Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Enjoying the Ride

As I finish off the last few bits of trim, I've started driving to a few places.  But I had to do some major engine work first.

On my first extended test drive, I found that I couldn't get over about 45 MPH before the engine would drop a cylinder.  However, once I returned to idle it would run on all four again.  After some diagnosis of plugs, wires and ignition, I got some advice that it might be incorrect clearances for the valve guides.  So I pulled the head, and wouldn't you know it--they were right.

When I had the head rebuilt, the machinist installed bronze valve guides.  They're great because they self-lubricate and last practically forever.  The thing is, you have to know what you're doing when you install them.  Because bronze has a higher expansion coefficient than iron (the OEM guide material), the guide needs a greater clearance when cold so the clearance is correct when warm.

I found that three of the valves were stuck in the head (well, not totally stuck--but not easy to remove).  I had bought a special set of gauges and a hone to fix this, just in case--I guessed right.  The clearance was as little as 0.001" when 0.003" is required.

So I honed them out, put everything back together, and so far all's been well.

I'm glad I sorted this out.  Now, I have confidence I can get to the show, and still have some time for those few final trim pieces and to paint a spare tire rim.  Other than that, everything's functioning.

Once I get about 150 miles on her, I'll do a long drive and take her to work.  That will probably be after the show.

Right now my biggest dilemma is whether to fit the bumpers.  I assembled them and did a test fit, and I can make it work--but it hides that pretty spoiler.

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