Cheap vs good, but not best

After checking to make sure that the car had not skipped a link on the timing chain – it hadn’t – I took off the dist cap to be sure the rotor was pointing where it should and I was surprised to find that the centre contact was partially burned off! It was an economy rotor. The dark grey unit is the better quality unit (all CarQuest brands) They seem Identical.

There is a difference in the colour of the contacts. Not sure what the difference is. The old one looks to be bronze, but the new one???

I decided to replace the cap as well. The contact plates seem to be bronze where the old cap had Aluminum or stainless?

The plug posts are obviously the same as the undersides.

These are the centre contact electrodes the one on the right is the old one and it has a groove in it where the rotor contact strip was cutting its way through. Also, again brass vs aluminum or stainless.

On a good note, Carquest is refunding me for the rotor. I’m not going to gripe about the cap as I’ll keep it for a backup (that I should never need given the miles the Chevy will travel).

Thermostat fix part II

Housing and new thermostat in place. Some gasket maker squeezed out around the edges. That can be cut off later for a neater look. I followed the instructions on the sealant tube and first tightened just until the sealant started to squeeze out then left it for about an hour and then torqued the bolts to 15 then 30 ft lbs. I will now leave it for 24 hours to let the sealant cure completely. This area is leak prone so I’m doing everything I can to seal it up well. The next day the seal held and the temperature got up to 195 or so and held nicely 🙂

In the meantime I fixed the air intake pipe clamp. Some careful filing and I got the old pin out of the plastic arm.

Had a small 1/8″ rivet and washer that fit nicely. It would have been nice to put the washer on the inside out of sight, but the hose is a tight fit and so I needed to minimize on the inside.

Little more than the original on the inside.

Next: Time to do some driving and see if I can shake out any new bugs!

Thermostat fix

First the antifreeze removal. I’ll put the old stuff back in as it will do until I replace the engine.

This is a brand new $45 US flex pipe from the air cleaner to the cold air intake and one of the mounting tabs has pulled out!

Nasty looking thermostat housing and the hose clamp broke when taking it off. I’ll pull the housing before I try to get the hose off.

I have no idea what was used for a gasket, but even as it was, it wasn’t leaking.

Besides sticking the thermostat was a 160. Just too low for proper engine operation.

Scraped, cleaned and then flat filed the surface.

Cleaned up nicely in the bead blaster. New gasket and bolts chased with a die. New 195 thermostat as per the GM specs. I also chased the bolt holes with a tap. They appear to be blind holes which is good.

This is a nice little tool I picked up somewhere years ago. Really great for putting a steady squeeze on the tube so you can concentrate on laying a nice bead of sealant.

Kind of a large bead, but better than not enough.

I’m a real fan of using guide pins. They kept the gasket in place so it didn’t need to be twisted when fitting it on.

Bead on the housing and some Permatex airplane sealant to help keep the screws in place.

Time for supper – more later.

Driving the C3

Driving season is upon us – happy days! I’m still not happy with the door fit. The new rubbers mean the doors have to be slammed to close completely. I”m hoping that in time the rubbers with ‘take a fit’ and closing will be less dramatic. Another bug popped up when I went out one cool morning and I couldn’t get any warm air from the heater. The temperature gauge would rise to the proper temperature then drop down to under 100 degrees and stay there. A sure sign of a sticking thermostat I have been told. So that will be a little task in the next few days.

Meanwhile my Bud’s still working on his ’57 Stude project.

Don has repaired both front fender headlight brows and has cleaned the insides and painted them with Tremclad semi-gloss rust paint. They can now be put aside until it is time to fit them back on after the new motor has been fitted to the body.

Then engine looks like it will fit OK, but a large section of the transmission hump had to be removed to allow the engine to fit.

One big concern was whether the LS engine pan would fit behind the steering gear. Fortunately it looks like it will fit OK.

The transmission is not on the engine at this time. It is away being rebuilt with a new case.

Next task will be to get engine mounts fitted to the frame. New mounts will be used on the engine and brackets to attach them to the frame will need to be fashioned.

Bugs and holes

Bugs out of the Chevy. Stopping nicely and engine running good except that the idle is too low. Funny how changes you make seem to settle down after a bit of driving. The last adjustment to the steering box removed pretty much all of the looseness that I felt.

In the meantime I’m still trying to fix leaks in the ’66 Studebaker trunk. I found a small hole in the front left corner of the trunk where the three different panels meet. This is always a hard part to seal. The factory used bronze and a hard white filler. When I replaced the fender this point didn’t get sealed and now there is “a hole where the rain came in” as the song goes.

I’m using Xtra rubber seam sealer. Nice sticky stuff that can be painted.

I pushed a blob into the corner and then used a popsicle stick to smooth it around.

Painted with a coat of semi-gloss rust paint. It goes on shiny and will dull when dry.

