Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's Dad Week

My pops safely arrived yesterday to chill here for the week. Bright and early this morning, he broke out the tools and we started to work on Lara's 1975 MGB. (Just so you know, this is gonna be one of those really car-intensive posts. Seriously, people google these problems, find this blog, and it helps them.) If you want good poetry/art stuff, go here, here or even here.
Dad's on the job:

A few small problems: someone decided to vent the Carb by feeding it back into the front cover on the block, so now all the oil is mixed with gas. Easily fixed. Someone also once removed the exhaust manifold and put on tube-headers (to make it louder probably, because it is commonly believed that "loud" means "fast." These are not synonyms), and in the process of welding the pipes they warped the parts that bolt to the head, and so destroyed the seal. Solution: remove broken stuff:

Boom shakalaka.
Replacement exhaust system is on its way. MEANWHILE!
My car has had problems with the valves for about 8 years. Not usually too much of a problem, only I couldn't really adjust them so they were a little ticky and every 3.64 years, one of the bolts would get off the few threads that were there and knock around for a second. "But why were there only a few threads per valve rocker arm?", you ask.
"Maybe the head wasn't ground down enough," I've guessed.
(Click for Visual Aid)
"No. I'm pretty sure it's the combinations of push-rods and lifters, and so the rods are too low, and so the valve (or tappet) adjusting screws are just too low, and so the nut doesn't have enough threads to hold on tight," has been the common idea held by Dad and others.
Here's the thing (and I would be so bored with this rant if my back didn't hurt so much from all the work): Turns out, the valve adjusting screws that have been in my car for 8 years are about 4 threads too short. See?:

The ones that have been supposed to be there are a little (but plenty for the job) longer, and don't have that strange break in the middle. I save all these little parts. If you'd like one, I'll mail it to you.

So, that's where we're at. Alas, my engine sounds way better today that it has for a while. We'll drive it tomorrow with gusto.

What this is all really about is the fact that we work with precision parts all the time. I firmly believe that this is the same in language as it is in automobiles. Tomorrow: breaks on an MGB, the head light relay on a Rambler, hopefully a new book from Amazon, and what's happening behind the dashboard that can save your life....


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