Monday, February 20, 2012

Daily Driving the Mustang

We have had an incredible amount of rain over the past couple of weeks.  I don't drive the Mustang in the rain so I've just been waiting for decent weather .  This week, our temperatures are in the upper 60's and there is no chance of rain.  I decided I'd go ahead and drive the Mustang a few days this week.

While driving on Monday morning, I noticed a rattle sound coming from the underside of the car.  The sound seems to be coming either the clutch linkage or the parking brake.  The noise is most noticable in second or third gear when I'm below 3,000 RPM.  After that point, I don't hear it.  It could be argued that the exhaust is too loud but I should be able to hear it at low RPM in 3rd gear but I can't.

I stopped at the grocery store after work and the car would not start when it was time to leave.  The engine was warm and from what I gather, this could be a result of the warm engine and high initial timing.  The engine would turn over but give no indication of trying to start.  After turning it over for a little while, the car started and I had no other troubles.

The shifter is starting to make a rattle noise again after rebuilding it not all that long ago.  I'll need to pull back the carpet to check it out and find out why.

I've a slight hesitation when I'm in 3rd gear, let the RPM drop to 1,500, and then take off.  I'm a little concerned about my air/fuel mixture.  I'm going to work on selling a few old parts to buy an AutoMeter A/F gauge so I can do some additional tuning.

The speedometer is not correct.  It seems to be a little on the low side.  I'll have to test it by driving alongside my wife at a few different speeds to see how much it is off.  I believe I have the correct gear.

I drove the car Monday through Wendesday of this week and managed to put about 130 miles on the car.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Plug for Firewall Hole

There is a stock knock out plate near the master cylinder on my Mustang.  The knock out plug was removed when I purchased the car.  The shape and the size of the hole are unique and I've not been successful locating something to plug the opening.

For the past few years, I've used a cut up rear shock plug.  It is too tall and too wide to do the job but was better than nothing.  It would have been best to tack weld in a piece of metal from the inside when I did the work under the firewall.  However, I did not even consider it at the time and the inside portion of the firewall is now covered in Dynamat. 

I decided to make a metal block off plate to fill the hole.  The front and rear plates are made out of 16 guage scrap from the metal plate I created to separate the rear seat from the trunk area.  I then cut out an oval piece of metal which fit about the exact hole in the firewall.  The two 16 guage pieces are going to sandwich the oval piece in the hole.

I used RTV to somewhat hold the oval piece on the front piece of metal.  I ran a little bead of RTV around the side of the oval and smeared it out rather smooth.  This will serve as a little bit of a gasket.  I then tack welded nuts on the back piece of metal to make installation simpler.  I picked up some nice stainless steel screws to finish it off. 

I worked on this little project for a few minutes each night this week.  I painted the part and put the RTV on yesterday.  Now that the RTV has fully dried, I installed the block off plate.  It seems to fit well and should do the job nicely.  It is certainly better than the hacked up rubber plug I was trying to make fit.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Enjoying a Drive on Super Bowl Sunday

I decided to go for a drive this afternoon.  The temperature was a cool 45 degrees but I enjoyed the drive.

I drove for about 25 miles today.  I accelerated from 2,000 to 3,000 RPM about 15 times and let the engine brake the car to slow down. I've read this is a good approach to breaking in a new engine. I tried not to keep it at the same RPM for very long. I've read mixed thoughts on how to treat a motor during break-in. I put my foot in it about 2 or 3 times today and it feels fairly fast.

I noticed a slight hesitation when I accelerate rather quickly at about 2,000 RPM when in second or third gear.  The hesitation is not bad at all in second gear but is a little worse in 3rd.  I don't know if it matters that much as I don't plan on flooring it in 3rd gear when I'm only going 2,000 RPM.  Shifting into 3rd from second when I'm driving fast places me outside of the trouble spot.  This could be fuel or the timing, I'll worry more about this later.

The cam and lifters seem a little loud.  I've heard the Comp Cams XE series are loud due to the aggressive ramp angles on the cam.  I'm thinking of going to 3/4 turn rather than 1/2 turn past lash on the rockers to see if it quiets down a little.

I went up to near 80 MPH a time or two (to reach 3,000 RPM in 3rd gear) and the car seemed a little unsteady.  It was as if a front tire was not perfectly balanced.  I did rotate the back tires to the front while working on the car which might explain the change.  I'm going to take a look at them all and make sure everything is tight.

I need to fill a hole in the firewall but a perfect sized rubber plug does not exist.  I'll need to come up with something different to fill the hole.  The hole is about 1" x 2" but you would be surprised the amount of air which rushes in while driving.  It lets in a little bit of an engine smell which I'd like to fix before driving to work (professional, shirt/tie kind of place).

All in all, I'm pleased with how things are going on the car.  I'm glad to be able to go out an jump in the car and go for a drive.  I'd like to tweak some things while it is nice and cool (45 degrees today) and hopefully go to a car show or driving event this year.  It is about time I start enjoying this thing rather than just working on it all the time.