Chapter 8   <  ^  >

Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 59

Date:         Friday, September 08, 2000 8:52 PM


Important trip to town today so I fetched two 5 gallon gas cans (why do we call them cans? they are made from plastic..  hmmm..) of 92 octane gas for ol’ Rustpuppy.  You remember the last time she ran (just across the yard) she ran out of gas and I used the mower gas (80 octane or so) to get her to the motor transplant area..   Goody would spit up on the cheap stuff..

And I got a chance to go to NAPA and bitch about the boot toasting on ol’ number 6..   Peg took pity on me and gave me 4 standard boots off some salvaged wires..  Cool..     Later a bit of WD40 to loosen them up and the skinny guy was on ol’ number six..  (with 3 replacements if any more toast) (See ror59-2.jpg)

I devoted some time to getting the Q-Jet into place on Goody and taking care of some details..  (ror59-1.jpg and ror59-3.jpg)


It looks like this weekend Rustpuppy will be running..

I have been going back and forth on ordering the front tire replacements for Rustpuppy..  First I want the Big-N-Little look with 215/70-14’s on the front and the 245/60-14’s on the back..  Then I want the big meats all around, then I want the Big-N-Little...   Yesterday I got so silly about this that I almost ordered two of each so I could swap back an forth.. (I cannot really afford to do that, old idiot..) Today cool heads and careful plannning took over for the emotional see-saw..   If I save up a little I can put a pair of BFG Drag Radials on them extra two 7” Rallyes to improve the traction problems I see coming..   So I finally made up my mind and will have the skinny meats for the 6” rims on the way next week..

Hmm...  Do the Drag Radials come in 245/60-14???

More to come..  For sure..

Rick Draganowski

(getting to the fun part..)



Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 60

Date:         Saturday, September 09, 2000 8:36 PM


Some details on Goody first.  The fuel line to the Q-Jet went on, a nice rubber one covered with aluminum foil tape.  Hooked up the vacuum advance, and plugged the vacuum ports left over.  Then I salvaged the grommet out of Knocker to hook the breather tube to the air cleaner up..

I spent time this morning making a checklist so there will be no screwups.  (I hope)

The column shift mechanism seems to latch into park so I just disconnected the shift rod so it would not dangle..  Then the shift lever came out like a bad tooth..  Moved the tachometer (old original Sun Super Tach II) so it would be in the right place in park..

Then moving on to the instruments..  I disconnected and removed the old JCWhitney triple electric gauge. (with a bad temp sensor and oil press sensor.. bah..  6 years and it is trashed)

Then sitting there in the drivers seat and trying different locations for the big mechanical AutoMeter gauge set I came to the conclusion that the dash pad had to go..  Aided by Dave M.’s disco dash removal I proceeded in my own style..  See ror60-1,jpg for the initial gnarf and the tools used for the removal..    Ror60-2.jpg shows the result..  I also removed the air conditioner ducts and the heater/AC controls using similar techniques to cleaning a very big fish..


Then I flanged up a nice mounting bracket for the AutoMeter gauges and got it attached..  (being very careful not to bust the windshield during the hammering part..  Too dark for pictures, so see tomorrows report..

I determined that the temp bulb and fittings were identical to the smaller gauge used on the Goody test stand.  (was hoping that was the case as the adaptor is still in the head and the header has to come off to change it..)

Then I found out that the nice ” hole I made in the firewall back in ‘94 was too damn small to get the water temp bulb fitting through..    Autometer sez use a 7/8” drill..  So that is where she sits till tomorrow..

In spite of my resolve  to be calm and methodical this weekend the tension and excitement is building up and making it difficult to work in a relaxed and measured way..

I tore at that dashpad like an animal..   Grrr..

Rick Draganowski

(nervous and excited..)




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 61

Date:         Monday, September 11, 2000 9:19 PM


Squeezed out just a couple hours yesterday and two more today.  The instruments (neato AutoMeter 2 5/8” mechanical set for 70 bucks) were mounted and hooked up properly.. (ror61-3.jpg)

They warn you that if you hook up the voltmeter backwards it will damage it..  Strange.  I have never seen a voltmeter damage itself from incorrect polarity..   The radiator went in and all the hoses hooked up. It is not a bleach bottle but a non-toxic soap bottle from Canada..  (ror61-2.jpg and ror61-5.jpg)


I noticed that a love tap Rustpuppy did on one of my trees back in ‘94 pushed the right shock absorber thingie in about ”..  (was reading and slowly rolling till the tree jumped in front..)   So I salvaged a virgin relatively rust free one from Yakima Sue..   (ror61-1.jpg)  

Come to find out that the 3rd bolt (capscrew down through the frame to secure the rear of the shock) was rusted in solid and that the inner fender panel has to come out to provide access with the air wrench or breaker bar.   I want to put the bumper and grille back on before I start running around in Rustpuppy as she looks too much like a car which deserves a ticket with the naked front end.  (ror61-4.jpg)

Did some cleaning up and painting in the trunk getting ready for the battery installation.  There was a lot of other cleaning and painting as well..  Just don’t remember the details..

