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Restoration Journal

July 1, 2002

Cleaned up and installed the stainless beltline trim on the right door. Also installed the various rubber and plastic pieces on that door (a couple plugs, and a rectangular flap thingy), after watching the video I took of the door disassembly.

July 2, 2002

Cleaned up and installed the stainless beltline trim on the left door. Installed the various rubber/plastic pieces around the perimeter of the door also, but I need to find a couple body plugs. Two of the three must've been ruined when I removed them, because I don't have them.

Spent the rest of the night sewing a reinforcing patch on the car cover for the antenna hole.

July 3, 2002

Got the car aligned. I'm glad that's done. Discovered during the alignment that the idler arm is loose. Looks like I'll be installing that replacement one that came with the front end kit after all.

Also discovered another oil leak. I don't know if it's new from the last time I had the valve cover off, or if it was always there, but it looks like it's coming from the front of the right valve cover. Crap! I thought all the fluid leaks were fixed...

In the evening, I took a look at the idler arm situation. I found out that the replacement idler arm that came with my front end rebuild kit is incorrect. But it turns out I didn't need it anyway; by simply torquing down the idler bolt a little more, the mounting ears were pulled together a bit, removing the vertical play in the arm. Problem solved without having to remove the idler arm.

Next, I replaced the stock clutch fork washer with a solid steel piece I had bought on ebay. Also installed the clutch fork spring. Then I played around with the clutch free play again to make the clutch easier to operate. Didn't have any success; I think it's just the combination of the late-style diaphram clutch in consunction with the original clutch pedal spring. The diaphram style clutch just doesn't require as much pressure as the original Borg & Beck.

July 5, 2002

Removed the right valve cover in an attempt to fix the leak. This time when the cover was removed, the gasket was trashed. I'll have to pick up a new one tomorrow.

So, I spent the rest of the evening installing the right interior door handle and panel. In other words, completing the process of getting the door "finished". Everything went pretty well; I ended up painting the arm rest base, as the original plating had rubbed off in most spots. I cleaned up all bright metal in the usual fashion, and put a coat of armor all on the door panel and arm rest. I had saved the original water barrier, so I used that as a template for cutting a new one out of a plastic drop cloth.

The only PITA was getting the locking clip on the end of the rod that runs from the handle to the latch. But for the most part everything went smoothly, and the door looks great! This is a lame picture; I'll have to take one in some sunlight:

July 6, 2002

Bill Glasser, from the email list, dropped by. He lives near Portland, but is visiting relatives near Madison. Bear came over to and we had a real nice visit.

I installed the new valve cover gasket. I used some new kind of gasket sealant/dressing. Time will tell if the leak is fixed or not; I'll just have to drive it a couple times and crawl under the car to look for oil.

Next, I was going to install the driver's door panel and handle like I did the previous night on the right side, when I realized I need to fix the hole in the door first. Once I install the door panel, I won't be able to remove the mirror any more, and painting the hole will be easier with the mirror off.

I removed the mirror, and by the end of the night had 2 coats of primer and 1 coat of green on.

July 7, 2002

Continued working on painting the hole. I'm not gonna get into the details, but things got a little messy. Since I've never worked with base coat/clear coat and don't really know what the sanding process is, I ended up with a bit of a mess. Let's just say it looked bad!

But then I discovered the value of rubbing compound. I was able to undo most of my mistakes, and by the end of the night things were looking pretty good. I still need to put the clear coat on, but I'm now convinced the result will be satisfactory.

July 8, 2002

Finished painting the door. First step was sanding the coat of green from the previous night, and then hitting it again with rubbing compound. Then the clear coat went on. The clear coat was followed by plastic polish, plastic cleaner and finally some wax. The plastic polish was for removing the fine scratches that the rubbing compound put in the finish; that worked like a charm.

All in all, it looks ok. You can definitely see it, and I'm sure Scott could have done a better job, but given that I was actually filling a hole (and not just fixing a chip or scratch), I think it turned out ok.

Finished up the evening by installing the mirror, and then the door panel. The driver's door is completely done now.

July 9, 2002

Found out on a moparts.com web board that if I'm using a diaphragm style pressure plate, that I shouldn't be using the return-assist spring. Doh! That makes perfect sense, given how the pedal acts; I just wish I'd know about this before I put the pedal assembly back in the car.

So, the entire night was spent trying to remove that spring. It's an *extremely* stiff spring. One person suggested using the pedal to stretch it to its longest point, inserting washers between the coils, and then returning the pedal to the point where the spring would be stretched the least. Sounded like a good idea in principle, but that didn't give me enough play to actually remove the spring. I spent the entire night with my head under the dash trying to get it out to no avail.

July 10, 2002

Spent about 45 minutes trying to remove the clutch pedal spring. I even slightly dismantled the pedal assembly, and I still couldn't get it out.

So, I said "screw this", and cut it out! Damn, that felt good! Five minutes with the dremel tool, and no more spring! I just hope I never need it again (not that it would be possible to re-install it anyway...).

