Tuesday, September 4, 2018

With the dipstick out there were only a few problem spots that needed special attention before the engine was ready to be painted. I scrapped those spots as best I could, wire wheeled, and then cleaned the surface with some light detergent. I removed the valve covers and taped up the valve-trains and intake manifold to protect them from over-spray.

I left the oil pan and timing cover on since they still need to have the paint removed from them anyway. When the block dries I'll remove the sump and timing cover to paint them separately, the valve covers will get the same treatment, along with the thermostat housing, pulleys, and other miscellaneous parts of the engine. From some pictures in the Ashcraft catalog it looks like one of the mods he does is removing the mechanical fan stuff. It involves (based entirely on guesswork) cutting off the mechanical fan mount spindle from the timing cover and welding up the hole to make more room for a more powerful electric unit; I'll probably give that a try as well since all my efforts to find/fix a mechanical fan have not panned out.

Before it goes back in the car I'm going to replace the dipstick tube (obviously), all the gaskets for the crankcase including valve covers, timing cover, and sump. I'll also change the freeze-plugs, and those coolant tubes will need to be remade to fit into the block. I'm also going to replace the water pump for no reason other than it's easy to do right now and only costs like 50 bucks; might as well not reintroduce all the rust on the old impeller into the system.

I also remembered that since I have an entire spare engine I'll cut up my spare timing cover and attempt to do that mod to a non-essential spare. On that front I did discover that the timing cover is cast aluminum, not stamped/cast steel like I would have hoped. As such I can't weld it myself, as at the moment I'm sadly without a spool gun or TIG welder. They're tools I want, but I don't have 220v power in my shop to run either. I will either outsource the welding OR follow up on the lead of a friend of a friend to has a TIG they may be willing to let me use or they'll weld for me. Down this line of thinking I also realized I have two spare valve covers... so I may get creative making some "prettier" valve covers; maybe some raised SAAB logos?

Progress will be slow again moving forward since school has started back up and a fair amount of my energy is devoted to dealing with the issues that have arisen from my daily driver being hit and the insurance company of that driver fighting with me on the value of my vehicle. So much fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Dipstick Removal

There are still a few trouble spots of hard-to-reach paint left to remove before the engine is ready for paint. One of those spots is around and behind the dip-stick tube which I planned to remove anyway to replace. Well that proved slightly more difficult that it should have been. Extremely difficult to remove. As in basically impossible.

The tube is just pressed into the block, typically Ford engines, at least modern ones have an O-ring and then simply connect to the engine with a bracket to hold them in. Well the V4 has no such bracket, and no O-ring. So it seems they just hammer them into the block, no amount of pulling could dislodge it. I tried tapping the top of the tube and using a spacer and a handful of hardware to try to press the tube out slowly ratcheting. All that did was tear the tapped section off the tube. At that point it was time for the big guns. I found a metal rod that was the right diameter to fit snugly in the tube and pounded it in from the oil pan side. I then drilled some holes in the tube for a plug weld.

I then welded the ever-loving crap out of it fusing the tube and the rod.

Let the whole thing cool and then pound on the rod from the bottom until the tube finally pops out. Push the rod the rest of the way out with a small punch. Here you can see the part of the tube that fits in the block below the weld. Nothing special about it other than the light scoring to hold it in place. This took an absurd amount of force for a dipstick tube. This picture is from the spare engine block I was using for testing the technique.

Now I need to find a replacement tube, it's just straight 5/16" ID tube/pipe which is a standard Ford size, so I will likely just buy a cheap Ford one and trim it to the right length.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Freewheeling Hub and Engine Paint

So with the assembly tool completed it was time to assemble and install the freewheeling hub. I figured I could make the washer part of the tool myself, I should have just asked my friend to make it when he made the rest since that's what I ended up needing to do anyway...

Ashcraft sent me instructions for using the tool when he send me the dimensions and freewheeling hub and for the most part they're spot on. There are a couple of revisions I would make though:
The instructions say "...after you've place a roller bearing rotate the freewheel clockwise." but isn't super clear which side you should be looking at. It also mentions loading the freewheel into the tool with the part number towards the "large washer side" which you would think is the open side, which is NOT the case.

