Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Dr. Frankenstein had it easy

It's been a while since our last update. As you may know, we suffered catastrophic engine failure at Goin' For Broken in May. A week later, we had come into possession of a new drivetrain, and it was in the back of the big white van until it could be moved into a garage to work on. We anticipated it might take a few days.

Last Friday, with a rented engine hoist and much cursing, we moved it into the garage.

The drivetrain we bought came with the primitive-even-in-the-sixties Powerglide two-speed automatic transmission. This was naturally of no use to us since our car has a four-speed and the bodies are different. Off it came, to live in my basement until we can find some sucker who will give us a hundred bucks for it. The diff will come off later; if it's a posi unit we might be able to sell the diff and trans for what we paid for the motor.

The plan was that we'd do a quick compression check on the motor, see that it was in nearly perfect condition, do a little engine-transmission switch, and go racing.

This plan got off to a good start when we saw that the engine was only a quart or so low on oil.

It took a turn for the worse when we noticed some twigs and grass through one of the spark plug access holes.

Removing the sheet metal - more cursing, fevered use of vise-grips, and cutting away rotted rubber tubes - showed that our engine had been used as a home by some small animal. Probably feathered.

Some more time with the shop vac and some compressed air and we should be remove the spark plugs without fear of contaminating our precious combustion chambers. If we end up with 140 psi of compression, it's probably because the they're half full of mouse turds.

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