33 Coupe Startup         1/31/03

What's that noise that I hear?

My good friend Gary came over to assist me on in the moment of truth to see if the engine that I put together would run or not. After a final check, I hit the key and the fuel pump started to pump fuel (that was a good sign). Checking that the fuel was in the carburetor, he noticed that it was running into mouth of the carb so we had to adjust the needle-and-seat a small amount. After we adjusted the float level, I clicked it one more notch and heard the sound that a gear-head can really appreciate.....an engine coming to life for the first time. Hot damn baby...it runs. A quick adjustment to the distributor and it was alive and running even better. The first thing that was checked was the oil pressure and it was reading 60 to 65 pounds (which was a great sign). After it had been running for a few minutes, Gary noticed how smooth the engine ran. Now I can't tell you why this is but it does (another good sign). After looking around for leaks, I only had one small one coming from a drain fitting on the radiator after running for about ten minutes. No big deal because I didn't put that fitting in, Griffin (the manufacture of the radiator) did so it was there fault but would be an easy fix. We then put a timing light on it and set it at about 36 degrees. The timing seems to jump around a bit and I don't know why. It might be my timing light but it could also be my advance springs are a little to light in the distributor. Gary said I could try his timing light and see if that makes a difference. After a few more minutes of running, we set the idle down lower so we could here the cam. Well if you like a rough idle, then you'd like the sound of this one. Sounds sweeeet!

The engine runs and sounds great but It didn't hit me till later that day that after all the time and work that went into it, that it really ran. It looks like all those hours paid off. The next step is to mess with the engine a little like adjusting the carburetor. I've never played with an HP series carburetor before but should be fun because of all the little things that you can tweak on it. I'll also have to set-up the transmission with the Compushift electronics too. It won't be much longer till I can take it for a test drive after a few more parts.

I made a 30 second movie with my digital camera but it only records in "mov". mode so the file is large (9.5 mb) and doesn't sound very good but it's better than nothing. If you want you can check it out here but you'll need Quick Time Player to view it. Just right-click it and choose "save target as" to download it. Sorry about the file size for you dial-up people.


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