Chapter 7   <  ^  >

Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 49

Date:         Saturday, August 26, 2000 9:59 PM


A four hour Nova time window opened up today.  The weather was great, my physical problems at a minimum, and eight months of impatience driving me..  A good day..

The first picture shows Goody picked up about 10” higher than needed to test the capabilities of the medium short settings on the hoist. (ror49-1.jpg)

Rustpuppy waiting anxiously at the end of the plywood runway...(ror49-2.jpg)

The next seven pictures show the painfully slow process of getting Goody into position to drop onto the motor mounts.. (ror49-3.jpg through ror49-9.jpg)  Due to the rough ground and uneven grade it took about 3 hours of my work window to horse the hoist along about an inch at a time by prying with a 2x3...  But I was patient and careful and it worked out..     I had to add another sheet of plywood to get the runway long enough..  More groveling on the ground and pounding nails under Rustpuppy to secure the two sheets together..

Finally right at the fall of night and the end of an exhausting but exhilarating day.  Am I tired!

GOODY WAS HOME!   (See ror49-10.jpg)

The proper motor mount brackets from Ben Meissner worked perfectly and the through bolts slid (with the aid of a little hammer) right into place..

It took a little pulling and jerking and wrestling with Goody to get her to drop into place but It seems to always require some physical strength to get things together..

More to come...

It won’t be long now..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 50

Date:         Sunday, August 27, 2000 9:17 PM


A bit of a low impact day today due to physical challenges caused by overextending myself yesterday but important progress was made.

First thing was the under Nova groveling related to getting the tubular crossmember and transmission mount installed.  Taking my time and doing most from a comfortable laying down position it went in slick an pretty.  (see ror50-1.jpg)  I even got the speedometer cable installed and had a few thoughts of getting the driveshaft in..  (Naaa... tomorrow mebbe)

Things look much better down here and now I am ready to finish the installation of the Pro-matic shifter cable and stuff..  (ror50-2.jpg)  It is a shame I had to mar the pretty silver paint by jacking under the tranny pan..  Oh, well.  Dings and scuffs happen when we move heavy stuff around..

I also (before I could forget and have Goody fall out on the road) put the nuts on the motormount through bolts and torqued them down.

Finally there is a smiling picture of Rustpuppy showing off Goody in the daylight..  (ror50-3.jpg)

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(snapping, popping, creaking, and groaning..  but having fun!)



 Subject:   Return of Rustpuppy report 51

Date:         Monday, August 28, 2000 9:13 PM


Spent sitting time cleaning up the rusty driveshaft and painting it black and getting the crankshaft pulley looking decent.

The biggest task was getting the passengers side header in..  It was a bit of a hassle with the starter on the motor  but it threaded up from the bottom..  This is the one that really don’t match the Flowtech collector location.

Ror51-1.jpg shows graphically why I wanted to have “The Door” instead of closing the firewall hole permanently..   Makes the last header bolt easy instead of a PITA..

Ror51-2.jpg shows the header in place torqued down with the plugs installed..  Nice..

Ror51-3.jpg shows just how much the exhaust pipe comes up short..   The Stainless 409 alloy adaptor looks rusty but it is just discoloration and would polish up like a mirror..  (Not me!)  The rest of the exhaust back to the Super Turbos is 304 alloy and does not polish well but does not discolor like the 409 alloy.  I really wish that it fit..  Sigh..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 52

Date:         Tuesday, August 29, 2000 7:44 PM


I have been noticing that the motor is offset slightly toward the passengers side.  More in the rear than in the front..  I wonder if that was to get the driveshaft aligned better or to balance the weight of the driver..  Hmmm...  See ror52-1.jpg and ror52-2.jpg.

I was itching to see if the driver’s side header would line up.  The differences looked minor with the headers off.  But a few minutes work with the special little 3/8” wrench for them neat stainless ARP header bolts and I jumped under to see..  Nope..  Not as far off as the passengers side but way off..  Oh, well..    (ror52-3.jpg and ror52-4.jpg)



I figured a way of making a semipermanent hookup between the existing pipes and the header collectors while doing chores and thinking last night.  By using the cheapy 2 collector adaptors provided with the Dynomax headers..  Here is how.  I will cut the adaptors length down so they snugly fit into the bell of the existing adaptors and bolt them to the headers with threaded rod.  Then I draw the existing pipes tightly against the stubs sealing pretty good..  That would last for quite a while till I can get my exhaust guy to make a proper fix..