The biggest revision I would suggest though is NOT using a Popsicle stick to compress the plungers then trying to get the roller bearing situated with a pencil magnet. That operation requires 3 hands or more finese than I posses. That technique resulted in a tiny plunger going flying across my messy garage and I spent about an hour finding it, which amazingly I did.

We're calling the end that mates to the transaxle the front (the end with the teeth), the back is the side where the roller bearings are loaded.

My modified technique for loading the freewheeling hub into the tool and assembling it:

  1. Clamp the tool in the vice by the attached tab with the front facing you. The part-number of the casting should be facing AWAY from you. If this isn't clear enough: when you install the finished hub the part number stamping should be visible, so the part number should be away from the toothed end of the tool.
  2. Load in the spacer/washer and bar that hold the freewheel centered and in position in the tool. Use 2 pairs of needle-nose style vice grips to retain the spacer, regular vice grips will work they're just heavier and put more stress on the tab. I imagine any kind of clamp would probably work.
  3. (2x)With a small pencil magnet grab a since spring, dip it in Moly grease and carefully install in the hole of the exposed section.
  4. (2x) Using a strong pair of tweezers or fine needle nose pliers, dip the shouldered end of the plunger in the grease and then install it. The shouldered end goes down and connects with the spring. The plunger shouldn't fall down or go flying just gently set it in the hole, DO NOT COMPRESS! NOTE: be very careful that there is a spring in the hole you're trying to put the plunger BEFORE installing it, the plungers are almost an exact fit in these holes and if installed without the springs they are VERY difficult to remove. Ask me how I know...
  5. Now with your magnet grab a roller bearing. Carefully compress both plungers into their holes. If you're not careful it's easy to push the plungers out of their holes in the wrong direction, simply correct this and try again. Compress the plungers down with the the roller bearing,  then carefully rotate the hub in the tool while keeping steady pressure until the chamfer in the tool separates the magnet and the bearing.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 until the entire hub is loaded. When the last bearing is installed the hub can be rotated to a half step so all the bearings are retained (none are in place to come out the installation hole).
  7. Once the hub is in the position described above I used a piece of tape, covered the sticky side towards the bearing, to tape over the installation port. You can now remove the loaded tool from the vice.
  8. Rotate the ring gear in the receiving trans-axle til the spider gears are towards the freewheel cup, if you don't do this the tool won't fit in place correctly.
  9. Slot the tool into place, the teeth on the front should pair up with the teeth on the cup.
  10. Using an input shaft with a single cir-clip installed tap the the freewheel into the cup.
  11. Once installed you should be able to hold the freewheeling hub and spin the input shaft clockwise freely, counter-clockwise should move the whole assembly. If this is not the case something has gone wrong. NOTE: In my installation I had to hold the hub with reasonable force to get the freewheel to spin in the hub, however it does act as intended: counterclockwise doesn't freewheel at all.  I suspect this is simply a result of limited lubrication of the outside of the roller bearings, I didn't pack the entire assembly with grease, it is unclear whether it should be. I assume once the trans-axle case is full of gear oil it will lubricate the hub, plus with the freewheel being neutered I'm not that concerned about it.
Once that was done I figured I would do everything else I could do to make sure the trans-axle was in good shape. I replaced the carrier bearing, welded up and reground the release arm to remove the wear, and installed a new throw-out bearing. I use a medium bead of anaerobic gasket between the two halves of the case before bolting them back together, simply wipe off the excess that squeezes out of the case. If you use the recommended surface prep/catalyst I believe it cures faster, but isn't fully necessary. I waited 24-48 hours before adding any gear oil to allow the gasket to fully cure since I didn't use the catalyst/prep.

First I used some clean cheap sacrificial gear oil to flush the whole trans-axle of any dirt or crud from the time it was disassembled. Amsoil synthetic oil after that's drained and it's ready to go back in the car.

However since the engine is already out and I'm not likely going to get a better opportunity I thought now would be a good time to repaint the engine. In an ideal world I would tear the whole motor down, have it hot tanked, and respray it as a bare block, then re-assemble. It is not an ideal world we live in so I decided to paint the engine assembled. First that means removing the old paint which is cracking and flaking off in big chunks.

