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The story thus far (part four)

 
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Adam
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Joined: 04 Oct 2001
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2001 7:01 pm    Post subject: The story thus far (part four) Reply with quote

With the car reassembled and the painting done, we ran into a few minor problems;

The five speed gearlever comes through at a different point that the auto, a quick hit with the angle grinder rectified this.

The five speed requires a different speedo cable, which we left on my brother's car when it was towed away.

The replacement rear windscreen for the one that was shattered on removal was shattered, meaning we needed to source rear window number three...

The fan blower box cover was rusted, so a replacement was needed.

The door panels were fugly so we needed to do something about that...

The rear parcel shelf was uncovered...

So we headed out and bought a bundle of spares from a guy out of the trading post, which solved the parts problems, the door panels were covered in a deep blue suede material, actually an upholstery fabric, known as kingsuede ($26/metre). So we booked the car in for a roadworthy inspection and raced against time to get it all together and working fine by Friday...

It was going quite well, we were a little behind schedule, which meant a few late nights, but on the morning of the inspection, all I had to do was bolt the drip tray in place and drive on down...

Now the engine itself had been running fine for about a fortnight, I had clocked up about ten kilometres just driving up and down the driveway, but then on the morning of the inspection, she just plain refused to hold an idle, I tried everything, tappet clearance, idle stop, mixture screw, spark plugs, leads, breaker points... Without getting her to hold an idle (at least below 1000rpm) we took her down to the shell and had the inspection done...

They failed her on a few things, the front suspension, in particular the upper balljoints, tie rod and rack ends were all tired, the outer wheel bearings needed adjusting, the steering arm boots were torn and the swaybar end rubbers were deteriorated. It also had a leaking rear main oil seal, and a leaking rear gearbox oil seal, meaning the engine would have to come out.

So we drove her home, ripped out the engine, gearbox and tailshaft, pulled apart the front suspension, none of this was particularly fast work, so all in all it took the entire weekend of 16 hour days to fix everyone last thing (there were a list of other minor complaints), so after a full weekend of living in the garage, we took her down for re-inspection on Monday, with little trouble she passed, so I carefully drove home, rang up the insurance and took out full comprehensive insurance, before driving to the DOT and registering her, so now I had the plates and I was stoked, driving out of the DOT I must have had a smile on my face from ear to ear...

On the way home I was driving along paradise road, for those people who are not locals, it is a suburban collector road which is two lanes each way, 60km/h, with a dotted white line between the traffic... So I am puttering along down paradise road when some insane lady decides she will pull out in front of four cars (one in every lane both directions), so I am hard on the brakes, but manage to pull up about a metre from her car, I mash the horn and yell a few well chosen expletives before taking off again... 20ks, change into 2nd... 30ks... 40ks... clutch in... select third... release clutch BANG!!!!!

The clutch pedal drops to the floor, not a good sign... so I pull into a side street... kill the engine, and roll to a stop... I climb underneath the car, ok, it isn't a broken cable... I manage to discern, through a process of elimination, that the clutch is dead(well duh!). At this point I was not a happy chappy, I had lived in the garage for the last two weeks getting her ready and now she was dead without even having bolted the plates on.

So a tow truck is called, my mother waited for the tow truck to arrive whilst my sister drove me to pick up my mate Martyn, who had only been dropped home after helping all weekend, as my sister, Hugh, Martyn and I pulled into the driveway at home the tow truck had just finished unloading Gertrude...

We rolled her down the driveway, into the garage and began the now familiar routine of pulling out the engine (for the third time in as many weeks and for the second time in 4 days), with the engine, gearbox and tailshaft on the floor, we pulled the box from the back of the engine... naturally everyone’s' eyes were drawn to the clutch, which we all expected to be bent or broken or something...

Instead it was fine, perfectly normal... we were stumped... so we wandered inside and bounced ideas of each other, eventually forming the incorrect conclusion that it must be something in the gearbox, so we headed back out to the garage and I tried changing through all the gears, which seemed fine, at which point martyn peered into the bellhousing and exclaimed, "F@#K, I've got it", the clutch engagement lever had popped off the pivot ball, which took two seconds to fix, just retension the clip and pop it back on... so that was fun, two hours of work for a two second fix.... oh well, she was back on the road at least...