I bolted everything back together, and re-installed the push rod (between the pedal and torque shaft). I also put a much weaker return spring in there, just to keep the pedal up when no pressure is applied. I found a generic one at a hardware store.

The clutch action is *much* better! The car will be much more fun to drive now.

July 16, 2002

Was about to remove the right valve cover again (saw a little oil on the block after driving the car on the 10th), but stopped. The amount of oil was minimal, and I figured I should drive it more than a couple times before admitting failure. Also, the valve cover bolts were fairly loose, so I snugged them down some more. Time will tell...

So, I got under the car and wiped everything down so I'll know if it's still leaking. While I was under there I removed the bolts that were plugging the holes in the manifold from the missing heat riser. The PO had put them there, and I assumed they were snugged down/sealed, but they weren't. As long as I had them out, I cut them down to size (they were too long and invading the exhaust passage). Then I put some gasket sealant on the threads and put them back in place. I'm hoping this was the source of the exhaust leak (at least I *think* I heard an exhaust leak).

July 17, 2002

It's time to start paying attention to the interior. The interior is bare metal behind the driver's seat. I decided to start on the left hand side.

First thing to do is watch the video I shot when taking everything apart to see what order things need to go back in. And also to see how the water barrier for the rear "door" panels need to be cut. I also got out the various panels and figured out how they all fit together.

I cut the plastic for both quarter regulators, and used weatherstrip glue to put it in place. Originally some kind of caulk was used, but this should work fine.

The rest of the night was spent cleaning up panels. A couple of them have rust on them that I'll need to deal with, and all panels have enough scuffs/scrapes that I'll need to paint them. I put a coat of armor all on the regulator panel, and shined up all the bright trim. Once I get the panels derusted/painted, I'll be ready to start screwing pieces back into the car.

July 18, 2002

Got the left/rear interior panels cleaned up and ready to install. This entailed derusting a couple areas (near where the rear seat back attaches), some light sanding on all surfaces (to give the primer/paint something to hold onto), scrubbing the panels down, and then primer/paint.

I did all this outside, and there was a breeze, so the panels didn't turn out body-shop perfect, due to crap in the air landing on the panels while they were wet. But they look pretty good.

July 19, 2002

Began installing the interior panels. Had visions of having them all in by the end of the night; what was I thinking?

It started off fairly smoothly; in fact, I had all 4 left/rear panels in place. However I did put a couple nice scratches in one of them, as sliding them together take a little force. One slip and you've got scratches. Oh well...

Then I realized that a couple things needed to happen before the final piece (just below the quarter window) gets screwed in place: the windlace needs to be installed (it goes under that panel), and the molding that coveres the edge of the headliner also needs to go in. That put an end to that night's progress.

July 20, 2002

Sanded and painted the headliner molding.

Before installing the headliner molding, I thought I should make sure it went under the A-pillar trim, as I thought it did. Guess what? I was wrong. The A-pillar trim goes under the headliner molding, so that needed to be installed first. It was cracked, so I glued it and cleaned it up quickly, then installed it.

Next I tried to install the headliner molding. From looking at things, it appears as though it needs to be dovetailed with the stainless piece that the weatherstripping fits in. Well, I tried for probably 30 or 45 minutes to get it installed. After much cursing and sweating, I stopped, as I just couldn't see how it could be done.

I posted a question to the email list to ask people either how to get it installed, or if it even fits the way I think it does.

July 22, 2002

Finished installing all left quarter interior pieces:
  1. installed the headliner molding piece (later discovered it could've been installed after the courtesy light panel, and should be, as it got scratched a bit while installing that panel)
  2. installed the panel that holds the courtesy light (some rapping with my hand and soft hammer helps to get it in place)
  3. installed the courtesy light
  4. installed the cat whisker piece; ended up using the original one, as it was in excellent shape and the reproduction piece is a little too long and I didn't feel like cutting it
  5. installed the regulator panel (the vinyl piece)
  6. installed the window crank
Here's the finished product (although I'll need to do a little touch up someday; I put some scratches in a couple pieces):

July 23, 2002

Cleaned up and installed the radiator-to-hood seal. After scrubbing and WD40/steel wool, it looks like new. A couple of the clips were shot; I'll have to get new ones.

Rest of the night was spent getting the cargo area floor refurbished. I ripped off the old carpeting, scraped off some (not all) of the old glue, sanded some spots where mice had camped out. Then I scrubbed it down and put some POR15 where the metal was bare.

July 24, 2002

Cleaned up the stainless trim that goes on the leading edge of the cargo area floor. Then I glued the carpeting and the cardboard-like paper that goes under it to the floor. I used weights (45, 35, 25 lb plates) for pressure as the glue dried.

The replacement carpeting is very nice; almost an exact match for the old, although it is slightly smaller. This made wrapping the carpeting around the sides of the floor somewhat difficult; there wasn't much carpet to fold over the edge.

I used weatherstrip glue for all this, and let it set up overnight. In the morning I screwed the floor into the car. It looks very good. The car is starting to have an interior!