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Restoration Journal

January 1, 2002

Decided to check the clutch play another way - at the clutch disc. So, I removed the inspection cover, and had Dawn depress the clutch again. It was informative to see how pedal travel relates to pressure plate travel.

I tried many different adjustments, from no play to about 1", and to my surprise, they didn't really make any difference in the amount of space between the pressure plate and the disc. I'm estimating here, but I would say that with the clutch out, there's about 2/32 -> 3/32" of space. Without having a huge amount of play at the clutch fork, I don't think I can really change it. So I left it as I first had it; about 1/4" of play at the fork.

I then got all 4 wheels off the ground, as the next week or two will have me under the car quite a bit. Last thing I did for the night was install the rear brake hose, axle vent and rear brake lines. I'm gonna install the gas tank soon, so I want to get everything around the axle in place, while I still have a lot of free space.

January 2, 2002

Decided as long as I was installing the rear brake lines that I might as well install the wheel cylinders too. I re-used the pushrods from the old wheel cylinders, as the new ones didn't include them. After a little wire wheel action, they were ready to go. Removed the rear wheels and bolted in the wheel cylinders, using new foam gaskets.

Ready to install the gas tank now, but before I do I wanted to bench test the fuel level sending unit. Got out my multimeter that I bought months ago for the first time. I can see the resistance change as I move the float arm through its range of motion, but the needle is very shaky. I don't know if that is normal, or indicates problems with the sending unit, but I at least know it's not completely dead. I'll install it and hope for the best.

January 3, 2002

Needed to replace the bolts that were holding the wheel cylinders in place, as they were too long (the original bolts were a different size, so I couldn't re-use them). As I'm doing this, I notice that the hole in the backing plate for the emergency cable is toward the rear of the car, instead of the front. Holy crap! I realize I've got the backing plates switched left for right!

So, I had the unexpected joy of removing the axles, so I could switch the backing plates. It all went smoothly, but I still wasn't too happy about it. I then secured the wheel cylinders and got the brake line fittings snugged down.

Onto the gas tank. I'm getting ready to put the sending unit in the tank, when I noticed a wet/sticky spot on the brass float. Turns out there was a pin hole in it. I used a little electrical solder to seal it up. Then I installed the sending unit, as well as the grommet for the filler tube.

Actually installing the tank wasn't too difficult, although tightening the nut on the J-bolts is a pain. AFter I got it in place I noticed it's askew (slightly rotated about the spare tire well), so I'll probably drop it again and get it all lined up, even though it's perfectly functional where it is.

January 4, 2002

The new bumpers arrived! They look fabulous. Always a treat to open nice shiny car parts when I get home from work.

Realized I'll have to drop the tank to install the filler tube. The FSM says you can install the tube with the tank in the body, but people on the list, and my own experience when removing it, tells me otherwise.

So, down to the basement to clean up the filler tube and vent line. The tube is aluminum - looks real nice and shiny after some wire wheeling and sanding! The vent tube was in ok shape; the lower region, near the trunk floor, was pretty rusty, but it cleaned up ok. I had to solder a couple small holes near the very end. Slapped a new gasket on the filler tube, and headed out to the garage.

It was getting late, so all I accomplished was removing the tank.

January 6, 2002

Anniversary Day! One year into the project! Wow!!

The entire night was spent trying to install the gas tank and filler tube in the car. I did this by myself. Let me tell you, there was a lot of cursing. It was truly a pain in the ass, but after a while I did get it done. The key seems to be to get the filler tube somewhat in place, and then sliding the tank onto the tube from below. It's a bitch because you can only rotate/tilt the tank so much due to it being conformed to wrap around the spare tire well. I had to put a little lithium grease on the grommet to get the tube to even enter the tank, and the vent tube had to be removed.

But eventually I did get the tank on the tube, so then I bolted the tank in. Next step was screwing the tube to the quarter panel. That wouldn't be difficult, but I had to polish up the flip-top cap, as the same screws hold the cap to the body also hold the tube to the quarter. Last thing was to get the vent tube back in place, which wasn't doo difficult.

