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The Naked Lark rides again, almost.

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  • The Naked Lark rides again, almost.

    I have an old '61 Lark rolling chassis that I periodically use as an engine test stand, or to test engine/transmission combinations in actual operation. I think I have posted pics of it here before, years ago. Currently, I am using it to test out a Type 35 automatic behind a 170 OHV six parted out of the Rose Mist '63 Lark that nobody wanted. Poor thing was getting pretty rusty, too.

    Anyway, to make a long story short, I got the engine started today, put the transmission in gear, and nothing happened. I guess 5 liters of ATF wasn't enough. Fed it another 2.5 liters, and when put in gear, it actually rolled forward! Replaced the flat left front tire with a less-flat one. Determined that my home-made throttle linkage was interfering with the shift linkage. Made corrections. Got it going again. Put it reverse: it went back, rapidly. I hit the brakes, and the right front locked up and stayed locked. Rusty drums. Went forward again, brake unlocked. Backed up a few yards, and the engine quit. Would not idle. Seems like the idle mixture screw has no effect. Either a gross vacuum leak somewhere, or the carb is plugged up. Some things are going to need fixed before I try it again. The radiator was leaking in about 8 places where it got hit by hailstones in a storm on the 13th. I think I have another radiator saved under cover. This one, which came from the Rose Mist Lark, is done like dinner. The carb problem my be water that entered it during the same storm. The engine runs fine, when it runs. It did a 4-mile jaunt up the road and back while still in the Lark, with no issues at all.

    But at least my #1 Type 35 moves ahead in Low and back in Reverse. I want to hear it shift through the gears before pronouncing it good to go, but at least it's not DOA. I have 3 other type 35's here, and I may as well test all of them, once the test rig is sorted out.

    My ultimate plan is to use this 170, with a type 35 behind it, in the Zip Van I got from the Chuck Naugle sale.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  • #2
    Sweet! test rigs are nice, even just a simple cradle on casters. You never knew how much easier they make working on engines until you finally treat yourself and you wonder how you managed without it.

    Would be a cool to see a Zip Van rolling around. The 170 should be a great candidate as well.
    Charles

    1961 Lark Regal VIII 259/auto -- Lucy

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    • #3
      Great to hear, Gord. I miss stories about your various capers. Do you still have the Flxible bus?
      Proud NON-CASO

      I do not prize the word "cheap." It is not a badge of honor...it is a symbol of despair. ~ William McKinley

      If it is decreed that I should go down, then let me go down linked with the truth - let me die in the advocacy of what is just and right.- Lincoln

      GOD BLESS AMERICA

      Ephesians 6:10-17
      Romans 15:13
      Deuteronomy 31:6
      Proverbs 28:1

      Illegitimi non carborundum

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      • #4
        Originally posted by gordr View Post
        The radiator was leaking in about 8 places where it got hit by hailstones in a storm on the 13th. This one, which came from the Rose Mist Lark, is done like dinner.
        Get it recored! Your insurance will cover it!!

        Craig

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        • #5
          Originally posted by 8E45E View Post

          Get it recored! Your insurance will cover it!!

          Craig
          Haha! Good one. But I will probably get a payout for the roofs and hoods and mirrors on the '96 and the '08 Suburbans. Both got trashed, as did 3 windows in the house, and three in the barn. And the metal roofs installed in '08 are now marred by numerous hail dents.
          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gordr View Post
            Haha! Good one. But I will probably get a payout for the roofs and hoods and mirrors on the '96 and the '08 Suburbans.
            They're both older than my Intersmashable was in the early 80's when it got pounded by hail!!

            Craig

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            • #7
              Well another frustrating day with this thing. Engine would not idle. Took carb off, opened it up. Yechh! Nasty inside, water and crud. Cleaned it real well, put it back together, and it flooded right off, and still wouldn't idle. Emulsion tube was stuck solid; had to drill it out. Trashed that carb, but I had a real clean swap meet AS in a box. That one flooded right off. Took it apart, cleaned it fixed the issue with the the float; it was clean enough inside to eat off it. Flooding fixed, but still won't idle. Blew out all passages with air, no joy. I did drive it for one circuit of the yard, and it made a 1-2 shift, and could be manually shifted from 2 down to 1 again. Fairly sure this Type 35 is a good one. Had a vacuum gauge on the engine: shows 15" vacuum at about 2000 RPM, as engine slows down, it drops below 12", and then plummets as the engine quickly dies. I am going to try a valve adjustment tomorrow. Valves are real quiet; too quiet.
              Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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              • #8
                Update: evidently the "new" AS carb is faulty in some way, despite being clean inside and out. I took it off, and hung on the "best" RBS carb I had, complete with no choke mechanism, and it started right up, and idled fine. I also had checked the valve adjustment, and set them all to .025 cold, but none were really tight, and the valve adjustment did not help the engine idle with the AS on it. There has to be a plugged fuel passage in the idle circuit of that AS. Adjusting the mixture screw basically does nothing. Guess I will have to remove that little soft plug above the mixture screw.
                Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                • #9
                  June 27 update: put the PCV valve back in, and it now idles fine, but still has a flat spot coming off idle. Those RBS carbs are very cold-blooded. But it ran well enough that I dared to take it out on the road, and drove the quarter-mile to my neighbor's driveway, and turned around. The Type 35 goes through the gears just fine; I am calling it good. I had no brakes to speak of, so I spent the rest of the afternoon fixing brakes. Left front got a new wheel cylinder (well, an old one, refurbished) and one brake shoe, and a new used brake hose. I am not going to throw expensive new parts at this thing. Right got it's wheel cylinder honed, and reassembled with its existing cups. Front brakes now work to some extent; need to be bled. But I was able to drive the rig into the shop to get the engine under cover. Next step is mark this transmission as "road tested; good", and rinse and repeat with the three other Type 35's in my stash. I will leave the same bellhousing and converter on the engine, and just separate them at the back of the bellhousing. Draining and saving the fluid will be half the job.
                  Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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                  • #10
                    Update, July 2. Made another stab at getting the AS carb to work. No joy. Absolutely will not idle, despite the carb being super clean. Took out a passage plug in the base flange, and that made no difference, either. So I repaired the RBS, by adding the auto choke mechanism off a junk one. It's working tolerably well now, but still very cold-blooded. Made another road trip on Type 35 #1, and it definitely makes two shifts, so I drained it, and pulled it out, and slipped in Type 35 #2. Got it filled up, and made a road trip, and it works, too. Seems a little slow to go in Reverse, but the fluid may be low yet. Did the 1-2-3 shift just fine.
                    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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