So here's the paint as it came out of the car. I've removed everything from the engine except the parts that keep the oil in.

Now to remove the paint I don't have many options. I could really try to seal all the holes into the block really carefully and try to sandblast it. I could seal all the holes and try to wire wheel it by hand. Neither of those options sounded like very much fun, so instead I opted to use aircraft paint stripper gel. This stuff is gnarly, so much so that even with thick rubber gloves on I could feel it on my hands if it dripped on me. However it does work VERY well, minutes after applying you can literally hear the sizzling and bubbling. 

The big chunks come off with a scrapper, and then another coat or two for the harder to get stuff. Some of the original paint and more baked on paint, mostly around the exhaust port resisted the stripper a little more and I still needed to break out the wire wheel.

I also ended up pulling the heater ports out of the block... they were so rusty they basically were tin foil. I'll try to have some new aluminum or stainless steel ones machined or thread the holes for resistant pipe-fittings in brass or something else that won't rust. The method for removing these is a little counter-intuitive: tap them with a hammer into the block semi-gently until they bottom out, then I used some penetrating oil and vice grips to pull them back out where they started and a little further. Repeat, add some twisting, and eventually they'll come out.

The dipstick tube also needed to come out to finish getting the paint off the block and I'll probably replace it while I'm at it. It's a standard 5/16" internal diameter Ford dipstick tube, just presumably at a different length. The tube is really seized in there so I'll have to come up with a way to get it out; in theory it should just be a press fit into the block, but no amount of yanking on my spare engine could dislodge the tube and only managed to crush and mangle the tube. More modern designs integrate an o-ring and hold the tube in it's port with a bracket, but on the Taunus it's just rammed right into the block, and made of a thicker metal than most I've seen. This may be another custom replacement, maybe drill out the hole and thread it?

Monday, June 4, 2018

Transaxle Refresh - Ring Gear

So progress is (as always with this project) slow. Currently I have a grand total 2 trans-axles, and had 0 freewheeling hubs, and therefore 0 functional transmissions. I got a new/used freewheeling hub but need to get the tools made.

Amazingly it turns out one of my friends for high school actually has taken up machining fairly recently and was more than happy to help me make the freewheeling assembly/installation tool for the cost of material and a 6-pack. Score!

The teeth of the tool fit perfectly in the teeth of freewheel cup. I haven't yet assembled the freewheeling hub but it seems like it will do exactly what it's supposed to. Ignore my thumb in front of the camera...

However now the other problem is the fact the old trans-axle sounds like a maraca with all the plungers, springs, and roller bearings bounding around inside it from when the freewheeling hub blew up. From that explosion the teeth of the cup also appear damaged. No way I'll get it all that crap out, not to mention if I did there is likely damage to the internal gears that may become problematic later. So that transmission is out.

The other transmission however didn't come with a freewheeling hub, I've solved that problem, but there is still an issue with it. Rust on the ring gear.

This is the worst of it.

Well the ring gear on the sploded' transmission is fine, rust free...

However simply swapping them isn't really doable. At least not by me in my tiny garage with cheap tools. The lash would be all out of whack plus the ring and pinion are lapped together from the factory, so swapping the ring would mean disassembling the ENTIRE transmission; which from exploded drawings I've seen, and the pressed construction of the shafts, would be literally killing that transmission. So that plan is out.

Well the only solution then is to take the rust off the ring gear and remove the minimum amount of metal so the gears still mesh. So the process is mask off all but 7-8 teeth, brake-clean, wipe down, 180 grit, 320 grit, 400 grit emery cloth with the shop-vac running. Once happy the rust is as good as it's going to get, brake-clean again, then carefully apply gun-blue to the cleaned teeth for 1-3 minutes, wipe off, brake-clean, then apply WD-40, rotate to the next 7-8 teeth.

Here's a finished section. You can still some pitting on the teeth but to get that out I'd need to completely destroy the teeth, so I stopped the rust from getting worse and got the loose rust out of the trans case so it didn't wear off and become grit to further destroy other things in the transmission.

