One of the fun things about the kart restoration process with Dad was listening to him explain new tools to me. We used the tool below as a piston-stop, screwed in place of the spark plug. I always thought it was odd that the round end, which pressed against the piston, was a metal ball instead of a soft material. I have seen modern ones with a nylon tip.
Then after Mid-Ohio, I was tearing down the main engine, the tool did not fit correctly in the plug hole...it was too small by a smidgeon. GREAT!!! I warped the head! But the spark plug would tighten just fine.
At the same time I was needing to tear-down the clutch, but it was "bonded" to the crank on the taper. As Dad showed me, that is the best way to bond surfaces (don't make a bit of sense at first, but it is). You can use a big screw driver to put pressure on it, then tap the crank (hard... with a soft brass hammer) to get it to free up. BUT, that will ruin a clutch. The guys on the Mac forums said I would need a Foreign Fly Wheel Puller. Well, what is that?? I looked all over... nothing.
Then one day I was looking at this tool, the piston stop. the lower end looks like it would fit into the clutch. I walked out to the garage, grabbed the tool and the spare clutch arms. BINGO! I own a Foreign Fly Wheel Puller!!!!
So I put it onto the clutch, tightened it down, then slowly cranked the outer edge... BANG! off came the clutch!!
The project that had to be put on hold after finishing up the kart restoration has been to rebuild the second McCulloch engine. As far as I know Dad had never ran that engine, so it is Pete Evans-vintage. I found lots of old, dried grass...even a couple pieces in the cylinder!
I won't go into all the details on the tear-down (check the blog entries from fall 2011).
|I had taken off the black cover already.|
|I tested the ignition in the spring, should be fine.|
|I will be replacing the original bolts with cap head hex bolts...much easier to remove and put back and torque.|
I ran into one snag, the upper right bolt was very tough!! It is a 1/4 head in a very tight spot. I tried to JB Weld a socket to it, but it popped off with light pressure.
Dad's back-outs were all too big, so I went to our family-owned hardware store for a tiny back-out. Lowes had nothing. I drilled it out and screwed it in... then put some "Breaker" on it, twisted.. did that a few times and it finally broke loose.
Then on to the cylinder head. One, two, three, four, five... five... five... No sixth head bolt. Then I noticed the piston and head were very black with carbon, which concerned me. The head gasket looked somewhat good, except it was rippled around the hole for the missing head bolt hole. So...it appears either Pete or Dad ran the engine with only five bolts!!!
I got some good advise from Rick Chapman on the carbon and state of the engine. He showed me how to clean up the piston and head with a Scotchbrite pad.
Then the bottom end and stuffer. It took some work and a razor blade to work it loose.
I am always amazed at the longevity of grease. Both engines had clear grease, still moist, on the rod pin bearings.
|I was worried about this piston, but it will be just fine.|
I needed to do some post-race testing on Engine#1 which included a pressure test. Before racing, it would hold 15lbs for an hour with no leaking. This time it would take 15lbs then quickly lose it in about 45 seconds. I sprayed soapy water on it, but could only hear bubble formed by a leak. After taking the black shroud off I traced it to the boss which holds the main crank bearing. The leaks were on either side of the ignition area (see arrows).
Flipping the cover over, I noticed a hairline in the boss (see arrows)
Rick took a look at it and said it is very common to have cracks and leaks at that point. He said many were caused by too much pressure on the crank when starting with a v-belt and pulley (cup) . He recommended changing to using a socket starter since his cracks stopped when he went that route.
Christmas in July!
Late in the week after Mid-Ohio I noticed a post on a vintage kart online forum. Rick was GIVING AWAY a Hartman enduro kart, but it was already taken. I was a bit bummed because after seeing the vintage Foreign karts and driving one a short bit, I was interested in possibly thinking maybe in the future trying to find one. It would mean new tools, and more to learn, but it intrigued me.
Then about a day later Colm Higgins put one of his Hartman enduro karts on the same forum, for the same price - FREE!!! I jumped! and immediately sent him a note asking about it. I was the first one to reply and he would be pleased to give it to me. WOW! The kart was at Rick's in Ohio, so I had to make arrangements with him. Colm has another Hartman a few years newer and stated he would be taking some parts off the kart I would get. No problem.... Rick's was a bare frame, too, it would just take a bit to get parts. So in early July I took a trip to Rick's to pick-up a bare frame. I brought both my engines, both tore-down, and he took a look at them and gave me some great pointers and advice. Here is how I found the Hartman!
I still need some major pieces like axle, engine, pipe, clutch.... but those some what easy to find.
Here it is in the bed of the truck... just fits, but probably not with a pipe.
Here is another Hartman in all its glory at Rick's (sans camping gear).
If you know anything about karting, especially in the 1970s and 1980s, you will likely know the name Hartman. Kathey Hartman won practically every karting championship in North America running karts designed and built by her husband and brother-in-law (need to check my history). They are known for being beautiful crafted, with wonderful welds, and for being rare. There are a couple registries for Hartman karts online showing the serial number and who now owns it, and sometimes its full history. Some actually have Kathey's initials proving it was her personal kart. Here is the forged piece on the steering column showing "SD79", which denotes the welder and the year.