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.

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