I went to “Cowtown” last Sunday. It is a big antique car swap meet that is held this time every year in southern NJ. There are lots of guys with old parts (mostly 50-70s stuff) and lots of vendors with tools and supplies.
1: A very nice headlight shell without any internal parts for $10. One of my headlights is pretty dented, but has good internal parts, so this was a lucky find.
2: A two bladed fan for $10. This is a bit more authentic than the 4-blade fan I currently have.
3: An apparently NOS 1st-reverse transmission gear, also for $10. My transmission is already redone and works OK, but someday a spare gear will come in handy.
4: A bunch of sandpaper.
5: On the way out, I somewhat impulsively got an original radiator for $50. The fins were a little banged up, but it looked potentially usable.
In the evening, I bead-blasted the fan, and cold not find any cracks or damage. I also filled up the radiator, and it did not seem to leak. The car’s current radiator looks and works fine, but it’s aftermarket, not original. So at some point I may install the new one.
A while back I realized that the engine was idling really rich, even with the adjustment set as lean as possible. It seemed to be so rich that the #1 cylinder was not even firing most of the time.
So a couple of days ago I removed the carb jets (a 10-minute operation) and flow-tested them. This involves connecting the jet via a plastic tube to a water reservoir mounted exactly 36″ above the jet, and measuring how rapidly water flows out the jet. I threw together a test rig that resembled a hospital IV setup (or an enema bag) using a plastic gallon jug, some rubber and vinyl tubing, etc.
It turned out that the idle jet was way oversize, and was flowing 60% more than spec. The main jet flowed about 40% under spec. These were reproduction parts installed by a previous owner, and clearly they were not made to OEM specifications!
The fix was to solder the jet openings closed and re-drill the openings to the correct size. This involved a bit of trial-and-error, re-testing the flow rate and trying different size drill bits. I re-installed the jets (another 10-minute operation) and afterward the engine ran much better, firing evenly on all four cylinders.
Over the weekend, I took the two wooden blocks I had made, and stained them black so they would look original. The were originally mounted to the floorpans with 1-3/4″ bolts, so I had to take some 2″ bolts and cut them down to the correct size. I Parkerized them, and used them to mount the blocks in place.
I was out of town the last week, but the week before that it was fairly warm, so I was able to varnish the roof ribs and some other wood bits. I also installed a piece of wood that supports the dome lamp above the rear seat.
I cut a piece of 3/4″ plywood to serve as the base of the rear seat, and made up a couple of wooden blocks that screw to the rear floorpan to hold it in position. The original seat base was a wooden frame made up of several pieces with tongue-and-groove joints, but the plywood is simpler, and will be undetectable once the seat base is upholstered.
Spring has arrived, and soon it will be warm enough to resume body work and painting.
It never got warm enough to varnish the roof ribs. Maybe it will this weekend. I did do some more fitting of the ribs to the rest of the roof wood, and I added some shims to get their height correct. I also checked the fit of the wooden blocks that the sun visors mount to, which go between two of the ribs.
For the door latches, I got some special stepped rivets from a parts vendor, but they turned out to be not quite the right size. I guess I will try making some.