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1969 GS 400 Convertible


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The pump is packed with vaseline, but is not primed until it has oil going from the pan through the pickup tube, and into the pump.  You'll probably be ok, but using a priming tool before you stab the distributor in is good insurance to verify oil pressure before spinning the entire rotating assembly.  It could take 10, 20, 30 seconds before the pump primes on its own.

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On 10/6/2016 at 11:29 PM, JohnD1956 said:

...But over the years another annoying aspect of this car was what seemed to be a lack of testosterone off the line. I went through various things listed above, and nothing really seemed to help.  Essentially I think this car ought to be able to burn rubber off the line by just stomping the gas pedal.  But it doesn't.  I didn't know if it was mechanical or emotional.  I still have problems just stomping the gas pedal.  I'm always afraid I'll break something I can't afford to fix.  But in the last year I have gotten a little more aggressive and it will break the non posi rear free if I manage to overcome my fear and get the gas pedal down far enough.  Yet, it just did not seem right.  So one day I popped off the distributor cap and rotated the crank manually to see how much slack I had in the timing chain. It seemed to me that there was a good half inch movement of the breaker bar before the rotor would move.  So for the last year I have driven it conservatively while getting ready to change the timing chain.

 

Today I started disassembly.  ( to be continued)

 

John, you may be on the right track here as far as diagnosis of the 'lazy' low-end power.  See the article below:

 

http://www.agriculture.com/content/four-most-likely-causes-of-a-weak-gas-engine

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It's alive! I did pull the distributor and primed the oil pump.  Then finished reassembly which went pretty easy.  Even though I marked my distributor before the initial removal, my neighbor Gerry, who is an accomplished auto mechanic hobbyist,  pointed out that the orientation of the distributor was such that the vacuum advance was just about laying on the thermostat by pass hose.  While advancing the timing would pull the unit away from the hose, any need to retard the timing would wind up touching the hose.  So after analyzing the best orientation I pulled the distributor again and moved everything a few degrees counter clockwise.  This worked out well. 

So it starts with the twist of the key again,  and I still need to finalize the timing setting.  Also there is some sort of blockage in the return heater hose.  Maybe an air bubble?  At any rate I need to resolve that, and then it's done. 

 

BTW, there is a chance of snow tomorrow!  And the top's still down! 

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GS Project0001.JPG

 

Initial timing today indicated TDC, @580 RPM in Drive, no vac advance. which is the factory setting.  Checked that the mechanical weights worked and were consistent.  Advanced the timing to +2*,   and took a test drive.  Don't bother popping the corn.  The attached video is less than 2 min long. 

 

Its a GS again!

 

Yahoo!

 

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6 hours ago, dei said:

Really nice John! :)

You have the best of both worlds, the GS 'Hot Rod' and the Electra bankers 'Hot rod'. :D

 

BEAUTIFUL!B)

 

In all these years I never really thought of it that way Dei.  Thanks for a new vision. Grampa's hotrod in the 56 too! 

 

I had the GS out for a longer ride today.  What a difference!  I think it might be one of my favorites!

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  • 8 months later...

Just finished changing the heater hoses and the heat control valve.  Man, those spring clamps are annoying. Hope this brings the heater back from its lackluster performance.  Since Feb the heater would get warm but not hot where-as up to Feb the heater worked excellent. I did back flush the heater core and got some rust out. But something else may be wrong unless its just the initial air bubble.  I can hear the vacuum hiss when turning the system off. But need to check there is vacuum at the heater control valve. Since it just started to rain that will be on ttomorrow's agenda

0722171340a.jpg

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Spring clamps: I took an old pair of pliers and ground a groove in the jaws creating an area so they would not slip off. 

That worked quite well when you could put them vertically over the two spring ends like on the rad hoses where you have access but....

Like the area on you heater hoses, you have to go at them sideways so.... cut a groove sideways on the jaws on the same pair and voila! 

 

Having said that, Need to get after my son and get them back since they have disappeared from my tool box..... kids! :P

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Might have to do that Dei.  Turns out there is still something blocking the line.  Will be back in there today to flush it again.  Just hoping  it's not the heater core itself that has to be replaced.

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Went back to flushing the core today.  There was still a bunch of debris that came out and it got quite messy.  After getting drenched, and then some experimentation, I came up with a decent garden hose to heater hose connection,  And after what seemed like 30- 45 minutes of constantly reversing the flush direction, I was finally getting great flow in both directions and no more silt and rust.   Surely this would be the fix!  But alas, no joy ( to coin Willie's phrase).  Anyhow, let me cut this short. 

