And here are the pics. Bill has some more on his camera I think.
To start with, a little bit about the journey up there. My pump was so close to failure that I basically could drive about 30 minutes before it would start cutting out if It was warm out, or if I was stuck in heavy traffic or if I let the car idle for any kind of extended period. Considering Bill is about 2 hours away from me, I was nervous to say the least.
I timed my trip so it would be at night and past rush hour traffic that way the weather would be cold and I wouldn't get stuck sitting around with the engine on. All was good for about the first 20 minutes. I had a bit of sluggish traffic around Danbury CT, but nothing too serious.
Around Hartford, the pump acted up a bit, couldn't get the car over 3000 rpms anymore but I was still able to maintain the speed limit. I'm thinking, "Alright! Hartford was the hard part and I'm all clear". ...
About 1 mile from Bill'* place, there'* a massive accident and 2 lanes are out. Wall to wall grid lock about 200 feet from the exit before his. After sitting for about 30 seconds, the damn pump started to really act up. I called Bill and he drove out to meet me at the exit. He lead me back to his place via backroads and I have to say.. It was interesting, basically the pump was so weak at this point, I was afraid to stop, even when I had to because getting up the power to start moving again was touchy. Fortunately, I had no full stalls and slid it into the bay.
Part 1: The Removal
We got her up on jacks and I had a moment to really look at how dirty the car was. It really sucks *** not having access to a garden hose.
We dropped the exhaust and made an attempt at removing the bolts, but unfortunately the stupid clips snapped and we had to cut the gas straps off. After about 2 hours of trying to cut the bolt heads off or drill it, Bill pulls out this beast of a grinder.
After avoiding some gas spills, we managed to get the tank free of the car.
The top of the tank where the fuel pump and assembly is located.
By this point, it was about 1 in the morning, so we crashed for the night.
Part 2: The Junkyard
The plan the next day was to head to a junkyard at around 8am. Along the way, we stopped at a rest top and found this Saab:
A truck with the plate dangling and shaking in the wind along the way (bad angle, but the best I could do):
My first junkyard visit ever
I have alot of cosmetic damage as I'm sure everyone has noticed at this point, so when we found a virgin bonne, I swiped a fender for repainting (Thanks Geoff for the phone-assist):
Another Bonnie there had one of those 2nd gear start buttons:
Me grabbing a Ford Tempo badge for later burning: (On a side note, there were a couple of people pulling something of the front suspension of the car. I asked them, "Do you mind if I take the emblem? My buds and I need something to burn"
Part 3: The Endlinks
While I had the car up on jacks, I changed my endlinks. If you haven't done this, I highly reccomend that you do it. The effect was immediately noticable on how the car was handling tight turns.
Couple of shots from the front:
Part 4: The aftermath
Up to this pioint, the cleanest part of the car:
The new fuel strainer and pump on the assembly:
The new straps on the gas tank (Hell of a lot easier going on then coming off)
New fuel filter on the lines:
Once we were done, we washed and waxed Bill'* 97 and my car.
Once again, I want to thank Bill. There'* no chance in hell I could've done this without his help.