"Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild. - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 12, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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"Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

“Basics of Basics” Convertible top pump/motor rebuild
By Brian Martin

This “Basics” is more about demystifying the convertible pump system than anything else. I got the pump/motor back in my car and working so fast and with such excitement that I didn’t take any photos at all. So in deciding to put together a little “Basics” on the subject I just went and snapped some shots of the extra pump/motor I had.

When I decided to pull mine apart I did a little google search and found nothing what so ever, thus the need for this “Basics”.
Where it all began…..I was putting my 1965 Buick Gran Sport convertible back together after about 12 years apart. Everything was finished on the car and being I am no mechanic I did the body and paint and left the convertible top stuff for the very end.

To tell you the truth, I was pretty intimidated by it, but finally dug into it. The first thing I did was to install the rams that I purchased 12 years ago. The system worked when I pulled it apart and I forget why I even bought the new rams but I had them non-the-less. I got the motor and lines out of the rafters and blew out the lines with compressed air after removing them so I wouldn’t be dripping brake fluid all over my beautiful paint. I installed the rams and pump/motor and put in some new brake fluid (I HATE working with this stuff around paint!) and hit the switch……nothing. I mean nothing what so ever, not even a sound.

After some diagnosis work I determined the pump/motor was the problem so I started thinking about buying a new one, which I found out was a off shore “generic” and I wasn’t going to have any part in that. And me being cheaper than snot I figured, I would pull the thing apart and see what it’s all about. I had a spare (a little newer, it had a rubber fill plug instead of the screw the original had) and decided to learn on the spare. These photos are of the original pump/motor so you will see the screw in fill plug in photo #2.

We start with photo #1, these are the two bolts that hold the motor onto the pump. They are a ” headed bolt about 4 inches long that goes right past the magnets on the sides of the armature and screw into the pump body.



In photo #2 you can see the standard screw driver headed fill plug and the bolt that holds the reservoir to the pump. It’s simply an approx 3” long bolt that goes thru the middle of the reservoir into the pump. That bolt head looks pretty odd but a regular 11/16 open end wrench works on it.



The reservoir has a large O ring that seals it, (seen in photo #16) and a small O ring at the head of the bolt. (Photos# 16 & 17). When you remove that bolt and pull the reservoir off you will find the top of the pump as seen in photo #3. Remove the five quarter inch 7/16” headed bolts and you will have photo #4 and the pump it’s self photo# 5. You my have noticed if you looked at the photos that there is no gasket, it simply bolts right to the pump with the two aluminum surfaces being perfectly flat.

Photo 3






Photo #6 shows two of the only four moving parts in the pump (it’s crazy simple guys). I honestly don’t know what to call them. The larger ring looking piece goes in the hole in the pump, while the little star looking piece slips into the ring and over the end of the armature seen in the pump, refer back to photo #5. I ended up using parts from both pump/motors to make one. The ring thingie you see was so stuck in the replacement pump that I couldn’t get it out. I pulled the one out of the car at that point so I could get them both apart and see what parts I need. I ended up hammering a bolt into that ring so I could twist it and get it out of the pump. If this was the only one I had, I would have had to find another way. But to tell you the truth, I tried quite a bit before I resorted to the bolt. You can’t see it in the pictures because I have the bad part facing down. But I did ruin this piece. The original pump was stuck too, but I was able to get the piece out after a little coaxing. This was why the original motor didn’t turn. The pump was locked up solid! I have to assume the “rebuild kit” they sell for these motors would include this ring and star piece.



You can see the two ball bearings that go in the pump cover in photo #7. These ball bearings are what controls the fluid, directing the fluid to the hoses that will carry it to the bottom of the rams raising your top, or to the hoses that will carry the it to the top of the rams lowering the top.



In photo #8 you can see the round hole where that ring and star sit and the little O ring that seals the armature shaft as it comes into the pump. You can also see the passages that the fluid goes thru being pushed by the pump into the respective hoses.



