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TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
1/12/22 4:42 p.m.

In reply to AMiataCalledSteve :

A rectangular box is about the best possible beginner fab project. Consider it that way.

MiniDave
MiniDave New Reader
1/16/22 11:30 a.m.

So many challenges ahead for this car.....I'll be there in April, can't wait to see it!

BTW, the best tool I've found for cleaning up rusty metal is a wire brush in an angle grinder, makes short work of getting rusty surfaces cleaned up and ready for primer.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s HalfDork
1/16/22 9:06 p.m.

I'd say that car is quite a bit older than its body style based on how the roof shape interacts with midsection as compared to a contemporary NASCAR of the time -- which is not a big deal at all for your use.

MiniDave
MiniDave New Reader
2/26/22 9:38 a.m.

Anything new on your project?

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
3/31/22 8:49 p.m.

Welp, it's been a hot minute since I updated this thread, mostly because my pace of work is agonizingly slow, but I'm back! The last couple months have been occupied with several small jobs that simultaneously feel like they get you nowhere but are satisfying to do finish in little doses.

Firstly, I did end up buying one of those cheapo fuel cells, just to see if it might work and save me some money. As most of you have probably guessed, it did not, and I did not. Oh well, you live and learn. On the plus side, I now have an extra 17 gallon steel fuel tank just sitting around for anything else I might want to do. It really was very cheap, so I'm not really all that disappointed.

Of course, that means I still need something to put gas in. After looking over the old cell, I decided to try to bring it back to life, at least for now. I'm sure I'll have to replace it fully a little farther down the line, but the old bladder doesn't have any leaks and the old shell was rusty, but not completely unsalvageable.

I began by buying a HF grinder and wire cup wheel and cutting off the bolts for the side access panel, since several were to rusty for sockets and would just round off. The foam inside was pretty much just powder at this point, so it's np wonder this thing wouldn't get fuel.

After I removed the bladder and foam, I knocked all the rusty scale off. The metal was pitted, but aside from a couple small pinholes seemed to be ok, so I started the process of priming and painting it with oil and gas resistant enamel (which I'm almost finished with, but no pictures just yet).

After waterlogging the foam, I removed what was left of the foam blocks from the bladder and strained what I couldn't grab into a bucket with an old T-shirt to catch the remaining bits.

Like I said, the bladder holds liquid, so it should be alright sans foam for now.

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
3/31/22 9:14 p.m.

I also began rebuilding the fuel pump. This car has an old Carter mechanical fuel pump, and while I couldn't find a replacement with the actual part number mine has, I found that Dead Nuts On has a rebuild kit for a '67-'71 mustang that had all the same measurements. After buying the kit and letting it languish in the garage for a month, I finally got down to cracking the old one open. Someone had encased the plug for the dowel pin in some kind of plaster, but once I chipped that off and completely mangled the plug, it was smooth sailing.

 

I'll clean it up and reassemble it this weekend hopefully. I also sprayed some carb cleaner through the fuel filter and it came out clear and easy, so hopefully that means the rest of the fuel lines aren't gummed up.

GCrites80s
GCrites80s Dork
3/31/22 9:35 p.m.

Hmm, I don't know about running without foam. Sounds like a recipe for fuel starve in corners below half-full even with the low fuel pressure of a carb.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/31/22 9:39 p.m.

Id think that the foam will go back in later. 

In my cell, im building a little sheetmetal tray for the pump to pick up from like a factory efi tank.

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
4/5/22 7:43 a.m.

It was a pretty good weekend for wrenching. I didn't get to the fuel pump on Saturday because my girlfriend asked for my help installing an AC condenser in her car, which went pretty well. We couldn't find the correct dryer though, so for now everything is plugged up and sitting in its rightful place until I can track down the correct part and purge the system correctly.

 

On Sunday I woke up the Miata from its long winter hibernation. I flushed the water from the cooling system before I started it and made a huge mess in the garage by accident.

