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#1507592, 1966 1600-2

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I went through your project blog once again, Jake. I am more impressed than ever with all the work that you've accomplished on this '66. That work certainly paid off for you: the unforgettable times at Vintage, not to mention getting to and from the event with this rare specimen. I certainly had fun being a small part of it all. (including tail-gating you on the twisties after we left Hot Springs on Saturday afternoon) Well done, sir!

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13 minutes ago, Jim_75Sahara said:

I went through your project blog once again, Jake. I am more impressed than ever with all the work that you've accomplished on this '66. That work certainly paid off for you: the unforgettable times at Vintage, not to mention getting to and from the event with this rare specimen. I certainly had fun being a small part of it all. (including tail-gating you on the twisties after we left Hot Springs on Saturday afternoon) Well done, sir!

Thank you very much Jim! I still feel bad that you got stuck behind me coming back from Hot Springs!

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On 5/26/2016 at 3:15 PM, adawil2002 said:

Nice write up and pics of The Vintage. Really enjoyed seeing the you and the 1600.

It was great to see you and Vern as well! I can't wait till next time!


So since vintage I've been driving whippersnapper pretty regularly and it's been absolutely fantastic and trouble free...until yesterday.


I took the car out for a early morning birthday drive saturday and it didn't have any problems until i was coming home. It shut off at a stop sign about a block away from my house. Weird, but I wasn't very concerned.


I hopped in the car the next day to head up into Ohio for some errands and to see the infamous Karl Hendrickson. The shut off was fresh in my mind, so I took the long way to the freeway to give it a good test. No issues at all for the full two hour trip, until i was pulling into my first destination. Same thing, as I would put it in neutral and slow down to make the turn into a neighborhood, or pull up to a stop sign, the car would just die out. At this point I knew it was an issue and sent out a message to the RGB for input. I was thinking Fuel or Spark, but wanted to get the hive mind's input to make sure i wasn't missing anything.


On the way from stop A to stop B the issue got significantly worse. I was able to hobble along restarting the car as a stop light would turn green until the car decided it didn't want to start again. After some struggle I got it pulled off the road in a shopping center. I called karl to change plans (he graciously came down to meet me for lunch where I had pulled over) and figured out a way to leave the car and take care of my last appointment.




Lucky for me, I procrastinated cleaning out my trunk after getting home from vintage and still had the bins with all my spares and tools. I had everything I could possibly need and this was a solvable breakdown. I figured I'd start with fuel first and go from simple on up - fuel filter, fuel pump, different carb (seriously, I have a spare carb in the trunk). I swapped out the filter (that looked pretty good) and voila! the car idled. I let it sit and idle for 10 minutes with no issues. I was glad it was an easy fix and headed inside for some tasty lemonade and to wait for Karl.


After lunch and catching up we headed out to look at the cars. Karl was kind enough to give me the keys to his beautiful 73 tii for a quick drive down the road and back. I've never driven a tii before - It was a lot of fun, even on regular roads.







Once we returned I handed Karl the keys to the '66. He's had a lot of early cars (including my '67) and is responsible for imparting a lot of early car knowledge as well as transferring a big early parts stash from his garage to my basement. I was excited to find out what he though of how the 66 drove. Unfortunately, it only took about 5 blocks for the 66 to let me down again. The shut off issue came back with a vengeance and we cut the drive short and hobbled back to the parking lot. I thought about swapping out fuel pumps, but ultimately decided against it. The pump I had in my bin was off the 67 and while it was operable several years ago, I don't know how time has treated it and with an impending thunderstorm i didn't want to risk getting caught out in the rain. I knew that if I could make it to i 71, i'd be home free.


The car did great on the highway, no issues at all. It was very eventful otherwise while i played with using the choke to keep revs up at stops, popping the clutch to restart on declines, and praying for green lights and that the car would restart at the red ones. The good news is i made it home safe and got to have lunch with a friend I haven't seen in years. Despite the car trouble, it was a great day.


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It took me about a two weeks to get around to doing more trouble shooting, but the car is finally back on the road. I replaced the fuel pump middle of last week, and it helped a little but wasn't totally right. Came back to it Monday night and swapped out the fuel filter with another new one since the first replacement looked worse than it should and I was back in business. It's been good since and I've put about 100 miles on it in the past few evenings to take advantage of the nice weather and to make up for lost time.


My turn signal switch was on the fritz during The Vintage trip and I'd finally had enough of not being able to signal. Luckily I had two spare switches in my parts bin so I headed out to the garage this afternoon to swap them out.


