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Hot Rods 1937 Dodge Ol Bessy is Coming Home....redux

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Sharps40, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,
    We had the room, and you can never have too much cooling so....Derale mechanical fan added for back up capacity.

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  2. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,


    Getting Ol Bessy ready for her exhaust appointment Monday. Went out to start her up and crank and crank and crank until she finally started. Very unusual for her, she's been real good about starting so far.


    Drive went well until she warmed up. Then I started getting massive deceleration pop and she just wouldn't idle below 1100 rpm. Stalled twice on the way home. So, I assumed fuel or vacuum leak.


    Started with the old school stuff you taught me. Smacked the carb good with a screwdriver handle to break loose any trash in the needle, reved it, no change.


    Adjusted fuel pressure from 2 to 4 and back to 2 3/4 lbs. Reved it each time, no change.


    Took it out on the road again, punched her pedal hard enough to fully open and close both carbs......perfect. Runs like a top.


    Seems the throttle plate on the secondary carb was a touch open. I'll have to get to that during my tuning weekend.


    For now, I think she's ready to drive or tow to the exhaust shop.
     
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  3. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    20200704_154955.jpg 20200704_165625.jpg Killed my first bug today.....

    Also used my redneck bead breaker to sort out the hole I drilled in the new spare with tube install.
     
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  4. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    Ol Bessy was not happy to be on a trailer again. She spit off the straps twice on the trip to the shop. Gotta love her for staying on the trailer dolly though and not taking off on her own. Once we got her on the lift she knew it wasn't another 4 year stint in body shop jail and settled right down. She'll be done Friday or so. Come drive your car!

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  5. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    We are blessed to have such good friends here in NC, BigTen got us there safely and ........Drum Roll...... She is getting her exhaust work done in Wadesboro NC, Gary Porter's Shop (Think Carolina Crusher Monster Truck). I think Mr. Porter is no longer with the business but his employees are and I know she's in good hands. She'll be singing right in no time.
     
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  6. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    Here is Ol Bessy in April 2015 when you told me I still owned her (over 20 years after the accident that took her off the road).....hidden away in the basement of the body shop since about 1991/1992. Look at her now!

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  7. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Home with a quiet exhaust. Rock solid great job. Very pleased. And while in Wadesboro we had lunch at the Ladybug. Bessy is happy. In the 92 degree heat she stayed cool at 55 to 60 mph never going over 200 degrees Fahrenheit (Small sweep gauges are hard to analyze but the heat gun tells me 205F on the gauge is 195F at the top of the radiator and under 190F at the thermostat housing. She's good for cooling I believe. Speedo is close, it reads about 3 to 4 MPH slower than actual speed at low highway speeds. Just needs a minor tweak.....gonna have to mark out an accurate mile and run it again to tweek the calibration.

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  8. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad.
    Modified 51 Desoto passenger visor to fit 37 Dodge. Replaces what the shop lost. Removed ugly Lokar shift knop and fitted up Ol Bessy's original to the shift lever. And, a few shots of the new exhaust, looks like a factory install, right down to the round muffler.

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  9. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    Got Ol Bessy's pinion seal replaced this morning while still cool out. The old seal on the right was the deeper truck 12 bolt seal, installed with a 1/8" braded wire spacer. Typically, it was leaking. It had been installed sometime back I'm sure after the shallower car 12 bolt seals went off the market. Glad we did this job, the pinion nut was a bit loose, breaking torque was under 60 foot lbs and the pipe dope sealing the splines had long since crumbled away. Good news is Strange Engineering had the proper shallow car 12 bolt seal and the yoke was in fine shape even though the dust cover had long since come loose. I removed the dust cover and tossed it in the junk bin. Too loose to restake it and no need for a new yoke.

    Got the Strange Engineering Car Seal driven into place with grease and sealant and sealed the splines on reassembly. I pulled her nut up to 100 ft lbs, enough to retain the settings but not enough to crush the spacer sleeve any further. Back together and we'll get a rattle and leak free test ride today or tomorrow. Likely tomorrow as its 12 PM and already murderously hot out.

    So, off to the garage again to see if the 55 Buick gas pedal can be mounted more comfortably than the current late model jeep gas pedal.