I'll flush it again after the detergent has done its work in a few days. The car was running well, so I took it out for a heavenly Sunday evening drive on some local mountain back roads. I always forget just how much I love driving this car every winter, and every spring I fall in love again. It handles so well, and it loves to be pushed. Unfortunately, the gear whine - which it has had ever since I bought it and has persisted after I changed the diff and trans fluids - seems to be getting worse, so I guess it's time to check the fluid levels again and start pricing LSDs.

Finally, last night I finished rebuilding the fuel pump. The rebuild kit seemed to have all the right bits, but I ended up reusing the old metal valve bodies because the new ones were ever-so-slightly taller.

But everything went together pretty smoothly after that. I'll toss it in the car tonight.

hybridmomentspass
hybridmomentspass HalfDork
4/6/22 11:20 a.m.

Im sorry if Ive missed it, but where did you find this at?

A grand is a great deal, it seems. That sounds AWESOME

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
4/6/22 2:02 p.m.

In reply to hybridmomentspass :

I'm pretty happy with it :) It was last used as a show car in Forest City, NC, where I found it and hauled it back home.

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
4/8/22 8:46 a.m.

Fuel pump is in!

I also finished painting the trunk in anticipation of the repainted fuel cell.

 

Now all I need to do is cut out a new cork top plate gasket for the fuel cell, put the whole thing back together again and reinstall all the fuel lines, change the oil, and I should be good to try to start it! Fingers crossed it comes to life this weekend!

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
4/8/22 7:24 p.m.

Someone tell me if this is a terrible idea:

Since I can't measure the oil with a dipstick and the car has a non-standard pan and plumbing, the only way I can figure out how much oil I need to add is to measure the pan dimensions to find its volume, find the length of the hoses to get their volume, add all those numbers together, along with maybe an extra quart for the external pump and another quart to be safe. This is just for initial startup and moving the car around, not for racing. Is this a terrible method, or do you think it would be reasonably safe to start the engine this way?

 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
4/8/22 8:16 p.m.

    So long as you have oil pressure, it should be ok to run.   If only moving it around a little, really just need to keep the oil pick-up covered with oil.

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
4/8/22 8:23 p.m.

Cool, thanks for the quick reply! I can run the starter with the ignition off to build oil pressure, so that's totally doable. Sometimes you just need someone else to reassure you you're not about to blow your engine up to take the edge off the evening :)

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
4/11/22 8:01 a.m.

It works!!!

 

Sort of.

 

My grandpa has a long history of working on cars - he's had just about everything, including loads of classic Minis, and a wonderful wealth of practical knowledge that proved invaluable when he came to help me get the car started on Sunday. After I changed the oil (with the Valvoline racing oil people on this forum recommended earlier in the thread - thanks), we started by airing up the dry-rotting Goodyears enough to roll the car outside, zip-tying the carb fuel line to the hood hinge and pouring gas down to the carb, when this happened:

 

It felt so good to hear it thunder to life the first time. The engine is solid mounted to the frame, so I could feel all the vibrations from the driver's seat, and with the incredible sound, it was electrifying. It also served to clear what was left of the debris in the exhaust system:

Some poor squirrel labored hard on that stash for years and here we've gone and destroyed it in seconds. Still, 10/10 for distance.

After that, it was time to reinstall the fuel cell and the rest of the fuel lines and run the car from the tank. I already had all the parts ready to go: the cell was repainted, the bladder and pickup were cleaned and dry, and I had made a new top plate cork gasket. Rebuilding the cell went pretty smoothly until we got to the top plate - I couldn't figure out how to hold the inner ring in place to screw the top plate. My resourceful grandpa cut off the heads of a couple bolts so we could insert them and hold the ring up so we could add the rest of the bolts. Worked like a charm!

I added straps around the fuel cell to make installation and future removal easier, and while it still wasn't exactly easy, putting it back in was easier than taking it out.

However, this was where our good fortune stalled out. We couldn't get the car to pick up fuel from the fuel tank and our fuel pressure reading was zero. We troubleshooted for a couple of hours and found some obvious problems (I had accidentally attached the fuel lines to the wrong ports on the fuel cell), but despite all that we couldn't get the car to run without pouring gas in the carb. The fuel pump seems to be the culprit. I'll pull it off this week to see if I can identify the problem. I'm sure I can get the car to run very soon: it's so close!

