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Discussion Starter #1
So I haven't put any cars here despite having more non-Subaru cars than Subarus, but as this particular saga starts today, I figured I could get away with it.

My father and I run in different cars in a TSD road rally for old cars (in different cars, it should be noted). Old being 1969 or older. It's called the "Great Race", after the original in early 1901 that went from NY to Paris. These days it only runs smaller stuff like TN to VT, but it's still 10-14 days, every day, and ~100 cars. Last year I ran in my 1966 VW Type 3 "Variant", or Squareback:



Anyway, it was great fun (we finished 3rd out 5 in our very odd class), but the VW really wasn't the right car. It was gifted to me by my grandfather, and it's a survivor, so I've mostly focused on upkeep, not modifying. Plus, the newer the car, the harder it is to score.

Not too long ago I had fallen for the 50's Hudson designs, and decided I really wanted a Commodore 8, '51-'53. No, this wasn't because of Cars, though it was cool to see a Hornet in it. Okay, it's not exactly that, since we found a '50 Commodore 6, but after much searching for a Commodore in the right condition, we found this:


It's actually got a very nice interior, but the engine isn't running and hasn't since '96. The brakes are also completely gone, but the PO included basically everything to replace all the brakes. The engine will be another matter entirely...

Anyway, not much will happen this summer, I have too many other projects to do, and I'm leaving in the fall for college (Clarkson University).

The other projects include my '00 Impreza RS-C, my '83 Porsche 944 hillclimb car, a '95 Ford Probe in conversion to electric drive, and general upkeep of the rest of the family's cars.
 

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I ❤ BOOBIES
2000 Subaru Impreza 2.2TS 4dr
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Cool project! Do you guys use the full rally setup? (Timers, rally computer, GPS, etc.) I don't think I could live without it, TSD or not.

Also, is there much hillclimb in New York?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cool project! Do you guys use the full rally setup? (Timers, rally computer, GPS, etc.) I don't think I could live without it, TSD or not.

Also, is there much hillclimb in New York?
Babump.

Any work done on this thing?
WTF?! Never got any notifications on this, man, I'm so sorry!

In answer to your first question, no, we're not allowed anything beyond a stopwatch and analog clock. No calculator, and the ODO is covered. Ideally you run with one of the Great Race speedometers, a magnetic reluctance pickup is mounted somewhere on a rotating assembly, they're accurate to 1/100th of a MPH. They're also eye-bleedingly expensive... to the tune of $1k.

...I don't have one. I'm going to try to find a used one for this race, you simply can't be competitive using the stock cable-driven speedos. That said, in the VW with its sticky cable speedo, we took 2nd or 3rd (can't remember) out of the X-cup as brand-newbies.

Anyway, the point of the race is that everything is period (this year they changed the rules, now the cutoff year is '72, but it was '69), so they do their best to keep it looking that way.

As for hillclimb, no. Not in NY. In VT, though, there's a fair amount. NEHA (New England Hillclimb Assoc.) runs about 6 every summer, up mountains like Okemo, Burke, etc. The 944 is technically ready as a street car, but I want to get a cage in it.

As for work, yes, actually, a fair amount. First off, we have brakes! The entire system, drums, cylinders, lines, all replaced. The insane hydraulic and mechanical brakes work correctly now, woohoo! My father took care of that while I was at school over the last semester. He also replaced the fuel tank.

Since we got the car, we added a new section onto the back of the barn, insulated and heated it, so I've been working on the car over Xmas break. The engine spins freely, but neither the starter solenoid or starter actually works, so tonight I tore apart the starter. I'll see if I can get it working tomorrow. In theory once the starter spins, the engine can start, assuming I supply it some fuel.

There's a LOT of fabric-coated wiring that's faded and the insulation has failed, so I'm in for some serious re-wiring. Luckily there's almost no wiring to replace... We also found that the front floor panels are rusted out and need replacing, as well as one small part of the unibody subframe. Gotta get a MIG now.

Don't know if the fuel & vacuum pump works (combined unit to provide vacuum even under high throttle operation) for the wipers. Also have a new wiper pinion unit to replace the one with the failed cable.

With some luck and some greasy arms, the engine should be running by the end of break. Moving is unknown, I'm not sure of the condition of the fluid-enclosed cork clutch. :rolleyes4:

Anyway, here's some various photos.

New Windshield drive:


New garage, mostly insulated:


(There's actually another car in here now, these pics are old.)

Ragging on the friends who complain about me having a heated garage (it was 17* outside when this was taken):


Bleeding the master cylinder:

(Yep, it's under the floor.)