In the infamous words of Adam Savage, "Well, there's your problem" :



Does anyone know if these switches can be repaired? Looks like it might just press fit together? The switch worked ish when i got it, and I feel like if i could get it all back together again it would be a good spare.


Because spares are important, as I quickly found out.


I had two switches to pick from, so I took the one with the better action and installed it. No dice. Wouldn't make the signals work. Major bummer. With fingers crossed that it was the switch and not something I'd managed to mess up I installed the other less desirable switch.




Without missing a beat there was light. It's not the best switch in the world, but will work for now. I'll have to be on the hunt for another spare, or try to figure out how to repair these two duds.




Got everything back together and took my wife out for a drive to get the steering wheel centered properly again.


This car still impresses me every time I drive it. There are a lot of little things I still need to do, but I can still drive the snot out of it in the meantime.







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Super cool Jake.  Thank you for the visuals - sharing all of the photos is very considerate.


Lots of great stuff.  Great work to all involved.  It takes a group effort, in many ways.



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Well, I've still been plagued with the stalling issue. It was all ok for a few days after changing the turn signal, then came back with a vengeance. I figured Either fuel or spark, so i ordered all new fuel components & a new condenser from @BLUNT to round out my electrical spares. Since the fuel filter was pretty empty and the fuel pump was used of unknown provenance I decided to start with the fuel system and move onward.


Removed fuel filter and lines from old pump:



Shiny new parts. Ordered the whole shebang - new pump, pushrod, isolator, & isolator bushings.



I bought a new rod as i wasn't sure if the installed pushrod was the correct length. They were pretty dang close, maybe a millimeter or two off. Or maybe i was just seeing things. Anyway - the old rod had a little wear on the sides but not anything that would affect performance. Of course it's been squirreled away for a rainy day.



We used a lot of gasket maker everywhere with the rebuild, and the fuel pump isolator was no exception. Easy clean up and we were off to the races:



It was totally worth buying a new isolator/spacer. They're too cheap not to replace if you can help it. Speaking of parts to replace...you probably need some isolator bushings. I know I did - i've never actually seen them before. Just be careful not to be a big doofus like me and crank down too tightly when installing the pump.


With everything back together it was the moment of truth....but still no change. I ran out of time to keep fiddling with the fuel system, so it sat for another week. Fast forward to the weekend of LOU02 and we decided to take a look on Sunday morning. Figured that maybe the pump was sucking atmosphere and decided to go after leaks.


Found and replaced this crusty hose at the tank... Added some hose clamps too.


The sender is missing the plastic bushing that goes around the sender pipe, I guess i need to order that up and install too. Anyway, we tightened everything up in back and tightened the connection from plastic cabin line to rubber fuel hose up front. Another moment of truth later and still no change. Still little fuel in the filter and randomly a gush with lots of air bubbles.


Our next bright idea was fuel filter placement. The filter was riding high in the engine compartment and we pushed it down an inch or so just to see what would happen. Magically we started to get more fuel. not a lot, but atleast some was present in the filter globe. Still lots of air bubbles, but it works. Test drove it and it got a signed permission slip to go on an impromptu photoshoot with @tinkwithanr



After the photoshoot we all took a scenic drive to Lexington, KY for a bite to eat and then went our separate ways. The car did great and it was nice to be back in lexington and tour around for a few hours.


This past weekend was another road trip, this time north bound to Indianapolis. It was perfect 02 weather and really nice to catch up with some friends. Whippersnapper didn't miss a beat the whole way up and got several honks and waves.



After a fun-filled day of Downtown Indy Food (the croissant french toast at Patachou is so choice. If you have the means, i highly recommend picking one up) and the state fair we loaded up and headed for home. It was a great day, the car had done great, the trip was just too easy. You know what's coming next. You've read this blog before....

About 15 miles south of Indy I start to feel a surge in the motor. Then more of a surge. Then a surge and loss of power. I'm already eyeing the exit half a mile away. 75MPH becomes 65 becomes 55 and I'm still at WOT. Of course its an exit to suburbia and the nearest lighted place to stop off the exit is another half mile away. More surging, less acceleration. We can see the gas station. Now theres a fuel smell.


We get pulled into the back of the station and I pop the hood with the car still running in hopes of identifying the origin of the fuel leak.

Fuel. Was. Everywhere. Gushing from under the carb, completely covering the drivers side of the block. Shut the car off, get the wife out of the car and let the fumes evaporate for a few minutes.




Without getting a good look i figured maybe the plastic filter had developed a hole and was leaking from there. As soon as i could stick my head back in everything looked fine. No leaks from the hoses, fuel filter in tact.