These passages need to be cleared. They will likely have crusty gunk in there from loose chunks that fall right out to rock hard stuff that needs to be “chiseled” out with a sharp tool. Breaking this junk up and blowing it out with compressed air works like a charm. Cleaning out all the junk in these passages, where the two ball bearings are, and replacing the O rings at the armature, hose fittings, and if you want the reservoir and fill plug is all there is to “rebuilding” the pump! That’s it guys, it is that easy!

On to the motor portion and photo #9. After removing the two long bolts mentioned in photo #1 the motor pulls off the pump. Those two screws are the only thing holding it on. There is no gasket or seal, it simply pulls off easily. You can see in the photo a small washer on the armature (a rusty washer in this case), that is one of only four pieces that come out of the motor. Photo #10 shows the end of the motor with the brushes, and photo #11 shows the ball bearing that sits in the end of the armature and a little disc that sits at the bottom of the hole the armature goes in and the bearing rides on it.





To be continued......

1965 Buick Gran Sport Convertible
1948 Chevy pickup.
2003 Dodge Caravan
1959 Rambler American (Yeah I said RAMBLER, you want to make something of it punk?)
"Fan of most anything that moves human beings"

Last edited by 69-Pace; Jan 18th, 16 at 04:42 PM. Reason: inserted photo 3
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 15th, 12, 09:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

Continued from previous post..


To put the motor back together you have to be able to hold the brushes back to slip the armature in. The little disc can simply be dropped into place, the bearing I put a tiny bit of grease on it to hold it to the armature so insure it was in correctly. The next thing is those darn brushes, I got two paper clips and bend them as shown in photo #12. Obviously this isn’t rocket science so they look quite different from one an other but did a perfect job. As seen in photos #13-A and 13-B. Photo #14 shows the motor with the armature in place with the paper clips still there. After this point, you simply pull the paper clips out and there you have it.






The bolts that hold the motor together are honestly the only tough part to reinstall. You have to play quite a bit (at least I did) before I could get those buggers started into their threaded holes. Photo #15 shows how they pass thru the motor right next to the magnets. Sorry for the poor photo I just wanted to add it to demystify this darn bolt. You can see at the top of the photo a little half round pocket in the magnet where the bolt fits down to the pump on the other end of the motor.



Photo numbers 16, 17, 18 and 19 simply show the seals that are in the pump/motor assembly. I found them all in the A/C O ring assortment at the parts store. The large one I found that goes around the motor was smaller than the original and would have stretched out and worked but I just left the original there and it worked like a charm.

Photo 16


Photo 17


Photo 18


Photo 19




This is what the pump reservoir looked like on my original pump! Darn good thing the motor and pump didn’t work or I would have pumped this crap into my new cylinders!


Yes it is a darn good thing I went ahead and pulled the pump apart and rebuilt it. It worked the first time I tried it, just hooked it back up and turned the switch and wham, I had a working top pump/motor again. The other very good thing that came from it was I changed it out to run automatic transmission fluid, I am MUCH happier with something that won’t eat any paint like aircraft paint stripper!

It was also learned that these motors are very generic and all cars made for a number of decades from all manufacturers have very similar pump/motors.

I can’t believe that I was so intimidated by this whole thing, it was so damn simple I was blown away. I had it back and running in the car so fast I didn’t even have time to think. Now darn it, go out there in the garage and get yours working, it’s almost summer!

1965 Buick Gran Sport Convertible
1948 Chevy pickup.
2003 Dodge Caravan
1959 Rambler American (Yeah I said RAMBLER, you want to make something of it punk?)
"Fan of most anything that moves human beings"

Last edited by 69-Pace; Jan 18th, 16 at 04:48 PM. Reason: inserted photo 16-19
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 04:25 AM
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

Great post Brian! I am glad you finally said ATF instead of brake fluid! My pump works fine, but my switch is toast. Rebuilding some of my old switches now so I can get the top down and back on the road!.

