My 14 was running great after my last month's valve job. Last week I was almost home after another 200 mile day, when the engine died. I didn't switch over to battery quick enough and it backfired and blew the muffler apart. Drove the rest of the way home on battery. I pulled out the mag plug and found a piece of safety wire, not a good sign! I decided the engine and transmission had to come apart to see where it came from and if there were any more pieces. I took it all apart and couldn't find anything missing and no other pieces. Where it came from I have no idea. While I had it out, I tightened the main and the rods, sure an easy way to do that. I got side tracked with the holiday weekend, but I will have it all back together this week.
The wire I found inside
Was this the first time you've opened up and worked on the tranny since whenever you acquired the car? If so, could be that it was left in there by someone else? Anyway, on the plus side, at least now you know where everything stands with it and the engine got another "refreshing". Sure makes it nice to pull the engine without the firewall in the way. The pic of that wire can be deceiving without a reference, such as a coin, but I'm assuming it's actually pretty small. Sorry that an otherwise nice day in the car was spoiled like that!
I could be wrong but, that piece of wire looks suspiciously like one used to (incorrectly) retain a piston pin bolt. Some mechanics incorrectly retain the bolt with safety wire around the rod as opposed to a cotter pin, the wire commonly breaks and winds up shorting out the magneto.
Ron the Coilman
Dan, is your firewall original? Would like to know.
Tim, I have had this car for a long time. I went to rebuild the original engine, after the machine work I saw a couple pin holes in one cylinder. I was going to re-sleeve it but a good friend of mine offered me this engine, that he had removed from a running car. I have put over 5,000 miles on this engine. It has always run excellent. These were the first two issues with it.
Ron, You could be right. The wrist pin bolts were wired, at least the back two. The front two had nothing, I assumed who ever put it together forgot to do it, as after taking the engine and transmission apart there are no signs of pieces of wire anywhere.
Larry, The firewall is not original. For the color, I used the original veneer that was behind the coil box to match up the color. It came out pretty much right on. The firewall that I used was an old repro done in the incorrect oak colored stain.
"No signs of pieces of wire anywhere"? Except where pieces of wire just love to hang about and short out the magneto; at the magneto plug.
I'll bet there is more pieces of safety wire inside the engine somewhere.
Ron the Coilman
Did you remove the flywheel? There is safety wire holding the magneto coil to the block. There is also wire on the engine side of the crankcase flange where the bolts which hold the flywheel in place are wired together. That wire could also have been left over from when the bands were replaced. Sometimes a person will wire the ends of the bands together while the hogs head is installed and then after the nuts are on the pedals cut the wire. Possibly a piece fell in at that time.
Norm,Yes,those wires were in place. I was also thinking of the band possibility as I install my bands that way. You have to be extremely careful not to break a piece of wire off when you are removing the wires. I pack in rags and have my wife watching as I cut and pull the wires out. Two sets of eyes are better than one. At this point I think I will install a magnet on the oil screen on the outside chance there is something else there.
A magnet in the oil drain plug also helps to catch steel debris that settles to the bottom. Arts and crafts stores sell magnets that are a perfect fit into original drain plugs (used for making refrigerator magnets).
Life is good! 14 is back together. I cotter-ed key the wrist pin bolts, and put a cow magnet on the oil screen. So far so good.
Dan, Glad your back up and running! That NY dealer plate is a rare one!
Dan - That garage in the backround looks like a really nice one. As a person who enjoys designing garages, a couple of pictures of it would be nice.
BTW, it's good to see that your '14 is going again.
I will PM you pictures later on today