The wiring is now completely finished and everything is tested. I installed the electric fans, (2) 11" units which should be sufficient. If they cannot keep up I can always change them later. Here you also see the headlight relays and fan control unit mounted on the radiator support. Notice the ground point which is also connected to the battery with a thick ground cable.
I needed to connect the exhaust to the new headers, bringing the car to a shop would involve too much time and money so I decided to try it myself. I bought some material and a cheap electric welder and just started. I cut the pipes to size and then fixed them using metal strips and screws since I don't have power in my garage and my small generator can't keep up with the welder. After driving home with the assembled pipes I tack welded them I got me some fitting pieces. The welder I bought is fine for making tack welds but when I tried to fully weld them it cut out on the thermal switch a lot. Finish welding them was something my welding skills are not up to PAR for(this was my first time ever welding) and my welder was not up to the job either. A guy in my neighbourhood offered to help me out and finish welded them for me with his MIG welder, thanks Michel! Now my exhaust system was done so I could start the car without getting into trouble with the neighbours.
I now started it and it sounds great! When the coolant temperature went up the fans came on so that works too. The ground clearance on the driver side just after the header is still not what I want, I might change the exhaust a bit later. I want to keep a 4inch or 10cm ground clearance which is pretty low for a driver (not show car)
First and most important thing now is to get the car tested and back on the road. After some playing around with the ignition and idle screw it now starts on first try and runs 1000 rpm idle when not in gear. Final tuning on the LPG system might require taking the car on a dyno but that is for a later date. For now I put my old air filter on, maybe a K&N filter will take it's place. I had other plans but that called for another hood to get clearance and that is outside my budget at this time.
The throttle return spring was not attached yet and and I drilled one of the water neck bolts head and hooked it in there. Also when the motor was running I noticed the alternator light was still on....so I had it tested and it turned out to be broken. I installed a new rectifier and regulator and it now works fine, 14Volts @ Idle. Oil pressure is around 70 @idle cold and 50 @idle when warmed up, will probaby drop a bit when the motor really heats up but this is more than enough.
Most of the parts on the car are either new, remanufactured or reconditioned but my rear axle was something I had not done anything to beside installing the Powertrax unit. Just to be sure and because I do not want to do things over again I bought a set of Superior axles complete with bearings and seals. To be able to do the job myself I got me some new tools too, a bearing puller kit. The axles are stronger then stock, and with the new bearings they will last a long time. For added security and looks I also installed a Moser rear end cover. Now the rear axle will easily handle the power and look good doing it.
The brakes are done and they really bite (only drove it out the garage slowly), I could feel that right away. I might have to change out my master cylinder since local rules say the brake fluid level should be visible from the outside without opening the reservoir or a warning light should be present. I still have a C5 Corvette master so when I buy some fittings to adapt my brakelines to it I will be compliant with the rules.
The original fender reinforcement bars are but ugly, I painted them but still I did not like them. Luckily aluminum ones are available now and they clean up the looks under the hood. The new seatbelts are also in, they look like 4 point belts but use just 1 mounting point in the back with a roll up mechanism. This way you can still move forward to reach the heater controls or the radio for example.
I cleaned up the areas of the front sheet metal that will be mounted to each other and painted those area's to be sure that everything is covered and less work and disassembly will be needed at the paintshop. The insides are painted with black POR15 to get a clean surface that will not rust and look nice.
My goal is to get it back on the road in january (2008 that is)..........
You can reach me by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org