Sunday, July 22, 2012

Landing the Tub

I couldn't stand myself.  Since I had the engine running this morning, there was no stopping me from positioning the tub back on the chassis.  Its been maybe six, seven or eight months since I removed it.  I justified doing it today in order to "free up all of that space" in the garage that a tub leaning on its side takes up in a garage.  Jack helped me remove the tub all those months ago, so it was only natural that I request his services this afternoon to help the old man , once again.  Besides, it got him out of having to take a nap.

Step 1:  Move things around the garage so I could roll the tub into position.
Step 2:  Lower tub tub so it sits on four jack stands behind the chassis.
Step 3  Rig up the straps so the crane can lift it.
Step 4:  Push chassis beneath suspended tub.
Step 5:  Push the chassis, lower the tub, push the chassis, lower the tub and do a lot of wiggling   down the steering column.

A few precautions I took before hand:  I had to remove the transmission shift lever, as well as the two transfer case levers, and I also place a rag at the top of the steering column in a vain effort to not have the tub scratch the column while it was lowered into its resting place. 

Primed and ready to go...almost.  I had the crane bar too far forward and the front end went up and the rear went down. 
We had to lower it, reposition more towards the center of the tub and then lift away.

Airborne!  So far, so good.

Coming in for the landing.  This is where the lower, push, lower, push wiggle game begins. 
Note the rag on the steering column.

A job well-done.  Yes, the salute is a bit backwards.  I think we do a lot of things backwards around here.  However, I am really pleased at how safely and efficiently Jack and I did this endeavor.
All in all, not too shabby for an idiot savant and his six-year old son!

As a follow-up to the engine startup.  I did find quite a few headbolts that were not tightened to the manual's specs.  Maybe there is a chance after all!

Engine: CRANK IT UP!

I've taken a bit of time away from the Rustbucket Resto in order to make a fairly large repair to the good jeep.  The transmission went kaput on the 4th of July.  In order to make the repair, I had to remove the transmission from the jeep and do a part replacement from the its internals.  The actual replacing part wasn't the difficult aspect, but instead it was all of the little things that had to be done in order to remove the transmission and then to reinstall it.  In the end (knock on wood!) the repair went well and last I knew, everything was fully functioning.  I was even able to drive it WITHOUT having to continueally hold second gear in place!  I hope it lasts a long while.

So today, I was able to return my attention back to the Rustbucket.  I had lost my momentum and had kind of forgotten where exactly I was in the rebuild process and what my next move would be.  I decided this morning to go for the gusto and start that sucker up. 

 I pushed it out into the driveway.   Although I wasn't expecting it to burst into flames, it was certainly a thought that lingered in the back areas of my mind.  No sense burning the house down, right?  The battery is on its last death throes.  A new one will be in its future, but for now, I hooked up the battery charger to it to give it a bit more "juice" while cranking.  I cleaned out the rubber gas line and spun the crank shaft for awhile so as to work the gas pump.  Gas seemed to be moving through the line, albeit slowly.  I ended up (not recommended) taking a huff from the hose to expedite the process.  I spat the gas out and hooked it up to the carb.  I also gave it a short squirt of starting fluid to "help" the old girl out.

I connected the lead from the coil to the battery and then began handcranking.   And handcranking.  And handcranking.  You'll see in the video that I stop after a few cranks and adjust the carb.  I opened up the choke butterfly just a touch in an effort to give it some more air.  I was afraid of flooding the carb with gas at this point.  I spun the hand crank a few more times and...

...she fired up!  There was an awful lot of white smoke puffing frm the exhaust.  One consideration is that I do not have the muffler attached.  Number two consideration is that the guy I bought it from said that he had dumped A LOT of oil into the engine for safe storage.  By the end of the running, I did notice that the smoke began to decrease dramatically.  I'm not too worried about it right now.  More of a concern was a little bit of seepage from the gasket below the head.  I might try tightening the head bolts a bit and check for proper torquing.  There might just be a new head gasket in this engine's future.

The other highlight of the startup was that the oil pressure gauge was reading between 20-25 lbs of pressure at idle.  Good stuff.

Almost 25lbs of oil pressure.  Not too shabby.
The only thing that I might address before putting the tub on the chassis will be to go back over the valve tappets.  I thought the engine wounded fine, but the more I listened, the more it may have begun to sound like a typewriter.  I figure it can't hurt any to at least double check the clearance.  All in all, it was a successful start-up!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bleeding the Brakes...and my insanity.

So it is Sunday.  I spent all of the morning and into the early part of this afternoon at work.  All I could daydream about was coming home and doing a little bit of relaxing in the garage while I attempt to "bleed" the brake lines of air bubbles.  Well, long story short, it was nothing at all like relaxation, unless one finds relaxation in the intense humidity of a South Carolina summer and swimming in Dot 5 silicone brake fluid.  Here is how I blundered my way through it.


Act I

I thought I would be clever and do a "solo" job on bleeding the brakes.  I read a technique published by "Gindi" on on how to do this without the use of any special tools.  Please note that this only works when installing new fluid throughout the lines.  One should never reuse used brake fluid.

