Gassed - another MAW disaster?

Old September 6th, 2013, 04:30 PM
  #801  
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Starter Rebuild

Since I was cleaning up under the car I decided to remove and refurbish the starter. What a beauty huh?

Still in the car looking oily


Out of the car looking cruddy



So one of the first things I now have learned? Use a parts cleaner solvent to clean the grease and yuck, not a sandblaster. You saw the results of that. Once I cleaned up everything with air and about 3 cans of brake clean this is what I had.



TIP: SMALL PARTS - IMMEDIATELY store them where they won't get lost. That's what happened to the clip that holds the bendix clevis. Fortunately I was able to find a suitable replacement at Home Depot

My bushings are in really good shape, but the brushes were at least 1/2 worn. They apparently were the originals and are Delco Remy. I took this pic just for documentation and comparison of the replacements.


Brushes are fairly easy to install. Pull the pin that holds the brush pivots and spring. Everything will fall right out. Do one side at a time just so you don't forget how it's supposed to look. The brushes are held in place simply by flat blade screws. The metal pivots I put in the sandblaster and cleaned up for better conductivity. They would have been fine anyway.

Pics help a lot when you're trying to remember how things were 'before'.
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Old September 6th, 2013, 05:00 PM
  #802  
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I bought a starter rebuild kit from Part Source (Advance in US). It's a Victory Lap product - made in USA. I decided to use the new bendix and brushes only. To do that I needed to get the keeper and spring off the stator shaft. Drive the spring retainer back toward the bendix with a deep socket. This will expose the spring. It's a beeatch to get the spring off, but a good screwdriver will eventually get it. Ka sproing !!! You'll never find it so it's a good thing there's a replacement one in the kit.


With the bendix removed you can see the helical paths it runs on. Clean these grooves out - they have some built up grease from the factory. Brake clean or WD40 works.



Installing the new bendix is not terrible. First put a small amount of lube on the stator shaft (I used a small dab of white lithium grease). Slide the bendix on.

Now hold the stator upright and put the upper half of the spring retainer on the shaft. Now press the spring over the stator shaft till it seats in the machined groove. Place the lower half of the spring retainer on the shaft and use needle nose pliers to press the upper/lower and spring together. I couldn't get the lower half of the spring retainer to lock in, there must be some voodoo magic to do that.

Flip the stator around and use some 600 or emery cloth to clean the commutator. Any old carbon deposits from the brushes need to be removed. I also used a small flatblade to channel in between the commutator copper leads.

I put a small amount of lithium grease on the end of the stator shaft and installed the lower end of the stator into the solenoid throw,then into the bushing.

Now fit the barrel of the starter over the stator and gently pull the springs on the brushes back to let them seat on the commutator. Install the leather bushing on the top of the commutator and then a small dab of grease on the stator shaft before installing the end cap. Install the 2 long bolts and snug down till tight.

Install the solenoid and this starter is ready for service. Learning how to do this was not hard. There were some frustrating places where I had to figure out the mechanical processes but now that it's done I am confident I can do another starter in way less time with a lot more confidence. Good thing is this starter will out live me now.



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Old September 7th, 2013, 07:20 AM
  #803  
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Nice! Looks brand new.
Man, you really are into starters!

Interested in how the starter brace lines back up. Mine wont line back up just right at the eng block side. I wonder if I need to loosen the starter to give some play / wiggle room to get the bolt started.
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Old September 7th, 2013, 07:29 AM
  #804  
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Ps...btw, I thought you already pulled and restored the starter????
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Old September 7th, 2013, 08:40 AM
  #805  
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Originally Posted by JCMC64 View Post
Ps...btw, I thought you already pulled and restored the starter????
Thanks Jim. It does look like new, and should work like new too. Nope, just pulled it and sandblasted it. My oops. It's been sitting for awhile till I was ready to install. It was hard to take some pics of the rebuild because both hands were busy holding that sucker, and some of it is just intuitive anyway.

I will take pics of the starter when it's installed and let you know how the brace fits. I don't expect there to be any issues with it though.
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Old September 9th, 2013, 09:28 PM
  #806  
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When are we going to see this car burn some rubber
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Old September 10th, 2013, 09:45 AM
  #807  
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Yesterday didn't go as well as planned. I tried to find some of the snap ring clamps that GM used on these cars but NO ONE here has them. Stupid thing is I only really need 1 for the fuel line connection to the gas tank. Wasted the better part of 3 1/2 hours driving around to different parts stores that all said they 'had them'. I'll likely end up just using worm clamps because I don't want to wait 3 weeks for a parts shipment from the US.

