Saturday, August 22, 2020

Around the Block in 5th Gear

I took a crawl around the block this week.  Sooooo close!

I solved my cooling leak, which was just the hose fitting at the radiator not sealing because of the line for the thermostatic bulb.  I moved it to the side at the thermostat, and it sealed up.  I pulled the radiator and relocated the fan, and no more bad noises there either.

I disconnected and bypassed the oil cooler to see if it would help my cooling concern, and it didn't.  I think it's just a factor of it being 110 degrees F.  I'll hook up the oil cooler again.

I managed to bleed the clutch, and after adjustment I have what seems to be a good pedal with engagement about halfway to the floor.  The pedal is a bit heavier, but that's ok.

I also modified the shift lever to be the right length and offset, and it fits about in the center of the shifter cover.  It looks almost stock.

So I crawled around the block, and huzzah!  Everything works.  I get all five gears and I can back up.  The speedo works and appears to be reading right.  But I have one disappointing issue... the driveshaft yoke is just barely rubbing on the shroud over the rear transmission oil seal when I go over some bumps, which shifts the yoke forward just enough.  So I'm going to have to figure out how to get in there and modify the shroud to work.  I think I can do it--the shroud plus seal will pop out, if I disconnect the driveshaft and move it out of the way.

Maybe one more week, and I'm back on the road!
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Tuesday, August 18, 2020

She Lives Again

Gidget's heart beats once again!

After installing the aluminum radiator (which was not a simple ordeal, let me tell you) and a longer starter cable, and filling the gearbox, I hooked up the battery and turned the key.  I got a couple of puffs, and on the second attempt she fired up with a little choke.  Oil pressure is good and there are no funny noises.

All is not quite sunny in Philadelphia, though.  I have a coolant leak at the top radiator hose fitting, which I believe is just the way the electric fan sender is installed in the hose.  There are no leaks until coolant starts to circulate under pressure.  I also have a problem with the electric fan being mounted too low, which has the housing pushed up against the crossmember and the blades are glancing off the housing, making a lovely racket.  So the radiator has to come out for me to relocate the fan.

I also was not impressed with the cooling capability of this radiator.  The temp climbed to over 200F, even with the electric fan running.  I suspect a combination of it being almost 110F outside and a need to get the fan running at full speed.  I may reinstall the original fan for a little extra oomph.

So, once I sort that and bleed the clutch, it will be time to crawl around the block and test out this new transmission!

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Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Eaglet Has Landed

I finally have the engine and five-speed in the car.  The actual installation of the engine wasn't too bad, but the transmission mount was a real bear.

I did a good amount of preparation to ensure the transmission would fit by test-fitting the transmission and mount, so I knew it would actually work.  I've got a shop crane and load leveler.  Should be simple, right?  Well, almost...

The only real difficulty was in the last little bit, where the crankshaft pulley rubbed against the front crossmember.  My 'clearancing' of the heater box wasn't quite enough, but I was hesitant to do any more because I was at risk of distorting the box.  A little finagling made it all work out.  I even preinstalled the driveshaft so I wouldn't have to struggle later on.  I installed the front motor mounts (loosely), and everything looked good for the moment.

The last item to install was the bottom half of the rear transmission mount.  The instructions said to just 'install it'.  That... didn't quite happen.

The mount comes in two parts so that there is enough room for the back half of the transmission to fit into the tunnel during installation.  The bottom half is supposed to slip into place after jacking up the back of the transmission.  I found that there was not enough clearance because the rubber mount wouldn't clear the transmission.  I ended up having to carve a hunk out of the rubber portion of the mount, and about 1/8" of the metal portion of the mount.  I moved the engine forward as far as I could (about 1/2"), and then was able to pry the mount into place.  That only took two hours... but once there, the mount lined up exactly right and the bolts bolted up.  Nice.

That was enough for the day.  It was quite hot out and I ended up overheating a bit, so I took the rest of the day off after putting everything away.

Next time--I start bolting stuff back on, and hopefully get close to a (second) first start.
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