I went to Lowes and bought a 6' long piece of clear tubing from the plumbing section.  I think it had an inner diameter of 1/4".  I actually brought in one of my spare brake lines to test it.  You connect one end of the tube onto the bleeder screw furthest from the master cylinder.  In my case, it was the rear passenger wheel.  Open up the bleeder screw and set the opposite end of the tube back into the master cylinder reservoir.  Slowly pump the brakes and watch the fluid slide through.  Keep an eye on the cylinder reservior making sure it never goes dry.  Watch for air bubbles in the tube coming out of the bleeder screw.  Once the air bubbles no longer come out and you see nothing but brake fluid in the tube, tighten the bleeder screw and proceed to the next furtherst bleeder screw.  All the while, the new brake fluid continues to empty back into the master cylinder reservoir. 

Easy peasy, especially with the tub off of the chassis.  I had a clear view of all four bleeder screws.

The set-up:  one end of the tube connected to the open bleeder screw
(in between the "s" tube to the inside of the tire)
and the other end of the tube in the master cylinder reservoir.

A close-up shot of tube on the bleeder screw.  At this point, it is clear brake fluid without any air bubbles.
Thank you to Gindi for the advice on how to do this by myself and poo-poo to the old man at Lowes that said I was a fool for trying it.  Well, I may be a fool, but it is because of other things.  Remember, this "trick" should only be done when installing all new brake fluid.  DO NOT DO IT WITH OLD, USED FLUID.  Over time, brake fluid likes to collect water molecules, so the brake system needs to be flushed every few years or so.  I went with the Dot 5 silicone because it supposedly resists the water molecules longer (so longer time between flushing) and it seems to be gentler on painted parts if it spills.

OK, so according to this blog, everything went smoothly.  Well, ha-ha, the joke is on me.  It did not go according to my plan.  Here is where I went wrong and hopefully the next dumb joker that attempts this (which will be me, I am sure) will read these notes and avoid this one major pitfall:



Act II

I would have bet (if I were a betting man) hefty sums of money that I had already confirmed and re-confirmed the tightening of all of the tube connections.  Evidently, I hadn't because as I was slowly pumping my brakes, I saw puddle after puddle after puddle expanding on my garage floor!  I was furious.  (ask my wife when she popped out to ask a question!)  Everywhere I looked there was dripping brake fluid.  I seriously thought that I had made sure that I had tightened the brake lines some time ago.  Even before I began to pour the fluid into the reservoir I thought to myself that I should re-check the connections.  I talked myself out of it because I was that confident that I had already done it.  Sabatoage maybe?

So, for an hour or so I crawled around in the puddles of fluid with my slippery wrenches trying to tighten all of the connections.  The worse one was at the base of the master cylinder, itself.  I had to remove the heat shield AND the steering column to adequately get to that one!

Knock on wood, I think it is done leaking.  I have kitty litter spread across the floor soaking it up right now.

Now, this isn't the end all be all of all definitive tests, but the brake pedal offered a pretty stiff resistance when pressed and I couldn't roll the jeep manually.  Now that doesn't say anything for the stopping power of a moving jeep at 45 MPH, but it does say something that if it is broken down and somebody is pushing me, I can stop it from rolling away!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Starter Ups and Emotional Roller Coaster!

Truthfully speaking, I am extremely excited to try and get the engine running, but at the same time I am fearful that it won't.  Yeah, that makes no sense at all!  I know. 
My good jeep went out of commission on Wednesday afternoon, so I have been down in the dumps about that one, too.  The transmission finally got stuck half in and half out of second gear.  It has ALWAYS had issues with second (like so many other jeeps) and finally it crapped out.  I singled the issue down to one of the synchronizer plates jumped out, thus not allowing any shifting to take place.  It took me about a day to narrow it down to that.  I have since decided now is the time to fix it (hopefully once and for all!) and new parts are now on the way.  Although that jeep isn't a part of the "Rustbucket" collection, I may just write about that torturous experience later.
Back to today's events...
I have returned to the scene of a previous disappointment...the starter cranking motor.  Previously, I haven't been able to get much, if any, action out of the THREE starters I have laying around.  The biggest issue I have had with them is trying to figure out if they are 6 volts or 12 volts.  I am setting this jeep up to be in its original 6 volt system, so Murphy's Law will determine them all to be 12 volt starters.
I am borrowing Jeff's Technical Manual 9-1825B Electrical Equipment (Autolite) to guide me throught the trouble shooting  process, since my first attempt a few weeks ago ended in a bust.
Starter #1 and the trusty (original) TM 9-1825B
Here is how starter #1 went down:
I disassembled it (again) and performed a series of tests that were practically identical with how I troubleshooted the generator (Spinning Genny 1/4/12).  I used the multimeter and checked for open lines and shorts in the case and the brushes on the top cover.  Everything checked out perfectly.  The internal brushes showed continuity to the positive screw connection; the same two brushes did not show a connection to the case; and the two insulated brush holders on the top cover showed no connection to the cover; and finally the two unisulated brushes showed continuity.  All is well.
I then measured the tension on the springs that hold the brushes against the commutator.  The manual says new springs should read between 42-53 ounces.  I came up with about 24.  I replaced them with my old springs from the good jeep.  They registered around 36 ounces.  That was better and should be fine for awhile.
Checking the tension on the replacement spring.  The reading is taken at the moment the spring allows the brush to be removed from the commutator.  New springs register between 42-53 ounces of tension, used springs should be slightly less.  This used replacement appears to be around 36 ounces.  This isn't great, but better than the 24 ounces I had on the others.
I then went through the armature (picture down below) and the commutator looking for shorts and none appeared.  Great.  It looks perfect.  Lets put it back together and make it spin.  I do it and all I get is a spark or two.  Hmmm.  I thought that perhaps I put the brushes in the the wrong holders.  No, I was correct in the install. 
That is when I saw my rookie mistake!  It was the exact same problem that got me when I fixed David's generator:  some of the insulation for one of the internal coil wires had been rubbed away, thus exposing some of the copper wire to the case.  This created a short.  I did not discover it when I checked with the multimeter because the wires were not connected to the brush holders.  Instead they were free and pointing upright.  When they are attached, they get crooked and cramped inside the case and this is when the exposed copper wire would short out against the case!  Bingo.
The exposed wire is shown.  It directly above the bottom of the rectangle opening.  When fitted into place, the exposed section would contact the internal metal of the case and cause a short.  I wrapped it up with friction tape.

