Terminating the engine compartment


Front On

Finishing up the engine compartment on Squeaky Toy

After being side-tracked doing some interior / exterior upgrades to Wun Tun Zoop I turned my attention back to the Squeaky Toy project

See that project here

This morning I took some time and attacked the engine compartment. It was mostly wiring but there were some other things that needed to be addressed. All the wiring has been strung but I hadn’t gotten around to terminating the connections. This allowed me to  re-bundle some of the wiring.

A major portion of this segment project was the front light harness. It is now an all on system. Meaning I am bypassing the whole running lights only to running lights with headlights scenario. Mine is all on or nothing. Including the sport lights. It does make it a bit simpler but it all comes from a single feed to a single point. So a multi-point terminal block and a multi-point ground block got the job done nicely. They are now located on the driver side of the radiator core support. All where they are easy to get to and easily maintained.

Light ’em up and watch the gauges!

Another section that got finalized was the gauge / ignition feeds. Not a big thing but still needed to be finished. I managed to locate my original coil mounting bracket. After a quick cleanup I gave it a nice paint job. And after a bit of rummaging around the goodie bins I found a new chrome Mallory coil. With the new coil mounted on the driver head face it was a nice wiring run with the oil sender and water temp wires.

Some smaller things were cleaning up the distributor clamp and bolt. And I fit the new heater hoses to the pump and intake. It became obvious that the heater hose routing on the new Edelbrock intake would work better with a 90 degree elbow intake fitting. So that is my shop stuff for the morrow.

While we are at it

One side bar item was that we had decided earlier in the project to install a rebuilt distributor so I went shopping online and while I was on the O’Reilly webshop I stumbled across a clearance on AI Cardone distributors! Mine was $22! Plus a small shipping charge. I fluked into a bargain. It is on its’ way!

All in all it was a productive day

It was a bit warmish but I just took it slow and took a lot of liquid breaks. I decided to quit around 3ish. So now it is a shower and Captain Morgan. So long for now. Consider yourself updated.

Power Steering Cooler Replacement

Wun Tunn Zoop

Wun Tunn Zoop

Wun Tunn Zoop gets a replacement power steering cooler assembly

I finally got around to replacing the bad cooler assembly

The power steering cooler was bad when I acquired the van and I just jumped around it way back when. I’m talking  about totally rotting to the touch. The brackets were so gone you could bend them by hand. It has been that way and I had actually went and bought a replacement  GM unit but I never put it in. It’s importance is that the diesel is a Hydro Boost braking system that uses the PS system for its’ power.Lots more fluid and stress on it.


Since I had a free morning I decided to give it a go. After a bit of scouting it was not a bad job.  The cooler is bolted to the frame under the radiator support with the lines going up  to the steering box and power steering pump. The first thing to go was the air cleaner box. It sits right in the the way of all the good stuff. With it out of the way it was an easy go to undo the line to the steering box and the return line to the pump.

The Right Tools For The Job

But … It turns  out this hard line is an 18MM. Of all my line wrenches I did not posses an 18MM. So I went to O’Reilly’s and got one. Easy enough. Then the disassembly began.  With that the line came off with a small bit of effort. Then the return line was a quick clamp removal and a pull. I was smart enough to put a drip pan under the area to catch the PS fluid.

Hair Conditioning

This is where I got a small dose of “what did I just do?” After releasing the lines and the excess fluid was drained into the the catch pan I slid it out of the way. So I thought. As I was undoing the bolts holding the damaged cooler assembly from the radiator support I shifted around a bit to get a better angle and that’s when I  dunked the whole back of my head into the fluid! Oh! Yeah! Nice! But since I was already on it I just went ahead and finished the cooler removal. Then I went inside and decontaminated with a hot shower with 3 shampoos.  Then it was back out to the job.

Hookin It All Up

It was a simple job to embed the new cooler and plumb in the lines. All connected and tight. I topped off the PS system with what I had in the shop. I may need more but that can wait till tomorrow.




Fixing the van taillights


I finally made some time to fix the taillight issue in Wun Tunn Zoop


My issue with my taillights is pretty common. What happens, at least in my case, is that when I hit the brakes with the headlights on one side dims out. It comes down to a short in the harness. These harnesses are readily available because of this very common issue on the Express vans. I have had the two new pigtails for a while now but have put off putting them in. And I am replacing both just because. I like my brake lights to work right!

It wasn’t too hard just a lot of trim to remove in order to get t o the inner structure where the cable hooks to the harness. Once that was all removed then it was a pretty simple r&r of the individual taillight harnesses. Then a quick light check validated that all the work paid off and the stop lights work as advertised. Excellent!

So I feel a whole lot better and can drive at night with no issues. On to the next project.


A weekend of cars, cars, cars!


Drag cars on Saturday – Show cars on Sunday

The weekend was very busy!


Saturday was a guy day out at Billetproof / Detroit Dragway Reunion. Steve, Liam and I loaded up the HHR and headed down to Milan Dragway. The spectator side was the Billetproof rat-rod show and then the pit side got you into the nostalgia dragsters of the Detroit Dragway Reunion.


Lots of drag racing was on hand and the pits seemed to go on forever. But wandering the pits got you up close and personal with all sorts of nostalgia race cars. And there were tons of the regular drag cars too. Between sitting in the stands and watching the drag racing action and strolling through the pits it was a full day.


And I want to acknowledge the guys with Great Lakes Gassers! The whole bunch of them were awesome. They were very cordial and were willing to show off their rides. They made sure Liam got an up close and personal look at the cars and let him try them on for size. They showed him the inner workings of the cockpits and what does what. Great job guys!


Sunday was a great day for a car show! A clear sunny day and a temp around 90. This one was the SAAC – MCR All Ford Show. This annual show had an added attraction this year with the addition of the 50th Anniversity Celebration of the Cougar. Take a big Ford show and throw in about 300 Cougars from across the country and you have a winner. I made sure to stock up on water for the grueling sunny day ahead. I got there early to get situated before the placed packed up so I setup and started my stay by heading for the swap meet area. The rest of the day was spent browsing up and down the rows looking for cars and features. I found plenty of both.


So today is a day of recovery. Unfortunately it’s 90 out today. kind of a duplicate of yesterday. So I will hide in the AC till it cools down this afternoon. Gonna do some steaks once it cools down. Gotta eat, right!? See ya!