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You do realize, of course, that YOUR shift lever is topped with a "Manly-Man" shift knob - something that can be grasped securely in your hand whilst giving you the feeling that you are in charge as you power through the gears.  

YOU are a motoring Ace, deserving of such a fine machine.

On the other hand, that "550-0073" special has a (yawn....) VW "People's Car" mushroom shift knob, the same as in my 1957 Oval Sedan and two million other "people's cars".  That had 36 wimpy hp.  And no heat (but plenty of exhaust fumes).   

If anyone asks, just tell them that you have the same "special" shifter that they put onto the winning LeMans cars which was then removed and presented to the winning driver as a race souvenir.  Yours was removed from a non-winning (DNF) car and it later appeared in a rather sketchy ad on "Bring a Trailer", where you won the bidding at $12,500.

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

That sounds very believable, Gordon; consider it done. 

To explain my less-than-perfect frunk rendition I shall also endeavor to develop an outrageous story involving the necessity of fitting the FIA-mandated 60x40x20cm hard-sided suitcase under the bonnet in order to continue to qualify in the sports car class for sanctioned under-2 litre hill climbs on the continent after 1960. 

In this car's context it makes excellent sense.

605D8B37-200F-445F-A6C5-44C841C478A6That 0.5% of car enthusiasts that know the 550 will know the car is a replica based upon the proportions. But 1/2 of that group will still admire all the attention and time you have into your build. The other half of that group are total snobs, so who cares what they think?

The other 99.5% would think it’s real if you had an “8-ball” shifter knob on it. 

One day, in the near future, I’d like to either make or buy (probably buy, because we’ll #idiot here) the shift knob from the 917. 



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^^ THAT! ^^

Is Wicked Awesome!

And Ed:  Someone in the Beaufort, SC car club had a case with similar dimensions in the trunk of his '62 Corvette for car shows.  When he opened it (usually just as cars were getting lined up and parked for the show) he had all the fixins for high-potency Bloody Marys (recipe from "Kathleen's Pub" on Bay Street) which, of course, got quickly passed around, so by the time the crowds arrived the club was in a party mood (read that, "pretty well lit").   The good old days....

Not that I am in any way endorsing such craziness, but those dimensions lend themselves to something better than tools or spares, don't-cha think?

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Re-fabbed my breather/fake oil tank out of steel 'cuz the aluminum one was too weak. 


I'm also moving down my final assembly punch list: cleaned up under the dash today, riveted in the body tag, modded my throttle return spring so it's not ass. That sort of thing. There are about 115 individual punch-list items ranging from "top off transaxle with gear oil; tighten plugs" to "Visit MSP with docs for sign-off" to "install final Porsche scripts."


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Blog post.

Panicked a little when I couldn't get the backup light to work with the trans in reverse (knowing the switch was good); thought maybe I had a bum transaxle.


Then I tried pushing the car a little in gear. Low and behold: the fan spun counterclockwise in both reverse and second! 

I was able to fix it pretty quickly after that discovery.

Also spoke to the safety inspector guy today and he's pretty sure—not 100 percent, but pretty sure—he'll have to see working windscreen wipers to give the car a pass. So I'll be saddling up the glass screen and delving back into my long-abandoned wiper rig before putting the floor back on the car.

All in the game, I guess. 


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edsnova posted:

"...Low and behold: the fan spun counterclockwise in both reverse and second!..."



Ed, I think the technical term for that is a poltergeist .

I know you were focused on the switch and on whether or not it was working, but did you notice the demonic spirits escaping at the bottom of the photo?


Is your garage located anywhere near a cemetery, or maybe a former cemetery?

In any case, I'd stay away from your TV for a while.



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Yup....Those "Light Orab's" that haunt photographs on occasion can be downright frustrating...even scary.  The one I have trouble with  is the Gay little "Amp" that goes around blowing all the fuses randomly. They always catch you off-guard.  So much so, that as soon as a fuse blows, you don't believe it happened so you install another fuse and watch to be sure it blows too.  This is very common troubleshooting procedure and is why I always carry 2 of each size of fuse.

Sometimes I insert a screwdriver into a randomly selected device or assembly just to practice this unique skill and be reassured that the procedure still works.

Occasionally I practice it using an "ice-pick" style trouble shooting light. I make sure the shaft of the "pick" part is resting on a grounded part of the assembly. This is to "steady" the insertion of the "pick" enough to ensure it only touches the hot post !


Shift linkage/bracket adjustment continues apace!

Reverse gear is not reachable by standard means yet unless the works are adjusted such that it is the only gear that can be selected.

I pondered this phenom for a bit and finally decided that my home-brewed gate selector bracket is not yet ready for the big leagues, and set about adding a triangle to it for stiffening purposes.






I designed this as a bolt-on but, having tacked it together, I find I can't remove it without taking at least one of the two brackets off the trans, so I'll probably end up welding it to both brackets to make them into one big bracket like Brandwood made originally. 

It's admittedly no longer elegant but it should not draw undue attention to itself under the spare tire.

For those needing a refresher here's my November, 2017 blog post on why I decided to make this mess instead of just using the stock bracket like a sane person.


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Last edited by edsnova

Spent four hours today. First I tried the shifter in reverse with the bracket/gusset just tacked in place. It worked! So I pulled the assembly and finished welding the shifter gusset.


I worked around it slowly so as to not warp it. Then I sliced the top of the tube and tapped it down to make it conform to the plate bit before welding across.


Then I was going to weld the new part to both the old parts to make it one unit but decided not to do that when I went to test-fit it on as a one-piece item and could not get it to fit under the holy frame bit I made.

The rearward part that attaches to the end of the bracket is threaded for the little ball that the cable end grabs. The upper part of course fits over the stud on the transaxle and is notched to kind of "lock" in place against one of the ribs. So I guess that'll have to be good enough.

Painted it.


Re-bent the reverse light bracket to tuck the light up, prepped and painted that too while I was at it. Also re-painted part of shifter bracket that got dinged-up from previous bending and bending back. I then reassembled all the bracketry and adjusted the shifter.


All four forward gears work easy now and reverse is where it should be. 

There are 73 items remaining on the punch list.


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