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  10. junkers72
    Joined: Sep 21, 2014
    Posts: 46

    junkers72

    Exhaust job looks great as does the rest of your car.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  11. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Long day. Went for a ride. Sprung a leak in the proportioning valve. Fluid coming out the reset pin and fitting thread. It was not real tight....snugged it up twice, down to a weep, snugged it up till the head is round with vice grips, went for a ride, no leak. I'll check in the AM but went ahead and ordered a CCP metering valve and a spare pv2 valve. Hopefully I can sort it with just a metering valve replacement.


    Bumped it into second from third (about 25 mph) by accident, heard a ping/clunk. All was well below 45 mph but then picked up a vibration from the rear at 50 and up. Wasn't there before, I don't think, but its so much quieter now, perhaps it was and I just couldn't note it. Brought the car home and crawled under. Everything looks good, rechecked the angles, trans down 4.2 degrees and diff up 3.97 degrees. Nothing looks broken. While under there I heard another loud ping, something is not happy. I suppose tomorrow I'll check all the bolts and fittings, spring shackles, lug nuts, etc., from the trans mounting all the way back, drop the drive shaft and check the pinion nut, etc.


    Still have a bit of a hitch in the steering. Rack has a 3/4 ford V shaft with a matching Borgeson joint on it. Can't seem to get it clamped all the way, it'll occasionally clunk when turning, mostly when still. So, gotta get it to clunk then crawl under and see if it'll snug up some more.
     
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  12. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,
    Continuing to stick close to the theme, "What you wanted to do in the 60s with Ol Bessy", and staying close to the period in materials. Inexpensive saddle blanket seat covers for now. Clean and though the colors are a bit garish, comfortable until the bugs are worked out and we are ready for professional upholstery.
    As you recall the original floor mats and trunk liners were brown, ribbed battleship rubber. No longer available in brown or rubber I'm installing a good equivalent. Black ribbed (black go's with everything) garage floor mat. Tuff enough to drive on, much lighter and thinner than the original 1/4" or more thick rubber and flexible enough to work over Ol Bessy's driveshaft tunnel. Under it is two layers of buetyl and dense poly foam insulation/sound barrier. In the photos, the rear floor and trunk shelf are completed and permanently applied. New door sills of aluminum and the lower door seals are installed to keep her air and water tight. I'll get on the front end tomorrow and get the front seat back in place for the last time.

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  13. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    Flooring is completed. Front floor mat is not down tight yet. I still need to make up the shifter boot and a heel pad for the accelerator pedal. But, mustly looking good and mud and deer blood will wipe right off. I'll have to start disassembling the old arm rests and use them for patterns. I'll get them made up and installed, planning to reinstall both original ash trays in the rear arm rests. No sense in not having a place to smoke cigars!

    Tomorrow's job is to remove the rear axle, again, from the leaf springs. I stopped reading the internet and went directly to Spicer for pinion angle information. I'll take the pinion shims out from between the leaves and axles and see how she sits with no shims. We'll hope the shop set the axle perches for about 3 to 4 degrees nose down before they welded them in place. Need to get the vibration out of the rear end. Its only on acceleration so that tells me the up angle is too much and the pinion needs to go down. Shouldn't be hard, just a lot of really tight bolts to break loose.

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  14. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Ol Bessy, 1937 Dodge, took her first trip to town in nearly 30 years. She's back on the road and prettier than ever.
    A huge Thanks to the good folks at Brown's Hardware, Mount Gilead, NC for making this dream come true for me, for my 81 year old Dad (who has owned this car since 1957) and my Mom who got her drivers license in Ol Bessy. The vast majority of the nuts, bolts, screws, washers, brackets, electrical connections, etc, holding her together and making all her systems Factory New/Reliable were acquired right here at our Home Town Hardware Store.
    You guys are the BEST!

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  15. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    I pulled the pinion shims out and she drives a lot happier with out them. Pinion is nose down a squeek over 4*. Spicer ap says it should be nose down, Tremec ap says it should be nose up, another says both are fine, more say it'll start brush fires if not perfectly parallel and some say perfect parallelity will send shrapnel up through the floor killing women and children in aircraft 10000 feet up..... and the forum fellas on the internet all disagree about both and neither and all the possibilities in between. So, I'm just going to drive it and see how it goes. So far, much smoother, especially above 50 mph and up to 60 mph.... and still no vibration decelerating.


