Project Phoenix: Tom learns a lesson edition

Project Phoenix, for those of you not in the know, is the ongoing story of my friend Tom and his 1969 Pontiac Firebird. The car was purchased for a solid price, considering it’s in good shape for a daily driven car approaching its 44th birthday. Tom and I have replaced the carpet, he’s had the engine tuned up, and a few bits and pieces have been swapped out for newer units. Paint work is to come down the line, but Tom and I both agreed that a nice set of black wheels would look good against the current scheme slathered on the sheet metal.

Tom sent me a text to inform me that the Firebird would be rolling on “new” wheels very soon thanks to a sweetheart Craigslist find. I was in New York for the auto show when I got the text, but I was excited to see what the wheels look like in person. Once I was home, Tom called me up to say he was on his way… and then he sent me a text to tell me he was outside, which is where I found him with the hood up and a troubled look on his face.

While driving to my place, Tom heard a buzz then saw a grey puff of smoke emanate from underneath the dashboard. The wires behind the aftermarket temp gauges had fried. Popping the hood, he was treated to a more worrying site. The battery, which was not secured with a tie down, had slide towards the fender. In the process, the positive cable was ripped from the terminal, and said terminal was resting against the metal skin of the car.

I grabbed my rubber mallet, and handed it to Tom… and backed up. After a few snaps, pops, and a jump from Tom, the battery was away from the metal, and the positive cable was pulled back away from the battery.

I did get to see the new wheels, but I was hoping to slide into the driver’s seat and go for a spin. Oh well, Tom’s not done with the wheels anyway, as he is planning on swapping out the Camaro center caps for PMD-emblazoned units. On top of that, the wheels will get a silver trim around the outside edge. I’m on the face as to that last bit, bit silver and black tend to work quite well. Regardless, the black wheels look great tucked underneath the white paint.

Now… on to that wiring.

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