Saturday 6 August 2022

The Go Devil Goes!

 Despite just being a week, the Go Devil that wouldn't go is now going. 

In a testament to the Jeep community, I put out my troubles to my group of Jeep buddies and had a bunch of excellent suggestions. The key being that timing appeared to be off, and most likely it would be 180. 

Forgive the quality - Taken from a video
To check, cylinder 1 has to be brought to TDC, Top Dead Centre. This is when the piston has reached the top of it's stroke, both valves are closed, and the air/fuel mix is compressed and ready for the spark. Then you rotate the engine so that it's 5 degrees before TDC, and where the rotor in the distributor sits, is here the number one spark plug wire should be connected. 

On a Go Devil, this puts the rotor in approximately the 5 o'clock point. If timing was 180 degrees out, it would point at 11. Since I couldn't find the timing marks on my engine, I had to rely on trusting the previous owners to have not mucked with it. 

I pulled the plugs and got out my trusting TDC tool, my thumb. By placing my thumb over the spark plug opening by turning the engine over I was able to get a feel for the four strokes, with the "burp" past my thumb being compression. At the same time, I had the distributor open, and was watching the rotor. What i discovered is that the engine wasn't 180 degrees out, but it wasn't firing spark plug 1 at 5 o'clock, it was more like 7. I attribute that to the non-stock distributor on the engine. 

In any case, once I moved the plug wires to their new location on the distributor cap, and double checked EVERY electrical connection, I was ready to try again. I fed some starter fluid through and it started. It surprised me, and elicited a very large laugh from me. I got out my gas squirt bottle, and went at it, and well, this video says it all. It started, and it's safe to say, the Go Devil engine is going. 

Tuesday 2 August 2022

Just can't get it running

 Despite my best efforts, the little Go Devil engine, just doesn't want to, er, go. 

Since the last instalment (Here) I've been busy trying to get the engine do more than "pop". I've been trying to actually get it to run. Ultimately, I discovered that the rebuild I did on the carb just wasn't up to snuff. It was leaking out of places that it had no right to leak out of, and ultimately it was literally pouring fuel into the intake manifold, flooding out the engine. 

During this period, I also did a compression test to see if the engine was behaving, it turned out 80, 75, 60, 80 front to back, and on a cold engine. Not terrible, #3 was a little lower than I'd like, but we'll see what happens once it can warm up.

Since the carb ended up being a bust, I ended up ordering a Solex carburetor off Amazon. From what I've read, Mahindra makes these for Omix-Ada, and Mahindra has been playing the Jeep game for a while now. It's an interesting carb, in that it doesn't have a choke butterfly, it instead relies on a bypass valve of sorts that add extra fuel. Rather than choking the air, it adds more fuel. Interesting, and a mixed bag on reviews. For what it's worth, it's no longer flooding the engine, and it doesn't leak like the old YS Carb. 

I got it installed and setup, it was practically a bolt on swap. I had to make a new fuel line adapter, but it was a minor inconvenience, and from what I understand, a result of having an m38 rather than a CJ3A.

So, did it work? Short answer, no, long answer, no. The engine still won't run. I went back to the drawing board. I double checked the points, electrical, spark plug gaps, well, everything related to a running engine. I then pinged some people smarter than I am, and the consensus seems to be my timing may be off. If you have any thoughts, feel free to drop them in the comments section. 

At this point, stay tuned. I need to go dig out Grampa's timing gun, and pray that the distributor will come lose. I will get this thing running!

In other news, after staring at my two broken fuel pumps for a month, I had a thought - Could I take the good parts from them and make one working one?  Turns out that's a yes. The broken casting on the "new" one practically crumbled in my hand during disassembly, but I managed to salvage the arm, diaphragm, and spring. I transplanted those into the old pump's lower assembly, and while I could've used the old pump's upper, the internal valves were shot. I decided to mate it to the newer upper. I think it's quite usable, and the pump works well. It's not installed on the engine yet, I don't need it during my attempts to start the Jeep, but it's ready. 

Tuesday 28 June 2022

Progress is progress.

 With the weather being nicer, and having a bit more free time as my son is able to entertain himself longer, time spent on the m38 is increasing. As more time is spent working on it, ambition and excitement continues to build, pushing me to spend more time working on it. 

I started off with finally picking up a battery. That in of itself was an easy enough task, well, as easy as a trip to Costco on a Saturday morning can be. 

All was going well in the garage after getting the battery hooked up. I got the oil filter housing back on, checked the torque on the oil pan bolts, and then went to bolt on the brand new fuel pump. While tightening the two bolts for the pump the flange broke off. I was barely above hand tight, so a part of me believes the casting was flawed. I put a blank cover plate on and decided to just use a gravity feed bottle to get some fuel into the carburetor. 

I managed to get the engine to pop a couple times, and it was about that time that I realized that I had not yet hooked up the oil pressure gauge. So the positive is that the engine makes oil pressure, the negative, is I squirted some oil out the side of the engine. I have an oil pressure test kit that I need to hook up before trying that again. 

Taking a break from the engine (I had actually forgotten that I owned the oil pressure test kit) I decided to start into the dash itself. I finished running the hand throttle and choke controls. Found the nut that holds the steering wheel on, and mounted all the gauges in the dash panel. That was pretty uneventful, but did require a trip to Princess Auto for some terminal connectors. Not that I need much excuse to zip on down to Princess Auto. 

Oil pressure lines for the dash are on order now, and with more open weekends ahead, I should be able to continue plucking off these small tasks, because any progress is still progress.

