The home stretch??? – NASA American Iron Javelin update

Man I hope this is the home stretch, but every time I get one issue sorted out it seems another one (or two!) pop up in it’s place. Here’s what’s happened since the last update.

I brought the car to Joe Carr (of Carr Racing Chassis) to bail me out of a few big problems. First, he bent and welded a new IFS tube to replace the one I cut out. He did an awesome job (as always). He went back in the opposite direction that the original tube went so I can now drop the engine in and have no interference issues with that -12 oil pickup line from the oil pan to the oil pump. Next he diagnosed my brake problems. When I went to drop in the front and rear brake pads I had trouble at both ends of the car. I had to really force the pads in and then the wheels wouldn’t turn freely. Both ends had a similar problem (caliper not centered over the rotor) but for different reasons. In the front we’re guessing maybe something was slightly out of tolerance with the Pinto spindles. Joe had to mill a little material off the Wilwood caliper brackets to get everything working. At the rear it seems when the caliper brackets were welded (only on one side) that it pulled the mount out of perpendicular. Joe didn’t fix this yet but he’ll cut off the brackets and re-weld soon (or possibly heat them and bend them where they need to go). The last thing he did was to build my steering shaft setup and the heim mount. I needed 3 u-joints to get around the headers and, obviously, when it comes to steering you want it done right. So, now the car TURNS! very cool… It was a lot nicer loading the car back on the trailer being able to actually steer it with the wheel. To go along with the steering shaft I finally installed the firewall bearing that supports the steering column.

The Bulltear serpentine system showed up yesterday and I started installing it today. The crank and water pump pulleys will go on fine. And the idler pulley also seems like it’s going to work. Unfortunately the power steering pulley I received did not have a key way cut and the pump shaft I have has a key. So, I either need to send it back to Bulltear or see if I can get the key cut locally… On the alternator mount I installed the upper mount which attaches to two of the intake manifold bolt holes. The lower mount is just a long bolt with a spacer. However, the spacer/bolt are about an inch too short. Same situation with the long threaded rod that goes in the upper mount. I can’t get the alternator out far enough to line up with the crank/water pump pulley with the supplied rod/bolt/spacer. I guess I’ll need to buy/make my own longer pieces…

Some other items… I moved where the rear brake line passes from the interior to the rear underbody. When the car was getting the IFS tube fixed Joe noticed the brake line and said I had it coming out too low underneath the car and it could get ripped off if I went over a curb. So, I drilled a new hole about 8 inches higher and bent the line to reach the new hole.

I’ve realized the front wheel studs are too short. Wilwood sent 2″ studs with the brake kit but I need 3″ 🙁 Just ordered $50 worth of wheel studs from Summit…

I’ve got the engine back in the car with the bellhousing on it. Unfortunately I’ve discovered the headers and clutch slave cylinder are trying to occupy the same space. Just another problem that I’m not sure what I’m going to do about…

And finally, the Carter fuel pump arrived today! I’ll be able to install that next time I’m with the car and finish my -8 fuel line from the carb to the pump. I got lucky getting this pump. I had ordered it from Summit but they kept saying the ship date was “next week”. This went on for a month. Finally I called Federal Mogul (own’s Carter) and asked about the pump. Found out it was discontinued and that Summit is never going to get another one… So I did an internet search and Rock Auto had ONE left in stock. Snagged it immediately!

Last picture is the car on the ground with the engine in it. It’s starting to look like something but the ride height is too high and the front is higher than the rear. Now all the weight is not on the car yet (no front bumper, trans, alternator, headers, me, etc. etc.) so I’ll have to get everything on it and see where it settles. If it doesn’t come down a lot I’ll probably have to get shorter springs…

and here’s some pics…

1974 Javelin-road race, American Iron

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