Monday, September 15, 2014

It Lives!

Late yesterday, as one final attempt to start the car, I turned the key and just heard that infamous "CLICK" of the solenoid. Nothing. I didn't even get little wisps of smoke like I did last time. I had just uncovered the car and hadn't touched it all day as I was working on stuff that wasn't attached. So, I thought I had fried something for real this time. But, I played with that damn grounding strap again and it gave me some more wonky resistance readings...so I relocated her to the firewall using one of the bolts that holds in the brake pedal. Solid short just about everywhere. So, turn the key and she turns over just fine...doesn't run of course, but turns over. Does anyone know where this thing is actually supposed to go by design?

Braided grounding strap continues to upset me.
Today, I cleaned up, painted and primed the (correct) brake master cylinder support bracket and put that in along with replacing the bent clutch one. I also got the dust boots on, but not too well. Those things are painful. You can't get at the side closest to the firewall at all and getting it to seat right was not possible. I'm sure there is some magical words or a special British tool for this, but I didn't have either of them. They will most likely come back out. And, I stupidly put the masters in without bench testing/bleeding them...so if they leak it's going to make a big mess. So, yes, they will both come back out in the near future.

Oh, and after 48 years, this lock washer finally gave up the ghost. It was one that held the clutch master cylinder support down. Guess it was a good thing I pulled it back off.

Poor thing. 48 years is a long time, especially since you were probably submerged in leaking brake fluid most of the time.
I also wanted to check out what the PO did with the rear brakes since I will be ordering parts to finish everything (short term) up and wanted to make sure I didn't need anything back there. Looks like he did a fine job. New shoes, cylinders, springs, clips...the whole deal.  The brake drums are in decent shape, though the driver's side has some pretty good pits in it. No groves, though. I will look into getting them turned.  Also, on the driver's side, just inside the wheel, is the 3-way union to split the lines to run to the two drum brakes. The driver's side has a short hard pipe and then ties into the hose. I have the new hose and a piece of hard pipe that came with the car, so I assume this was his intention, but the one side needs a female end and the pipe had two males.  I don't remember seeing that part anywhere and, of course, they are "No Longer Available".  Also wish I had looked a bit closer because there is a mounting bracket back there for the hard pipe that I'm not sure is there. So, I may have to figure out what to do about that. I'm sure they make brake line with a male on one side and a female on the other.  Probably need a trip to my favorite auto parts store!

Rear passenger brake. Yes, I know there are no stands...I have them, just didn't use them. I was never actually under the car.
I also discovered that, because of the way the rear suspension is designed, with a single transverse leaf spring (they must have been trying to save money...even my Midget had one leaf spring per side...but then again, it also had lever shocks,...I'd rather have a single transverse leaf spring), when you jack the rear of the car up, the wheels camber in...wow...a lot!

Holy camber!
Another interesting part was once I lowered it back down, the wheels pretty much stayed heavily cambered inward. Obviously the suspension can easily support the weight of the car. So, I rolled it up a back a few times and they eventually flattened out.

But, the most important part of this post and after pulling my hair out for the better part of two weeks,  as of about 2:12pm EST, she finally runs! I must admit that the video isn't the very first time she started, but it was the second. A slight tweak on the idle speed and she'll sit there pretty happily at around 800 rpm (in the video she's running around 1200 or so...before I dialed it in a bit better). Lots of rattles and shakes, but she runs (and I think I need a new muffler). Roll that beautiful bean footage:


Turns out I had my timing WAY off. So far off, as a matter of fact, that I was firing the wrong cylinders. In other words, my spark plug wires went to the wrong plugs. If you look at this picture of the distributor below, the rotor is pointing to what I thought was #1 at TDC.  According to the manual, the rotor should be pointing in a more north-westerly direction.  However, not only was this incorrect, so was I.  #1 at TDC was actually 180-degress out from this picture.

Where I thought #1 at TDC should be.
So, at some point in it's life, this motor's distributor was put in wrong. Technically, however, it doesn't matter one bit as long as I have a bit of room to rotate it to adjust the timing, which I obviously do. So, once I finally figured that out, got it right, and tried it, it fired right up. And I mean quicker than my Honda Fit.

Also found an oil leak...but from my valve cover gasket, so that's easy. The exhaust manifold was also smoking and I though I may have a pin-hole leak (it's pretty rusted), but it was just all of that flippin' starting fluid that I was using burning off. I did let it run long enough to let the temperature gage come off of "C". Guess I should let it run long enough to make sure it doesn't get to "H", huh?

So, now I need to make a final assessment of the parts that I need to make her road worthy and get them on their way. If that all goes to plan, I think I may have my first around the block attempt during the week of the 29th. But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

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