Since I never did even the most routine of maintenance on the sChITROEN prior to racing it at Sears Pointless and then Arsfreezeapalloza, I figured before I tried to drive it 2,600 miles to Florida and the season ender Inoffensive Warm Oatmeal extravaganza or whatever the heck it's called I should at least do a valve adjustment, maybe replace the wires, rotor and cap (since the original is cracked causing it to only run on 3 cylinders at Arse Freeze) maybe put in a pertronix. I mean, heck, the residual was only $.05 after Sears Pointless and I didn't even change the oil in it for Arse Freeze, so it's fair to say I think I've got some budgetary wiggle room for those expenditures. Problem is I don't have any money to do more than that (although with only like 7:1 compression, it's BEGGING for a ghettocharging).
But I did buy a pertronix kit, rotor, and a cap prior to Sears Pointless, but I never picked up the cap and didn't take the time to install it before either race. No problem, install them now, right? Wrong. Pertronix is for the Ducelier distributer and I have the SEV Marchal distributer. Ok, rush order days before Christmas. Should arrive Friday (fingers crossed). Distributer cap that I paid for back in Feb/March? Uh, I paid for it but didn't pick it up (because I left too late on the way to Sears for them to be open). And they weren't returning my calls. Search for alternatives and was zeroed at NAPA and CarQuest-- found a match online through Rock Auto for a whopping $6.19 for the cap and $3.12 for the rotor (why not get another, right?). Rush shipping was $33. And it might arrive on Friday (fingers and toes crossed). After I place that order I get a return call from the guys who have the cap I ordered back in March. So I should be able to pick that up tomorrow, at least. Maybe between the two I'll actually have one that works.
Anyway, that's not the crazy (dumb?) part. When I went to adjust the rockers I found that the pushrods on the exhaust side were bent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUdL7cLwo_I
So I braved removing the exhaust rockers on the unfamiliar engine, pulled the pushrods and made them straight again:
But, being as incompetent as I am, I accidentally clamped a spring washer in the rocker pedestal while reinstalling one of them and broke the rocker shaft support pedestal
I went through all sorts of LeMons-esque repairs in my head while I was forced to take a health break to recover from some undoubtedly sChITROËN-induced MRSA, I opted to put the call out to some LeMons-friendly Citroen folks for a replacement part. The first of 3 rocker pedestals arrived today in the mail so I excitedly went out to the garage after the family went to sleep and... discovered... it... was... not... identical... to... the... CRAP!
It is no fault of the helpful person who sent it to me-- apparently there are different head designs I guess and I don't speak French cars (J'm'appelle fromage?) . The one I needed had a double cradle on the intake rocker side (that the head bolts bolt down through) and the replacement only had 1 rocker shaft cradle, hence 1 hole for the head bolt (yes bolts, not studs). But I looked closely and they are identical except for that additional cradle on the intake side... Wait, I know!
Sure, I could have waited to see if any of the other promised rocker shaft pedestals showed up and were the one I needed, but there are no guarantees they will be correct and my time is running short for the other needed repairs-- I'm scheduled to depart Christmas Day/afternoon.
Did I mention that I had to fully loosen all of the head bolts on the intake side of the head? Yea, Um, well, ya see because these are aluminum heads and iron blocks, and the car has been sitting for 20 years prior to my purchase, the likelihood of some serious corrosion and eroding of the cylinder head is high from what I'm told. I was / am afraid that if I were to remove the head to replace the gasket I may not be able to successfully return it to a running condition in the timeframe I have and within the constraints of my own bank account. I thought by draining the coolant from the block, I may have some success and not need a gasket. I figured the risk of warping the head was better than not finding a complete cylinder head face after scraping the old head gasket off. I'll find out I guess soon enough after firing it up and taking a test drive some time Christmas Eve or Morning. I may try to pick up a head gasket just in case, though. But those suckers are like $100.
So it's not like Tungsten weight added to a wristpin or that kind of crazy, but I still think it's a LeMons-worthy solution for an impending 2,600 mile + 24 hour drive.
The next thing to do while I'm awaiting parts is try to find a radiator that will fit. Apparrently, the stock downflow radiator won't even provide suitable engine cooling for an octogenarian driving to church on a cloudy November day... I shoulda taken that aluminum one that pendejo offered to me at Arse Freeze...
One thing I DONT have to sort out are turn signals. AJ came over tonight and put in a 3-way toggle switch that will allow me to have turn signals for my drive across so there are fewer reasons to pull me over and ask me why I use a screwdriver in the ignition switch. AJ re-wired the head and tail lamps prior to the drive to ArseFreeze. My Hero. If he'd have been able to get the wipers to work he would have achieved god status, but it wasn't so... RainX it is!
I'll update again with news of the next success/failure