2011-03-13

She's running!

Finally after struggling for a week I got her running.  A week ago I've cleaned the plugs, sprayed some penetrating oil in the cylinders, added some fresh oil to the rocker cover, and the next day turned her over by hand.  Engine was nice and loose, nothing sticking.  Drained the 4 year old petrol and recycled it through "Hazmobile" which happened to be in our area that weekend, poured in 20L of fresh BP 98.  Then disconnected the coil and cranked her over waiting for petrol to pump through.  Battery ran flat but still to petrol.  Charged the battery overnight.

Next evening cranked her over but soon discovered there is no air coming out of the fuel pump so there can't be any fuel sucked up.  Long story short, the fuel tank pick-up strainer is blocked solid and would not clear even with my compressor at 50 PSI blowing back into the fuel line (before the fuel pump).

Today drained the fuel tank again (it came out surprisingly clean), removed the plug under the tank, tried to pull the pick-up filter but could not, sprayed it with throttle body cleaner (safer than carb cleaner on plastic, filter is made of nylon), got the compressor out again and back-flushed it.  Blockage cleared.  Petrol back in again, added another 5L, cranked her over and she started.  No smoke, nothing.  Runs a bit rough, but I suspect the fibre timing gear or distributor or more likely the carburettors needs some work.  Took some time to warm up but she got there.  Could not drive her, S40 in the driveway with possibly blown head gasket and water pump, but that one is going to a garage tomorrow so tomorrow night we can take the 144 for a spin around the block.  I'll take the whole family, it will be therapeutic.

2011-02-11

Finally I'm starting restoring my 1971 Volvo 144 S.  My dad bought it new and I got it from him in 2000 when my wife and I migrated from South Africa to New Zealand (for family and work reasons, not for political reasons).

This will probably be a slow restoration, we are building a new house and had to use my project savings as part of the deposit.  So far I've washed, cleaned and polished the paintwork.  About to wax it and will store it for the next 5 month outside while the new house is built.  While in storage I'll source engine parts.