I started Rusty on Saturday. The gentleman I bought it from said he’d had it running last July and there was no evidence to suggest otherwise. Engine has 80,000 miles on it. I removed the spark plugs and introduced engine oil directly into the cylinders and manually turned the engine with the fan. There was a bit of a tight spot initially, probably due to some rust in one of the cylinders, but a bit of gentle back and forth got me past that. I was quickly able to rotate the crank completely. I added more oil to the cylinders, then turned it over with the starter a good bit to build oil pressure.

I wired a legitimate, if temporary, ignition switch that only required four separate trips to O’Reilly’s, which I still insist on calling Kragen.

I bought a couple gallons of fresh gasoline and dropped some new fuel line directly from the fuel pump pickup into the fuel can which I placed underneath. Another squirt of fresh oil into each cylinder, and more cranking to massage the fuel pump and fill the carburetor bowl. I moved the throttle lever two or three times — they rebuilt the Rochester Monojet carburetor last Summer — until I could hear gasoline squirting from the accelerator pump, but quit before I risked flooding. Replace the plugs, switch on the ignition, and crank.

I had to crank two or three times and operate the choke — when was the last time I operated a choke on an automobile, maybe 25 years? — and it came to life. A bit lumpy until it got thoroughly warmed up, but no smoke to speak of in the exhaust. The engine let some coolant out from under the head gasket at the back of the engine, but that seemed to stop once things got warmed up. My friend Jerry, an older gentleman with over 50 years fooling with Stove Bolt engines, recommends retorquing the head bolts to see if that tightens things up.

And we’re off!

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Temp gauge appears to work.