August 2006

We cleaned up the transmission and found that it was "sealed" with silicon. It must have been taken apart at some point. After talking with local 2002'ers Tim and Casey and local shop owner Mark Raspi, I decided to just try to seal it up again with silicon and save money for a 5 speed conversion. I rebuilt the shifter and reconnected it to the trans. We inspected the clutch and reinstalled it without modification. A new guibo and bolts and a new trans mount completed the installation. After the car sat overnight, another fluid puddle soaked the cardboard under the car. One of the bolts needed a better coating of silicon. It has been leak free ever since. Since reinstalling the trans I have put about 20 miles on it and second gear is not good at all. I have to hold it in. I have to decide whether to fix it, get another four speed, or bite the bullet and find a 5 speed.
During the first couple trips in the car, the temp gauge kept inching its way to the red. It turns out that the water level was low. That was a simple fix. There's definitely a ground problem too since the temp jumps when the blinkers are on.
Most of the light bulbs were shot or missing so I bought everything except the headlights. I took apart the tail lights and gave them a light coat of chrome paint. The reflectors were basically black. Since the lenses are cracked I will probably get new assemblies at some point.

So now it's a driver. I've driven it to work, but it's quite an adventure. The car sputters like crazy and really smells. I should probably replace the distributor cap and points and make sure I didn't crack one of the plugs when I installed them. The Weber seems to function great, except the idle at startup is too low. The brakes are functional but seem to exhibit the grabbing problem associated with old brake hoses. The shocks and struts are terrible, The steering floats a little at speed.
My goal is to do a rolling restoration, but it's tough when there are so many worn out system. It should be fairly simple to tune out the engine bugs, but that second gear problem really bumps the drive train up on the priority list.