Alternator and steering work


This morning I started back in on attaching the new alternator.  First step was soldering in the fusible link.  The first wire on the right went really well,  The second one not so much.  The red wire is original to the car and the solder did not want to stick to the old dirty copper.  By the time I got it soldered it was a big mess and the shrink tube would not fit over it.  Rats.  I should un-solder the whole mess and start over but I am ready to wrap it in electrical tape and move on.


Looks pretty nice.  Then I realized I had not put the wires below the alternator back in the loom so I had to take it apart again and fix it.


So then I put it together and realized I forgot to tighten the bolt on the alternator bracket behind the coil.  So I took it apart again.  This time I put spacer washers in there to make everything line up better.  The red circles show where the washers are.


The mount is nice and tight, wires are loomed, and brackets lined up.  Then I realized I had the belt on the wrong pulley.  At least this time I did not have to take it apart completely.


I do NOT want to take this apart again.  But it looks good this time.  I checked the wiring and the ground on the alternator with a meter.


On my last parts store run I also picked up a ground strap.  I don’t see on on the engine so I figure better safe than sorry.  The plan is to use one of the holes in the frame where the snow plow used to mount for one end and a bolt on the engine for the other.  The hole in the frame is pretty big so I rigged up that stack of washers to make it work.  I nee.d the big long bolt because the frame is fully boxed.

So here is where the picture of the installed ground strap would go but that picture did not turn out well at all so we will just have to imagine it.


Speedometer cable time.  With the instrument cluster out of the way it pulls right out.


I wiped down the cable then fed it back in.  As I put it in I lubed it with cable lubricant.


Here is the transmission end of the speedometer cable.  I took it loose to make sure the cable got back into its hole correctly.  No problems I hope.


I still don’t have the bulb sockets for the instrument cluster so I moved on to the steering.  I took out the reach rod.  This comes out by removing the cotter pins and unscrewing the end caps until the socket is loose enough to pop off.  The sockets are pretty worn but I have a rebuild kit.


I removed the steering bell crank as well.  I removed the pinch bolt then the big pivot bolt.  I expected the bushing to be badly word but it is nice and tight.


I popped the tie rod end with my nifty tie-rod-end popper.


And we have tie rod ends.  I measured these and marked the positions of everything so I could put it back together like it came apart.  Then I settled in for a parts cleaning and painting party.  Then while the paint was drying it started to rain.  So the end  result was no pictures.  But I take some putting things back together tomorrow.

Test fitting new alternator


I want on a NAPA run and scored a rebuilt 65A Delco alternator, a fusible link, and the alternator electrical connector.  Now I have to install it.


The first step is to figure out the existing wiring.  What we have here is the factory alternator wiring adapted to the ammeter my dad installed.  The positive battery cable is connected to the starter solenoid.  A red #12 wire runs from the solenoid terminal to a ring terminal that has been bolted to a blue wire running back to the ammeter on the dash.  That joint is the silver blob in the upper middle of the picture.  Another blue #12 wire runs from the other side of the ammeter to that ring terminal in the upper left of the picture.  So that is the battery side of the circuit.  The other loose red wire with a ring terminal supplies power to the rest of the car via the circuit breaker back on the kick panel.  Both the loose ring terminals used to attach to the output terminal on the old alternator.  The thin grey wire feeds to the amp light on the instrument cluster.


This picture I took before ripping out the old alternator shows how the wires were connected.  We are going to do something similar but more safely and with (hopefully) better reliability.


First step is get the old regulator out.  We will not need this any more, the Delco is internally regulated.  Three screws and it is gone.


Second step replace that bolt and two ring terminals.  I soldered the wire from the solenoid (and battery) to the ammeter wire and protected it with shrink tube.  That white stuff all over the valve cover is debris from the tape that was insulating the old connection.


This is the custom fusible link I put together to feed this system.  The idea behind a fusible link is to protect the rest of the car from a major short.  The link is simply wire in a extra-sturdy insulation.  If the system shorts the wire burns up contained in the insulation protecting the rest of the system.  The fusible link should be 4 gauges less than the wire being protected.  Since with are running #12 wire the fusible link is #16.  Since there are two branches off the alternator I put two fusible links on one ring terminal.  That ring terminal will connect to the output terminal of the alternator and the two branches will be soldered to the red and blue wires in the picture above that feed the car and battery respectively.


Time to test-fit the new alternator.  Fits nice and the wires will reach.


I also ran a new negative battery cable.  Here you can see it snaking down to the bottom bolt on the alternator mounting bracket.