Weird. Then i saw it - A jet where it certainly was not supposed to be, nestled in the intake manifold.




It was like the air cleaner bracket grabbed it during it's escape and said "not today sucker". What a stroke of luck. I don't usually get this lucky. Phew.


This particular jet lives on the bottom of the carb, facing down by the bowl. I have no idea how it backed out, and even less of an idea how it made its way to the intake instead of I-65, but I'm sure glad it did. After about 5 minutes I had the carb off, the jet securely back in it's hole and the carb back on. Then we played a waiting game to let more of the gas fumes evaporate and hit the road. The last 90 miles of our trip seemed a little longer than usual, but went by uneventfully.


As The Stranger says in The Big Lebowski "Sometimes you eat the bear...and well sometimes the bear, well he eats you". It's a pretty campy way of saying you win some and you lose some but I really like it. I think it pretty well sums up my love affair with old cars. Lots of give and take, ups, downs, and sideways along the road.


I'm just glad to be eating a little bear for a change.








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Fair warning, this post is a little more introspective than mechanical. But how we feel about and interact with cars is part of the experience right?


I've realized it has been about two weeks since I've had the 1600 out and decided to stay up past my bedtime and take go drive it. I've felt pretty guilty for letting the car sit - I see it every day, and tend to anthropomorphize its desire to be on the road, and it's sadness everytime i walk past and get into a different car. Whippersnapper's  sedentary life isn't one born from a fear of damage or wear and tear, but one out of lack of opportunity and sometimes laziness. See, I work from home and rarely need to drive anywhere on my own. When My wife and I go out, about half the time we take her car. As for the lazy ingredient, the 1600 parks in the garage, and behind it in the driveway are Frogger and a Subaru outback that have to get moved for it to come out. Because of this I usually either walk or take Frogger, since it's hard to justify shuffling two cars out of the way for a quick errand. First world problems, right?


So out we go into the night. Pretty quickly I remember the other reason why I love driving this one, but sometimes take Frogger instead. This car wants to go. Not in a high speed sense, but it wants to travel and suck in the cold night air, and chew up the miles of asphalt, and howl at the moon, and..... Here I go anthropomorphizing again. Every time i get in this car, I get the urge to drive somewhere, anywhere, far away. Last night I immediately had thoughts of how far I could get before my wife got worried and called to check in, or that I've got a good friend in Oklahoma that i haven't seen for a few years, and nevermind the fact I don't have any luggage in the car with me, now would be a great time to go visit. Or maybe the beach would be nice....or California can't be that far away right?!


I don't get those thoughts with Frogger, or any other car I've ever owned. Just this one. This car is dangerous like that.



As I drive, I tame the thoughts of travel and adventure and resolve to enjoy the drive at hand and to try to drive more often. But the car knows, and won't be defeated. The guilt creeps back - "but will I really drive more often?", "Will I really make the time with all the other commitments that pull me in different directions?" "What will happen when I finally finish the restoration on Babar (67 m20 swap), how will I juggle exercising three 02's?" Whippersnapper is vindictive like that when it doesn't get what it wants. 


Suddenly I find myself in downtown louisville. One of my favorite routes takes me that direction, and I just didn't stop to turn around this time. Its been awhile since I'd been downtown and It was refreshing to see it lit up and quiet. I stopped at the Louisville Slugger factory to grab a photo with the giant baseball bat. "You might not get your impromptu trip to Oklahoma, but you'll look good on the interwebs"




As we turned to head for home, whippersnapper gave a final protest - the "stall off throttle while coasting to a stop" problem came back, but just for one intersection. Curse words, 2nd Gear, Pop the clutch, power thru the green light.


On the way home some of the guilt turned to pride. We'd saved this car - It sat for a lot of years in disrepair, and now its back on the road. We've taken it a lot of places and for a lot of drives that it shouldn't have been able to go on and overcome plenty of in the moment obstacles it's thrown out way. It's a car, It's well cared for and loved, and likely driven more than others of it's vintage - I shouldn't feel bad.


As I parked it and shuffled the cars back behind it for the night I still had a twinge of guilt. "Drive Me...California isn't that far away." Geez, that car is relentless.




Edited by dasfrogger
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Well said sir.  Invoking those images brings to mind so many others.


We continue to travel that road which we are forever changing. 


Your representation of this community is beyond reproach, at least from this opinion.  Thank you.


Two thumbs up.

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Since the last post I've had Whippersnapper out a lot. Amazing what some realization and planning can accomplish. I even talked my wife into going for a tandem drive last weekend.



