Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Couple Days of Catch-up

I’ll start with Lucy. As I reported a couple days ago, the TEMP-PRESS light came on while I was cruising on I-70 to rescue Glinda. I thought it was a short in the wire since the light stayed on the next morning when the engine was fully cooled down and the oil level was well above ADD until I drove over some bumps in the road. Then, yesterday on my lunch hour, again while driving at 75 mph on the highway, the light came back on. It stayed on and I parked the car at my destination and went around back to check on the thermostat doors. The one on the left was partially open, while the right one (the side with the temp switch) was still fully closed. A half-hour or so later, I start the car back up and the light goes off a second later - just like normal - when the oil pressure comes up. I drove back to work at 65 and the light stayed off. I know the thermostat is supposed to fail open, so I’m still thinking it’s a short, but I may replace the right side thermostat anyway. I’ll be in that area checking out the wire to the switch.

Now on to Glinda. Evening before last I reassembled her original carburetors. My plan is to install one, verify proper operation, and then install the other. This way, if one still has issues, I’ll know which one.

After seeing the oil drops coming from behind her harmonic balancer during my leak sleuthing, I’d decided to install the new crank seal since it was the suspected culprit. Last evening I put her rear up on jackstands and lowered the engine until I had access to the harmonic balancer. The impact wrench removed the main bolt, but when I went to bolt on the hub puller, I discovered whomever had previously pulled the balancer off its original engine (finger pointing at me) broke a bolt off in one of the tapped holes. I remember now. I’d used two bolts in the balancer to pry the engine I’d bought last autumn. One of the bolts broke off, and now I was paying the price for my lameness. Out came the drill and after carefully centerpunching the sheared fastener, I was able to remove enough of it to get the puller bolt turned in. With the harmonic balancer off, the seal easily pried out of its bore. Before putting in the new, I decided I’d give the bolts that retain the rear engine housing a slight torquing. It was then I discovered the hole. When the harmonic balancer had broken last month, the pulley ring had spun up against the housing and ground a small hole through the housing wall. Since I had a spare sitting on the shelf, I immediately set about cleaning it up in preparation for swapping it onto Glinda’s engine. As I was scrubbing, it occurred to me that a hole like this could be patched using JB Weld - it's not structural, nor is it under high pressure. Sadly, I couldn’t find any amongst my supplies, so that repair will wait until this evening. Once completed, I’m highly confident the constant spraydown of the engine with oil will cease. I’ll like that.

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