It lives! Or does it?

After fits and starts, work on The Burg commenced with great vigor. The plan for this day was to remove the exhaust from Spitey in hopes of salvaging enough to use as a makeshift exhaust on The Burg to get it down to Providence. Jim brought his torch up for the job, and after a delayed start we got down to business.

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My job was to crawl under the car with the impact wrench and sockets, ready to spring into action as soon as the nuts holding the exhaust together were cherry red. Needless to say, I was careful not to let any stray hot things fall onto me. Fortunately, all four came off with relative easy. Unfortunately, one of the pipes had two holes in it. We’ll worry about that another time.

After this, Jim wanted to show me how to clean the electrical connections in the ignition system. It was fun learning, even if I only retained about a quarter of what I was taught. Careful cleaning and repair work ensued.

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By this time, a rather large crew of folks had arrived, and it turned out to be a great night of a bunch of guys hanging around working on old cars. If I didn’t know what this hobby was all about before, I sure do now.

With the collective knowledge present, we forged ahead, we attempted to fire up The Burg with a healthy dose of ether down the intake manifold. Frustratingly it just wasn’t catching. After chasing down ignition gremlins, and some connections that had been re-installed correctly, we decided to check the compression.

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Initial results:

Cylinder 1 -30 psi, 2 – 120, 3 – 80/85, 4 – 140, 5 – 140 and 6 – 120.

Needless to say, I was in despair. Would this mean the end of my project? I didn’t have the resources to have this engine, or any of the other engines rebuilt.

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We pulled the valve cover off to check things out. Remember how great the valves above cylinder #1 looked (directly under the oil cap)? That might explain why it was so far out of whack. As it turns out the valves weren’t opening and closing on #1, so I was taught how to measure the tolerances on all of them, and Zo helped me to check each of the cylinders. The follow up compression check on #1 gave us a much healthier reading (although I failed to note it).

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Since the engine in Bitey hadn’t been run since 1989, it was decreed that an oil change was in order. I crawled under the car and drained the pan. Fortunately, it looked to be in pretty good condition, no water or any other contaminates. New oil was dumped in, and we were finally ready to try firing it up again.

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It was quite a thrilling moment when the engine finally caught. Even though it ran (sans cooling system and only on ether) for all of 15 or 20 seconds, it was still an exhilarating moment to hear it run without any awful sounds. I can’t thank my friends enough for making this night possible, and for helping in this crucial step of verifying that The Burg had a good heart.

 

All photos courtesy of Timothy Wade.

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