Early 2009: Still crawling

2009 was well underway when Rich decided to prod me
back into motion (he was bored and I was suffering from a
bad case of inertia). So he came over to assess the situation
and noticed that my power steering box was leaking...

After a beer and parts run, the wrenching resumed. We quickly discovered
that Carquest had given us the wrong seal kit, so back to the parts house we went.
After a spell, we were back in business:

It was now time to finally empty the 2007 Christmas box. I fully
intend to run this car well past 100 MPH at Famoso someday,
so the 37-year-old steering parts will not do.

Say hello to new Pitman arm, idler arm, and tie-rods. Under Rich's
fastidious supervision, the steering was now off of the checklist.

With finances still being tight, I had to limit my activities to things
that I had already paid for. Upon browsing the garage cabinets,
I decided to move forward with the heater core replacement.

While doing this, I decided to get rid of the air conditioning plenum
on the firewall; this now necessitates the acquisition or fabrication of
a "heater-only" firewall cover (surprisingly hard to find).

This refurbishment will also serve as a nice mounting place for my MSD ignition box.
I'm visualizing some sort of diamond plate cover with a little plaque that reads:

"Real hot rods don't have air conditioning"

I do a lot of visualizing, unlike many other activities, it's free.

So, If you know anyone looking for a 1972 Torino/Ranchero AC plenum...

...send them my way (I need the shelf space).
Perhaps I'll give it a shot on ebay someday.

With the heater issues out of the way, we now turned our attention back to
items electrical in nature. The wire to the electric fuel pump was previously
connected in a somewhat improvised fashion, so that was the first item on
the agenda. Afterwards, it was time to utilize my latest ebay acquisition:
A highly detailed 1972 Ranchero wiring diagram:

This was necessitated due to the arcane nature of our target
circuit: the neutral safety switch (i.e. the circuit that prevents
the car from starting in unless the shifter is in Park or Neutral).

The diagram was wonderfully color coded for the stock wiring;
however, in the years previous to my acquisition, there have been
many well-intentioned but less-than-expert hands at work under
this car's dashboard.

The Ranchero was initially equipped with a steering-column
shifter; this was already converted to a floor shifter when I
bought the car; so given the history of modifications, the
diagram could only tell us how things were supposed to be
(which had little to do with how they were).

After a bit of deductive reasoning,
Rich was able isolate the wires needed to drive the
neutral safety switch (and also the backup lights).

The only problem is that the B&M Start Shifter also accommodates
newer cars that have P-R-N-O-D-2-1 (with O for overdrive), so there's
one more detent position than my P-R-N-D-2-1 transmission needs;
the little plastic slider with the bumps for engaging the back-up lights'
micro switch has a one-size-fits-all design (i.e. an elongated bump to
cover the 2 possible positions that could be reverse depending upon
which transmission your car has).

Long story short:

My backup lights come on in Park.

On the upside, the car no longer starts when in gear.

To quote Doris Day: Que sera, sera.

This is where the saga stands as of June 7 2009.

To be continued...

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