Monday, August 24, 2015

I Love the Smell of Ignition in the Morning

Late last week Glinda became undriveable. The tach needle was jumping around and the engine wouldn’t idle only staying running if I kept the rpms above 2500. I limped her home thinking the issue was with the dying ignition switch. I surmised that the contacts inside the switch were failing and the engine was not getting enough electricity to run properly. The replacement GUP switch from the Corvair Ranch showed up in Saturday’s mail, and I installed it that night. Upon first firing up the engine, it was still running rough – crap, not the switch. I hopped out to look at the engine, but it died before I could get the lid open. I wiggled all the electrical connections that may be causing the issue – nothing appeared amiss. I hopped back behind the wheel and turned the key. A single backfire and the engine was running smoothly again. I took her for a spin around the neighborhood and everything seemed normal.

Yesterday morning I turned my attention to Ringo. I finished sanding the Bondo, blew off all the dust, wiped down the area with cleaner, masked off and shot the entire area with three coats of red sandable primer. I’ll let it cure for a day or so before wet-sanding the primer in preparation for some coats of Black Cherry Pearl.

This morning I grabbed the keys to Glinda, buckled up behind her steering wheel, and turned the key. Her engine reluctantly fired into a stumbling idle – crap. I let the engine warm up a little with my foot finessing the throttle, but to no avail. To determine if it was a carb blockage, I pulled off the air cleaner and peered down the venturis while blipping the throttle – healthy squirts of fuel indicated the issue was ignition. I confirmed that when I fetched the timing light, hooked it up, and cranked the engine – no spark. Off came the distributor cap, rotor, and dust shield exposing the points. Using the remote starter (jumper wire from the purple wire connector to the positive on the battery), I watched the points move, but saw no spark. I was at a fork in the road – either replace the points with an unknown GUP or reinstall the electronic ignition module and coil. I opted for the later. Fifteen minutes or so later, I had everything in place and hooked up. The momentous turn of the key was immediately followed by a smoothly running engine. I let it warm up as I put some of the tools away and then plugged the vacuum line, adjusted the idle speed to around 500 rpm, and checked the timing. It was reading a little above 16 BTDC, so I loosened the distributor’s hold-down nut, bumped it a bit to get to get it to around 15 BTCD, and then tightened the nut. After reconnecting the vacuum advance tube, I set the idle speed to 800 rpm, and shut off the engine. I put away the rest of the tools, washed my hands, and inspected my work clothes to make sure I hadn’t leaned against something untoward (must be why I wear black slacks a lot of the time). When I finally pulled away from the curb, I’d only lost an hour of my day. The drive to work was wonderful with Glinda’s engine pulling strongly in all gears well above 4000 rpm – yes, that’s over 80 mph. Bonus, I can cross an item off the To-Do list.

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's Been Way Too Long

Wow, nearly a month since I last posted. Pretty sad. Anyway, what’s been happening? Well, Mikhaila and I are pretty close to dropping Scarlett off the jackstands, Ringo’s had some work done, and Glinda’s been a reliable daily driver.

More specifically, Scarlett has a re-sealed Powerglide, a Safety-taped shifter cable, two borrowed carbs from Ringo (since I’m sure they work), a solid brake pedal, a coated and installed gas tank, a new in-line fuel filter (by the left rear wheel), hooked up throttle linkage, front seat belts, and all four tires bolted on. In addition to coming off the jackstands, all she needs to get out of the garage under her own power is some gas in the tank, ATF in the transmission, and some ignition system adjustment.

I closed off the opening created by the shredding tire with a membrane tape carpenters use to seal around house windows. It has a strong adhesive backing, is plenty tough, and comes in a roll that’s four inches wide. I also applied Bondo to the treated rust-through around the right rear wheel well. I’ve decided that I will spend my car time this winter working on Glinda. With Mikhaila off to college, Scarlett will vacate the garage and Glinda will take her place. My current list of prioritized projects is:
  • Treat body rust appropriately
  • Get replacements for the racing carburetors and install
  • Paint and install the correct dash (no transmission shifter)
  • Replace the ignition switch
  • Tighten up the front steering (maybe replace the box with a quick-steer unit)
  • Weld in floor patches
  • Weld in the trunk bottom
  • Relocate battery
  • Dye the gray racing seat black to match
  • Install both racing seats in place of the front bench
If the kitchen project goes well, I may even prep and paint the car. I’m torn between Summit Racing’s Teal Green Metallic and Bright Aqua Pearl. Then again I may go crazy and shoot the car with Orange Pearl.
Regarding Glinda’s ongoing carburetor saga, she’s still showing far better mileage with the stock carbs, so I’m on the verge of sending the modified ones back for replacement. The next fill-up and spark plug inspection will tell the tale.