I was all worked up and nervous because I fully expected to get Rustpuppy on the road last weekend.  But the Nova work time just was not available.  I have backed away from making any promises to myself or the list about just when it happens..  I will be taking my time and steering clear of the tensions associated with scheduling..   There are already too many deadlines in my life..

So,  it will be “real soon now”.   and not sooner..

More to come...

Rick Draganowski

(laid back and mellow..)




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 62

Date:         Tuesday, September 12, 2000 9:48 PM


Since I have come to my senses about being in a hurry to get Rustpuppy back on the road I have been making slow but steady progress without the stress..  I have resolved to clear away most all of the details which would probably be neglected the minute ol’ Rustpuppy is back on the road..

The replacement front bumper shock was the first issue..  (note length difference ror62-1.jpg)

I made a tiny mod in the inner fender panel to provide acess.. (ror62-2.jpg,  GM shoulda done it..)   When the bumper is off is the best time to replace these..

You can see the heavy Disco bumper about to be rassled into place without busting off the plastic facia wingie thingies.   Seems like more than 70lbs..(ror62-3.jpg)  

And then magically (after getting twisted into a pretzel getting the nuts on) right where it belongs..  (ror62-4.jpg)

  The grille went on in a trice and that was the last of the front end stuff..

Purdy..  (ror62-5.jpg)

I cleaned and painted the battery area in the trunk and got the battery back home..  You will like the terminal bolts I am using..

Then I decided that something MUST be done about the great big hole in the transmission tunnel..   So I sat in Rustpuppy sidesaddle, idly scraping up mastic gum with a putty knife, and thinking of a neat way of dealing with “The Hole”..

I have a nice piece of 7075 alloy aircraft aluminum sheet..  Hmmm..  So I planned on cutting out a nice rectangular piece and then putting it in place with a bunch of sheet metal screws..  I ground away on that issue till darkness caught me 2 screws short of being done..  (20 all together) Pictures tomorrow..

More to come...

Rick Draganowski

(calm and quiet..   only one little fit of “urgent” workin today but got it under control..)


Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 63

Date:         Wednesday, September 13, 2000 8:43 PM


A pleasant surprise was waiting at the front door of my shop when I was getting ready to go to town today.  The two BFGoodrich Radial T/A’s for Rustpuppy’s front wheels were here already.. (ordered them Monday) With second day FedEx shipping from Nevada the total bill was $121.13..

So I rummaged the old wheels and tires out of the Dawg and threw them and the new tires into the back of Patches..   I figured on dropping them off at my favorite 76 Station and having them mounted and balanced while I took care of business..     That worked out perfectly (cost 20 bucks) and I came home with them ready to put onto Rustpuppy to replace the cornered off sorry tires on the front..  These are 215/70-14’s for the Big-N-Little look with the 245/60-14’s on the back..  They have the exact same diameter though..  Nice..

See ror63-1.jpg and ror63-2.jpg..  The ends of little steel wires are just starting to stick out on the old tire..  Not good..


Ror 63-3.jpg and ror63-4,jpg show both sides of ol’ Rustpuppy proudly wearing her new front boots..


By the time I got the wheels changed the light was gone and Nova work for today over..

Tomorrow looks to be another day when real work will probably wipe out any Nova work..  Sigh..

Anyway, some progress was made..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 64

Date:         Thursday, September 14, 2000 8:21 PM


As I predicted yesterday the time for Nova work was at a minumum but I did manage to get the last 4 sheet metal screws into the cover for “The Hole”..

Looks pretty good and it is removable..  In case I want to mess about with the governor..

Also I managed to get water into the radiator..  Just plain water till I am 100% sure that there is no way for coolant to get into the oil pan..  Antifreeze is really bad for bearings..  (read that in Chevy High Performance  tech tips or mebbe somewhere else..)

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(slow and steady..   and a little impatient from time to time..)


Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 65 - Rustpuppy Returns!

