Saturday, 28 February 2009

Booger Mobile Lives!!

A fine, sunny Saturday greeted Scottie and Damian as they got together to spend their first full day working on Booger Mobile. The goals for the day were simple:
  1. Get the engine started and see if it drives.
  2. Empty the items out of the car and catalog what we have - useful or otherwise.
  3. Photograph Booger Mobile and work out sponsorship/advertising positions and sizes.

Firstly, the inside of Booger Mobile was emptied to allow for enough access to turn the "key" (which is actually a flat bladed screwdriver - the guts of the ignition having been removed by the previous owner after accidentally snapping a key off in it). Goal number 2 - CHECK!!

While this was going on, Scottie was tinkering under the bonnet, checking plug leads, checking oil, attaching the radiator etc etc. After filling the radiator with water from the tap at the back shed (dam water from Damian's massive freshwater dam), we were ready to commence ignition sequence!! Oh, but where's the battery tray?

Damian located the battery tray in the boot, and he and Scottie proceeded to re-attach it under the bonnet... That done, and Scottie's massive 750CCA Battery from his Hilux was sat on the tray, and the terminals attached. Damian attempts to get into the driver's seat, and discovers that he can't move the seat far enough backwards to get his massive 6'5 frame (2/3 of which is legs) into the driver's seat. The problem? The custom mounted seat belts (this model didn't come with seat belts, and doesn't require them by law, but the boys will be fitting them regardless of this fact!!) Scottie gets to work undoing the large bolt holding the seatbelts in, only to discover that the nut is turning under the car. Being the larger of the two, Damian volunteers to crawl under Booger Mobile, discovering in the process that it currently has about 5" of clearance due to its ridiculously low hanging exhaust pipe... oh well, another thing on the "to do" list!! After Damian wedged his arm between the tailshaft and the floor pan, and finally got a spanner onto the offending nut, Scottie was able to remove the seatbelts. HELP!! Damian was firmly stuck in place...

After a few tense moments, some moves that would make a contortionist proud, several grimaces and a yelp or two, Damian was freed!! Scottie remarked that if he had stayed under the car, Booger Mobile might have been the first entry into the esCarpade with a dead body attached below!!

So, where were we.... oh yes, we were just about to see how our intrepid duo were doing getting the Booger Mobile started! Damian moved the seat back, gaining an extra couple of inches, but still not far enough to be comfortable for him to drive (another item for the "to do" list), and inserted a screwdriver, ready to turn the ignition! POP, SMASH!! The screwdriver was then fully through the ignition hole, with the ignition barrel in several pieces with the guts spread all over the floor (amongst other small items, therefore making it so much more interesting to piece back together!!) After much cursing and gnashing of teeth, Damian worked out which bits needed to be held together to turn the ignition... Turning, cranking, nothing!

Cranking, cranking, cranking, NOTHING!

Seems like the guy they bought it off was right - the engine turns over, but doesn't fire! Scottie and Damian commenced pulling bits off the engine to investigate... Points gap - far too large, so they reduced that!! Spark plugs - looked pretty good! Try again... cranking, cranking, cranking STILL NOTHING!! Damian gets the mighty Patrol and hooks up the 400Amp jumper leads - perhaps it just needs more power????

Cranking, cranking, cranking, still nothing, but at least it's cranking faster!!

Time to delve deeper - Scottie begins with a spark plug - cranking, no spark! Alright, how about at the coil - cranking, SPARK! Spark at the coil... Damian checks the plug leads, to find some not connecting to spark plugs at all, some flopping around like a spoon in a bowl of porridge, some alright... After rectifying them, still nothing!! A check of the distributor cap, with some adjustments, then all of a sudden, SPARK AT THE PLUGS!! Woohoooooooooooooo!!

Scottie poured some more fuel down the throat of the carby and Damian turned the key - cranking, cranking, cranking, cough - FIRE!! The engine had at last shown the first signs of life... After several more attempts, each time getting some firing but no going, it was time for lunch, and to use the almighty Google to find out the correct settings for the points gap! (16-18thou in case you are wondering!)

After lunch, the boys decided to check that there was sufficient fuel getting through to the carby, as Booger Mobile was now firing regularly, but still not starting! After adjusting the points gap as per the new information, they checked the status of the fuel tank. Bone dry!! Before adding any fuel, Scottie decided to check that the fuel lines were connected. While he crawled underneath, Damian went one better, grabbing the fuel tank and physically lifting it from the boot! "I think I've found the problem" Damian says...

While Scottie fashioned a make-shift fuel tank (albeit a very small one) from a can of Coke Zero (perhaps there's a sponsorship opportunity there!!), and installed it under the bonnet, Damian set to work removing what was left of the ignition barrel from the dash and re-creating the ignition from the parts found on the floor - he figured that part of the problem was that although holding the parts together could get the engine to fire, he couldn't get it back into the correct position to allow the engine to remain idling!

With the ignition now hanging from the underside of the dash and held together with HMT (Hundred Mile an hour Tape), Scottie threw some more fuel into the carby and Damian turned the key (a flat bladed screwdriver) in the re-fashioned ignition, crank, crank, crank, fire - START!! The Booger Mobile sprang to life, for what was possibly the first time in a number of years!!

It was smokey, rough and a bit scarey, but it was running!! Goal number 1 - CHECK!!
Scott started the Booger Mobile and drove it out of the shed, parking it on the grass (and switching it off). Damian took plenty of photos for sponsorship/advertising purposes, then started Booger Mobile and reversed it back into the shed! Measurements were taken, then over dinner, sponsorship/advertising signage positions were calculated. Goal number 3 - CHECK!!

All in all, a great day. The journey has well and truly begun!


  1. Does my bum look big in that 2nd pic ? lol

  2. Yes... but I can beat it...