Test fitted the starter yesterday. It mounted in nicely and no issues with the brace. I took it back out since I also have to hook up the electrical connections. That's going to be fun. Need to jury rig a support to hold the starter while I attach all the wiring. After I test fitted the starter, I looked at the + wire tube and decided it needed cleaning. I know it's only a fibreglass wrapped tube so I had to be careful. There's some degree of pitting from blasting, but it's structurally solid and properly bolted in place now.




Next thing was replacing the 2 rubber fuel hoses from the main line to the fuel pump. To get that on a non AC car means taking out the alternator. No point in doing just the hose so I also took the bracket off and cleaned/painted it before reinstalling. I noted that the fuel pump 'in' line is not horizontal like the repros. It's slanted slightly downward to pick up the fuel hose. The pump is still working just fine so I don't think it's going to be replaced, maybe just the gasket. That will be after I pull the pump to check the timing chain. Also plan to replace the fuel line from pump to carb as it was cut in the past and a rubber line installed to the carb filter.





Pretty cool - you can now see the foundry castings and part number...


Kind of blurry but looks ok. I'm not worried about getting the front of the engine and fuel pump looking pretty right now - that's another adventure for later when the cooling system gets upgraded. To make it easier on removal I lightly coated the 3 9/16" bolts with anti seize and tightened them in. The alternator is a 63 amp DN plug with external regulator. It'll need to be that much for all the power accessories that are going in.



The little tiny connection between the main fuel line and line though the front frame required me to take the clip holding the canister line and fuel line off. Then the fuel line is easier to access. The hose was so tight and old I had to cut it. Ooooops! Didn't think there would still be fuel in that line but there was! About 1/2 cup or so spilled onto the floor. Sopped it all up with some shop towels. I cut a new piece of 3/8 hose a bit longer and installed/clamped it. Then re-installed the newly cleaned up bolt and line clip.
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Old September 10th, 2013, 07:50 PM
  #808  
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Today the rear end control arms got torqued. Jacked the car up and put it back down on the axle. This means having to remove the sway bar. Got all the CA bolts torqued except the ones on the back of the rear cross brace. I need a deep socket for that one, so I'll buy one tomorrow and finish it off.

The rear brakes were taken apart and the refurbished OEM e brake cables installed. Anyone who wants a non used set of repop brake cables from ILT send me a PM.

Once that last set of CA bushings is torqued, I'll remove the rear bumper and install the gas tank. Bumper needs to have the lights installed.

So Roger? Could be soon.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 10:34 AM
  #809  
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Gassed - the final chapters

Chapter 1 of 3

Last year I ordered the wrong fuel sender (with return line) instead of the single line. It would have cost more to send it back and get the new one so I crimped the return line and soldered it shut. Then I put a rubber cap on the line just so it was cosmetically sealed.

I didn't like the way the ground was attached - it would have to make a right angle turn and go back to the front of the tank. Doing that also means the ground strap would be short of it's connection point. I removed the wire and discarded it in favor of the OEM wire I had kept and cleaned up (which was also slightly longer and had a better ground connection) and tried soldering it on the other way. The solder joint wouldn't hold to the plated metal though and quickly came off. So I drilled the tab for the ground, looped the wire through and soldered the connection closed.



After adding the sender wire, I noticed the flange around the sender had the potential to eventually rub the wiring through (not likely in my lifetime though) so I added some extra protection to prevent that. 2 small sections of wiper hose were split and added to the wiring.



Although 1972 models didn't come with a gas tank pad, I ordered one from Patton Glade (70Post on this site). It fits the tank really well. Not sure why GM ditched that feature unless it was to cut down on weight. The pad is around 7lbs. Shameless plug: I recommend Patton to anyone who reads this - he's a very knowledgeable and helpful guy.



Whoever said installing gas tanks was easy needs to have their head examined. It was a PITA especially working alone. So I called my bride to help with lifting the tank on the jack. Between the 2 of us (her operating the jack) and me crawling under and lining up the tank and fastening it, we got it done! I'm afraid I used some choice language she probably didn't want to hear when I was trying to line up the front tank strap bolts. I have a replacement sender wire plastic strap from Patton that I'll replace the OEM one with.



The straps will not appear to fit right on a replacement tank, I don't know how they will line up with just re-installing your stock tank but I think it would be close. Anyway, in my case the straps appeared to be way out of whack once I got the front bolts started. Handy tip: Air ratchet with long extension will make short work of snugging down those straps. I set my line pressure to around 95 psi and the ratchet did the rest. As the tension on the bolts increases, the straps flatten out to the contour of the tank. I guess that when I was shifting the tank around a bit the tank pad shifted too. I'm not undoing anything to straighten it though. Chances are some of them from the factory got installed the same way.

