July 4, 2004

Over the last few weeks I started having trouble starting from time to time. When I turned the key, I would hear a rapid clicking noise under the hood. Sounded a lot like a dead or low battery to me. Checked the battery and it was just fine. Sometimes the engine would crank over and start, sometimes not. I figured it was the starter solenoid by the brake booster. So to test, I connected the two large lugs on the solenoid. One was host and the other went to the starter. Nothing, just a click. Bummer, now it sounds like a starter motor. I had been reading about the newer; lighter, smaller, faster turning starters. Sounded like a good thing to do as opposed to replacing it with the same lump of iron. I allocated the whole next day to accomplishing the job assuming I could source one locally.

My Father came over to do some grilling with me for Independence Day. We spent a few minutes trying to confirm the diagnosis. We wanted to verify if any voltage was getting to the starter side of the solenoid. He touched one lead of the voltage meter to the starter side of the solenoid and the other to a ground. The batteries in the voltage meter were low so the voltage reading was showing 19.3 volts. Oh well, so much for that idea. But even more curious was when the test leads were connected, the car would start. When they were removed, we'd get the clicking noise. Pretty consistent. After scratching our heads for a few minutes we tried simply applying pressure to the solenoid. Voila! It starts. After looking a little more closely, it was pretty clear that the micro screws holding the solenoid were no longer providing a consistent ground. I ran some larger, non rusty screws into the mounting holes and now it seems to be grounding properly. Oh, and starting OK.

July 17, 2004

Took a trip out to a local race track to see all the cars racing that day with the Rocky Mountain Vintage Racing Club. Your car has to be 1972 or older to join. I just barely make it, although I seriously doubt I'll take my Jensen out racing. The insurance just wouldn't put up with that I don't think. Anyway, while out there I ran across an old acquaintance/business associate who was racing a 60 something Mustang. Built just for racing. Nice unit. We started talking and I found that in addition to his two body shops, he's starting South Bend Motor Sports. A shop catering to the vintage and or classic car markets. We talked a bit longer and made arrangements to get together to look at the front suspension on my Interceptor.

July 24, 2004

Drove down to his shop and put the beast up in the air to inspect the front suspension. While doing this, we took the small cover off the front of the torque converter to see if the rear main seal really was the cause of all the oil leaking. Nope. All dry in the bell housing. Nice to know that! Now it appears it's the two oil pan gaskets leaking. Was able to get a quarter to half turn out of most of the pan bolts but I'm afraid I was just smashing the gasket out the sides and not sealing anything. After some discussion, we agreed to have the car back down the next weekend to start the front suspension rebuild. I decided to not do this myself as I didn't care to deal with the springs and alignment issues. We briefly discussed the height of the rear end also. Might get that raised a bit too. The parts for this project have been accumulating over the last few months as the Jensen budget allowed. Tune in next month for the outcome.