Thursday, August 11, 2016

Reversible Sharing

Last night, in support of getting Scarlett on the road ASAP, I made the hard decision to pull perfectly good parts off Ringo and install them on Scarlett. The other option was to rely on recently rebuilt carburetors and a suspect fuel pump, and buy a battery. Since I expected it to only take a few minutes to remove the requisite Ringo parts, I went the cannibalization route. I figured if someone wanted to test-drive Ringo in the next few days, I’d swap everything back – not too big a deal.

While Mikhaila installed the final engine seal retainer on the passenger side, I remove Ringo’s fan belt, loosened the fuel pump retention bolt, spun off the four nuts holding the carbs to his heads, and disconnected the throttle and choke linkages. With Mikhaila helping, we pulled the carbs, fuel pump, and fuel lines as one assembly and dropped it onto Scarlett’s engine. Mikhaila went to free the battery while I began tightening bolts and fittings. Once all that was in place, I realized we hadn’t installed the choke linkage into the thermostat ends. We got it done, but it would have been MUCH easier prior to putting the fuel in the way. Mikhaila bolted down the carbs and then busied herself cleaning chrome while I finished hooking up and adjusting linkages. Ringo’s battery was then yanked from its home and dropped into Scarlett’s engine compartment. After cleaning the terminals, we established electrical power to the car. Next needed part? A vacuum balance tube. I searched the washtub of Scarlett parts – nothing. I searched the shelves and walls and I was able to turn up four tubes, but they were all for LMs. Cool that one of them was from the 140HP engine from the Phil collection. I briefly thought about pulling Ringo’s, but the thought of finagling the tube out didn’t thrill me since it violated the easy-off easy-back-on rule I’d applied to this cannibalization episode.

When I shared my frustration at not have the right piece amongst my stash, Mikhaila pulled out a pen and a used part box to start a list. I guess she figured if we were missing one part, there’d be more. I scanned the engine compartment to see what else I was forgetting to install and came up needing the two brackets that position the bottom air cleaner cans over the engine (circled in red in the image below – taken from the excellent source A little explanation here since the Corvair enthusiasts among you readers will recognize that this style air cleaner (two separate elements) is not correct for a ’64 engine. I had given Mikhaila a choice as to which air cleaner style she wanted (correct ’64-‘69 style with a single, larger element or ’61-’63 dual element style). She chose the dual style, so many months ago I made sure I had the cans, lids, and crossover for that. Sadly, I’d forgotten the two brackets. Another deep search of the shelves turned up nothing, so those went on the list. I was, however, able to unearth all the parts necessary for the LM style, so that’s what we’ll go with until the correct brackets are obtained from the Corvair Ranch.

The next scan of the engine reminded me we needed to plug the large hole on the front right of the top engine cover. GM’s design had a hose go between the pressurized volume under the cover and the heater box to provide air to mix in the heater box. That AIR knob under the dash controls the door that lets or restricts this flow. Since stealing any cooling air from an air-cooled engine is not a good idea, many folks remove the hose and block off the exposed opening, and we did that exact thing. Without explanation I cryptically directed her to go to our recycle bin and bring back an aluminum can. She was then instructed to cut the can leaving only the unrolled flat side piece. Using the adapter as a template, she crudely cut out the sheet to fit, we poked holes where the three attachment screws went coated the mounting perimeter of the sheet and adapter with RTV and screwed the parts in place over the hole.

The final act of our evening in the garage was testing the lights. With the key in the ON position, I flicked the blinker lever to the right and left with each position providing the resultant blinking of the front and rear lights. The shifter lever was moved to the R position and one of the two backup lights illuminated. I think I know the issue with the balky passenger side – grounding, and we’ll deal with that soon.

Once back inside I grabbed my phone and sent my buddy, Gary, a quick e-mail to see if he had a balance tube he'd be willing to part with. This morning's response was positive, so I'll be paying him a visit next Monday evening.

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