Let's Roll?

After the euphoria of getting to finally hear my money pit run,
the next order of business was to get this beast rolling.
We were in the process of hooking up the transmission
linkage when Rich made the observation:

"Dude, you don't have park."

So, off came the tail shaft housing...

Once again, Gil's transmission was working against me.
The guide bracket that holds the tail end of the parking pawl
actuator was installed backwards, thereby
preventing the parking pawl from engaging.

After an hour of labor that should not have been necessary,
the bracket was turned around and park was now an option.

After the parking pawl debacle, Rich once again earned his
beer by getting the shift linkage installed. By this point, I had been
relegated to financier / tool gopher status. Not that I had any
ego problems with this... I am smart enough to make way for
expertise; furthermore, I just wanted this beast on the road.

Next item... Exhaust.

This photo is slightly out of sequence, but it's the best shot
I have showing the Flowmasters attached to the arrow-straight
stainless steel 2.5 inch dual exhaust.

The transmission fluid is a harbinger of yet more woe.

Forget about it, back to the timeline...

After a few more details...

Yes, that's a 1972 Ranchero leaving the driveway under its own power.

A few moments later...

We were headed down Garnsey Ave.
I had Rich at the helm so that he could feel the controls with
those mechanic's senses. We went to the end of this street,
turned around, and he gave it a little gas... BOOM!

Luckily, the big BOOM was only the tailgate coming down.
We laughed after we figured out what the noise was, then Rich
goosed the gas again...

This time we didn't hear a boom; this time we heard the engine rev
without any acceleration. This time we heard the sound of a C6
front pump going bye-bye...

Yep, that's one cracked front pump.
So there I was, with my wallet out (again);
this time I went to the local speed guru
(Paul Williams Specialties) and left Gil's out of the loop.
In all fairness, I probably cracked the pump during the
ill-fated torque converter stab, but I did ask Gil's to have
a look at the front pump to make sure that it wasn't cracked
due to my efforts with the first converter they gave me.

If they looked, they didn't see.

So, I got a new pump and converter from PWS. This time Rich
convinced me to go with a slight stall (1800 RPM). The cam and
intake both indicate that they're good from idle to 5600 RPM, but
the Comp Cam (270 grind) did say that it "liked" an 1800+ stall.

Who am I to argue? If the cam likes 1800, so do I.

I also opted to replace the "manual" valve body (also supplied by Gil's);
during the brief but eventful maiden voyage, Rich swears that the
transmission shifted all on its own. In my way of looking at things, that
should not happen with a fully manual valve body and a fully
manual valve body is what I asked for from Gil's (strike 3).

This observation, coupled with my phobia towards of fluid-borne
debris, prompted me to scour the internet for a fully manual valve body.

I finally settled on a fully manual, forward pattern, C6 valve body from
Hughes Performance (one of the few forward pattern units I could find).
Evidently the reverse pattern is far more popular for racing, but I had
already painted myself into a corner by installing a B&M Star Shifter
(which does not support reverse pattern in ratchet mode).

Pay Brad! Pay!

So, after a couple of days waiting on parts...

Go Rich! Go!

After all the dust, grease & beer foam settled...

Drive Rich! Drive!

Park car! Park!

Drink guys! Drink!

The eagle had landed! Holding down yet another
driveway. My driveway! Hey honey! Come have a look!
It's here! What's that? No. You can't cook dinner in it...
Oh yeah, you still want a new kitchen huh?
Don't worry, your new kitchen has just notched up on
my "To Do" list. I've almost got this item licked!

Just a few more details...


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