Kevin


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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 16th, 12, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

I'm glad I finally said ATF too!

Brian

1965 Buick Gran Sport Convertible
1948 Chevy pickup.
2003 Dodge Caravan
1959 Rambler American (Yeah I said RAMBLER, you want to make something of it punk?)
"Fan of most anything that moves human beings"
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 12, 06:55 AM Thread Starter
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

By the way guys, I missed one of the photos! After proof reading it a few times, I still missed a photo! CRAP, ok here it is.

Brian


1965 Buick Gran Sport Convertible
1948 Chevy pickup.
2003 Dodge Caravan
1959 Rambler American (Yeah I said RAMBLER, you want to make something of it punk?)
"Fan of most anything that moves human beings"
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 12, 08:11 AM
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

Great write-up Brian - very helpful. My pump seemed to be working, but it was a little slow raising and lowering the top. Perhaps pulling it apart and cleaning it up and replacing some seals will make it more efficient.

Looking forward to an article on rebuilding the rams next! Mine started leaking last year, which will call for removal and possible replacement or preferably a rebuild of the originals. Does anyone have any suggestions for a shop that can rebuild my originals?

1967 RS/SS 350 Conv - triple black, 4sp, tach & gauges

1969 VN-built RS/SS 396 Conv - Garnet Red/Black, 4-sp, tach & gauges
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 12, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

Here are the remaining photos I forgot! Geeeez








I didn't plan on doing anything with the original rams but storing them along with my extra pump/motor just because I'm a horder jr. But I will take a look at how they come apart and seal. I may just find myself with an extra pair and a "Basics".

Brian

1965 Buick Gran Sport Convertible
1948 Chevy pickup.
2003 Dodge Caravan
1959 Rambler American (Yeah I said RAMBLER, you want to make something of it punk?)
"Fan of most anything that moves human beings"
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 12, 08:42 AM
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

I talked to a local hydraulic shop yesterday, and he said that if they are not crimped or welded together he MAY be able to rebuild them. I'll have to look at a set. I would like to avoid putting anything made overseas on this car.

1967 RS/SS 350 Conv - triple black, 4sp, tach & gauges

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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 12, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSSSfanatic View Post
I talked to a local hydraulic shop yesterday, and he said that if they are not crimped or welded together he MAY be able to rebuild them. I'll have to look at a set. I would like to avoid putting anything made overseas on this car.
I have full respect for you in not using any overseas junk, I try to do the same thing.

Brian

1965 Buick Gran Sport Convertible
1948 Chevy pickup.
2003 Dodge Caravan
1959 Rambler American (Yeah I said RAMBLER, you want to make something of it punk?)
"Fan of most anything that moves human beings"
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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 12, 09:57 AM
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RSSSfanatic View Post
I talked to a local hydraulic shop yesterday, and he said that if they are not crimped or welded together he MAY be able to rebuild them. I'll have to look at a set. I would like to avoid putting anything made overseas on this car.
They are crimped at the top But I hope he can do something with them!

Kevin


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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 12, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RSSSfanatic View Post
Looking forward to an article on rebuilding the rams next! ... Mine started leaking last year, which will call for removal and possible replacement or preferably a rebuild of the originals. Does anyone have any suggestions for a shop that can rebuild my originals?
-----> Top cylinder seal replacement

This has worked great on 80~90% + of the cylinders I've done
Ones with internal issues and/or very rusty shafts should be replaced.


Nice write up Brian

While I have them open I also clean the commutator segments (easiest way is to mount in lathe or larger drill and turn slowly while holding Crocus cloth strip [800 or finer] to it) and check the burshes for wear.
The brushes can be found at many places that sell motor parts, they are a common size for small low voltage motors ...

It should be added that rebuild kits are @$20 from many of the 'repopper' vendors.
Click image for larger version

Name:	Convertible top pump kit for GM.jpg
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ID:	28005
I got my last kit from - http://www.convertibletopguys.com/category/view/1794 - but they are on eBain and other sites at lower prices also ...

