Saturday, March 22, 2014

More progress and a very short drive

Today I decided to wire up the charging circuit, the electric choke, and the fuel pump. And that meant rolling out the wiring harness.  After straightening out the main circuits, and inserting a grommet in the hole in the firewall to protect the wires from chaffing, I fed through the forward and rear sections of the harness.

I decided to tackle the charging circuit first.  After a trip to the parts store to get a modern, solid-state voltage regulator designed for a later model Chrysler product (Wells VR706, or Echlin VR32--a much easier to deal with solution over the old analog version,) I pulled the alternator power and alternator exciter wires over into position, crimped some ends on them (temporarily, since I will can't put the regulator in the correct position without the fenders in place) and attached it to the firewall.

Then it was simply a matter of connecting the other ends to the appropriate positions on the alternator.

Next,  after quickly crimping ends on a couple of wires and plugging in the electric choke, I tackled the fuel pump wiring. I purchased an extra circuit for the fuel pump with the wiring harness that included a relay with a fuse. After a good deal of pondering, it just made sense that given the wiring layout the circuit was designed to mount near the fuel pump. So into the trunk I went. After drilling a 1/2-inch hole and putting in another grommet, I mounted the relay assembly to the inner fender well.

The purple and red wire goes all the way to the front of the car, the black wire (barely visible) to ground and the yellow wire provides power to the pump. The purple wire will eventually go to the ignition switch--for now, it goes to a toggle switch on the dash for simplicity. The red power wire goes to the battery side of the solenoid. When the toggle switch is turned to the on position, the power causes a switch within the relay to close, completing the circuit to the fuel pump. The advantage of using a relay is that it allows for less current draw through the ignition switch, which is a good thing when so many other electrical devices are running through it.

I ended up with the car looking like this:

It was time for a test. I rolled the car out into the driveway, chocked the tires, then added a gallon of fuel to the tank. I hooked up the battery, threw the switch for the ignition and the switch for the fuel pump. It began clicking and soon quieted as it started pumping gas--some of which started leaking under the car. A quick turn of a couple of wrenches tightened down the joint I had missed, and after a bit of clean up and allowing the gas to evaporate, I tested it again and found no leaks. The car now fired up quickly, and idled very fast (and very loud.) After about 30 seconds I shut her down, and adjusted the fast idle circuit to a normal pace, and restarted her. She ran much better.

And then, in a fit of bravery, I decided I should try backing her into the garage. I cleared the tire chocks and fired her back up. I pushed in the clutch and tried to put her into reverse. No go--just some grinding. I shut the engine off, put it in reverse and, holding the brake down and gritting my teeth, I started the car.  The brakes held; when released, the car would move backwards even with the clutch fully depressed to the floor. Sounds like I have a clutch to adjust tomorrow.

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