Sunday, January 15, 2012

Work Completed to Date

Since I didn't start this blog until a month after I started working on it, here's a little catch-up on what I've been doing since I picked up the car.

Nov 29th: Bought the car and brought it home.  She's in pretty good shape for a 35 year old vehicle.  The exterior is in good condition with only a few dings.  The paint is decent except for a few chips.  The interior is where most of the problems are.  A set of new seats, new tires, and a little TLC and this will be a nice car.
 As you can see, it needs new seats.

Dec 10th: Find out a brake bleeder screw is broken.  I'll have to take the wheel cylinder out and disassemble it so I can do some careful cutting and heating to get it out.  More on that later.

Dec 17th: The car has moved under gas power for the last time. Started taking the engine out today.My 7 year old  helped me bleed the brakes and check the compression!
Dec 19th: Fixing Brakes Step 1 part 1: To remove axle nut, use special tool A-147. If you don't have that, make your own tool to keep the brake drum from spinning. If your homemade tool is not stiff enough, clamp anti-buclking board to it. Attach 4 foot breaker bar to the 36mm socket and remove. It is possible that the anti-buckling board may snap in two. If so, go to part 2...

Fixing Brakes Step 1 part 2: If your custom tool broke, weld more metal to it and try again. Note, the breaker bar may still not have enough leverage to take the nut off. Also note, your 1/2 inch drive ratchet may now be broken. Stay tuned for the completion of step 1.

Dec 23rd: A new WarP 9 motor arrived and is now waiting for a vacancy under the hood.
Dec 29th: Today is the day to remove the engine. We were surprised to find that 2 or 3 of the bellhousing bolts were loose! I guess that's why there are 6? Here we are pondering how to get the last bolt out that's invariably not easy to reach and quite tight. The best part about all this is I had a guy lined up to pick up the engine one day later so it didn't have to take up half my garage for a month!

Here's my nephew helping out with the engine removal.

320 lb of motor.  That's about the same weight as my future battery pack.  Amazingly, I had a guy lined up to pick it up the next day!  He'd paid me a deposit a week earlier.  Not having to store this thing in my garage for a month put a big smile on my face.  Thanks to my brother, Cameron, my friend, Nick, and my wife for helping me out here!

Dec 31st: Realized the front wheel bearings are loose so I'll add that to the "to do" list.
Jan 1st: Brake repair Step 1 part 3: Need more leverage? Buy a 25 inch breaker bar! Ok, got that and it was too flexible. Felt like it was going to snap and damage me and the car in the process. A week of penetrating oil, heat, banging, and bouncing on it any the nut is still stuck.
Step 1 part 4: My dad found a 24 inch pipe wrench hiding in the barn. After 17 days of messing with this it finally came off with the help of an 18 inch pipe extension! Now what was I doing that needed that nut off?
Oh yeah, I finally got the rear brakes apart so I can hopefully extract that bleeder screw.
Jan 2nd: Bleeder screw is out and a new one is in there. Hopefully the brakes will be in good order after bleeding them one last time.

Jan 7th: Readjusted and repacked the wheel bearings. Also, now BOTH of my ratchets are broken!

Jan 6th: I think I have the motor coupler all figured out. Now I just have to buy a block of steel and relearn how to use a lathe. The first of many trips to the metal store is on the horizon!

Jan 12th: You would never have imagined this possible, but I found a guy on craigslist who wanted to trade the exhaust for 35 feet of 2/0 power cable and a bag of terminals that he had lying around!  I've sold everything but the radiator and the fuel tank at this point.

Jan 14th: I've started working on the motor coupler.  This piece is interesting enough (to me) that I think I'll make an entire post to talk about it.  It's amazing the amount of thought that has to go into making this piece.  Stay tuned for more on this one.

Jan 15th: I finally started working on removing the fuel tank.  I avoided it until now because it requires removing the transaxle.  For those of you who are like me and didn't know what that is, if the transmission and differential are combined into one housing it's called a transaxle.  I had to stop working on removing the axles because they require a special 12 point torx bit.  Luckily my neighbor is going to bring me one from work tomorrow.

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