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19744 Running  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 01-23-2014 03:46 am
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Tom Bradley
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Finally got enough together to get the engine running smoothly.  No oil leaks at last!  I completely redid the front suspension including the isolators between the subframe and the body.  They were in pretty bad shape.  I also redid the engine top end as well as the usual belts and hoses and such.  The getrag trans was redone by a transmission shop so hopefully it will be OK.

The current problem is the rear carb.  The engine only runs smoothly when I push down on the diaphragm assembly with the mixture adjusting screw.  Hopefully I will get this straightened out in a few days.

With luck I will get it roadworthy and registered in a couple of months.  Getting it back to where I am happy with it will probably take another year.

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 Posted: 04-05-2014 01:44 am
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Tom Bradley
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19744 is now street legal!  I finally got the drive train and front suspension good enough to take it to the DMV and get it registered.  I also got the front end aligned and was relieved when everything could be adjusted to within spec.  I always get worried when I do major amounts of work myself, no matter how careful I am.

 Unfortunately, after about 5 miles, the odometer stopped working.  Sigh.  I have been meaning to take out the instrument cluster, but have been putting it off because the wires are all routed behind the braces, so I have to remove everything from the instruments rather than simply disconnect the two plugs.

It turned out that the ratcheting mechanism that turns the odometer got gummed up after sitting so long so the metal worm gear wore down some of the gearing on the plastic gear.  I cleaned out the mechanism with WD-40 and rebuilt the worn gears with epoxy.  (See attached pic).  20 miles so far and it is still working.  Keeping my finger crossed.

While I was in there, I also replaced the (nonfunctioning) voltage stabilizer with a 12V regulator.  The gas gauge still reads high though.  Does anyone know what the proper voltage should be?  Looks like I may have to put in an adjustable regulator and fiddle around until the gas gauge reads right.

Next step is the rear suspension.  Most of the bushings look OK, but at least two need to be replaced.  Should be fun.

Attachment: odometer repair small.JPG (Downloaded 247 times)

Last edited on 04-05-2014 01:48 am by Tom Bradley

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 Posted: 04-07-2014 06:35 am
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subwoofer
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I believe 9V is the correct output voltage for the stabilizer.

--
Joachim

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 Posted: 04-09-2014 01:13 pm
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George
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You can also use a semiconductor for the regulator. Its probably easier just to buy a new regulator, I think they are about $20 from Delta, but you can use a National Semiconductor LM2940T-10.0 or UA7810CKC. You solder wires on to the outside contacts and break off or cover up the center one (the ground).

Worked for me

george

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 Posted: 04-26-2014 01:32 am
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Tom Bradley
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It has been a while since my last update.  I have been making progress and also have been out having fun with it.  The exhaust side of the rear end was almost an inch lower than the other side, so I replaced the bushings in the rear end.  A couple were in seriously degraded shape.  That got my height difference down to about 1/4 inch, which is about as good as I think I am going to get.  The body is not exactly centered above the wheels, so the weight is not exactly balanced either.  I cannot see anything  I can do about it.  My guess is that it came that way from the factory.  Anyway, it rides nice, so I am not going to worry about it.

I also went over the rear wheel brakes.  One side was leaking fluid and one of the pistons on the other side was frozen after sitting so long.  Neither was all that hard to fix.

I also put a 10V solid state regulator in for the voltage stabilizer.  Not that I have anything against buying a new one from Delta: I am all for keeping these guys in business.  But that old thermo-electro-mechanical gizmo that was there originally drove me nuts.  This regulator should last forever without needing any adjustment.  It fits in the original voltage stabilizer can as well (see below).

After all this, I got about 100 miles on the car around town.  Lots of fun except this car seems to attract looky-loo tailgaters something fierce.  And I mean serious tailgating, like 10 feet behind my bumper at 50MPH.  Don't ask me why.  The exterior is not restored at all.  Does anyone else around here have the same problem?   I never had this problem before when I was driving it regularly.

Next installment will be fuel tank fun.  The tank was pretty rusty so I pulled it out for cleaning and lining.  I will post an update once I get everything back together right.

Attachment: 10V regulator.JPG (Downloaded 201 times)

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 Posted: 05-01-2014 12:19 am
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Tom Bradley
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I got the tank back from the shop this past week. The price ended up being $240. They said they had to fix some leaks, though I never smelled any gasoline back there before I took it out. Too much trouble to argue.

It looked nice, but there were some bare spots on the external paint they used, so I put a couple more coats of oil-based paint on it just to be safe. I really do not want to have to do this again.