Thank god that's over...

January 7, 2002

Turns out I wasn't quite done with gas tank related festivities. This night wasn't difficult, but it was tedious. Securing the filler tube and cap to the quarter panel wasn't as easy as planned. The replacement quarter panel had the holes drilled (slightly) in the wrong place. So, it took quite a bit of fidgeting and screwing/unscrewing before I got everything in place. The holes in the quarter panel got enlarged as a result. Even though it will never be seen, marring up the pain in that area was a little heart-breaking...

I also still needed to secure the trunk floor gasket (large piece of rubber that the filler tube passes through). The piece of sheet metal that it gets screwed to had been replaced during the body work, so there were no holes for the screws. I wasn't too thrilled to be drilling holes in the trunk floor with my dremel tool, but it's something I'll need to get over. Anyway, by the end of the night the gasket and gas cap were in place, and now I can move on to the next task.

January 8, 2002

Decided to install the rear brakes next. I had bought a rebuild kit months ago, so I dug it out to find out what was included. I found out some of the larger pieces of hardware needed to be re-used, so I spent the night wire-wheeling/sanding those parts. I considered painting them, but decided not to. I just gave them a rub down w/ WD-40, which prevent rust for at least a little while. I got the right side parts cleaned up and ready to install.

January 9, 2002

Pretty frustrating; thought it would be a piece of cake to install one side of the rear drums. By the end of the night, I hadn't accomplished anything...

Read the FSM to see how to assemble the brakes. Got all the parts gathered, and started putting the pieces together. Suddenly realized I was missing the parking brake strut (not the lever, but the strut). Where the hell could it have gone? I had all the brake parts nicely boxed up, but it just wasn't there. I checked the box of parts for the other side, and that one was missing also. I have no idea where they could've gone. I can only guess that we threw them away in 1986, when we disabled the parking brake because the cable was frozen. After wasting just about the whole evening looking for them I call Year One and ordered a pair.

January 11, 2002

Got the tank-to-pump fuel line in the car. I bought a pre-bent line, and it fit very well. The only place where it wasn't perfect was where it runs along the rocker panel, but that may be caused by the new quarter panel for all I know.

It took quite a while to get it all in place, so I didn't have time to connect it on either end...

January 12, 2002

Hooked up the fuel line on both ends. I wasn't happy with where the line was routed near the tank (it was resting on top of the right shock). So, I drilled a hole near the shock mount, and secured the line so it wasn't touching anything.

I then cut a couple lengths of rubber hose for each end, and clamped them in place. Rock and roll! Once I install the pump to carb fuel line, the fuel deliver system will be done!

Then I painted the master cylinder and tie rod ends. No particular reason; just needed to be done and they'll be getting installed before long. Used POR15, and then a coat of cast grey on the MC.

Still had a little time left, so I decided to do something fun - install the rear bumper. I had all the parts on hand; it was just a matter of bolting them together. As a suggestion from a list member, I used some 3M double sided tape as a gasket between the rear valence and the bumper brackets. I tape some towels to either end of the bumper to protect the paint job, and then my wife helped me bolt it on. She was pretty fired up - she likes helping me when it results in nice new shiny parts being added to the car!

January 13, 2002

Didn't spend much time on the car today; just cleaned up the right rear brake parts that I need to re-use. Sand paper, wire wheel, Simple Green and WD-40. Not very glamorous!

January 14, 2002

Well, another unproductive night; not that I didn't invest my time. My parking brake struts showed up from Year One, so I decided to try installing the rear brakes again. I became quickly frustrated when the parking brake strut spring didn't fit over the strut as shown in the FSM. So, I proceed to waste much time wrestling with the spring and 2 wrenches. I was trying to "unwrap" it slightly, so it would fit over the strut.

Well, after about an hour of that I came to realize I was using one of the retainer springs! Duh. So it turns out I was missing another part. I'm now convinced my uncle tossed the struts and springs in '86 when the car was last driven...

So I called YO and ordered a couple springs. End result was no progress made, but a little more wise.