Date:         Friday, September 15, 2000 8:59 PM


A grueling day on the project (not Rustpuppy, real work) but it finally ended and much was done.  My associate Dave Sorensen stayed an extra half hour to help me get the hood back on ol’ Rustpuppy..  Believe me, it is a lot easier with two than by yourself..

So after that (about 6:30 or so and it starts gettin dark at 7:45)  I had a teeny window for some more Nova work..   First things first, I got 5 gallons of the 92 octane into the tank.  Then I attached the battery and the moment to have Goody come to life in Rustpuppy came..

I did not really adjust the static timing since I expected to have the hood off for that so I figured I could wing it..  I had a good mental image of where the distributor would be for about 8 degrees initial and set it there.  (leaving the hold down bolt just loose enough for tweaking while watching with the timing light later..)

Clearing away some tools to make room, I sat behind the wheel and cranked her over..   It didn’t take long as there was already some gas in the float bowl from running on the test stand.   Goody sprang eagerly into life.  The oil pressure came up to 55lbs and everything sounded good..  Real good.

I sprang out quickly leaving Goody on high idle (about 1200rpm) to check for gasoline or water leaks and everything looked perfect..

I had already put 4 quarts of the Ford fluid into the tranny (as B&M recommended for startup) so I got busy and put 3 more in before it showed on the dipstick..  Then two more and I got back into Rustpuppy and shifted the transmission through all the gears to purge the air internally..  It took one more to bring it up to the full mark..  When I was fooling with the tranny fluid I was starting and stopping Goody by just reaching in through the window..  Flawless starting..  Just a tiny fraction of a rotation and she would spring into life and idle happy at about 900rpm with a lovely lope..

At that point I thought Rustpuppy was ready to roll...   I got back in..  Fumbling with the unfamiliar (yet) Pro-matic shifter I got her into reverse and started backing across the lawn..  Then when I first began to turn I could tell that I did not have the power steering working..  It seems ol’ idjit Draganowski spilled out most of the fluid from the PS pump reservoir when he was fumbling with the fittings to put the hoses back on the PS unit..   It took about quart to bring it up to just a little too much..  Then starting up and running the wheel lock to lock a couple times and everything seemed to be working..

So It was back out across the lawn and gingerly turn out into the old road..  (lots of places to hang up the new Dynomax headers..  remember the dents in the old FlowTechs..)

Then it was Seat Time!

Cruising down the twisty old road (which ate the old tires) and varying the throttle and listening to the music of the pipes..   It has been a long time since the 19th of December 1999 when Rustpuppy took her last ride and the knock started..

Everything sounded and looked fine (45lbs oil, 170degrees water, 14volts) and there was just a little smell from hot pipes burning out the creatures which had moved in over the last 9 months..

Curious...  9 months almost to the day..   Same as a baby..

I will be getting the timing set and then after another 4 mile run changing the oil and filter..  Then retorque the carb bolts and try to get the interior finished and probably a dozen more thingies which need doing..

More to come, with pictures, tomorrow..

Rick Draganowski

(getting to the fun part,  the really fun part..)



Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 66

Date:         Saturday, September 16, 2000 8:58 PM


Last night after dark I could not help myself and snuck out for another little run with Rustpuppy.  With the lights on I noticed right away that the AutoMeter gauges were TOO BRIGHT.   The rheostat in Rustpuppy’s dash had gone to its reward about 3 years ago so the instrument lighting was in a binary mode..  Either off or on..

I fumbled out the silicone rubber lamp covers provided and first tried the red one..   Still too bright and looking like something you would see in the window of a cathouse..  Then the green..  Still too damn bright..   Hmmm..  Then I put the red over the green and tried that..  Not bad..  Not greenish red but sort of rust colored (how apt..) but about the correct intensity..

So rust colored instrument lighting it is..

After going on the short run (4 miles) I came to the conclusion that the Pro-matic shifter was not working right..  Going up from park (PRND21) everything seemed to work..  But going the other way from first gear position (which is pushing the cable instead of pulling) neutral was still drive, reverse was neutral and reverse happened half way down the park detent..  Hmmm...

It looks like the slop (mechanical latency) in the system was excessive..

Went to bed thinking about this stuff last night..

This morning when I  could finally drag my creaking old bod out to see about Rustpuppy I attacked the shift slop problem first..

Jacking up Rustpuppy and sticking a jackstand under gave me room to reach up there and find the lever and cable stuff on the tranny..  Since the headers and pipes are on there is no direct view so it is a paw around kind of job..  I had the shifter in the neutral detent and I knew the tranny was in neutral (tested it before blocking and jacking.   So it was just a few seconds work to get the nut off, insert the two washer slop fix I came up with a couple weeks ago and button everything back up..

