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The Cardinal

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Rape Van Adventure [Oct. 5th, 2010|04:33 pm]
The Cardinal
Rambling and such follows...

Been putzing around with van for a few weeks now and it's the first car that I've been trying to actually do work on and figure out how all the systems work together. Doing some research and asking around, it has an engine that everyone keeps referring to as "unbreakable", so that's a good sign. Body is in great shape and the mechanical problems so far are pretty minor.

Did oil change, the old oil was black and nasty but did not make the oil collected look like I was panning for gold like the old van :). New oil was clean enough that it was hard to see the level on the dipstick after 50 miles of driving. Happy with how that all went.

Was having issues overheating at highway speeds so I replaced the thermostat since the old one would barely open in a pot of boiling water. Then pulled the radiator since the flow through there was retarded as well. Put some water in it and shook it around to get all the little rocks that had formed out of there. Then flushed out the whole system with some sort of cleaner to try to get the remainder of the crap in there. Ended up pulling the old fan and putting in one with a bit higher airflow. Overheating issues now seem to be fine.

A few vacuum hoses were disconnected, got all but one reattached as it's been cut too short. Most are vapor collection hoses that just end up being emissions problems when disconnected. The most surprising was the one to the van's little computer brain, looks like it just improves efficiency when it's connected and isn't actually required to run. It does seem to cause a loss of power with it hooked up, so that's one of the next areas to explore.

Stripped almost all of the signs off of it with a steam cleaner. The paint they used on the doors is a bit different and comes off around the same temperature that the actual auto paint comes off so a new method has to be found for that. The remaining signs have still been obliterated enough to be difficult to read. Also found that there was an older sign that read "Montgomery Ward". Looks like the previous owner got it from them around the time they went out of business.

Swung by a self service scrapyard and pulled a bunch of little parts: front vent window, glove box liner, inside door handle, and plastic end for heater lever. Still need passenger side armrest and plastic clips to reconnect a linkage in the passenger door so the key will lock/unlock it. Thinking about picking up a new security cage to make this a good work van. Missing an air collector hose and a gate that connect to the air cleaner. Can't find any used bits locally and no response on getting quotes from other scrap yards, that's probably since the parts are popular with crazy car people though.

The accelerator pump isn't doing anything at all, making starting and sudden acceleration a little rough. A new carburetor rebuild kit has been ordered. Next step is to not totally fuck up my carburetor while fixing the accelerator pump.

I'll figure this all out eventually.

[User Picture]From: grendel_macg
2010-10-06 01:24 pm (UTC)
I like your rape van rebuild adventure. rape van!
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[User Picture]From: phargle
2010-10-06 10:42 pm (UTC)
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