Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Still Plenty Going On

With the responsibility of helping Rich’s family get rid of a good portion of his collection of cars and parts, it seems as if the fleet has grown again. Saturday morning I met a man who drove up from Richmond to consider buying Rich’s Corsa. He very carefully looked over the entire car before we even started up (good for him). He commented on how wonderful the photo montage I put up on Flickr was – all the areas of concern were included and he wasn’t surprised by anything he saw now that he was looking at the actual car. He did, however, point out some bubbled pain on the top front edge of the dash – right under surface rust at the base of the windshield – and confessed his concern for the condition of the metal in the channel. We then fired up the engine and it settled into a nice, low idle. After a few minutes of listening and blipping the throttle, we took it out for a test drive. What a BLAST! I’d never driven a LM with a manual transmission, nor had I ever driven a 140-powered ‘vair. I could really get used to it though. The shifter in this car has very short and positive throws – very different from Lucy’s EM shifter. And the power - oh my goodness! 'Nuff said.

I shared with Vince how badly I wanted to buy his dad’s car, but that I needed to sell my ’68 first. I went on to tell him that I’ve had some e-mail conversation with a gentleman in MD looking for a Corvair for his wife who’s supposed to be coming up to look at both the Corsa and my ’68 sometime next week. Depending on what he does, I’ll decide what I’ll do next. If he doesn't buy either, I may put the Corsa on eBay, or I may put Glinda on eBay. I just don’t know.

The other vehicle I’m helping to sell is a cool dune buggy kit. It’s an Action Roadster that Rich picked up a while ago and has since sat in his garage. I’ll put it on Craigslist next week and hope a buyer finds it.

On the home front, work continues on TwoTone. I just placed an order with Clark’s for parts that will start the overhaul of that car’s brake system. Soon to arrive will be brake hoses for front and rear as well as wheel cylinder rebuild kits. In the meantime, Mikhaila and I have been continuing our carburetor work. All the parts have finished their bath in carb cleaner and are laid out on the workbench with the two rebuild kits awaiting reassembly.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Still Nameless, Two-Tone FINALLY Gets Some Attention

The momentous occasion of getting Mikhaila out to the garage occurred yesterday. She actually seemed like she enjoyed it and wanted to do all the tasks without help – only giving in when something was too tight to loosen or remove. I started by having her tear down the two carburetors and then we moved on to a greasier task. She jacked the front end up, placed the jackstands, removed the front wheels with an air wrench, and pulled off the front wheel hubs before I let her quit for the day.

While she was working on her portions of the project, I was attending to prepping the engine for awakening from a LONG sleep. I pulled the spark plugs and shot some 30wgt into each cylinder. Then I cleaned the new-looking ends of the plugs and pulled apart the distributor all the while letting the oil do its thing. I lubed and checked out the centrifugal advance weights and then put in a new points plate with a good-looking set of points and condenser. Finally, I removed the hold-down hardware for the distributor in preparation for spinning the oil pump after I put in new oil and a filter. At that point, I figured I’d given the oil enough time, so I gingerly put a wrench on the harmonic balancer bolt and gave the end a tug. Lo and behold, the crank turned! After sitting for at least 30 years, this engine was a testament to indoor storage.

Once the crankcase is filled with new oil, a spare battery is hooked up with new battery cables, and the carbs are rebuilt and installed, I’ll rig up a gravity feed fuel system (funnel in the end of a fuel hose) to supply them with gas. Then we’ll fire it up.

Though all this work, I am quite pleased about the rust-free nature of this car. I've yet to find any rust-through. When we strip out the interior we may discover some, but that'll be a surprise given what I've seen so far.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Still Quiet on the Fleet Front

So it’s been two weeks since I last posted anything of significance. Yeah, work’s been REALLY busy (presentation was today), and yeah, home life’s pretty busy too (that won’t change any time soon), but no, there hasn’t really been anything worthy typing about. I’m sure the title of this post will result in breakdown or two.

Ringo has been behaving – no new complaints from Ariel other than a warning I’ll probably have to replace his starter again since there have been a few times, she’s turn the key and the Bendix has not engaged, but it’s never stranded her – yet.

Since Glinda is the only fleet member with issues, the rest of this post is about her. Last Saturday I filled the pickup’s bed with wheels and tires and drove to the local Firestone store. A couple hours and $60 later, her green wheels were shod with the best 185-80/13 tires I could pull from my stash. She’s sporting quite old-school look with her dog-dish hubcaps. The following shows her with her EM caps, but I’ve since changed to a set of LM that would have been stock for ‘68s.

