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S12 Media & Build Projects => Build Projects => Topic started by: kelso840 on 03:31:26 PM / 24-Oct-15

Title: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 03:31:26 PM / 24-Oct-15
Snagged an '84 Turbo off Craigslist sight unseen. Previous owner said it had lots of new accessory parts and just needed the timing set. Car arrived last Thursday. This car is intended to be a winter driver and cosmetic donor to my '85 hatch of the same color. It's cool to see the different options these came with.

I will be uploading the dealer installation instructions for the "Shade Kit" that must have been on the car at one time. There's four brackets for louvers built into the rear hatch glass. No photos of that yet.

Taken this afternoon. I already popped the hood off and took it out to the dude putting an SR into my '85 of the same color. He's happy to have the clearance.  (http://i.imgur.com/wUHjss9.jpg)

It did run when it rolled off the truck and we got some jumpers on it. It ran poorly, but it did run. Drove into the garage under its own power.

(http://i.imgur.com/HiDiRhk.jpg)

New distributor cap, wires, plugs, water pump, alternator were already installed. My guess is whoever changed the water pump didn't get the timing right when reassembling and didn't feel like tearing it down again. The water pump is nestled on either side of the timing belt cover.

Is this belt riding abnormally far back on the cam gear? I pulled it forward and it would always settle back there; but only that far back. I'll be taking note of where it rides once everything comes back together.
(http://i.imgur.com/rlE6fB4.jpg)

Starting to tear stuff apart. I've never done this before so please yell at me if something looks egregiously wrong.
(http://i.imgur.com/7SPAQvI.jpg)

This was sketchy but I don't feel any marring on the pulley where the chain wrench was placed. Tried a bunch of other ways to get the bolt out but it just wasn't gonna happen. Pneumatic tools must be nice.
(http://i.imgur.com/kkza3E8.jpg)

This is where it is right now. I pulled the timing belt tensioner off and I think that may have been a mistake. Was that a mistake?
(http://i.imgur.com/7SPAQvI.jpg)

Beginning reassembly with (hopefully) proper timing this afternoon/evening/tomorrow. Will report back.

P.S. I'm in love with the camera on the Nexus 5X.

Post Merge

(http://i.imgur.com/IJlnDzZ.jpg)

Got it all back together. Runs much better. The tensioner was rubbing against the timing belt cover, which is something I had seen signs of when I first took the cover off. It wasn't audible beforehand but it definitely was when reassembled this time.

(http://i.imgur.com/sFzzk8f.jpg)

Took it off and tried all kinds of ways to get clearance on the timing cover but it looks like I need a new timing cover gasket. Mine is crunched down to almost nothing at the bottom left corner by the tensioner giving me trouble.

Timing belt started to fray a little at the front and that was the end of that breed of experimentation. I'll be buying a new timing belt, belt cover gasket (maybe cover as well), and possibly aa timing belt tensioner.
(http://i.imgur.com/zImLdRk.jpg)

Anybody have experience with a timing belt tensioner rubbing on the timing belt cover? Sounds neat.
Title: Re: \'84 Grab Bag
Post by: SchizophrenicMC on 05:03:04 AM / 25-Oct-15
Use a real image host. Google Photos sucks, especially for forum use. I suggest imgur.

As for your timing belt question, it looks pretty normal to me.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 01:52:22 AM / 26-Oct-15
I miss playing with the single cam 18et! I've never had a rubbing issue between the tensioner and the cover. The gasket may give it the space it needs but I'd buy another cover to be on the safe side. If you are planning to keep the 18et I'd remove the pop-off valve and replace it with a 1 inch npt pipe plug and I'd also mod the ovc pipe on the turbo side. Cut the end off and get a silicone coupler that fits the both the turbo and the pipe I think you may need a reducer. The orange gasket becomes a pain the ass and doesn't hold up for shit even when new plus it's a pain in the ass. It was a shitty design on nissans part. Other than that change up the exhaust and call it good since you are just planning to daily it! Good luck and happy wrenching!
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 07:26:36 AM / 28-Oct-15
Seems to be running alright; pretty rich and backfiring a bit when you wind it up. The belt fraying was a result of having the crank gear cover (basically a keyed metal saucer riding between the crank gear and crank pulley) facing the wrong way. Should have noticed it was backwards because why would you ever have a flat/sharp anything facing the belt? It was backwards on initial disassembly and had been run enough to leave gear imprints on the concave side. So even though we briefly questioned the direction, we figured those gear marks were a good indicator and went with it. Blowout diagram settled that real quick.

