Bundled for the cold, Mikhaila and I went out to the garage yesterday afternoon for a couple hours of quality Scarlett time. I’d purchased all the parts I thought would be necessary to get us to the brakes-are-done point, so we voraciously attacked that project. We bent the new front left brake line to match the old one and routed – Mikhaila on her back under the car and me jumping between right front wheelwell and under the dash. Next we bent and installed the left front followed by finding and popping in the grommets. Sadly, one has gone missing, but I’m hoping I’ve got a GUP sitting in box A4 (see previous post on inventorying). After bench-bleeding the new dual master cylinder, we bolted it to the firewall and moved on routing the last two brake lines. Since the threaded holes in the side of the master cylinder were larger than the stock lines, I’d bought adapters. The thickness of the rear adapter (for the front lines) forced us to re-bend the end of the existing brake line, and then, once it was lined up, we discovered I’d bought the wrong adapter. So, we moved on to the new line connecting the front port of the master cylinder to the existing brake line fitting under the dash. We carefully located and drilled a new hole, ran the grommet over the brake line and stuffed one end of the tube through the hole. After popping the grommet into place, bending a generous U in the tube, and screwing it into the adapter on the master cylinder, we climbed under the dash again and found the tube I’d bought wasn’t long enough to make the bends to connect to the rear line. Now I have two reasons to go back to Napa. Hitting that dead-end forced us to move on to other endeavors. I decided it was a good time to make a list of the minimum amount of work necessary to get the car on the road. We came up with the following list:
- Buy brake line fittings, short brake line, and replacement lightbulbs.
- Bend and install brake line and install the fitting.
- Install seat
- Bleed brakes
- Buy spark plug leads
- Take muffler and pipe to muffler shop
- Install exhaust system and spark plug leads
- Check fluids
- Borrow battery
- Start and run engine
- Check transmission
- Check compression
- Scrape paint off windows
- Check lights
With the garage finally warm and some time before dinner, we decided to continue working. The easiest task to cross off our list, we felt, was checking the lights. I grabbed my 12V transformer and we hooked it up to the battery cable ends. I had Mikhaila turn the key, but instead of seeing idiot lights illuminated on the dash, we saw and smelled smoked coming from the transformer. The + and – terminals are unmarked on the transformer, and when I’d recently put new leads on, I'd gotten them backwards. It was toast – literally. Taking that as a sign, we shut off the heaters, turned off the lights, and locked the door as we headed back to the house.