Testing after proved the principle and the shifter can downshift and upshift manually just fine in all gears now..

Itching for more seat time I went on a short run to check everything out and it was cool..

Later today I got the urge for going on a “long run”, (about 10 miles total and including Rustpuppy Run..)

On the way back across Rustpuppy Run I kinda stepped on the gas a little more than moderately and went from a sedate 55mph to a wee bit over 4000rpm..  (about 96mph)  It happened a lot faster than I was used to..  Whoo  Haa!   Nice passing gear..

When I backed off after the full throttle mini-run and generated lotsa vacuum I saw a considerable cloud of smoke emanating from the right pipe..  I wonder why and why just the right pipe..

There are lots of little strangenesses to get used to or to worry about..  For instance, with the new g-forces when the gas tank is low the pickup is getting exposed sucking air and causing a lean out miss..  I put the other 5 gallons in today because of just that concern..  But I am not too worried and will just have fun till Goody is broke in nice..

The biggie which I will be thinking about tonight is the poached egg feeling I got after the long run..  The headers get the floor almost hot enough to fry an egg on..   I had been planning on just a plain painted metal floor for Rustpuppy but that idea may have to be discarded.

I will not have a carpet in Rustpuppy but I really need some quality insulation..  Hmmm..  Mebbe something on the bottom of the floor thermally isolating  the headers and pipes.  It gets really hot under there..

What would be good for that??

I still haven’t adjusted the timing properly and promise to do that tomorrow for sure..

The oil change will have to wait as Goody is wearing the last oil filter from the last case I bought and I was too stupid to buy another case of them last week..  Duhh..  Monday for sure..   Plenty of oil but no filters in stock..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(Rustpuppy goes fast and sounds really good..)




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 67

Date:         Sunday, September 17, 2000 9:29 PM


As promised yesterday the first order of business was getting the timing set properly..  After much farting around and getting Goody to run “Like Ass” I came to the conclusion that the distributor centrifugal advance springs were too soft..  The weights in the ProForm distributor must be heavier than I am used to..

What was happening was mostly related to idle ability..   The advance progression would speed up the idle enough to cause more advance..  It was an unstable positive feedback situation with poor Goody either dying when put into gear or spinning the tires..   I came up with a reasonable combination of idle throttle setscrew versus initial advance to allow driving but it is an uneasy compromise..  Tomorrow the other heavy spring goes back into the distributor and the whole process repeated..

Other challenges presented themselves..  Checking the number six spark plug boot finds the new skinny one toasted too..  Bummer..  Will measure the actual distance between the end of the plug and the damn pipe..  (which I suspect was welded in wrong..  Cheap help..)

And the right pipe is blowin blue smoke in a random kind of way..  Mostly under load but not always..  Weird..  Just ring seating I hope..

And last but not least I am running out of gas again..  It seems like the motor will pull like crazy till it uses up the gasoline in the float bowl (which ain’t much in a Q-Jet) and then poop out..

Will change the filter in the Q-Jet but I suspect the pickup sucking air due to having used up about half of the 10 gallons I put in..   In just 40 miles of spirited driving..  Hmmm...  Really need to go to town for a fillup..  It was a fun 40 miles though..

We had the hottest day of 2000 today so the “Poached Feet” syndrome was a serious factor..    I did some crude testing and determined that the whole floor is getting hot with serious hot spots above the headers and pipes..  I had idly thought of just insulating the tops of the header collectors and exhaust pipes but it looks like Rustpuppy really needs total floor insulation and, I dread to say, a carpet..

I know nothing of such things and really need help on just exactly would do the job at minumum cost..

How much does stuff like that cost?  You know, I have never looked..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(Seat time is good,  even with poached feet..)




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 68

Date:         Monday, September 18, 2000 9:43 PM


Since the timing advance problem has Goody running “Like Ass” and complicated the tuning beyond my ability to resolve I decided to get the spring change in the ProForm distributor ASAP today.

Ror68-1.jpg shows the distributor field stripped and ready for surgery.

You can see the weak sister spring on the right which has caused me so much trouble..  And look at the fat weights..  (ror68-2.jpg)

The best tool to use on springs is a genuine TeleType corp. spring hook..  (ror68-3.jpg)  I been carrying this one around since 1969...

Ror68-4.jpg shows the proper spring back in place..  Quick and easy if you got long arms..