The timing belt tensioner was still rubbing against the cover but that stopped after about a minute. Don't feel great about that but I'll remember it and keep my ears open.

Next up is to make sure I don't have a bubble in my cooling system. It started making weird sucking gurgling noises after running for 3-4 minutes. Then it's on to see what's causing the car to putter down and want to die when I apply brakes. There is almost no pressure in the pedal but and the reservoir is filled with clean brake fluid. Hopefully just a bleed. Probably not.

What's the best way to lean out my air/fuel mixture a bit to see if that'll stop my backfire? Also, how pronounced can a lifter tick be before it's no longer a "tick", and should be addressed?

*****

Imgur has been failing to log in the entire time I was writing so y'all get Google Photo links for now.

It runs like this. https://goo.gl/photos/fWVBvcZtu6ibvx759

Brakes have no resistance so I need to bump that up in priority so I can actually test drive it. It still makes really strange intermittent sounds (annoying kid sucking on a straw at the bottom of a paper cup filled with ice) when idling and backfires pretty good when you get close to 3k rpm.

I unplugged the O2 sensor and it runs exactly the same. Heading to the mechanic's tomorrow to yank the practically new one off of my spare 18et.

Here's a photo of the bracket for louvers I don't have. I forgot to do anything with the instructions today. They aren't very exciting. They would be an absolute pain to remove or install. Definitely easier to swap the whole hatch. https://goo.gl/photos/r3AQzAFEwkfxkWcM7 - https://goo.gl/photos/f45uwVv5VheypG417 - https://goo.gl/photos/2c9FH8LZVXKwrcF77

I was looking for a lug wrench in the trunk after breaking a ratchet and found these: https://goo.gl/photos/zQi5LQP3CKDHaqcC6

I've been looking at past threads for my symptoms so I've got to ask. It seemed weird but kept being said. Does the (cracked) rotor grounding itself inside the distributor cap make a sound? I don't think that's where one of my weird sounds is coming from but who knows.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: Cajun1guy on 11:00:11 PM / 28-Oct-15
Good to hear of another CA18ET running. There are a lot of haters on here for that engine, but mine has been doing great since I got the car in 1987. The ticking on the valves is just a lash adjustment, no lifters involved. Rocker arm has adjustment in it for the valve lash.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: SchizophrenicMC on 11:50:22 PM / 28-Oct-15
Hydraulic lash adjusters are the superior form of lash adjustment
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: JonB on 05:17:13 AM / 29-Oct-15
Yet, every time I can, I opt for mechanicals. My lifters need adjusted bad - probably haven't been set since 1999. They rattle a lot, but it's a cacophony of light taps.

Did you run codes?
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 07:32:33 AM / 29-Oct-15
Doing that after I swap out the 02 sensor today. Something simple that I haven't done before. Hopefully it's not a litany of codes.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: SchizophrenicMC on 11:27:37 PM / 29-Oct-15
KA time. Who needs lifters?
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 02:15:54 PM / 02-Nov-15
sounds like you have some work ahead of you. Definitely check the codes might lead you directly to the problem...
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 02:47:36 PM / 02-Nov-15
Injector is dead on Cyl 3. Runs exactly the same whether it's plugged in or not. Unplugging any of the injector clips cause it to putter out and die.

Heading out to the shop and picking up 4 injectos, TPS and getting to it.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 07:18:06 AM / 04-Nov-15
Runs better with a new injector but it's still not right. It's running very rich and starts to backfire pretty consistently at 2k rpm and it sounds like it's coming from the intake? Could my timing still be wrong?

Tried 2 different MAFs and didn't see a change. More research it is.



