Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ups and Downs of My Time in the Garage

Last evening’s automotive efforts focused on engine work. First up was trying to remove the remnants of the broken stud. After at least an hour and many broken drill bits, I gave up. I’d been able to get much of the stud out, but there still remained metal at the bottom of the now-threadless hole. Very frustrating.

Between all the chips I’d just released into the engine area and the dust and grit spewed into the air by the grinding of bodywork, I was not going to rebuild any of the disassembled engines I now have sitting around without first completely tearing them down, cleaning all surfaces, and re-lubricating bearings and the other slippery surfaces. With that in mind, it was time to finish taking apart the 95 HP engine. On went the air compressor and out came the sockets, wrenches, and air guns. After removing the rear splash pan, harmonic balancer, and rear engine cover, Ariel came out and helped me lower the engine off the stand and onto the floor. Next I removed, in order, the torque converter, flexplate, bellhousing, the bolts holding the block halves together. With all that out of the way, a few taps with the dead blow hammer and the engine parted to release the crankshaft and camshaft. A quick inspection of the bearings showed them to be in good condition. I’ll plastigage them against the shafts before calling them good-to-go.

During all this, the buyer of Lucy’s race seats showed up. About a week ago, I decided that the seats the lovely Loriann agreed to give me for my last birthday were not the smartest way to go. Given that 1) I don’t foresee heading to the track any time soon, 2) no one else would be comfortable sitting in the seats, and 3) the seat tracks still needed to be modified before they’d fit Lucy and I don’t expect to be able to get to that any time soon, I decided to repair the welds, fix the adjusters, clean the covers, and put them on Craigslist. And that’s what I did putting a $120 price tag on them. I only received two calls, but the second guy was adamant that these were exactly what he was looking for and he’d be out the next evening to get them. He was good to his word, and I now have six crisp twenties to cover the cost of more reasonable bucket seats. The last time I was at Crazy Ray’s, I found an MX-6 with immaculate cloth-covered buckets. Once Victoria brings back the Suburban from her camping trip, I’ll make a lunchtime trip with fingers crossed and wrenches ready.

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