Friday, March 26, 2010

Special tool for installing shockers

An adventurous spirit drove me to develop a tool to install the new shockers. The rubbers are slightly large, meaning you have to compress the rubber to put in the split pin.

Here is the tool I made:Where the split pin goes in, I have a small peice of steel tube with a hole drilled in it. I cut this off where the hole was drilled, so there is a open slot. When the bolts are screwed down this exerts pressure on the retaining washer. After screwing it down a bit, the hole is revealed and you can pop the split pin in. Using wood on the end helps it conform to the bulging bolt end on the other side of the shocker mount. Simply unscrew and the whole lot falls away, leaving it ready to open up the split pin and get on with the next thing.

That was the theory anyway!

One of the shocks was put in a strange way, using a nail for a split pin, and the spacer on the wrong side:

Luckily, the aluminium strip part of the tool fitted in behind the top front shocker mount, so it ended up being a good session (see above).

Not so good was replacing the rubber spring shackle gromits - despite assurances they had plenty in stock, I went to collect them and found that there were only 11, of course you need 16 on a JB van. So, I have completed one side. Will have to wait until next week to get the others.

Incidentally, the people at the shockers place told me that the shocks that I replaced were pretty much identical to the "Toyoace" van of the late 90's. No-where near as charming as a JB.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Half shaft treatment...

I was told by someone knowlegeable about these things to check the halfshaft splines when re-assembling the diff. Cose inspection shows slight ridges worn into them. Using some emery paper I smoothed these ridges down carfully, at both ends of the spline. The theory is that if you leave them on they create a potental fracture point, as the points of wear are slightly different when you put a shaft back in.

I don't want to seperate the diff again...

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Testing a 50 year old shocker

Fail!!!! (I think this explains why my first couple of drives in the van have been so "interesting")

Busy on van

Too busy working on the van to post much at the moment. I get about an hour every second night to creep out into the shed and do some work on her.It is a bit hard to see what is going on here, basically I am trying to fix the leak from the diff. Now, this means undoing all the work I had done when I fixed the hub and brakes. Silly me, should have done it right back at the start.

Rather that pull the whole thing out I have simply seperated the halves and will use a suitable gasket goo (rather than a paper gasket). The above set up illustrates how primative conditions are in my shed. Still, it is a fairly easy job, just fiddly. The paper gasket had completely disintergrated. If you look closely inbetween the halves of the diff, you can see the crownwheel (I think) - it is possible to make out a hand written (scribed?) mark on it - "885". I wonder what this refered to, 50 years ago. Also on the wheel was more formally punched in, 8/45 MOWOG.

Not sure what that means.

I will take some shots of putting the axle half shaft back in, I have some work to do on that which will be good to share.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Compression test results

Well, I picked up a cheapie compression tester from Ebay ($30 Aud delivered) amazingly cheap. Seems to work OK.

Results were 150 psi on all cylinders.

Importantly they were all the same, so, perhaps the leaky gasket is not telling me I need an engine rebuild.

As they say here:

As a rule, most engines should have 140 to 160 lbs. of cranking compression with no more than 10% difference between any of the cylinders.

Low compression in one cylinder usually indicates a bad exhaust valve. Low compression in two adjacent cylinders typically means you have a bad head gasket. Low compression in all cylinders would tell you the rings and cylinders are worn and the engine needs to be overhauled.

I will now locate the parts and tools to replace the head gasket.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The good news is, the bad news is...

The good news is the van has a working flexible fuel hose again. Thanks Wizard hoses of Melbourne. I was able to use the original fittings which is nice.

So, with fuel I am able to test out the oil leaks. I spent a few days really getting stuck into cleaning the engine and diff, the diff has a slow drip right around the main seal, so that is going to be annoying to fix. I took the old gal for a drive (any excuse) to see what and where would drip.

The bad news for me is confirmation of a leak, coming from the head:

So, the engine has two leaks, one from the harmonic balancer at the front, and one from the head. Looks like I better do some research on taking the head off - probably should do a compression test etc first to really find out what the condition of it all is...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Lucky talisman!

Wow, as Mr Magpie says on his blog, every car restorer finds a lucky talisman in the car they are doing up. Mine showed up in a cranny of the JB van. A 1964 NZ Florin. Many NZ coins were minted in Australia, perhaps this one has finally come "home".

How much is it worth?
A New Zealand 1964 Florin, uncirculated and in absolute mint condition could fetch up to $18 NZD. If it has been rattling around in somebody's pocket but still in good condition, it might fetch up to $3 NZD.

There were 7 million minted.

A reputable coin dealer will be able to give a more accurate valuation.

Oh well, I think I will keep it hidden in the van for the next person. Also in there was a bone handled knife with a heavily sharpened blade. Scary!

Off the road...and filthy

Well, after the thrill of my first drive in the van, reality struck. If I don't resolve some fundamental issues I will not be allowed to drive her. So, onto the menial task of cleaning the underparts of the gal to find the oil leaks. She is a right old oily mess. The breather tube on top of the rocker cover was totally blocked, perhaps this was causing pressure and causing leaks of oil? A falorn hope?

The diff was a real mess, so cleaning that was quite a job. Does this look clean? Would you eat your dinner off it? The blocked breather was hopefully the cause of the oil leak...hopefully. I don't really want to pull this apart to replace the gasket.

So, after all the fun of cleaning her I thought I would take her for a drive so I could then trace the leaks. No such luck, the flexible hose between the fuel pump and carby decided to start spewing out petrol. So, next job is to replace this item. I notice it is a Dunlop hose, I wonder if this is OE?

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Almost on the road...

I took her off to the mechanic who will give me a "roadworthy". This is similar to the MOT in the UK.

What a drive! Hair raising brakes and suspension, I was happy to survive the 15km round trip. If you want to attract attention, get a J Van.

Instead of giving me a roadworthy, I was sent on my way with a list of parts to get... Shackle rubbers, oil seals and gearbox mounts anyone?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Clutch and brakes back in...

Well, the brake cylinders, master cylinder and new hoses are all installed. There is just so much room to move around the car the job is a pure pleasure. The clutch master cylinder has a spacer plate between it and the chassis rail, don't forget to put it in like I did at first. The nuts are fiddly to get to.
Interestingly, the guys who rebuilt the brakes thought the flexible hoses were original equipment - a good performance of 50 years.

I forgot to mention the cost - $700 Aud for all these rebuilt goodies(300 quid for the Poms out there).

Old diff oil

After replacing the rear hub, I thought I would check out the oil in the diff - here it is:
Terrible! Looks like the gravy they used to serve us back at Uni. There is meant to be around 2.1 litres in there, there was only about 400 mls. I think I will replace it with hypoid 140. At least it was not full of metal chunks...