New brakes:


Starter pulled apart:


The ONLY tools required to do so:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Today's project was the starter, and joy, after a thorough cleaning, oiling, and freshening, she spins, and the solenoid actually works, I just had to encourage it a few times with some 12 volts. Annoyingly though, after I got it all installed, the actual pinion won't budge. It's an inertia starter, so the pinion is supposed to spin itself down the thread to engage in the flywheel... And it won't. I need to oil it, I suppose. Blech.

Anyway, interesting trick the step-down Hudsons have. A removable floor!




(Note it's not fully removed here. To take it off completely requires taking off the brake pedal, which requires a puller of positively pico proportions.)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
It wouldn't be real if I did... The Hornet didn't even exist until 1951, and as a coupe only. I wouldn't mind the Twin-H Power manifold and such, though...

Fear not, though. I do have a backstory cooked up about the car being used for Land Speed Records...
 

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Some more updates, but pictureless unfortunately.

I went out today to get some supplies- a bunch of different sanding discs for the orbital sander, to attack some of the surface rust on the body. I got three spots on the roof and two on the door sanded, cleaned and hit with rust converter.

Mechanically I got the new wiper pinion installed on the passenger side, the old one had a broken cable. I also got the vacuum wiper motor removed to see if it would work, because I couldn't get it moving on the car. After some lubing I'll see if I can get her going on a modern engine.

The carburetor also got pulled. It was alleged by the PO that it was rebuilt... It may have been, but it was a while ago. The throttle shaft was not quite seized, but it took a foot long wrench to get it turning. It's slightly better now, tomorrow I'm going to lube it up with the wiper motor.

I also dug through the parts supplied with the car, and I was overjoyed to find OODLES of useful things! A second fuel/vacuum pump WITH rebuild kit, lots of different gaskets, new plug wires, two sets of new plugs... And then the icing. Hudsons had optional oil filters, an option that mine does not have. That means the oil change intervals are ~1500-2000 miles. Obviously even with a filter we aren't talking modern car times, but more like 5,000 miles. Since the Great Race will likely put 2,500 miles on it, I was looking into a few options. Then one of the boxes was marked "Walt Mordenti". Walt Mordenti is a legend within Hudson communities, he's made both a modern thermostat retrofit kit and an oil filter kit that uses a modern spin-on filter. I dug through the box to find the PO had bought BOTH kits! Couldn't be more pleased, unless there was a new carb and wiper motor! :p

Also rebuilt the grill with freshly chromed parts. They aren't a super-high quality rechrome, the pitting isn't removed, etc., but they'll work just fine on a car for go, not show. I got a few other chrome pieces off that needed to be redone.

Yesterday I got the new MIG set up and working, so today I got some large sheets of 22GA steel to fix the rust holes in the floorboards. Don't yet know when I'll get to it, but it's good to have it all there.

Another interesting find was another starter. It's a slightly different type, but it would work. The oddity is that when I tested it using the battery charger, it spun slowly like the last one and didn't throw the bendix out like it should. Upon further inspection, I realized that these, being old motors, needed a LOT more current than the charger or 12 year old battery could supply, something like 750 amps according to the manual! Hence, I suspect that the starter in the car is just fine, unless somehow both starters broke identically, and I just haven't been giving them enough current. So tomorrow I look for a new 6V battery of the correct gargantuan proportions.

This means with some luck tomorrow I can crank the engine over and check spark, fuel, etc. Also my new MAF sensor should arrive and I can hopefully have an inspected Subaru again!
 

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Nice work.

I've only done a little bit of TSD, enjoyed it though. Wouldn't give up my terratrip though :lol:

Hillclimb is something I wish was more accessible in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Nice work.

I've only done a little bit of TSD, enjoyed it though. Wouldn't give up my terratrip though :lol:

Hillclimb is something I wish was more accessible in Canada.
Man, rally computers are cheating! :p Nah, but I wouldn't want one in one of these cars, half the fun is having your navigator do the math on the fly and inevitably get it wrong, then fighting to make it back. Wait, I said "fun." Hillclimb, well, the 944 will have to wait until the Hudson is set.

Anyway, today was a largely productive day, with a few minor setbacks.

First off, I found myself a new battery. And a big one, too. The battery that had been in the car was bad, obviously, and it had 940A at 32F. The new one has 1170A at 32F. It's a little longer, but that's no problem in this engine bay... The guys at NAPA looked at my old battery and held a tape measure to it and said,
"Do you have two extra inches in the front for the larger battery?"
I replied,
"It's a Hudson, I have three feet on each side!" We had a good laugh at that one.