The temporary and expedient fix I put on the cut out radiator support frame (read halfassed) turned out to be less than totally successful..  (read total failure, I am lucky the radiator didn’t go into the fan)  The proper and secure fix went in next..  (see ror68-5.jpg and ror68-6.jpg)


Then it was time to fix the toasted boot problem.. (ror68-7.jpg)

The actual distance from the end of the sparkplug allows a 25/64th drill bit but stops a 13/32nd job.  (less than 0.406 but more than 0.391)  Not much but more than I thought but since the pipe is offset in the direction I want the wire to go it toasts the boot. Putting a Tyrap on the plug to hold the boot at a sharper angle looks like a workable solution..  (ror68-8.jpg)

Note the black RTV trim cement holding the red nozzle thingie on my WD40..

I always used to lose those..

With all the ducks in a row it was time to get to the timing and idle adjustments..  Everything worked like I was used to and it was a pleasure compared to the nightmare I had been having with the out-of-control centrifugal advance..   I have Goody set for 12 degrees initial advance with 32 total centrifugal.  The vacuum can is set for only 10 degrees.

I went out for a test drive but it had too be a short one as I am running out of gas..  I stole a gallon for the mower out of the 10 gallons of gas for Rustpuppy so the 9 I started this adventure with is fading fast..  Probably don’t have enough to get to town for a fillup..  What an ol’ idiot I am sometimes..  Just couldn’t keep my big size 14’s out of the throttle..

The 1 mile test drive was fantastic!  Not “Running Like Ass” any more!

Happy happy, joy joy!

I had time just at dusk to flange together a neat solution to the poached feet problem..  But that issue can wait till tomorrow..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(having too much fun to be possible..)





Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 69

Date:         Tuesday, September 19, 2000 9:02 PM


I threatened yesterday to reveal the solution to the toasted feet problem.

And that is the business at hand today..

I started with some special high quality double corrugated board salvaged from the large boxes Stihl ships it’s bulk chainsaws in.  (chainsaws is big business here in Gold Beach)

Cut it out to fit the floor..  (ror69-1.jpg)

Then using the neat double aluminized building paper the cardboard is covered on both sides and taped with aluminum foil tape.   (ror69-2.jpg and ror69-3.jpg)


Then I cut a large piece of aluminum flashing material and taped it down with the aluminum tape.  (ror69-4.jpg)  This is to protect the paper and cardboard from my big size 14’s..

I painted the rusty parts of the floor with gray primer..  That is all I am doing on the passengers side.  They will have to live with toasted feet..  Then I attached the electric defroster with double stick tape..  The stuff that is used for new car trim installation..

The dash was quick and easy..  Just a piece of the aluminum building paper (about the thickness of the cardboard used in a telephone book cover) cut to fit, painted flat black, and stuck down with double stick trim tape..

Then I sealed the extra big hole where the Pro-matic cable went through the floor with a piece of aluminum flashing and some more of the aluminum tape..

Ror69-5.jpg and ror69-6.jpg shows the finished (for now) interior..   Need them seat covers..


The miniscule seat time today showed a disconcerting popping in the headers..  I suspect a fouled plug as a touch of the gas cleared it up and Goody is pulling really good..  There is a possibility that there is an ignition problem as I have heard negative stories about the ProForm HEI ignition module..   I am itching to get some more gasoline so I can put some serious miles on Rustpuppy..    There is only 44 miles on the odometer since she first moved on the 15th..

Will be buying a spare NAPA ignition module and keep the tools necessary for a change in Rustpuppy till I get to the bottom of the popping..  I am thinking of the cutting out at speed (like someone turned off the ignition) problem as well..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(fun with aluminum tape..)




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 70

Date:         Wednesday, September 20, 2000 9:15 PM


Lots of little odd ends which I haven’t covered in the regular reports due to excess excitement.  As you remember I Rustpuppy was suffering from an assortment of electrical gremlins which I chased my tail on for many months..   And as you also know I had to reorganize the 10SI alternator salvaged from the original six from Rustpuppy to install it on Goody..

Since that moment all of the strange electrical problems went away..   I had been fighting a flakey alternator and not connector problems..   It is nice to have bright lights and 14+ volts again..

The Sheriff’s Association sticker on Rustpuppy expired last January and today I put on the nice new 2000 job..   Believe what you will but Rustpuppy has been wearing one since 1993 and it brings her luck..

