Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dashed Upon the Rocks

I guess I should be glad the discovery happened when it did. Sunday afternoon I decided it made sense to check how far off the speedometer was, so I had Ariel drive down highway at 60 with me following behind in Ringo. Cruising at 60 with only a slight load on the engine, I was hearing same tapping emanating from the engine. Not good! It would go away as I loaded the engine and come right back as I let off on the accelerator. The low oil pressure I’ve been seeing coupled with this noise makes me believe the rod bearings have too much clearance. That night I told her about it, and we agreed it would be a mistake to put any more miles on the engine until I got new bearings installed.

At least the weekend had a wonderful start. Friday, I spent my birthday money on a new-to-me compressor. I’ll need to run a 230 volt circuit out to the shed, but it’ll be worth it.

Then Saturday morning I drove Ringo to the first of the season Saturday morning gathering of the local Corvair club. We had a great turnout with the a dozen people and nine Corvairs in attendance. I spent most of the time trying to find why Ringo’s starter wouldn’t energize with a turn of the key. Finally, I discovered one of the connectors had come loose from the wire at the neutral safety switch. Once I got the car home and attached a new connector, he’s starting every time.

During the drive I still noticed a vibration at highway speeds that needs to go away. As an attempt to get rid of the vibration, I swapped all four wheels with Heidi. The Sunday afternoon drive confirmed the vibration is due to at least one of his tires being out of balance. As I was doing the swap, I found the inside tread of the front tires were wearing more than the outside. So, a wheel alignment was in order. With Ariel’s help, we adjusted the left tie-rod to change a toe-out condition to the spec toe-in. I would have turned both tie-rods an equal amount to the keep the steering wheel centered, but I couldn’t break loose the rust that locked the threads of the right tie-rod.

Once we’d made the decision to tear down Ringo’s engine, I went to work making Lucy a little bit more comfortable for Ariel. I replaced her loud dual exhaust setup with the single exhaust off Ringo (he’s going to get a new exhaust pipe anyway). That took me a few hours since the two bolts attaching the pipe to the left exhaust manifold snapped off and had to be drilled out (nothing new when working with exhaust systems). With the pipe and muffler properly installed, I moved on to finally replacing the speedometer cable and finally installing the interior door panels. The driver’s door also needed a new sheet of plastic installed prior to the door panel to keep out the moisture.

And that my blog-reading friends is NOT how one should have to spend their birthday weekend.

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