Then I spend a little while cleaning up an painting the alternator and power steering pump and brackets..

(ror52-5.jpg, ror52-6,jpg, and ror52-7.jpg)

I have a lot of important work to do so the Nova time ended early today..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(fog came in and it is dank!)




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 53

Date:         Thursday, August 31, 2000 8:26 PM


We had a cold front yesterday and the nasty wet misting fog at 57 degrees is here..  Ror53-1.jpg shows the view as I went out for some Nova work today..  Brrr..   I am physically challenged by this kind of weather change so I did not expect to get much done today..

Anyway, all that was accomplished was the installation of the cable for the Pro-matic shifter.  Right off the bat I had nothing but trouble.  I had carefully cut the 1 ” hole exactly as the instructions.  But I did not think that moving the shifter up 5/8” of an inch with the flat spacer would call for the hole being somewhere else..   Duhh..  My trusty manual sheet metal nibbler made short work of extending the hole to where it was really needed..    Slower than the air powered one but a lot more accurate..  Ror53-2.jpg shows the shifter in first gear (where the initial adjustment was made) and the extended hole..

(Note the nice silver transmission showing through “The Hole” like a misplaced piece of the Starship Enterprise hidden behind a hatch on the Mining Ship Nostromo..)

The underside picture shows the cable hooked up to the shift arm.  I manually put the transmission in first and then adjusted the mounting nuts and pivot pin to where it would just drop into the hole in the shift arm.  (ror53-3.jpg)

The last picture, ror53-4.jpg shows a little of the cable routing.  It doesn’t seem to come anywhere near the headers..  Good..

Then I sat in Rustpuppy and played with the shifter..  I notice that the 1-2 shift detent and the N-R shift detent did not feel as crisp as the others..  To test the accuracy of the detent mechanism in the shifter versus the detent mechanism in the transmission I did the following.  First I removed the cotter key at the pin where the cable attaches in the shifter.  Then shifting through all the gears I pulled the cable off the pin and tried to slip it back on..  The results are as follows.

1st- lines up perfectly -  (this is where the adjustment was made) 2nd- shifter 0.008” to 0.010 short of lining up..  (felt mushy when shifting to second)

D- lines up perfectly

R- shifter 0.005” to 0.008” short of lining up.. (nother mushy detent)

P- lines up..

It seems that there is some inaccuracy in the design or perhaps wear in the tranny detent..

I probably will work just fine but it just feels off to me..

Rick Draganowski

(picky old engineer)




 Subject:   Return of Rustpuppy report 54

Date:         Friday, September 01, 2000 8:57 PM


The cold drippy fog lifted today but I had important meetings in town so I only got a few minutes of Nova time..    I mentioned earlier that the “Dueling Detents” problem I am having with the Pro-matic ratchet shifter could probably be fixed by inserting a bit of “mechanical latency” into the system.. (slop or play to you)

So the first thing was to slide under Rustpuppy and take out the clever fix I had worked out for the wobbly shift arm “perceived problem”.

Then back in the cockpit I tested all functions on the shifter..  It passed with flying colors..  Every detent was crisp and the cable could be pulled off and replaced on the pin in all positions with no problems as now each detent is free to do it’s job..   Happy ending..

There was still a bit of time before dark so I addressed the driveshaft replacement..  It went on in a jiffy and looks much better with its coat of shiny black paint..

More to come this fine weekend..

Happy Labor Day..

Rick Draganowski

(laboring on the Nova!)