When the whole ring gear is done I'll clean it even more with some Q-tips, WD-40, and install the freewheeling hub and reassemble the two halves of the transmission. Still to come...

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Freewheeling Hub

Since my last post things have gone from positive, to absolute despair, back to positive in about the span of a week. Three months since my last update so I'll give you the full update:

I've been busier than ever and the engine still sits where it landed in the last post. I did get the pilot bushing out.

I also elected to take apart the transaxle to check the seals because a tiny pool of gear oil was appearing underneath it sitting on the floor...

This is where the really bad news comes in. I suppose in some respects it's good news because I caught it now, not when everything was back in the car. As you know if you've been reading this blog these cars came with a freewheeling hub, a remnant of the two-stroke power-plants that came in the earlier Sonett II's. The generally accepted way to best modify the transaxle is to neuter this freewheeling hub, effectively locking it in the "engaged" position. Remove moving parts -> reliability/strength.
Well this transaxle that was in the parts car had been previously neutered, the process is adding a spacer to the input shaft to lock the the hub in the engaged position.

The critical part there is locking the hub. Well whoever neutered this transaxle REMOVED the hub.

The fact this is wrong should be pretty obvious to anyone confident enough to take a transaxle apart. Without the hub the input shaft becomes the proverbial hotdog down the hallway bouncing around in the cup with nothing centering or stabilizing it, plus there's no way for that shaft to drive anything. Plus they removed the small needle bearing at the end of the input shaft... for some reason. This is all bad. Really bad. Because the problem with my previous transaxle was... the freewheeling hub exploded.

Far right two holes is what it SHOULD look like... catastrophic failure.

So now I have 2 transaxles and no freewheeling hubs. 
The hub was never a "replacement" part, so there are no true spares they're one-to-one with transmissions. So nobody ever re-manufactured them. Speaking to Mark Ashcraft (http://markashcraft.com/) on the phone he had some thoughts on where to maybe get one; but even if we can it's not a simple fix.

The hub is a bunch of roller bearings with springs behind them arranged in a circle, so without compression they go shooting out. So installation requires a special tool of which probably only one still exists (Subrew has it) but he's in Oregon and I'm in North Carolina, and he's not gonna loan me a tool that is essential to his restoration business (don't even remotely blame him for that).

I spoke to Mark on Monday (3/12) at lunch time. Amazingly he has already come up with and mailed out a new hub for me, along with the dimensions and specifications to make the SAAB designed tool to assemble and install it. It's fantastic to have someone with the connections with such a weird rare car.

He also seems to be the only one who still has pilot bushings for the V4 engine...
Removing the pilot bushing with the proper tools is weirdly satisfying.

This new discovery seems to be the actual reason that my car drove about 100ft then wouldn't move, not the flywheel not actually being attached to the motor. The issue wasn't gear selection or clutch engagement but the input and output shafts weren't actually connected. I'm still gonna fix that stuff but it's not the main issue.

So upon closer inspection this little engagement fork (I don't have a better name for this thing) was the entirety of what was connecting the input shaft to the drive shaft of the transaxle.

That's 5 tiny little teeth on each side of the T making 10 total, the V4 doesn't make a ton of power, but more than enough to destroy those tiny teeth on both the fork and the cup that it mates to. Which you can actually see in the picture, the teeth are bent over from where they should be straight out.

So that transaxle is done for, not even mentioning the rust on the ring gear. The good news is all that stuff is OK on the first transaxle, it's just missing it's freewheeling hub.
So when the freewheeling hub arrives I'm going to have that assembly tool made and get my  first transaxle back together and try to get the drivetrain back in the car. I do need to double and triple check that there is no damage to the gears in that transaxle from the exploded freewheeling hub, also verify there are no more little roller bearings bouncing around inside the case.

There is still some stuff I need to do to prepare for that. Clean up the engine bay, reroute the battery cable, maybe the fuel line; but the project should hopefully continue again.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Engine Out

It's been over a year and a half since my last post on this blog but I'm finally back to working on the Sonett.

Obviously the last update there was a knocking on start-up/idle. I don't know if I ever actually wrote it down but I suspected the issue was the fly-wheel/clutch backing off the engine. The sound seemed to be coming from the bell-housing, not the engine.

