Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Am I At A Fork In The Road?

I think my post to the CorvairCenter forum does a good job detailing my efforts of last night to get Ringo’s transmission to upshift from Low to Drive.

"I disconnected and plugged the vacuum line to the modulator. No shift. I tried replacing the governor with one of unknown provenance. Still no shift. I soaked the original governor in my parts cleaner overnight, rinsed and blew it out and pre-filled it with tranny fluid as best as possible. Installed it and then re-installed the shifter cable end per the manual (in Drive, TV fully counter-clockwise) and the hole is the 3/8ths of an inch spec'd. Took it out for a 25 minute or so test drive. It would not automatically shift out of Low, but I could get it to shift into Drive a couple times by accelerating up to 30+ MPG, shifting into Neutral, letting the engine RPMs fall, and putting the shifter back in Drive. It then seemed to operate properly in Drive until I had to decelerate. I tried more than a dozen times to get it to shift, but it was only twice it would cooperate. In the midst of the test I checked the fluid level with the shifter in Drive and it was at the Hot Full mark."

Here are the two responses I got:

“With your last comments about needing to shift to neutral after using low gear I'm beginning to think your manual valve (shifter) isn't adjusted correctly. This is done with a measuring tool (special) inside the oil pan (oil pan removed obviously)”

“Adjusting the manual valve does require special tool J-8365. Maybe someone near you has one you can borrow.”

I’m pretty confident this diagnosis is correct since I stupidly did not follow the manual’s directions when I first reinstalled Ringo’s shifter cable. I’d bet I bent the lever the cable end fits into. I’ve sent the local Corvair guru, Gary, an e-mail in hopes he’s got the special tool or knows what a properly adjusted manual valve looks like.

One other thing I noticed while test driving last night was the lazy lifter still won’t stop clattering. With these two nagging problems, I feel I’ve arrived at a crossroads. I can either continue to do battle with the current drivetrain, or I can swap drivetrains with Heidi. Since Ringo’s current setup has the one-year-only ’64 differential, it would bolt right into Heidi and vice-versa.

First, however, I think I’ll spend this evening adjusting the valves on the noisy side and dropping the tranny pan to see if I can find something to straighten at the manual valve. I’ll hold off on which path I choose at this fork in the road.

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