Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Three Steps Closer to a For Sale Sign

This weekend I was actually able to spend a lot of time working on cars (some Corvairs even) while still completing the major house project I had committed to. Saturday I spent a couple hours redoing Ringo’s rear brakes. This was one of those projects where one thing led to another which led to another. First, as I was disassembling the right rear to install the GUP e-brake cable, I noticed the shoe linings were in pretty rough, cracked shape, so I went to the box of GUP EM brake parts and pulled out two forward and two rear shoes to use. Once I got the right side put back together I moved over to the left. There I found the liners in even worse shape (had it been that long since I’d changed them?). Anyway, I put the parts back together including lubricating and turning down nearly all the way the adjusting wheel. Next, putting the hub on was much more difficult than it should have been. I made a closer inspection to ensure nothing was amiss with my work and I found the rear shoe wouldn’t retract completely to the post. Close inspection showed the one piston was seized in the wheel cylinder. A few persuasive taps with a hammer and the piston retracted and seemed freed up. I completed the brake reassembly, mounted the tires, and dropped his rear off the jackstands. After firing up the engine using the hotwire under the hood, I let the engine warm up thoroughly while I put away tools. Next, I backed him up onto the ramps so I could properly adjust the emergency brake cable length. Once that was done to my satisfaction, I drove him back down, and moved on to the more pressing project of the day – the new kitchen.

The next afternoon I’d promised my buddy, Jonathan, I’d come over to see if we could, together, solve his Corsa’s starting woes. Of late, the engine won’t consistently crank when the key was turned – the starter would spin, but the pinion of the Bendix drive wasn’t always engaging the ring -gear on the pressure plate. Additionally, the last time he’d tried to crank the engine, the solenoid got stuck in the start position and the starter just spun away. The only way to stop it was to disconnect power to the starter. We did a bit of checking of the wiring and everything seemed to be in good stead (12 volts to the purple wire when the key is in the Start position, power to the engine with the key in the On position, etc.). After those checks and reconnecting all the leads, lo-and-behold the starter stopped its incorrect spinning and responded to the turn of the key again. We hadn’t, however, fixed the inconsistent cranking. The engine would only turn on every fifth or so turn of the key, and once it did start cranking it wouldn’t even make it a full revolution before the pinion would pop out of engagement and the starter would uselessly spin freely. Jonathan removed the starter and we connected it directly to the car’s battery and watched the Bendix as I shorted the S terminal to 12V. Strangely, the pinion would pop out upon the starter being energized, but it would not stay in the full out position. After a second or two it would begin to slowly draw back into it’s at rest position even though the starter motor was still spinning away. Hmmm. Bad starter perhaps? He’s going to go get another rebuilt one and we’ll keep our fingers crossed.

After returning home, still wearing grungies, I went back to work on Ringo and replaced the balky ignition switch (seemed to be the theme for the day).

The last task for him was to replace the front seat belts. The ones he'd been sporting since Ariel and I put him on the road came out of my LeMans and allowing them to disappear with his sale would no do. The shelf contained a number of replacements, but I chose a set of new (although probably circa 1975), brown ones from Pep Boy's. I'd bought these at part's auction a few years back.

Now Ringo sits at the curb awaiting a round-the-neighborhood test drive and transmission fill before a few days of daily-driving. Once I'm sure the bugs are worked out, the Craigslist ad goes up.

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