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Messages - Dan Cluley

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General Mopar Discussions / Service Cars: Mopars
« on: April 02, 2008, 08:41:02 PM »
Quote from: MoparMatt
but does it take Canadian quarters?

General Tech- - BRAKES / How do you test a brake booster???
« on: April 01, 2008, 02:04:54 AM »
Is it possible for a booster to be weak?  The one in the convertible does not appear to have any leaks, it does apply boost, but it takes more pressure than any other car I've dealt with (not the over-boosted mopar brakes, I keep hearing about)

MEMBERS Project Cars in Progress / Remember this mess?
« on: March 29, 2008, 09:53:09 PM »
and if nobody calls for it in 30 days its yours to keep.
the scary part is given enough time, I probably could trace a lot of the added mess.

MEMBERS Project Cars in Progress / Remember this mess?
« on: March 27, 2008, 06:39:44 PM »
Is it a sign that I've been under the dash too much if I can identify where most of that wiring goes?

General Tech / Trouble with newer van
« on: March 27, 2008, 06:32:39 PM »
What, and damage somebody's locomotive? D Cluley2008-03-27 22:33:41

MEMBERS Project Cars in Progress / MBONB
« on: March 27, 2008, 02:07:03 AM »
Front end work - Easy is hard, and Hard is easy?
We've had a few hints of spring weather the last couple of weeks, so I've been starting a few projects. 
The Dart has a couple of issues with the front end, so I thought I'd do them together. 
Left caliper has been leaking a little, needs new shocks, and the pitman arm has a little slop.  Take care of that, get new tires, and then re-align.
Shocks should be easy, right?
I didn't think I needed to spend $110 on the KYBs, so had to special order Monroes- took 4 days  (they built how many million A-bodies, and nobody has shocks in the local warehouse?) and then they  turn out to be the wrong part.  So now I'm waiting another 3 days for the other number.
Brake cailper should be pretty easy, right?
This is the easiest caliper mounting system I've worked with.  Except when one of the bolt heads snaps off  Except that the broken bolt came out with no problem 
Easy? Hard?  this one was just weird!
I figured the pitman arm would be the hard one.
I've never used a pickle fork before, and when I bought the puller, the guy at the parts store suggested that I'd really want to use an impact wrench.
So the other night I figured I'd just clean the crud off, and see if anything would budge.  Everything came apart easily and in less than an hour later, the new one was installed.  Go figure.
After looking at the FSM and the car, I realised that the alignment was screwed up.  Somebody set this thing up with a couple of degrees of NEGATIVE caster.  The only way that is right, is if it has manual steering and bias ply tires.  I eyeballed it back to a little Positive caster and between that and the new pitman arm, it feels a lot more solid.
Next up, new tires for the Dart, so I can put the other set back on the Chrysler.
D Cluley2008-03-27 06:12:25

General Tech / Trouble with newer van
« on: March 27, 2008, 01:34:42 AM »
Give Snotty a gold star.

Turns out the original shop that was supposed to replace the O2 sensors, only replaced one of them, not both.  Once the other was done, it ran great for the last couple of weeks....

until it chewed up the RF wheel bearing last night.
I am SO glad I don't own this thing.

MEMBERS Project Cars in Progress / Dr Rustbucket...
« on: March 26, 2008, 07:57:54 PM »
What, you want me to ruin the suspense? D Cluley2008-05-10 06:39:14

MEMBERS Project Cars in Progress / Dr Rustbucket...
« on: March 26, 2008, 07:27:10 PM »
Before I start in on my projects, I need to include a confession and disclaimer.
Given the extent of the rust, in, on, and under this car I decided very early on that it is going to be a “driver” plain and simple.  To seriously restore it would basically involve removing the convertible top and putting a new car underneath.  Even if I had the time, skill, patience, and money to do this car properly, I would have a hard time justifying completely cutting up a better car to fix this one.
Therefore, I have done some very “creative” bodywork over the years, including using hardware store angle iron, and expanding spray foam.  I am certainly not suggesting that these are ideal techniques, however my goals are repairs that are structurally sound, weathertight, and cosmetically decent from normal viewing angles (no promises about the inside of the trunk or underneath)  I think in each case my end result is better than what I started with.

