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Restoration Journal

March 2, 2001

Continues removing everything under the hood to get the engine read for removal.  Removed the washer fluid hoses that run from the jug to the cowl.  Unboloted a couple part between the carb and the distributor that I'm not sure what to call!  I believe one of them is the coil.  The other part seemed to have something to do with the vacuum system, but I'm not sure exactly what.

March 3, 2001

I thought I had the wiring harness disconnected from everything.  I was wrong - there was still the 2 connections to the starter.  This turned out to be the most difficult part to remove.  Getting a socket on the connectors while reaching through various suspension parts while lying on the garage floor was a pain.  But I did get them off, and voila!  I had the whole wiring harness in my hands.

I then removed the carburetor from the intake manifold.  I think everything that needs to be removed from the top of the engine for it to be pulled is off.  The distributor is still on there, but that's probably not an issue.

March 4, 2001

Removed the right splash guard (that sits inside the fender).  No particular reason - I just got tired of looking at it.

I then moved back to the body to finish a couple tasks that I should've done a while ago - removed all the retaining clips for the windshield (the clips that the molding snaps onto).  I think they can be cleaned up and reused.  I then removed all trim and weather stripping from around the passenger side windows.  Except for the dash, there are now no interior parts or trim left on the car.

Just major subsystems to remove now!

March 5, 2001

Worked on my shopping list.  Year One is running a special until the 14th, so this is a good chance to get 10% off anything I need from them.  I ran my list past the email list members and got some good advice on what should be bought from Year One and what shouldn't (they are expensive in general).

Here are a few shots of what my basement looks like, just to break up the text.  I'm not quite sure when I took these pictures; click on image for full size:

March 7, 2001

Removed the molding clips from the rear window.  Also tried to remove the gas tank and trailer hitch, but all the nuts/bolts are just too rusted.  And I can't use a torch or cutoff wheel, because everything is too close to the gast tank...

So I removed the rear wiring harness instead.  The only thing that was still connected was the gas tank sending unit.  I popped that connector off, threaded the harness through the back of the car, and I had it all in my hands.  It's in good shap, so there's no reason to replace it.

March 8, 2001

Got the trailer hitch off!  And got the gas tank out!  I bought a high quality bolt cutter (I'd been using a $5 job).  That let me cut the bolts holding the trailer hitch to the trunk floor.  The bolts holding the gas tank straps couldn't be got at, so I used the bolt cutter to cut through the straps themselves.  The filler neck didn't want to come out of the tank, so 45 minutes of wrestling ensued, but I finally did get the neck and tank off the car.

March 10, 2001

Scott, a highly recommended body guy came over to check out the car.  He looked it over to give me an idea for what would need to be done and how much it might cost.

Got some good news and some bad news.  The good news is that he's willing to do the job, which made me very happy.  I get the impression my car needs a lot more metal work than he's used to, so I didn't know if he'd be interested.

The bad news is that neither of the quarters or fenders can be saved.  I knew the quarters were in bad shape, but the fenders didn't have any holes, so I thought would be salvageable.  But after blasting the rust off the interior side of them, he said there wouldn't be enough metal left.  So now I need to find 2 fenders!

He's booked until early June, so I've got 2 months to get the car ready for blasting.

Bear and I then removed the dash!  It wasn't as bad as I thought - once we dropped the steering column and disconnected the wiring, it lifted out in one piece.  Don't get me wrong, there were a few cuss words while trying to get behind the dash to disconnect wires, but we had it out in about 90 minutes.

March 12, 2001

Placed a large order with Year One.  I ended up ordering the interior stuff (carpeting, upholstery) from them instead of Legendary.  They resell the Legendary stuff, and after my 20% discount, they were cheaper.  I think I ordered 30 items in all.  The total was a big crooked number, but then this is an expensive hobby.

March 13, 2001

Removed a few busted bolts from the engine compartment.  A little heat and sure grips did the trick.

I then removed the fuel tank filler neck gasket.  This was badly rusted (the screw heads were almost indistinguishable).  I cut new slots using my handy-dandy Dremel tool.  Then with the help of the impact wrench, I was able to remove the screws.

I then removed the fuel line.  Not too difficult (other than rust and shit falling in my eyes while working under the car).  Before retiring for the night, I began draining the brake lines by putting a bleeder hose in a milk jug.  I'll let gravity do most of the work.

March 14, 2001

The rear brake chamber of the master cylinder is now empty.  Moving on to the front brakes, I noticed that the right front bleeder screw has previously been snapped off.  So I try to loosen the line from the bracket where it meets the brake hose, but that is rusted tight.  As the hoses will be replaced, I just cut the hose in half to let the fluid drain.

Next task is to remove the master cylinder.  The brake lines unscrew easily, but disconnecting the piston from the brake pedal would be much easier if the steering column were out, so I start working on that.  After lots of staring at parts and reading the service manual, I'm not able to figure out what to do.  It's obvious the accelerator would be in the way when pulling the column, so I remove that.

Since I can't remove the column, I put up with the limited space while unbolting the brake piston from the pedal.  It's a bit of a pain, but I get it removed.  After removing the 4 nuts holding the master cylinder to the firewall, I've got it in my hands.

To round out the night, I try to remove the left hand bumper bracket bolt that has broken off in the frame.  Instead of drilling it out and trying the easy out, I use the dremel tool to cut a slot for a standard screw driver.  I then heat it up and bang on it with my impact wrench.  It doesn't budge.  Try again some other night.