January 15, 2002

Got the front-to-rear brake line installed. Went quite smoothly. I may want to secure it in one more spot, but it's done for the most part. Connected the hose at the rear.

Also routed and secured the rear parking brake cables, as long as I was under the car back there.

I then wanted to install the proportioning valve, to complete the rear brake lines, when I discovered that the one I bought on Ebay exptects 7/16" fittings, while my lines have 3/8" fittings. I'll have to decide to buy a new prop valve, or try to find adapters for the fittings...

January 16, 2002

Installed the rest of the steering linkage (tie rods and ends). Everything went well, although I couldn't grease them up; my grease gun attachment wasn't flexible enough. I'll have to get a hose attachment for it. No more independent steering!

Quick small task was next - installing the clutch pushrod boot. I ordered a new one from YO; the original was torn. So, I tore this one installing it. Damn it! Maybe I'll replace it; maybe I won't...

Still had a little time left, so I started on the exhaust system. First pipe out of the box was the driver's side. After I managed to snake it up between the starter/steering linkage/torsion bar, I discovered that it hits the inner arm of the Z-bar. I'll have to call TTI to see what's up with that.

January 17, 2002

My new parking cable grommet arrived, so I decided to deal with routing the cable; it was already connected to the handle. After getting the grommet on the cable (which was a bit of a battle), I then routed the cable under the body and got it bolted to the 2 rear cables. Then I secured the grommet in the firewall by folding over the metal tabs on the grommet; would've been easier without the firewall insulation in place, but I managed.

Bought a hose attachment for my grease gun on the way home, so I was able to lube the tie rod ends.

Then I turned my attention back to the exhaust. I called TTI, and they suggested trying to nudge the inner Z-bar stud up to hopefully provide clearance for the pipe. I was able to slide it up a bit after loosening the bolts, but not enough. Either the pipe is malformed or I need to pound a dent in the pipe. I'll give TTI another call.

Here's a shot of how close the pipe comes to the torsion bar and steering linkage:

January 20, 2002

Ran to NAPA and got the brake line fitting adapters for my proportioning valve. The additional width of the adapter will necessitate a little bending of the front-rear line, but it shouldn't be bad. Didn't actually install it because I need to devise a way to secure the prop valve to the frame.

Turned to the rear brakes again. My parking brake strut springs were delivered, so I tried to install everything. Quickly ran into a problem; the parking brake strut is too wide, and will hit the axle flange studs. I'm pretty sure the part from YO is incorrect. I'll either have to grind it down, or find the correct parts.

January 21, 2002

Installed the passenger side head pipe. When I first crawled under the car, I thought I was gonna have to buy a remote oil filter outfit; I didn't see how that pipe was gonna fit between the t-bar, oil filter and bell housing.

Well, after inspecting the situation, I decided it would be possible. I did have to loosen the oil filter adapter, and swing it further toward the frame rail to make room.

Even with it swung out of the way, trying to wiggle that pipe through the maze of t-bar, bell housing and oil filter was maddening. Removing the t-bar would've made things much easier, but I really didn't want to do that. There was much yelling/cursing/swearing. I wasn't as pissed as I was when installing the sway bar bushings, but I was close!

After laying on my back under the car for what seemed like an eternity, I finally did get it in place. The oil filter must now be inserted/removed from above; there's no place for it to drop below.

I must say that the pipe fits great, even if it was a complete PITA getting it in there...

January 22, 2002

Got the proportioning valve plumbed in. I secured it with a couple cable ties, by running the tie through a couple holes in the frame rail that are near the valve.

I'm not very happy with the results, although I'm sure it's functional. The fitting adapter on one side of the valve has pushed the rear brake line backwards; looks messy. And the cable ties don't look professional. I think I'm going to cut an inch or so off of the distribution block->valve line so everything fits properly. I imagine I'll end up securing the valve with with a screw also; I just need to buy a drill bit for putting a hole in the frame rail.