    Good we are in the vetting phase. Brakes were pissing oil at the PV2 metering valve, tranny is now pissing oil at the speedo and/or governor......but the radiator is tight, oil pan is tight and diff is tight, the spare tire is holding air in its new tube (despite my concerted attempt to destroy the brand new spare), I can hear the stereo, running boards are now snugged down (bassturds at the shop never fitted them and never welded the brackets on before painting).


    Rather than weld the paint off I had to add a single stainless bolt through the top face front and rear. I'll change that to a stainless button or carriage head as soon as I can find them.....will be less obvious. Prolly do the same on the rear fenders. Shop left off both fender support brackets, cut the mounting tab off one fender (leaving me no option for welding one on now) and installed a bent fender on one side. But, at least with the left side being different than the right side, no one can see it! I bitch cause I have to fit the painted parts.


    Now if the title inspector will just answer the dayum phone during duty hours.....
     
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  16. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Did a route recon today. Title inspection station in Ashborough. The closer facility in Albemarle is not answering the phone and even the Ashborough folks can't say why, just that they are seeing a large uptick in title inspections from the Albemarle area. Anyway, it'll be a nice morning ride some Mon to Thur up 134 and 220. Probably Ol Bessy's longest trip to date, about 45 miles one way. Hope to get up there in the next week or so, I already talked with the inspector, have all the paperwork and cleared the paint off the old lead alloy vin tag. That was a job, but all the numbers are perfectly visible and at least the shop didn't sand them off!


    Got the rubber hood bumpers installed along with an air dam above the radiator. No more rattling hood and the bulk of the air should now flow through the radiator and not up and over. Also installed glove box bumpers, that doesn't rattle any more either.


    Located a set of door bumpers. A job to install but they fit well and only required a minor outward tweak of each door striker wedge to have the doors close firmly. Been hearing the latches rub and squeak on the striker wedges so with luck, that'll stop now that each door is supported both above and below the latch.


    Lastly, located a vintage 50s, 60s exhaust tip and got it in place. Looks good and should keep me from cutting my leg on the sharp tail pipe again!

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  17. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad.
    Coolant recovery tank is in.

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  18. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Who says you can't nicely bend Forged Chrome Vanadium Steel with a low output propane torch, 60 seconds of heat and I had this lovely Small Block Chevy Distributor wrench made up, didn't even crack the Indian potmetalsteel! I have accumulated a small but useful collection of inexpensive tools just for such low impact operations. It was two minutes work to save an hour round trip and about $20 at the tool store.
    But, then I lost the entire rest of the day.
    Loosened up Ol Bessy's distributor clamp and went to start her up, totally dead. Seems the brake pedal jumped the switch and the lamps stayed on till the new battery was totally dead. Three hours later at 6 amp charge she grunted to life.
    I bumped the initial timing from 6 degrees before top dead center to 10 degrees before. She smoothed right out and even sounded better. Checked her mechanical advance an it was a solid 32 degrees before top dead center at highway rpm. Added in the vacuum advance and she made 48 to 50 degrees of advance. Just about right for now. I may take out some vacuum advance but for now, didn't hear any pinging or rattles from the motor.. Readjusted the idle speed and took her for a ride. More pep off the line and feels and sounds smoother.
    Looks like the fan controller is finally adjusted right. I have a 180F thermostat in it so have the fan coming on now at 195F. Seems a good balance for driving as the temps stay at or under 200 degrees and the fan doesn't run too awful long after shut down.
    The axle seems much happier with the 2 degree shims instead of bigger ones that were in there. I just followed Spicers recommendations for operating angles and such. So, torqued all that down too.....before the test ride. Had her out about 65 mph for 15 miles or so, and feels plenty good. Honked at a few deer and a several folks and brought her home. Put her back on the battery charger at 6 amps for a few hours and later tonight I'll bump her down to 2 amps for the overnight. Should be charged like a bandit in the morning.

    I don't see any leaks from the new coolant recovery system, so happy about that.

