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Kerry's '54 Restoration - Part Four

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More goodies today.  Monday, a local shop ordered wheel cylinders, carb kit, and brake shoes.  The wheel cylinders came in but I did not take the rears because I can't see paying 60 bucks for a cylinder.  The fronts are $30 each (you need 4).  The counter kid could not understand why you had six cylinders until I showed him one of the single piston cylinders.  My normal shop had ordered kits for the rear wheels and they were only $4.13 each.  

Interesting thing about the brake shoes is that the linings are much thinner than modern shoes, about 1/8 inch instead of 1/4 that we are used to.  The rear shoes are practically new.

Ray Hickey called and said he had found rear wheel cylinders for 30 bucks at Autozone special order.  He is redoing his 47 New Yorker.  It has the same brakes.  I will probably just go with my rebuild kits but its good to know that they are available at a more reasonable price.

He also has a practically new master cylinder if I need one.  I will pull mine soon and check it out.  I'm hopeful it just needs a honing and a 1 1/8 cup.

The new fuel pump did not have a gasket so I made one.  It's not hard.  I bought some gasket material several years ago and some leather punches at the same time.  All I had to do is cut a hole for the lever arm, trace the outline, cut the marks with a utility knife (lay it on a piece of wood), and use the leather punch to poke the bolt holes. Apr05$02.JPG (46215 bytes)

 And here is the finished result.  Took about 5 minutes. Apr05$03.JPG (42868 bytes)

I finally got the fuel pump on.  Dang what a job with the AC compressor in the way. Apr05$04.JPG (54198 bytes) If you enlarge this photo the fuel pump is clearly visible.  I gave up and cut the steel line to the carb and will put a rubber gas line segment.  No human can hook up the fitting.  There simply is no way to turn the fitting without pulling the compressor.  Here is a shot of the Honda sized compressor.  Apr05$05.JPG (82498 bytes) The line to the gas tank has a short flex line also that looks kind of like a brake line and is not available.  I am going to put some rubber gas line and also put a fuel filter in front of the pump.  It will not be visible.

Early this am, I tore down the carb.  I finally figured out that their are six screws under the air cleaner gasket.  It was pretty grody and I donated an entire can of carb cleaner to cleaning it out.  Much better.  I have two different carb kits but will just put it back together with the original parts for now.  Hopefully it will run with just the clean out.  At some future point, I'll take the time to do a complete teardown and rebuild.  Maybe soon if it doesn't work.  I plan on getting the carb on by Thursday and starting the car with the fuel pump picking up from a can.   The gas tank had some rust and the radiator shop that boiled it out is going to put a lining in it.  It will take 3 days to dry so I'll get it Friday.  It is warranted forever and costs 90 bucks.


Not much progress today.  Put the carb back together, hooked up the fuel line, hooked the fuel line into a can of gas and cranked it over.  No gas appeared in the filter bowl.  Checked the end of the fuel line and did feel some suction.  Primed the carb and it fires but won't pick up the fuel.  Finally flooded the engine and gave up. Got to admit I'm pissed.  The six volt system does not spin the engine very fast and with the gas tank installed and full of fuel, gas will be present at the fuel pump it will self prime.  At least that makes sense to me.  If not I have a bad new fuel pump.  Guess I'll work on the brakes until my tank is ready.

The good news is that there is NO visible smoke from the engine when it fires and the oil light goes right out even if you crank it over a few times.  Encouraging!


My friend Ray Hickey came out at lunch to help me get the engine running.  We quickly determined that we had no fuel in the carb.  We had fuel pressure from the pump going into the glass filter, nothing coming out.  Ergo, problem in the filter. Apr05$08.JPG (34266 bytes)    This was the culprit.  This is the ceramic filter.  It had varnished up and was no longer porous.  Once I cleaned up the rubber gasket, put the glass bowl on, problem solved.  Apr05$06.JPG (70410 bytes)  The car fired right up with a shot of either.  We ran it for a while and let it smooth out.  NO SMOKE AT ALL!!!! The accelerator pump was not working so, later, I pulled the carb back off and replaced the accelerator pump and cleaned out the passages.  I tested it BEFORE I reinstalled the carb.  Getting the needles aligned with the jets is a pain.  I primed the bowls with some gas before I put the top half on.  As soon as I hooked everything up, I climbed in the seat, pumped the gas, hit the key, and VAROOM!.  Since then, I've gone back to the shop 3-4 times and just hit the key.  Fires right up.  Sounds good.  A lifter clicks intermittently but will probably clear up with some additive. The motor is not in solid tune yet.  I will go through a complete tune up when I get it mobile so I can road test everything.  

The trans seems to be working. I put the ebrake on and dropped it into gear.  By giving it some gas, I could tell the trans was loading up.  Good sign!

A not so good sign was this leak I noticed on the left rear wheel.  This is rear end dope.  My immediate reaction was that both rear seals (inner and outer) were bad.  I called my parts house and surprise, they had all four seals in stock $25 total.Apr05$09.JPG (66646 bytes)  However, I got to thinking about this.  This leak is not new.  I'm thinking the leak was there when I pulled the wheel and is an accumulation of 15 years of sitting.  I have wiped it off and it it shows no new leakage in a day or so, I will put the new seals on the shelf and check it in a couple weeks.  Seals have a way of reconditioning themselves when they are used.

I'm a pretty happy guy! Can't wait to get the brakes on it.

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Kerry's '54 Restoration Saga Main...

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