 
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: SchizophrenicMC on 09:14:16 AM / 04-Nov-15
KA time.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 10:36:48 AM / 04-Nov-15
My orange boot is slightly a little damaged but I'm not positive it's letting air out. This would help explain why the a/f mixture reaching the cylinder is rich. Probably good to change it anyhow. Is that clamp really spot welded onto the pipe? http://club-s12.org/retro4/index.php?topic=20916.0

More to come.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 06:37:37 PM / 04-Nov-15
Cut the pipe at the weld and replace it with a silicone coupler that thing is gonna give you headache trust me. I've replaced a bunch of them before I just cut the end off and got a coupler. Cut at the weld. You'll need a reducer. As for your other problem sounds like your 180 out on the dizzy also make sure the plug wires are hooked up right to the ignition coils...
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 08:51:52 PM / 04-Nov-15
Sideways, I'm not sure what you mean by 180 out on the dizzy but I think you may be right. I redid the timing (4th - 5th time: From 0 to oodles of experience) to TDC and it ran better but still backfired around 2k rpm. Swapped in the factory distributor assembly from my '85 and it wouldn't start at all. Woops. My dad thought to pull it and turn the motor over before re-seating. No idea why, or if it could have been dangerous, but it worked.

Fired right up and now winds out without much fuss at all. Still running pretty dang rich; something I'm attributing to the busted orange boot that will be getting replaced tomorrow per Sideways' suggestion. Huge improvement overall though. 

Idle is a little rough yet, but it sounds like that's not uncommon. I still have the nastiest damn tick I've ever heard over cyl 3 against the valve cover. That's bugging me big time. 
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 11:00:20 AM / 08-Nov-15
Reassembled everything (minus AC) yesterday. Hit it with some Seafoam and let it smoke like crazy for about an hour. Power steering pump has a little whine to it, but overall it seems to be doing alright.
https://goo.gl/photos/Dzb3xuCWkmZhrD6Z6

There's also exhaust leaks. https://goo.gl/photos/RE6JCYoWSHZd6uyQ8

I've got a master cylinder and orange boot replacement on order which will hopefully be the last thing before it's time to test drive.
 
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 10:20:26 PM / 08-Nov-15
When I said 180 out I meant 180 degrees out on the dizzy. But it seems like you got that problem fixed. Now are you replacing the orange boot or are you going to cut the pipe  and replace with a coupler like I suggested? Also you may be running rich due to the pop off valve leaking it's that weird looking thing on the top back part of the intake manifold. 1 inch npt pipe plug fixes that issue...
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 06:50:08 AM / 09-Nov-15
I'm replacing with a coupler. That boot is a very poor design. I'll also pick up a 1" npt plug.

Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 05:41:42 PM / 11-Nov-15
Awesome! Well if there's anything I can do to help via  the forum let me know!
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 04:18:43 PM / 14-Nov-15
Got the new master cylinder on and brakes bled, so that's sorted.

Went for a test drive and the car has something wonky in the front suspension. Like, really wonky. No idea what it is, but it is not being driven anywhere except a shop to have somebody else align/diagnose.

So now, the engine. Still kind of sucks. Despite only being able to drive it a few hundred feet twice because the suspension, I can tell you for sure that it has absolutely no oomph to it. Not sure what that's about, but we ran a compression test and it has 100 across the board. That's not good.

I've got some decisions to make before the snow falls.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 07:29:41 PM / 15-Nov-15
Only 100 across the board huh? Turn up the boost lol Is the dizzy timing good? I had an issue with my old red car the dizzy had to be in full advance in order to feel any power before boost, when boost kicked it was fine...
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 09:25:15 AM / 17-Nov-15
Car is at the shop being looked at by the dude who has my '85 SR car. Poor guy's inheriting all my crappy project cars.
 
Oh well. Stay tuned for results re: suspension and whatever else gets identified as a source of error.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 12:34:33 PM / 17-Nov-15
Awesome! Good luck hopefully it's nothing to major...
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 07:45:09 AM / 18-Nov-15
I've got the best mechanic. This guy goes above and beyond anything I would even feel comfortable asking him to do.

Exhaust valve was reportedly stuck completely closed on Cyl 3 and the turbo is seized. Valves have been adjusted and I hear the car is now running "100% better" in NA form. The turbo from my spare 18et (sitting in the corner of the shop with both my crappy s12s) has been pulled, cleaned, and will be installed today.

"Something in the rear suspension is FUCKED UP. I had it up to like 40-50 test driving and it felt like the wheels wanted to come off. I'm going to look at it today while I've got it in the air changing the turbo."

Stay tuned.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 11:39:00 AM / 18-Nov-15
Sweet that's not bad. Sounds like you may have a wheel bearing issue in the rear...
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: Shanes1233 on 11:56:22 PM / 18-Nov-15
I was going say wheel bearing as well. But glad you have a good mechanic! Sounds like the car will be pretty mint after the better turbo and some rear end work! Keep the updates coming!
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 07:35:48 AM / 19-Nov-15
**Update**

Rear subframe bushings have disintegrated. Replacement poly bushings have been ordered. Should be the last thing and I'll be on the road.

