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'51 Chieftain - On The Road


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Rear servo time!

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Careful use of clamps and muscle and a bit of rude language saw it all in pieces.

I think there are more springs than any other part inside.

 

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It also contained enough metal chips and swarf that, if collected, could have made a 1:32 scale model of the gearbox.

 

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All pistons realigned, rings seated, springs compressed and bolts torqued down.

 

I like this piece. None of it was broken. It was just dirty.

 

Phil

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I built special tool J-4670 out of bolts and plywood. General Motors engineers look away now.

 

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With the spring clip removed, application of some compressed air saw the piston removed. So far the reverse gear assembly is the only part that's not been full of swarf.

 

Rebuild parts ordered. Hopefully should be in mid-way through next week.

 

Phil

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I revisited the governor last night. Initially I had assembled it and it was ok but after being left it decided to bind up if I tapped it down to the bottom of the bore with my finger.

 

I had gone to it again and it was a lot better with the governor on the bench but once it was torqued down onto the plate it was binding slightly in a few points around its rotation and that was bugging me.

The rest of the system (valve block more so but will be trouble is it is dirty) is more tolerant of imperfections such as scoring of bores or dirt in the hydraulics. The servos are driven by regulated high pressure oil; the valves that operate them are also driven by high pressure oil. The governor weights are pushed inward by high pressure oil but are drawn outward to open up by the forces imparted upon the weights by the action of them spinning.

Therefore, that loading is intolerant of any external influence- dirty bore, sticking weight) and the effect is knock-on and quite large to the rest of the system- the governor oil pressure being a vital part of the way the gearbox determines what gear to be in.

So, I redid the lapping of the valve with it torqued down into the housing and now it doesn't stick. Hopefully that will resolve a lot of the issues this gearbox had- it would certainly explain why it would hold in first gear for a long time and then change when the throttle pedal was snapped shut- the resultant drop in oil pressure upon closing the throttle on the compensator system likely caused the governor to un-stick and move outward, causing the gears to dump and shift over to 3rd. I know the valve block was all jammed up on the 2-3 valve so nothing was wanting to move smoothly.

 

UPS has my box of parts from Fatsco right now, hoping that'll be in tomorrow, maybe Thursday. It'll be nice to get a move on reassembly- clean down and reinstall will hopefully be all in one go.

 

--Phil

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Yesterday was busy with wiring. Started with the tail light circuit and associated parts. Rebuilt the lamp holders for the ash tray and glove box by de-soldering the eyelets that form the positive terminal and fitting new wire.20190826_122504.thumb.jpg.e7069ec754ae85d7e27e1efc1b683922.jpg

No frayed insulation now. The ash tray light is strange- pull the tray out a fraction and the light comes on and illuminates the floor. Pull the tray all the way out and the light illuminates nothing at all, blocked by the tray.

Rebuilt the glovebox light holder also, and serviced the switch.

 

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The rest of the day was spent pulling wire for the loom. I have the parking light and headlight circuits connected and operational by the switch. Today hopefully I'll trace out the turn signal switch wires and get that connected up.

 

I'm waiting on some brass eyelets to arrive so I can rebuild all the dash illumination bulb holders.

 

Phil

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That it certainly is, but well worth doing. Most of the wires where they entered a plug or light socket had crumbled away to reveal conductors, so well overdue replacement.

 

I've somewhat over-wired the car- I hate small-gauge wire over a long run for high-draw things like headlights. The lights were specced 16ga for the low beams and 14 for the high. Both now have 10ga to the terminal blocks and 12ga to each light. They are noticeably brighter now. The dimmer switch could do with replacement; that is about the only piece I cannot take apart to fix. Eveything else (terminals, wires, switch, fusebox) has been stripped and cleaned. Every little helps. I now only have about 1/5th of a volt drop from the battery to the headlight connector. I call that good enough!

 

All the bearings I needed have arrived in so I'll be making a start on that to clear the bench tomorrow, I think.

 

Phil

Edited by PhilAndrews (see edit history)
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I lost count of how many times I took the gearbox apart today.

 

I think I found the issue though. Snap ring that holds the front drum on to the secondary shaft didn't seat right because the new annular piston lid is slightly taller than the old one. 

 

I need a new pair of narrow snap ring pliers.

 

Hopefully I can take a couple thou' out of the buffer washer and get it all to sit right.

 

Phil

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3 hours ago, PhilAndrews said:

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Back to wiring today to get my mind off stupid errors. Dash gauge harness complete.

 

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Added bonus:- it all works.

 

Phil

i assembled my new 53 pontiac cluster using all nos parts except the bezel and the 55 fuel gauge.

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I'm in a bit of a tighter budget than that allows, really. I just want to make this safe and as tidy as it can be.

 

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With the lights on the ammeter registers the battery discharging, the warning lights work and the gas gauge now even works- it shows the tank isn't quite empty.

 

Phil

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I ended up, for now, fitting the car style switch by removing the bracket that holds the correct switch.

 

Wired up the back up lights, blower fan and brake lights. Those all now work.

Took the driver's side door switch apart, cleaned and adjusted the mechanism and reassembled. The door now operates the dome light correctly.

The dome light switch was jammed from the day I got the car, so I pulled it apart. It has overheated a little in the past and had melted out of shape. I filed it back into shape so the spring loaded contract is free to move and now it operates the dome lamp correctly. 

 

Onward and upward.

 

Phil

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

 

It helps greatly if the timing is set correctly. I found my timing light and set the timing up as per the book. It was nearly 45 degrees advanced; previous keeper had indexed the plug wires incorrectly. Surprised it was running before, thought it was a little lumpy...

 

Gearbox parts should be here Thursday or Friday, hopefully then I'll be able to reassemble that and get it bolted up to the engine.

 

Phil

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New oil rings fitted to the governor.

 

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Governor, front and rear servos, rear pump pipe, front oil pickup pipe and strainer in place.

 

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Reverse gear assembly on, reverse pawl lever in place, reverse lever bracket centered on governor shaft and valve block fitted.

 

 

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Got the rear servo preload adjustment set- 5 7/16" from pin to end of servo.

 

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All tightened up. Front servo is a bit more fiddly but I made a tool by tapping a thread down the middle of a brass hydraulic fitting and using that to pay the piston down 0.3".

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Front band then is snugged up and locked in place.

 

Phil

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Just filled it up and idled it and topped off again but revved up it cycles through all 4 gears happily now. Next up, valve lash again, finish looming the wires in the engine compartment with tape then I can reinstall the powerplant.

 

I call that a result.

 

 

Phil

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Heavy thing it is, too. Started on lowering the engine and transmission into place.

 

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Bit of a fight later and it's in and starts up. Manifold isn't sealing worth a hoot so need to slacken that off and redo.

 

I stink of old stale fuel. Put a few gallons in the tank just to freshen it up a little. Gauge reads quarter of a tank full now!

 

Phil

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  • PhilAndrews changed the title to '51 Chieftain - Valve job
  • PhilAndrews changed the title to '51 Chieftain - On The Road

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