The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

Cars

Posted by Deliverator on July 9th, 2005

My dad and I went to the vintage car races down in Auburn this last weekend. We have gone to them the last 3 years in a row, now, and always have a lot of fun. This year, we spent more time in the pits and the display ground than actually watching the races (I think we watched 5-6 total races). We spent some time speaking with mid-60’s Mustang owners, as my dad has a tennis budy who may sell us a 1965 Mustang that he was given by an uncle. It sounds like it is a good choice of car to restore, as parts are readily available and the engine seems very straightforward to work on.

One of the things that has struck me about modern engines is not only how complex they have gotten (due to emissions control among other factors), but also how poorly designed they are for doing even common maintenance tasks. After returning home, my dad and I felt motivated to get a little greasy, so we changed the oil, replaced oil and air filters, checked fluid levels, etc. I realized I had never changed the spark plugs on my car, so we decided to do that as well. I went out and bought 7 plugs (just in case in messed one up) and consulted my Chilton shop manual for the procedure. It turns out that the rear 3 plugs are covered by a huge air intake housing that is like a 15 step process to remove and then requires a large rubber gasket to be replaced when you put it back on. So, only the front 3 plugs are easily accessed. I replaced two of them (neither of the plugs replaced were fouled, just getting a little old), but the third proved too difficult to remove. The plug wire for the third was soo short that you couldn’t remove the plug straight up. I might have been able to get it out, but it could have knocked something into the ignition chamber or something might have broken off in the process. It was just too much of a risk. It would have been easy to do if I could have taken off the plug wire at the distributor end of things, but it is hidden quite out of sight and would have required more disassembly than even the rear plugs necessitated. One of the things that I really enjoyed watching at the races this year was the sight of these two guys jacking up the rear end of their vehicle and lowering the Porsche Super 90 engine out of the car and then working on the whole engine out in the open. The engine was soo straight forward and cleanly designed. All the major parts were recognizable. It took them all of about 10 minutes for the whole process…