Yesterday I took it on an adventure to Ohio to see my friend Karl (a54atii). Karl recently sold his namesake tii as well as the remainder of his parts stash, and I was invited to come have a look. Karl has a huge stash from over 20 years of parting cars out - and I'd already bought most of it over the past few years! I wouldn't have been able to have these two early 02 projects if it weren't for some of the parts that have come from this stash. 


We spent a few hours digging thru boxes and looking at a trove of parts, some used and crusty and many NOS. I love digging around in old parts almost as much as driving these old cars. I completely filled whippersnapper to the brim - trunk, back seat, passenger seat - with some good finds, my favorite being a beautiful set of NOS, still in the BMW cardboard Early bumpers. They look amazing and i can't wait to install them on the 67. 


After we were done parts diving, we packed up and traded wheel time behind eachothers cars again. I'm glad to say that this time whippersnapper cooperated and Karl got to put it thru it's paces on the back roads. This time, I got to take a spin in his e28 535is, and i absolutely loved it. I'd never been behind the wheel of any e28, and this one will probably spoil me for future cars. I was really impressed, one day I'll have to own one for at least a little while.



After our drives Jim Denker came by and we all went out for a beer at a local brewery. I know I say it a lot, but the people are the best things about these cars. I had a great time and wish I could have stayed longer.




So back to the car... Whippersnapper did great on the way up and back, but.... there's always a but right?!


I stopped for gas midway between Cincinnati and Louisville and everything seemed great. Fluids were good, temp was happy (verified via IR thermometer as gauge was acting up) and the weather was beautiful. After fueling up, I hopped in and turned the key - Nothing.  I figured the charging system must have stopped working properly so Out came the trusty multimeter and the battery shows 6.4 volts. Weird. After some thinking about the problem at hand I remembered back to troubles with Frogger and it's ignition switch. Out came my trusty jump wire and wa-la whippersnappers motor sprang to life.


Unfortunately, i think i either fried the temp sensor (seems like it's spliced in with the wire that touches the solenoid) or the temp gauge as it read overheating most of the way home. I knew it was faulty as it was jumping around, it would show the normal range, then pop into the red and wiggle. Even though I knew everything was ok, the drive home was still nerve racking.


So now I've got a new list of things to do for whippersnapper:


Oil Change

Pull cluster -> replace tiny light bulbs, add 2nd cluster ground, verify that temp gauge works

Pull ignition switch -> diagnose issue, replace switch if necessary & add relay to protect switch

Replace Temp sender with NOS part (found at Karl's, FTW) if necessary.

Have original radiator re-cored for high capacity (or W&N unit) and replace + Fluid Flush.


I've also decided to do some cosmetic things, but they'll probably wait till the winter. I've decided to install a Salt & Pepper carpet kit, So i need to remove the interior, remove sound deadening, and replace with dynamat or similar prior to carpet install. While I'm at it, I'll Replace the door cards with a very good used set I got from the parts 67 +  rebacking them with Aardvarc wooden panels. Window Crank lubrication etc will happen at the same time. I'm sure i'll find another dozen "while i'm in there" scope creep projects too...







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Nice adventures!


You just a have a ground(s) issue with the temp gauge. Be sure the VR is (grounded) bolted tight to the fender (6V cars have one, right?) and clean all other grounds. And run a pigtail ground to the gauges at the back of the cluster. Those little nuts holding the actual gauges to the board.



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So, after a month and a half of not having time to address the electrical gremlins I decided to take the 1600 an hour South to our new storage space. I Figured with some extra room It would be a little easier to work on, and as winter approaches I'd like to have Frogger back in the garage.


So, as you've probably read above, last time I drove the car the ignition switch failed on the way home. I've tried turning the key three or four times since, with no success. As I went out to start it for the trip today, I figured I'd try and turn the key again to see if it would start up before I jumped the starter.


It started. Because of course it did. Not like we've had PERFECT driving weather in the commonwealth for the last few weeks or anything. And of course it made the hour and ten minute journey with zero hiccups. Because why shouldn't it?! I'm frustrated that I've put it up for the winter a few weeks earlier than I'd intended and that I haven't been able to drive it for the past few weeks.


So, now it's down in storage with a few of its friends. Its not winterized yet, so i'll probably make a few trips down to do some work and put a few more miles on it before it gets too cold.



