Thursday, October 11, 2012

Dealing with a Beast

Tuesday night I unloaded the compressor tank from the back of the Surburban – it must weigh a couple hundred pounds. With Victoria’s able help, it’s now safely on the concrete of the driveway. Now I have a number of hurdles to go over before it becomes part of my air supply. First, I need to make sure it’s safe by conducting a hydrostatic test. That is done by: plugging all the outlets in the tank buy one, orientating the tank so that the one open hole is at the highest point, filling the tank completely with water, screwing in a Schrader valve fitting, pressuring the water to roughly 200 psi (150% max), looking for leaks. Once I’ve proven the tank’s not going to kill anyone, I’ll drain the water, brush off any loose rust and shoot some Rustoleum primer all over it followed by a coat of paint that causes it to blend in with the brick wall of the garage that it’ll be sitting in front of. Then it’s just a matter of moving it into place and plumbing it into the system. After searching the web and questioning my car buddy, I’ll be putting the tank in-line as opposed to connecting it with a T fitting.

Part of Tuesday’s antics included moving Luna out of the driveway. In order to do this, I had to deal with replacing the fuel pump. As reported a couple weeks ago, Luna’s carbs weren’t getting any gas after I installed a replacement fuel pump. Since we’d put about five gallons of gas in her tank before her test drives, I assumed there was plenty left in the tank and the issue was with the pump. So, I installed a different new pump that had showed up with Phil’s stuff, primed the carbs, and started the engine. It took a few times of unsuccessfully seeing gas squirting before I decided to make sure there really was gas in the tank. While blowing air back through the fuel line leading to the tank, I had Victoria listen for bubbles – nothing. After pouring a couple gallons of 87 octane into the empty chamber, lo and behold the engine ran, the pump pumped … and leaked. Irrr. A few turns on each of the screws that hold the pump together and the dripping ceased. Success … in a way. Where did all the gas go? Could it have really all evaporated during Luna’s extensive inactivity? I carefully searched for dripping fuel and could find none. We’ll know more once she gets her new top installed and is on the road as a daily-driver.

Last night, being one of my two designated garage nights, was spent dealing with more garage things. I believe all I accomplished was making a larger mess of the space. I picked up some free insulation yesterday and it’s now piled on top of Lucy. Looks like it’ll just fit between the roof rafters. Any help will be appreciated with winter just around the corner. Now I just need to find time to staple it up. I also took some time to deal with the beast of an air tank. After moving it out of the middle of the driveway, I removed the lower drain plug and was thankful when no water came out. There was some powdery rust residue, but not too much. I am a lot of confidence the tank will past testing. I also removed the other fittings and created a mental list (uh-oh) of the plugs and caps necessary to close off every port. The only unknown is how to connect the top port to a pressure source. I’m sure I’ll do my typical thirty minutes of pawing through all the brass and iron fittings at Home Depot.

My last effort of the evening was actually car-related. I popped the engine lid on YellowVert and put wrench to harmonic balancer bolt and successfully rotated the engine. Feeling the euphoria of learning the engine was not seized, I endeavored to the pull the spark plugs with the plan of doing a compression test on each of the six combustion chambers. After removing the three plug wires from the driver’s side, I was greeted by the sight of more acorns. When vacuuming failed to get them out, I decided the car will be sold as-is. I’ll throw the acorns in for free.

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