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Note: The following Article or Story is Copyright 2008, by Harry Pellow,
All Rights Reserved. Now available in Electronic Form from
Maestro's Library, 320 Martin Ave, Santa Clara, CA 95050
Phone: (408) 727-1864. Fax: (408) 727-0951.
WEBSITE: www.hcpresearch.com (Like in Maestro's Library, with no space.)
THE SAN ANTONIO ENGINE
When it Rains it Pours. If Times are Tough, and you desperately need Business, none comes your way.
But if you're Busy as Hell, MORE WORK always seems to find you.
That's the way it's been for the Maestro for the past 10 years.
Not that he's complaining- after all it allowed him to buy the Blue Beast- the Purist Emetic, and a few other thing in Life he likes. Like Beer.
But the Spring of '01, WOW! There was a Recession in the Slightly Smoggy Silicon Valley Air, but the Maestro sure hadn't felt it- he had almost TEN Engines to rebuild, and at his Best Throughput of One Per Week, (and that's working your butt off), that's still 2.5 Months of Backlog.
And More Engines kept coming in- like the Guy from Australia who was now working in Taiwan who bought a 356 in Oregon and was shipping in the seized Super-90 Engine. Geez, another one.
Couple that with a poor 912 Owner who lost his Computer Job and used his Severance and Unemployment the Best Way he could- by getting his 912 back On The Road, courtesy of the Maestro's one-day clutch job. The "In by 11 out by 3", Flywheel/Clutch Exchange.
And let us not forget the many e-mails and faxes and phone calls the Maestro elects to answer each day. And the packaging and shipping of Orders and delivery of them (ah, a chance to get away!)
Anyhow, whenever business gets that good, some jobs are Joyous-
Like the Industrial Engine built for a 1959 356A (with 741 Transmission, fortunately), that just had be done by 1 June 2008.
It being the Ides of May, the Maestro had to motivate to make that date.
Fortunately, the Industrial Engine he tore down had about 100 hours on it, and was Pristine. The Precision Machine Shop cooperated and quickly Polished & Balanced the Crank, Balanced a NEW, OEM 200mm Flywheel and Pressure Plate, reconditioned the Rods and put all new Intake Valves and Sodium-filled exhausts in the Industrial/912 Heads.
The Maestro even had one NEW NPR Big Bore Kit left, from a successful find of two of them at the LA Swap Meet. It was the last one left.
The Maestro also had the last 40IDF Weber set in the Lower 48 (the Importer was out of them again), reserved for this engine, as he really wanted to get it done.
And if it be done, 'tis best it be done quickly,
So, on Saturday, when the phone calls and people drop in's drop to near zero, the Maestro hung the nicely balanced (within 0.1 gram) rods, installed a OEM "105" Wide Lobe Cam with his MaestroMaster Cam Grind, used the Original Cam Gear (it was perfect), and hung the crank into the Absolutely Perfect Standard Industrial Case.
The Lower end went together as smooth as thirty-year-old Scotch.
But it was Monday, and Mondays are VERY busy, as people tend to drive their 356's on weekends so when they break down over the Weekend, they call on Monday.
Which gives the Maestro time (while talking on the phone) to "dress" the Oil Pump gears with a fine file (yes, he can "talk" and "dress" at the same time!), to remove the burrs and Irregularities that otherwise will grind little pieces off for the Bearings to eat.
It takes about half an hour per gear to get them smooth, followed up by a polishing and a cleaning, and ANOTHER cleaning. Then you can assemble the Oil pump
He got the Third Piece on on Monday.
The NPR's and the Matched set of Industrial Heads went on on Tuesday.
Wednesday saw the Absolutely Perfect C/912 Valve Train (with open Oil Squirting Holes in the exhaust Rockers, as every Industrial Engine has (the Military never plugged them as Dealers were supposed to do at 6000 miles. The Maestro leaves his Squirting Holes Open as long as possible. Lubrication is s a wonderful thing!
Thursday saw the Powder Painted Sheet Metal installation- the Heater Boxes & Tubes, the Rebuilt Generator assembled, the Fan Shroud installed, etc.
Friday was the Rest of the Story- the carbs, muffler. etc.
Saturday, the Maestro fired that puppy up.
His Lucky Screwdriver fired that puppy up all right- but it sure didn't run right!
The Oil pressure stayed at 60 psi, which is Normal for a Maestro Engine, but the engine was missing like crazy.
The Maestro hung the Magic Timing Light on the New .050.
And pulled the trigger.
The spark was badly intermittent, and the engine ran like that too.
Was it out of gas? The Maestro had grabbed a random fuel pump to first pump gas up to the engine and fill the Carbs and lines. After that initial filling, the New Pump on the engine would pump all the gas needed.
Just to be sure, the Maestro got out his GOOD used C/912 fuel pump and hooked that up. Pumped the System full.
And fired that puppy up Again.
And again, it ran just like it did before- poorly.
Sigh. Was this one of the New Webers that had a mysteriously clogged Needle Valve where NO gas got to the carb?
No, there was gas to the carbs since the accelerator pumps of both Webers were a-pumpin' seminally. The Maestro adjusted the Webers and they tried to adjust but the intermittency was bad.
That left the 12 Volt Coil. Ironically, it too wasn't the one the Maestro normally uses, as he had been in a hurry and grabbed a random coil.
He went back to the column of coils and selected his favorite- one KNOWN TO BE GOOD! It always worked before!.
THAT did it. Now the engine ROARED to Life. And the Webers adjusted. And all was well with the Universe.
Well, almost. It STILL didn't run quite right!
So the Maestro pulled the plugs, and Lo and Behold, they were Wet and Black- from the prolonged period of intermittent running where the plug was firing every now and then. When the plug WASN'T firing, raw gasoline was getting on the plug. When the Plug did finally fire it was probably richer'n Hell and nearly fouled. The Maestro replied the brand new (but semi-fouled) plugs with another new set of Bosch W6BC's (and no, the tip of the plug wasn't dinged over by the Piston- the Maestro knows his NPR's). That solved the last problem!
And gave the Maestro yet another Christmas Gift for his enemies- an Intermittent Coil that disguises itself as a fuel supply, Carb or Distributor Problem, making it ever the more difficult to find! It'll join the Distributor that only fires on 2.2-2.6 cylinders, and the Completely Clogged Oil Cooler that will NEVER pass one drop of oil.
Keep the 356 Faith
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