That was just as well as we had booked it in at my suspension place (accurate suspension) the next day for a wheel alignment and replacement of the lower balljoints, at this time the suspension guy noticed the front springs had cracked in the thin 'progressive' upper section, so these were replaced with stock height king springs.

When I got her back the handling was wonderful, not only did she go round corners well but she tracked perfectly and there was absolutely nil play in the steering.

Gertrude stayed like that for a while, until when I was building a retaining wall for my parents I carried a load of 20kg bags of gravel in the boot, 10 bags on the first trip, with the boot loaded up the car sat pretty darn low at the back, and you could feel a noticable lightening in the steering, upon arriving home and unloading the gravel I noticed that while the right rear returned to its normal ride height, the left rear stayed put, not nice, we had managed to collapse the right rear spring, so the parents paid for stock height king springs for the rear.

With the king springs and monroe GT shocks all round she handled better again, at this point I was hooked, so the next day a whiteline front bar was put on order, this fitted up easily and once again the handling improved, except that because of the disparate swaybar rates we now encountered understeer... I would have gone and bought a whiteline rear bar then and there but at that point I struck bankruptcy (where I remain until this day).

continued
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hod rodder


Joined: 04 Oct 2001
Posts: 15499

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2001 4:06 am    Post subject: CONTINUE!! -(martin) Reply with quote

c'mon adam, these gertrude posts are more interesting than the forum..

its mad to read other peoples stories..

eventually i'll put my story up, its pretty bland at the moment...

unrego'd car --> work --> rego --> stock car

u know how it is

yours is mad! i await part 5 most dilligently
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hod rodder


Joined: 04 Oct 2001
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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2001 10:18 pm    Post subject: we fuckin salute you -(simon) Reply with quote

adam, these posts are truely wonderful. so wonderful that i was thinking that the site could benefit from a build-up's section where everyone can post a story of their build-up. if it was organised under name and model it would be easy to find relevant info on particular makes plus it would probably clear the forum of questions like "what size mags can i put on a gem?" and one i am guilty of asking " has anyone here put a 4zc1 in their gem?"
also, i know most people on here woud love to blow their own trumpet by posting mods and times, power etc.
just a thought,
simon
ps: i just noticed that the comment title bar cant be filled with characters, why?
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hod rodder


Joined: 04 Oct 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2001 8:50 pm    Post subject: Speedo cable -(Fish) Reply with quote

Was your speedo out as well and if it was thanks for telling me to change it as i have hard time telling speeds

Adam says - "The speedo wasn't (and shouldn't be) out, the reason I needed to change it was purely because the end of the cables (where they attach to the gearbox) are different between manuals and autos, they both present the same rate of rotation (for any given speed) to the speedo itself.
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hod rodder


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2001 9:22 am    Post subject: Part 5! -(MatMan) Reply with quote

C'mon! Part 5! Part 5!
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hod rodder


Joined: 04 Oct 2001
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2001 9:49 am    Post subject: Wicked ! -(Cam) Reply with quote

Yayyyyy for Adam ! Was a good read about Gertrude. One would think she was satisfied with the amount of men and attention she gets :Ž
I would love to hear stories of rebuilds for racing. Being a chic and growing up with my father whow as a motor mech, it was NOT fashioable for a chic to know anything about cars ( I swear it was coz he was scared of being put out of a job ) but now .. at the ripe age of 28 I say "screw it, I am gonna race" Now I have to read up on it all, coz the old man never taught me how to do some mods. Engine mods was never my area.
I have a 5 sp TG. She goes good, when she goes. Just doing minimal repairs to keep her on the road for now. Steeering rack, rust repairs, tyres, braking system, bearings, joints, just to name a few .. and I said minimal ? Bought it from some bloke a year ago. An absolute rust bucket as I have found out. I knew it had rust, otherwise I wouldnt have haggled the prev owner down $800 to $1100 with rego. Spose ya get what ya pay for hey ! Anyways, she, Pink Bitz is her name, is coming off the road in Sept for the rebuild for about 6-9 mths. Also looking out for a cheap shell or partly rebuilt Gem for racing next year. Sooooooooo if anyone out there has any stories, tips, suppliers or what have you, please feel free to email me. All I have to do is decide what form of racing I will enter. Do I go for QLD Gemini Series, short courses down Warwick and Stanthorpe or the Hillclimbs @ Mt Cotton. Too many bloody options Sad
The bloke who said before about posting other people's stories ... hell yeah ! go for it.
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