 

In the first place I knowingly bought the wrong water control valve.  The parts place I went to did not have a listing for the 69 cars so I bought the oldest one they did list, the one for the 72.  I did have a reason for going to that particular store, but that's not part of this story.  Anyhow, turns out the difference between the two is humongous.  In the '65-'70, vacuum is applied to the water control valve to open it for flow.  In the '72,  vacuum is applied to the valve to close it during AC use.  So during use in the GS, the system closed the heater loop, instead of opening it, thus no heat. 

 

After reading both the 69 and 72 manuals I realized the mistake, and disconnecting the vacuum line resulted in the valve opening, and heat, lots and lots of heat!  I did find the correct valve and can pick it up tomorrow. 

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Had to back up a step today.  The part from NAPA turned out to be some type of universal water valve, which might have worked, but was pretty ugly.  Black plastic, with inlet and outlet at 90 degree angles to the main port.  So having seen the valves in the CARS Inc.  catalog, I called and bought the one listed.  Hopefully it will get delivered this week sometime so I can get that car back to normal.

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The water valve arrived yesterday and it took about 15 minutes to change it out today.  Then during the test drive for the heater the radio crapped out on me.  Sweet biscuits!  Beginning to look like my lucky streak is coming to an end.

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  • 1 month later...

The radio was fixed the next week after my last post, and it works better than ever. I took the car to the Yankee Chapter show this year and racked up a few hundred miles doing so.  But it has sat since then till today.  While doing a few errands I pulled into the last parking lot and the oil pressure light came on.  I wiggled the wire connector and restarted the car and that seemed to fix it. Drove it home without any odd noises or problems. But after unloading the packages I went to put it away and the light came on again.  No amount of wiggling helped this time. 

I did replace the sender unit years ago, and cannot remember if I replaced it again when I did the timing chain.  So tomorrow I'm going to put my test gauge on it and see if it's the sender or if I have a real problem.

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If there's no 'ticking' lifters, I'm pretty sure you'll find the sending unit is at fault.  This is an instance where having a mechanical oil pressure gauge comes in handy...

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Em Tee, That's what I'm thinking too.  I have a plan for putting in some gauges eventually.  Still gotta buy one more before starting my template.  But it was too cold and damp today to screw around in the garage.  Remnants of Hurricane Harvey in this area today.  I don't know how there could have been so much water in those clouds.

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My girlfriend had this same problem with her 2007 Pontiac G6. Turns out, there was a piece of some type of wax paper stuck over the end of the sensor and was causing it to malfunction. Could just be something in there that found it's way to the sensor, here's hoping its not!

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Discovered I did not have a bushing to convert the test oil pressure gauge to the  port in the block.  I'll try to get one tomorrow.  Meanwhile I probed the port on the sender I took out and there did not seem to be anything inside of it, or the engine port either.  I reinstalled it and started the car.  The oil light went out, as it should.  Ran it till I had heat out of the heater.  And then let it sit while I cut some grass.  After that the oil light would not go out again.  But after two more start cycles the light was very inconsistent. So I put it away.  I have a new switch on order and I'm certain that's all it is, but I will still run the test gauge just to be sure.

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)
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On Tuesday I went to the store and got the converter bushing I needed to hook up the test oil pressure gauge.  Threw everything into the repurposed jar I am using to hold everything associated with the OP gauge and came home.  Then due to weather I had a window to put the gauge on today.  After the basic set up, I was ready to connect the line to the new bushing but, lo- and behold, I could not find the connector that started this whole thing.  It wasn't in the jar, and I searched the places I thought I would have left it. I even contacted the part store in case I left it on the counter but it wasn't to be found.  My son said, " I think I handed that back to you when you were leaving".  So I gave up and hooked up the new sender, figuring if get the light again then I'd have to go buy more fittings to get that gauge on there. 

When done, the rains came in again and I could only get a few minutes to test the car.  So far the light works as designed and it is not on while idling.  

Then I discovered I threw the fitting into our loose change jar. :rolleyes:

 

 

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  • 1 year later...

Oh boy, have not posted anything about this car since 2017!  It was lightly used in 2018 and so far in 2019, too.  So I have not done much to it except gas it up and go.

