Sunday my Festiva will likely be sent to the scrapyard in the sky. If you don’t know why, it’s because this car has caused a number of tiffs with people close to me who aren’t Gamblers. The fun of driving it isn’t worth the headache. My parents confiscated the car after they deemed the car too ridiculous to drive in the winter. Somehow, riding a motorcycle in the winter isn’t ridiculous to them, but I digress...
The girlfriend is also not in support of the idea of driving it without doors anywhere but the Gambler. The problem with this is that a lot of Gamblers are point to point, so any part of your car you take off you’ll have to take with you.
I can tell I went a bit far with this particular kart idea. I bought this thing to make it into a kart and it’s not really feasible to have the doors come off and on depending on situation (the doors are heavy and there is not anywhere to put them). So, it’s gotta go. It’s far too rusty to sell back to the general public, so that is off the table. I decided to do what I’ve always wanted to do and give a full, guilt free send.
I also decided to part out some valuable parts before the full send. If it survives, it’ll be given to another gambler or raffled off. But as I’m challenging everyone at the rally to kill it, I doubt we’ll get to that stage.
For final prep, I’ve removed everything “extra” from the interior. I’m not going to be carrying any tow straps, the spare tires will be the cheap and worn out spares, and my tools will be reduced to the bare minimum I’d need for a roadside breakdown. I also removed the rear carpet (smelled like wet dog) and much of the stuff in the rear tire well. Props to my cheap $15 RGB kit for the awesome lighting!
There is one repair that needed to be done and that’s to the fuel tank. As I previously reported, it had an aggressive leak that made some people quite high. I thought I “fixed” it when I patched up the seam of the tank, but I really only fixed one of the car’s leaks. I’ve finally found the source of the original bad leak.
See that metal nipple thing the return line connects to? That was holding on by a thin piece of that underbody rust protection stuff. When the engine runs, fuel spews out of it, pools up on the tank, then deposits in random places. This made me confused as to what the problem was.
What tipped me off to this was the thought that it only leaked while the engine was running. So clearly it had to do with a line that fuel travels through when the engine is running.
Infuriatingly, these fuel lines are practically new. Someone went and replaced the fuel lines (and even the hardware that holds the trap door to the tank on) but left the tank in a rotting state. The whole underbody of the car is covered in that rust coating crap.
Many people have pitched ideas from a new factory tank, to a tank from a Jeep XJ, to a fuel cell. After looking everything over, I figured this can be fixed in a safe enough manner for a private offroad park. A fuel cell and a Jeep XJ tank would have to reside in the cabin, so no firewall for safety. The factory tank and associated components are also surprisingly expensive together and I doubt removal will be anything but a nightmare.
First, I ripped the nipple fully off. Indeed, it was fubar’d. I then trimmed the return fuel line and shoved one end of a scooter fuel line in it. The original plan called for shoving the other end of the scooter fuel line into the tank, but to my surprise the fuel line is too thicc for that. No problem. I found that one of the scooter carbs I had laying around had an elbow joint to connect two fuel lines together. I took it, put the other end of the scooter fuel line into it, then shoved it into the gas tank. Used the rubber I trimmed off the return line for a seal and fired it up....
No leaks! No fumes! Took it on a lengthy test drive and everything holds up. Tonight I will clean up my work but as of now the car is ready for its demise.
In a way, I feel owning this thing was like Clarkson or May tearing down cars for the Botswana Special.