Troubleshooting trail of problems

Well turns out the issue with the timing I was having was because the distributor was having issues.  When I upgraded to HEI it was the 'DIY' version where I picked a distributor from an appropriate vehicle and installed it.  

But what happened was as I was driving to work it just totally died.  So I called my brother and he towed me back home because I was only like 2 miles away when it died.  I pulled the distributor and the gear fell right off and down into the oil pan :/

After pulling the oil pan, which is a story in itself, I found small brass pieces and of course the distributor gear.  I then remembered that the gear didn't fit exactly right so I took a brass bushing and cut it down as a spacer.  Well it appears that it's not durable enough to work well, and after the spacer broke up (which is what caused the timing to jump) the movement of the rotor up and down caused the pin to shear off.

I ordered a new 'official' HEI distributor from 4WD and put it in yesterday, and it's running like a champ now!!

Another day, another fixed issue, actually several :)

Well slept in a little this morning since I had mistakenly thought I just needed to tweak the carb today.  Was running rougher when I started it, and I went up to O'Reillys to get the hoses I needed.  By the time I got up there the vacuum advance and slipped off again, so while I was parked I walked in and out and got all the vacuum lines replaced.  Driving home though it was still running rough, so I figured I still might have a leak at the intake manifold.  Pulled the carb, cleaned the adapters for the weber and reinstalled everything, and also cleaned out the mixture screw on the carb which is something I forgot last week when I was rebuilding it.

Started it up and it was still backfiring through the carb like nuts when I gave it gas, and it was running rough.  Pulled out the Jeep Bible and first thing they said was check the Vacuum lines (check), check for an intake leak (check) and verify the timing....

Now I hadn't looked at the timing because nothing major had changed since I had driven it, but running out of things to check I decided to go ahead and pull out my timing light and verify it for peace of mind.

HOLY COW, it was 25 degrees AHEAD of TDC, no wonder it wasn't running right.  Out came the wrench, little twist on the distributor, and it's back to where it should be 5 degrees BTDC, and it IMMEDIATELY smoothed out and started running beautifully.  Went through the best lean mixture adjustment by ear and drove it and it was back to the way it was supposed to be YAY!!!

Then I checked my A/F gauge and it was showing it was just a bit rich, so back to the carb and with 1/8 turns leaning it out slightly until it is just a hair on the rich side.  Drives beatifully now, and I can't wait to go to work with it tomorrow!

In between the gasket sealer drying on the intake manifold (it had three pieces at an hour each) I went ahead and installed the rest of the new seatbelts, and switched sides for where the buckle goes because I had a long piece flapping in the wind earlier.  Also went to install the side mirror, but couldn't find my new one, so I went ahead and installed the old silver one for now so I have something to see behind me and to the side with.

Once again it's so satisfying to work on the Jeep, especially when you figure out a problem and get it fixed!!!

Wrenching Saturday :)

Well I had a few issues with the Bumblebee earlier this week, so I had parked it until I could work on it this weekend.  Then the clutch cable on my Motorcycle broke and I had to do just enough to be able to drive back and forth to work.

Today I dug in and did a lot of the maintenance items needed after sitting for six years.  The issues I was having with rough running and stalling was all due to vacuum leaks, like 8 or 9 of them :P  I went through and plugged and taped and cut out bad sections and got everything all sealed up for now.  It's going to require a trip to O'Reillys to replace every single hose I can find.  I'm basically going to park, pull a hose and get a new one and install it and continue until I've replaced every hose I can get to.  The only ones that are still in really good shape are the radiator hoses.  But that's because I bought some really heavy duty ones that are generic and weren't pre-bent and I think they are holding up better because they have accordian joints that allow them to flex instead of stressing.

I also replaced the thermostat, another thing I just wanted to replace that was cheap and quick, or so I thought.  The first thing was I had to remove the fan belt to get to the lower bolt.  Then as I was removing the lower bolt *POP* the head snapped right off.  Needless to say this was not an encouraging event!!  I pulled the housing off and to my joy discovered that there was almost 1/2" of bolt protuding from the block.  I tried to turn it with a vise grip and it stripped the bolt a bit.  I stopped and sprayed penetrator on the bolt, and also noticed one of the reasons it broke.  There was gasket sealant all gooped around the bolt, so I scraped it all off and let it sit for a good long while.