Next: Not sure. Both cars are good to drive and I’ll do that until something comes up. Still waiting on my engine. Lots of planning and part searching for that job 🙂

Getting the bugs out – part IV

The test drive went OK except that the brake light comes on when the brakes are applied. Seems that the front and back parts of the dual system are out of balance. So time to bleed all the calipers.

With the tires off I decided to check all the run out numbers: LF .001, LR .007, RF .004, RR .005. So it looks like I’ll replace the left rear when I do the parking brake overhaul. Should be OK for now. The left front rotor above is not wearing evenly. the bottom 30% closest to the hub isn’t showing contact with the brake pads. I notice I still have a bit of right pull on hard braking. This may be the culprit. I’ll bleed out the brakes and see if that helps. Otherwise it will mean new pads.

Still a bit of slack in the steering so I snugged up the adjusting screw just a bit more and we’ll see how that does.

Getting the bugs out – part III

One of the balance weights on the left front wheel got rubbed off by the caliper. It was stacked on top of the weight beside it. I put it back on beside the weight thinking that is better than leaving it off. I’ll know if there is a problem if the steering wheel vibrates.

I took the opportunity to check the run out on the rotor. It also is an original rotor – rivets still in place. It had virtually no run out – maybe .001

Next job was to snug up the steering box to remove about 1″ slack at the edge of the steering wheel. The manual has a whole lot on how to do the job. I believe the steering wheel is at top dead centre so I just tightened the screw just to the point of snug removing all the screws loose feeling. That removed the 1′ play. I’ll need a test drive to be sure.

Now onto the door. The regulator spring was lifting off at its centre point and the window mounting bar was rubbing on it as it went past. So I removed the spring and using hammers squeezed the centre mounting gap together just a little bit. Enough so that I had to use a hammer to tap the spring into the slot. That seemed to do the trick. I could have welded a washer on top of the centre mount, but I don’t think that is necessary.

Next: time for some summer driving 🙂

And on my Bud’s Studie project

In for a penny…. He didn’t really want to get into a lot of body work, but he couldn’t live with bad headlight eyebrows. Patching with putty wasn’t suitable so he fashioned some sheet metal an replaced the top and undersides of the eyebrows. He bought some matching paint to do the fenders.

Getting out the bugs – part II

Rotor off with the rivets sticking out. The new rotor doesn’t have openings for the rivets.

Ideally the rivets should be removed, but with the parking brake mechanism in place this isn’t easy. Also I didn’t want to hammer too hard on the axle shaft flange for fear of bending it. The rivets are stuck tight to the flange so I ground off the ends and peened each with a centre punch to help keep them in place. When I redo the parking brakes I’ll find a tool to press the rivets out, but for now they are staying in.

With the new rotor held in place I checked out the runout. The dial gauge is a must have even for the shade tree mechanic. U tubes I have watched say .007 is OK. The manual says no more than .005. This rotor came in at .005 so all’s good and I shouldn’t get vibrations from it on braking.

The last step was to adjust the parking brake. I did as per the book – tighten until the rotor won’t turn then back off 6-8 notches. A bit of a pain working so low -should have used the Quick Jack! To get the drag right I pulled the parking brake up until one wheel locked. In this case the left rear wheel locked so I tightened up the right a couple of notches and then they both locked up at the same point on the brake handle.

More still to come…

Getting rid of the bugs

Time to replace the right rear disk. The others are passable for now. Best deal was from Rock Auto. $92 to my door. Best local price was $98 plus tax.

Just gonna use a floor jack for this simple job. In the end I should have put it up on the quick jack!

An original rotor. The five rivets are still in place.

Unlike other cars this rotor is not connected by a flex hose. So the brake line and caliper needed to be removed. The brake fluid wanted to drip out of the line so I used a plug to keep from draining all the fluid out of the master cylinder. I should have put a plug in the caliper as well. It wanted to shoot fluid out when I pushed apart the shoes to get it on the rotor.

I centre punched the rivets as best I could and drilled in about a 1/4″ with a 1/4″ drill. The rivets seem to be mild steel so the drilling was fairly easy with a sharp bit.

I then went at the holes with a 3/8″ bit and the rivet heads came off on the drill for the most part.

Some gentle tapping with a maul and the rotor slipped off.

All original as dusty with a patina of rust. The rear shoe has a bit broken off the top end and the rivets are just holding it on. Should be OK until I redo all the parking brake system. I’ll spray it down with brake clean and then blow it out with air. A little spray of white grease will keep it good for now.

More soon…

Test and fun run

New tire on and a good second test run. The brakes were pulling to the left, but after some trial braking it cleared up. Then it was out with my wife to the KFC for supper. Good thing the brakes were working OK as I had to slam them on to stop from hitting a deer that leap onto the road in front of us – whew!

There is a bit too much play in the steering so that needs to be adjusted and the drivers window isn’t working correctly yet so I’ll look into that. I noticed a bit of ‘creaking’ when turning in a parking lot. I suspect that the universals are wearing out. After 45 years and maybe 144, 000kms the grease in the original universals is likely dried out. None of the universals have grease fittings so I expect they are original units,