Due to my excessive throttle usage the 9 gallons Rustpuppy started this adventure with has dwindled down to about 1 or 2..  Not enough to get to town for a fillup..    My associate Dave, who has been working with me, volunteered to bring back 15 gallons of 92 octane tomorrow..  Hoo Haa!  Looking forward to more seat time soon!

The strange random popping in the exhaust and seeming ignition module problem is still there but much less..   (I gave Dave a little ride today, having his 200lb bod in the passengers seat helps traction..)

Because of caution and bad reports about the ProForm modules (and a hint of paranoia( today I put together an emergency module replacement kit with:

Distributor wrench (you have to loosen the distributor to turn it to get the rear dist cap latch open, damn!)

Timing light  (to reset timing you screwed up getting the cap off)

screwdriver  (to get the cap off, and the module screws)

nutdriver (for the high zoot brass contact rotor screws, not slotted, little hex head mothers)

Echlin (NAPA) known good module

The kit resides on the passenger side floor..

Rustpuppy has developed a serious banging in the rear due to the left side exhaust loosening up and bouncing against the fender when the motor idles with the neat lope..   Dave thought it was funny it was so loud..  Gotta fix that tomorrow..

Only 1 mile of seat time today..


More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(lotsa little details..)





Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 71

Date:         Friday, September 22, 2000 7:59 PM


Nothing but “real work” till dark yesterday..  But today is back to Nova fun.  First I addressed the problem of the banging exhaust and found all the nuts on the exhaust adaptor “flange up” loose allowing the weight of the muffler to pull down and push the tailpipe against the fender..  What a noise it makes when it does that.

I tightened them up but it is obvious that they need some kind of locking mechanism..  Tomorrow I will get proper working height on Rustpuppy and double nut with lockwasher inbetween those nasty little boogers..  They loosened right up after a few miles of seat time today..

Dave brought the 15 gallons of 92 octane yesterday so after putting 10 in Rustpuppy is flush with over half a tank of good gas..

Todays initial run brought out the fact that Goody is troubled by three different problems..  Here they are..

1)   the “running out of gas” problem..   I am almost sure it is the crummy little filter in the Q-Jet..  (it was)

2)   the random missing and bangin in the pipes..   Ignition for sure and suspect the ProForm ignition module.

3)   blowin blue smoke out the right pipe..  Don’t know about this one as it seems much to much for just rings not seating..  Am thinking that I have a leak in the intake manifold sucking oil from the lifter gallery..   (or mebbe something more serious..  I hope not) 


First I addressed the “crummy little filter” suspect..   It was out in a jiffy..   It sure seems like a tiny little thing.  I wonder what the  Rochester engineers were thinking of..

I could tell that Goody was much happier with proper fuel delivery in just the first few hundred feet..   When I got to the little run stretch on the old highway I pushed her pretty hard in second gear looking for the “running out of gas” syndrome..   I must have gotten a little excited cause I made Goody pull at full throttle in second gear right up to 6000rpm..   Hoo Haa..  Not running out of gas now!   She was smooth as silk at that rpm too..  It was pretty exciting since that is about 91mph on the narrow little country road..  And it did not take long to get there..

You know I was fighting that lousy little filter back last year when I was doing Rustpuppy Log reports and was seeming to have a fuel delivery problem..   I did and was too stupid to think of the obvious..

The “random missing and banging in the pipes” is still present though..  Tomorrow I will swap out the whole Proform distributor with the modified GM distributor which came out of Knocker.  If the missing and popping goes away I will raise a little hell with the Proform folks.

I ran Rustpuppy out on the highway (101) for the first time since Goody went it..  I got her up to 4500 in third (about 104mph) but just for a moment since it was too windy for safety at anything over about 80 today..

The smoke has me worried though..   For now I will stick with the assumption that it is just a stubborn set of rings..   Besides Goody only has about 55 miles on her..  It is too early to tell..

Got a list of stuff to get at NAPA when I get to town..  First on the list is a proper in-line fuel filter..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(still going fast and sounding good,  but popping and smoking and banging too..)



Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 72

Date:         Saturday, September 23, 2000 8:29 PM


Now that the fuel delivery problem is worked out I addressed the random missing and header popping problem which I suspect was the Proform 170 buck (high zoot for me) polished distributor.

That distributor has been a disappointment in many ways..   Like 60 thousanths end play and a really crappy 25 degree vacuum can.

I started by bumping the starter to get the rotor pointing at ol’ number one.  Then the Proform was out in a jiffy..   I tested acess to the rear cap hold down latch but it is impossible without climbing on the cowl area and that would be quite a sight if I tried it..  So loosening the hold down and turning it seems to be the only choice I have..