Nicholas Byrne suggested last time I had the engine out to just disconnect the lower control arm to swing the half-shafts out to make removing the trans-axle easier. This was an excellent idea, even more so now in hindsight that I realize all I had to remove were the sway bars, and not actually the entire lower control arm... Oh well.

Once all the engine stuff is disconnected you have to make sure the linkage is off the back of the trans-axle as well as disconnecting the trans-mount... which in the Sonett is a single 5/8" bolt, well on my car it is anyways after I re-tapped the threads there to something usable... Guess since it sits on the pan that's probably fine.

Remove the tapered pin holding the interior linkage to the stub off the trans-axle. Don't break it! They should be really greased up and just pressed in, so it should sort-of just pop right out.

Another trick I've learned pulling this engine so many times is to remove three of the four steering rack bolts, and loosen the fourth, the you can pivot the rack so the hump for the linkage clears easier and you can lift the oil pan to clear the front frame brace.

Now just try not to forget to disconnect the exhaust and the P-clip that you added to hold the battery cable... Then remove the engine.

And out! The whole process start to finish took about 5 hours. We sort of cheated because I had already disconnected the alternator, belts, radiator, and other stuff that had to be removed to get the engine out before-hand.

Apparently while the starter is only joined to the trans-axle when you try to remove the transaxle with it attached, it pinches the oil pan and won't come off. That puzzled us for way longer than it should have.

Finally the trans-axle was off and I could get a good look at the clutch and fly-wheel:

Validation! It's hard to tell in the picture but 5/6 weren't actually touching the mounting face of the fly-wheel. One is pretty obviously out about 3/16", and the rest were literally finger loose. I took out the one tight one with a wrench in the time it took my friend to take out the other 5 with his hand...
But that would definitely cause the problem I was having. So this was a fantastic relief to see an obvious problem and have a solution ready to go.
The engine is on the stand ready to be cleaned up, I'll detail the engine-bay and clean everything there up. Then replace the bolts, friction plate, carrier bearing, and bushing.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Long Time Gone & New Things to Come...

I know every time I post I'm all upbeat about how I've finally got time to start working on the car again and I've got the problems figured out, and blah blah blah. Well I'm a full time engineering student, and during the summer I work full-time so a good bit of the time that just works out to the poor Sonett getting the shaft. Hopefully though this summer I'll have some time after work to get the engine back out, figure out my issues and get that damn thing road worthy!

My current DD (An 85 Fiero GT abomination) got a little to much attention in recent months, damn squeaky wheel gets the grease and boy oh boy does that mother squeak. Well I finally decided enough is enough and I'm selling the thing. I'm gonna fix it's few little foibles to make a sale and it's gone. If anyone wants to buy an 85/86 Fiero Fastback V6 with a 5-speed, with power everything; that currently backfires like it's going out of style, $3000 and it's yours... SOLD

But a new challenger approaches... Very soon I am flying out to Denver from Raleigh to purchase my next DD/Project (have you not learned yet that I'm a glutton for punishment?) and drive it back (and I'm stupid). What on earth could be next? Well I'm not gonna tell just yet, but here's a hint: it's definitely Swedish. I'll post some more info on the car after I actually pick it up and get some miles under our belt.

3,000+ Miles in a car I've never seen in person, only heard run in grainy videos and only spoken to the owner over the phone; what could go wrong?

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Finally (Hopefully) getting back to work

This seems to be a recurring trend... I work on the car for a week or two relentlessly, hit some kind of giant set-back and lose interest in the project/run out of money/don't have the time to work on it. Well hopefully in the next couple of weeks that will change.

It's been long enough (almost 9 months) since I last really worked on the car. The only thing that has really changed since my last post is the SAAB has moved. I got out of my buddy's shop cause, well frankly they wanted me out; can't say I blame them. Now the SAAB has it's own storage unit, tucked in tight to a 10'x15' space, yes it fits, yes just barely. The Sonett with the nose on measures like 14' 6" or something long and about 6' wide. So the unit contains the car, a couple of shelves full of parts, and my tools.