 The rest of 2002 basically involved new tires, a new top and a whole lot of little stuff.  Hoses/belts, rubber fuel lines, and getting pretty much all of the electrical stuff working.


Spring 2003 –
            I bought a 2 door New Yorker as a parts car.  It had been in an accident in the early 70s and the repairs were never finished.  I suspect they got the new quarter tacked on and realized that the car wasn’t quite square anymore and gave up. 

The convertible seemed to be idling rough, which turned out to be a couple of burnt exhaust valves (one cylinder had no compression) so replaced the heads with a set of freshly rebuilt 452s
Summer 2003 –
            Replaced pretty much the complete braking system including stainless lines.  This went well I took it down off the jackstands and it rolled into the street.   I had left it in neutral, and of course the brakes weren’t bled/adjusted enough to stop the car.  Then realized that in order to install the front lines, I’d removed the battery and tray, so couldn’t move the car until I put those back.  Fortunately it’s a very quiet residential street.  This is probably the dumbest stunt I’ve ever pulled with a car.

MEMBERS Project Cars in Progress / I need your opinion on Polaraco
« on: March 26, 2008, 07:10:47 PM »
Wasn't convinced till I saw the new wheels with whitewalls, that I like.

Question about your backspace issue-  Were there different versions of the road wheels, or was this a problem even back in the '70s?

MEMBERS Project Cars in Progress / Dr Rustbucket...
« on: March 25, 2008, 03:38:54 AM »

..or how I learned to stop worrying and love the convertible.
Since Spring seems to be trying to show up, and I might actually get some work done at some point, so I thought I'd lay out the backstory first.
This car was built in December of 1965 and sold to someone in Detroit.  (who buys a convertible in Michigan in Dec?!!)

The original owner passed away around 1980 and his son sold it to a man named Robert Dixon, also of Detroit.  In the mid 80’s he had a fair amount of work done.
 Replaced the top, switching from black to white.
Had some rust repair done to the rear quarters and had the car repainted.
Had the engine rebuilt at around 100,000 miles.
In 2000 he sold it to a man in Jackson Mi.
In the summer of 2002 it was sold through an auto-auction in Parma (small town near Jackson)  and ended up at King Motors (a small repair shop that sells also sells a few cars) in Mason MI (where I live just outside Lansing) with 142,000 miles on it.

Meanwhile, in the spring and early summer of 2002, my minivan was in the shop for a week getting the transmission rebuilt, and again for almost that long when the waterpump blew. The second time, I borrowed a co-workers beater truck.  A chevy pickup he bought from the neighbors for $100, and looking for a similar back-up car  seemed like a good idea.  After a couple of weeks keeping my eyes open, the best I’d seen was an ’83 Olds 98 2 door.  A pretty rare beast, but it had some issues, and the seller seemed a little flaky, so I passed.
So on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in July, I’m out running some errands, and I happen to so the car sitting out at King Motors and I stopped to take a look.  I wasn’t seriously interested, in fact, I wasn’t really sure exactly what it was (I knew it was some sort of Chrysler product from the 60’s but not much more)  What I was thinking was that it had been years since I’d driven an old car, and years since I’d been in a convertible, and that it would be a really, really nice day to take a test drive. ;)

It obviously had some issues, but he was only asking $1000.  This was about twice what I was looking to spend, but somewhere in the middle of my drive, I started trying to do the math in my head, to see if the budget could be stretched enough to make this work. 
So I told the dealer I needed to talk to my insurance guy, but that I would probably be back.
Monday morning,  still half convinced that I’d lost my mind,  I stopped at the insurance office, the bank, the dealers, back to the insurance office and then headed off to work before noon with my new convertible.

After a few days exploration, I had pretty much determined what you get with a $1000 Convertible.
It started up, ran, drove, and stopped just fine.  Steering was reasonable, but a little bit of wandering had me assuming that it needed tie rods (turned out to just be the old bias-ply tires)
The dash looks pretty cool, the door panels and carpet are marginal, and the seats are pretty nasty.  A lot of splits in the vinyl along the stitching, and the much of the foam in the front buckets is gone (you could actually see all the way through to the floor in one spot of the drivers seat)