It was enought of a pain separating the high voltage harness assembly from the top of the distributor cap..  I wanted to make a clean sweep of the Proform and replace the coil as well..

Ror 72-1.jpg shows the two distributors passing in the night..  The knarly standard GM Delco Remy job (original module from 1977 truck in it)  and the who-knows-where-it-came-from Proform.

Ror 72-2.jpg shows Goody sans-distributor waiting for the familar ol GM job.

And finally ror72-3.jpg shows the job completed..

I set the timing for 10 degrees initial with about 28 total for the testing..  I bet Goody will be happier with 16 inital and 34 total..  But first it was time to find out about the popping and missing..

Hoopla!  The test drive showed smooth as silk running and none of the random missing!

That is two correct troubleshooting guesses in a row!   (that will never happen again..  sigh..)

But..     (why is there always a but?)

The blue smoke from the right pipe is still there to aggravate the hell out of me..   After the test run and with the motor at operating temp I left Rustpuppy idling in park and crawled out to watch closely..

Blue smoke, (noticeable but not heavy) was coming out of the right pipe but none at all from the left pipe..    And the exhaust beat seemed a little irregular on the right compared to the left..

I wonder if the assembly guys down in Mexico may have left a ring off or something..  Nightmarish thoughts..    Damn..  I hope it is something simple like the intake gasket..

There is only about 80 miles on Goody now so my plan is to run her moderately for a couple weeks and then go through the misery of trying to get a compression check..  The right side headers have to come off since the acess to the plug holes on that side is blocked..  And that is the side I got trouble with..  Bummer..

Oh well,  at least Goody is running good and I will bump up the timing and do something about the exhaust loosening up tomorrow..

Rick Draganowski

(it is always something..  worried about the smoke..)



Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 73

Date:         Sunday, September 24, 2000 8:33 PM


The loose nuts on the exhaust flangeup were first on the agenda today..  I jacked Rustpuppy up one side at a time (with jackstand under) and put a stack of lock washers and flat washers on each stud..  That should allow a bit of motion and yet keep constant spring tension against the nuts to keep them from loosening up..   It went flange, lock, flat, lock, flat, lock, nut.   We will see if this does the trick.  If not I will add another lock washer on the other side of the nut and then another nut..  (see ror73-1.jpg (it is a poor pic since I was losing the light when I got done grovelling around on the ground))

The timing was next.  I discovered that the springs I put into the ol’ stocker distributor (Moroso middle tension) are just a wee bit too weak for the happiest tuning..  It makes the idle adjustment too tender as the centrifugal advance starts just a bit too early. (at about 1500rpm instead of 1800)

But it settled down and seemed to be happiest with 34 degrees total advance..  I had to reduce the idle just a wee more than would be good (it will die when cold and shifted into gear) so that has to be sorted out tomorrow..  It got dark and cold on me..

The seat time was good today but the black cloud of concern over the blue smoke from the right pipe seems to be taking a lot of the fun out..  Oh, well..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski


Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 74

Date:         Sunday, October 01, 2000 6:39 PM


Strange things started happening over the last week.   I had about 90% convinced myself that the blue smoke from the right pipe on Goody was caused by an intake manifold leak.  So I had been getting stuff together for the R&R job.

While this was going on I was getting a little half-hearted seat time.  (enough to burn about 10 gal of 92 octane)  My concerns about the serious looking smoke from Goody’s right pipe was draining most of the fun.

During this time I was watching the coolant (plain spring water) levels as well as the ATF and motor oil.  Strange stuff was happening.  The oil in the tranny was going down rapidly and the oil level in Goody was going up!   At first I thought that perhaps it was a combination of leaks.  Transmission pan gasket and water sneaking past the intake manifold gasket.  (which was under suspicion)

But a couple days of monitoring the tranny showed no leakage at all.  Not one drop.  Yet it had lost about 3 quarts of fluid..   How?   And when I changed the oil in Goody (140 miles on first batch) there was nothing but clean nice oil there..  About 6 quarts..   (supposed to be 5, I put 5 in..)

I had bought a TH350 modulator last week to change just to be on the safe side.  (and it was the last straw I was grasping at to avoid the manifold job)

I had never heard of oil in quantity being transferred like this but it had to be so..  So when I pulled the steel vacuum line off the manifold and pink Ford tranny juice ran out I was beside myself with happiness..   I was jumping around and yelling like a little kid..  (wonder what the neighbor thinks?)