The other thing that has changed is I may have a lead on what caused the god-awful banging last time I tried to start the car, at least I hope this is the case. The Taunus V4 is a Ford motor, Ford uses stretch-to-spec bolts for attaching the flywheel. If that makes no sense let me break it down how I understand it: everybody knows certain things should be always to torqued only a very specific amount. Torque it too little it won't do what it's supposed to, torque it too much and you'll break the bolt or maybe worse, warp the part you're bolting. The bolts used for the flywheel (Ford part #D4FZ-6379A) and ones like them need to be torqued multiple times to stretch the alloy. This process intentionally warps the threads, ever so slightly so the thread grabs that much better; BUT it makes it so the bolts CANNOT be reused. So take one guess what I did when I put the flywheel back on... yep, I thought I was above these simple rules, plus I didn't use any thread-locker, like a total loser.

So the prevailing theory is that the bolts in the flywheel have either backed out (not so bad) or broken (F**K) , essentially leaving the flywheel bouncing around on the clutch as the motor tries to turn. What lends credence to this theory is that the banging happens at the same time as the clutch problem, the flywheel moving out also explains the sudden lose of clutch use. This seems like it is most likely the problem, and thankfully should be an easy fix. 'Easy' of course being subjective cause it does mean pulling the motor and trans again, but that's way better than pulling the motor, breaking the seals, and hunting down rod knock...

So I bought some new fly-wheel bolts, the nice thing is since ford used those bolts in all kinds of cars there are aftermarket ones out there that don't cost 15$ a bolt, I got a set of six from ARP at summit for like 30 bucks. They sell them as parts for a Pinto, but the Ranger, Mustang, and a handful of others use the same bolts.

So that leaves the issue of timing, and the gas tank. I need to debug my ignition set-up because upon the third or fourth reading of the install guide for my MSD box it may not be wired 100% correct. Once I get that right I suspect it will either fix my timing problem straight up or make setting it a simple distributor rotation away.

The gas tank is a little more interesting issue. My buddy has a spare fuel cell or two lying around, but at the moment we're also building a 71 Datsun 240z to go LeMons racing, and it's going to be getting one of those cells... but we don't know which one. Obviously long-term I'll probably fab' up a new stainless tank based up the two tanks I have if I can get my hands on a decent TIG welder and someone willing to teach me how to use it... or the YouTube. For the foreseeable future though I suspect the Sonett will be drinking out of a 5 gallon gas can.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Update 6/11

It's been a while since I've updated this space so time to bring you guys up to speed.

Since I last posted my repair on the fan failed, so I've removed it from the engine. Better to have no fan than a shrapnel hazard in the engine bay. Plus I would have needed a new belt to turn the fan, and who wants to spend like 5$ on a new belt.

The engine is back in the car, the transmission is obviously mated to it and everything is hooked back up and was driving for a few hours. I feel as if the car is resisting any attempts at finishing this point. After she ran and drove I've discovered I either have a bad alternator or a fairly substantial short. When the battery is reconnected it sparks (obviously a short somewhere) and the starter starts trying to turn over, which after some research is either due to an internal short in the starter solenoid or a by-product of the MSD ignition box being wired the way it is.

After the second test drive the clutch stopped fully depressing, so the car wouldn't go into gear. I determined that problem was a combination of an air-bubble in the lines and a lack of adjustment in the clutch release arm. I fixed the adjustment and re-bled the lines and it seemed to go into gear, but once again fix one problem and at least one more pops up. I crank the engine back on to test my clutch fix and I've got cylinder knock, like the timing is off by 90 degrees or more. That would make sense except for the part where I did timing literally the day before and the engine was purring at the factory recommended 6 degrees before TDC (at cranking). We also noticed that there is a crack in the top of the boot in my Bosch Blue ignition coil, which is then arcing through that crack to the positive terminal. A great thing to have in the engine bay of a carbuerated car: a fire-starter. So with the arcing and the cylinder knock I changed back to the MSD Blaster coil that is recommended with the MSD 6A ignition box. Now on cranking the engine backfires and spits scorched gas up through the top of the carburetor. So I'm 100% sure there is a timing issue of some kind, however I have no idea how it just appeared overnight.

