Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Weekend of Work, But all Lights are Still Mighty Small

Those would be the lights at the end of the tunnels called Glinda and Scarlett.

Friday evening I backed Glinda up onto ramps and slid underneath to try and figure out what was causing the clicking linkage clicking. I disconnected the cable from the pivot arm being careful to keep tension on the cable so its other end didn’t come off the pedal arm inside the car (a zip-tie did the job). Next I removed the small cover that closes off the clutch volume inside the bellhousing. That gave me access to jiggle and push the clutch fork around. Lo and behold, I got a clip-related click when I pushed the fork inboard. Problem solved? Only putting everything back together and taking the car out on a test drive would verify. That’s what I did, and before I could complete my couple miles and stop-and-go, the clunk had returned. By the time the car was back on the ramps, the whole area under the car was too hot to handle, so I gave up for the night.

The other sad outcome of the test drive was the unsolved rough running. I’d thought (hoped) the problem had been a failed Pertronix electronic ignition, so I was confident (mis-guided) that putting the stock points plate back in would result in a free-revving 110. Pedal to the metal in first and second gear and the tach needle would never go above four thousand. It’s so sad (there’s that word again) that I can’t get the work on this car going in the right direction. Mikhaila and I spent a solid six hours in the garage last weekend trying to make some headway with her car. What did we have to show for it? Three crusty brake lines lying on the floor and a better understanding of Scarlett’s electrical issues.

As to the first, Saturday was brake day. I had high hopes we’d get the final brake pieces installed and the system bled of air. After bending and screwing in the last piece of brake line, I went around and made sure all bleed valves were tight. Sadly, when I got to the right front (with the new wheel cylinder), I found I could not get a wrench on the valve. It looks like I mistakenly used a LM cylinder. Irr. We dug Scarlett’s original cylinder out of the box of brake parts, punched out the old guts, cleaned it in the parts washer, honed the inside, blew it clean, and stuffed it with a GUP rebuild kit. The newly rebuilt cylinder then replaced the incorrect and we were good-to-go. We topped off the master cylinder and began the dance of Press-Press-Hold. She would press the brake pedal twice and hold it on the third pump while I cracked open the bleed valve to let out the air. After a few minutes of this, I looked under the car and saw significant amounts of brake fluid dripping onto the cardboard. Irr (there’s that word again). We both grabbed paper towels and wiped up the mess. We then removed the front underside tunnel covers and confirmed the back-to-front brake line was rotted through in a couple spots. The rear tunnel cover came off next followed by the humped cover under the dash. That gave us access to remove the entire line. As I lay under the rear of the car looking at the crusty left and right rear lines, it was easy to make the call and remove them too. I’ll get the replacement lines from Napa sometime this week for installation next Sunday.

The next day, we hooked up a 12 volt supply to the ends of the battery cables and began a thorough check out of Scarlett’s electrical systems. The connectors for the right rear taillight showed 12V with the headlight switch pulled, but the left side was dead. We moved to the front and found both headlight plugs were powerless. A quick check showed we’d never returned the dimmer switch after painting the floor. With one pulled from GUP stock, cleaned up, checked, and plugged in, we had 12V at both contacts of both plugs. Yay! We then plugged the connectors to send the juice to the headlights, pulled the switch, but were rewarded with all four beams staying dark. Dead bulbs – no problem. Sadly (there’s that word again), though a continuity check showed all bulbs were still fine. We spent the next hour or so swapping switches and cleaning contacts until we finally got all the bulbs to burn brightly. TYL. We moved on to the blinkers, and, the left side checked out as did the front right side, but there was no electricity making it back to the right rear plug. I’m thinking the issue is in the blinker switch assembly – a little cleaning and adjusting is called for. Finally, I had Mikhaila connect the two brake light wires (the ones that plug into the brake light switch), so we could check out that circuit. Result – right works, left doesn’t. Again, the blinker switch is probably the culprit.

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