Getting' hooked up doesn't always make out like one's initial train of thought might imagine. For instance, in the hot rod realm, oftentimes hooked up is simply referring to "hooking" parts together. In this specific case at hand, getting hooked up is tied into installing linkages: throttle, tranny, pedal, and column to be specific. Yep, for this chapter in the book of Project Get Shorty it's time to link all the mechanical systems together in order to get this hauler one step closer to flight.

When it comes to linking all the moving parts of a hot rod together, there's no bigger name in the game than Lokar Performance Products. Lokar specializes in shifters, cable systems, rod linkages, throttle pedals, e-brake systems, and measuring systems. Their horizons cover all things automotive, which means more or less they have the parts to put whatever make, model, and year hauler you have in motion-pun intended. (Sorry, it was there for the taking and I had to do it.) Whether it's linking the steering column to the tranny, the throttle pedal to the carburetor, synching the engine and tranny, or simply selecting gears, Lokar has it covered. The best part is their products can link up OEM components, aftermarket components, and even OEM to aftermarket components. In laymen's terms, no stone goes unturned in their catalog.

For our specific quest at hand, we're trying to put all the mechanical systems of Project Get Shorty into action. Right now the truck sits with the motor, tranny, steering column, and so on all in position. Yet, that's the problem; they are just in position, nothing's synched together. For that reason we contacted Lokar to acquire all the goodies to make command central-the driver's seat-operable by levers, pedals, shifters, and the like. In order to get the Smeding 383 up and running we ordered the stainless steel spoon throttle assembly coupled with the braided stainless steel throttle cable and bracket. Making sure the engine and Gearstar 4L60 work in unison is a Hi-Tech kickdown cable. Like the throttle cable, it too is made from braided stainless steel. Because Get Shorty is equipped with an automatic transmission and an ididit column-shift column it will need the necessary equipment to link the two. Lokar offers two options for this. One is a cable operated system that attaches to the column shift arm and down to the tranny gear selector. The other is a stainless steel rod, which installs just like the cable. Being that the '71 offers a straight shot from the column to the gear selector, I opted to go with the rod linkage to keep things in line with the KISS strategy: Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Unless you plan on guesstimating, or using a set of chopsticks pirated from Panda Express, to check fluid levels, the odds are some sort of measuring device is needed. For our application we choose to use the Lokar stainless braided flexible dipsticks. They're simple to install, versatile, and easy on the eyes to boot.

Between all of the Lokar products it took more or less a solid day to install them all. Not so much because it's a complicated procedure that requires deep thought, but because the process is a bit time consuming-as the following pictures attest to. All the items on the agenda can be installed with simple, common handtools, which makes this install ideal for the hobbyist. Follow along with Star Kustom Shop as we install Lokar's arsenal of products.

Gearstar Performance Transmissions
132 N. Howard St.
Akron  44308
10924 Murdock Drive
TN  37932
610 S. Maumee Street
MI  49286
Smeding Performance
28875 Interstate 10W
TX  78006
Star Kustom Shop
OH  74331
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