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Sterling #130 (aka American V8 ~ Chapter 2)

nbb350

Member
The shocks themselves seem to work fine (no collapsed cylinders), but the rubber bushings are completely crumbling. Time for new shocks anyways.

Uh, I pulled the coil-over springs off the old shocks and the shocks collapsed completely. no charge left inside at all. good thing I replaced them!
shocks went into the scrap steel bucket and the coil springs went into the "too neat to throw away so we'll just keep them for a couple of decades first" bucket.
 

nbb350

Member
Well, on July 8th I shipped my Fuel Gauge, Fuel Bridge and VW Fuel Sender off to AutoMeter for inspection and repair. July 17th UPS dropped a box off at my front door - it was from AutoMeter. No emails or phone calls about my stuff in between those two dates...and no information about what, if anything, that they did to my stuff while they had it. I had figured it was sitting on someone's ToDo pile at AutoMeter.

The tech I had been emailing at AutoMeter didn't even know it had arrived and been returned either - it never crossed HIS desk. He did some digging at his end and found out that another tech had repaired my faulty fuel gauge (for free!) and calibrated the system (no, they didn't). In my bench testing, I discovered that while the gauge WAS fixed, the system still didn't calibrate well. After 3 more attempts, I finally got the gauge calibrated reasonably well at F, 3/4 & 1/2 tank readings. Below 1/2, things get out of whack quickly. WTF...isn't this the whole point of the customizable Fuel Bridge?!? Sigh...I give up. I'll just follow the old Minnesota Winter saying "a half a tank is an empty tank" and fill up frequently.

FYI, the Up/Down buttons on the Fuel Bridge adjust the resistance in approximately 10 ohm increments. But trying to calibrate the gauge for 1/4 tank was impossible. 1 click UP would take the gauge to almost 1/2 tank and 1 click DOWN would take the gauge to almost E. sigh...
 

nbb350

Member
On a slightly more productive note though, I got a new "roller" gas pedal installed along with new rubber brake/clutch pads. I thought about cutting off the gas pedal mounting tab at the bottom, but decided i like how it "protects" the rear brake line.

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nbb350

Member
I also spent some time this weekend working on my "rolling wheels". At least a DECADE ago I picked up these rims & tires at a swap meet for like $200. I've always liked aluminum slots and couldn't pass them up. 14x6 fronts and 14x7 rears with chromed plastic center caps and damn-near new (at the time) tires. They've sat untouched in my shed ever since.

After re-seating the bead on two of them (fun times), I pulled off the center caps and discovered some sin. All the center caps were self-tapping screwed onto the rims. The rear wheel caps came off nicely, but I still tossed those screws and drilled/tapped the holes for some 8-32 stainless cap screws. The front wheels though had a LOT of broken off screws over the years. Each time too many broke off, someone would index the cap a little bit and install new screws. I tried drilling out the old screws to re-tap the original holes, but after FIVE broken drill bits, gave up on that pipe dream and just indexed the cap again and drilled/tapped new holes. and of course one wheel ate my tap, so that wheel will only have FOUR screws holding the cap in place. SIGH...

Then I attacked them with 1000-2000 grit wet sandpaper on a 3" dia pad with an air drill (water and electric drills don't mix!). After that I used rubbing, buffing, and polishing compound to get them to a nice "luster". The rims were (still are) pretty banged up - hence the cheap price. I would call them "nice rat rod quality" and someday down the line that's how I'll describe them in a Craigslist ad. Until I get the car finished though, they'll work just fine. Eventually I'll buy new rims/tires when I know exactly what size tire (width/diameter) and rim diameter look/work best with the car's suspension and wheel openings.

