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Sputnik

January 24, 2014

This pomme de terre came to me recently. I’m trying to do something with it. I’m not bright.

_MG_0004

Let’s just keep count here. I believe this is #24. I’ve now owned, 24 corollas. I wouldn’t consider this much of a Corolla, but it technically counts, since I write my own rules.

This began when a long line of moons aligned on some planet being pelted by lucky asteroids. My old Lemonade Wagon recently began a new motor swap from the old 12A rotary. Having hopeless hopes and silly dreams, I asked the current owner for the old swap parts. Maybe someday in the distan….oh I just got an email.

Hello

I have most of an 82 Corolla wagon to donate to the Corolla Parts Exchange.  It is located in Sooke.  The frame is rusted out around the rear springs and one leaf spring is broken so its only good for parts.  It will need to be moved on a flatbed.  I am keeping the engine and transmission but I have a partially disassembled 2TC available.

Huh, cool. I’ve had an add up looking for space, but heck if I can find space to park old Corollas. Instead, people keep emailing me with cars to come get.

Nicely enough the car was located in Sooke, near a friends house. Chatting with him, he mentions that the RX7 on his property is sitting, ignored. So wait. There is a 12a engine, complete and running. An E7 wagon shell, and all the bolt in mounts, drive shaft and other parts I had designed for a previous E7 wagon, to fit a 12a into. Math time, hope your fancy calculators can put it all together.

_MG_0010Day 1 started out epic on it’s own. Riding my free scooter with a busted clutch from Victoria all the way out to Sooke. Not having a phone I managed to hang out at a local gas station, waiting for my tow truck driver to turn his phone on and answer my call from the station phone. 2 hours later he calls the station back, “meet me at the car”. Some more back road bombing, he beats me there.

The hand brake in the up position, I figured, the rear axle was seized…..but nope, rolled onto the flat bed no problem. Let’s get going, I’m so exci…..We’re stuck. The tow truck is stuck in the swamp we’ve pulled this car from. After sorting out a bunch of metal grates to jam under the wheels from the lawns scrap pile, lots of rocking back and forth, the flat bed is free of the slush land. Now I just have to stop traffic on a blind corner of a popular back road, while the tow truck driver backs up a steep driveway, surrounded by trees and blindly crest directly onto the road with speed. Otherwise we’ll get stuck in the mud again. With my little hand held stop sign, I stopped a few cars and cleared the trucks launch path.

We get rolling, and like all tow truck drivers, they are into cars in some way. He spends his time informing me of the custom volkswagen tube chassis race car he’s been piloting for many decades. He tells me about how to build a volkswagen air cooled motor for more power, the different types of springs from other aircooled vehicles that are upgrades and he also tells me….oh we’re there already. A mere 11km tow.

Justin, coincidentally enough from ‘Air Cooled Productions’ and Cap D fame, is already at the Duke of Sookes house, camera in hand.

The car? Trash, the donor? Trash, both cars have lived an extremely hard life. The motor was residing in a 1984 Mazda RX7 GSL. It was purchased two years ago, for $200, dragged from someones lawn and used for terrible terrible things. Duke of Sooke hillclimb events are an annual gig. Climbing a rocky mountain face. This RX7 has ‘survived’ two of these events. 10 hours of people running it up and down the side of a mountain.

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After two years of being jumped in the forest, it still, rolled, stopped and ran well. The shell, even wasn’t that terrible. But, the car, was never able to see the road again. So, it was donated.

The wagon, was far worse than I expected. No drivers floor, no motor, no trans, SNAPPED rear leaf springs. Someone nicely left the cap off the brake master for 6 years, and the steering joints are just representations of their former selves. This thing is junk. But I’ve got all the parts.

So after scootering around between logging trucks on a broken free scooter, Justin and I spent 5 hours, pulling the entire drivetrain out of the RX7, and the front off the Wagon, without using an engine hoist. Day 1, a success.

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It would’ve went much smoother if we weren’t doing it:

-on the side of a hill

-with no hoist

-with some basic rusty hand tools

-having to work around two years of chassis/undercarriage smashes

-without anything to cut with, even a hack saw.

_MG_0038boop. Out it came!

_MG_0039And there she lay, the end of day 1. Motor, ready, shell ready.

More to come later.


One Comment leave one →
  1. January 24, 2014 6:43 am

    You sir, Kick some mighty fine ass! Keep up the good work.

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