Soon... soon

Monday 13 June 2022

Jeep m38 proving that things don't always go as planned.

If you've been around a while, you may have read my last update from April. (Right here

I outlined how I discovered antifreeze in my oil and decided a new head gasket was in order. A job that should take a couple hours at best on a flat head turned into a multi-week ordeal. Not being my full time job, meant I had to tackle this as time permitted, and like more things on Jeeps, it kinda snowballed. 

I wound up purchasing a stud remover, and asking the stuck stud to come out nicely with it. Which it did, so that's a win, and I did get the head removed. Much to my surprise, the pistons looks great, the block had no surprises, and everything was generally in order. Well, except when I drained the oil. 

The drain opened and started with green, followed by milkshake brown, then some actual oil, and then sludge. Lots of sludge. As much as I didn't want to, the oil pan was coming off. In it, I found a 1/4" of goo. It took a bit of time and some brake cleaner to get it to come out. Followed by cleaning up the pan and getting it spotless. 

I had to order in some more gaskets (note to future shade tree engine rebuilders, order the full gasket set at the start). 

Ultimately, the oil pan went back on, the valve cover got a new gasket, and the head went back on with it new copper coated Fel-Pro gasket. 

I have a set of new spark plugs, and we're just about down with that easy head gasket replacement. Next I need some high-zinc oil, some engine flush, and that should be it. Hopefully. 

The tunnel is a long one, but I can see some light twinkling at the end. 

As a small bonus for making it this far, here's the open engine turning over in all it's four cylinder glory. Something about being able to see everything running with the head off. Must be a flat head thing. 

Sunday 24 April 2022

The Best Laid Plans...

After my attempt to start the old Jeep, and my discovery that there was coolant coming out the oil pressure port, I started sourcing a new head gasket.

Everything arrived over the past week, and I found a local source (NAPA) for copper head gasket spray.

Knowing that it's supposed to be pretty easy to swap out a head gasket on these Go-Devils, I dove in. Surprisingly, it went smooth through removing accessories and head nuts/studs (some studs came out, as expected). 

It was when I went to pull the head that I ran into troubles. It simply didn't want to move at all. Queue three hours of prying, hammering, heating, and using copious amounts of PB Blaster. Still no go, but there is movement now. The head is stuck to one stud that refuses to release it's grip. 
After exhausting my arms (they feel like wet noodles now), I decided to call it a day. I got the head nice and hot around the stud, and tried to get as much PB Blaster down the stud to try and get it to release. I'll spend the week heating, spraying, prying. I'm sure I'll win, eventually. 

Sunday 10 April 2022

Make sure it's in neutral

I had a few minutes out in the garage this weekend. My son was hanging around with me on Saturday, and he enjoys playing in the Jeep. Anyone with a kid will understand that keeping them occupied is the secret to getting things done. 

The agenda item was pulling the fuel pump and replacing it with a new unit to see if I can fix my fuel issues that I encountered during my attempt to start the Jeep

Yeah. Not good.

It's easy enough to swap a fuel pump the Go-Devil, pull the hoses, two bolts, and off it comes. Well, off it came, missing half of the pump arm. I can only assume that the arm is somewhere in the oil pan. Sigh. regardless, I setup the new pump and test fit it, but did not install it. I wanted to check the cam to make sure the lobe for the pump was still good. I popped my starter battery on the charger (I really need to buy a real battery) and called it a day. 

So Pretty.
Fast forward to Sunday. The battery is charged up, I have a few more minutes to myself, so I get ready to bump the starter and watch the cam turn through the fuel pump port. I pull the starter trigger and the Jeep lurches forward. Fortunately I have wheel chocks in the front and rear, so no damage was done, and it was in 1st not reverse, so my foot was spared. Also, no fuel, and the ignition was off. 
Evidently Nate decided that while playing army man, it would be wise to play with the gear shift and ended up leaving in gear. I didn't think to check. Totally my fault, and not a mistake I'll make again. 

So there you go, some freebie advice for the day, always make sure it's in neutral before bumping the starter. 

Sunday 13 March 2022

Test firing the m38 Go-Devil engine

Why was it 2022 before I learned about how
great these are?
Today was the day, the Jeep m38 was finally at a point where I was ready to try and start it up. I have spent the past few (cold) winter months slowly rebuilding the carburetor as I had time. This weekend we shipped my son off to his Grandparents, allowing me much more time in the garage. I fired up the propane and electric heat, plus the overhead halogen lights, and got to work. 

I started by finishing off the carb build, and plumbing in enough fuel line to get a small tank hooked up to the pump, through a filter, and into the carb. Sadly, the pump seems to be shot, but I have a new in box one to go in. 

The carb took a bit of work, being 70 years old and all. The metering valve and needle did not want to come out. It involved a lot more drilling than a carb rebuild should require. 

Some wires were run to hook up the starter with a trigger start and a makeshift switch to the distributor. 

10 Gauge wire is recommended for all wiring except for the battery to starter, that should be 1 gauge. I went a little overboard (See my battery cables here: The Jeep Garage: Slow and steady Jeep m38 Progress)

I put a bit of two stroke fuel into the carb, and used some starting fluid to get it to pop off once. It was enough to convince me that we have a viable engine. It needs some work to button it up, and probably a head gasket (coolant in the oil), but it turns over, has spark, and enough compression to pop. 

And without further ado, a VERY short video of me pulling the trigger... so to speak.