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Dizzy, cold and wet

an Update by Dave Bobeck

greenHELL does it again, and earns her name...

So, here.s the long and short of it. Sunday was beautiful outside, 55 degrees, took advantage of the weather to do some cleaning in the old girl's engine bay, since it had been a while, and everything has turned the color of dried mud, except for where there are oil leaks, where it is the color of wet mud. If I remember correctly there were lots of different colours two years ago when I finished the frame-over. Engine was green, valve cover was silver, manifold and air filter too, firewall was green, lots of stuff was black, wiring was all different colors, you get the picture. I had hosed it out occasionally but nothing in the way of actual cleaning.

So out came the brushes and the simple green, and lo, there are the colors. Removed the air filter and covered everything that was supposed to be covered, .cept for the distributor which I just didn't spray around. I did check inside the cap before starting again and all was dry, as it should be. I let it run till it was up to temperature and then shut it down.

Next day, Monday, I stayed home from work as I had caught cold. Took the rover down to the grocery, everything ran great. Tuesday, get up late, decide to go to work as I am recovering ok. Key in ignition, does nothing. Click. Nothing. Get out starter "banging stick" that usually cures this problem. No dice. Attempt to change battery, but the terminals are stuck on and it is cold, like 5 degrees. Go inside, make eggs and coffee, OJ.

Now fully fueled, change out of work gear into "LR working on" gear. Change battery with one that is known to be good. Still no dice. Notice charge light is not on. Well, perhaps there is something wrong with the solenoid and I am not getting current to the coil. Check the voltage at the coil, it is only 6 volts. Check to make sure I am not working on a Volkswagen. Negative. Check for voltage drops at the battery connections. Losing 4 volts at the positive terminal. Fix that. Now she fires right up. Just curious, I check the running voltage. 11.5. Not good.

At this point an idiot light goes off in my head, specifically the charging idiot light. It is not on, therefore it is not working. I remember being told that the charge light is part of the charging circuit, so that if it goes out the vehicle will not charge. SO I yank the cold start light, which by the way I haven't seen come on in about 2 years, except after deep wading. Replace charge light bulb with choke light bulb. A check at the inspection sockets reveals 14.5 volts. Bingo Boingo. Chalk this one up to Satan himself, The REAL prince of darkness. Even Joe Lucas couldn't have conjured this one up in 5 degree weather.

Got to the parking lot at work just in time for the engine to stall. Started back up again but ran funny. Checked connections at coil (they had been repaired due to overzealous scrubbing) and they were ok. Parked it and went to work, two hours late. My first words upon arrival? "I am cursed."

Left work an hour early so as not to be forced into making repairs in the dark. Drove to Super Duper Auto where they had about half of what I needed, which is ok, because I always make my list of jobs twice as long as it need be. For example, new cap and rotor when it turned out to be just some water that had found its way in there. Anyhow, I got most of what I needed, took greenHELL over to the garage, and proceeded to change the plugs, clean out and paint the battery tray and hold-down, and gasp!

Attempt to switch the fitting on the end of the distributor 180 degrees as per Russell Dushin.s suggestion from the LRO mailing list. It was not possible, since the hole was not drilled on center. i.e, when I flipped the dog around, the holes in the dog didn't line up with the hole in the shaft. Upon reassembly I noted that the hole was drilled exactly in line with the drive dog "thingies" that are off center. Bummer. I guess some are just made different. This is a vaccuum retard Lucas 25D4 distributor that was stock on the SIII. I cleaned up the rotor and the cap and put it all back together. Runs GREAT. Yippee.

From the OVLR Newsletter, February 1999


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