Monday, June 21, 2010

Long time...not much progress

So the car sat untouched for much of last year. I regret that, but that's in the past now. I'm moving on.

Let's see. What has been done in 2010? I started pulling the chrome off for preparation for paint/body. We've removed the seats and carpet. We've pulled out the engine, drivetrain, and exhaust. The internal areas of the block are pretty filthy, so I have decided to send it off for an overhaul so I can start with a clean slate, and have confidence the engine is in good working order.

Replacement parts purchased: oil pan, exhaust manifold, a few other smaller items.

So I am off to look for someone to do paint/body and the engine overhaul.

I plan on posting some more pictures soon.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Generator to Alternator conversion

The issue: We measured 12 volts across the battery both when the car was and was not running, and the GEN light stayed on even when running.

Funny thing. Charles had actually mentioned the possibility of the Generator to Alternator conversion on my Falcon. I considered it, but was more interested at the time of just making the generator work correctly. While researching the correct wiring configuration of our generator, we discovered, based on a picture we saw (they nothing alike!),

that the device under the hood of my car was, in fact, an alternator. After another more in depth look at what we had, we realized that someone had attempted this conversion before. However, based on the wiring configuration used by whoever that was, we knew that person never got it working correctly.

Charles found an excellent picture of how the GM 3-wire alternator (yes, GM) was supposed to be connected. There is a plastic plug with two wires that connect to the two terminals on the alternator. These wires were reversed (reversed only if you care about proper color code, which I do). We switched the wires around in the plug. We connected the other wire to Field on the OEM voltage regulator attached to the car next to the radiator. Now, we measure ~14 volts across the battery, and the GEN light goes out like it should.

An aspirin and a cough drop

I am here to report success. Let's see...measurement tools acquired recently would be a compression gauge (haven't used it yet), inline spark tester (fantastic), a timing light (unbelievable tool), and a business card (really?).

After adding the new carb and discovering that the spark had left us again, we changed the points. My dad said changing the points is a like giving a car an aspirin. I had never changed points before (didn't really understand what they were), and I was unsure what affect this would actually have. I am humbled in my shear amazement of the result. The width of a business card was the suggestion of another coworker for the gap measurement. Thank you Billy. That was perfect. That Falcon started like it couldn't wait to go somewhere.

So, we could start the car just fine, but when we gave it some gas, it hesitated at best, and usually just died. We had wondered about the timing, and had inquired at multiple locations about a loaner timing light, but at this time I still hadn't acquired one. I finally said let's go buy one.

Now this brings me to a side note for a moment. Why is it that the parts store sells a timing light (and yes, Mr. Parts Store person, it is called a timing light, not a timing says Timing Light right on the just happens to be in the shape of a gun for easy handling by humanoid creatures with opposing thumbs, but it isn't really a gun; it's a light...but I digress), but does not sell any sort of tool to use for marking the pulley such as a grease pencil or paint pen? My understanding is that this is a required tool, along with the timing light, to properly check said timing. If this is the case, wouldn't it make sense for the manufacturer to simply include such a simple marking device with the timing light, and just mark up the total price a little more? Whatever, a dollar and change at the dollar store got me a bottle of correction know...that white stuff you use to cover pen markings in school that got you lower grades because you were to lazy to consider that a rough draft and just write it again...or maybe that was just me. Task complete.

I find this crazy blinking light fascinating; not hypnotizing, but fascinating. Anyway, in under 5 minutes (including the time to bring cylinder #1 to TDC, but not including the trip to the store for the light) we determined that the car was out of time; eyeball-estimated at 10-12 degrees retarded. In accordance with the research we had done, we found and loosened the retaining bolt, turned the distributor cap until the white mark was 6 degrees advanced of TDC.

Now, not only does the car start, but we can give it some gas, and it doesn't die. It doesn't even sputter. Charles said the car sounded like it was coughing when it was out of time, and I agree, so I suppose checking the timing is like a cough drop.

Wanna see this Falcon go?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Replacement carb

Something just wasn't right with that carburetor (or our rebuild of it), so I bought a rebuilt one from The Carburetor Exchange out of Peoria, Arizona. All of the fuel issues are gone. I have confidence moving forward that we can shift our focus elsewhere in making this car run.

Unfortunately, at this moment we again have no spark, so the new carb will have to wait to shine.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

General carb questions

1. Right after I verbally celebrate our achievement in the Carb progress video below, Charles tries to give it gas and it dies with a pop. What would cause this?

2. After a couple of starts and stops we let the engine run at idle to for 10-15 minutes. Once we shut the engine off, however, it wouldn't start again.

Ok. Side note only because I don't know the proper terminology here. What's the difference between cranking, turning over, and starting? When is it correct to use each term? When I turn the key, and the starter, being the loyal reliable component that it is, engages, turning the other components of the engine, but the engine just sits there spinning and draining my battery, is that cranking but not starting? If so, what is turning over? It has no bearing really on the functionality of the engine, but since I am relying on my words to describe things to people on this blog, I'd like to have the right words, and not sound like an idiot. In my world, ignorance is not bliss; it's frustratingly in the way of progress.

Carb progress

We solved the problem of the gas gusher. We used the carb top from the other used carb, and rechecked the float components, as well as the float level. We did modify the float level. It seemed that the float needle didn't go down enough to be able to get the float to the desired one inch mark. We made the adjustments, and everything seemed to be in working order (Charles tested by blowing through the fuel inlet and closing the valve with the float) so we put it all back together and tried again. The video shows the results.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Carb trouble

Have soaked carb in Berryman's overnight, generally cleaned it up in every way I have heard of from various sources. Carb seems to be pretty clean. However, as you can see from the video, gas spits out from the spout at the top of the venturi as well as from the sideways facing tube on the top of the carb. Looking at the shop manual, both of these connect to the fuel bowl vent. So my interpretation is that fuel is gushing out of the fuel bowl vent. What I don't know is why, or if it is not supposed to. Actually what I don't know is anything about carburetors, really. I don't have a working knowledge of carburetors (much of anything car-related for that matter), so I don't know what a properly functioning carb looks like. That being said, I can clearly see that this is not properly functioning. I just don't know how to get it that way.

Watch the carburetor video below.