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  • December 05, 2022, 07:06:33 PM

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Author Topic: Comox and Home  (Read 449 times)

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Offline MIPS

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Comox and Home
« on: September 08, 2022, 02:11:56 AM »
So for a while I wanted to get my hands on one of those neat full-engine diagnostic systems you used to see at the higher-end auto shops before OBD/OBDII made them completely obsolete. I see them go up for sale occasionally but they are so large that they typically either do not sell or they go for the initial bid, somewhere around $100. The only exception are the older 70's and 60's models with the large analog gauges. The all-computerized ones are nearly worthless because they just don't look as cool sitting next to a Newport. One surfaced about 600km away and I decided after watching them come and go I might as well pull the trigger. A Sun Modular Engine Analyzer, model MEA-1500. Seller said it needed a cleaning and service but it was complete but I would have to pick it up and between there and here you got the Georgia Strait. This would also be the longest trip the car had ever seen and we were about 4000km since the rebuild. If things were going to go wrong it would do it here.

So late last Thursday I packed the car and headed for the ferry. Arrived at the terminal at around 1am and slept in the back. Wake-up call was 4:30am and because it was the first boat of the day I basically had my pick of spots, so of course I was at the front.




Landed on the island around 7:30 and spent the day at a friend's place and arranging a trailer rental. The plan was to pick the analyzer up, do an initial dismantle to load and strap it, then take it back to his place to more completely take it apart, load it in the Eagle and take the ferry back home the next day. If I wanted to keep the trailer behind me all the way home that would of cost me an extra $100 on the boat, so we were going to make full use of the folding rear seat.

We arrived at the Uhaul the next morning and hitched up. This was the first real test I had ever done to see how the hitch package was doing. It's some sort of dealership installed variant that's equivalent to AMC's own heavy-duty tow package. The hitch mount bolts to the bumper AND the subframe and you get a transmission cooler half the size of the radiator, plus a 4-pin light connector. As it turns out everything was fine. It was a little high but nothing decided to fall apart.



After an initial test drive and practice reversing with a trailer (did I mention I have never pulled a trailer?) it was another two hours to Comox BC where I arrived, wheeled the machine out of the garage and after an hour fiddling with bolts and wiring it was in smaller pieces that could be slid into the trailer and strapped down.




First impressions pulling a loaded trailer was: Interesting. The engine never went more than halfway up the temp gauge and the cruise control never had to work to keep the engine at cruising speed. The rebuild was proven here. For the entire trip the engine consumed no oil and didn't knock once. Every time though I hit a bump or a rut though the up/down motion of the trailer translated to a tugging sensation that I can only equate to driving a car with a slipping manual clutch. Did really good on fuel however. One tank got me from  Duncan BC to Comox and back was about 320km and by the end I only used half the tank.
That evening we started dismantling it further and got almost everything in the back. Also determined all the regular cables were in the lot, plus the amp clamp and vacuum option, the printer and the distributorless ignition option and while the exhaust gas analyzer was there, all the surgical tubing had become brittle with age. (luckily I have the service manuals with routing diagrams) One day I need to find the Data Link and magnetic timing probe option. The 258 supports the probe but I've never seen one before.
The cart it rolls around on is welded together and no matter how you tried to angle it, the way the back of the Eagle dips down around the hatch meant I was two inches too short. I's funny how this won't fit in the Eagle but it has no problem going into the back of a modern hatchback. Ultimately he agreed to deliver the cart to the mainland in a few weeks, then I have yet another challenge: Strapping it to the roof and then driving 300km back into the mountains while trying not to rip the well nuts out of the roof.
« Last Edit: September 08, 2022, 02:24:44 AM by MIPS »

Offline Mr_Roboto

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Re: Comox and Home
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2022, 09:45:35 AM »
Nice road trip, interesting capability add to your troubleshooting.

Online vangremlin

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Re: Comox and Home
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2022, 11:26:32 AM »
Very cool road trip, thanks for sharing!
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline MIPS

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Re: Comox and Home
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2022, 12:15:03 AM »
Well it turns out the cart didn't fit the Eagle OR my buddy's car (that's the last time I trust that tape measure), so we were stuck in a weird situation where I had no way to get the thing off the island for about a month until he had a reason to be taking a cube van there and back. I offered to help him load and unload it and there was my free trip to get the cart back to where I could transport it.
The day started off on a weird note. I was sleeping in the car that night when someone on a bike came down the street at 3AM and was whacking the windows on parked cars with a rock. I got hit too but none of the glass broke on the first try and before he could try again I was out of the car chasing the piece of ****. I got scuffs in the middle of the windows now but a few people up the street came out to shattered windows so I got very lucky there....

Later that morning when I pulled into the rental shop someone comes out with their phone and asks me if I'm from Kamloops and I say yes. Turns out the day before someone spotted me filling my tank at a gas station and snapped a photo because the Eagle turns heads EVERYWHERE, then sent it to this guy, so imagine his mind when the very same Eagle pulls up, hundreds of kilometers away. I pose for a photo and he sends a photo back to his friend. Small world.

We don't finish with the cube van until 2:30am the next morning, at which point in the dark I get the thing on the roof and strapped down, then it's a long, LONG ride home.




I determined that yes if I just secure it to the roof rack things will break on the car so instead I strap the front of it to the front bumper supports and the rear is attached to the jack points on the rear bumper, then another strap goes through the rack bars so it doesn't slide around. It was a long trip home. I could not go above 80km/h without beginning to hear some funny noises from the roof and I could tell from the vacuum gauge this thing was a serious air drag. I required a full extra tank of gas to get home than it normally takes, but this afternoon with a few hours rest in between I made it, got it off and my reward is now sitting in the garage.


Online vangremlin

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Re: Comox and Home
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2022, 10:10:46 AM »
That thing is beautiful!  Glad you got it home safely!
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Online AMC of Houston

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Re: Comox and Home
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2022, 01:34:10 PM »
I love it!!  I used to have one of the old Sun analog models back in the '70's, and a Sun distributor machine.  I loved them both - wish I had them back!!  Congrats on your score!
George G.
'81 Eagle Sundancer
'85 Eagle Waggie
1960 1902 Rambler Replica
'64 American
'70 AMX (Big Bad Blue), '70 AMX (White)
'77 Gremlin
'78 Pacer Coupe, '78 Pacer Wagon
'79 Pacer Wagon
'73 Jensen Interceptor
'86 Audi 5000 Turbo
'98 Aston Martin DB7
'09 Nissan Titan
'10 Nissan Maxima

 

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