Saturday, January 28, 2012

Heater almost out, door skins ordered

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I went back to removing the heater. Removed the plastic flex tubing, one clamp each side (one end not clamped). Disconnected the wires from the brake light switch. Removed the fan motor, which does not turn. Removed the four 10mm nuts that should have released the heater. Had to tap with hammer and pry with screwdriver, finally came free. But not out.

Some of the heater control cables run over the bar that sports the glove box. The bar is attached with brackets, with two Phillips head screws on the outboard end. One screw is frozen. It does not look rusted, so the problem is probably whatever it is screwed into. Even an impact tool would not budge it. Shot it with PB Blaster and called it a day.

Last week I sent some money to England for new door skins. Shipping what it is these says I'll be lucky if they arrive by spring.

The Lotus is going to need a new water pump. A big job on that motor. I would like to have the doors fixed on the E9 before I push it outside to make room for the Lotus this summer.
posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lotus at BCCH tech day, hard starting diagnosed

I volunteered my Lotus for the January BCCH tech session. We met at the Boys Club on the 21st, which was perfect for me because Patrick works on his cars there. Patrick has just restored a Jag, but he also has three Europas under restoration. (See, I'm not so crazy!)

My main issue was the hard starting. Ever since I put the car back on the road it has been hard to start. When I turn the key the starter makes a lot of noise, but it is reluctant to catch.

My original cure was to replace the original starter with a geared down Denso, specially prepared for the Twin Cam. I got mine from Dave Bean. Still had the catch problem, but it cranked with a lot more authority.

Every once in a while I noticed another thing. The starter would not turn the engine over at all. The only sign of action was the pitch coming from the Holly fuel pump dropped a bit. Wait a bit and it would be back to normal.

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All this time I thought I had a bad ground or a faulty relay. Saturday's session revealed two things. First, the starter is being cooked by the exhaust pipe that runs directly under it, which causes it to stick. Once it cools, it comes back to life. I wrapped the starter in a heat shield for just this reason, but to do it right I need to fabricate one out of aluminum. Second, the teeth on the flywheel ring gear are hammered flat, making it difficult for the pinion to engage. The rattling sound is the pinion bouncing back and forth.

At this point I need to mention that lately the engine has been making a noise that sounds like a failing water pump. Could be the timing chain tensioner, but the water pump is much more likely. To fix that I will need to pull the engine and transmission, remove the head and oil pan.  (Did that back around 1979, just before the car went into the barn.) Time to restore the engine color back to the proper grey. New clutch and throw-out bearing. New timing chain. Install the new coolant pipes I bought a few years back. There goes my summer.

I want to thank all the guys from BCCH who participated in chasing after this daemon. Special thanks to Patrick, a wealth of knowledge. Good pizza, too.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Heater blower, part 1

I started on deconstructing the dash and glove box area in order to safely repair the rust-throughs at the rear of the engine compartment. Having gotten this far I decided I should extend my reach by removing the hard plastic coating in that location (same stuff as on the floor?) and to the rust breaking out around the blower motor mount.

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According to the manual, removing the blower  requires removing the blower duct under the dash, and to do that requires removing some of the controls. Unfortunately the manual was not entirely clear as to what gets removed.

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The control panel was attached to brackets on each side with a single bolt, head facing outboard. I thought I needed to disconnect the control cables, and did disconnect one, but in the end I left the assembly in the car. The blower duct was coming apart at the upper seam on the LH side. Looks like it can be glued.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

RH front floorpan out, more underneath

After spending so much time removing that mystery goo from the passenger side front floor it turned out I needed to remove the entire patch panel. That's what I did today, and that piece of sheet metal will not be going back in.

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As I was drilling out pop rivets I realized the seat had to come out. One 10mm bolt at the front of each rail, one on the outboard rear, two on the inboard. So many things are missing a fastener on this car I wonder if there should have been two on both sides. Note bracket on inboard bolt that goes up from underneath.

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It is the nature of allure that what is hidden under a skirt is much more intriguing that what it is visible. I could say the same about this floor panel. When at last I had peeled off the patch panel the exposed surface seemed at first to be in terrible condition. After a few minutes poking around it turned out to be rather basic, if a bit rusty.

I was surprised to find so many layers of stuff underneath. A layer of rubbery plastic, reminds me of tar paper. Thin foam rubber. A thick layer (1/8 in.) of a black plastic that was poured on wet, looks like Bakelite. Under that is the original floor pan.

Have to find an efficient way to remove that coating.
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