My 81 - The Green Dream

RickM

Veteran Member
Apr 16, 2004
888
Gaithersburg, MD
On the car today, I put the 2nd coat of Por15 high temp coating on the exhaust. I will take her for a drive tomorrow and let the paint cure on the hot exhaust pipe, hopefully it will last. In the meantime, I finished adjusting the emergency brake. I can't believe how much drag there was on the rear wheels when I was driving the car. I couldn't really tell but I am hoping that now that there is very little drag on the wheels, I might feel a difference.
I know this has been discussed here before but my emergency brake cable that goes to the passenger wheel sits on top of the intermediate exhaust pipe, right on the indent in the pipe that is supposed give clearance to the cable. The rubber has been burned off where it rests. So,I thought I would try to wrap the cable in this stuff, it is supposed to be heat resistant to something like 600 degrees.
PXL_20220905_185729144.jpg

It is just wide enough that I can get to slip over the end of the cable
PXL_20220907_183106087.jpg

And here is how it sits on top of the exhaust pipe, (this pic is before I adjusted the brake cables so now there is a lot less slack in the cable) not sure if it will help much
PXL_20220907_183313759.jpg

It rained here today so I decided to wait until tomorrow to do another drive. I plan on taking her out on the highway and get her up to 50-60 MPH and see how she does. Next step after that is to get it in and have the toe set with a proper alignment machine.
 
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RickM

Veteran Member
Apr 16, 2004
888
Gaithersburg, MD
A blessing in disguise?
A couple of weeks ago I was driving again, trying to get some miles on the car. The car was running well, the tranny was shifting well. I was pleased that the tranny was working so well since I had rebuilt it. I was sitting at a stoplight and thought I would put the car in L just to make sure it would stay in L. But it would not go into L or S. It was like the linkage was jammed. Luckily the car still went into D and I continued driving the car since when in D it ran and shifted fine. I figured something with the shifter cable was jammed or the back drive linkage was jammed but further inspection found everything was OK.
So, I jacked the car up and put it on jack stands, drained the tranny fluid and removed the pan. At first my heart sunk because there was a fair amount of metal in the bottom of the pan and in the filter, probably about a 1/4 teaspoon. The fluid was still bright red with no burn smell. Seems like a bit much for a rebuild and only 30 miles of driving along with lots of driving up and down my driveway before I got the car tagged and insured.
But the real reason why I could not put the car in S or L was because a valve body bolt got loose and was hitting the rooster comb part that moves when you use the console shifter to manually shift the car into P N D etc. Luckily it didn't obstruct the mechanism enough so that it wouldn't go into D. Just S and L were affected. In my case it was one of the bolts that holds the small extra valve body that allows the car to go into overdrive. (Mine is a TH 350C)
So, I must have missed that bolt when I rebuild the tranny. I went around and re-torqued all of the other valve body bolts while I was in there. I went to the Outer Banks for a week so before leaving I put the tranny pan on loosely just to keep the dirt out of the tranny. Surprisingly, when I got back, the tranny pan was almost full again. This time the fluid was metal free and still bright red.
So, this was a pain in the ass. I had to buy new tranny fluid ($40.00 for large bottle and I think I will probably need to buy a couple of quarts to get it full, a lot of fluid drained out), and a new filter and pan gasket. Also working under the car with tranny fluid dripping everywhere is no fun. But maybe this was a blessing in disguise, it made me drain the fluid getting the metal particles out of there. The only thing I can do is refill it and drive it. Maybe, if it lasts 500 miles, I will drain the fluid again and see what it looks like.
 
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RickM

Veteran Member
Apr 16, 2004
888
Gaithersburg, MD
Well, That Sucked
I have been driving my car hoping to get some confidence in the engine/transmission that I won't get stranded. Well today driving around things were going well so I thought I would go back out on the highway before coming home.
Got the car up to 50-55 all going well I could even feel the tranny shift into overdrive, RPMS were around 1750 going around 55. About 1/2 mile before I turn back into my neighborhood, I realized the car wasn't responding to the gas pedal. I thought for sure the tranny was toast. But then I realized the engine had stalled. Very luckily, I was able to coast into my neighborhood and get safely on the side of the road. Tried to restart the car, starter turned over the engine just fine but no start. So, I called the tow company. They were there in 15 mins. $140.00 for a tow to my house 1.5 miles away:mad:. I am quite certain the ignition has failed, I can see the car is getting gas by looking in the carb, the squirters are pumping gas. I replaced the distributor with one of those cheap Chinese units several months ago and am betting that the ignition module is a fault.
Tomorrow morning after the engine cools, I will try to start her up. If she doesn't start, I will put my original GM module back in and see what happens. Even if she does start, I am going back with the original GM module. I know these modules have caused many a headache.
Funny, the last time I drove the car it stalled on me twice for no reason within the first 5 minutes of driving, after that it was all good, now I am thinking that this was a warning. I am hoping that this is the problem and nothing more serious.
I will report back as soon as I have the answer.
 

tom3

Veteran Member
Aug 1, 1999
15,151
ohio
I still remember when I was that "neighbor's kid" and that ignition was in fine shape. Learn some lessons the hard way. I keep a module in the console for my 70. The one in the dist. is the original to it, probably about 1975. Often wonder just what's inside that little ignition module.
 

RickM

Veteran Member
Apr 16, 2004
888
Gaithersburg, MD
Well, I put my original GM module in after removing the one that came with the distributor. First thing I noticed was there was only a very thin amount of heat compound on the module. Also, it was a clear watery type of substance. Regardless with the original GM module installed the car started right up. I also made sure to put a thick coat of heat sink compound on the module and a coat on the distributor mounting plate. But now I am paranoid that the car will strand me again. Nothing I can do about it, I guess. Finding another original module is probably out of the question. Guess I just need to keep driving close to home.
On a different subject, I bought a new battery for my car. The old battery was 8 years old. I noticed when the car was hot it had trouble turning over, the starter was struggling like the timing was too advanced. But my timing is set at 6 degrees before TDC, that shouldnt be a problem. Going to go for another drive tomorrow and see how the car starts when it has got nice and hot.
 
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scrap--metal

Veteran Member
Jan 8, 2007
160
Bloomington, MN
I noticed when the car was hot it had trouble turning over, the starter was struggling like the timing was too advanced. But my timing is set at 6 degrees before TDC, that shouldnt be a problem. Going to go for another drive tomorrow and see how the car starts when it has got nice and hot.
My car was doing the same thing earlier this year. Sometimes the engine would pause during cranking for what felt like a full second before it eventually turned over and popped off. My timing is set somewhere around 10° or 12° BTDC, but it's not high compression by any means.

I was afraid of eventually getting stranded, so I bought a remanufactured starter for it (still factory style and not a mini starter). That fixed my problem and I've been enjoying the car all summer.
 




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