Wrench Scramble 2015: It's ALIVE! LeMons Domination is but 13 Trillion Little To-Dos Away

If you recall, this car fired (and actually drove) earlier this year. However, the oil pan had a stripped plug and the exhaust manifold was so warped you could see fire through the gap between it an the head. Also the carb was leaking gas right above said exhaust manifold. It was cheaper to find a whole new setup than replace the individual parts. So after re-assembling the head, rebuilding the carb, replacing the fuel pump and starter and doing a bit of tuning, it fires right up. That burble is courtesy of about 18 inches of leftover exhaust pipe.
Funny story: when cranking endlessly to get the thing to start, we noticed the throttle rod linkage was sparking and getting hot. WTF? Turns out in re-EVERYTHING-ing, we forgot to hook up an engine-to-chassis ground. With no driveshaft in place, there’s nothing but rubber mounts between the starter and chassis ground. Well, nothing but the throttle linkage. Thus, we were pumping a couple hundred amps through a series of clipped-together metal bits.
But hey, it runs (idles and revs) with no major issues.
With that out of the way, the to-do list as of tonight is…
Ranchero To-Do 2015-11-18


  1. congratulations!
    about the burbling and the 18 inches of leftover pipe, is the burbling caused because the exhaust is too long? or is that section of the pipe rusted?

      1. That makes sense… just say it is intentional and very free flowing and you can cross exhaust off the list

  2. Always run the ground wire directly to the block. You can then run a smaller wire between the block and the body so that the lights and that kind of stuff works.

    1. I think he only had a BMW positive cable long enough to reach the battery, which is now out in the back somewhere, on the passenger’s side.

      1. Yep. That’s probably from the Uberbird, too. The battery sits behind the passenger seat in the bed, and it’s grounded to the frame. The engine has a ground strap made from another battery cable and bits of a terminal. Tim handed me an angle grinder with a flap disk and said “here, go make a shiny spot”. A couple self tapping sheetmetal screws later, and we had a big hunk of copper running from a starter motor bolt to the firewall. The throttle linkage stopped heating up after that. I expect we’ll race with that one in place.

  3. Congratulations!
    Also, I have this weird (and probably undoable) idea to make the throttle linkage a bimetallic strip and hook it up to a big “starting…” light on the back.

  4. Would the drive shaft have fixed that? It’s attached to the axle, which attaches to the frame through the leaf springs, which have rubber or poly bushings at either end. The brake line has a rubber hose between it and the axle. Contact to the ground itself is through the rubber tires…
    I like our ground strap better, anyway.

    1. Well, the actual ground doesn’t matter as the whole system just wants to get to the negative terminal on the battery.
      Maybe the driveshaft would’ve helped, depending on how conductive the path from the leaf springs to the frame is.

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