Last weekend, while working on the oil pump, I’d removed the distributor so I could verify the pump turned after I had it back together. Before removing it, I match-marked the cap and the idler pulley to make reinstallation easier. I didn’t check the timing, but I could tell it was too advanced since the idle speed, once Ringo’s engine was warmed up, was too high. Last night I bumped the timing back to 16 degrees BTDC and the idle speed dropped back to 500 rpm.
I then backed his rear end up onto the ramps, jacked up the front end and supported it on jackstands. It took a tube and a half of seam sealer, but I finished closing off all the floor openings. Next, I asked the lovely Loriann to move the steering wheel while I went hunting for the source of the steering looseness. I found the pitman arm bolt was loose in its hole. It’s a tapered bolt that’s supposed to fit tightly, but the length of the replacement bushing I’d recently installed was preventing the taper from engaging. I ground much of the shoulder off the bushing and was able to tighten the castle nut enough to make a tight fit. Now, when I turn the steering wheel I get instant response at the tires.
Finally, I disassembled and cleaned up a starter solenoid. The one currently on Ringo doesn’t always work – especially when it’s hot. I don’t want to give Ariel a car that won’t reliably start. After removing the nuts on the threaded studs, I took off the two slotted screws and the cap came right off. With the contacts out of the way, I used the wire wheel to remove all the corrosion from the copper washer and then Scotchbrite to smooth things out. Some wipes with the Scotchbrite also cleaned up the contacting surface of the positive terminal. Reassembly was equally straightforward and a bead of silicone around the joint between the cap and the body finished off the project.
Thanks to CorvairCenter forum for the photos.