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[T3] History of mishaps and repairs for this year

Hi folks , I have been out for a while moping around, those who know,
know why.

Well I have been driving my car even harder and scarier like I do not 
care. I have gone thru red lights with police present and passed 
police cars going while 90 mph (AGAIN) , for some reason they ignore me ...
Well No tickets and I am behaving better these days .

I have a little history of my mishaps and fixes for this year.

- Burned/melted pistons this last spring , replaced with 
  Kobelschmits brand , they seem to be of very nice quality, 
  sparkly clean right out of the box with no ginding stone residue 
  or cosmoline. 

  Melting of piston was a mystery , going too fast up hill ?
  Real reason se below.

- Generators and brushes replaced monthly no clue of what is drawing 
  max current and making engine run funny during this time.
  Found cause see below.

- Fuel pump intermitant turns off when engine is idling , 
  mysterious missing while driving, fuel pump is farely new not rebuilt
  (1year old Bosch). While waitin in line at the border in Mexico
  the pump would cut out also after during hot runs, pump windings 
  hot need to cool off ? cut ou in various places , usually after a long run 
  or long idles. Turn pump on by banging it with a pipe , always worked.
  Finally pump gave out at red light intersection , lots of banging with pipe 
  no longer worked, much honking and cursing of people . Pushed car to the side , called
  brother from autoparts store, he delivered I replaced pump on the spot
  no cost , guarnteed for life. 

  Car ran like a charm after that, this is what it also corrected.

  The pump maladies caused a erratic lean condition which caused the engine to be 
  mysteriously untunable and have random knocking at odd times/conditions.
  Pump replacement made the car run much better but still have a detected miss.

  The generator no longer burned out , brushes no longer needed replacement , 
  6 months now and all sweet.
  I am sure that this was a major contributor to the burned piston , caused 
  by the lean condition.

  I am glad this was replaced , Bosch must have had a bad batch of these or something.

After I had my car running sweet , I still had the slight miss and problems with my muffler.
my muffler is on one of those extractors , those mufflers are of very cheap quality , they fall 
apart and the seams open up, I have used bugpack and empi, they split at the seams and the pipes 
crack at the box. You must know , they are supported by a bracket . I drive alot on roads 
and bad dirt roads, these mufflers have a life of a few months . On a trip to 
Temecula California , the car had very bad problems. this run is a very bad run for any car or truck ,
it is all uphill for an hour many cars and tucks end up on the side of the road , even new ones.
I had a very bad feeling about this , while passing the tempory junk yard on the side.
my car slowed to a max of 55 on a 75 mile an hour freeway, I am acustomed to 85 mph 
but something was going on, my head temps were still very cool but moved 50 degrees above 
what I was accustomed (320 deg f vs 250 deg f typical, (450- 500 is crack heads by the way))
I was not worried about the heads but did not understand why the engine was loosing power
and then smoking badly, like as if I blew a piston...... huaaaa huuuaaa ! I wanted to cry....
My engine all of a sudden sounded very loud , I went to the side looked at my muffler , and 
it vibrated itself in half , I assumed that because I never heared my car to backfire. 
the engine area was soooo hot that I burned my fingers on the engine campartment latches, 
left buurn marks on my fingers, I spit on the latches and the spit bubbled, it was hot as a Iron ,
well I had to leave the place under its own power or by tow truck , I have never gotten this 
car towed , I was always able to make it go , so I proceeded running the car with the giant 
hole in the muffler while ceramic kiln temps existed in the engine compartment.
45 minutes later I made it to the event I was going to while wearing an expensive suit.

The drive back was at night cooler but the engine ran like crap, I was absolutely sure that 
the engine was badly damaged by the heat of the muffler and the bogging for one hour in hot weather.
At home I felt more depressed . I had to fix the muffler first before moving it anywhere.
I went to 7 muffler shops in mexico that told me that the original type of empi type muffler was 
unavailable and to adapt a 'normal' car muffler was impossible. I went to one more place,
the owner told me that nothing is impossible.... he fabricated peices of pipes and made a 
setup that would fit standard cr mufflers of better quality made in North America.
I was off in my car driving it the rest of the week , with little power and head temps just a little 
above the norm but not bad at all.

That next Saturday I checked the engine compartment , rubber vacume hoses have turned to stone , 
plug wires felt like they were molded of hard plastic, everyting in the engine compartment 
was cooked hard, I replaced the wires and hoses, the engine ran a little better but no cigar .

I checked all the sparkplugs and found that two of the plugs were missing the inside electrode/ 
insulator , all the way down to the bottom , never seen that before , I have not
changed these plugs since I replaced the pistons/cyl. they may have burned away during the lean burn 
condition caused by the bad fuel pump days. I had to change a new hi performance coil twice that 
was only 4 days old, probably these melted plugs cause more stress to the coil.

I replaced the plugs, then the engine ran as smooth as glass, still does.

I still found the head temp a tiney bit higher a little puzzleing , well I found the problem ,
my electric fans were not cooling the oil in the 140 plate mesa cooler. something was 
wrong with the circuit. I found that the diode that I placed in the circuit was burned out 
and caused an open circuit. I placed this diode so the engine will not run on after it is 
turned off, electric fans while off but still turning acts as a generator and will still power
my efi until the fans stop. This diode was probably damaged by the high muffler temps in the 
engine compartment.

I replaced the diode and the fans worked, head temps went 
lower 50 deg on steep hills, to the normal reading. Power restored and engine smooth as glass.

Conclusion to this paragraph is that hot oil cools the head very minimally but AFFECTS
PISTONS/CYLINDERS GREATLY, GREATLY enough for really bad smoking cause of cylinder 
expansion. My car does not smoke and compression is good.

Fuel pump and broken muffler may eventually cause a damaged engine.

Quiet and smooth as glass now and cruising 85 MPH.

Leon Martinez

1969 square EFI AUTO


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