The top went up and down perfectly, but was pretty useless as an actual top.  It had a couple of pinholes over the front seat, large tears in the C-pillar areas, and the rear window was 90% gone.
The passenger door window did not roll up.  The quarter windows did go up and down but were fussy and didn’t really seal very well.
The holes in the top had allowed enough water in that the floor around and under the back seat was pretty well rusted through, and the frame rails/front spring mounts were pretty crunchy as well.
Rear springs were sagging.  Combine this with a very long trunk, and driveways are not something to be taken lightly.  Also, putting 4 friends in the car and attempting to go for a ride didn’t work real well either.
The lumpy bits above and behind the fender skirts seemed to be bondo over rust.
The electrical system was a disaster.  It is easier to describe what did work properly.  The basic ignition/charging system, headlights, front turn signals, radio, about half the dash lights, the ammeter, and the top motor.  It did come with two boxes of fuses in the ashtray. (I used most of them before getting the interior lights, and the taillights working right)
            Amazingly enough the bulkhead connector was pretty decent.  It just had a lot of bad grounds, and rust in the fuse box!!!!!
It does however look pretty presentable  â€“  at dusk  –  if you underexpose it a little


MEMBERS Project Cars in Progress / I need your opinion on Polaraco
« on: March 20, 2008, 07:01:35 PM »
I've always said it would look better with white walls, but those wheels don't work for me on that car.  Same goes for road wheels on the '67.
I'm certainly no purist, but I do think wheels of the correct vintage look better.

MEMBERS Project Cars in Progress / MBONB
« on: February 26, 2008, 01:36:18 AM »
I don't ever seem to have time to post a full update here, so I'll just throw up a couple of photos.
I got one of those Pine scented air fresheners, but I couldn't get it to hang from the mirror.

This one is simply my excuse for not getting any projects done.

Tech- - FUEL / SO what sits on top of your engine?
« on: February 26, 2008, 01:04:43 AM »
Quote from: 1bad68fury
heavy right foot?
It's those cement shoes that Steve got him for Christmas. 
My Dart has a Carter BBD and the Chrysler has an AFB.  Both are the original type, may be the original carbs for all I know.
Rebuilding the BBD went pretty well, so I'm thinking of doing the AFB this spring.  I know it hasn't been touched in the 5 years I've owned the car, so who knows how long it's been.

General Tech / Trouble with newer van
« on: February 26, 2008, 12:32:39 AM »
Well, at this point the Saga of Van 28 has pretty much turned into more of a farce, but here's an update.
Almost a month ago, (shortly after my last post) I checked the spark plugs.  Color looked ok, but they were seriously worn.  The gaps were too large to measure with my guage!  So, replaced plugs/wires, which didn't seem to make improvement.
Before I had a chance to look for the O2 sensors, got a call from the owner, saying it was making funny noises, and not running well, and that he was taking it back to the office.  (I normally drive Sun-Tue, He drives it Wed-Sat)  Follow up call, explained that it was backfiring into the air cleaner, and he was taking it to get fixed.  YAY!!
The shop replaced the crank position sensor, and the O2 sensors.
That took care of the backfire, but it was still stalling occasionally.
So two weeks ago we both noticed that it ran fine for a couple of days.  The only thing I can see that may have been different was that the outside temps were very cold (I don't think it got above 5 that weekend)
The next day however, it simply died on me.  Went to pull out of a parking lot, it stalled without warning (not the gradual stumbling thing it has been doing) and would not start.
I was pretty sure it was not getting any fuel at all, since if I sprayed starting fluid or carb cleaner into the air cleaner it would fire up and run for 1-2 seconds.
So back to the shop it went.
I didn't hear anything until today (which was fine by me, as the full size Ford, and the Olds minivan, I drove instead are both newer and nicer.)
Tonight it was back from the shop.  Started ok, but still doing the stumbling thing a few times.  That lasted about 7 hours before it completely died again.
I left the owner a message, letting him know where I had abandoned it this time.
When he called back, I got the whole story on the latest round of repairs.
They replaced the fuel pump, he picked it up and it died a couple of miles down the road.  When they got it back, they determined it was blowing the fuse for the fuel pump, dropped the tank again, found a wire that seemed to be pinched, fixed that and declared it done (again.)
I wish I had known that beforehand, since I might have been able to get it back to the office.
At this point, I'm kind of hoping somebody comes along and sets fire to it, but that's just me.

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