Monday, August 13, 2012

Didn’t Quite Get There

Victoria and I started work on her convertible Friday after dinner by carefully removing the current convertible top from Luna. We took pictures throughout the process and put the fasteners in marked bags to ensure we can get everything back where it belongs. We then removed the old, rotten pieces of tack strips (treated cardboard where the top-attaching staples go). With the top off and the frame clear of the junky stuff, Victoria wire brushed the rusty portions of the frame and coated those spots with Rustoleum primer before we quit for the evening..

Saturday morning I went out early, opened up the garage, and laid out drop cloths to prevent to mask off Luna’s interior and exterior from the frame. Victoria came out and rattle-canned 2-3 coats of satin black over the entire frame. In the afternoon, after the paint dried, she and I glued on new tack strip pieces. She then headed off to babysit that evening.

Yesterday, we were supposed to install the top, but instead she helped Ariel move back into her bedroom. This included taking down her waterbed and setting up her normal bed that she’d just brought back from the college apartment she’d recently moved out of. Then the two of them went off babysitting for the rest of the day while all I did was lubricate all the frame joints with liquid graphite. The top does go up and down much easier now.

I also pulled the charger off the battery and took a voltage reading – only 12.3 volts – not good. It should have read over 12.6. The engine started right up, however, and I backed it out of the garage so I could paint some storm windows from off the house. I let the engine idle for about ten minutes and measured the voltage across the terminals (charging voltage) and the meter read almost 14 volts. I also noticed the throttle was still a little stiff. I sprayed carb cleaner all around the linkages and shafts of each carburetor and that loosened things up significantly. I also disconnected the linkage to make sure the stiffness wasn’t somewhere between the pedal and the engine compartment – it wasn’t – so I reconnected it. After setting for most of the afternoon (the car, not me), I started the engine up and drove her back into the garage. A voltage measurement soon after shutdown indicated 12.6 volts, but this morning it was back down to 12.3. In hindsight, the amount of drain the CD player had put on the battery should not have been enough to cause it to go dead. Looks like the battery’s coming out and going to Sam’s for testing and, probably, replacement.

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