Sunday, January 27, 2019

I Won't Get Fueled Again

Got the fuel pump last week.


I pulled the old pump and replaced with the new in all of 15 minutes.  It's so nice to work on new stuff.

Before I fired things back up, I also pulled the fuel tank and replaced the fuel sender gasket that was badly leaking.  (Actually, it was leaking quite well-I just didn't want it to any more.)  There was quite a bit of bubbled paint around the sender that I cleaned off and gave a shot of semi-gloss to cover before replacing the sender.  That was also pretty simple--the hardest part was dropping the half-full tank and draining most of the gas out to make it easier to reinstall.

Once everything was back together, she fired right up with a nice tunk-tunk-tunk sound and after bleeding the air out settled down to normal operation.  The new pump only ticks when fuel is needed, whereas before it would tick slowly even with the engine not running (indicating a slight internal leak).

An overnight test with a full tank proves that there are no leaks--no gas smell at all.

Once that was done, I also bled and adjusted the brakes with my daughter's help.  It was the first time she sat behind the wheel.  I should have taken a picture, but my hands were dirty with fuel and I like my phone to stay nice and clean.  I now have a high and firm pedal again after replacing the brake light pressure switch; no double-pump required.

I also did a quick checkup and everything's looking good.

Finally, I replaced one of the gears in the speedo that had cracked and caused an annoying blip in the needle.

A few drives on Sunday cleared any concern about the quality of the repair and my slight depression over not being able to drive Gidget.  Now I feel confident I can drive anywhere again.  I plan to drive her to work this week.
More... »

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Fuel Pump (Near) Failure

I was on a joyride a few days ago.  I hadn't been able to drive Gidget for a few days due to weather, and I was getting antsy.  So, I warmed her up and went up to Lake Pleasant and back.

Well, I got back eventually.

On the way back, I was cruising at a nice 60 when all of a sudden she hiccuped.  Then, she coughed.  Next I knew, I was sputtering and slowing down.  I turned the key and she fired up--then died immediately.

I managed to pull over at a side street and roll back into the street (I was going uphill).  This was at about 8pm and a few miles from home, and I was flipping out a bit.  I feared the worst--some major ignition problem, and an embarrassing call and flatbed home.  Had I gotten over the hill, I probably could have coasted to within a mile of my house.  I wasn't going to push Gidget up hill--she's petite, but not that light!

After a couple of deep breaths, I started troubleshooting.  I didn't need much time.  I turned the key on, and instead of the reassuring 'ku-tunk ku-tunk ku-tunk' of the fuel pump, I heard...silence.

Hmmm.  Maybe I had a bad lead.  So I crawled under the car (no flashlight, though I have one in my kit) and felt around a bit.  The lead was intact.

Out of sheer frustration, I decided to employ the old "if it doesn't work, hit it with something" fix.  The something was my fist.  I gave the pump a few blows and I heard 'ku-tunk' followed by a lot of 'ku-tunks' as the pump filled the float bowls.

Amazed, I got back in the car, fired her up and drove home without incident (but with ample trepidation).

I figure the points got stuck or the mechanism is just worn out.  I had replaced the points--so maybe I messed it up.  I don't really care at this point.  We made it home.

I have a new electronic solid state pump on the way from Merry Olde England.  This pump uses a Hall sensor to detect if the "points" are "closed" and to fire the electromagnet that moves the pump diaphragm.  It's much more reliable and cost me only a few more shekels than an original points pump.  It comes from SU, so it is proper.  (For reference, it is AUF214EP).

So Gidget sits waiting in the garage under her CoverCraft security blanket (car cover) until I get the pump.  When I do, I will also drop the fuel tank and replace the sender gasket that leaks if I fill her up to the top.  I will also bleed the brakes--I changed the brake light switch to improve how quickly the brake lights activate, and there's a little air to get rid of.

As the Man in Black would say, "Sleep well, and dream of large women."
More... »

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Holiday Driving

I had a couple of weeks off at the end of the year, and got to put some serious miles down.  For me, that was 223 miles over two weeks.  I'm up over 750 miles now.  I drove to Scottsdale from Peoria--twice--and once all the way on the 101 at 65-75.  I can keep up with highway traffic and Gidget is perfectly stable after a tire rebalance.  I topped out at 83 (per GPS) and boy oh boy what a rush.  That was "only" 4400 RPM.  I bet I could get over 90 if I were crazy.  I might end up going back in time.

I also finally fixed the clunking in the rear; it was a loose rear damper.  Now, no noises.  I do still have a teeny bit of tire rub that I'll play with when it warms up a bit.  Believe it or not, winter temperatures get down in the 30s in the Valley at night, 50s in the day; that's cold enough for me to not want to lay on the ground.

I did also break my spoiler a bit, but it's repairable with a little fiberglass mat and resin.  There's a 1/2" crack on the passenger's side where I bent it against the curb in front of my house.

I have a couple of developing oil leaks to address.  I might need a new oil pan gasket or just a good snugging down.  I did make and install a rubber seal for the steering rack pinion shaft that appears to have quieted that leak.  Everything else is holding up fine.

On the last day before my break was over, I got caught in a little rain shower.  I don't have the top fitted yet (it's a little too cold to stretch the vinyl) but the tonneau cover did its job by keeping half of the cockpit dry, just like I remember.  60 MPH was enough to keep the rain off and the sun visors worked as rain deflectors, too. :)

More... »