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Restoration Journal

December 2, 2001

Installed my new shiny fender bolts that were delivered last week. They look sweet.

I also re-cleaned up my Z-bar; some surface rust had developed while sitting in the basement the last 6 months. I then installed it in the car.

Last activity for the night was installing the driver's side exhaust manifold. That was fairly easy, although getting at all the nuts/bolts put a couple kinks in my back. I used thread sealant on all the studs/bolts, as at least some of them live in water passages.

December 3, 2001

The tach arrived today. I took it downstairs to see how it would fit/look in the dash. It should be perfect - the bezel mates up perfectly with the glass in the dash, and the numbers on the dial are not obscured by the circular trim piece in the dash glass. I was quite happy! Now I just need to mount it somehow...

I then moved onto the passenger side exhaust manifold. There was a 3/8" hole in the middle arm that needed to be plugged. My only guess is that somebody mounted an exhaust temperature gauge in there at some point. Here's an image of it (manifold mounted on previous owner's engine):

I put a bolt in the hole, and cut it off. Then I ground it level w/ the manifold, and put a couple coats of paint on it. I was pleased with the results.

I also painted the thermostat housing, which wasn't on the engine when it was painted. I was getting ready to bolt on the passenger side manifold when I realized I'll need 2 more studs. The stock manifolds use 2 studs per side and 4 bolts, but the oddball hi-po manifold requires 4 studs and 2 bolts. That will require a trip to the hardware store.

December 4, 2001

Tried to fabricate a tach mounting device. I bought some weather stripping and lined the inside of the tach delete piece with it. The idea was to turn that piece around and use it as a holding device for the tach. It didn't work all that well; the tach moved around too easily in it, so I'll need to come up with something more sturdy.

I then removed the sending unit from the gas tank, as I'll be taking the tank to a local shop for boiling it out/cleaning it up in hope that I won't have to buy a new one. The sending unit seems to be in ok shape, other than some rust on it. It was working in 1988, so hopefully it still is. Those are pricey also, if I have to get a new one. I figure I'll put it back into service; if it doesn't work, I'll deal with it then.

Last task for the night was mounting the passenger side exhaust manifold. I screwed in the 2 studs that I bought on the way home, and tried to get the manifold on them. Unfortunately, there's wasn't enough room; The new studs were about 3/8" too long, and the manifold encountered the inner fender before being able to slide over the studs.

I wasn't about to resort to unbolting the engine and raising it, so I removed the studs and hacked 1/4" off them. I screwed them back in the head, and I was then able to get the manifold on (although it was still a really snug fit). I scuffed the inner fender (slightly) while getting the manifold into place. It's not bad, but it still pisses me off, because it was avoidable. Why I didn't have a sheet draped over the inner fender while I was trying to get it in place is beyond me...

December 5, 2001

Picked up a little touch up paint on the way home. I tested it on the rear valence where we had scraped it getting the car off the trailer in September. Not a perfect match, but pretty damn close. Satisfied with that, I then used it on the passenger inner fender where I had scuffed it with the manifold. You can't hardly see it any more (not that it was noticable in the first place).

I then installed a throttle cable bracket extension that I bought on Ebay. It should allow me to use my stock 318 throttle cable. I had to modify it slightly, but I think it will work.

Last couple small activities for the night were bolting on the thermostat housing and adding the special sure-grip additive to the differential.

Took a couple pix of the engine bay, since some goodies have been added over the last few weeks:

December 6, 2001

Tried to fill up my manual transmission tonight. Given that it's in the car, the fill hole is located so that it's impossible to pour anything into it. I tried siphoning as well as gravity (using a length of tube and a funnel), but nothing worked. I'll have to get some kind of a pump.

The main activity for the night was fabricating a mounting device for my new tach. I think I came up with a good idea. Since other people may want to do the same thing, the specifics of what I did will appear on another page.

December 8-10, 2001

Only 2 main activities this weekend - trying to replace the U joint in the drive shaft, and cleaning up the wiper motor.

I need to replace the rear U joint because my new pinion has the 7260 yoke, where the original had a 7290. So, I bought a conversion U joint. As of this writing, I still don't have the old one out. I don't know if it's rust or paint, but the damn thing just won't budge. I've used heat, a BFH, and a vise, and it still won't move.

But mostly I've been working on the wiper motor. It was a rusty, grimy mess when I started, but it's looking pretty good now. I had to cut a couple wires to get it all apart for detailing, but I've got a soldering gun, so putting it back together shouldn't be a big deal. Trying to get all the little recesses in the aluminum piece that bolts to the firewall was very time consuming.

December 11, 2001

Ordered my exhaust system. Went with the full 2.5" TTI system. A little pricey, but second to none, and I got a good deal - they knocked $35 off list price, which isn't that much, but shipping is free, which would've been close to $100.

Back in the basement, I degreased the wiring harness for the wiper motor. Messy and tedious, but it looks good again. With everything cleaned up, I started putting things back together, which means re-soldering wires. I couldn't get the ground wire soldered to the bottom of the housing. I'm not sure why; maybe it's aluminum or something. I'll be going to the hardware store to get some flux and different types of solders.

