Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Test of my Patience

I have stated before that patience is not one of my better virtues.
One of my favorite sayings is "Just keep swinging and walking forward and something is bound to fall down eventually".
This does not work well with cars.
In my battle with the Z, It has taken another round on points.
I put the new head gasket on and torqued it down.
When you take off the head you need to make a piece of wood 1 1/2 inches wide by 9 1/2 long to jam in between the two halves of the timing chain to ensure that the chain tensioner remains in place. Otherwise the tensioner drops out and you have to tear the front of the engine apart to get the timing chain back on.
I dutifully made the block of wood, and jammed in between the two chain halves. It remained in place while I worked on the head.
I put the timing gear on the chain and was maneuvering it in place. It was within 1/16" of being in place. The damn stick kept interfering with the bolt that attached the gear to the cam, So I took the bolt and got it started by hand. Then I removed the stick, since there was tension on the timing chain.
You can probably guess what happened next.
The bolt popped loose before I could tighten it, and the gear dropped down, releasing the tension on the chain, thereby allowing the chain to relax and the tensioner popped out.
Now I get to tear the front of the engine apart to get at the tensioner.
I walked away from the car, as I was on the borderline of throwing  things and turning the air blue with cusswords and shocking the neighbors.
One step forwards, two steps back.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Blood Sacrifice

The car Gods were angry with me.
They demanded a blood sacrifice before I could complete the task at hand, which was extracting a broken off exhaust manifold stud from the head of the Z.
The head stud had been broken off at some time in the distant past. I didn't break it, so it must have been broken when I bought it, ten years ago. Since I had never even entertained the notion of removing the manifold, I had no idea there was something wrong. It wasn't making any noises or anything.
After being there for who knows how long, I knew it would be difficulty to get it out.
It was when I broke the third easy-out that I sliced open the side of my thumb. It bled copious amounts of blood. After that, I got the broken out stud out.
First I drilled a small hole in the stud and soaked it in rust buster. Then I broke my first easy-out.
I had to walk away.
So I went down and bought a diamond drill bit to drill out the easy out, which was broken off below the surface of the head.
I drilled a slightly larger hole maybe half way through the stud, tried the next size up. Snapped the very top of the easy-out odd. That left enough that I could get my stud puller on the shaft of the easy-out, which promptly broke. Because I was herking on the wrench with ell my might when It broke, it took a divot out of the side of my thumb.  
It left just enough grip that I could get the easy-out removed. I got a slightly larger diamond drill bit and drilled all the way down the length of the stud, and put the larger easy-out in the hole
At last I could get the leverage I needed to extract the stud. And I still have plenty of threads left in the head to insert a new stud.
A lot of struggle over one exhaust manifold stud.
At least that is done, and now I can start putting things back together.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Me vs THE Z

Over a couple of Saturdays, I have torn down the top end of the Z. I have never gotten into fuel injection, so I wanted to take it slow and mark everything and label the wires.
I busted the second head bolt. Twisted it right in half. You shouldn't be able to do this. The head bolts were WAY over torqued. They must have been at 120 ft/lbs. It took everything I had to break them loose. And of course since I broke #2 I sweated every bolt.
When I pulled the head off there was about 1/2" of head bolt sticking up. Just enough to engage my stud puller. Big WHEW" there.
When I took off the intake/exhaust manifolds, I saw that the first and last bolts were broken off in the head. As soon as I got the head all cleaned up and the left over gasket material removed, I set out to remove the ends of the studs. Drilled the first one, engaged the easy-out. And of course snapped off the easy out. Flush with the block.
Well, crap. Went down to Lowe's and bought a couple of diamond bit. Now I will have to gingerly drill out the easy-out, so I can try it again. Pain in the A**.
The EGR tube was also broken. It has been broke forever. I am surprised I didn't hear the exhaust leak. But the if it has always been broken, I would have probably figured that was the way it was supposed to sound. The engine always ran strong, so It ought to run even better when I get through putting it back together.
That's WHEN not IF.

Thursday, May 01, 2014


I must have done something good.
Yesterday I came out of the restroom, and of course I washed my hands. When I went to go through the gate to get back in my work area I noticed my wedding ring was missing. I figured it must have come off when I was drying my hands, so I grabbed the trashcan liner and all the paper towels in it and dragged them back to my desk, and went through the paper towels one by one. No ring.
Well, there were two cans, so I did the same with the other. No such luck.
I had to go home and face the music. I figured it was gone for good.
I sent out an e-mail to a bunch of people asking them to keep an eye out for a yellow gold mans ring with a white gold insert.
I got a phone call from the office in the next bay over. Someone had found it and turned it in.
I went down to the office, and sure enough, There was my ring.
My Karma was strong.
It restored my faith in humanity.