches to fuel pump’s relay and then to pump, and to the tail lights was finished. I ran it nice and neat in convoluted tubing. The rats nest of wires under the dash was totally ripped out, and all new wires to headlights (not terminated to headlights yet) and gauges – both with a 12v step down; and wires run from switches towards the front to the water pump, fan and trans cooler relays – although also not terminated yet. I need to get the radiator and headlights in so all of that can be finished.

I mounted the fuel fuel pump and filter, ran and secured all of the fuel lines to regulator, and made a grommet for the line passing through the trunk. I ordered a 1/2 dozen more Earls fittings and hose ends, and that will be finished when they come in. Ran fuel pump power and ground in small convoluted tubing and properly secured.


Yesterday (Friday) I had intended to spend time to start the Vitamin C, and to sand/chrome paint the fiberglass bumpers – but I had a 8:50 am appointment with an eye surgeon that took over two hours. I received extra strong dilatation drops and some violet tint in my eyes, and don’t know how I even drove to the shop. All I saw was light purple and couldn’t do shit, so the Vitamin C has to wait until next week.

The Thug is almost done. Radiator, headlights, grill, seats, and bumpers need to mounted. Front end electrical terminated. Engine, Transmission and Rear end fluids added. Shifter bracket/cable attached, and adjusted. Front end aligned, car scaled, all nuts and bolts under car checked, and the pre-load set. Engine then needs to be pre-oiled, started and tuned. Car as to be ran through the gears while on the stands, taken off stands, driven around.  Finally all the valves run and all of the nuts and bolts checked again before it can be taken to the track for Test and Tune.

While I’m rounding third for home, there’s still too much to do – all of which is safety critical and expensive if not right, before the Bradenton race. So I’m not going to not push myself under duress to get it ready for that race. Instead, I’ll turn my focus back to Vitamin C next week, and hope all goes well with starting and testing that car before loading it up.

 

Thug, Shop’s Yard & Vitamin C

Started the morning by cleaning and touching up the paint on underside of the Thug from all the cutting and grinding that was going on from routing fuel lines; and securing the fuel cell, battery hold downs and weight boxes in trunk.

While the paint was drying, I mowed the five acres around the shop, as it was getting pretty shaggy.

Before

After. I left a little meadow for the Wildflowers to bloom next month

Back to the Thug, Friday four wires (10ga main power and ground, and 12ga fuel pump relay and tail light) were wrapped in convoluted tubing and ran from back of car to the front.

So after mowing the yard, I ran that string or wires along the same route as the 1/0 battery cable and secured it to the frame.

Then the Fuelab fuel pump I ordered came in, and it was the wrong one. My fault for not verifying PSI, Summit’s fault for not mentioning it was EFI instead of carburetor. The one I need is 7 weeks back ordered.

I’ll have to come up with Plan B.

Finally, the Vitamin C has everything ready to fire up and tune.

 

 

 

Shop work, Feb 19, 2018

Mapped out the fuel line routing, and got it plumbed as far as first filter. At lot of cutting and grinding to make sure lines have a straight shot and are away from sharp edges.

Then took it back off so all of paint can be touched up on Monday. I’m still waiting for the fuel pump so I can finish. I expect to be finished Monday.

Want to see if I can flip Vacuum Pump around, so that regulator is on top and puke tank line on bottom.

New red and black 10 gauge, along with a red and green 12 gauge wires were wrapped in convoluted tubing and strung front to back for tail lights and fuel pump relay. I’ll secure to frame Monday.

The cutting, grinding  and mocking up took a lot than expected, so it was late before I could cover the car and head home.

 

Setting up for tomorrow

The temperature went from 42 degrees to 80 degrees with a dense fog, and so the shop floor sweated completely wet faster than it could be mopped up. Some work was done yesterday.

Seats were pulled back out of the Thug, so under dash wiring could be inspected. It is a mess, so all new wiring will get strung.

My daughter polished the Thug’s wheels, and now she needs to get the polish off the slicks.

Forward movement engine limiter fabbed up and welded to K Frame.

Fuel regulator mounted to rat roaster intake.

Today floor was still soaked and my Shop Rat was at hospital, with his daughter who was having surgery. I had tons of parts delivered today,  so I set up carts for tomorrow’s work and put away spare parts.

About two years of oil filters.

A very nice STR14 I bought for the Vitamin C arrived. I’ll run the Vitamin C with the Cross Ram for a baseline before throwing the Rat Roaster on.

Have a cart set up to finish the Vitamin C, start and tune.

Set up cart for installing new fuel system.

And another cart for under hood, harness, net and running new wire.

Distilled water for radiator.

Finally put away spare parts that came in.

 

Busy Day At Shop

My 19-year-old Daughter, Hope, has been working three days a week at the shop – and is becoming very handy. Today she polished the Thug’s front wheels and wash my incredibly dirty truck.

I’m simultaneously getting the Vitamin C ready and assembling the Thug. The Vitamin C’s new engine is finished, it’s transmission painted, headers cleaned, and everything is ready to stab it into the car tomorrow.

0/1 cable run and clamped from front to back of Thug, cut off switch installed, and new 0/1 positive and negative cables made up and routed. I’ll have a friend check my work and then hook up positive and button up rear panel.

I have a little more work under the rear of car to brace weight boxes and fuel cell, and touch up paint. Hoping to get Vitamin C’s engine and transmission in tomorrow. Next week’s goals are fuel system in Thug, start and drive Vitamin C, bleed Thug’s brakes and put wheels on, and finish Thug’s electrical.

I was hoping to get a Product Sponsor for the fuel system, but wasn’t successful. I’m going to have to use an old Aeromotive system I use to run on this car when it was black.