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/11/22 8:13 a.m.

Fantastic news!

Its always reassuring when they make proper noises. 

Also, i wouldn't put the car on track like that with nylon straps on the cell. Im not sure its legal, and i don't think i would trust them for 100lbs of fuel moving around in the course of an accident. 

Thats just my opinion though 

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
4/11/22 8:27 a.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Oh no, I wouldn't either. The cell has a proper bolt-in steel bracket that goes over top of it to hold it in place, I just haven't put it back in yet. The straps are just there for me to lift the fuel cell in or out, and for that purpose they worked very well :)

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
4/11/22 8:37 a.m.

In reply to AMiataCalledSteve :

Awesome. That makes way more sense then!

 

As far as fuel pickup goes, ive had to prime the system by pressurizing the tank before when all the lines are dry. Also a ckogged fuel filter, even partially will sometimes prevent the mechanical pump from picking up

MiniDave
MiniDave New Reader
4/12/22 8:44 p.m.

That's one of the things we did as well, that's how we found the lines were reversed when it pushed fuel out the overflow instead of out the line to the pump after we got some pressure into the tank.

Something is still going  on with the pump - he'll get it figured out.

APEowner
APEowner GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/12/22 10:06 p.m.

Two thoughts on the fuel pump issue.

Since that engine is a combination of mismatched parts I wonder if the fuel pump eccentric is missing.  If it was built for use with an external pump it might not have one.

The other thought is that there may be a leak or collapsed hose between the tank and pump.  A leak there may not leave a puddle but will cause the pump to suck air instead of fuel.  You can test for that by trying to draw fuel with a hand held vacuum pump.

 

TED_fiestaHP
TED_fiestaHP HalfDork
4/12/22 10:12 p.m.

  If there is a leak in the line between the tank and the pump, the pump could suck air through the leak, instead of pulling fuel, in that case it will never prime or pull fuel out of the tank.

   Just how old is the fuel line and fittings?   I once had a similar issue, frusterating, but easy fix.

1SlowVW
1SlowVW HalfDork
4/13/22 6:56 a.m.

Seems like feeding the system with an inline electric pump would tell you if there are leaks. If there aren't well now you installed an electric pump and problem solved.

AMiataCalledSteve
AMiataCalledSteve New Reader
4/13/22 11:38 a.m.

In reply to APEowner :

The car ran when parked - I have actually seen a video of it driving around the plant where it was stored before it was parked for good, so the engine certainly seems to be set up for the mechanical pump. IDK about the condition of the fuel line though. It's hidden in a frame rail. My money is still on the pump, but I might check this too while I'm at it.

I haven't had a chance to look at it since this past weekend yet, but I expect the problem shouldn't be too hard to find. But I appreciate everyone posting their thoughts, there definitely might be something I haven't thought of yet, we'll see what the culprit is once I get into it later this week.

JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
4/13/22 4:26 p.m.
AMiataCalledSteve said:

In reply to APEowner :

The car ran when parked - I have actually seen a video of it driving around the plant where it was stored before it was parked for good, so the engine certainly seems to be set up for the mechanical pump. IDK about the condition of the fuel line though. It's hidden in a frame rail. My money is still on the pump, but I might check this too while I'm at it.

I haven't had a chance to look at it since this past weekend yet, but I expect the problem shouldn't be too hard to find. But I appreciate everyone posting their thoughts, there definitely might be something I haven't thought of yet, we'll see what the culprit is once I get into it later this week.

Yeah i would immediately get the entire fuel system in a place where it can be inspected and serviced. If you have fuel line running through frame, based on the corrosion in other parts of the car I wouldn't trust anything with gasoline in it that I couldn't personally lay eyes on, lest you surround yourself with a flying bomb. If you;re still fighting a problem, and you can't inspect a lrge portion of where the problem could be, it's not going to be easy to solve.

Aside from that, this makes me even more excited about getting to work on the ASA car.

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