I was SOOOOO Tempted.....I have a really nice scan of a 1972 Cutlass S Build sheet (Freemont of course) that I considered printing and putting on top of the tank just for kicks and giggles. But I didn't



Next Chapter - The Cutout Bumper Install
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Old September 13th, 2013, 10:47 AM
  #810  
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post

After adding the sender wire, I noticed the flange around the sender had the potential to eventually rub the wiring through (not likely in my lifetime though) so I added some extra protection to prevent that. 2 small sections of wiper hose were split and added to the wiring.
Damn, good idea...wish I would of thought of that.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 03:59 PM
  #811  
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Second last chapter... and counting.....ar ar ar ar ar

Since all the fitment issues with lining up the bumper were completed earlier the install went quite smoothly. I now have a car that looks like a 72 Cutlass from behind, except it has that nice shiny gas tank and W27 fake axle housing. I LIKE IT!

Getting the light pods/rock guards, back up and tag lights installed went pretty smoothly. This bumper is a Tamraz special I paid 385.00 for 5 years ago. It's really nice quality and the fitment is as good as OEM. Even the tabs for the lights were as good as OEM - no adjustments required.

If you remember back to when I was cleaning up the light buckets, I cut the wires at the end by the contacts. I did that because I didn't want the harness in the way when I was bead blasting it and painting. Now that's all in the background so I needed to put the wires back together. I stripped the wire back, put a section of color shrink tube on the end and jammed the 2 ends together so they'd bind. Didn't want to wind them because this wire has to fit in the hole for the socket. Oh, I should mention this was being done AFTER it was fed through the socket holes. Flux, solder and the wire is now 1 solid piece


Push the shrink tube up to the end of the contact and briefly torch it. Sorry - a little blurry but you get the idea. Note: Always do a pull test to check the strength of your repair. These 2 were rock solid.


Install the light buckets and rock guards on both sides. Don't forget to attach those little wire clips that hold the wires. I should note that the wire plugs that go through the trunk lip were in excellent and very pliable - so were the boots that fit over the socket on the light buckets. One of the advantages of the cold weather up here I guess. More likely a benefit of having stored this car inside for most of its life.


The center section - attach the tag light, back up lights and license plate door.


Remember the little rubber fittings that go into the quarter panel recess? I bought new ones because my old ones were toast. I had some difficulty trying to keep them from falling out during the test fitting so I decided to glue them in place now with some 3M weatherstrip glue. That stuff really works. Anyway the bumper is now wired and ready to have the light bulbs, diffusers and lenses installed on the flip side.

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Old September 13th, 2013, 04:28 PM
  #812  
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Chapter 2 - the bumper saga completed

I remember that Eric (oldcutlass) had commented on the rear bumper recess having paint overspray on it. Yes sir, it did. Not any more. One more little detail to clean up before the bumper is installed. I sanded down the rear lower outside trunk pan with 180, then 100 paper. This is an area no one is going to see so I didn't get nit picky about it. Remember to remove the quarter panel reveal trim before priming and painting. I used a generic silver that I used on the rock guards. It's dang close to the color of the car. After it was dry, I sprayed some clear over it. That actually darkened the color ever so slightly and it's very difficult to see the blend lines. I used a blend technique I saw on Powerblock. Don't press the edge of the tape flat in the blend area - leave it extended. The spray mist will gently swirl in behind it and create a nice even mist making it a smoother transition. Clearing afterwards makes the blend impossible to see. It took a couple hours to complete a simple task like this. You can see the difference if you scroll back about 3 or 4 posts..


I carefully cleaned the lenses and diffusers while the paint and clear were drying. The lenses had gotten some paint chipped from storage, but it wasn't bad enough to get bent out of shape over. It still bugged me because they were NOS lenses. I used some Maguires Plastix to polish the exterior lenses before installing them. FWIW, I re-used my rubber OEM gaskets instead of the foam crap that's sold nowadays. The rubber silicone gaskets provide a much better seal and they cleaned up really nice using some oven cleaner. Unlike folks who live in the heat, my gaskets were very soft and pliable - just needed to have the dirt cleaned off.

After removing the masking from the rear of the car, I carefully taped off the quarter inserts where the bumper might contact it. Got the missus to come down and help hold the bumper in place while I went under the car and lined up the bolts/washers/nuts. Took only about 10 minutes to mount, check for center and then lash down the nuts. So now the back of the car looks like a 72 Cutlass again!! Don't worry about the downpipes. They're coming off when the new exhaust goes on. That will be a different thread though.



