Monday, July 22, 2013

Two steps forward, one step back

This morning we did a few things that were needed before a test drive.  I had started to install the rear window molding and we needed to finish it before the test drive.  What a pain in the ass.  You need to insert a 4mm cord in the windows gasket slot where the trim fits in.  It's mostly to hold the gasket gap open enough to insert the lip of the trim.  Once the trim lip is inserted, you pull out the cord and in theory the trim stays in the slot.  Theory definitely doesn't correlate with reality on this one, and it took several tries to get it installed.

Then the driver side door striker needed adjusting.   The door wasn't closing all the way.  I found the mounting screws only gently tightened, so I think that's the problem.  After some fussing, I got it working most of the time, but it's not perfect.

I started the engine and it ran like crap.  A quick check showed that #2 wasn't firing.  This was the first step backwards.  After confirming spark, I did the injector click test which involves slowly opening the throttle with the ignition on.  As the throttle rotates, the injectors click a total of 20 times through a full opening of the throttle.  I did this with only the #2 injector connected.  Nothing.  I tried other injectors and they were clicking.  I had trouble before with the ECU cable connection so took that apart.  After reinstalled things worked again.  That's good news, and bad news.  Good because it solved the problem, but bad because it means I still have bad connections.

With the ECU removed, I took a pencil eraser to the contacts and was able to clean them significantly, at least on one side.  I then went through the cable end once more and pinched the contacts a little bit to get more wipe force on the contacts.  After reassemble all works as it's supposed to  - at least for now.  One way or another I need to make these connections totally reliable, and it's not clear if I'm there yet.

With the car running properly, I then took a quick run around the yard, then down the road and all seemed good.  On return, we installed the passenger seat and went off for a longer drive.  Once out on the paved road, all I can saw is Wow!  It runs great.  The engine is very smooth, pulls smoothly, and responds great to the throttle.  I think my adjustment to the gap between the idle and throttle contacts in the throttle position sensor have made a huge difference.

On return, we parked the car and tended to a few other things, then Richard went to move the Volvo and it wouldn't start.  No Fuel pump.  The relay was working which said the ECU was working, but the pump wasn't running.  WTF.  This was the second step backwards.  Frustrated, we switched gears to other things.

After a break, I went back out and tried the car again and now the pump worked.  WTF?  I think the $350 rebuilt fuel pump that I bought isn't so good after all.  This is not the kind of reliability that I'm looking for, but I'll get there one way or another.

While pondering the fuel pump problem, I went about wrapping up other things.  These included:
  • Reinstalling the hood
  • Drilling holes and installing screws to hold together the two halves of the air cleaner housing.  The two halves are normally spot welded together and the whole assemble is replaced to replace the air cleaner.  I'm fortunate to still have the original housing which is plated where the replacements are painted black.  Someone at some time had broken open the spot welds to separate the two sections and replaced the filter element.  The replaceable element is a great idea, but the two unsecured housing parts was not.  The holes allowed me to screw the two halves together, yet allow for disassembly to replace the filter.  I also had to bend the mounting brackets back into their original shape to mount it properly.  The end result is real good.
  • Put the interior back together
  • Tracked down and fixed a problem with the blower fan
  • Tracked down and fixed a problem with the emergency brake warning light
  • Drained the gas and reinstalled the tank bottom plugs with teflon tape.  Both plugs were dripping slightly before.
  • Reinstalled the badges
Tomorrow I need to decide if I have the courage to take another longer test drive given the flakey fuel pump behavior.

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