Remembering for a moment that the summation of your efforts to this point has been regressive in nature, we’re going to continue down a path of disorder, from structure to chaos to help out our old friend Entropy a bit more. As if the entire Universe is acting through your dexterous hands, this l’il racecar is gunna be a pile of parts soon. And from that pile, new life will be forged. Borne from metal and built through might, the revival will be impressive.
Snap out of it, man. Checking off a few items from our list, we’ll tackle the Gas Tank and Control Pedals in this episode and get to the wiring harness next. Like, OK, Scoob?
Rokay, Raggie. Getting down to business, take a peek inside your gas tank to see how much (if any) fuel you have left in there. For anything more than an inch or so, find an appropriately-sized container and start draining. How, you ask? With a siphon, of course. Put your container on the ground and get a length of tubing that will reach down to the bottom of the gas tank all the way to your receptacle – 6 feet or so of 3/8” clear tubing works nice. You can strain yourself, inhale noxious gasses, or get a mouthful of petrol by sucking the gas through the hose like so many unfortunate slapstick saps or you can be smart about it and try your luck at any (or combination) of these favorites:
- Blow it up: Instead of pulling, try pushing the gas. Start by sticking the hose all the way in the tank and have the other end securely in your container. Take a deep breath, use your hands and mouth to seal off the filler neck of the fuel tank, and blow. As the gasoline creeps its way up the hose, it will start flowing by gravity on the way down the other side. It could take a few breaths, but as long as there’s no more air in the hose, the siphon will start and continue to move the gas without intervention until the tank is nearly empty. Neato! If you’re even smarter, you can use a rag and an air compressor in lieu of your nasty breath. Oh, and make sure gas doesn’t escape through detached fuel lines or carburetors.
- Squeeze it out: I admit it, I haven’t tried this one but it should work. In theory. Stick your hose ends where they belong and pinch the hose at the gas tank end. Now, run that pinch down the length of the hose. If the squeeze is tight enough, moving it will create a pressure difference that will bring that gas along with it. If you try this and it works – let me know: I’ll send you a cookie.
- Dunk it in: (This is the preferred method.) Just start feeding your tubing into the tank until you have about an inch left sticking out of the neck. Now, put your finger over the hole’s hose (no, the hose’s hole) and quickly move that end over to your drain bucket. If you have a good enough seal and you move quick enough, the siphon will be primed and start flowing right away.
- Drill it out: You can purchase an electric drill-driven pump at your local hardware store or online somewhere. ‘Nuff said, cheater.
There will be residual gasoline in there regardless of what method(s) you choose and that’s OK. First, store your gas somewhere safe or just put it in your other car’s tank and use it. Even though your gasoline is literally about as old as the dinosaurs, some chemical elements will evaporate over time and/or it could take on water the longer it sits idle. So, if the gas doesn’t look or smell right get rid of it.
Now you can jack up the rear and get up in there. Bring an oil drain pan with you and, carefully, loosen the fuel line under the tank (on driver’s side) until the remaining gas starts draining. Some gas will run down your arm into your armpit and it will be chilly – you can tie a shop rag around your wrist to prevent this. Also, some gas may run its way down the fuel lines and miss your drain pan but it’ll evaporate quickly enough. Move the fuel line and fitting out of the way when it’s done and go back topside.
A side note: These cars are very restoration-friendly and this gas tank deal is just about the only time you need to do anything from underneath (assuming you’re doing a complete frame-off resto).
Remove the gas cap and filler neck. They’re just secured with a couple of hose clamps – loosen the top one a little until you can work the cap free and then remove the neck. Now all that should be holding your tank on are the six retaining bolts along the perimeter. Once these bolts are removed, don’t pull the tank out just yet – tilt it to the left to drain the last bit of fuel (you still have the drain pan below, right?) and then tilt it toward you and unhook the fuel gauge sending wires from the sensor on the top o' the tank, then remove the tank. And that’s that. Retrieve your drain pan, lower the car, and get a beer – you deserve it.
Helpful Hint #29: If you have some surface rust in that tank o’ yours, put a few cups of gravel in it and shake it around for a little while. Just be sure to remove the sending unit (gas gauge sensor) beforehand.
Next up: The ABCs of foot pedals: Accelerator, Brake, and Clutch. Now go to the engine bay and locate your Clutch and Brake master cylinders, just next to the battery tray. First, unhook the wires to the brake light switch; then start undoing the hydraulic lines to each master cylinder. There will be some brake fluid dripping, so bring a rag with you. When they’re disconnected, move them aside and remove the cotter pins on the clevis pins that connect the brake/clutch arms to the brake/clutch forks. Got it? OK.
While your there, remove the four nuts just below the pedal-cylinder connections. When you have your nuts in your hand, go to the driver’s footwell (where the pedals are) and unbolt the one bolt up front between the pedals and the three bolts rearward. It’ll be a little uncomfortable being on your back and all, but you’ll get over it. The pedal assembly will be free now, it just might take a little wriggling. Set the pedals aside and go back to the cylinder housing - being careful not to spill brake fluid from the master cylinders, set that aside as well.
The accelerator pedal is next up and is easiest removed with the other pedals out the way. Go to the engine bay and disconnect the carb linkage to the pedal’s crossbar (right underneath the battery tray). Just next to the arm will be a brace mounted to the firewall - remove the two bolts holding that in place. There will be 2 sets of four bolts to the left and the right holding the whole accelerator dealy in place - only remove those on the driver's side for now. The assembly should now be loose and movable. It's then just a matter of fishing the pedal side of the contraption up and out through that hole. It'll fit, don't worry.
You should now have an empty cockpit with wires hanging about and no junk in your trunk. We’re making a lot of head way and only have a few things left before the body is ready to come off. As stated earlier, we’ll hit the wiring harness next time. Stay tuned…