Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Speedster - It's Alive!

After much wiring work, the car is fully connected! I eliminated over 2m of the wiring harness that was provided with the kit. All connections are soldered and heat shrunk. No crimped connector is just crimped, but also soldered. I adapted the CMC wiring diagram to fit my needs. I also put a voltage regulator on the firewall and fully connected the engine. All of this was done prior to the interior work, but made everything functional when I finally turned the key for the first drive!

The car has parking lights, or city lights which give it a cool eerie look.
Of course the standard headlights work too.
So, with most things buttoned up, I started it last Saturday morning, and moved it under its own power for the first time. Parked in the driveway I washed it, along with the other cars, and had the official appraisals done for insurance purposes. Thankfully the car was appraised for more than $10,000 more than I have into it, so my hard work would pay off (except we have no plans to sell!!) After the appraisal Vanessa and I took it for a quick shakedown cruise. Two blocks in I lost all power with lots of backfiring. We barely got home! I made some adjustments, then disaster - a huge pool of oil under the engine!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, an hour or two after the first drive, the engine was pulled out again. I knew the oil leak could only be the main crank seal.
Sure enough, it had leaked significantly - the bellhousing still had oil in it.

I pulled the clutch and flywheel to find this:

The main seal was sliced slightly, and the o-ring in the flywheel was very worn.
I picked up a new one Saturday night from German Supply. I had it installed, and the engine in place by 11am the next day. This time, no oil leak!
I'm still having some troubles getting a smooth idle. I removed the carb and found all sorts of debris in it. I must not have used a filter when I first started running the engine... I cleaned it out, including the chunk in the end of the pilot jet. I still can't get a reliable idle, but I believe the pilot jet has been overtorqued. Once I can warm it up again, I'll back it out to find the sweet spot, loctite it in place, and readjust the carb.
Currently I'm installing the convertible top. I'm also working on aluminum tin to surround the engine compartment. I need to install the front bumper strip and licence plate, then finish things off with the side curtains (windows). Then the car will be ready for a good polish and use! There are a few cosmetic things to keep working at, but the bulk of the main items should be done this week.