Author Topic: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...  (Read 138119 times)

Offline Jims5543

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1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« on: January 20, 2014, 09:22:02 PM »
As mentioned in off topic I recently purchased a 78 Pickup thanks to Dan keeping an eye out for me.

So now I have a big box of parts from England and my first step is to get the ignition system up to modern technology.

I am trying to procure a 123 Dizzy setup (yes big $$$ but seems to be worth the money) so I do not have to mess with points condensors and timing all the time.

I have a 1275 A+ engine (best I can tell, one of the tell tale signs is the lack of a tube on the dipstick, it just goes straight into the block) so I "think" this is the dizzy for me.

http://www.7ent.com/products/123-distributor-a-vacuum-advance-sel0006.html

Once I have that part here, I am going for a full tune up and valve adjustment.

Then it is on to other TLC items...

So this is where I am at with her, and hope to put up some pics as I tackle each project one by one....
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 94touring

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2014, 09:27:05 PM »
I've been meaning to get ahold of you to see if you've torn into that heavy box of parts I sent.

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 01:29:37 PM »
It looks like the 123 I have above is the correct one for my engine, going to pull my dizzy this evening and make sure.

Another question:

What Coil should I use?

40K volt 3.0 ohm
40K volt 1.5 ohm
45K volt 0.6 ohm

Looking to grab a petronix flamethrower.
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 94touring

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 05:01:39 PM »
My mind escapes me on the ohms.  I will have to research.  I know there are a couple year specific coils. 

Offline MPlayle

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 07:56:11 PM »
The rating of the coil will need to match the requirements of the distributor.  The listing for the distributor says: "Works with any standard or High Energy coil with a minimum 1 ohm resistance."

Based on that and the indication "Dwell is microprocessor controlled, depending on coil current", I would say either of the 40K Volt coils you listed would work fine.

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2014, 08:39:15 PM »
I did some reading on the coil and have to test the resistance of the one in there, then I can decide which to get, this is per the 123 dizzy website.

So, I am tearing in to replace the Dizzy and do a general tune up and am thinking it might be a good idea to pull the AC condenser so make my life easier. It is winter so I can take my time re-installing it. Work space is tight and I really do not like the wiring on the coil at all, it needs to be done properly and get rid of the electrical tape.

I also do not see a vacuum advance hose on the existing dizzy, the nipple is there but no line???  There is a short hose and screw on the intake manifold where I "think" it should be hooked up. Is this a common delete? Does not compute to me.

Hope to have the new dizzy, new plugs, new wires and valves adjusted this weekend.  Fingers crossed.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline richard1

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2014, 02:15:50 PM »
My mini engine is SPI, so I didn't need the same, but on the Corvair I went Pertronix with the flamethower. If you have any questions they are real good about answering email.

Offline MtyMous

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2014, 06:29:15 PM »
Yes, the vacuum advance delete is a common modification. I never saw much use in deleting it, but some still do it. I have a street car so I opted for the 123 dizzy with vacuum advance.

With that said, if you choose to keep it deleted, you should absolutely cap it at the manifold and the distributor as well. And ditch the hose+bolt technique. It's susceptible to leaks and will cause your fuel mixture to vary. Get a good quality vacuum cap for both nipples... or any open vacuum nipples for that matter.

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 07:38:04 PM »
Nope, I am hooking up the vacuum advance properly. I cannot see a reason to have it deleted. If anything I would think it takes away from throttle response.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2014, 03:58:08 PM »
After


Before



Now I am trying to decide where to mount the coil. The. Time to test fire her up. 


Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 94touring

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2014, 05:17:13 PM »
Yeah you need to get a coil cover/holder thingy and ditch the clamps.  Typically they are mounting on the one head stud but your condenser may be in the way. 

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2014, 08:40:50 AM »
OK did some reading and it appears timing should be set to 8 degrees BTDC.  I was going to replace the plugs but the ones in there appear to be pretty new and in good shape. So I left them until I get time to adjust the valves.

I got rid of all the wires and push on connectors on the coil, bundled them together and ran new wires with a washer connector and bolted them on.

I agree Dan that mount sucks but it is all I have right now, one I replace the coil I will replace the mount too.

I do not have a timing light so I am heading out now to get one. I want to test fire her as I put the new dizzy in and think I have it very close to the timing of the old one but may be off a few degrees. 

Hope to have running this afternoon and then change the oil.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 94touring

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2014, 08:55:52 AM »
Sweet.  Do you remember the order the plug wires go in?  This is usually where I mix a couple up lol.