So that was it.  The vacuum port which services the transmission is located on the number 8 intake runner..   Poor number eight was eating a lot of oil..  It was starting to creep up the outside of the tailpipe in liquid form..   Wow..   The fact that it was winding up in the oil pan was amazing though..  Seems like no matter how many weird things you see there is always another..

Yesterday after work  (serious construction on my Deloris’ special new home) I swapped the modulator.. (see ror74-1,jpg for the villain of the story) Too cool! 

After running the piss out of Goody the smoke faded and never came back!   

I went out after dark on Rustpuppy Run and let Rustpuppy stretch her legs a little..  (about 4700rpm in 3rd, 108-110mph)  At the end where I turn around (a beachfront rest stop) there was a load of State Police rollers..   Oh, oh..   When one of them came out right behind me and hit the lights I figured my goose was cooked..    The old adrenalin started flowing big time..

But it was not.   Seems that it was a call about shots fired on the beach..  Poachers are running amuck around here and the State Police are the game enforcement guys..   The earnest young officer just wanted to ask me if I had seen any suspicious activity in the local neighborhood..  I told him that there had been a lot of late night shooting and where I been hearing it..

Whew!  Not a traffic stop at all..  And the damned left taillight was out again (corrosion problem) too!   He ignored that.  What a great bunch of guys..    He mentioned that there was a reward for informing on the poachers (shooting at night around where people live makes me nervous too) and I informed him that if I ever get one I would donate it to the Sheriff’s Association  (and pointed at the Association’s year 2000 sticker on Rustpuppy’s windshield..)

After my nerves settled down I drove back home like a little old lady..

Well most of the way like that anyway..

Today I checked everything again.  The tranny was stable and Goody was still about quart high..  (I better drain the extra oil..)   The radiator was full to the brim with spring water.  Goody ran like a clock during today’s seat time pulling hard and not missing a beat..

I opened the petcock on the radiator and drained out enough water to make room for one gallon of premium coolant (with aluminum corrosion protection for my Edelbrock)..

I figured the number 8 sparkplug must be fouled from eating so much tranny fluid..  When I pulled it out to replace it (one of the easy to get to ones) it looked peachy keen!   The serious running had cleared it right up..  (see ror74-2,jpg)

It is all coming together..   The idle is cool, the tranny shifts like a dream.   Stays in first till you tell it to shift with the Pro-matic..  Goes like a bat out of hell..   Fun again..

Now I have to do something about covering them rust holes before the rains start..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(the G-Tech comes out of the Suburban glovebox soon, mebbe next week)




Subject:    Return of Rustpuppy report 75

Date:         Tuesday, October 10, 2000 9:14 PM


Plenty of quality seat time in the last week.  All the work and worry is paying off.  Goody is running like a clock and when the time comes to take the G-Tech out of the bag (I took the G-Tech out of the Suburban glovebox and put it in Rustpuppy) I expect quite a pleasant surprise..  (G-Tech stays in the bag till 500 miles is reached)

Rustpuppy got to town for a fillup and I did the dumbshit driver routine with the turn signals..  Motoring down the road with my left signals on..  Duhhh..  I had installed the Extra Loud flasher from JCWhitney through the dash so it was sticking through the old radio tuning hole..  But I still didn’t hear it and the gauges block the dash lights..  Damn!

In desperation I cobbled up a little aluminum megaphone for the noisy flasher.. (picture to come later) It seems much louder..  Time will tell..  It is a combination of my failing hearing (damaged during my Air Force days) and Rustpuppy’s loud pipes plus the absence of a rear seat or any carpeting..

Today during seat time I fooled around with powerbraking to figure the stall speed of the TCI Break-A-Way converter.   I could not hold the right rear from spinning using all my strength on the brakes.  It would bust loose at about 2750rpm when the secondaries on the Q-Jet started opening..   It was a weird but happy experience..

Also on the southbound Rustpuppy Run section of the drive I was being cool at 60mph with the windows all closed.  I decided to get on the throttle a wee bit..   The closed tin can nature of the interior combined with the plain steel floor and loud pipes set up a resonance at about 4100rpm which was actually loud enough to cause my left ear to hurt..  Very impressive..  Will do the fast stuff with that window down in the future..

On the northbound Rustpuppy Run I let Rustpuppy stretch her legs just a little.. Up to 4700 in 3rd...  (about 108mph)   It sure didn’t take long to get there..  (window was down)

A very happy drive..

More to come..

Rick Draganowski

(the winter rains are starting,  bummer..)



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