How I Spent My Festivus

Getting all greasy was how I spent my holiday! img_1040.JPGLast I left off, the AE86 was back together but the FX wouldn’t start. Oh, here’s a pic of the crossmember and rack back in. The rest of it is still pretty crusty, but check out that clean crossmember! I’m going to have to go back and tighten that hydraulic hose hitting, I crawled under the other day after test driving and it’s leaking fluid onto the nice clean crossmember already!So the weekend rolls around and I go out to figure out what’s going on with the FX. Meter the wiring and see voltage is getting to the connector all the way to the starter. img_1041.JPGPull out the starter, which being under the exhaust manifold has a habit of baking and going bad in this setup. Nice thing is it’s easily removed. Anyway, I pull the starter and pop open the cover for the solenoid. The plunger comes out with the cover. I don’t think much of it until I try to pull the plunger out. Is it supposed to be stuck in here like this? With a bit more force it pops free. Hm, looks like I found the problem. Aside from that, the contacts look fresh, this looks like a fairly recently rebuilt starter. Digging around in the Root’s Corolla parts warehouse, I find my other starter and pull out the solenoid plunger and cap. I know that plunger is pretty new. I use the rest of the starter because on my spare I pulled out, the plastic/bakelite electrical connector is cracked so I don’t want to use it. The only bad thing is the starter body I’m using doesn’t have the mounting hole for the heat shield. Ah well, easy enough to change when it goes bad. Starter turns over on first try and car coughs to life. Yay, I can now play musical cars and move the FX into the garage.

I set about swapping the power steering in. I guess in the pursuit of performance, previous owner removed the p/s pump. I guess removing the top timing belt cover gives you a few more hp too. At least this time they put a piece of hose to loop the hoses, albiet a kinked and cracked hose. I know the FX is a pretty light car, but it’s FWD and it’s going to be my daily driver, it’s a pain to drive without p/s, and making manual steering by simply removing the pump makes body builder manual steering. It’s even harder to steer than a true manual steering setup.

img_1042.JPGAnyway, earlier I had already swapped over the pump. So now I pull the racks. Here you can see on the bottom the rack from the new FX. Yet again a spoogy mess and messed up boots. I also pull out the hoses and lines and swap those. The nice thing about the years spent in the desert for this new FX is that it has been kind to the metal. img_1044.JPGCheck out these parts, the finish still looks factory new! Oooo, shiny! Things are progressing well and I have the steering more or less together. Bits still need to be torqued or connected, but all the pieces are where they should be. That wraps up my saturday.

So sunday its time to take care of the driveshaft seals. One of the nuts on the cv shaft flange starts to round out and gives me some problems. I get all the rest out and come back to that one and manage to mangle it off. Not to worry, rumaging about in the warehouse I stir up a correct nut. I pull out the slide hammer and pull the cv flanges. (After draining the tranny oil, make that mistake only once!) I like my slide hammer. For some reason it’s one of my favored tools. img_1045.JPGHm, the dust cover on one flange is dented good. Wonder what happened there? I can see some scratch marks on the flange too. I straighten the dent out with pliers best I can and decide to reuse it. It’s only a dust shield. I could pull a spare flange, but I’m not sure if there’s a problem with adjusting bearing preloads if I do that. So some fanagling I pull the old seals and put in the new ones. It actually is not so easy. They don’t like to go in straight, but they’re in. Hope for the best. So I start to reinstall the shafts. I look at the flanges. Sheesh, caveman mechanics! img_1046.JPGThese flanges have index pins for a reason. There’s suppose to be two pins that match up with two holes in the cv shaft. But I guess they couldn’t be bothered with that. Just slap them on and crank it tight. The pins will get pushed out and it’ll go on any way you want now! Grrr. Not to mention that the nuts on one side were significantly tighter than the other. I shudder. Anyway, I put it back together correctly.

img_1047.JPGThings would be ready to all go back together, except I discover the crank pulley is wrong! Geeze. For some reason it looks like there’s a 20 valve pulley on here, which won’t line up with the p/s pulleys on the 16v. Look here, pretty obvious. Damn, time to call it a night.

Well now, Christmas day, and a pretty nice day it is. What do I do? Sleep in, and then start to work on the car. img_1048.JPGSo now I have to swap the crank pulleys. Done this enough times now got the procedure down with the custom R&F crank tool. Thankfully it seems the crank bolt on the new FX is torqued to correct spec and doesn’t require the use of leverage enhancement tool, otherwise known as the Fabio 1/2″ breaker bar busting pipe. Once the pulleys are swapped, everything lines up now and I can put it together. In the process I amuse myself by noticing the country of manufacture of some of these parts, eh?img_1050.JPG I can see the light at the end now, so I decide to take care of some smaller issues like starting to remove the EGR system. I also clean up the missing engine spark plug cover, throttle cable guides, swap throttle body in hopes of fixing the bouncing idle, and in the process discover a pair of vaccum lines routed wrong.

So at the end of this night, everything is pretty much done! Ready for alignment after which it’ll be driveable! I’ll have to take care of the mess inside with the wiring, but it’ll be driveable! In my final inspection of the night, I see oil on the output shaft on one side. Damn, looks like it’s still leaking. Oh well. Can wait for when I change clutch, which will need to be done soon. There’s something up with the clutch, some type of performance clutch I assume, as the pedal pressure is quite high. Too much for a daily driver. Anyway, good to have things done for now!

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