Run Before the Storm

150625 Creig

Fifth and last session earlier tonight, “only” about two hours worth and the HSD is buttoned up and ready to run again. I learned several things during our 14 or so total hours of replacing the starter, doing the wiring repairs (more accurately, restoration) and putting the right cat converter back on. They included A) You can never have too many good tools (emphasis on good); and B) Always have several socket extenders on hand, they do prove useful.

End result: the engine makes that standard 3.5L V8 throaty rumble without blasting loud obnoxious noises from the still open end of the manifold (now closed) and I started cleaning it up in advance of Sat AM’s Jaguar Association of Greater St Louis run to the Missouri Vet’s Home (followed by lunch at Alton’s legendary Fast Eddie’s Bon Air (to be followed in turn by the BMWCCA track dat at Gateway. Hey, a photographer’s gotta, er, photograph!). Sunday I’ll return to the field of competition at Family Arena with the BSCC event, complete with my old Navy flight helmet and a supply of cigars.

BTW, after we got the car where we wanted it, Creig said “Get it out for a quick run!” Ah, but with the speed and darkness of the clouds that were coming in, we instead put it in the garage. Plenty of time (and good weather) to drive this weekend, eh?


I swear, Creig Houghtaling is a genius…or at least, as an engineer, he’s more capable of logical thought when it comes to understanding automotive electrical systems than yours truly.  It took three sessions totaling about nine hours (plus a couple of attempts by myself, which totaled maybe two hours), but as of 1945L this day, the HSD is running again.  And doggone, that gear reduction starter really spins up…

In the end, it wasn’t the Prince of Darkness who had cursed my vehicle; it was a previous owner, who at some point rewired the starting circuit to bypass the starter relay behind the glove box. Creig figured this out (while giving me an education in reading TR electrical diagrams), did the repairs/corrections with my assistance and now the car runs again, for the first time in about five months.

It’s still not road-ready; looks like Sunday afternoon before I’ll be able to get under it again to re-attach the right cat converter, plus I have to clean up some things but with any luck, I’ll be back on patrol by next week AND should be able to jump into the autocross season, yee-haw!

I think I need to put Creig in for an SLTOA Lifetime Achievement Award or something similar…


150605 FaithCh-04 MK

1930 Ford Speedster, all set up and ready to go for The Great Race…


Yeah, I know, the weather guessers are calling for a chance of periodic thunderstorms these next two days (just checked the wx radar, nearest TBs are down by Branson) but doggone, what a gorgeous weekend. The convertibles are out in number, it’d be a great time for an afternoon drive if the household chores didn’t beckon.

On a whim, hit three car cruises/shows last night. The Mungenast Acura show up on Manchester was a tad ho-hum, a lot of Japanese equipment (go figure), two BMWs, one Jaguar F-Type, a Buick GNX, Corvair Corsa and a 1stGen Celica (actually pretty cool) but otherwise, blah. Went to the every-Friday Sonic meet in Kirkwood, they were still setting up, maybe 10 cars. Then down I-270 to Gravois and Life Church, for their first Friday cruise. Holy cow, what a zoo…like the Sonic bunch, the lot primarily held rods, customs and American heavy metal (cripes, first time I’ve seen three running AMC Gremlins in one place since, oh, 1974?) but there were a few surprises. Motoexotica had a somewhat modified Volvo 262C Bertone on display (it had an LS1 stuffed in the engine bay) along with an early 50s Nash Rambler wagon modified into a surfer van…and holy cow, an LBC: an MG Midget, really nice shape.

Tomorrow’s the big annual SLTOA picnic, this year held at Blumenhof Winery near Dutzow. At least one group will leave as an, uh, group; meet time is 1100 at the I-64/MO 94 commuter lot. Soooo, yer fthfl ed will attempt to get to the first church service at Covenant, run by the European Auto Show around 1030 (30 minutes before its official opening to the public but hey, I’ll be on a schedule) and then rendezvous for a formation run to Blumenhof. Should be a major hoot.

But for right now, time to get out, tackle the yard and spend another couple hours trouble-shooting the TR8. I’ve already warned a local garage to watch for a Wedge arriving on a AAA flatbed…