Side view passenger


Side view driver


Started putting the deck lid trim back on just before taking these pics. I was worried the reveal trim wouldn't show up with chrome and silver being non contrast colors. I think it will become more noticeable when I add the deck lid striping. The gap on the bumper is really nice and uniform.



I'm very happy with the way this bumper turned out. I'm also a lot surprised that I got it to fit better than a GM bodyman when the car was sprayed 27 years ago. But then I guess the major difference is I really love this car and care about how it's put together. LOL - no leftover parts unless you count the junk that shouldn't have been on it in the first place.

So that leaves only Chapter 3 to go and this thread is a wrap. Not today though....it's all the little detail stuff. And Jim? I haven't forgotten, I'll post pics of the starter install for you as part of the final chapter.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 07:49 PM
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Wow, things are looking very good Allan.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 09:19 PM
  #814  
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Let us know when you finally put some gas in that new tank, AND DRIVE IT !!
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Old September 14th, 2013, 05:24 AM
  #815  
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Awesome
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Old September 14th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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Outstanding,very impressed,and a tad jealous...all at the same time.Great job.Good luck and enjoy it often.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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Allen, very nice! I hope to have mine sitting on rubber again by the end of the month... It won't be pretty like yours though!
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Old September 14th, 2013, 12:05 PM
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Let's start a pool quessing the date Allan drives her.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Jamesbo View Post
Let's start a pool quessing the date Allan drives her.

I guess may 1st of next year, It is going to start snowing up there next week.

Larry
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Old September 14th, 2013, 07:29 PM
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Looking good Allan!
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Old September 14th, 2013, 07:47 PM
  #821  
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Thanks for the kind words everyone.

Originally Posted by Jamesbo View Post
Let's start a pool quessing the date Allan drives her.
Does it count if I just sit in the drivers seat and make vrrooom, screech and waaaahhhhhhhhh noises???

Do I get to guess the date too? And what do I win if I'm right.

Larry? Don't be trash talking like that. I just checked with the Easter bunny, Great Pumpkin and Santa and they all said no snow till November this year.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 08:50 PM
  #822  
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Does it count if I just sit in the drivers seat and make vrrooom, screech and waaaahhhhhhhhh noises???
Ok in my book, just don't let the neighbors see you doing that.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 09:17 PM
  #823  
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Very nice, my friend...I'd love to help guide you out onto the driveway for the test run in a few days! Bil
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Old September 15th, 2013, 06:33 PM
  #824  
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Gassed - the final chapter!

Well it's been a long road and the gas station is just down the street. My car is ready for a fill up. But first, here's the final instalment.

When I did the starter, I was pretty sure the solenoid was ok so I didn't touch it. However after re-reading Charlie Jones comments I decided to take it apart and check it out. Glad I did.

I was very careful undoing the phenolic cover. It appears that all the contacts are almost idiot proof for re-assembly (sort of). The copper contact here has been removed, cleaned and reinstalled.


The copper parts inside were a little shabby looking so they got cleaned up. The copper disc was somewhat pitted after 120K


so I cleaned it with some 400 grit paper to smooth it out. Cleaned up nicely. This solenoid should last for another good bit of time. LOL who am I kidding - it's an electrical part.


I was very careful reassembling the bolts and nuts to the phenolic cover. Got it all back together and properly tightened without cracking or damaging the cover. I used a bit of locktite blue on the 2 main bolts that hold the cover to the solenoid magnet and that should improve the chances of it not coming apart. Once the solenoid was assembled, I attached it to the starter, then installed the starter in the car and tested it. Worked perfectly. THEN I found the dang little spring that holds pressure on that copper disc on my workbench..dammit! Had to remove the starter and fixit. I'm getting pretty good times at removal/repair and reinstall the starter...

I supported the starter with a 4x6 block of wood that was just the right height standing on end. That allowed me both hands to reach up and connect the starter leads. The wire on the right is so close to the exhaust (even with heat tape on it) it can get burned. The routing for this wire isn't to the side -as it looks in this picture, it's almost vertically down so it misses the exhaust by about 3/4". These leads use 11/32" nuts and the main one is 9/16".