    So all that done, still waiting on the metering valve kit to fix the brake leak and gotta raise the front end and see what the clunk is, don't know if its steering or control arms or just all the parts settling in to their new old spots.

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  19. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Got really lucky. Found the leak on the transmission. Governor cap. I never installed a clip, didn't know it needed one. Lucky it didn't spit out the cap and the governor yet. So, sidelined till I can round one up off a th350 or a 700r4.


    As for the leaking pv2 valve, I am glad I bought both a new metering valve and a whole new PV2 assembly from CPP. China crap I had on there from JEGS had to come off. Tried until the metering valve hex was rounded then oval, then gone! The valve wouldn't back out, but it sure would leak. So, side lined again as I now have to bleed all the brakes again.


    Don't you know, once I got the new pv2 in place and hooked back up, I was at the bench and the dayumn stuck metering valve on the old PV2 backed right out with a pair of plyers.
     
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  20. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Looks like its going official....working up the forms tonight and tomorrow. But, purchasing a running/driving Dark Blue 1937 Dodge Business Coupe to go along with Ol Bessy. If it works out, should be here in a week or three. Maybe name it Huddie or Lead Belly, after Huddie W. Ledbetter.

    Dang addiction i think.......
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020
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  21. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Pushing paperwork. Getting to the last of it and should have that end of the purchase in the mail Fri or Sat. some pics from the seller while I wait. Hope the Coupe looks and runs half as good on arrival. Kinda 2 dream cars for me and Dad....Ol Bessy the Sedan back on the road and a 37 Dodge Business Coupe to bumble around with her.

    Hopefully Dad/Mom are serious about moving close to us in the next months. Just two weeks back Dad indicated he was so proud of having his Bessy back on the road and wouldn't it be great to have a 37 Coupe or Truck to work on and then ride with her. 4 Days later i found a 36 truck and this coupe. Decided to go for the coupe, it still has what amounts to a truck bed and its the same year as Ol Bessy. Plus the truck looked too nice to consider "working on".

    From the photos and discussions it seems this one still has the original D5 1937 block in place. So, compression checks, etc on arrival and we'll see if it stays flat head with some old speed parts or not, (somewhere around here i have Bessy's original 37 head shaved 40 or 60 thousands for a compression bump)...but during that conversation two weeks back Dad kept referring to the 292 chevy 6, 3 carbs, automatic, etc. For 81 he still has the bug!

    He dosn't know about the Coupe yet (wanted to make sure I actually got it and got it here first), so hopefully wont read it here as lately i have him using his iphone for texted pics and videos of Ol Bessy.

    With luck, I'll have the Coupe here and running solid before they arrive on their house hunting trip in mid to late August. He'll be tickled.....Mom will probably hit me.


    coupe3.jpg coupe2.jpg Coupe1.jpg
     
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  22. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Finally Found a transmission govenor bail and got it installed on Ol Bessy. Should be able to get back on the road today. Some tuning to do and hopefully Monday we get the vin inspection and schedule her alignment. Cant wait. Got only a few weeks left till Dad is here to drive her for the first time in many years.
     
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  23. lemondana
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 127

    lemondana
    Member
    from Lincoln NE

    Been following your thread here, nice job and nice 37 coupe!
     
  24. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Thanks. Cooler this morning so I think I'm going for a ride!
     
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  25. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,

    We should be about done with the "Building" at this point. Snapped the missing bail onto the transmission governor and went for about a 60 mile ride today. Looks like its all tuning and adjustments from here onward. Notes from our two hour jaunt this morning.

    Hot......Just like she always was, no matter how much insulation, that firewall is a giant cooking griddle!

    Gas pedal sucks.....very uncomfortable and needs to come out to be cut and bent up or worst case, replaced with a spoon. The giant transmission hump really limits options.

    Steering good, alignment rough but she rolls straight (incidentally, my favorite tire shop wont align her so will have to try the speed shop about an hour and a half from here.).

    No fuel leaks (but she's thirsty. I'll free up the air flow first and if that dosn't help, we'll jet her down a bit.).

    Tune seems good (bit hard to start cold with the restrictive air cleaner on it, took it off and she fired right up.), no ping that i can hear.

    Right front hood handle rattles to beat the band, Its a lot more worn than the left front side.