So now that it's looking like I will be saddled with two functioning cars in the future, it feels safer to start planning for that situation.

I'm torn on what the long-term plan should be for both of these cars now. My '85 has a minor tweak in the frame just behind the driver's headlight which kind of gives it a snaggle-tooth look being that the bumper juts up from left to right a bit. This damage was hidden by the stock air box, and I didn't notice any effect of such during the 3-4 months I was able to drive it before, well... See my other thread for that sadness. My fault.  Body panels and almost everything else on that car are 7.5/10 at least. That's the one getting a new motor, which I had planned to make a long term fixer-upper, spirited daily driver.

The '84 has spots of rust on the rockers where the skirts (now gone) meet the flaps and minor bubbles of surface rust on all 4 fenders. The interior of the '84 is a little dingy, but complete and functional including digi-dash, voice, and trip computer. It also has the weather stripping and uncracked honeycomb grill that the '85 does not. Could be a good bodywork learning template?

I'm not sure I want to hodge-podge an 84.5 together come spring like originally planned. I also don't think I can justify having 2 s12s for very long being that I live in a front porch cabin apartment. With any luck this '84 will get fully resurrected and I'll be able to slosh it around through the winter and make the tough decision to sell or store it come spring when the '85 should be road-worthy.

This concludes my mid-morning rant. There will be more.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 12:12:06 PM / 19-Nov-15
I would set one up for a daily driver and the other I would use as the powerhouse/ spirited fun weekend car.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 04:39:49 PM / 07-Dec-15
I'm going to be trying to sell this car soon.

I've got way more money in it than it was ever worth and I don't feel like continuing down that path. It runs and drives now with a little bit of knock from somewhere in the block. Desperately needs tires, but I don't know if that's money I want to shell out at this point. I know I'm not going to get crap out of this car but let's see if I can pass it on (honestly with full disclosure of condition and known issues) to somebody that wants an s12 project before considering other means of relinquishing it from my possession.

Lesson: don't be so trusting. Seems to be one I've learned a couple different times already.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: SchizophrenicMC on 09:14:53 PM / 07-Dec-15
KA time.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 07:02:03 AM / 08-Dec-15
I'm game if you source a KA and do the work.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: SchizophrenicMC on 09:46:35 PM / 08-Dec-15
You mean you're gay if I source a KA and do the work.

No time for laziness here. I got a KA swap done on a $0 budget. So can you.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 10:42:50 AM / 19-Dec-15
Been driving it for the last couple days. Rod knocks. Clutch slips. Whole car wobbles because I need 4 tires. Looked like this when I got temporary plates early last week.

(http://i.imgur.com/vsJ0v72.jpg)

It looks like this now. We'll see how long I can drive it.

(http://i.imgur.com/iKPjuIH.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/cfSkPl1.jpg)

Flight Panel (Complete with busted radio panel) (http://i.imgur.com/DA8j292.png)
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 11:24:50 AM / 20-Dec-15
Got new tires today. Drives perfectly straight without any wobbles or pulling. Next up, if I so choose, is to have the exhaust fixed. It's rusted through just before the muffler but I honestly don't mind the extra noise. Then, MAYBE, will be looking into swapping out the clutch on this car for the clutch that came out of my '85 car. This one is slipping pretty good but isn't something I feel needs to be addressed immediately.

It's weird to be driving something strangers want to talk to you about.

Put 50 miles on it in the last 3 days without any major issues. Let's see how long it lasts. 
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 12:25:39 PM / 22-Dec-15
About 30 more miles on it this afternoon around town. Had it up to 70 for a very brief stretch without incident.

I do have something going on that needs resolved. It seems to be limited to starting again after reaching full operating temp. I will start after having driven the car and it will idle low. 3-500 rpm with a pretty good wobble and miss. Doesn't die, but doesn't pick itself up if you just let it sit either. I take off from the parking space (happened 3 times today - same conditions) and it just misses like crazy as I get through first gear. Same with second, but being in gear with RPMs climbing seems to fix.... whatever is going on by the time the clutch is engaged in 3rd @ 2500 - 3000 rpm; roughly 30-35mph.