The starter installed very easily. Doesn't take much effort to hold the unit up and get one of the bolts threaded. Then just switch over to the other side and thread it. After the starter bolts are snugged down, install the starter brace. It uses a 1/2" nut/washer at the starter end, and a 9/16" bolt where it attaches to the block. Make sure the wiring harness runs properly between the solenoid and starter. Do NOT pinch the harness with the starter brace or you'll have trouble. Now install the flywheel inspection cover (4x 1/2" bolts) and you're done with this baby.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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It's been a labor of love

Last thing I did was clean/polish and install the remaining deck lid trim. I bought the ILT replacement SS trim screws and they work perfectly. They also have the plastic washer that keeps the stainless from reacting to moisture when there's steel to steel contact. Looks better than when it came from the factory IMO. Now I just have to bleed the brakes now - but that doesn't need to be part of this thread. What an adventure and learning experience this has been. I'd do it all over again if the opportunity presented itself.

Here she is all buttoned down now with her new rear end, suspension, brake lines, bumper. Frame has all been sanded down and painted, same with the bottom of the car. I even laid on the ground and cleaned up the bottom of the rockers. Now to put on the tires and get her to the shop for new exhaust and alignment.


I know it's going to get dirty sooner or later, but I'm pushing for 'later'.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed and motivated me through this build.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 06:59 PM
  #826  
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Now to put on the tires and get her to the shop for new exhaust
Why not get an OEM style exhaust from ILT? I know a guy around here with a 70 w-30 that just installed one and it fit like a glove.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 07:18 PM
  #827  
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Pricing is one thing. Shipping is another - and it's killer for oversized stuff like this. I can get a custom stainless exhaust for a lot less at the shop I usually deal with. ILT has some great products, but their OEM exhaust for an N10 system includes the downturned exhaust and I'm putting on trumpets.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 07:46 PM
  #828  
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Is that dirt on the oil pan bolt? Jeebus! Kidding

I was going to mention about cleaning up that copper wheel on the starter but you got to it. The older starters allowed you to remove that wheel and flip it upside down presenting an unused face to the contacts. I see yours has a staked end though.

Looks great Allan. You did a fantastic job.
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Old September 15th, 2013, 07:55 PM
  #829  
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Originally Posted by Allan R View Post
Pricing is one thing. Shipping is another - and it's killer for oversized stuff like this. I can get a custom stainless exhaust for a lot less at the shop I usually deal with. ILT has some great products, but their OEM exhaust for an N10 system includes the downturned exhaust and I'm putting on trumpets.
I thought they also had one for a rallye 350 or W-31 that is basically an N10 exhaust with sexy exhaust tips.

I hear ya on shipping..

So this shop will do stainless for less than 600? thats pretty snazzy
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Old September 19th, 2013, 07:07 PM
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awesome job on this...looks great
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Old September 19th, 2013, 07:57 PM
  #831  
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Originally Posted by TripDeuces View Post
Is that dirt on the oil pan bolt? Jeebus! Kidding
Thanks Trip! Yeah, there is still a bit of dirt and crap that didn't get cleaned up, but it's a 100 times better than it was before. I got really soaked cleaning that with degreaser and spraying hot water on the bottom of the block and engine cradle. It'll pass muster for now. What I wasn't expecting though? Take a look at this wallop the oil pan took at some point in time. I know it wasn't me who did it. Just to the right of the obvious dent - in front of the drain plug it's caved in about an inch or so over a 3" diameter. Hard to show in this pic. I'm surprised it didn't tear a hole in the pan.

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Old September 19th, 2013, 09:04 PM
  #832  
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Allen , you should see the giant dent in my oil pan . I bet it's close to if not hitting the oil pump ..... BTW outstanding job !
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Old September 20th, 2013, 03:00 AM
  #833  
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They all look like that. Rocks or something find them one way or another.

- Eric
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Old September 24th, 2013, 05:37 AM
  #834  
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This is a great thread Allan. Impeccable attention to detail. Now I'm patiently waiting for your first drive impression. I hope it puts a big smile on your face.
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Old September 29th, 2013, 08:59 PM
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waiting......waiting....zzzzzzzzz....lol Lets see some video of this car on the road Allan.

I want to know how the gear change in the rear axil works for you
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Old May 30th, 2014, 04:52 AM
  #836  
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Well its been a while , just thought i'd say hey.
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Old May 30th, 2014, 05:26 AM
  #837  
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Yup, where are ya Allan?
Searching for that 455?
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Old May 30th, 2014, 10:39 AM
  #838  
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Hi guys. Nope, it's just been a crappy spring. Gotta go back and revisit the RF brake line/hose. Developed a leak over the winter. Also the rear trans seal decided to let go so I have to pop that out and replace. Might as well pull the trans pan at the same time and replace the filter and change the speedo gear. The adventure will continue but likely in a different thread.

Ted, ya got any 72 455s with GA heads and short tail TH400's floating around?? Always wanted the 455 in this car, but I kind of hate to take out the original engine and trans.
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