Chapter 21

Took a short break  from the project while pulling the engine from the Salt2Salt racer to be worked on in Indiana. Also added disk brakes up front, as the course in Ohio requires that we actually stop the car after a mile!  Back to the 3 wheeler, I have been finishing with wiring, adding the coolant plumbing, building up some tail lights and finally constructing the dash.  Of note, the tail lights started out as rather goofy fender-top front lights for a 56′ Hawk. They had these little rocket fins which I found could be unbolted. Using the lights facing backwards, the fins would have looked even more ridiculous, so, I reshaped them and drilled “cooling holes” in them, so that now they look like little booster rockets. Each has two light circuits wired in.  Also, a friend, Brian gave me some 47′ or so  Stude turn signals. Using three, I resurrected one, which may serve as a center brake/running light.

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I’ve been thinking about the dash since I started building the car. I found that 36′ Dictator instrument cluster which is just the most Deco piece ever!  It had some curved glass over the speedo which had cracked, and the water temp gauge had leaked all the ether out. Had to invent a way to make a curved glass. After a number of attempts with various plastics and a toaster oven I was successful. The available electric water temp gauges all swept the wrong direction, so, I had to use the guts of one of these, and make the face plate from scratch, with the appropriate deco font….  Then, how to mount it and the other gauges I wanted. How to place them on the dash to best effect? I mocked them in various ways, using cardboard and masonite templates until finally I was happy with what might be described as a steam punk version of a Mini Cooper dash…. The copper bezel encompasses the gauges on the left. The matching copper bezel on the passenger side is actually a hidden glove box with a magnetic catch and all too complicated hinge mechanism. I had to modify the bottom of the old dash to leave room for the ignition switch and the light switch.  The copper is fastened to the steel dash cover with brass rivets (a lot).  The works is held to what is left of the original dash by 8 studs with those old fashioned knurled nuts that were so common on old electrical equipment. Rather than having to get upside down and contorted to fool with under-dash things, I simply remove the nuts and the dash falls away!

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To make it run:

finish dash wiring,install battery, double check LP plumbing, design and fabricate mixer linkage/attach to foot pedal, design and fabricate linkage from steering column to transmission, bottom hose on radiator, finish exhaust “lakes” pipe, install flex-line from clutch master to slave, bleed brakes and clutch lines, add coolant,add oil,  add LP. Everything else is fluff, like fabricating a wind-screen and adding the bobbed pick-up bed or boat tail (I may make them both, interchangeable with a double “mini-receiver” hitch set-up). Flooring etc. may have to wait some time….

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