    Draging noise from the rear, sounds like a brake shoe on a drum (probably right side as that one felt a touch warmer after the ride). I don't think its gear but if it is, I'll have to pull the differential for a rebuild.

    exhaust is quiet.

    cooling system is leak free and working well (she stays 185F on the road, under 200F in traffic)

    brake leak is fixed.

    right rear inner door handle needs a new spring (it won't stay locked and rattles like a second band in the back seat).

    I'll likely rewire the electric fan. Working great but I don't like all the noise it makes blowing after shutting down the engine. Probably hook the fan controler to switched power and/or via a relay.

    Might need 3 or 4 degree pinion shims but the roads are so rough here that i can't really tell if the vibrations are shitty roads or due to ujoint operating angles.

    So, call Ol Bessy 98% Mechanically Completed. The last 2% is always the most work/takes the longest but we got this.

    She's ready for you to drive. Get yer ass down here and drive her.

    PS....Stopped off at Oreilly's today to show her off to the manager and staff who set us up with the engine. They were pleased.

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    Last edited: Jul 31, 2020
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  26. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,
    Temp solution to flooding cold starts. Add another filter so Ol Bessy can breath. She fired right up. Will run her a few days and if this is the answer then we need to stack both or find a less restrictive air cleaner that looks as good.
    I guess Ol Bessy dont like wearing a mask either.

    20200802_142041.jpg

     
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  27. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Starting more regular driving with Ol Bessy. First stop, coffee at the Speckled Paw in Mount Gilead.

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  28. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad

    Took most of the day but was able to trim the break pedal 5/8" lower. I think an oval Dodge or Harley break pedal set vertically will compete the spacing with out having to heat and bend the break arm. Should give me another 1/4" lower too.

    Lots of bend and try found a more comfortable place for the gas pedal closer to the floor. I was able to move the seat up and the pedals still fit. Now for test rides.

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  29. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad. Ranging farther afield. Over an hour today about 115 miles added to the odometer. Just under 600 now so about time to change the oil and filter for the 1500 mile cycle. Once that's done I'll change engine oil/filter and trans oil/filter and consider the power pack broken in. No serious issues today. A slight fan belt squeak to check on and the idle is a touch low but otherwise all is well. It was nice to tool around the big loop on the country roads at 50 mph and listen to Post Punk Radio. Doing well enough its likely time to take Ruger on a ride in his car. Every chance he gets, up and in on the front seat waiting to get moving.

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  30. Sharps40
    Joined: Apr 28, 2015
    Posts: 887

    Sharps40

    Dad,


    Hundred mile ride confirmed an issue for me today. Jump on it and she accelerates, but slowly. So, been two days futzing the accelerator pedal for a comfortable position and still not hit the floor before wide open throttle. I checked......back to Linkage Set Up 101 classes.


    I was only getting about 50% open on the primary carburetor and nothing on the secondary. So....ripped out the cable, removed all the failure prone plastic parts and replaced them with steel, took out the S turn in the cable and routed a straight shot on the cable from the top of the pedal arm to the throttle. I had to drill and move the throttle link upward at the carb to get the straightest shot on the cable.


    Before today's effort, the last 1/8 turn of the carburetor throttle arm to wide open position was actually a downward pull......cables don't pull down well. But now I have her pulling up and then straight back. I think we are about 90% here in the video. Primary carb (the back one) is probably opening 80% and the secondary carb (the forward one) about half way. So, as it sits now, the pedal still hits the floor before both are open full but we should have some real power now.


    A side effect of all this was no kick down for passing gear when I goosed Ol Bessy. She just powered up slowly staying in third gear.


    Off to the garage again in the morning and I'll dismount the gas pedal, hopefully for the last time. I think just a little more bend at the bottom will lift the pedal off the floor at wide open throttle, fully open both carbs, drop her into second, get the tires really spinning cause all 220 horse will come on line ..... and still be in a pretty comfortable foot position for driving.


    Harley Davidson Brake and Clutch pedal pads are inbound. Should free up some space between brake and gas. Not sure if I'll use the oval pedal up and down or the 2/3 pedal mounted horizontally for the brake. But, both will free up some space and look lots better than the big round bullseye pedal that's on there now.


    Wish me luck.


     
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