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Last edited by Vintage 68; Apr 19th, 12 at 10:29 AM.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 12, 11:15 AM
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Red face Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

While looking at one of the motors in my shop I happened to remember something

It is also a good idea to clean the 'Over-Current' breaker point contacts while you're inside there
I've serviced several 'Slow' pumps that these were very dirty.
Just use a standard Ignition Points File to clean and you are then assured the best contact is now being made to conduct power to the brushes on the motor.

These are the contacts Click image for larger version

Name:	Convertible top motor brushes and over-current breaker.jpg
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Size:	83.8 KB
ID:	28009

1968 Convertible
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 12, 01:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vintage 68 View Post
While looking at one of the motors in my shop I happened to remember something

It is also a good idea to clean the 'Over-Current' breaker point contacts while you're inside there
I've serviced several 'Slow' pumps that these were very dirty.
Just use a standard Ignition Points File to clean and you are then assured the best contact is now being made to conduct power to the brushes on the motor.

These are the contacts Attachment 28009
DAMN why didn't I see that! Now you hexed me, I've seen it and now I will have that running thru my head, thanks a lot! One thing I notice on the "rebuild kit" it's only the seals and I did get those for next to nothing at the parts store. The "Star" and collar piece that makes up the pump is what I am wondering about, I haven't looked anywhere for those.

You want a kick in the head, you know those rubbers that hold the motor into the trunk, I had NOS ones in old GM packages. I was worried that they have gotten hard but they worked like a charm. My brother had one of these cars too (featured in Muscle car illustrated Oct 09) and when we got them it was the late eighties and we would go to the wrecking yard (he bought his from a wrecking yard, and a four speed coupe parts car too!) and there would be a convertible mid 60's A body almost every time. I remember getting a full set of tinted glass from one. Anyway, he picked up spare parts. Below is a photo of some of those parts. I was starting on my top irons the other night and found that the chrome hook device on the clamp was screwed up on one side. I went to the spare parts and there it was, a perfect one.

I also have a complete top iron set so I was able to pull mine apart for paint with having a sleepless night afterwords wondering if I will know how to put it back together.

Brian


1965 Buick Gran Sport Convertible
1948 Chevy pickup.
2003 Dodge Caravan
1959 Rambler American (Yeah I said RAMBLER, you want to make something of it punk?)
"Fan of most anything that moves human beings"
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 12, 02:19 PM
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Talking Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR View Post

... One thing I notice on the "rebuild kit" it's only the seals and I did get those for next to nothing at the parts store.
... The "Star" and collar piece that makes up the pump is what I am wondering about, I haven't looked anywhere for those.
...
Yup, other than the small 'Check Ball(s)' in the kits it's just a bunch of o-rings ...

As far a the "Star" ...
It's actually called a 'Gerotor' or Gear Pump assembly.
They are quite common actually in industrial applications for many uses as they are dual directional (a 'Good' thing in applications like a top where you want it to go down AND up ) and very reliable - as proved in this use - and they are common in many 'Automatic' transmissions ...
The flow path is like this Click image for larger version

Name:	Gerotor pump diagram.jpg
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ID:	28010
... and reversing the motor will make the fluid go the other direction ...

They are actually very reliable and wear should not really be a factor.
If they can be cleaned of any big scars or marks on the other ring surface and/or major corrosion they should be very servicable and not need replacing.

They are now commonly used in automotive engines as the primary oil pump also - you can find them on the front of the new LS engine series

Nice looking pile of "spares" - you can never have to many 'spare' parts

1968 Convertible
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old Apr 19th, 12, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: "Basics of Basics" Pump/motor disassembly and rebuild.

Thanks for the education, interesting.

Brian

1965 Buick Gran Sport Convertible
1948 Chevy pickup.
2003 Dodge Caravan
1959 Rambler American (Yeah I said RAMBLER, you want to make something of it punk?)
"Fan of most anything that moves human beings"
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