Monday, March 18, 2013

I Thought This Day Would Never Come

The day when I actually got to choose what fleet work I wanted to do instead of what fleet work had to be done. Ringo is back on the road and, other than a rough idle during warm-up, seems to be performing properly. I’m waiting on Glinda’s replacement speedometer cable, but she’s still running reliably as my current daily-driver. Heidi sits patiently waiting for better weather, but when I did press her into service a week ago, she went willingly down the road. Mikhaila’s still not quite ready to tackle working on Two-Tone, so that left me with Lucy.

To solve the engine dying problem, I first cut away the tape over the connection between two 10 gauge wires that carry the main 12 V from the voltage regulator into the main harness. They were corroded and looked like they’d been getting hot – an indicator of increased resistance. After wire brushing everything back to shiny metal, I coated the connectors’ surfaces with dielectric grease, plugged them back together, and then enclosed the connection in a piece of shrink-tubing. That was Saturday afternoon.

Yesterday afternoon I decided to do the generator to alternator swap on Lucy. I thought I had all the pieces - the trick was finding them. I located the LM correct adapter on the shelf, its new gasket amongst a collection of gaskets, and the correct LM engine compartment wire harness. I dug out six different alternators and selected the one that spun the quietest. After raiding the Corsa engine for some bolts, all I was missing was a voltage regulator. To swap the adapter, I had to, in addition to the generator, remove the fuel pump. Once all the new stuff was bolted in place and the fuel pump and fanbelt in place, I tackled the wiring. The new harness can’t just drop into place – it has to be spliced into the existing wiring. The smaller wires solder easy enough with shrink-tube going over the joints, but soldering the main 10 gauge wires together takes more than my 45 watt iron. I’ve never been able to get reliable heat out of my big gun (rated 140 W), and last night was more of the same – couldn’t even melt solder. I cleaned it up and will try to get Home Depot to exchange it for a new one.

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