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2014, 09:41:33 AM »
Did everything perfect. Just fired her up because I was dying from anticipation. She started right up but it was apparent my timing was retarded so I advanced it by ear and she is purring.

Good to know i got everything wired up correct.

I swore I had a timing light but cannot find it, gonna change the oil and then head to Harbor Freight and grab a cheap one since I will rarely use it anymore now that I have the 123 in there.

I just changed the oil and I am concerned. When I removed the magnetic drain plug it looked like a chia pet. Lots and lots of metal shavings, unless this is a mini thing then I am pretty sure a new engine is in my near future.

I put some lucas oil additive in when I changed out and will see if that helps with the wear and maybe buys some time. I cannot do this engine work until after July.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 94touring

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #14 on: March 02, 2014, 10:25:52 AM »
Chia pet metal shavings are common.

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2014, 10:37:35 AM »
Found this rubber in the oil after draining it.

Obviously one of the sources of my many oil leaks.




Pulled the valve cover and the engine is very clean inside so I am happy for that. No sludge at least.

Gonna adjust the valves tomorrow night then time it next week so I can start driving her again.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 94touring

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2014, 11:14:39 AM »
Wow now that's abnormal, wonder what it is?? 

Offline richard1

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2014, 12:31:26 PM »
From the pics, it looks like gasket material. That could be a problem if it blocks a passage somewhere. I;d try to listen with a stethoscope (HF) to see if there are pin-pointable noises.

As far as additives, they can do nothing but harm unless it is something like AutoRx to clean things up. Buy a decent oil and don't try to play chemist.

Offline Willie_B

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #18 on: March 02, 2014, 06:49:20 PM »


I swore I had a timing light but cannot find it, gonna change the oil and then head to Harbor Freight and grab a cheap one since I will rarely use it anymore now that I have the 123 in there.
If you are running a 123 dist. you do not need a timing light. It is set at zero degrees TDC and not moved after that. The 123 adjusts the timing as needed for each setting based on it being set at TDC.

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2014, 06:50:42 PM »
Lucas is not a band aid, it is a reputable oil additive that helps with older cars.  I would usually laugh at claims that Lucas is anything but snake oil but it appears to be very effective.

I used it in my Rotary engines as well because of its coating ability and the forced induction rotaries proclivity to impregnating oil with gasoline.  I figured a little extra insurance is a good thing.

Regardless, I am not expecting miracles, but if it helps a little so be it.


Isn't this fun? I have to move the Alternator out of the way in order to change plug #1.

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2014, 06:53:03 PM »


I swore I had a timing light but cannot find it, gonna change the oil and then head to Harbor Freight and grab a cheap one since I will rarely use it anymore now that I have the 123 in there.
If you are running a 123 dist. you do not need a timing light. It is set at zero degrees TDC and not moved after that. The 123 adjusts the timing as needed for each setting based on it being set at TDC.

You know what? I think you are right, I remember reading that, I just have to figure out where TDC is and make sure the setting on the 123 is set correct. I completely forgot about that.

Back to reread the manual......
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 94touring

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #21 on: March 02, 2014, 09:51:55 PM »
Dang that ac making it hard to change a plug!

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2014, 03:27:45 PM »
Yes it does, but it blows ice cold so I will learn to deal.  :D
Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson

Offline 94touring

Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2014, 04:23:06 PM »
I just saw a 1275 spi for sale with ac that I'd love to buy.  But I gotta build cars with this money instead  :(

Offline Jims5543

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Re: 1978 Pickup, giving her some love...
« Reply #24 on: March 03, 2014, 08:17:18 PM »
So I pull the alternator, to do this you have to pull the #2 spark plug in order to remove one of the mounting bolts..  Fun stuff...

I get all the spark plugs out, I then pull the valve cover off, then spin the engine to TDC on the #1 cylinder, I set the timing on the 123 (thanks Willie_B!!) I lit it up at TDC made sure I had the right timing curve and should be good to go. Honestly, when I turned on the ignition the green light was already on where I ad set it by ear. So win win.


So I look down the valve train and see something amiss.... look at the #4 lifters.. sorry for the blurry pic, I must have moved.



Different angle:


Up close, look down to the right, see something where it should not be as well?




Just wow!!  I adjusted the valves, set the timing, decided to gap and place 4 new plugs. Have new wires in place as well as the new 123. I cannot wait to fire her up tomorrow after work and take her for a spin.

I imagine I have have been running on 3 cylinders all this time..

Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride! -Hunter S. Thompson