Checkout - 11/03/2013
In preparation for getting this car out to Livermore for the engine swap, I needed to sort some more basic issues out. Like why it starts so poorly and why the battery keeps dying.
Battery tray is in decent shape. Looks original, but who knows (or cares)? I have a spare reproduction sitting on the shelf just in case though. Generic parts store replacement battery cables are not going to be permanent residents.
A new high quality Napa battery! Batteries have gotten expensive lately though... The new battery finally helps reveal there's a problem: the generator light continues to glow slightly after the car has been turned off. This means something is feeding the circuit, and the circuit itself is pretty much consistent of the switched +12V on one side and the field wire on the other (through which are the diodes). So this leads me to believe that the diode trio in the alternator has gone south, leading to one dead battery after another. After firing it up and seeing it fires up the car great (finally) it's time to see if there need to be some adjustments.
First item to note is that the engine idles at a little less than 600RPM. A factory manual transmission car should idle at 1000RPM per the service manuals and emissions stickers.
Bumped it up to 900RPM as a compromise. Idles finally nice and neat. The choke is super rich, it has a hard time getting going and belches black smoke and in general stinks until it warms up slightly and you mash the gas to kill the choke. Stupid 2bbls.
28 degrees on the dwell. A tad low. Too bad I can't adjust it because the adjuster window is right in front of the firewall and the wrench won't fit in...
More mickey mouse antics going on here. Clutch return spring is supposed to outside the car on the Z-bar, not inside where it could break and smack you in a most uncomfortable place (like your hand when it's on the wheel).
Camaro steering wheel is on its way out. I got rid of the bowtie center piece instantly because that garbage has no place on a Pontiac.
Just as suspected... the wheel is on upside down (properly put together you *can't* do that...).
Oh words fail me. This is directly underneath the wheel: lock plate, horn piece, and other misc parts are missing. Some real knucklehead had this car beforehand...
Much better! Old Lemans wheel is installed. No horn or steering wheel lock obviously... but beats some bowtie junk that is gooey and sticky! Note aftermarket tach in the cluster. The guy managed to do that by taking the clock and gutting the case of it and epoxying the aftermarket tach in its place. The wires have been cut and it just hangs out back there.
The previous owner felt this was a satisfactory "indicator panel" to monitor his car's health. Only the oil pressure gauge actually works and dubiously at best.
I have a better idea personally... A nice set of factory rally gauges with tach. Gives me a good reason to pull the dash out and find out why nothing is working in it.
Fun times ahead! Once the new engine is in I can get to working on the rest of figuring out why the interior doesn't work so hot. The car has a new reproduction dash harness in it and a modified engine harness for an internally regulated alternator so someone has had their hands in many different aspects of this car. It isn't a somewhat unmolested car as originally presumed...
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Last updated November 3rd, 2013