Friday, August 17, 2007


In June I took a month long vacation in North Carolina with my friend Jon Carpenter (Johnny Rad) and ol' Sugar was cooped up in the garage the whole time. But when I got back she was more than ready to stretch her legs, and started right up! I drover her around a bunch, going surfing and what not, put 500 on her odometer then did an early Tune-Up. I keep a little black book, not of phone numbers but of fill-ups and tune-ups.

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Here is the entry for the Tune-Up

odometer: 04540
Timing @ 31º, reset to 30º
Dwell good
Idle @ 800-50rpm (good)
Adjusted valves, all good but #2 was .004" (tight)
#1 115psi
#2 112psi
#3 110psi
#4 115psi
Plugs were all good, #3 was black

I was getting a stumble when the engine wasn't hot enough and at high RPM. I thought this might have something to do with the distributor, since it felt like it was missing. I just switched it out for the 009. It didn't fix it but I noticed it less, I also upped the advance @ 31º.

200 miles later I put the 010 back in and set the timing @ 30º. over the next hundred miles the stumble got worse. Tonight I checked the timing and found it at 28º, and after reading up in TheSamba, I bumped up the advance to 33º, I haven't driven it yet, but I bet the stumble will be gone.

I also replaced the generator brushes because every now-and-then the generator light would go, and stay on, and then I'd screw with the brushes and it would go off. Also sometimes the starter would refuse to engage. I would short the terminals and only small sparks would appear. I really have no idea what it was, my best guess is that the battery wasn't being fully charged, but even after I would charge it I just couldn't get the draw I needed out of the battery. Then out of no where it would begin working again, and I could tell because all of the sudden I would get much larger sparks. But when this happens I would be stranded for no less than 20 minutes.

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Anyway, I bought the new ones and I think the spring had bottomed out on the brush guides, and I didn't really notice until I put in the new ones, which stuck out a good deal. The old ones were half the size of the new ones!

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The spring has so much more leverage on this new brush now!

So I did a full tune-up. tonight I changed the oil and found a lot of metal in it again. Fine dust to small chips and I think all of it ferrous. Of course between the last time and this time, the compression had dropped on all cylinders (except #2, it actually went up, which may have been due to a low battery the first time) and this is probably where the metal is coming from. The compression is still good though, and it is a lot more even than the first time I did it (due to #2). For lack of more interesting subjects I've included these pictures of the pressure gauge and a foot pedal I put together.

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The pressure gauge wouldn't fit in the tight spaces, and the hose adapter was too long also, so I bought a pipe fitting which made the hose-to-handle adaption shorter. here it is

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I'm much more proud of the foot pedal I made. It is a simple switch connected to the starter that I can put on the ground and press with my foot. I love it because I used a spray paint cap, drilled a hole for the switch and then duct taped it to a heavy metal bearing that perfectly fit the cap (I think the bearing came from a printing press), which makes it bottom heavy and steady. It makes everything so easy. For some reason I only thought to take a picture of the bottom, but you can see it on the floor in the picture above.

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