I got a new voltage regulator in the mail so I decided to take a side trip into getting the gauges working again.  The main reason is I want to make sure the amp light will work with this alternator.  I installed the regulator and rigged the alternator wiring so the car got power.   But the gauges are still dead.  Dammit.  I checked the ground on the regulator and that was fine so the problem must be elsewhere.


I figured the next step was to remove the gauge cluster and see what is going on.  It actually came out really easily.  I unscrewed the speedometer cable, disconnected the electrical connector, then pressed the spring clips and it popped right out.


Now we can see everything.  I should have done this before, it gives great access to the rest of the dash wiring.  You can see here where the regulator goes and the electrical connector on the right side.  When I turned the cluster over it rattled.  That can’t be good.


And there is the rattle.  Three of the light bulb sockets are broken and several others are pretty brittle.  I think these are standard IP light bulb sockets so I will just replace both the bulbs and the sockets.


I tested the printed circuit board on the back of the cluster and found that the board is good but the contacts on are all pretty dirty.  I cleaned them up.  That might have been the problem but I will also check the cluster connector wiring before I put this back in.  I will also have to clean and lube the speedometer cable, which will be a messy job.  Meanwhile I will have to finish up the alternator wiring.  But I am out of time for now.



Tune up and shifter work


I took the car for a drive to warm it up then hooked up the tach and vacuum gauge to adjust the idle mixture.  I turned the mixture screws 1/4 turn at a time adjusting the idle as needed.   I think I found where the vacuum is highest, but it seems like the screws are awfully far in.


The vacuum also seems a little low.  The car has a really lumpy idle, which I sort of expected from the odd-fire engine but I suspect I might also have a low-speed miss.  I will have to check compression.  I might have a sticky ring or something.


The car pops out of first gear, which according to the manual is most likely the shifter out of adjustment.  That bolt in there is 5/16″ in diameter which fits in two adjustment holes in the shift levers.


Here is the bottom of the shifter.  That bolt is going in through the hole you can see up top.


To adjust the linkage I need to loosen the bolts at the bottom of the shift levers on the transmission.  Then center the transmission shift levers in neutral and tighten the bolts.  The problem is I can’t get the levers to move on the transmission.   I think I need someone to hold the clutch in or maybe jack up the back wheels.  But I am alone and it is getting dark so I just tightened the bolts back up and took the car for a test drive.  No improvement 🙁

Jeepster lives!


I went out this morning determined to get the timing set up on the Jeepster.  I got so into it that I neglected to take many pictures.  I did take this one.  I was very proud of getting the dwell dead on at 40°.  There is only one problem, the dwell is supposed to be 30°.  I don’t know where I got 40° from but I had to do everything over again.

Continue reading “Jeepster lives!”

Really finishing up the steering column


Nice cool day today so I put the steering wheel together.  I forgot to take a picture of the horn switch installed.  The horn switch works the whole series of wires, brushes, and rusty-ass contacts means the horn does not get enough juice to sound reliably.  More on that later.


The right turn signal indicator in the gauge cluster is not working.  I popped the bulb out.  The bulb tests good so I cleaned the contacts and it works now.


My buddies at Amazon delivered a new electronic flasher.  In this really fuzzy picture you can see the flasher and the power lead I made for it.  This will run from the accessory terminal on the ignition switch and feed the turn signals.  The old flasher and it’s constant power will run the hazard lights.


Here is the mess dangling under the dash.   This will all get cleaned up later. The electronic flasher has a dedicated ground wire which I stuck under a convenient screw.


This is the reason I put the electronic flasher on the turn signals.  I also bought these LED tail light bulbs on Amazon.  They are supposed to have Cree LEDs in them but I have my doubts.  Anyway since these bulbs draw a lot less current than incandescent bulbs the old mechanical flasher is likely to have problems.  So I put it on the hazard lights which are both less important and have all 4 bulbs blinking to maximize the current.


There is only one problem.  The LED bulbs are too loose in the sockets.  You can see in this picture that the LED contacts do not stick out as far and the latching pin is a little closer to the bottom of the bulb.  So if I am going to use the LED’s I will have to revisit the stupid light sockets again. Not tonight.


Last stop is the horn.  I took it off the car and cleaned up the contacts.  This is an original Sparton “beep beep” Jeep horn and once it is working it might be my favorite thing about the car.  However we are going to need a relay to get it working reliably.   But that is enough for one night.  I just reinstalled the horn.