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Progress on Some Issues

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Posted 03-14-2011 at 12:00 PM by MacDee
Updated 03-18-2011 at 03:13 PM by MacDee

Another progress reportÖ.

In my last report I believe I mentioned finding a cracked push rod over at Carterís place last fall. I had driven it over there so we could verify the cam timing. The ďcupĒ at the top of one of the push rods was cracked, and a piece of it broke off when I poked at it. Carter observed from the wear pattern that it looked as if it had only been wearing around the lip of the cup, not down in the cup itself; as though the ball on the end of the adjuster screw had a larger diameter than the cup itself! He dug into his box of left-over Ford six parts and found a stock push rod to put in so I could drive it home that night.

Well, a couple of weeks ago I finally got around to removing the rocker shaft and inspecting all the push rods. I found SIX that did not fit the adjuster screw correctly. I contacted Classic Inlines who directed me to the manufacturer who kindly offered to replace all the defective rods and/or screws. (I sent them the rods and the mating screws last week. Haven't heard anything back yet.) I think the effect would be that the valves would be adjusted to spec (quarter-turn more after you can no longer spin the push rod), but presumably the adjusters would seat DEEPER when the engine was actually running thus delaying the valve timing. It seems clear to me now, the valve timing has not been where it is supposed to be! I have no idea how much effect this would have on the badly running engine, but Iím sure it has contributed.

This last weekend I tackled a couple more issues (unrelated to the engine). First, the exhaust system: I removed and re-installed the exhaust pipes. I found a pair of pipe adapters at O'Reilly's that allowed a proper fit between the header outlets and the rest of the system. I used those and re-installed the system with the goal of optimum ground clearance. It came out pretty good!

I was hoping I could remove the drive shaft while I had the car up so I could take it back to Drivelines Northwest to have it lengthened by an inch. (Itís okay for now at 52 inches, but 53 would be better!) I was concerned that it might drain tranny fluid when I yanked the drive shaft out, and, sure enough, it did. I just shoved it back in and re-installed the drive shaft. Another project for another time, I guess.

The final thing I tried to tackle was the electrical gremlin that crept in during the swap. Activating either the brake lights or turn signals causes the 15-amp fuse in the fuse box to blow. I checked all my connections against the wiring diagram and they seem to be okay. Since the brake lights and turn signal lights use the same tail light element, I checked to see if the wires to those elements were shorted (to ground) and they WERE! The trouble is, I canít seem to isolate where the short is. I tried unhooking each wire at the tail light and at the steering column and checked for continuity to ground at both ends of each connection, but it seems to be shorted to ground no matter which end of whatever wire I checked! Iím really confused . One thing I didnít try, but will when I get some more time, is to unhook ALL the potentially affected wires at once and then check them one at a time for continuity to ground. After thinking about it, itís important to ensure none of the wires are connected to any of the other wires before checking any of them for continuity to ground. I don't think I actually ever did that.

I'm still hoping to make it to at least a couple of shows this year. We'll see how the engine runs with good push rods....
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