It's hard to see in the pix, but 3 of them have terrible road rash around the rims. And they all need new valve stems. Or a daily dose of compressed air. lol

Rears:
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Fronts:
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letterman7

Honorary Admin
There are companies that will refresh rims, especially on the west coast. Might be worth looking into that. Then you could get the proper center caps that feed from the rear.
 

nbb350

Member
I also spent more time cleaning up the lug nuts and rims so I could test fit the wheels on the car. Uh-oh...Houston, we have a problem.
NO way the P215/70R14 fronts will ever work. There is less than a thumb width of clearance and they stick out beyond the fender! oh well...wasn't happy with the rims anyways...
Note that the pix are taken with the suspension UNcompressed, so that clearance will only get WORSE.

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nbb350

Member
the 215/70R14 tires look fine in back though. heck, i might even be able to go BIGGER.
Note that the pix are taken with the suspension UNcompressed.

PXL_20210725_230446770.jpg
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letterman7

Honorary Admin
Yeah, put the car on the ground. That's the only way you'll figure out the correct tire size. Rears you can go steamroller - almost. Front, limited to a 175 x 65 max profile - I think. I know on my first car I had 65 series all the way around, and the front were pretty narrow.. I think they were 175... could have been 165's.. on a 6" rim, if memory serves. Rear I had put 10" rims and steamroller tires...
 

nbb350

Member
Hmmmm... found a set of 15x6.5 wheels off a 1988 Jaguar XJS. 5x4.75 bolt pattern. and 175/65R15 would JUST fit on a 6.5" rim...
Gotta do some photoshopping to see how they'd look on my car!
only catch I see: Jaguar was 1/2"-20 threads while Chevy is 7/16"-20 threads. Looks like probably acorn nut seats...so maybe not an issue?

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nbb350

Member
The 1988 6.5Jx15 Jaguar rims have a 32mm (1.25") positive offset, so while they're closer to the body at the bottom, they're farther away from the lip of the fender at the top.
After drawing the wheel & tire in CAD, it looks like I'd probably have about 25-30 degrees of wheel turn either direction before the tire hits the body. (keeping in mind that front of the tire being OUT on one side means the front of the tire will be IN on the other side) Does that seem normal?

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nbb350

Member
Basically for the front I'm choosing the smallest tire available (175/65R15) and hoping for the best. the section view tells more about room for suspension rebound.
the Green tire is the 175/65R15 on the 6.5Jx15 Jaguar rim. looks like I might actually be able to go up to a 185 if I wanted to.
the Red tire is my current 215/70R14 on my current rims with NEGATIVE offset! You can see how the Green tire fits inside the fender lip and the Red tire sticks out - just like in real life pictures.
(note...worst case with minimum clearance is shown - left/right sides of car are NOT the same, so pix and drawing may not match 100%)

1627404983551.png


Rear shows more forgiveness.
the Green tire is the 215/65R15 on the 6.5Jx15 Jaguar rim. looks like I might actually be able to go up to a 235 if I wanted to...edit...Blue tire is 235/60R15.
the Red tire is my current 215/70R14 on my current rims with NEGATIVE offset! You can see how the Green tire fits inside the fender lip and the Red tire sticks out - just like in real life pictures.
(note...worst case with minimum clearance is shown - left/right sides of car are NOT the same, so pix and drawing may not match 100%)
1627405353517.png
 

letterman7

Honorary Admin
:) You're much better at CAD than I'll ever be, but yes, the 175 profile *should* work fine. That's about the average for the standard VW anyhow. What you're not taking into consideration is the settling of the suspension and the actual weight on the car making the tires slightly "fatter" - but the only place that matters is the front. If memory serves, the only time my tires rubbed were over fast deep ally-oops in the highway and if I turned an extreme lock and hit a bump. That said.. I find it fascinating that Jag shares the GM bolt pattern :) !
 

nbb350

Member
thanks, CAD is my day job. :) lots of running from my CAD station in the basement out to the shop for measurements while drawing those! lol
no way of estimating the suspension compression amount, so I'm just trying to keep the tire inside the fender lip for now.

yeah, I discovered it on a random site when googling "5x4.75". they had a "other brands which use this pattern..." section at the bottom.
Now, if only the seller would bother to respond to my email! sigh... (with my luck it's another case of the item sold weeks ago but the seller is too lazy to delete the ad or respond to emails)
 
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