After I make it cough itself straight it runs perfectly until I turn the car off and restart it again. Then it's the same symptoms and solution. Odd. 
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 02:17:22 PM / 22-Dec-15
Did you buff the car? Seems like it's clear on one side and dull on the other lol GLWS if you are indeed selling it....
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 09:59:26 AM / 23-Dec-15
The whole car is buffed.

I'll probably throw a For Sale sign on it with a wishful number and just keep driving it and working on making it better and see what happens. People stop me to talk about it and I always say it's for sale.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: deucekazoo on 10:30:21 AM / 23-Dec-15
Car looks real good after you buffed it.
My first 86 was that color and also the second 86 I just bought. I love that color and it just glows when you buff and wax it.
Don't sell it, fix it up and keep driving it.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 10:19:03 AM / 26-Dec-15
I'm starting to think this sounds too light to be a rod knock. What do you guys think?

https://goo.gl/photos/iXjxbfbzcoMCDk3F8
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 02:57:29 PM / 28-Dec-15
Sounds like lifter tick but lifter tick doesn't go away when when you rev it it just gets faster...So I'm unsure...
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: Wonderingraven on 03:40:04 PM / 28-Dec-15
My ca20e did the same thing.

Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 06:53:58 AM / 06-Jan-16
Almost 140 miles into the first tank of gas and I waver on whether that sounds is a tick or a knock almost the entire time I'm driving. It's a wonderful source of anxiety every time I have somewhere to go; sitting at a light in my oil burner with a gnarly tick looking like a successful, upstanding member of society in my 30 year old car.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: Cajun1guy on 11:45:27 AM / 06-Jan-16
Alright, another one of us! I get more and more questions about the S-12 as time goes along. Many positive comments about the car as memories come back. My 12 year old keeps asking why I don't ditch the old car and get a pickup. I tell him he just doesn't get it!
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: weitrhino on 12:37:34 PM / 06-Jan-16
Aside from the UPS guy complimenting me on my Prelude nobody has asked me about my S12. Nobody. But I did run into a guy with an 84 300zx a couple weeks ago.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: S12_Lifer on 11:09:27 PM / 06-Jan-16
What!?  You mean no one has ever mistaken your S12 for the infamous Delorean or AE86?  Been hearing these names ever since that Back to the Future movie came out. 
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: weitrhino on 09:48:25 AM / 07-Jan-16
I'm practically begging to get into a conversation about it with someone but it hasn't happened. I guess that's why I hang around here with you bastards all the time.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: Cajun1guy on 11:41:39 AM / 07-Jan-16
I get asked about mine every other week or so. My son's friends call my Turbo with the louvers the "Back to the Future Car". Remove all the emblems and Nissan stuff and make them wonder. My SE has no indications other than on the steering wheel, starts numerous conversations that way.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 01:10:01 PM / 07-Jan-16
I'm practically begging to get into a conversation about it with someone but it hasn't happened. I guess that's why I hang around here with you bastards all the time.

You could just pull up to people standing on the corner waiting to cross (on the wrong side of the road so you're closer), roll down the window and lean over with one elbow bent in the classic "cool guy" pose and say, "Ehhhhhh..... Whad'ya think, esse?"

Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: S12_Lifer on 05:16:39 PM / 07-Jan-16
LOL!  I did what Cajon1guy did, remove all stickers and badges to keep the public guessing what the hell your driving.  During my experience, 9 out of 10 times some young guy will ask if that's an AE86.  I always respond by saying hell no!
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: weitrhino on 08:36:44 PM / 07-Jan-16
As luck would have it this afternoon the old lady running the convenience store asked me what year it was. Said she didn't like the designs of newer cars these days. "I can appreciate it!" were her words as I was out the door.

I'll count that as a near miss.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 07:59:42 AM / 08-Jan-16
I think my favorite thing about this car is the drive computer. I always liked BMW's wildly swinging dial, but a digital drive computer displaying interval'd MPG is dope. I like seeing it at  60+ when I'm decelerating up to a light in neutral. Seem to be getting around 25-30mpg cruising around town in 4th @ 40mph. 

The only thing that doesn't work is distance to empty. Nothing shows up on the display when I have that selected.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: 8SixS12 on 02:34:43 PM / 18-Jan-16
Man, I'd love to have a drive computer. It's so 80's!
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 04:02:04 PM / 22-Feb-16
This car is so damn annoying.

