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The story thus far (part six)

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Joined: 04 Oct 2001
Posts: 682

PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2002 7:01 pm    Post subject: The story thus far (part six) Reply with quote

I left gerty sitting there for a while until I could be bothered stripping down the dunger motor to discover why it had lost oil pressure...

Before I pulled it down, I quizzed Rod Dawson (he builds a lot of gemini race motors) as to what he thought may be the problem... He said 'problem just the pressure relief valve, you'll fit it sitting in the sump.

So I pulled the motor down, there were little pock marks in the bottom of the pistons and dings on the big ends... looked like someone had shot the engine with a load of buckshot...

Out of curiousity I reached into the murky depths of the sump... and there hidden by the oil was a badly battered and bruised piece of mis-shapen metal... It took me a minute to recognise what the heck it was.. sure enough it was the oil pressure relief valve...

I was outright stunned, I fished around a bit more and found the oil pressure relief valve piston... it was in equally good shape, the best part for you guys is... I've got a piccy.

So being as I wanted to get gerty mobile again and needed my good head for when I got the good bottom end rebuilt, I went and bought a spare head, two actually. They were in a very bad way, worn valve guides, partially burnt valves, carbon build-up on the back of the valve heads...

So we cleaned it up, and broke every rule of engine building, making one good head from two, not bothering to get the valves reseated, not bothering to check valve spring seat pressure, I mean this was as dodgy as dodgy can be. The valve springs were randomly mixed and matched...

We cleaned everything up, and bolted the head together...

Now time for the bottom end... the bore in the dunger bottom end was mirror smooth, not a hone mark in sight... it had a bore wear lip big enough to crack your fingernail on, the pistons were the same items that holden had put in over 20 years earlier, as were the rings and bearings.

The bearings had worn through the white metal down to the copper or whatever was below. So we pulled each piston out and cleaned out as much of the metal shavings as we could, then dropped them back in, worn bearings and all.

I stole the oil pump from the motor that blew its head gasket in part five, it was WAY off spec but we only had a $67 investment in the motor so we didn't care...

Using gasket goop for the sump, timing case the motor was re-assembled, the only new parts used were the headgasket and inlet/exhaust manifold gaskets, as I already had these lying around and new oil and an oil filter.

We dropped this motor in and were pleasantly surprised when it jumped straight to life... It doesn't blow any smoke, it runs fairly smoothly apart from a noisy tappet or two, it makes about as much power as it did ex-factory... go on, how wrong is that?

When I finally retire this motor, I'll take some photos for the disbelievers.

At this point I decided it was time to do the CA18 swap, so I sent off the good motor to get rebuilt, it got a rehone, new bearings, rings, seals and gaskets and re-assembled. I sold the motor off and was just about to go pick up an S13 halfcut when my computer died... I work from home via the net so this was my income at risk... so all the money for the conversion went to buying a new computer...

With that and a number of other commitments, Gertrude really took a back seat... I put her in the garage, pulled her to bits and was going to give her the rebuild she deserved... but the other commitments always seemed more important so she sat gathering dust...

Then one day I got an email from a reporter from The Australian, he was looking to do an article on geminis in general and me in particular... I was a little stunned... I was even more stunned when he said he'd have a photographer round on monday... which gave me a weekend to put the car back together and get it looking respectable... quite a rushed weekend but it went well.

So I got the photos taken (go to and do a search for Gibson and Gemini), had my article on the front page of the motoring section and that was my 8 column inches of fame.

After that Gerty again returned to gathering dust, that is until my commitments and I parted ways and my interest in Gertrude returned, over the last weekend I bolted her back together, re-wired the headlights (I already had the relays and h'duty wiring, I just made it neater) and took her out.

As for the plans for the CA18... My former commitments absorbered most of my cash, so I have saved sod-all... But I am getting there, I'm now the proud owner of three fuel pumps (two lift pumps and a bosch motorsport EFI pump), plus I got a bundle of assorted bits for the fuel system.

(image soon)

I've got 8 metres of 1/2 inch piping (copper because it was easily available), 2 metres of 1/2 inch high pressure fuel hose, a pipe cutter, a pipe flarer, a bundle of hose clamps and plastic U clips for mounting to the body.

The only things left for the fuel system are the surge tank (custom stainless item) and a custom fuel pick-up plate (to replace the factory fuel pump mount) with suitable mounting to hold the two in-tank pumps with pick-ups on opposite sides of the tank.

Next on the list before I actually start saving for the halfcut itself is a decent front brake upgrade... now being who I am I'd never take the easy path of buying the Gemispares setup... nope, looking at something else... 276x32mm rotors with alloy 4 piston calipers... I'll keep you posted...
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petrol head

Joined: 05 Oct 2001
Posts: 1675

PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2002 3:24 pm    Post subject: update us on gerty Reply with quote

its about time u updated us on gerty
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backyard mechanic

Joined: 04 Oct 2001
Posts: 900

PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2003 11:20 am    Post subject: c'mon! more gerty stuff Reply with quote

c'mon adam!

5 mins for part seven?
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