Friday, November 14, 2014

It’s Getting Better, It’s Worse, It’s Mostly Better

As I walked out of work last evening, I was met with sleet, rain, and snow all lovingly mixed together by the hand of God. I knew this would happen - get Glinda back on the road just in time for the salt to be back on the road. Argh!

The mixed precipitation caused enough drivers to freak out that the commute to pick up Mikhaila from her job turned into a stop-and-go-fest. It did, however, give me ample opportunity to blow out the carburetors to, hopefully, de-chug the engine. A couple dozen full-throttle-up-to-4-grand-followed-by-an-immediate-release-of-the-gas-pedal and the engine had smoothed out significantly. Sadly, Glinda also rewarded those antics by throwing her fanbelt. With the red GEN/FAN light illuminated, I drove into the nearest parking lot and stopped under a light. While I had the requisite 9/16ths wrench and a rag in the glovebox, I did not have a flashlight, but a few minutes later, I had the apparently undamaged belt back in place and was heading on down the road again.

One of the frustrating issues I’d hoped would go away has been the inability to get the transmission to shift into first or second gear upon initial, cold start-up. My assumption had been that the stripped bolt and subsequent misalignment of the drivetrain had been causing the problem, but the issue still exists even after I heli-coiled the hole and the drivetrain is realigned to the shifter rod. Once the gear oil is warmed up, she goes into gear easily. I need to remember to leave the shifter in either 1st or reverse (depending on where I’m parked) each time she sits for any long period.

Mikhaila has a driving test coming up early next month, so I told her if she gets her license, I’d be will to let her drive Glinda to and from work and school. She’d need to keep working on Scarlett in earnest however, or I’d revoke that privilege immediately. Her eyes lit up until I reminded her that Glinda now had a manual transmission. While she’s not a willing self-shifter, she’s capable.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Update Time

I’ve been very, very busy with home projects so ‘vair projects have been off limits. That changed the last couple evenings when the lovely Loriann’s not-so-lovely daily-driver needed some mechanical attention. Since determining it needed new rear brake pads took no time Tuesday and doing the replacement took no time last evening and I was already in grungies and out in the garage both evenings, I figured, “what the heck, get Glinda back on the road.”

So, I did just that. Tuesday I adjusted the clutch cable and threaded on the retaining nut, unhooked the vacuum advance, set the dwell and timing (more on that later), removed the racing seat and belts, and pushed the front bench back into place. Last night I bolted down the seat, bolted in the factory seatbelts, zip-tied up wiring, and installed passenger door sillplate. That meant that finally, after over two months of being out of service, Glinda came down off the jackstands and was driven down the driveway.

This morning I drove her into work without issue. Well, without issue is a bit of a stretch. While the engine didn’t die and she didn’t strand me on the side of the road, her engine is not running smoothly at all. I don’t know if it’s clogged carbs or something electrical, but it’s not right. That brings me back to the question of timing. The shop manual for 1968 states timing for a manual transmissioned 110 HP engine should be set at 4 degrees BTDC (before top dead center), while Powerglide engines get 12 degrees. I’m not sure what drives this difference, so I decided to go with the higher number and just listen for pinging. Since it’s been cool and will only get colder, engine heat shouldn’t be an issue. In the meantime I’ll search the web for some smart person’s explanation of why there’s a difference.

In hopes that the chuggy running is fuel related, I’ll make sure I do some full-throttle no-throttle runs this evening to try and suck anything that might be clogging the tiny passages in the two Rochesters. It is my goal to install the Pertronix II electronic ignition module and associated new coil, so if the problem is spark related, that will cure it. Just not sure when I’ll get to it.

Hopefully, the snow (and thus the salt) stay away a little longer so I can put some miles on the car.