The polymer coating they used on the inside got into the threads for the drain plug and the pressure relief valve bolts. The drain plug threads were easy to clean out, but I had to get a tap to clean out the bolt holes.

Some of the polymer also got on the mating surface for the fuel tank sending unit. I did not adequately clean that off before I put the tank together, so it leaked. I found out that neither the paint the shop used nor my oil-based paint were gasoline resistant. So I had a bare spot under the sending unit hole I had to repaint. If I was going to do this again I think I would tell the shop not to paint it and paint it myself with epoxy paint.

I used sticky-back felt padding from the local hardware store underneath the tank. It was spec'd at 0.25" thick, but was thicker than that with a relatively light load. This raised the tank height up enough that I had to trim 1/4" off of the fuel filler hose (1/8" top and bottom) in order to get it to fit under the filler neck grommet. I also had to get some longer bolts for the tank straps--the original length was now too short. Nice thing about the felt, though: it was very easy to slide the tank in and out while doing all this.

I used some 1/4" thick cork sheet I have had lying around for years for the padding behind the tank. It seems adequate, but the drain plug is slightly forward of center in the chassis hole. My guess is that 1/2" padding is what is intended to be there. I am leaving it as is, though. Everything seems snug enough at this point and I am tired of pulling it in and out.

I also rejuvenated the sending unit as described in the fuel tank part of the forum. So I am not worrying so much about whether I have enough gas all the time. The gas gauge does not quite read full even when the tank is now. Not sure if the 10V regulator should be a higher voltage or if there is an adjustment on the back of the fuel gauge. Good enough for the present.

The past two days have been driving it around town on errands. I am getting much more confident that I got everything together right. I few more miles and it will be time to go back underneath and recheck the torque on the all the suspension stuff I replaced. A serious pain in the patoot, but it will make me happier and more confident once it is done.

Last edited on 05-01-2014 12:21 am by Tom Bradley

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 Posted: 05-01-2014 05:22 am
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answerman
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Noting all of this for when my tank goes back in this weekend (hopefully)... thanks!

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 Posted: 05-20-2014 04:41 am
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Tom Bradley
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I have been remiss in updating my progress.  Largely because I have been out having fun with the car.

As mentioned previously, I wanted to recheck the torque on all the suspension replacements I did. As expected, the subframe mounting bolts needed to be tightened a bit. Otherwise everything checked out OK.

I also decided to rebuild my brake master cylinder. Details of that are in the brakes section of the forum. The rebuild went well enough, but when I tried to flush out the brake lines I found out that the rear brake lines were clogged with black rubber. The odd thing about this was that I had just flushed out the lines with no problem just a couple weeks previously when I rebuilt the rear brake cylinders.

It turned out that the rear flex line (probably original) had started to come apart in the 100 miles or so I had driven since working on the rear brakes. My guess is that the more aggressive driving (and braking) I have done since then started giving it problems.

From the outside it still looked perfect, but apparently the insides have been falling to pieces. The brake line from the flex line to the LH rear brake was clogged beyond my ability to clear out. I ended up replacing this one as well as the flex line with modern stainless steel braided hoses. Fortunately the brake cylinders and the solid line between the two rear brakes cleared out OK so I did not have to do anything there.

My engine is also starting to have some run-on after I stop the engine. It always used to do this a little but had not been doing it since my most recent rebuild. I replaced the carbon in the vapor absorption canister hoping that would have some effect (since the old stuff had turned into a solid mass and was probably doing nothing). No noticeable effect, so I am going to have to keep looking.

Otherwise everything is working pretty nicely, so I have been finding excuses to drive it most days. My next planned task is the interior. The padding on the driver seat has collapsed down to about nothing and the vinyl has ripped so the seat has gotten pretty uncomfortable for extended runs. That has got to get fixed.

But even so, it has gotten back to being fun to drive. I was finally confident enough to try accelerating full throttle. The RPM's hit readline in first and second gear just as scary-fast as I remember. There is still a long way to go, but things are looking up.

Last edited on 05-21-2014 11:42 pm by Tom Bradley

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 Posted: 05-22-2014 12:10 am
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Tom Bradley
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Funny the small things that catch me in getting this thing back to snuff. As everyone knows, it never rains in California. But we do have sprinklers. While I was out, my windshield got sprayed and I turned on the wipers to clean it off. Nothing happened. Which was just as well, because when I got back home I found that the rubber wiper blades had turned to rock during the years in the garage. Scraping these across the windshield probably would not have been very good for the glass.

