Friday, August 3, 2012

Attacking Luna’s Short List

At any one time each car in the fleet typically has a short to-do list and a long one. The short one consisting of must-dos, while the long one is filled with like-to-dos. In prepping Lucy for the convention, I'd cleared her short list. Currently, amazingly, Glinda, Heidi, and Ringo's short lists are empty, and up until Wednesday evening Luna's had six items on it.
  • Right rear window wouldn’t roll down: Fixed this by seating the rubber gasket at the leading edge of the glass.
  • Seat trim piece not installed: Grabbed a couple trim screws from my collection on the shelf and reattached the black inner trim plate to the rear of the driver’s seat.
  • Accelerator pedal linkage sticking at off idle: Not sure how I fixed this. I removed the nut holding the pedal to its shaft, gave the pedal a few whacks with a mallet, and lo-and-behold everything loosened up with the pedal and throttle moving as they should. I took care reinstalling the nut to ensure that things didn’t tighten up again.
  • Timing not checked: I put the timing light on her engines and it showed the timing was set at 8 degrees Before Top Dead Center (BTDC). I bumped it up to around 14. We’ll see if we experience any pinging when running it on 87 octane gas.
  • Carburetors not balanced: With the timing set and the idle speed set to a little over 500 rpm in Drive, I attached each end of my length of clear plastic tube with some oil to the vacuum ports on each carb and turned the car back on. One turn of the linkage of the left side carb and the oil didn’t move anymore.

The last item on the list was fixing the exhaust leak and that’s what I worked on last night. I got her rear up on jackstands, started the engine, and crawled under to find the source of the leak. It was the joint between the driver’s side manifold and the exhaust pipe. With the engine back off (of course) and after removing the lower shrouds, I soaked the four nuts holding the pipe flanges to the manifolds with my 50/50 blend of ATF and acetone and let them sit for a few minutes. As rusty as they looked, I probably could have let them sit for a few years and it wouldn’t have made it possible to unsieze them. As it was, all four studs snapped as I tried to remove the nuts. Having been through this a number of times before, I knew drilling out the broken studs and re-tapping the manifolds would be significantly easier with the manifolds off engine, so off they came. No issues with breaking anything else during their removal. I was able to find a GUP left side manifold on the shelf with clean threads and usable fasteners in the flange, so I’ll only need to drill out the two studs on the right side manifold that I’d just removed. But that will wait until at least tonight.

I took a trip to Crazy Ray’s on my lunch hour today to scope out any Suburbans that still had the parts we need for ours (rear barn door latch handle, heater fan, passenger door lock, and ABS unit). I was able to find everything fairly quickly (now I get to go back dressed appropriately with the right tools – maybe Sunday) so I used what time I had left to peruse their latest inventory. I found some amazing specimens – two Nash Metropolitans, a ’59 Mercury Turnpike Cruiser, two Opel GTs, an AMC Marlin, two Porche 928 (one with really nice blue leather seats, hmm), and two other really special finds: a ’64 Corvair Model 700 4-door and a Citroen DS. The former being in surprisingly good shape with most of its trim and interior intact and the rare presence of the latter, while not in the greatest shape, did allow me to get close to one of my dream cars.

Of course I couldn’t find a good camera this morning before running out the door to work, so the photos I’ve posted on Flickr of the Corvair and the Citroen aren’t that great. I'll be putting up the rest of the photos sometime over the weekend and will post where they can be found when they're up. If any of you readers need parts from the 'vair, let me know in the comments (leaving me a way to contact you) and we'll work some sort of deal since I'll need to go back there anyways.

I was keeping my eyes peeled for 14" wheels that had the proper 4-bolt pattern, but couldn't come up with anything - no older RWD Japanese. The wheels on the Opel were really cool and looked to be the right bolt circle, but sadly they were only 13".

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