I have done exactly zero research on the issues yet, and plan to do some - but figured I'd throw things out to the community first in case anyone is an electrical wizard. The only thing that changed over the last 6 weeks was that I put the battery on a trickle charger and got it fully charged. When I originally had the problem at the gas station i was seeing 6.4 volts - so I figured the battery wasn't the problem, but maybe it didn't have enough juice to pass thru the switch etc....? Or perhaps the switch is going bad which would explain why sometimes the car likes to die when coming to a stop in traffic? Then we have the head scratcher of why the temp gauge was haywire then, but perfectly fine today. If it's a grounding issue, could it be that the switch is going bad and not getting a good ground intermittently?


Anyone have an opinion on a place to start on diagnosing the issue? Anything you'd do to fortify the system? I plan to add a ground wire to the cluster and would like to add a relay to protect the ignition switch, but need to look up info on how best to add said relay and what type to buy. Any advice would be much appreciated. 



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Decided that if i'm going to make it to vintage in the 66 I'll have to start getting it back up to snuff quickly. I decided to start with the electrical system this weekend. With the intermittent tail lights and the stalling I thought we might have a grounding issue. I checked into the tail lights and noticed that when i put my foot on the brake the parking lights dim a bit, and the brake lights slowly get brighter over a period of 5-6 seconds (or more sometimes), but never as bright as they should be. I'm thinking that the issue is a bad brakelight switch, but haven't investigated any further.


As for the grounds, I started in the rear and moved to the front. The block side of the cable had a decent amount of corrosion, but cleaned up nicely. I also added a 2nd ground behind the gauge cluster in hopes of steadying the erratic temp gauge. 


While I had the cluster out, I replaced all the bulbs with new, brightest available, 6v 5w5 bulbs from @MoBrighta. Before replacing the bulbs, i had a lot of dark spots, particularly the gas/temp gauge and some parts of the clock. The new bulbs made a huge difference, but I still have several dark spots, as well as light bleed on the indicator lights. I should probably either send the cluster out to be professionally rebuilt, or take it apart and really clean everything. Maybe over the winter....




So, how did the ground cleaning work out? I have no idea as I decided to hold off until I had fully charged the battery to eliminate it as a variable. Maybe I'll get over mid week to finish charging and try it out.


I'm hoping a fresh battery and freshly scuffed grounds will solve the stalling issue. If it persists, I'll swap carbs from solex to weber. Also hoping the brakelight issue is easily solved. If you read this and have any ideas, I'm all ears.

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Got the battery fully charged and ran the car. It started and idled perfectly. I haven't been able to road test as the brake lights still don't work, so the jury is still out on the fix being good.


Started to troubleshoot the tail lights last night and here's where we are:


  • Brake lights have been lost completely. No 'warm up' to part strength over a few seconds. The turn signals start dim and get brighter- they also take a full 'cycle' of the relay clicking before they start to light. Also, the right turn signal is significantly dimmer than the left.
  • All bulbs look ok. Housings look ok, as do connections at back of housings. I have removed the connectors at back of housing and reinistalled & scuffed with brush.
  • Grounds have been cleaned, and fuses turned &/or replaced.
  • Battery at full charge and showing 6.31 volts with key off. Shows 6.99 volts when car is running.
  • Running lamps get just over 5v and turn signals get 3.3v (left) and 2.5v (right). Couldn't check brake light voltage, let's assume zero. I have not checked if reverse lights work, or their voltage.
  • Video below shows state of lights.

So, what's next? I plan to:

  • Research wiring diagram to see how power gets to bulbs. Need to find out if brake &/or turn signal power runs thru flasher relay &/or turn signal switch.
  • Research voltage values - how much should I have at battery during charging, how much should i have at each bulb?
  • Depending on results above, Test turn signal swtich & brake light switch. Luckily i have at least one other early car brake light switch, hopefully it is a suitable replacement. However, I'm not sure if I have a correct turn signal switch.
  • I'm also going to send a spare set of tail light buckets (from a '67) to @MoBrighta so he can work his magic to ensure they are as reflective as possible and that they definitely are in good working order with fresh bulbs.


I'm sure I'll be needing to crack @thehackmechanic 's new electrical book too. Hopefully this will be an easy situation to resolve. If anyone has any other thoughts or ideas, please let me know!


Next time I'm at the barn (hopefully thursday), I'll take the car for a drive up and down the gravel road to try and test if the stalling issue has been solved too. I have a sneaking suspicion that the battery in the car, while new, is probably not very good and could be part of the problem. Maybe the generator isn't operating at peak performance either. Still hopeful that I've got a solution though.


While I hadn't planned on going initially, the more I think about it, the more I want to go to Mid America 02 fest this year. @eastsidebimmer is a bad influence.  If that's going to happen, I need to get this tail light & Stalling business fixed by 4/15.




Edited by dasfrogger

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