6:45 a.m.: Several major tasks remained unfinished. With less than 42 hours left to complete the rig, the mood around the shop turned serious. There wasn't time for mistakes, nor was there time to stop for a break. Robin declared he wouldn't leave the shop until the truck was finished: "Come hell or high water, this truck will be finished in time for SEMA." Bewildered volunteers sauntered in from the thick morning fog. A thick layer of clutter coated every horizontal surface of Toby's shop: Empty drink cups, half-opened boxes of pizza, scatterings of notched tubing lay everywhere. There wasn't one place where you couldn't find some sort of handtool waiting to be put away. Toby looked around and muttered, "Guys, we gotta clean up this mess first."
9:15 a.m.: The morning brought with it many time-consuming stumbling blocks. For instance, the brake lines made from steel braided hose offered a much better path for electrical current than the ill-placed grounding lead of Toby's MIG welder. You guessed it -- time to redo the rear brake lines. Luckily, our friends at Russell Performance kicked down plenty of extra brake hose with their generous donation of fittings and steel braded lines.
10:10 a.m.: Former TTC tow-truck driver and all-around good buddy Scott Shreve was in the process of bending up new solid brake lines that seemed to fit better than the factory units. Meanwhile, Toby was busy zapping away at the rear tubing of the truck. Just when things were looking up, a bad call came in. Our rear driveshaft from Pat's Driveline in Canada had been held up in customs for several days due to an improper tax ID number. Now it was no longer en route to California. The shipper had turned over the whole debacle to a clearing house, which meant nobody at UPS had any answers. But our problems just seemed to get worse. Fuel Safe, the company that hooked us up with a sweet 30-gallon fuel cell, called to inform us about our in-tank fuel pump, which was lost in a cargo container somewhere near the California-Oregon border. Evidently, the wrong shipping label was used. After an abrupt conversation with a representative from Fuel Safe, a new fuel cell was on a plane bound for San Jose, California. Toby assured us he could conjure up a rear driveshaft from excess parts, if time permitted.
8:49 p.m.: The Glassworks Unlimited fiberglass front fenders and bed sides had arrived fresh from the body shop. The paint matched, but the rear taillights were missing. Otherwise, the rear portion of the truck was looking pretty good. A 20-inch-long Poly Performance limiting strap was being installed over the center of the rear differential. Robin was under the truck, running the world's most expensive -2 gauge power cable from the alternator back to the spot where the two Optima yellow-top batteries were going to be. A few helpers remained late into the night to aid with wiring up the engine.