Basil needs papers!


So, Basil got to the point where he could move under his own power.

April 7: Some real progress. Ted Rose stopped around and diagnosed a clutch master cylinder that had been assembled slightly wrong - that was causing all of the problems. An hour later, we had a solid pedal and Basil was able to make a true run around the block. There's still a bit of work to do on adjusting the clutch as it seems to drag slightly making it difficult to select a gear when the truck in stopped, but it's legitimately driving around :) The old exhaust manifold has been removed and the replacement has had a bit of cleanup to smooth out the air passages. The intake manifold has been cleaned externally so I feel better about putting it back on. The new lights are installed but with a brighter bulb in the side light giving a real side-to-side lighting mismatch. Roadworthiness creeps closer...

April 8: Ahh, my happy ears. A new exhaust system and manifold. Now Basil no longer belches blue smoke into the interior of the car and he sounds like a happier vehicle. It was a small struggle to get him running smoothly until the kinked suction line was found but we're good now. The exhaust system is temporarily hung with coat hangers becuase every single stock hanger is rusted off - this should hopefully be rectified shortly. The windshield is undone and ready to be pulled out as soon as the replacement is drilled for the wiper motors and the paint dries.

April 13: Whoops, forgot the update. The new windshield is in place with the wipers reinstalled. The exhaust is hung slightly more securely with metal straps. The clutch - well, it's still a little recalcitrant but I'm going to see if some driving fixes that. There are 5 new Firestone RMT tires on the truck. This all means it's ready for a safety! Excellent. A new wrinkle is that the voltage regulator appears to be misbehaving and isn't charging the battery. Sigh.

April 15: A bit of a setback. I had a mechanic do a quick glance at the truck, and it's got a ways to go before it can be registered. The biggest problems are the top pins on the front swivels and a cracked spring plate on the rear. Sigh. But the heater is now working (also required for a safety), the headlight switch has been relocated (again, safety) and there's new fluid in the gearbox and transfer case. An amazing amount of metal flakes came out of the gearbox - not great, but it drives okay. Basil's also been cleaned up a bit and one of the rear seatbacks bolted in. The funky voltage regulator is simply going to get replaced with an alternator.

April 22: A while since an update, but no lack of work. It's the push to get road-legal in time for my 30th birthday. This week, Basil changed to negative ground, the top was removed for the first time in years (if there's no top, there's no need to have effective door seals), the door tops were removed (with a big fight - again, no door tops mean the windows don't need to open), a new speedometer cable was installed, the holes in the floor were patched, another brake bleed due to a soft pedal and a lot of details were worked out. I have discovered that bombing around with the top off is addictive! We found this out on a run to a local gas station to fill up. 18 litres went in before we discovered the leak halfway up the tank. Ah, nuts. So tomorrow I order a new tank from Rovers North - some things I'd rather have new than patched.

April 24: I must say that RN is a pleasure to deal with. Better than the two UK vendors I've tried. The new tank was waiting for me when I got home. The old one was cut out today and will be checked to see how well it can be repaired. It may become a secondary tank - rather useful. The new tank is getting a couple of coats of Tremclad paint and some asphalt undercoating. One thing I've discovered - Basil is an exact match to Tremclad primer.

April 26: The tank is in, but it turns out that the leak was actually the filler tube. Argh. But if the original tank wasn't leaking before, it would have soon. A quick swap of swivel pins this morning, a final brake bleed and off to the shop....

Success! Basil is now legally registered in Ontario and considered a fully functional vehicle. The goal was to have the plates on today and that goal was met. Excited? Oh yeah. Basil's been out for a few trips so far today now that he has papers and is behaving well. Maybe the brakes could be stronger but he's behaving.

It's actually pretty easy to bleed the clutch in Basil. Why? Because the previous owner cut this handy dandy hole in the transmission tunnel! It's getting patched soon, don't worry. Seems I should be looking for a new boot for that lever as well...
Oooh, a pretty new exhaust. Great - now I can make those test drives around the neighbourhood without the bellowing noise and huge amounts of blue smoke in the truck.
That blue smoke? It was due to a cracked exhaust manifold. No surprise there - and the gasket wasn't helping much. You can also see where my oil heater exits the block - a bit of silicone work by a previous owner.
Cracked is actually a bit of an understatement. Now the amount of blue smoke makes sense - the #4 runner fell off when I undid the bolts!
Before Basil gets licensed, he needs a new windshield. Again, off to the donor truck!
"New" windshield gets a bit of prep work before going on - a new paint job for the surround to make it look newer. It also needs to be drilled to accept the individual wiper motors that Basil uses.
Now that's a fun driveway. My friend Eric started making comments about "poor impulse control", but he's just jealous.
Firestone RMT, 235/85-16. Should give decent offroad traction while staying streetable.
One of the jumpseat backs is installed. Not bad, actually.
Off with your head! The safari roof comes off for the first time. Those door tops required some strong persuasion to come off.
Again, no roof. You can see the poor trapped Miata. Not a big deal - the clutch gave out a couple of days ago. As if I didn't have anything else to do.
Temporary top! I think the truck looks great from the side with no roof. It's nothing but wheels. Of course, if this is going to be a regular occurance I have to find a better top...
Of course, not all fasteners gave up without a fight. Eric takes care of a delinquent bolt.
Hmm, I wonder why the speedometer cable wasn't working?
Behind the instruments. You can see the new speedometer cable. Thankfully, the wiring on Basil is in great shape.
Remember that hole in the floor? Sorted! There's also a new boot on the transfer case lever.
The first topless drive! The grins got even bigger after we realized how much fun it was. That's me driving with Trevor running shotgun.
There used to be a gas tank here once.
That's me poking at the old tank, trying to spot the leak. It appears to have been welded at some point in the past.
This looks much better.
Off to the safety check. That's a pretty basic vehicle.
Okay okay, I like the way it looks.
At the inspection station. I had just been wiggling the steering wheel for the mechanics.
I guess those old plates had been on for a while!

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