Thursday, September 29, 2016

So Close

Last weekend was a busy one, but Mikhaila and I did spend some quality time in the garage. Friday evening I pulled the right-side carburetor off Glinda and installed on the right side of Scarlett’s engine. I also removed the front bucket seats and laid down two coats of shiny black Rustoleum on Glinda’s floor.

The next morning, Mikhaila and I started up Scarlett’s engine and, finally, the right side was getting hot (meaning it was working), so the choke on that carb opened at roughly the same rate as the left side. This proved that the carb that has twice shown some sort of vacuum leak still leaks.

Now I needed to get a functioning carburetor to fill the now empty spot on Glinda’s engine. I recently received the modified carb bases in the mail, so using them to make whole carbs was the next project. I’d put all the pulled parts from the pre-modified bases in a container and I was actually able to locate said container and put the carbs back together. Part of that effort was to drill out one of the tiny brass screws that holds the throttle plate to its shaft. That went better than expected thanks to my drill press, a sharp bit, and the softness of the screw. Also part of the reassembly was installing the o-rings, washers, and springs that serve to seal the joint between a worn throttle shaft and the holes in the base. With both carbs complete, I installed the closest one to hand in Glinda and fired up her engine. Within a few seconds fuel was gushing out the vent holes on the top of the carb – stuck needle-and-seat. I yanked the coil lead from the distributor cap killing the engine and stopping the geyser show. Before pulling the top off the carb to fix the issues, I did a quick blip of the throttle to see if the old accelerator pump was working – it wasn’t. With the top off, I cut off the old pump cup and popped a new one in its place. I also, blew through the inlet of the carb with the float in the up position to verify it would close, and then, right before reinstalling the top, I checked the float and all looked good. With everything back together, I fired up the engine hoping all was good – it was not. The new carb was still misbehaving, so off went the engine and I had another choice to make – put on the other modified carb, or put together one of Glinda’s original-style carbs (earmarked for Luna) and install it. I opted for the latter and fifteen or so minutes later, Glinda was running smoothly again.

The next day I had some time before Mikhaila got off work, so I swapped on the second modified carb and, lo-and-behold, it worked fine. So, for those keeping score, it’s one modified ‘66 carb and one stock (LM, but not original) carb working on Glinda; one recently rebuilt LM carb and one stock (also LM) on Scarlett; a non-functioning stock and a non-functioning, a recently rebuilt ’68 carb, and an unassembled ’68 carb all sitting on the workbench. The last two Glinda activities of the weekend were squirting beads of high-quality caulk into all the joints around the new floor patches and then bolting in the front bucket seats.

Once Mikhaila was home from work, we headed out to the garage to work on installing Scarlett’s rear window. We carefully removed the staples holding the trim strip to the rear bow allowing us to remove that, but before we did, we used masking tape to mark exactly where the strip went on the top. With the strip out of the way, we removed the staples at the same bow holding the top in place. With those gone, we peeled back the top allowing us to move on to the next step – installing the rear window piece. In addition to its top edge being stapled to the bow, its bottom edge is stapled to the three trim sticks and that’s what we tackled next. Using marks that were already on the vinyl, we located and stapled the window to only the center, long trim stick and then, using only three bolts, installed said trim stick. After checking that the window was even on the bow, we pulled out the stick and stapled to the two, shorter, side sticks and then, using just enough bolts, we installed the sticks to the car. We then pulled the bow back as far as we dared and put in a few staples. The next check was pulling the top back over the bow and seeing if everything lined up – it appeared to be right on. With confidence we went ahead and completed stapling the window to the bow. At that point, it was dinner time and we called it a day.

So, we are so close to getting Scarlett on the road – just need to remove the trim sticks, staple the top’s bottom edge to the sticks using the existing holes as guides, reinstall the sticks, re-staple the top to the bow, and install the new leading edge weatherstrip. Okay, maybe not so close.

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