Removing the wiper arms and spraying a bit of WD-40 on the mechanism got things moving again. Then it was out to the store to get new wiper blades. At the first store the clerk looked in horror at the bayonet fitting on the wiper arm and stuttered that they only had blades for wiper arms with the U-shaped end. (The store actually has good stuff, but has copied Home Depot's approach of hiring clueless minimum wage help).

The second store I know has knowledgeable workers, but they were busy, so I went back to look at the wiper blades myself. The back of the Trico brand package showed the types of wiper arms it fitted, which included the bayonet end on my JH, so that is what I got. When I installed them I found that they have a cleverly-designed clip that fits three different types of arms. My guess is that other brands do the same sort of thing, but it is hard to tell unless they show you. (I checked the Bosch wipers on my other car and they do not seem to have a fitting that would fit the bayonet-type wiper arm. Bummer. I like that brand).

The sprayer for the windshield washer fluid also was not working. That also only took some WD-40 and loosening up the electric motor to get it working. But I just bet the rubber parts of the fluid pump are getting old, so I need to make a note to myself to look around for a replacement.

As usual, one job leads to another. With the washer fluid bottle out, I could see that the (bare steel!) mounting bracket was pretty rusty. So that came out for de-rusting and painting. It should be ready to go back in this weekend.

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 Posted: 06-08-2014 02:46 am
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Tom Bradley
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I finally got the rebuilt seats back in. I decided to go with repairing the JH seats instead of replacing them with Miata seats for two reasons: one was that the prices I found for used Miata seats were too high, the second was that, since the Miata seats are metric dimensions I was not sure what kind of mods were going to be necessary to get them to bolt on.

I got the new seat bottom cushions from Delta. New seat covers were not available and the passenger seat was in very good shape anyhow, so I decided to patch the driver seat with vinyl and cover everything with sheepskin seat covers.

The new cushions are somewhat bigger (see comparison below) so I also had to glue some vinyl extensions to the bottom of the seats to reattach them to the seat frame. I also glued some of the vinyl to the bottom of the new cushions to better distribute the weight between the cushions and the straps on the bottom of the seat frame.

I went with a much lighter color for the seats to keep down on the heating in the hot San Diego sun (see below). Eventually the whole interior is going to be about this color.

Between the bigger cushions and the sheepskin, the added bulk made getting the seats back in a tad difficult, to say the least. Cleaning up the thread of the bolts and mounting nuts with taps and dies helped a lot. I also found that a 5.5mm metric allen key fits slightly loosely in the bolts which makes turning the bolts in the tight space easier. The final tightening with 7/32" key is not that big a deal.

The replacement made a huge improvement in the drive-ability. The old cushions were crushed down to nothing, so I was pretty much just sitting on the seat-bottom straps. Now I am sitting about 2-3 inches higher, so the visibility is greatly improved. Ride comfort is also far better. Before the change I was considering renaming my car to "Teddy Roosevelt" (the Rough Rider), but I think I will keep it as-is. I still have a good spots-car feel for the raod, but it is not constantly jolting me like before.

Next up will be replacing the interior vinyl once I find something I like. In the meantime it is back to having fun...

Attachment: new and old cushions reduced.JPG (Downloaded 121 times)

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 Posted: 06-08-2014 02:47 am
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Tom Bradley
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Apparently I can only attach one file per post, so here is the pic of the new covered seat.

Attachment: new covered seat reduced.JPG (Downloaded 121 times)

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 Posted: 10-28-2014 06:01 am
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Tom Bradley
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I finally have broken down and finished the last of the mechanical work I have been planning.

I replaced my beloved old Spax shocks with Bilsteins from the club store. What I liked about the Spax's were the adjust-ability: when I originally put them on (many years ago), I played around until I could pretty much just float across the drainage ditches the go across so many of the intersections here in San Diego. But I had to admit that they simply were not doing the job anymore. Once I got the Bilsteins in, the steering lightened up considerably and going over the ditches felt pretty close to what I remember with the Spaxes. Comparing the two, I also have to admit that the quality of the Bilsteins looks far superior to my old ones.

Note on installation: the top tube on the front Bilsteins was about 0.02 inches longer than on the Spax shocks. My guess is that the Bilsteins are actually to spec, but frame had apparently been bent in slightly from having the shorter tube, so there was no way to get the new ones in without grinding them down to the same length. So if you have trouble getting these in, be sure to check these dimensions.

I also bought the 15 inch rims from Delta and got new tires. So I have finally gotten the mechanical parts back to where I am as confident with the car as I was after I first bout it and worked it over.

So I am (at last!) going to get going on the cosmetics, starting with removing the trim pieces and getting ready to try my hand at painting.

Last edited on 10-28-2014 06:02 am by Tom Bradley

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