August 22, 2001 - The Quest to Start An Engine

After some discussion with Monty, I have decided to try and start the current engine as building one won't be cheap to start and funds are becoming a little short right now.

The first suggested task is to turn the engine by hand.  This involves a wrench with a huge socket somehow turning the crankshaft on the front of the engine.  I have no clue how to do this right now and my biggest socket wrench is about 3-4 sizes too small for the crankshaft bolt.  So now we get to reassign priorities as I can't get to the bolt and even if I could I wouldn't be able to turn it anyway.

The first reorganized set of tasks are to drain the oil, drain the radiator, drain the gas tank, and then refill with their respective fluids.  After that is to determine the fuel line capabilities (as in are there any).  Followed by "let's play the vacuum hose game" with the carburetor.  These items should be simple as I can read vacuum diagrams (should I ever find any) and can reroute hoses and plug stuff together.

Oil will go smoothly as I have an oil filter and about 12 quarts of it on hand.  The radiator will be slightly messier, but should go all right as well.  The gas tank will have to be pulled out of the back of the car and drained, then checked to make sure the fuel lines are all working.

I didn't feel like messing with the jack stands today so I decided to pull all that ridiculous smog equipment and the compressor assembly (as it has been exposed for so long there is little to no chance of it ever working in it's current state).

That is much better.  Got some room to work around.  Now I know why guys dismantle their AC.  Lots of room to work now that all that miscellaneous junk is out of the way.

That took a good 2-3 hours of wrenching and unbolting.  Not to mention that the smog pump had to have been the dirtiest piece of equipment on the car.  See all the gunk in the second picture in the front of the engine?  The smog pump dumped most of it.

Ah the compressor and some other piece (it's late) that probably haven't functioned since 1980-something.  Came out in one nice piece.  It's amazing how nice and clean the fittings were after 22 years of sitting there.  It seems that neither of these items had ever been out of the car before based on how difficult they were to unbolt.  The compressor itself was just hanging there on the frame.  No bolts or anything.  Rather unusual I thought...

The smog pump a.k.a. "Crud Magnet"  Anyone want to buy a used seized smog pump?  Notice the spark plug used to "plug" up the left side of the tubing of the engine.  Somehow I don't think engineers ever figured that spark plugs should be used in such a literal state.

Task List

1. Get a vacuum diagram

2. Get a wiring diagram

3.  Get a 1978 Pontiac manual

4. Get a 1979 Pontiac supplement

5.  Get a 1979 Fisher body manual

6.  Get some tubing and a carburetor rebuild kit

7.  Find a bigger garage as this one car garage crap isn't cutting it

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Last updated on August 26, 12:52AM