Swapped out a TPS yesterday and changed a vacuum line that comes off of the back of the intake and runs to one of the diaphragm deals on the back of the fuel rail. Not sure what it did but it idled better when I changed the old cracked hose. I also tried to bring the idle down to 8-900 rpm by adjusting the screw just above the radiator.

Go to drive home and it sounds like my ignition timing is off. The car kind of thuds down the road. Then I lose all power and drove home @ 25mph in third with my foot down netting a solid 3.3 mpg on the display.

Humbling stuff.

I messed with the TPS angle yesterday and today but can't tell if it's making a difference or my problem. Doubt replacing that vacuum hose caused my issue, unless it did. I also messed with some other stuff that seems to have improved the driveability but not the root cause.

Probably going to learn how to use a timing light in the next few days.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: sideways_s12 on 03:28:54 PM / 27-Feb-16
Timing light is easy to use, hook up the lead to the number one intake plug wire, hook the side to a solid ground, point and shoot lol
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 08:55:44 AM / 10-Apr-16
Resuscitated the Grab Bag yesterday. As always, I'm not sure what exactly it was that fixed it.

Step 1: New Battery

Step 2: Pulled the distributor (clean contacts on cap/rotor with abrasive emery board)

Step 3: Removed exhaust side spark plug #1

Step 4: turned the crank by hand until the piston appeared to be at its highest point of  travel - good advice somebody gave in another thread - thanks

Step 5: Buttoned everything back up and it just spun without trying to fire

Step 6: STARTING FLUID STARTING FLUID STARTING FLUID  - my dad thought it would help, I didn't think it would hurt... got a little crazy with it. POP. Backfire that blew my air filter clean off and across the garage. lol stuff

Step 7: Pull distributor and reset to TDC at the crank pulley marks (noticed the cam gear can be 180 degrees off (is this what you meant a while back Sideways?) while the crank pulley is dead nuts TDC at the tang - do another rotation by hand at the crank and it lines up right)

Step 8: Re-stab dizzy and fiddle futz with its rotational adjustment - bob's your uncle.

Weird thing now is that the distributor wants to rest at its most clockwise position, whereas before it ran best at its most counterclockwise adjustment position. Weird. Either way, let it warm up and adjusted idle - put ten miles on it test driving up to 60 mph and it didn't stall out, drop idle at lights, or do its weird unhappy backfire at 3k rpm in 3rd as it did before. I can tell not all the same power was there as before, so the timing obviously isn't perfect as I was making adjustments by ear, but shit, it runs again. May try to fine tune the timing with a light today and clean out the interior if it ever gets above freezing.

Unexpected progress. I only intended to file taxes and do laundry yesterday.     
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: iceageg on 11:11:33 AM / 10-Apr-16
Yep.  They key to the #1 piston being at the highest point of travel is that it must be on the compression stroke.  So either plug the spark plug hole with your thumb until you feel the air being forced out/your compression gauge is read pressure, or with the valve cover off you see the intake valve close just before the upstroke starts.  Any of those ensure TDC instead of 180° off.  Glad to hear it is running again.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 01:25:52 PM / 18-Apr-16
(http://i.imgur.com/7RqqsfP.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/zaHzQcv.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/iuuriwJ.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/ZFbYU62.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/GlYVSSI.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/nUAWCFf.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/fxeHsVi.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/mwIMwuE.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/mr81tbc.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/HBvGJo9.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/e1gVBs9.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/4rhE37J.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/ZhnMYtE.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/SptKpJ5.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/UmRMV21.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/4N9QANE.jpg)

Needs another wax... could be this but I'm lazin': (http://i.imgur.com/cfSkPl1.jpg)
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 07:29:24 AM / 20-Apr-16
I should re-name this car "Uncertain Future"

Decided to take it to an exhaust shop yesterday and now I'm putting at least 1/3 of its overall worth into a new system. So... I'm keeping it? Or now standing more firm on the original asking price? Who knows... I don't.

Exigence for this decision was meeting up with a guy who wanted to trade his Taurus SHO. Dude's exhaust was also rusted out and I felt myself thinking "Is that what I sound like? That's not a good look."