I then wire-wheeled the paint off of the U joint to see if that would allow me to remove it from the driveshaft. Still no luck...

December 12, 2001

Finished the wiper motor tonight. I picked up some flux on the way home, and that aided my soldering efforts greatly! I had cut the wire that goes to the bottom of the motor housing, as well as the wires to the top of the aluminum housing.

I soldered those back up, and re-assembled the unit. I then decided to paint the motor housing; I had played with the idea of leaving it unpainted. I bought both gold and brass paint. The brass looked closer to the original cadnium color (at least I think it does; I've never seen fresh cadnium plating up close), so that's what I used. It looks pretty good, especially considered the rusty, grimy mess I started with.

I then bench tested the unit to make sure I put it back together properly. To my amazement, it still works!

December 14, 2001

Didn't get much accomplished tonight. I tried to fill the tranny with a suction gun that I picked up. That failed miserably - the gun doesn't maintain a vacuum for the entire travel of the handle, so it pulls very little fluid in. Crap!

Hooked the video camera up to my computer for the first time to see how still images would look. They're ok; lousy resolution, but it does work. Took these shots of the wiper motor:

December 15, 2001

Spent an evening in the garage for a change. I installed all of the body plugs and some of the body bumpers (I got the doors & trunk lid done). There are still a bunch of small body bumpers in the kit, and I'm not sure what they're for...

December 16, 2001

Ran the other bench test on the wiper motor, which tests the parking function. Worked like a charm! It's nice to know I can take something electrical apart, clean it up, put it back together and see it still work.

Rest of the evening was spent on a couple small refurbishing activities: degreasing/derusting/painting the coil mounting bracket and battery tray support bracket. The dremel tool died a couple days ago, so I'm now derusting hard-to-get-to spots with my fingers and sand paper. Very time consuming.

December 18, 2001

Had the original U-joint pressed out of the drive shaft over lunch. In the evening, I installed the new one, and then installed the drive shaft in the car.

December 19, 2001

My exhaust system showed up! It's very purty. I wanted to bolt it on the car right away, but I figured the gas tank should be in first. Email list members agreed. Here's a pic of the exhaust system and the gas tank after having a local shop refurbish it:

Started cleaning up the heater assembly. After taking some videotape of how it all goes together, I removed the heater controls from the cables that had it tethered to the heater box.

I then cleaned up the heater controls. There was some rust on the top side that I wanted to remove, but I couldn't take everything completely apart to do it. There are plastic parts involved, and I didn't want to break them. So I took as much apart as I could, degreased everything, and shined it up w/ steel wool. Also sprayed down moving mechanisms with WD-40; the levers move much more easily now.

December 21, 2001

Took the heater assembly completely apart. Derusted all metal parts. Painted the heater motor w/ a coat of POR15 and a top coat of black.

December 22, 2001

Continued cleaning up heater box. Took a sponge and soapy water and wiped out the inside and outside of the box; 33 years of dust and mouse activity. It smells much better now!

I also bench-tested the heater motor. It still works, although it's a little noisy.

Also checked the heater core for leaks; well, as much as I could. I filled it with water and looked for dripping water. Not the same as a pressure test, but better than nothing.

Started putting the assembly back together before the end of the night...

December 26, 2001

Finished re-assembling the heater assembly. One of the studs that surround the heater motor that goes through the firewall had broken off when we removed it, so I cobbled together a solution using a coupling nut. Worked pretty well, and much easier than trying to drill out the busted stud.

Moved onto the driver's side vent assembly. Really nothing to take apart, so I just cleaned it up w/ soap and water, and painted the vent door. There was some minor rust around the edges that I removed w/ the wire wheel.

Moved onto the pedal assembly. Took video tape so I know how to put it back together, and then started disassembling it for painting; it has some light surface rust I might as well take care of now...

December 27, 2001

Completed dismantling of pedal assembly; I took it completely apart. I degreased parts that had 33 year old axle grease on them, and removed the fairly small amount of rust on some of the parts. I didn't do a really good job, as these parts will never be seen anyway. Just gave them a once-over with the wire wheel and sandpaper in some cases.

Painted one side of all the pieces before bed. Didn't use POR, as these pieces won't be exposed to the elements. Nevertheless, it should look very nice when it's all put back together.

December 28, 2001

Finished painting the various pieces of the pedal assembly, and then put it all back together. Put fresh axle grease on the moving parts. Replacing the clutch spring was a bit of work (that spring is really stiff), but eventually I succeeded.

December 30, 2001

Cleaned up the parking brake assembly. The paint was ok, so I didn't bother repainting anything; just degreased it all, and removed a little surface rust with the wire wheel.

Time to bolt things back into the car! The video I took when I removed this stuff was invaluable, as I watched it before doing anything. I was pretty fired up - this is the first stuff that's going back into the interior. There weren't any nasty surprises or difficulties. Just had to replace things in the correct order: first the switch that mounts above the kick panel, then the insulation, then the vent assembly, followed by the parking brake and then the pedals.

Last thing I did was adjust the clutch pedal free play, with the help of my wife. It's pretty damn cool to have a working clutch system again!