Thursday, April 30, 2015

WAY too busy

Just when I thought there was a hint of being able to stay on top of things that need to be done/ want to get done, the bottom blows out and I end up being busier than a one legged man in a butt kicking contest. (Or a one armed paper hanger, take your pick.)
A couple of weeks ago I started the engine swap in the Jeep.  Ran into a few snags.  Did manage to get the engine mated to the transmission by myself, but it still sits in the garage with many pieces still needing to be un-pieced.  My "one weekend" project has become considerably longer.
If that wasn't enough to require time and effort, I was finally able to buy the water treatment equipment necessary to get my poor quality well water potable.
Chlorine injection pump, new pressure tank, two storage tanks (to allow sitting time for the chlorine to work) water softener, carbon filter, reverse osmosis filter (consuming sodium-laden softened water is not healthy) and because it's old and showing rust around the bottom, a new water heater.  I have some plumbing to do.
This past Saturday ended up being rather unproductive.  Started working on planning my attack on the plumbing when the tones dropped for a transformer fire, which then became a possible structure  fire, as the homeowner heard popping and a smell of smoke inside the home.  Fortunately the extent of that was a blackened outlet.  The pole outside with the transformer on was burning, though.  Not much to do until the power company gets there but make sure it doesn't spread.
Once I got back home, took Maggie to the dog park, then off to the local hardware store.  Came upon a two car collision that had just happened.  Fortunately the injuries were very minor, but I was on scene for that about 45 min or so.
There are some at work, and I've said it from time to time myself, that I need to go to work to get some rest.  Yeah.  That's not happening.  I'm even busier at work.  Perhaps one of these days I'll elaborate a bit on what I do.
To quote something my dad used to say; "No rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need it."

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Engine swap

Today was not nearly as productive as I had hoped.  I did manage to make some headway on a few miscellaneous items that also needed to be done, but never really got into "the groove".
A few of the items that I did manage to take care of; Replaced the brake master cylinder.  The one that was there was starting to show signs of wetness around the master cylinder/ booster interface.  That's not good.  I had another one in the shed for just such an occasion.  with the exception of line fittings being a bit stubborn to break loose, that swap went pretty easily.  Now comes the fun of filling it and bleeding the brakes.
Also tidied up some of the wiring, removing a few that were not used anymore.  Also zip-tied the wiring harness for the TBI together in a tidy bundle.  The 304 has a carburetor and vacuum advanced distributor, so that's what I'm going to use, at least for the time being.  Not ready for the extra expense of what I would need to do to make the TBI work with the V8.
Out comes the old....
Today had it's share of frustrations, as well.  Of course, as soon as I set the old engine on the floor, all the anti-freeze that didn't drain decided to glug out in copious amounts all over the floor.
The V8's use a different engine mount than the 6 cyl. on one side.  I thought I had it.  Apparently I don't.  I might be able to modify an existing mount to work.  Not sure yet.
AMC used at least two different variations of power steering line connections.  Of course what I had and what is on the 304 don't match.  Swapping out the pumps would seem to be the simplest plan, but getting some of the bracket off of one of the pumps may be more difficult than meets the eye.  That's where I decided to call it a day.
I doubt that I will work on it any tomorrow.  Will likely have to wait until Monday.

Decisions have finally been made

When I did the rebuild of my Jeep in what seems to be oh-so-long ago, I put a 258 "crate" (meaning commercially rebuilt) motor in it.

It did just fine around town and on the trails, but with the stock 3:54 axle gearing and 33" tires, it lacked the "umph!" (That's a technical term) for long grades on the open highway or pulling a trailer.
Ultimately, I put a 4.0 head on the engine. 
Difficult to tell in this picture, but there is a difference.

The ports are angled, so it breathes better and gives a slight bit more compression.  It certainly made a noticeable difference.   Another modification was the addition of the GM Throttle Body Fuel Injection.  A glorified, computer controlled carburetor,  but it started in the cold and didn't stall on off road hill climbs.  That was a painful learning curve, but that's a story for another time...

All was finally running pretty well, I was fairly content with performance.  Famous last words.  I was driving to work one morning when it coughed and sputtered a couple of times and left me sitting on the side of the road.  Another long story, the distributor drive gear on the camshaft got wiped out.
What to do?  What to do?  With time and money being very short, I replaced the motor with another 6 cylinder that a friend had sitting in his garage for one of those "One day projects".
Supposedly, the motor came out of a '72 CJ5 and only had 20,000 miles on it.  The Jeep was used for plowing snow and the salt carried around in the back gave it an earlier than usual demise.
Of course, being 12 years in difference in engine blocks meant having to fabricate brackets for the brackets for things like the power steering pump.  I got it done and the engine installed, only to quickly discover that something was amiss in cylinder #3.  There was either a stuck or broken ring.  The spark plug had to be pulled every 800 miles or so and be replaced or cleaned.  It would be so fouled with gummy oil build-up that it wouldn't fire.  Also, this engine didn't seem to come close to the power the previous engine had and the fuel economy (for a Jeep, anyway) was worse!
For the last several years, I've just dealt with it, as it didn't get driven quite as much as it did originally.  In the long term, I wanted to replace the motor, probably with a V8.  There's no replacement for displacement, as the saying goes.
I bought a "mostly" complete 304 motor from my friend. (The one who gave me the current engine)
With all the additional items I would need to find for it, all the brackets, flywheel, etc., in addition to the cost of having it rebuilt, that option literally sat in the corner of the garage for the last couple of years.
As I grew more weary of dealing with this current engine issue, the decisions that needed to be made were not taken lightly.  Rebuild the current engine?  Rebuild the 304 and find all the missing stuff? 
When I say rebuild, I mean take it to a shop and have them do the rebuild.  I don't have the tools, time or gumption to do that work myself.  I don't consider another crate motor an option after my previous experience.  I don't know the quality of components they use in their mass rebuilds. 
During this time of waffling more than an Ihop on Sat mornings, I came to realize that the curent engine might not be a 258.  It might be a a 232, which was very prevalent in early CJ's.  The 258 is a srtroked 232.  Cylinder diameter is the same but the throw is different.  That would certainly explain the lack of power and poor fuel economy, as the TBI is programmed for a bigger the 258.
I missed out on the opportunity of obtaining a fuel injected 4.0 engine because I drug my feet.       However, the same guy made me a good deal on a complete, ready to drop in 304!

So this week end, while several folks I know are having a good time at the NRA convention, I'm getting my hands dirty.

Starting on getting the current engine out.  Good time to do some housekeeping of wires that aren't used anymore.  Also need to redo all the plumbing for the on-board air, as the existing rubber lines are dry-rotting.
                                      Ready for the last few bolts and out comes an engine!
To be continued.....

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Resurection Day

The message this morning was on the text found in John 20.  For me, anyway, there were a couple of prominent take-away thoughts.  John (as also found in the other accounts) describes how the stone used to seal the tomb was rolled away.  I have heard over the years how this would not have been an easy task, given the typical size and weight of the stone and that there were Roman soldiers guarding the tomb.  This was not done for Christ to be able to get out.  He didn't require it, but for our sake to get in.
Also, John describes in chapter 20, verses 5-8 how he stopped and stooped to look into the tomb, but did not go in until after Peter.  He then went in and believed.  We cannot stand at the doorway and just look in.  We must go into the tomb to believe.  An add-on thought I had to that is the analogy that we must enter the tomb and leave our unbelief in the grave.
It has been a good day weekend of remembrance.  Of what Christ has done and accomplished for me, so that I could be reconciled to God, to give me a new identity.