Hoping that the additional back pressure helps the running condition. If not, at least I won't be a rattling clunky nuisance as I putter on down the road with my metronome valves.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: dustins12 on 10:29:06 AM / 20-Apr-16
I'm glad to see that you still have this lol Honestly, a lot of that rust isn't as bad as I thought, at least in the pics.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 11:08:14 AM / 20-Apr-16
Right? And that's really all of the rust I've found on the car. I'm changing my mind every day about what I want it to be used for. Today I'm leaning towards using it to learn some bodywork and more mechanical skills - turn it into a race car kinda deal. A little counter-intuitive being that my other car will have the better motor, but hell, this one's already something I wouldn't mind dinging up further. It isn't supposed to be pretty and I've already gotten my money's worth out of it in terms of being able to daily it as I had originally intended (minus a few weeks of downtime because I'm lazy). It's taught me a whole lot by force already.

It's to the point where I feel like I'm the only one within a buyer's radius that's going to keep this 18et running and appreciate the chassis, so why not do just that until something breaks for good? I keep telling myself "It's just money. You'll make more."

I already want to put an 18det in there just for the experience. Definitely not a good idea, but I still want to.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 10:55:11 AM / 22-Apr-16
This is my issue. https://youtu.be/21_ysfXkQPw
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: Redneck on 09:09:04 PM / 22-Apr-16
It cracks me up what is considered bad or not bad rust across the country. On the west coast that would be considered a lot of rust but for back east I am sure it is probably not that bad. I kinda forget how good we have it out here. The vast majority of 80's/90's cars around here have little to no rust. It just isn't something I normally associate with older cars having haha. A big side benefit of having mild often snow less winters and not salting the roads I suppose.

As for your slow revving issue I don't really have any specific ideas other then engine swap. Sounds facetious but its the truth. Annoying issues like that were more the norm then the exception when I had the 18et. After the head gasket blew I dropped over a grand on fixing it only to have the end product still be unsatisfying. Sure it ran better but the feeling of the engine was still just completely lackluster. The coolest part of having the 18et was hearing the turbo spool up though you barely even felt a difference when on boost. Not long after fixing it I sourced a ka-de and swapped it for about the same price it cost me to do the head gasket job. I really kicked myself afterwards not just going with the ka after the head gasket blew. Felt like I just flushed a grand down the toilet (not to mention the time and work replacing the head gasket and lots of other small things). 5 years later I couldn't be happier going with the ka. Actually having usable torque, good throttle response and solid reliability was well worth the swap.
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 09:06:24 AM / 23-Apr-16
If I had space to undertake a swap I definitely would have done it by now. I always like the idea of throwing an 18det in there just because it would still look reasonably stock and produce decent power, but at the same time it's kind of a minimal gain for a motor I'd still have a harder time getting parts for than anything domestic.

As for the rust, yeah... I'm not so used to it that I accept it. The next car I buy (assuming it isn't an s12 - please god, don't let me buy any more of these in my life unless it's a clean GP) will have zero rust. Any bubbling or surface rust SHOULD be a deal breaker. It's just that kind of becomes the catalyzing factor in being able to get cars reasonably cheap around here. "Oh, it's got rust." is am automatic $500- 1k bargaining chip on sale price that can totally work in your favor. I can live with it on these cars because I've got love for the chassis, but anything else.. forget it.
Title: Re: \'84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 04:09:56 PM / 25-Apr-16
New ignition coil and it's idling better than it ever has and I no longer have a flat spot at 3k rpm. Boom.
Post Merge
Flat spot returned this morning and I still had a slow RPM build up to the 3K blastoff point that was not present when I drove home from work yesterday. Apparently there's more to the story. 
Title: Re: '84 Grab Bag
Post by: kelso840 on 06:44:30 PM / 18-Sep-16
Long time no update. Car is pending sale unless somebody rings in higher than my current offer.

It had stopped running on me the day before I got my '85 back so I wasn't too motivated to fix it. I was driving and the car just shut off. Dead. Done. Ca-puts. No final gasp or shout for life whatsoever. Tried dumping the clutch to bump start it and maybe it would start for another ten seconds. Limped that bitch back to work and parked it- got a ride home from some strange Uber driver, Kent.

Assumed it was an ignition coil because the tach shutting clean off the way it did, seemed to lead the death march, and knowing that the primary coil drives the tach. Anyhow, got a new coil and didn't put it in. Instead I sanded the bottom of the coil bracket and ground wire ring terminal, then re-routed it to between the bolt and the bracket instead of the bracket and the body.

Did some idle adjustment and it runs like a lifter-tickin', oil-burning, clutch-slippin sunnuva gun. The dude who's interested in buying the car has a mandate to make a profile on this site and continue the Grab Bag's story.