Tuesday, October 28, 2014

With Thanks to Mikhaila

Sunday should’ve been a work on the bathroom day, but thanks to Mikhaila’s father-daughter project, I went outside to work on cars instead.

She joined me around 1 in the afternoon to work on Scarlett. Since she’d twisted her ankle (Mikhaila, not Scarlett - cars don't have ankles although some have knees), I had to come up with activities that would limit her standing, so I started by taking out the seats, so she could brush, vacuum, and coat the inside floor with POR-15. I decided it would be a while before we’d be able to reinstall so the seats, so a good storage place had to be found. Since I’d planned on reinstalling Glinda’s bench seat, it came off Luna’s engine lid and Scarlett’s seat took its place.

We then pulled Ringo’s battery, dropped it into Scarlett’s engine bay, and hooked it up to the cables so we could determine the state of the electrical system. It was encouraging when the first thing we checked, the ignition switch, resulted in both idiot lights illuminating. The check-out went downhill from there. I had Mikhaila push down on the turn signal stalk – green light on dash, nothing at the front or rear connector, same thing on left turn signaling except no green arrow on the dash. Finally, pulling out the headlight knob provided no electricity to any of the outer connectors. The next step for this will be checking fuses (something we couldn’t do with wet POR-15 on the car floor.

Finally, we oiled the engine. First, though, we removed the distributor after carefully marking it’s location against the engine as well as the location of the rotor. That gave us access to the end of the pump shaft, which she spun clockwise with the drill-mounted special shaft. She kept this up as I slowly rotated the engine through two revolutions. With the distributor back in place, I had her pull the #1 plug and insert the compression tester fitting. Then, with the gauge attached, she energized the starter spinning the engine and causing the needle to rise. We checked all six with the following initial results: one @ 160 psi, three @ 150 psi, one @ 120 psi, and one @ 60 psi). By pumping a little oil in the low cylinder and retesting, we got the gauge needle to point to 80 instead of 60. That gives me some hope this low one will come up after we run the engine a bit. We’ll need to borrow a couple good carbs first but that’ll have to wait until next weekend.

Amongst working on Scarlett, I fiddled with Glinda trying to get her roadworthy again. I pulled back the carpet to find the end of the clutch cable and inserted it back in its place. I hooked up the clutch linkage, fuel lines (with a fresh filter), and battery, and tried to start the engine. The latter activity didn’t go so well as the engine just spun and spun and refused to fire. I pulled out the timing light to check for spark and found there was none. I hooked up the dwell-meter and found there was none. Arghh. After adjusting the dwell, the engine fired right up, but as I revved it, I watched the dwell-meter’s needle jump around – not good. Since this was occurring with the vacuum advance hooked up, I surmised the points’ plate had play in it. Knowing I had the electronic ignition to install which would solve this problem, I didn’t get too upset. On second thought, isn’t this a fairly new points’ plate?

At that point it was time to put the tools away, and call it a day. The only problem was I had a bench seat sitting in the driveway – a bench seat that wouldn’t fit in Glinda while the racing seat was still installed. I lugged the heavy seat into the garage and it’s now sitting on end blocking the path around the back of Scarlett.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Wonderful Weekend of Work

It ended be a very car-full weekend for me. Along with changing the oil and filter in the truck and the lovely Loriann’s daily-driver, I got to spend more than three hours of quality time with Mikhaila working on her car Saturday. I had her clean the engine’s sheetmetal pieces; remove the rusted muffler hanger and disassemble it to prep the bracket for painting; clean a set of sparkplugs, gap, and hand-tighten them into the heads; and finish cleaning the seats.