I pulled my radiator fan because it was shaking like the devil, and I thought a blade had broke.  Turns out a mud wasp nest is not good for a spinning fan.  After knocking it off and cleaning the mud away the fan no longer shakes and was reinstalled with very little fuss.  I also adjusted the thermostat down a bit to make the fan cut on earlier than it used too.

Back to the thermostat bolt, and with a little judicious application of a vise grip the bolt came right out.  I went to Home Depot and got some new zinc plated grade 8 bolts with new split washers, then cleaned out all the gasket sealant from the bolt holes.  Installed the gasket with the smallest of beads of sealant and bolted everything back up.

I also got my A/F ratio meter installed, and at first I was just going to use it to adjust the carb and not mount it.  But reading the instructions of the meter it has a data logger!!! It also came with all the cables to hook the meter up to a laptop, along with a disc with the software for downloading data and updating the firmware.  The bung welded in really well, and it was a snap routing the wires.  I made a small sheet metal bracket to mount the gauge until I can print a nice one for it.

I really like having the gauge because it lets me see what is happening with the engine and it was much easier to get it dialed in well enough to be my daily driver again.  Tomorrow I think I'm going to go through all the adjustment and setup for the carb and get it exactly right once I've replaced all the vacuum hoses.

It's so satisfying to work on my Jeep, and I remember why I like it so much :)

Almost there :)

I've been working on the Bumblebee, but some things required me attention elsewhere.  One of those things was the awesome Halloween party that my buddy John Warner throws for his daughter each year.  He always has haunted woods, but this year we did something extra.  We scared them while they were watching the movie The Fog, we cut the power to the house, then five of us dressed in all black walked up to the windows and tried to get in the house.  Much screaming occurred, and a great time was had by all :)  I also went to the Halloween party at work, and it was so great watching all the kids dressed up playing together.  All in all a great Halloween.

I got back to working on the Jeep last weekend, and did the big job that I knew was going to be tough, replacing the bent springs.  It took me about 4 hours to remove the old one, and then another 2 hours to install it.  The one that wasn't bent took less than an hour to replace, and I finally got that all done.  I then took it for a quick spin around the court where my house is :)

I fixed a leaky wheel cylinder tonight after I got off work early, and tomorrow it's time to finish up the last tasks and get it on the road!  My brother will come by after he gets off work to help me bleed the brakes, then I should be ready to go!!!!

Great progress on the Jeep

Well I made a lot of progress on the Jeep today.  I was able to clean up the mounting area for the new fender, and fitted and welded it in place.  I didn't realize how tweaked the whole body is, it's about 1" out of square but I'm not too worried about it for now.  The purpose right now is to get it back on the road and drivable until the spring when I'll have the new tub, and other upgrades to put in.  It will be warm enough to ride the motorcycle full time, and I'll have the garage to do the prep and paint work for the tub.

One minor issue, well maybe not so minor.  I finally have the engine adjusted and running well enough to start even this morning when it was cold out.  I was letting it idle this afternoon to get nice and warm and I noticed I need a new valve cover gasket which is not that big a deal, but also the return lines are leaking gas onto the ground which can be kind of bad.  I discovered it after I had everything shut off and I was welding the corner and all of a sudden I felt a wave of heat.  The entire underside was burning where the gas had evaporated, but enough had soaked into the concrete to keep a nice size flame going.  This is why I always have a fire extenguisher around when welding and cutting.  But by the time I threw the helmet down, turned around and pulled the pin on the extinguisher, the flames had already died down.

That did give me a nice little scare though.  Apparently in the wreck something got cut or sliced, as those lines run on the side that got hit.  So I'll need to drop the tank this week, and I also need to check the fuel sending unit as it's apparently either got a loose wire, or it got banged in the wreck as well.  So two birds with one stone.

I'm hoping to have it driving by next week, need to call the DMV this week and find out what documentation I need to get the title issued for it.  I definitely have all the pictures of the fixes, and I've kept all my receipts as well so hopefully that will be all I need.