Also got all sorts of lube types for getting things turning again. First up, the carb. Happily after a small amount of dissasembly, the needles and jets were clean, all the moving parts move super smoothly again, and in theory it works. It's pretty clean inside, so I'm hoping it won't need a rebuild. I will be ordering a kit for it anyway, though.

Next up was the wiper motor. Last night I managed to get it moving by hand, albeit unhappily. Today I put some Marvel Mystery down it's throat, and...


Granted, this was behind the supercharger on the RS, so it had ~23inHG, more than it would have on the Hudson, but that's certainly encouraging!

So next up I looked at the starter/battery issue. First test was just hooking up the new battery. Plonked it in place, pushed on the leads, and hit the solenoid button:


Voila! Now it's fuel and spark. I found a new set of plug wires, so those went on, and the plugs are already new. Then I found the coil, though it's not attached because the bracket is missing. I did forget to measure the fuel lines for the AN fittings for the filter, but I can fake it with rubber tubing and a generic steel filter can for now. Knowing the oil needed changing, I set about installing the oil filter kit first... And hit the day's first problem. One of the two plugs needing to be removed has stripped. You can just see it in the bottom of this pic, the shiny flakes (no, no Instagram, the work light is orange plastic and makes things that hue):



So that's been getting heated and WD-40'd repeatedly. If worse comes to worse, weld a new bolt head onto it...

That was when I stopped working on the Hudson, because the MAF for the RS showed up in the mail finally, three days late. That's in the M62 thread, though, and it's also where the rest of the setbacks were...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Another somewhat unproductive day, but that's because the first half of it was spent getting a little yellow inspection sticker attached to the RS' windshield... Three damn tries.

Since we gave up on getting the oil filter plug out, I moved on to other things for running. An oil change is one of them, but... Access is limited, shall we say. The drain plug is in the back center of the pan. I can't QUITE fit myself far enough under with the car on the ground. So I need to lift it, and I just wasn't up to it today. Instead I worked on getting other stuff ready to start it. Thus, the head water neck fitting is fixed, I screwed a stud into the remaining threads (actually there's enough left it probably would have held it as it was) and then cast some metal epoxy around it.



That should hold just fine once it's set up. Next I focused on getting the fuel/vacuum pump connected. I can't be 100% sure it's working, but I think it is based on the seal I saw when I pulled the vacuum pump apart, which was fresh. The top of the vacuum pump had to come off because the front NPT thread was damaged and I couldn't get it to thread in. Luckily there were two other top sections, so I just replaced it with another top.



Finally then, all the lines are connected! ...almost. The fuel line is waiting for a few fittings from Jegs- I decided I didn't like the rubber tubing setup that was the previous fuel filter, so I ordered some hard tubing to AN adapters, and an inline filter with AN fittings, to keep everything solid. Only one of the AN adapters is available though, the other won't show until halfway through January, so for now I will be using the little plastic filter with rubber lines...



So tomorrow I actually have to change the oil, mount the ignition coil (and use the old one from my VW, since I think the one with the car is actually bad), attach the radiator and fill it with coolant. I plan on filling the carb bowl, hopefully assuming I can get it started that should allow enough time for the pump to suck up fuel from the tank. At that point, I need to check and see if there's actually fluid in the clutch. Movement is still a ways off.

And should the carb misbehave, I have a rebuild kit! I found it in one of the boxes while going through the fittings to figure out the vacuum pump lines. Wacky thing, that...
 

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Everything went together very well, oil change wasn't TOO awful. Of course the plug used a square, not a hex, so I needed a metric wrench. That's just weird.

Anyway, I filled the bowl, after assembling and attaching the water neck with the modern thermostat, installed the radiator and realized I had no pipe clamps, d'oh. Also, I apologize, but I didn't think it would start on just some gas in the bowl, so I didn't have the camera running when it coughed instantly into running (I think on only three or four cylinders) but then it died quickly too. Luckily that meant you didn't see me trying it over and over. I gave up on filling the bowl and started running it on ether in the hopes it would pick up some fuel.


Surprise, it didn't pick up fuel. I don't know if the pump is bad, the line's plugged, or possibly if the pump's tang is wrong. It has a few extra gaskets between it and the block, and I noticed the other pumps had two different tangs...
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
So, today, I pulled the fuel pump. Turned out the stack of gaskets is actually supposed to be there, who knew. Something about noise and heat isolation. There was concern that there would be fuel leaking from the tank line, but nope. Bone dry. Hmm, so the line or the pump? Ah, blast a little air backwards though the line, if we can hear it bubble, then the line is clear. It bubbled. Okay, definitely the pump then. Proceeding to pull the pump apart, nothing seemed particularly bad, the diaphragm was clearly new, etc. So... WTF? Well, after taking it ALL the way down, one-way valves and all (also new), I found this mess peeking from the outlet casting:



It was just some dirt and gunk, clogged the entire outlet. Cleaned it all as best I could, put it all back together, back on the engine. First I pulled the top of the vacuum pump half off, one of the one-ways was visible and we could see if the pump was actually being stroked. The valve was working, so we tried to pump fuel. No luck on the starter though, it still wouldn't pump fuel, so I took a gamble and started it on fluid. Eventually it started running without fluid, but not well, and then died. It only runs with the choke wide open, so there's some extra fuel dumping in there, and a few different gas leaks from gaskets.