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 54a

Date:         Sunday, September 03, 2000 9:37 PM


A new day and the cold rain and fog just a memory. (ror54-1.jpg)

  I decided to press on with getting the headers flanged up to the too short exhaust pipes.  After careful measurements I came to the conclusion that both sides were exactly 1 ” short of hooking up.   So my plan of using the cheapy collector adaptors as spigots fitting into the collector adaptors on the pipes came into play..  The overall length of the adaptors was 3 inches and the taper of the stainless collectors used up exactly one inch.  So ” had to be trimmed from the adaptors..  The only way of getting a clean straight cut which would seal was to flange up a mounting jig and use the Bridgeport with a slitting saw..  (ror54-2.jpg, ror54-3.jpg and ror54-4.jpg)


Right at this point we had a power failure for the whole local area..   So Nova work stopped dead.  I set up the generator and ran the power cable the 150 feet to hook up to Deloris special environmental trailer..  That was a tussle and took a lot of the starch out of me..  Anyway the power company got the problem fixed in about an hour or so things could go back to normal..   I just sat and did some painting while the power was out..


Then I cut up some 3/8” NC threaded rod for the fasteners which will make it work..  (Ror54-5.jpg)

I was pooped and it was getting damp and dark but I managed to get the passengers side hooked up to prove the principle..  Looks almost permanent, don’t it?  (ror54-6.jpg)

And first thing tomorrow I will get the drivers side in (ror54-7.jpg) and then get back on installing the accessories for Goody..  It is getting closer to seat time!

More to come..

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 55

Date:         Saturday, September 02, 2000 8:11 PM


Since it is a holiday weekend the weather turned dead against me.  Cold rain (57 degrees) wind, lightning and thunder..  Nice..

Nova work went on between the showers of cold rain.  I got the fuel pump in and found with the front bumper off and the radiator support bar and radiator gone it is almost a pleasure.   You can just reach in and do it..  Having the motor at TDC of #1 compression stroke helps here too..

Then just before the next deluge started I installed the modified Proform distributor I am using in Goody.  I was careful to return Goody to TDC on the #1 compression stroke after messing about with torque converter bolts so the distributor just fell exactly into place..

Then I had to put the tarp back over Goody as the cold rains continue..

Tomorrow is another day..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 55a

Date:         Monday, September 04, 2000 8:54 PM


Laboring on Labor day but the vast majority of it had nothing to do with Nova work..  Anyway I got the missing coupling flangeup onto the exhaust making it ready to rock and roll..

Then uncovering Goody which had been lurking under a silver tarp for a few days I found something nasty but perhaps fitting..  The damn mice had been under the tarp looking for a home and pooped all over the top of Goody..  Those little black thingies are mouse turds..  (ror55-1,jpg)


Then I managed to get the spark plug wiring harness with neat clear distributor cap (so you can see sparks and stuff turning in there) into place.. (ror55-2.jpg)


I am still a little worried about old number six spark plug boot as there is a scant 1/8” clearance between the boot and the header no matter how the wiring is run..  I hope that it will be enough but doubt that the high temp red RTV will last and I need to get a replacement boot for that plugwire..   We will see..

Then Goody’s dipstick went into place..  I am thinking of pulling the tube out a little and putting a touch of RTV on it to keep it from leaking..   If I remember..

Last detail for today was fastening the motor ground wire onto one of the head accessory holes by the firewall with a stainless steel bolt..

I spent a few minutes sitting in Rustpuppy looking at the dash and trying to figure out where and how to mount the instruments  (big gauges and a 120 mph speedo)  It was seat time after a fashion as I could sense that the real thing was getting close..    I got a feeling the dash pad mounting hardware is all under the dash somewhere and probably will not take it off since I am not going to crawl my fat old body on the floor trying to get under there..  Can it be taken off without the crawling around part?  Distructively is OK..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(soon now..)




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 56

Date:         Tuesday, September 05, 2000 9:25 PM


Got a two hour window for Nova work today but it was late and half of it had to be after dark with a droplight stuff..   First off I got a decent picture of the exhaust “Probe and Drogue” docking system (stolen from NASA) with both pipes hooked up..  (ror56-1.jpg)

Rustpuppy has a one legged 3.08 ratio 7 inch ring gear differential.. (Scott assures me that the 7.625 job never got into a Nova..)   The most excellent Ray Buck assures me that the little guy is strong enought for moderate street fooling around. (no slicks or positraction)   


Has any one else got a good word about this spindly looking rear end?   The Junkyard Dawg will probably end up with the 7.5” rear end out of Yakima Sue so it looks like there is not going to be a 8.5” ten bolt in my future..  If I do need one some day what do they cost in an “honest” junkyard?  (ror56-2.jpg)



Then I concentrated on getting the power steering pump and hoses back on and hooked up.   By the time I got to the hose fittings it was dark and I had a hell of a time getting the fittings to screw properly into the steering unit..  But after much fumbling around, spilling of fluid, and trying different angles they came together..  (even torqued them properly with a tubing wrench.. )   (ror56-3.jpg)



 The stamped bracket on the pump is from the 77 pickup truck as are the hoses and the brace is homemade..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(getting closer..  every day... closer..)



Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 57

Date:         Wednesday, September 06, 2000 9:45 PM


Pressing on with the installation of accessories on Goody to get on the road ASAP..     I started with some last minute painting..  Got a heavy coat of flat black spray paint on the new 2-core radiator Rustpuppy will be using and painted the motor side of the fan..  (leaving the other side black as you cannot see it much..)

Then I crawled under and checked and tightened the header flangeup studs and put a gob of high temp RTV on each of the 18 nuts in the assemblies to keep them from vibrating loose..

Then I progressed to getting the alternator brackets and alternator on..   I am using the alternator off of Rustpuppy’s original 250 six as the ball bearing in the truck alternator is starting to sound gritty..

Ror57-3.jpg shows the nice truck brackets and 10SI alternator in place..

Then going around the other side I find that the damn six alternator is assembled with the connector and terminal 180 degrees away from the v8 job..  (ror57-4.jpg)   So just when I thought I was getting somewhere I have to fix something..

Then I tore the alternator apart and readied it for assembly in the right way..  Ror57-5.jpg shows the explosion and ror57-6.jpg and ror57-7.jpg show a 0.050 Allen wrench holding the brushes in place to allow assembly..  Then after adding a blob of grease in the roller bearing it was together matching the old truck v8 alternator..  (ror57-8.jpg)

Then it was deja vu with the alternator back in place..  (ror57-9.jpg)   But with a big difference..  It ain’t upside down in the back now..  (ror57-10.jpg)

I got the rear end of Rustpuppy off the jack stands and back with her tires on the ground getting ready to get the ramps out tomorrow..  (ror57-11.jpg)

I realized when I encountered the alternator assembly problem that I was beginning to stress myself out with impatience and stopped everything and just sat and looked at Goody for a while..  Due to my health problems it is important to keep stress down to an absolute minimum..    So I took my time getting things in order and started enjoying the work again..  Whenever Rustpuppy runs will be soon enough..

Tomorrow is another day..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 58

Date:         Thursday, September 07, 2000 9:09 PM


Pressing on in a calm quiet way, before I took Rustpuppy off of the jackstands and ramps, I just sat and stared at her and thought.  Then it came to me..  The starter wiring was not hooked up yet!  So it was crawl back under and try to figure a way to do it..

There is only room for one hand in the area and it is impossible to see what is going on so it took quite a bit of fumbling around to get the wires on and the nuts in place.  Then it was a challenge to tighten the nuts..  After what seemed like days under there it all came together..  In ror58-1.jpg you can see the starter lurking under them headers somewhere..

Ror58-2.jpg shows where old number six boot is getting toasted..  I have it flanged in with a Tyrap and plenty of high temp RTV..   But I really need to get a skinny boot for this position..

Back to the starter wiring, ror58-3.jpg is an underneath shot showing how the terminals are not visible..  Lots of scratching around to get it together..

After that fun job was over I horsed around and got Rustpuppy off of the jackstands and back on her wheels..  Yipee!  A big step is made toward seat time!

Notice without the front bumper, hood, radiator, and other odds and ends ol’ Rustpuppy is way nose high..  She normally sits a little high in the front (because the stock rear springs are sagging about an inch or so.) but this looks strange..     By the way, that strange smear on the door there is moss and algae growing on the north side of poor Rustpuppy..   Mebbe even some small lichens too..   Sigh..  It has been a long time..

Then with Rustpuppy at a comfortable working height I got the belts on and adjusted and the fan on.  It is a big 7 blade truck fan with a thermostatic clutch..   (ror58-5.jpg)

More to come..

Rick Draganowski



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