Done. (For Now)

Well, I’m not sure how more direct I can be than that. Its done, as far as I’m concerned, for now. There’s still some minor issues, and I may work a bit on those over the next week or two, but its time to deal with the state.

I started off today planning on just getting the car down from the jackstands, but ended up working a few hours on the car as well.

First things first, a video is in order …

No drama getting the car out of the garage at all, but we’ll get back to that story after a brief detour to look at the other things I did on the car today.

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One of the things I’d forgotten to do was get the backup light wired up. I had just fitted it into the opening, but hadn’t secured it, and hadn’t wired up the ground wire from it either. I used a bit of silicone adhesive to hold it in for now. The ground wire should’ve gone into the chassis by there, but there was no way to clear any powdercoating to get a good ground with the body on. I used a longer wire for now and tucked it up into the rear wheel well and grounded it at the same point the fuel filler is grounded. At some point in the future (when the body is getting painted?) I’ll shorten the wire and ground it right by the light.

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Once that was done I installed the nose sheetmetal. The two side ones went on with some, but not a lot of, drama. I had rivnuts so I could screw them in and out (since they have to come out to take the body back off, which I presume I’ll have to do for painting). The passenger side one needed some trimming, as well. Its not clear why it fit so differently from the driver side — either the body is somewhat lower on that side relative to the chassis or I had them positioned unevenly when I mounted them originally. A few seconds at the bandsaw fixed it.

The lower piece I had never mounted, and frankly it doesn’t fit very well, but I got it in well enough. Its screwed to the two side panels and has some foam insulation to keep it from rubbing against the radiator. Good enough for now, I suppose.

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A few months ago I had decided to not put the side pipe mounts on, because they didn’t seem like they were going to fit, or really do anything. I decided to take another stab at it. It took a while, probably an hour and a half between the two sides, but I did get them mounted. This is definitely something that would be vastly easier to do before the floors go in.

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There are basically two bushings holding them — one small one inboard, and a rubber exhaust hanger near the outside. The arm sort of hangs on them and then bolts to the sidepipe. The design is lousy, and inflexible, so I left only the top bolt bolted. People have a lot of cracking problems with the sidepipes, and leaving them somewhat loose and able to move seemed prudent.

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The passenger side was the first I did. The pipe on that side is at slightly more of an angle than the driver side, and slightly more forward it seems, so the arm doesn’t quite reach. I’ll shim it with a couple washers to keep tension off the mount, but I need a longer bolt before then. Something small to do this week, I suppose.

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Since the day I got the engine I’ve had a bit of an oil leak. Its definitely worse when the engine is running, particularly when it is cold, it seems. Fortes has told me they’ll fix it for me, but I need to get the car down there. I’ll deal with that in the next month or two before it gets too cold, if I can get the car titled by then. While under the car dealing with the exhaust hangers, I noticed that there was water under there. Its not clear why, but something with the new heater valve is leaking. I can’t tell if it was one of the lines, or the valve itself. I adjusted and tightened the clamps on the lines and it appears to still be leaking a little. I’ll keep an eye on that, too. Unfortunately now I have coolant, not just water, in the engine, which is a real hassle if I have to drain it yet again.

While I was working on cleaning up the garage, a fellow Factory Five builder, who lives nearby, stopped by to check out the car, which was cool. He’s building a Coupe not a Roadster, but the two are somewhat similar.

A while later Jen came over and I decided to go ahead and pull the car out of the garage, since I had someone to shoot it, thus the video up above. (And for anyone curious, that’s as-is from the iPhone 3Gs) There was little drama with it. It took a couple pushes on the start button to get it to go — I suspected yesterday that a wire in the connector may have come loose, and clearly it has. I think I will definitely have to remove the dash this week to figure it out.

Once out, I started heat cycling the engine to try to bleed out the air in the cooling system. At one point I cracked the degas tank, which made a giant mess. The engine wasn’t hot, but it was clearly under pressure. Live and learn. My 911 didn’t have a radiator!

The engien heated up well, and right at 205 on the nose the fan came on, exactly as it should. The temperature stayed right at 205 until I shut it off, and it seemed to push out air and pull it new water/coolant from the recovery tank, so it seems to be doing the right thing in that regard. The heater core heated up, as well, so the coolant seems to be flowing correctly through it. (I was concerned about air trapped in there because I can’t bleed it in its orientation, but the degas tank should help pull bubbles out of the system.)

I cycled the engine a few times to heat and cool over the course of an hour, and it continued to draw a bit more coolant in each time , which is a good sign.

At one point, however, I discovered an interesting problem. A push-to-start button that intermittently stops working can become an issue when it is also a push-to-stop button. At one point I couldn’t shut the engine off. Thankfully the loose wire is exposed a bit in the opening I cut to get the steering column in, so a little wiggle fixed it. I definitely need to resolve that issue. Those Molex connectors are junk, so I may look for another option.

A few hours later, I backed it back into the garage, confirming in the process that the mirrors are, in fact, useless on the car.

So the next step is to deal with the state. I have no idea how long that process will take, but I will hopefully get a sense in the next couple of days. I’ll post an update when I get the heater core flapper fixed and this push button, but other than that I wouldn’t expect another update until its registered.

Don’t worry, though, there will be lots more this winter as I deal with projects like carpeting, recovering the seats, installing seat heaters, and once its painted when I have to re-install the detail bits that are on now, as well as the ones that aren’t on yet.

And with that, some glamour shots of the car:

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(and yes, it was damn near impossible to resist taking it for a spin… I wish I was on a quieter road…)