While running relatively well getting me to and from work and a car show, is showing really low gas mileage and poor engine response both when I floor (it almost dies) and when I try accelerating at freeway speeds. I thought it was an electrical issue, so I gave her a full tune-up (new rotor, condenser, points, cap, and cleaned up the spark plugs [my apologies for the camera focusing on my knees instead of the more photogenic plug ends]). This decreased the high speed missing, but didn’t get rid of it altogether, but it hasn’t seemed to affect the mileage. I don’t want to believe the newly rebuilt carburetors are the issue, but I need to rule them out. I’m going to borrow Luna’s (even though I’m unsure of their provenance), and see if, after installation and balancing, I address at least the full-throttle frustration and high-speed disappointment.

Finally, I can report I did seal around her windshield and it appears I was successful in stopping the under-dash puddling.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Glinda’s Body Tag and Build Sheet

I was surprised that I never got around to posting and decoding Glinda’s body tag info. I’ll rectify that right here and now. Starting in the upper left corner, the 02B signifies she was built in the month of February (2) and the second week of that month (B). The E to the right means her interior was painted Black. Her STyle is a 1968 Chevrolet (1) 500 (01) sport coupe (37). She was built in the Willow Run (WRN) assembly plant and was the four-thousand, two-hundred and fifty-seventh Corvair assembled there for the 1968 model year. Her TRim number of 703 indicates Black Pattern vinyl bench seats, front and rear. Finally, the K-K prior to the word PAINT corresponds to her Tripoli Turquoise exterior both body and roof.

So how does this stack up against the build sheet? Everything readable across the top line agrees with the tag. An exhaustive search of the internet has not turned up any decoding information for all the numbers that appear on the rest of this sheet. I posted it on the CorvairCenter forum, so we’ll see if anyone can reply with some good information.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

A Sad ‘Vair Affair

It wasn’t officially a ‘vair affair, but last Saturday’s Celebration of Life for the recently deceased Rich Coburn brought together nearly a dozen Corvair faithful. To us ‘vair folk he was a great guy, a good friend, a willing participant in club events, and an avid collector of many things Corvair. Not surprisingly he will be missed by many as attested to by the constant flow of well-wisher into and out of a crowded house.

As I’d mentioned about a month ago, he had taken me up on my offer to help by asking me to head up the effort to find new homes for all his Corvair items not earmarked for use by his son, Vince. The first item up for relocation is a LM Corsa 2-door hardtop (140 HP engine with 4-speed transmission). Tomorrow evening I’ll stop by their house, take some photos and jot down notes on the condition of the body, interior, and drivetrain. Per his wishes, the car will be offered first to the local CORSA members. If there’s no interest, I’ll widen the advertising area.

Onto fleet news. Ringo’s recent repair to staunch the ATF leak seems to be holding. Ariel was at the house yesterday and when she left, there was no telltale puddle.

I’m way behind on my Glinda reports since, even though I crossed a slew of items off her to-do list, there was and is still plenty left. Last Friday night I went leak hunting. I discovered an interesting path using the garden hose and dribbling water into and around the fresh air grill at the base of the windshield. The water would trickle onto the surface just under the trunk lid, then run into the weatherstrip groove, and then though a few small rust holes where it traveled down the inside wall of the trunk until it came to the brake line interface where it oozed through and finally dripped onto the carpet. Some silicone RTV plugged those holes, and I figured it fixed. Next I backed her up onto the ramps and removed her transmission pan watching a few quarts of not-so-red-not-so-nice ATF stream into a drain pan. I thoroughly cleaned the mating surfaces of pan and tranny before applying very thin coat of RTV to the pan’s flange surface and laying down the new gasket. A thin coat of plain grease went down on the gaskets exposed surface, and then the pan was bolted back in place. I let the RTV cure overnight before topping off the tranny with about a gallon of nice, new fluid. This time, the dipstick shows red instead of brown, but I’m not sure how long that’ll last.

That evening I drove her Rich’s celebration, during which the skies opened and gully washer passed through the area. Sadly, after a mad dash through the showers, I discovered I hadn’t really made much difference in the under-dash puddling. Irr. So, last night I was leak hunting again. It wasn’t until I ran water down the windshield that drippage inside the car occurred. I’m going to get some clear silicone and run a bead along the trim to body seam and another one along the glass to trim seam. Hopefully, I can get enough in to fix the problem. If not, I get to re-set the windshield.

Finally, last night I went tire rustling though my collection. I wanted to find four decent stock-size tires to have mounted on Glinda’s stock, turquoise painted, steel wheels. I came up with four that were part of the buy I made some months back from a used tire store. I then removed the one Glinda wheel that was holding Luna up (I replaced it with a jackstand so she’s not sitting on the ground), so I’ve got all four of Glinda’s wheels ready to get new rubber.