Good News and Bad News

Monday, 10 June 2013 09:00
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valvesI have a friend who once said "I never read the directions, because then I'd never learn anything for myself." I was never quite sure if that was genius or idiocy, but after yesterday, I'm leaning a little toward idiocy. At least I'm pretty sure it makes me an idiot, although I did learn some stuff.

I actually drove the car around the block yesterday, after a morning of doing a much more thorough tune up. That's the "good news" part of this post--the setup that was on the motor was way, way off. Like, 'dark side of the moon' off. I'm kind of amazed it ran at all. You'd have thought that I would have done a quick check/tune-up prior to, oh, I don't know, maybe a recent 1800 mile road trip, but I didn't. It ran, but it didn't idle that well, and it had a little stumble on acceleration, and the valves were a little noisy, and a bunch of other stuff that should have been a giant neon sign of a clue that maybe I should have a look at all that. Well, I did--the valve clearances were all over the place, the timing for some completely unfathomable reason was advanced something like 50 degrees, and the carbs were way, way out of balance. After addressing all of those issues, the car runs amazingly well. Starts right up, idles super-smooth right at 650, accelerates nicely, has more power, and is quite a bit quieter without the valves making all that racket. Unfortunately, now I've got to take it all apart again. 

Clues began to accumulate when I couldn't really get the clutch engagement adjusted properly. I had the slave cylinder rod adjusted all the way out to its end of travel to get it to work at all, and even then it was super-stiff and all the engagement was in about the last inch of pedal travel. I could drive it around, but something was certainly not right. On going to the ever-helpful Tech Wiki, I found this informative bit of data: "You cannot mix 4 speed forks and throw out bearing collars with the 5 speed. Use the 5 speed parts and you will have no problems." So what's in my completely-put-back-together and awesome-running car right now? You guessed it--4 speed parts. Therefore, out comes the motor again today, and hopefully I will be able to source the 5 speed stuff locally so I don't have too much of a delay getting on the road. With any luck, we'll be back together with all the right parts this time tomorrow, and I will have acquired some valuable information via not reading the instructions. 

On a side note, the replica shift plate looks pretty good. It could use a better color match with the rest of the dash and a more even wrinkle paint application, but I think it'll do fine for this trip. 


And now...back to the garage to pull the motor out again. Whee!

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