The purpose of this Blog

This blog is to detail my 43 years (1973 - 2016) with a 1928 Chevrolet tourer, affectionately called "The Red Chev".

The acquisition, restoration, improvements and my experiences over the years are covered in as much detail as I can remember.

Some of the later postings include car club outings and other vintage car items that I hope will be of interest to people.

If you have the time, scroll back to where it all began in 1973 and follow the journey so far.

Thanks for dropping by.

Regards Ray Dean

See my new section "The Red Chev - Repairs, Improvements, Maintenance and Technical Details" located on the left hand side of the screen.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

2009 Change is in the Air

Early in the year I decided to respray the engine side of the cowl as the original black full gloss acrylic had faded and worn a bit in 34 years. I masked up the engine, cleaned down the "firewall", even though you would not really call it a firewall. After sprucing up the "firewall" I thought the engine looked a bit shabby, loosing paint here and there. So out comes the masking tape again, off comes all the bits and pieces of the engine, and I scrap, chip, and use what ever other methods I have at my disposal to remove the old coat of Dulux Oil based Green enamel that I painted the engine with in 1974. On goes a couple of coats of full gloss black enamel.

While the engine was being repainted I either plated or polished items such as:

Push Rod covers (plated in 1974, but never fitted until 2009)
Oil Filter canister
Dip Stick
Oil Filler Tube
Overflow Tank
Inlet Manifold
Coil Mounting bracket
All Rods and Linkages
All Under Bonnet Copper Tubing

Now finding myself on a roll I decided to tackle all the under bonnet linkages, such as the carby, throttle, advance and retard. All of these linkages were  metal to metal and had always been sloppy, and were getting worse. Rose joints were fitted to the ends of all rods, and bronze bushes were fitted to housings where a rod ran through. Wow, what a difference, it was like a tune up. The carby was more responsive and the hand controls that previously required a lot of movement to take up the linkage slack, were smooth and gave an immediate response.

While I had my head under the bonnet I also repainted the radiator cowl, the fan and the engine splash trays. During this under bonnet freshen up I would constantly think to myself that the quality of my original work back in the 1970's was a bit on the rough side. But at the same time I realized that I was now a lot more fussy, and would take the time to get it right.

Having now discovered poor mans chrome, (highly polish and spray on clear acrylic), I pulled out the steering column, tided up the ignition lock and switch, polished and clear coated the steering wheel metal frame, horn and hand controls. An unexpected improvement that came from stripping the steering column was the full length tubes that run from the steering wheel hand controls through to the steering box were binding up inside the steering column. A quick polish here and there, a couple of replacements from my spares, and for the first time I had, and still have (2011) smooth hand controls that no longer stick and jam up.

The dam thing was slowly becoming easier to drive.

Just to balance things out a bit there was a starting problem with the engine, that although I did not regard as serious, it was more of a nuisance. Cold starting was taking longer and longer and had been like that since shortly after the wedding in October 2007. I did all the usual things, checked the points, plugs with not much success. Replaced the battery earth strap which gave a stronger engine cranking, but the engine was still slow to cold start. Once warm it was never a problem, only cold.

Further investigations discovered that choke butterfly was not closing enough in relation to the degree the choke lever was pulled out. Adjusted the choke cable, which I had probably not refitted correctly after the engine face lift. Again there was a slight improvement, but the problem was still there.

After I rechecked the clearance of the carby float and found that was ok, I eliminated fuel as a cause, so it had to be spark and / or timing. There was plenty of spark so I ruled that out. Now timing had always been a bit of a mystery to me, but that was about to change.

So lets pull out the dizzy, give it a good clean and going over, and I will reset the timing as that was now the prime suspect. Being the first time the dizzy had been out in 35 years, the poor thing was probably desperate for a spit and polish anyway. Did the all the good things, stripped, cleaned, lubed, replaced points, insulator and rotor button. As I went to refit the dizzy, carefully using my scribed markings, I remembered that all the pictures I had of Chev engines showed the dizzy housing in a slightly different position to mine. So the timing was "right" according to where the rotor button was pointing, but the housing was not right. Had I moved the housing or taken the dizzy out years before? I could not remember. So I moved the housing around to where I thought it should be, hit the starter, nothing. Turned it a bit one way, nothing. Turned it a bit the other way, starts, but as rough as guts. So with the engine running I do my first ever and successful tune by ear. With a slight turn, can't remember which way, the engine is purring, well  as much as a 28 Chev engine can that is. Kill the engine, inside for lunch while it cools down, and out again for the big test. Started then in 2 to 3 seconds and has done every time on a cold start since. And guess what, my dizzy now faces mecca in the same position as all the other Chevs I have engine shots of , and also matches the primitive repair manuals. So the problem of slow cold starting was a combination of the choke not opening enough, combined with the timing being too advanced.

Seeing I am talking about electrics, I installed a double battery arrangement back in the 80's, but forgot to mention it in earlier postings, so better late than never.I believe I did this to get a better and stronger engine cranking, and have been happy with it since.

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