While she was laboring away, I did the minimum repairs necessary to get Ringo roadworthy. I need to take the lovely Loriann’s car off the road to replace a front wheel bearing, so a Corvair must be pressed into daily-driver service. Since Glinda was still many hours of reassembly away from being drivable, Ringo was the best candidate. There were two issues that were keeping him in the driveway – a broken muffler strap and a seized carburetor shaft. I removed his left carb and thoroughly soaked the throttle shaft with penetrating fluid, working the shaft back-and-forth until it moved freely and completely. With the carb bolted back to the head, I went hunting for the replacement strap I’d bought from the Corvair Ranch a couple months back. I could’ve sworn it was in a small box of parts, but after fifteen minutes of fruitless hunting for the package, I decided to check my shelf of GUPs and GNPs, and there it was – in the cubby marked Exhaust. Go figure. I’d actually put it away. A few minutes of fiddling and Ringo’s exhaust system is now properly restrained. Since his starter has been very reluctant of late to function properly, it was quite a surprise when a turn of the ignition key resulted in a spinning engine. It fired up almost immediately and settled into a clanking-filled idle (a lifter bled down). After about fifteen minutes of idling, the noise went away and I took him for a test drive around the neighborhood. It took a few stops before the rust was rubbed off the drums and the brakes stopped grabbing and squeaking. It’s strange to see an EM parked in front of the house – it’s been a very long time.

Sunday it was Glinda’s turn. As I left off in last weekend’s antics, I needed to install a helicoil before reassembly could commence. I cut the new threads using the supplied tap and followed that up with the helicoil twisted in to the prescribed depth. The last step in the repair was knocking off the tang which I accomplished with make-shift punch.

Next, the drivetrain halves (engine & transaxle) had to come together. Amazingly, after installing the input shaft onto the engine, I got the transaxle to slide into place without any problem. The bolts that hold the halves together were then installed and the drivetrain was pushed into position and lifted into place. I had to remove the center rear seal retainer to get the edge of the oil filter housing to clear. It took some jockeying up and down and back and forth, but by lunch I had the back of the engine attached to the rear motor mount.

Next was the front of the drivetrain. The three bolts that hold the transmission to the crossmember went in nicely. I held my breath as I carefully torqued the one bolt into the newly repaired hole, but it pulled the joint together just fine. With the jacks out of the way I moved on to reinstalling the u-joint caps on the differential hubs. Remembering to use the ratcheting strap to pull the wheels together, this task was quickly completed followed by bolting up the brackets at inner ends of the strut rods. That job went quicker than expected, so in not time I was realigning the shifter coupling with the transmission shift shaft. Once centered, I installed the pin, washers, and cotter pin. Next on the list were the throttle linkage pieces. I found the new rubber grommet that I’d bought and popped it into the hole in the transmission pivot plate before poking the ends in and retaining them with the little c-clips (my caution was rewarded by me not having any pop off into oblivion. The clutch linkage assembly was supposed to follow, but, after getting the engine side of the linkage attached, I discovered the pedal end had popped out of place and wasn’t connected to the pedal anymore. That was a show stopped since I’ll have to pullback the carpet, remove the cover, find the end amongst cables and brake lines, and then put back in place. There needs to be a retainer that holds this stupid thing in place if tension is taken off it.

Sliding out from under the car for the umpteenth time, I spent the last half-hour before dinner putting things right in the engine compartment. That included reseating the engine seal; connecting the ground strap, ground cable, and oil pressure switch; putting the fanbelt back on; and installing the air cleaner. All that’s left on the topside is to connect the battery.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Suspicion Confirmed

As most of my free time over the last couple weeks has been devoted to house projects, there hasn’t been much going on in the garage or driveway. However, I was able to spend a couple hours working on Glinda last Sunday. Previously, I’d removed the starter, disconnected clutch, shifter, and throttle linkages, and unbolted the transmission from the cross-member. That left disconnecting the drive axles, strut rods, fuel lines under the car and disconnecting the electrical plugs in the engine bay which I made quick work of. With the transmission and ATV jacks in place, I removed the two nuts at the rear engine mount and lowered the drivetrain down. At that point, I remembered the exhaust system had to be removed, so back up went the jacks, off came the four nuts and muffler hanger and the exhaust from free. With the jacks lowered again, I unscrewed the remaining bolts holding the trans-axle to the bellhousing. With the help of a prybar, I separated the engine from differential and exposed the clutch area. With the pressure plate and clutch disc removed, my suspicion was confirmed – I had left off the ring that was supposed to be under the heads of the flywheel bolts. I grabbed the ring off the workbench, and, with the aid of air tools, had all the clutch parts properly assembled in less than fifteen minutes.

Now all that stands between me and an installable drivetrain is bolting the trans-axle back to the bell housing and helicoiling the stripped transmission hole. Maybe Saturday.