Wednesday, September 29, 2010

For Better or Worse

Today started out ok. Went to NAPA to pick up the valve stem seals for the Stude and low and behold, he found the freeze plugs for the 345 too. Nice.

Brian T. stopped by this afternoon to borrow the engine crane to move his space 304 out of his Dad's garage. That went off without a hitch. He even brought his enclosed trailer, so no worries about it getting soaked.

Then after work, I decided to tackle the transmission pump seal and bushing replacement. Mike Mayben makes it looks so easy. I didn't have a hook tool that was small enough to get around the seal to pop it out. After much trial and tribulation, I ended up bending the flange out enough to squeeze in the head of one of my puller tools and popped it out. Fine, that only took 20 minutes. Then for the bushing. Didn't have anything small enough to hook around that to use the slide hammer either. MM says no problem, just use a punch and collapse it in on itself and take it out that way. Well, I still had to get something around behind it to pull the bugger out. Ended up grinding half the head off a nail and using that. Another half an hour gone.

Once out I see that my dinging on the bushing knocked off some little shards. Gotta clean them out so they don't get down in the pump. That was another 15 minutes just trying to get it clean, but now I'm ready to put it back together. Hmmm. Looks like a tight fit, but putting the bushing up to the pump by hand gets it pretty snug. Mind you I am sure that there is an appropriate tool for this, one that I don't have. Tried tapping it around the edges to get it started. No dice. Got 6" pieces of wood to tap opposite sides at the same time. No dice. Put the bushing in the freezer for about 10 minutes to shrink it a bit, then tried again using a piece of exhaust pipe the same diameter to push it in evenly, or so I thought. Got it started, success. Well, until I noticed that the bottom edge had caught on the lip and deformed the bushing. Crap. Time to go back to NAPA and get another one and try again. This is certainly one of those times that having the right tool would make life so much easier.

On the bright side, at least I didn't mangle another finger.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Chunk at a Time

I'm starting to think that I am trying to remove my left index finger one bit at a time.  Attacked it again yesterday with the grinder, this time taking a nice chunk out of my knuckle. What the doctors call a full thickness skin avulsion (in layman's terms it means 'you dumb a$$, you ground off all the skin and then some"). Not that I went to the doctor or anything, but I did consult with my PA friend. Anyway, sure filled my glove up with blood fast. Good thing I'm not squeamish. Put a bandaid on it and went back to work.

Brian H came over to help me get the 345 off Heavy D and into the garage. His timing was perfect, arriving just as I was hooking it up to the hoist. We go it off and onto a dolly, then proceeded to do a little maintenance before stowing it in the garage. Took off the broken exhaust manifold (and while grinding off two bolt heads, did the aforementioned damage to my finger). Three of the bolts came out fine. Thankfully, the two that were stuck are the two that you can access between the head and the manifold. So, we cut 'em and the manifold came off and the studs backed out of the head with our fingers.

We also took off the TC and flexplate, piece of cake. Engine turned easily so we could get to all the bolts. That's always a good sign. Took off the air pump/ps bracket and lower rad hose to access the freeze plug. Popped out the rear main. I figure, while I'm at it, I'll swap it out. Picked up a gasket kit at Nats for $5, so I've all the bits.

Also popped out a few of the freeze plugs. Doesn't look too bad in there, but will have to flush it out good. The engine is listing to the front on the cart and when I popped the middle block plug, it belched nice green antifreeze. Another good sign. Just need to pop out the rest and go order some replacements. Might have a go at putting the rear main in tonight, but I'm pretty beat, so it will probably wait until tomorrow.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Little By Little

Spent, oh, about a half an hour in the garage this evening. Changed the filter and buttoned up the pan on the trans. Fitted my easy-vent and got that sealed. We'll see how that works. I just couldn't bring myself to tear into the trans. I need to get this thing back on the road. I'll rebuild the spare for when this one goes bad. But really, why should it? Have a new pump seal and bushing on order. Won't be in until Monday. Also ordered a mess of other crap from RockAuto, including u-joints. Gonna swap out all four. Need to make a run to the car store again to get freeze plugs for the 345. That might be this weekend's project.

Oh, and I found out today that JL made two versions of the yellow scout with no top. Found a guy who has two of the kind I don't have, so they will be on their way soon. With that I'll have two of every one out so far.  Word has it that the new one will be out on Oct 4. There will be a White Lightning version with a white engine and WL logo under the hood. But, they are being sneaky and packaging it with the hood closed, so you can't see without opening it. You betcha I'll have my magnifying glass out trying to see when I run across one. :-)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Stanley Steamer

Spent today cleaning up the transmission. Oy, what a mess that thing was after years of collecting oil and mud. Got it pretty darned clean, tho. Not all is perfect in binderland, however. When I tipped up the tail end of the tranny, it leaked fluid out the front shaft. Also did it when I racked it upside down so I could get to the pan and innerds easier. I'm thinking it's not supposed to do that (or would that be just because the torque converter isn't there?). Then, when I pulled the pan, I see a nice little collection of metal shavings in the bottom. I'm thinking that they aren't supposed to be there either. The question is where did they come from and am I going to need to tear into this thing. I had planned to vent it, but I really don't want to attempt a rebuild. The thing worked fine when I took it out, but I'm not liking the looks of things. Maybe I'll put in the spare and rebuild this one later.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Seek and Ye Shall Find

hit up a couple of Rite Aids today with no luck, but hit the Toys R Us on Rt. 40 on the way home and eureka, three of the new Scouts in the 4-pack (the yellow Scout in the previous post). Needless to say, they are all sitting on my desk right now.

Maybe tomorrow I'll get some work done on a real Scout.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Go Johnny Go

Another Nats is in the books. Had to leave early, again. One of these years, I'll get to stay for the duration. Hey, at least I got to go and see some great people.

Saw a few vendors with a new Johnny Lightning Scout. It's a nice yellow Scout Rallye, but it only comes in a four pack with a Corvette, a Pinto and a Mystery car. Of course it was pricey at the show at 2x the retail price of $9.95. The car by itself was $10. Gonna have to hit up the local stores to see if I can find it.

Looks like JL has another one in the works. Check it out here and here.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

345 on Board

Bill D and I took a ride up to Sweet-T's place this morning to check out Dirt Devil's engine. It was safely ensconced inside a collapsed shed, tucked behind a dolly with two transmissions on. We disgorged the shed and hooked a chain to the dolly that the engine was on and dragged it out far enough to get the crane behind it. It was all going smoothly until the crane decided it wanted to sit a little deeper in the soil on one side and take some paint off the left end cap. After some creative use of tie downs, we got it straightened out and on board Heavy D for the ride home. I must say that with the engine and crane positioned slightly behind the axle, it does make a difference in how Heavy D rides, even though it didn't squat the springs much. Decidedly lighter in the front, but still solid as a rock driving down the road.

Took a little tour of Dan's place while we were there. Pale Rider still sits almost complete in the garage. The yellow 800 sits up front without a top. What's left of Ugly Whitey still sits next to an old foundation and out back is the rest of the herd: nearly 20 IH and cars of various vintages. Several of 'em are mostly grown over with honeysuckle. All of them are eventually going to rot away sitting out in the open.

In the afternoon, I decided to drop the transfer case, since everything else was out. I think that I'll change all the u-joints too, since well, I can.

Tomorrow, I think I'll start cleaning up the frame and firewall to prep for the engine going in. Need to do some more slicing and dicing on the rust in the driver's foot well too.