I come back the next day to try to diagnose the timing issue and the whole garage smells like gas. Upon further inspection the gas tank is leaking from a pinhole somewhere, despite the KBS sealer I used early on it in this project. So I removed the tank, with some help to keep it from pouring gas everywhere, drained it and set about removing paint to find the pin-hole that was leaking. Of course it wasn't a single pin-hole, or even a couple pin-holes, there is probably somewhere north of 50 holes in this tank. The KBS coating on the inside is flaking off the sides in huge sheets and the gas obviously got between the coating and the tank surface, rusting holes through and peeling off the seal.

 Fill it with water to check what's leaking...

Like a freaking sieve. Upon removing all the paint from the tank I found dozens and dozens of pinholes, more than half were leaking as bad as this one.

So now I'm three steps backwards when she was so close to being done. I've got the tank from the parts car, and it appears to be free of pin-holes, but it is in very similar condition to the first tank; so full of rust. So I've got a few options.  First I can try to repair the first tank, cut it open, clean out the rust, solder or weld up the pinholes, re-seal it, and then weld it back together. Or I can send that tank off and have it repaired professionally for around $300-$400. Or I can do attempt again using a sealing kit on the parts car's tank. I may try my hand at fixing the first tank because at this point it's basically junk, if that doesn't work I'll probably just send off the second one to be professionally repaired and for it to come back with a warranty.

Hopefully while the tank is being fixed I can diagnose the short and fix it, then when the gas tank is ready I'll fix the timing and that will be it, knock-on-wood.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Engine Fan, Motor In!

So the parts car had an original Ford plastic timing case fan. Those things are rare with all 5 spokes still attached, ones that aren't cracked are basically unheard of. The one on the parts car was dirty and had a single big crack but wasn't missing any pieces so I wanted it for my motor.

Looking all dirty, these fans are goofy because they aren't symmetrical. Removing them is actually pretty easy. Fouir bolts go in the outer holes then use a bearing puller to pop the pulley underneath off the case.

There's the crack, the blade obviously warped under some heat after it cracked but there were no missing pieces of plastic.

So the process I used was fairly simple. I clamped the fan gently in the vice with the cracked blade facing up. Then I used my heat-gun on the "Low" setting to soften the plastic and make it a little more malleable. Used some 220 grit sandpaper to rough up the edges where the plastic was going back together. I then used some plastic epoxy in between the gaps, with the epoxy in place I slowly bent the fan blade back together and taped it in place. Then let the epoxy dry. I used a soldering iron to "weld" the two halves of the fan together in the back. This weld isn't meant to be structural just provide some more surface area for the second coat of epoxy to hold onto. 

Cleaned up and the crack repaired

So with the fan repaired I cleaned up the pulley and bolted it and the fan onto my motor. I do really like the look it has with the red fan, black timing case, and blue valve-covers/block/heads.

So with the engine finally finished it was ready to go back into the car. Quickly during this process I figured out my previous plan of having the trans in first and bolting up the engine in the car wasn't going to work. There's no amount of adjustment in the trans mount that will allow the clutch shaft to properly align in the clutch and flywheel so the bell housing can bolt up to the engine. So I pulled the transmission back out of the car and bolted it up to the engine.

The tricky part then is getting the CV axles back into cups on the side of the trans-axle so that it can actually drive the wheels. I was doing this entirely by myself and that was a terrible horrible pain. The hard part is making sure the spindle caps on the axles aren't knocked off in the process, if you can have a second person manning the axle and telling you how to adjust the engine on the lift. I would also recommend 4 points of lift on the engine instead of 2, a carburetor lift plate would probably be even better than that.

After several hours of struggling with the power-train I finally got everything in, trans linkage hooked up properly, trans-mount bolted up, and engine mounts in their proper holes and torqued down. At this point I realized there was a minor problem, the new fan hits my ignition box where it is currenly mounted but that's an easy fix: relocate the box. Hopefully soon I can get the coolant lines, exhaust, starter, and points hooked back up, then hopefully she'll run and drive again! I also need to bolt back up my new flywheel cover.