I reassembled it all and tested it.  I got nothing against the battery charger at 6 volts.  However, when I switched it to 12 volts, it spun quite powerfully.  Now I'm thinking "Darn-  IT IS A 12 VOLT STARTER!"  It is fixed, but I can't use it.  I set it aside and move on to the next one.

Starter #2:
The next one had its own set of issues.  It looks to be in fine shape, though.  On the exterior of the case, it is stamped "REBUILT 4-23-86".  Internally, it looks GREAT!  Everything seems clean and all of the wires look secured.  Why the hell won't it work??  I went through all of the prescribed tests and everything checked out.  However, when I reassembled it, it would not spin at all-neither manually by hand or hooked up to a battery.  Upon a closer examination, I discovered that one of the bolts that attaches the Bendix Drive to the end of the shaft was a bit large.  As a matter of fact, it was so large that it would bind in the interior of the casing.  A-HA!  No wonder it won't spin:  there isn't enough room for the bolt in there.  Well played, sir, whoever you might be that rebuilt this starter back in '86!
I didn't have a spare bolt to fit, so I removed the oversized felon and grinded it down a bit on the bench grinder.  It seems like I took a lot off the top of it, but it still wouldn't fit properly inside the case.  I decided that since the Bendix is the wrong kind for my flywheel (and I have the proper sized one on order), I would remove it, assemble the starter and then test it to see if I can at least make it spin.

Wrong Bendix Drive with the massively oversized bolt that would bind inside the case.
 Oversized nut is on the upper right, just in case you don't see it.
Well, when it was hooked up to the power source, I got nothing.  Well, almost nothing.  It, too, would spin decently with 12 volts from a battery charger, but at six volts, it was quite dead.  Or was it?  It was moving, but barely.  Now that made me think:  Can a 6 volt battery make a 12 volt starter all?  Probably not.  So, perhaps this is a six volt starter. 
I disconnected it and tried turning it by hand.  It felt tight.  Perhaps when it was rebuilt, the four internal coils were not screwed in far enough into the case, thus they are sitcking out a millimeter too far and creating the resistance to turning?  It is a possible thought.  I tried tightening the four screws to the coils, but it was a fruitless endeavor.  I kind of anticipated that before I attempted.  Those screws will not budge.  Next, I diassembled the starter.
I wish I had taken a picture at what I had found, but I didn't.  When I pulled the armature out, it looked like there was a build up of some sort of sticky dirt/grease substance all around it.  I took some fine sandpaper and went around it, making it look quite shiny.  Hoping against hope, I hoped that I had removed enough "stuff" to free up the spinning action.  I reassembled it and tried it manually with my hand.  It did seem to spin easier, or maybe that was just my hope being hopeful.
Just so you know what the heck I am referring to, this is an armature.  However, it is not THE armature I am working on.  After I cleaned up the correct armature, I assembled it.  And then I thought, "Man, I shouldn've taken a picture."  This is another one that is sitting on the workbench.  The area that I sanded are the many horizontal silver rectangles along the fat part of the piece.

This is the aftermath of my sanding.  The sandpaper was new and all of the black funk came off of the armature.
I hooked the starter up to the battery charger and it really didn't do anything at all.  I switched it over to 12 volts and it spun faster than the other one!  I then read online that battery chargers sometimes do not deliver enough amps to make it spin and that it will often appear that it has a short.  I took a pair of cables and attached the starter to my 6-volt battery and...

...IT WORKED ON 6-VOLTS! Now, I need to get that new Bendix...