Getting Eric’s 65 on the Road

With the shop done, I thought I would get Eric’s 65 road worthy. It usually starts, but it can run rough. Sometimes it doesn’t start though. I also have no idea how the brakes look, or how well it stops since it hasn’t driven further than onto the trailer. I can say that the tires look old and starting to rot. With all that, it gets to be the first project on the lift.

First project was brakes and tires. I had a set of good tires on stock 67 wheels including the red center hubcaps that came off the convertible. Those will work good, and clear up some floor space as a bonus. Both sets are 205/75R14 so that keeps things simple.

For the brakes, I want to check the shoes, make sure the wheel cylinders are intact and no trace of leaking, and visually inspect the hoses. When the brakes are done, I will put the new tires on and put the old ones in a discard pile. I will get the tires removed and hang on to the original wheels.

The shoes looked decent all the way around. Far from new, but good enough to not worry about replacing at this point. I may still consider putting on some Porterfield R4S shoes after I do the test drive, but I defer that to later.

When taking the right rear drum off, I found what looked like a u-joint cap floating around in the drum. I have no idea how it could have gotten in there, but it must have been making a racket.

The other thing I found was the driver side rear had new wheel studs and new lug nuts. The new nuts were a smaller wrench size than the others. Fortunately, I still had some of the original lug nuts from the 67 in the tray under my creeper seat, so I put those back on to keep all the wheels using the same socket.

I put the new wheels on with the red center hub caps from the 67. Even before I clean up the tires, I think it looks a lot better. No spinner center, and no white walls. And as a bonus, no dry rot.

Next, I moved on to the mechanical. Having sat so long, I wanted to flush the fluids and check for leaks. I started changing the oil. With the under body and engine compartment having been hot pressure washed, everything was grease free, making new leaks easier to find.

A grease free starting point

After changing the oil, I found that the drain plug was not sealing correctly, leaving a slow drip. Fortunately, I had a new pan on the shelf that I have been wanting to get rid of for a while. I picked up a new gasket and went to work.

According to the book, I had to take off the cross-member, then drop the idler arm to make room to drop the pan. Everything came off easy.

With the cross-member off, I decided to blast and paint it to get it refreshed a little bit. The “while I’m at it” is strong.

Before I mounted it, I used the thread chaser to clean up the threads in the rails and on the bolts. Too many stories about those bolts breaking in there, and not something I want to deal with ever. A little paint on the newly blasted bolts to keep them from rusting, and everything is back together.

After the oil leak was addressed, and extra parts cleaned up, I moved on to the fuel filter. Being the can style, I had to order the filter. While I was at it, I ordered an adjustable oil filter wrench that could also work on the fuel filter can. I heard horror stories of the can coming off, but I had no issues. While it was off, I blasted the outside and put a coat of black semigloss on it to keep it clean.

Next bit step was rebuilding the carburetor. It was having some stuttering along with leaking fuel from the front. It has the original Autolite 4100 so I ordered the complete kit from Mike’s Carbs and started doing some reading. The kit came with a PDF with some good pictures and helpful directions.

Before

I picked up a couple gallons of parts cleaner and a bin that the body would fit into. It’s been years since I have torn down a carb, so I was a bit worried and took lots of pictures to help make sure I got it back together correct.

Just a bit of junk sloshing around the bottom of the bowls

At this point, I hadn’t yet realized I didn’t get the choke spring properly engaged, but I figured it out as I installed in back on the engine and was connecting the linkage.

While there, I couldn’t help but blast and paint the spacer

With everything connected, it fired up after cranking it a bit to fill the bowls. I was surprised I didn’t miss anything and have to tear it back down and troubleshoot what I got wrong. I set the idle screws to 1.5 turns out each and they seem to be set for a pretty good start.

Next step will be to get the vacuum gauge and timing light out and get it tuned up. At this point, I should be able to take it for a test drive soon. Left on the checkup list will be the points and flushing the coolant. From there, I think everything is up to date and it should be mechanically safe. Not far off from being a weekend cruiser again.

UPDATE

I took it for a quick test drive and it was dying on hard braking. Turns out I had the floats set too high. I fixed that and the problem went away. I looked up the jet sizes in the service manual and found I should be running 52/68. It had 49/51 in it. I ordered some new jets and went back to factory, even though they were bigger.

I found a broken spark plug wire that could not have been letting #3 fire very well. I bought the Mari replicas and things smoothed out. It starts right up now, and runs real smooth after I spent a bit to get the idle and timing right. It was able to make it to the gas station for a fill up with no issues. Now on to the steering and suspension.

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