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Adventures in Birdland

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  • Adventures in Birdland

    I have been making short cruises since I got my 60 bird back on the road just to build trust and dependability. I ventured to Indianapolis last Thursday to show it off to some retirement friends during lunch at a busy restaurant. I had not been that far (about 50 miles one way) since getting it back on the road. All seemed well and had a lot of lookers during the 3 hour stay. When I got ready to leave it would not start. It turned over real slow and just wouldn't crank. Real embarrasing. New alternator, new battery, new rebuilt starter, new wiring and such. It wouldn't jump either. I decided the rebuilt starter had failed after about 50 starts at most. Pep Boys not reliable I guess. Since my bird is a stick, it was no problem to start, just pushed it about 20 feet and dumped the clutch and it fired right up. I drove it home and went straight into the garage.

    When I took the old starter off last fall it took me a couple hours to get it out from underneath. There is not room for it to clear the power steering rods and tie rods. I decided to remove it from the top this time which means removing the exhaust manifold. To my surprise all the bolts came out without any problems. Anti seize compound does work. I took the starter out and checked it. The front bearing was out big time. That was definately the problem. About 30 minutes labor so far.

    I took that starter and the old one (bad brush plate) I had replaced last summer to a local rebuilding shop last friday and told them to make me one good one from the two. They said Monday so today I went to pick up my rebuilt starter. I got there and the mechanic was just finishing up. To my surprise they had rebuilt both of the starters. I was expecting a large bill but when they said $89.88 with tax total for both. I had checked online and that seemed cheap. Needless to say I gladly got both of them.

    I now have two rebuilt starters with a guarantee. I have bought new exhaust gaskets and am ready to put it back together. It's about 90 degrees and raining so I will wait till it cools off tonight to put it back together. It should only take about 45 min or less since I have everything cleaned up and ready.

    Hopefully this will let me go cruising again without worrying about a breakdown. The recored radiator, fan shroud and 6 bladed fan worked fine in 90 degree heat. The temp guage never got above 190 on the trip even when idling for 10 to 15 minutes. That's a good thing. I put a voltmeter, temp guage and oil pressure guage setup to monitor the engine. I rebuilt the engine myself in 1980-82 time frame and it had set for about 19 years before I decided to get it back on the road. The engine carries 60 psi down the road and around 40 psi idling at operating temp of 180-190 degrees. Not bad at all.

    My journey continues, Gary

  • #2
    Sounds like my kind of luck Gary - my guess is you won't be buying from Pep Boys again.

    Lucky you were able to get it started and motor on home with the straight drive tranny.

    Was that one of the A/C style 6 blade fans or a replacement like flex-fan brand?

    I had a similar situation but only a bad battery. Went to visit a neighbor who had moved to a retirement center. My car was a real hit many remembering riding in one or seeing plenty of them. Word spread fast and had a crowd around before I knew it. When I got ready to leave the battery just barely turned the motor one revolution then died and I was sitting at the FRONT DOOR of the center after taking the neighbor for a ride in the car. Got a jump start from the maintenance folks at the center but very embarrassing.

    Hope you have many more trouble free journeys!

    Eric
    http://www.tbirdregistry.com/ft.asp
    Last edited by DKheld; June 15, 2010, 08:39 PM. Reason: d not n

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 1946hamm View Post
      ...Pep Boys not reliable I guess.
      Gary, if they were the very LAST guys left on earth... I find them extremely expensive and not very willing to help.

      Originally posted by 1946hamm View Post
      ...Anti seize compound does work.
      This goes along with: You never know who's work you will be following. (It might be your own.) It really pays to go the extra mile and do the little things.

      Originally posted by 1946hamm View Post
      I took that starter and the old one (bad brush plate) I had replaced last summer to a local rebuilding shop... I now have two rebuilt starters with a guarantee...
      Those shops are the only ones I deal with. If they know you have a classic car, they will bend over backwards for you. The guy at the major-chain parts store couldn't care less.

      Looks like you did your engine right, too. That oil pressure is GREAT! You are smart to put a real pressure gauge on it. They tell you the truth.

      Hope you're running oil with lots of zinc. I'm using Rotella for my solid flat tappet Y-Block. Hope to see you on the road, some day. - Dave
      My latest project:
      CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

      "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
      --Lee Iacocca

      From: Royal Oak, Michigan

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the comments.

        Eric; The fan is a fixed blade all steel fan similar to the A/C fans.

        I had a guy that I used to work with get the starter and he dealt with Pep Boys. I don't have a Pep Boys close to me and seldom deal with chain parts houses except for simple stuff. I know Autozone starters and alternators suck.

        I got the bird back together yesterday and all seems fine. I asked the shop that did my heads back in the early 80's if they put hardened seats in. They remembered doing them but were not sure they put in hardened exhaust seats. I guess I will find out one of these days.

        Dave ; Which Rotella are you running? I have always used Valvoline in all my vehicles. My bird has 10w40 in it.

        Happy motoring to all.
        Gary

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by 1946hamm View Post
          ...Dave ; Which Rotella are you running? I have always used Valvoline in all my vehicles. My bird has 10w40 in it...
          Gary, in my Mustang (351W-roller cam) I used whatever major brand was on sale. I religiously changed every 3k. The engine lasted well over 150K before I pulled it. When I did, it was unbelieveably clean. I still overhauled it (I always do) before stuffing it back in.

          Everyone is an authority on oil. I am not, but I know our flat-tappet engines really depend on zinc as a 'last resort' for engine wear due to lack of lubrication.

          Just about any engine oil with '40' (like 10W-40) in the numbers has 1,000ppm of ZDDP (Zinc Dialkyl-Dithio-Phosphate). I use Rotella-T 15W-40 for several reasons. ZDDP content, lubricity, low ash, detergent cleanliness, cost, it beats every API rating, etc.

          This oil is NOT recommended for cars with catalytic converters because the platinum substrate can't deal with phosphorus and zinc.

          BTW, 'low ash' is a result from burned oil. Remember, piston rings rotate by design. Randomly, the end gaps align causing a blow torch affect down the cylinder which burns oil. Low ash will inhibit sludge which clogs your pickup screen. - Dave
          My latest project:
          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
          --Lee Iacocca

          From: Royal Oak, Michigan

          Comment

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