So it runs if you force the choke open, and hold it open, though it still runs rich. The manual doesn't actually explain how you tune the carb, though...

Oh, and discovered a small puddle under the front of the car. Turns out the radiator leaks. Gonna have to get that re-cored, but at least that'll improve the cooling.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So today I rebuilt a carb.




It sucked, like it always does. And what sucked more is the fact that it changed ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. It still runs way goddamn rich. I got it to the point where it seems like it wants to run, but the choke is set way leaner than it should be. The manual's choke set point is two clicks lean, I have it at about 12 clicks. Here, video update:


And just to cheer me up a little, here's what it sounds like. Yes there was a backfire, and yes it was in my ear.


It's definitely spewing carbon...
 

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I tried for some motion today. Unfortunately... I have it all, or none of it. The clutch is pretty well stuck, but then it hasn't had fluid in it for... 15, 20 years? So it's going through the acetone flush now to get the old Hudsonite residue out of the cork. It effectively glued itself to the flywheel.

So when it's cold it's not very happy about starting... It runs on three or four cylinders. Once it's warmed up it purrs like a kitten. Comparison:


And this did include choke fettling. So... It's probably workable when warm, but it has to actually be warm first. My guess is it's always rich, it's just lean enough when warm it doesn't matter. I still haven't checked timing, though.
 

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So that's the end of my updates for a while. I leave today for the next semester, so if anything gets done it will be by my father, on a pretty rare basis. The next time I'll have some time to work on it is in March. At that point I really hope the clutch has come free, so that as soon as the semester's over for the summer I can get the last stuff done.
 

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So I've been home for a few days, but amongst dealing with other minor issues, I didn't have a chance to do anything with the Hudson. I got the trunk lid off to do bodywork, and then I plumbed an oil pressure gauge because I don't trust the light, and then today (after getting a filling) I worked a little more. Started it up for the first time since January, but first I had to add some gas. The tank had a drain plug that wasn't tightened and had leaked the whole tank out. Also found a line underneath that was leaky, tightened that fitting. Installed a real fuel filter, cleanable and all, with AN fittings.

Excuse the dust, the Buick next to it is undergoing lots of sanding and shaping.

The oil pressure gauge hides behind the warning panel:



And it's fed by a pretty little copper line:



But of course none of that would matter if I couldn't change gear, so taking a shot in the dark, I revved it in third and stood on both left pedals. With a bit of a bang, the clutch broke free!

Now we're making progress! I also received the Great Race Timewise speedometer (the one accurate to 1.125 MPH), so I need to install that. It uses a magnetic reluctance sensor to pick up magnets, ideally on the undriven wheels somewhere. Drain the acetone from the clutch, add ATF, order new rubber seals, fix the frame rot, and boom! A rally car.

Also I got the ignition key switch back in, after having the keys made for it, as well as the trunk keys. Separate trunk key, weird.

Oh, should probably fix the seats. :crazy2:
 

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So I've been home for a bit over a week, but had catching up to do with friends and such, so no progress got made on the Hudson, until yesterday. I would have updated then but my phone died and I had no camera.. :-(

Anyway, the next task I wanted to tackle was the rusty sections:




So proceed with the cutting!




Now, I didn't have the required thickness metal for the frame repair and I wasn't too sure on shaping the sheet metal for the floor, so I focused on the wiper controller... No images, my phone had died by this point, but but it's finally free and working smoothly! It does appear to be missing a small shaft used to open the valve for the washers, but I'll figure that out later...

Today, freshly charged phone and formed sheet metal:



And then stitching her in:



So that needs finish welding, the frame need similar treatment, as does the passenger floor (both floors were patched with seam sealer and a pop-riveted 28ga panel), and the dogleg behind the front wheel.

Mechanically, well, it needs a single spring for the wacky mechanical brake in the back, and the clutch stuck again. It broke free the same way, but it will probably stick again until it starts getting used. The goal is still pre-June it will be driving, it's gotten put on the insurance, so tomorrow is registering and ordering the vanity plates (first car I own with them!).
 
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