 

Last year the seal on the AC Compressor leaked and while I bought a new seal,  I have not addressed it yet.  But this week I was finally challenged to put on the refinished bumper, the one that was refinished in Spring 2015.  I had put the refinished rear bumper on back then,  but held off on the front because I was tossed up on doing more body work.  Since then the bumper has sat in the shed alongside the Queen.  Partly fearing I would hit it someday, and partly needing to get it moved so I could try to organize the crapola in the shed,  Ed helped me realize I had to put the refinished bumper on the car, and put the core bumper in the rafters.   

 

It is satisfying to get this unit back on the car. 

 

I say back on the car because, this is the bumper that came with the car.  It was damaged in the past and had a folded area in the center.  The story I was told was that the original owner would pull the car into the garage till the front bumper hit the concrete front wall.  Then he knew it was in far enough that he could close the garage door.  I guess in the early 70's it was a practical decision.

 

  But at the 2008 Flint meet I purchased a core bumper from Clarence Getz, which looked great laying on the ground.  Later when I put it on the car I discovered it was also damaged with a twist on the drivers side.  This is after I got a little of the twist out, and after I took it to a shop to see if they could get the twist out.  That is one stubborn bumper.

 

477489593_DSC00688(1).thumb.JPG.5262b919371630a09cb59ddd02ad61da.JPG

 

Still, the chrome was acceptable and so I left it on.  Then,  in fall 2014 I took the original front bumper and a core rear bumper I got in Oregon,  to Sandy's Bumper Mart in Syracuse.  I retrieved them the following Spring .  And on 8/5 I finally started the replacement project.

 

DSC00328.thumb.JPG.9d91d55f97130d9ea9789f1c739bbaa7.JPG 

 

 

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It was nice to work on it since the bolts have not had time to rust up again after 2008.  

 

DSC00334.thumb.JPG.4735df0b144dc600bebb7996f0e41583.JPG

 

But as always,  one thing leads to another.  The bottom of the radiator support were showing some wear.

 

DSC00335.thumb.JPG.94b5568c92e04714f8206e6c00bafa1c.JPG

 

Well, I wire brushed, sanded, treated with the "New Metal " acid spray,  and then self etching primer and a few top coats of black satin paint.  They are not really done right.  But I am not in financial position to tear it apart to do more.  Plus it is driving season, so I moved on to reassemble. 

 

 

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That lead to deciding I had to refinish the headlight doors.  The silver paint around the headlights was showing it's age, and the black paint around the outer perimeter of the lights was likewise flaky.  So I washed them with thinner till all the old paint was removed.  This was REALLY EASY..  lol... And then taped up the thin polished chrome separating the silver and black finishes.  this was REALLY HARD!!!!

 

At this point I hit them with self etching primer and then dug out the silver and black paint I had in stock.  I managed to paint both the silver and the black without much ado.  Used Rustoleum bright sliver around the bulbs and basic satin black around the outside.  And when I was done peeling the tape , THEN I noticed that the can said the silver was not suitable for wet conditions.  Oph-fa!  But they looked really decent to meDSC00341.thumb.JPG.6b539f2bce2b5218f08ad8aadbef75a2.JPG

 

And I already had them on the car!  

 

DSC00339.thumb.JPG.4503f86f5ccff0ca975364801950d193.JPG

 

But off they came, and I taped that chrome strip up again (  which was REALLY HARD)  and shot them with a few coats of clear coat!  They are a bit shinyer now but they will have to do. 

 

My son and grandson had helped me get the bumper back on the car, and then I was able to do an initial alignment.  But Ed cam over the next day and helped me get a better fit. 

 

DSC00367.thumb.JPG.1806217da16a88188c46efdc4720a709.JPG

 

And now I have no excuse for not straightening out the crapola in the shed! 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Had to replace the 2010 battery this year. Apparently it really needed it too. Spun over much better. 

 

 

Also a short walk-around

 

 

Then took it out for a 6 mile ride and the oil light started comming on.  Hope its just the switch again. 

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Lookin' good John!  Though, I will say that I'm surprised that you haven't flipped those tires around to the 'dark side'...

 

20200428_174158.thumb.jpg.3a8137ff31037e

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John, your GS is very smart, a nice colour combination, I like it.  Even with top up, it has style. And I think the white lettering adds some bling to the wheels whereas whitewalls may be too much. 🤔 
 

The walk around video while running was impressive, might do that myself.   Engine bay looks clean, amazing how quiet it is when shutting the hood. Keep it coming.

Rodney 😀😀😀😀

 

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