Gregory Bender

2007 May 05: Assembly and start up (5.00 hours)


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Mounted the exhaust system...complete with header pipe to frame clamps. I applied black RTV to the overlapping pipe joints so as to ease removal later (and make a slightly tighter seal).

Filled the engine and rear drive with oil.

Did the final fitment of the front wheel.

Lubed the front brake cable and installed and adjusted it.

Topped off the the front and rear tires with the proper amount of air pressure.

Set the static ignition timing.

Replaced several of the large terminals that connect the wires to the regulator. The originals were loose and weak enough that bending them a bit would not provide sufficient contact pressure to maintain a good connection.

Used 3M upholstery adhesive to resecure the vinyl cover on the seat to the seat pan. It had come loose in a few places.

With the spark plugs out, I cranked over the engine to get the oil pumped through all of the galleries...the oil light went out very quickly...which is a good sign.

For sanity's sake, I also checked for spark at the plugs while cranking the engine.

When I first cranked the engine over (spark plugs still out) I noticed a lot of clicking. I thought that the old original relay was bad so I disconnected it and ran the wires to a modern relay. I tried again and I still got the clicking sound. Further investigation revealed the solenoid on the starter was causing the trouble. I had already rebuilt the starter and I wasn't sure why I was getting the clicking sound. I decided to remove the starter from my Ambassador and use it. Sure enough, the starter on my Ambassador worked fine. So, I'll need to figure out what is wrong with the original starter.

I tossed an empty 5 gallon gas can in the back of the truck and drove to the local gas station to purchase the fuel. Back at the garage, I filled up the tank with a couple of gallons and then started checking for leaks. With my petcocks off, I did not have any leaks (great petcock gaskets, Bruce Giller!). When I opened the petcocks, I found a few places to tighten up my hose clamps. Then no more leaks!

The moment of truth. Petcocks on, enricher (choke) off, clutch disengaged, pumped the throttle once and hit the starter button. The engine cranked over twice and fired right up! It surprised me it happened so quickly. A quick adjustment of the idle speed and she settled right into that characteristic lope. Sounded good, too. I let her warm up for a few minutes while I did a bunch of double-checking. Finally I couldn't stand it any longer, I tossed the seat on and went for a ride around the neighborhood. Wow it runs nice and strong! Good acceleration and it handles well. I am very pleased.

Back in the garage I checked the timing with my timing light and found it spot on. I may choose to fiddle with it more later, but it seems to run very strong now. I also adjusted the front brake cable some will take a bit to get the shoes bedded in properly so that she stops well.

In addition to the starter/solenoid issue, I found that light switch is not making good contact. So, I'll need to take care of those couple of things before I can call the job complete.

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