Friday, February 3, 2012

Thank You Lord

Last evening I planned on finishing getting Lucy ready for Ariel to take back to PA. After a quick stop at the FLAPS for a 1-7/8ths pipe clamp, I changed into freshly laundered grungies and headed out to the garage. In no time I had the clamp installed and the system checked for leaks – all was good. Next, I moved on to the left side for the speedometer cable swap. While jacking up that side of the car, I noticed the brake line leading to the left rear wheel looked really rusty, so I decided it was time to give Lucy’s brake system the “hard, harder” test (basically stand on the brake pedal to see if you can make it fail). On the “harder” part of the test, the pedal went to the floor. Not good. I asked Victoria to come out and pump the pedal while looked around for the leak. As she pumped, we could hear the fluid squirting out somewhere, but only after a small puddle formed under the fuel tank, did we know which tube had failed - the one to the right front. To replace that line, I’m going to have to drop the fuel tank. Irrr.

I am SOOO thankful that I thought to do this test. I can’t imagine having this failure occur while driving. Even though Lucy has a dual master cylinder that would supposedly still stop the car using the rear circuit, I wouldn’t want to test its ability. Thank You Lord!

With Lucy now out of commission, Ariel would have to drive Heidi back to school. Since I know it’s going to get cold again and the only item on Heidi’s to-do list is the squealing speedometer that’s even worse when it’s below freezing, I decided to spend the rest of my garage time cleaning and lubricating her speedometer. After carefully driving Lucy to her parking spot at the curb, I put Heidi in the garage and had my déjà-vu moment for the day. It hadn’t been more than a week since I’d torn down Lucy dash to get the gauge cluster out, and here I was doing it all over again. The only difference being Heidi’s transmission shifter made things a little more difficult. After disconnecting the shifter cable, I was able to remove the cluster, clean the speedometer and odometer mechanisms and shaft with break cleaner, and then take a break while letting the cleaner completely evaporate.

During my break, I took Ringo for drive around the neighborhood to see if the magic trans fix fluid I’d put it had miraculously done what it touted it could do. Amazingly, the Powerglide sorta’ did its shifting thing without any special machinations. It wasn’t a perfect shift, but it was certainly a step in the right direction. I drove it around and, while things didn’t improve, I’m not ready yank the drivetrain quite yet. Regardless, I'll use the newly arrived rebuild kit to get my spare transmission ready just in case these improvements don't continue.

Back in the garage, I sprayed the liquid graphite into the guts of the speedometer and also coated the odometer wheels and the input shaft before screwing everything back together and reinstalling the cluster into the dash. All the bulbs and switches were put back in their proper places, the battery was reconnected, and everything worked like it should. This morning’s drive to work proved the efficacy of my efforts by the needle being rock-solid with no noise whatsoever.

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