For the first time in 5 years and 11 months, the coupe was fired up this past weekend. After taking the easy route for now with the fuel line and running a hose around the outside of the car to the engine bay, the starter was the last thing needed. I picked up a used starter off a forum member for the price of shipping (Thanks!). The easiest way to get to it though was to through the front passenger suspension… all of it.
Since I’ve kind of decided I won’t be driving this thing any time soon, pulling out the whole front right suspension wasn’t a big deal. I’ll be pulling out the whole suspension now anyway in order to replace all the bushings, joints, and hardware that quite literally is dissolving around me (See bottom of picture above). At the same time I’ll be cleaning and refinishing the structural components like the strut housings and control arms etc. etc.
But back to getting the coupe started…
Once I had access to the starter bolts, I found that one of the bolts was just sitting in there with no nut on the backside, it simply pulled right out. Which is sort of the theme of this car, I’ve found a number of pieces either loose, backed off or simply missing. Some mechanic in New York had NO idea what he was doing. And to add to that, here is what I discovered upon removing the old starter:
I can’t believe I had to use a vacuum to suck out the nuts and leaves and other vegetation from where the starter came from – I mean, the starter was quite literally sealed in its position by corrosion and required a hammer to be removed. How did this stuff get in there?! There seems to be bits of greenery stuck in all sorts of places around this car – I just don’t understand.
Anyway, with the new-used starter in. I removed the old spark plugs, turned the engine over by hand and then with the starter a few times to get things loosened up again without the strain of compression (assuming there is some left…). Then came the moment of truth… or the first of many of these moments for the day. Starting the car the first few times proved fruitless. The starter would crank and crank and nothing would happen, not even an attempt at firing. After a few cycles of this I removed the fuel supply line to find there was in fact gas there but when I removed the first plug, you couldn’t smell gas in the cylinder. With an ear to the rear – of the car – I noticed that the fuel pump wasn’t running when switching the car “on”. So perhaps the fuel relay was bad?
By removing the relay and connecting the Power source directly to the output terminal, I could confirm the pump was working. Further testing showed that there was no signal going to the relay and that the relay was working fine. Just the start of the electrical gremlins I expect to find.
So, with the fuel pump hardwired, I got this on the first crank:
Well, to be truthful, it was the second start, the camera wasn’t rolling for the first start – whoops.
I was incredibly surprised that after so many years, the car simply started right up. Although it had some issues lasting for any amount of time. After it died a few times, I hopped in to give it some revs. Afterwards, walking around the car I found this:
Looks like the coupe was a bit plugged up – thanks again to the mice or squirrels or other associated rodent-like miscreants. After that the coupe ran well and idled without issue. I had to remove some of that organic matter again around the exhaust when that nearly caught fire. But all in all, it was a day that went much easier than expected. To celebrate, I cleaned up around the car and swept in preparation for making another huge mess as the exhaust and other corners of the suspension come apart.