I then filled the tranny with oil; a few days ago I picked up a little doo-hicky for pumping fluid out of a bottle for situation like this. It worked well, although it didn't attach to the quart sized oil container; I had to pour all the oil into an old gallon size container and pump it from there.

January 23, 2002

Realized the other night that once I get the exhaust installed, getting the shifter and linkage installed would be difficult, as the driver's side pipe will run very near the tranny. So, I started refurbishing the shifter and linkage tonight. Here are some shots of it before I started working on it:

I have no schematics for the Hurst shifter, so I wasn't planning on taking it completely apart. I had visions in my head of springs flying out and ending up with a pile of parts I couldn't put back together. Well, one thing led to another and I did end up taking it apart! Here's a time sequence:

I videotaped it so I know how it goes back together, but it's really pretty straight forward. It really needs to be cleaned up too - 33 year old grease and grime inside (although it still moved pretty freely). I got about half the parts cleaned up before bed (lots of Simple Green, wire wheel and WD-40).

January 24, 2002

My replacement pipe from TTI showed up. I didn't try to install it, but I did compare it to the original. There's a definite difference, and it looks like the new one won't hit the z-bar. Makes me happy!

The entire evening was spent in the basement again. I finished cleaning up all the shifter parts (degrease, derust, lubricate). I used white lithium grease for lubrication. Got it reassembled and ready to bolt on.

January 26, 2002

Cleaned up the shifting linkage rods; those were the only parts associated with the shifter I hadn't cleaned up yet. Took a little longer than expected, as they were quite rusty and the swivels were rusted in place on both the forward rods.

Once that was done, I bolted the shifter in the car. Then I bolted the shifting levers to the tranny, and then installed the linkage rods. Adjust them was pretty straight forward - get all levers in neutral positions and get the shifter in neutral, and then set the swivels so that you can insert the rods at each end. It's fun to have the shifter back in the car!

January 27, 2002

Finished filling the tranny. Turns out I was only about 1/4 quart low, but I filled it 'til it ran out the hole.

Next I installed the speedometer cable. Tightening it at the transmission is a bit of a pain (very little room for the wrench), but I got it in and routed through the firewall.

Next I took care of my proportioning valve problem. I took the distribution block->prop valve section of line downstairs and cut about 2" off of it. Then I needed to flare it. My cheapo flaring tool didn't work very well, but I managed to get a small flare on the line. Hopefully it won't leak.

Back under the car I drilled a hole in the frame rail and tapped it, to secure the prop valve. Once that was done, I got the lines in place and put the bolt in place. Everything fits well - I'll be quite pleased with it, assuming it doesn't leak.

Last activity was putting in the driver's side head pipe. As I had hoped, the replacement pipe does not hit the z-bar. It comes extremely close (about 1/8") from the clutch fork, but it does fit!

January 28, 2002

Didn't have much time for the car, so I chose (I thought) a quick activity: installing the roll pins in the strut rods. The passenger side one went in easily enough, but I beat on the driver's side one for about 30 minutes before giving up. The angle of the hole makes it difficult to get anything on the pin to drive it through. It's about 3/4 of the way through as of now.

Next, I tried to tap one of the holes in the frame rail for the front bumper brackets. I broke one bolt on each side, and need to tap what remains after drilling them out. I didn't get very far with the tap; I'm gonna need to widen the hole a bit before it will work.

So, one of those frustrating nights where nothing really gets done...

January 30, 2002

Decided to continue installing the exhaust system. The TTI muffler hangers utilize the rear seat belt bolts, so the first step was cleaning up the rear seat belts. I just did the right rear ones; Mr Clean and a scrub brush for the fabric, wire wheel/WD-40/steel wool for the metal parts. The metal did have some rust/pitting, so they don't look great, but I don't want to chase down new seat belts.

Took them out and bolted them in the car. Next step was securing the hanger to the bolt under the car. Working from the manifolds back, the next step was to install the H pipe.

This is where I had another unpleasant surprise. The H pipe does not mate with the head pipes at the tranny cross member. The H pipe is a good 3" too wide. So, I'll need to contact TTI again...