March 15, 2001

Applied heat to the piece of rust where the brake line meets the hose behind the right front wheel.  That heat allowed me to remove the brake line from the bracket, but the hose still won't budge.  Sprayed more Liquid Wrench on it.

Decided to remove the shifter.  I need to get everything disconnected from the engine and tranny so they can be removed in a week or so.  First thing was to drain the tranny.  The service manual indicated there were 3 bolts holding the shifter to the mounting bracket, but after some experimentation, I learned there were only 2.  I'm a little disappointed with the accuracy of the service manual.

The exhaust pipe is still on the car, so space was limited, but I managed to unbolt the linkage rods from the tranny, and then removed the 2 bolts holding the shifter.  Voila - rusted shifter with linkage rods in my hands.

Gave the left busted bumper bolt another heat treatment and soaking before retiring.  Damn thing still won't budge.  I'm starting to think I'll need to grind it out.

March 17, 2001

Started working on getting the exhaust system removed.  Everything is extremely rusted - pipes are rusted together.  I just worked on getting the clamps off, busting some bolts, splitting others.  Didn't actually remove anything from the car.

March 18, 2001

Bear came over, so we did some 2 person jobs.  First was to remove the steering column.  We pried the cap off the coupler, and the column then pulled right out.  That took less than 5 minutes.

We then moved on to the drive train.  We removed the drive shaft.  Just had to unbolt it from the differential and slide it out of the tranny.  Quite easy.

We then decided to remove the tranny!  This took a little while, given that 1 of the bolts holding the tranny to the bell housing was very hard to get to.  And given the wait of the unit, trying to remove it while laying on our backs under the car made things difficult.  The rear support brace bolts needed a little heat to remove them.  We used a floor jack to support the tranny while we lowered it and pulled it backwards.  All in all, it went pretty smoothly, but definitely a 2 person job.

Oh yeah - removed the speedometer cable before removing the tranny!

To round out the day we went back to the interior - everything that lives under the dash was still there.  The heating unit removed as one assembly, after unbolting it from the firewall (and one hidden nut on a j-bolt that holds the assembly to the under side of the cowl).

Also removed the wiper assembly - just 4 bolts and it came right out.

We might be pulling the engine next weekend.  I think all that's left to remove is the exhaust and starter!

March 19, 2001

Organized/stored parts that have accumulated over the last week or so.

March 20, 2001

Wife and son were out of town, and it was a beautiful spring day, so I took the afternon off to work on the car.  Got lots done:

Went to the place that will be blasting the car.  Jim, the owner, said he needed 2 weeks lead time, which won't be a problem.

Used a dremel tool to cut up the exhaust system.  One cut was behind the muffler, and the other was at the bell housing.  The dremel tool worked better than a hack saw or grinding wheel.  After making the cuts, some bending and twisting of the pipes broke the remaining metal.  Cool!  Exhaust is gone!

I then removed the starter.  Quite easy - a bolt on top and one on the bottom, and it slid right out.

The only thing other than the engine mounts holding the motor to the car at this point is the clutch pedal assembly.  It took a little reading of the service manual and inspection of all the parts, but in the end it wasn't too difficult to remove.  After disconnecting the clutch pedal from the shaft assembly, and disconnecting the shaft assembly from the clutch fork (I think that's what it's called - the part that disappears into the bell housing), I just had to remove 2 bolts holding the shaft assembly to the bell housing, and 1 from the rail, behind the front tire.

One thing to remember - I should've done this before removing the tranny.  Since the tranny was removed, the engine is resting on the center link, tilting rearward.  This placed stress on the clutch shaft assembly; it's supposed to be horizontal, but since the bell housing had dropped, it was twisted.  As far as I could tell, nothing was bent or broeken, but it could've been.

To release the pressure on the shaft, I lifted the rear of the engine with a floor jack.  Things came out quite easily then.

After dinner, I returned the the header panel, which I hadn't touched in a long time.  I'm happy to say that I removed the remaining nuts without having to cut any of them.  It was a pain in the ass at times, holding the end of the stud with a vise grip while trying to turn the nut, but I did get them off.  It seems heat and liquid wrench did the trick.

Really makes me wish I'd had more patience with the 6 or so studs I cut off a few weeks ago.  Fabricating some kind of replacement stud on those grille pieces will suck.

March 22, 2001

Further preparation for removing the engine this weekend.  Made sure I could loosen the bolts holding the motor mounts to the K member.  They required a little heat, but I got both of them loosened up.

I tried to unbolt the Y pipe from the exhaust manifolds, but the bolts wouldn't budge.  I'm pretty sure we'll be able to get the engine out with the Y pipe attached, but thought I'd try any way.  Sprayed some WD-40 on them.

Looking for something to do, I disconnected the left front brake line and hose from the bracket behind the rear wheel.  Also removed the left splash guard (should've done that a long time ago).  And then I assembled my engine stand!  I need to buy a couple bolts to attach the 340 to the stand.

March 24, 2001

Continued preparing for engine removal.  Tried to unbolt Y pipe from exhaust manifolds, but bolts wouldn't budge.  Spent a little time degreasing the starter.

March 25, 2001

Did a little driving - had to pick up the borrowed engine hoist and trailer to transport it.  Once back at my house, Bear and I used it to get the 340 bolted to the engine stand.  It looks great!  It's missing its heads and intake manifold, as Bear will be selling me his when he upgrades his motor in a few weeks.  But it's beautiful and shiny.

After lunch we started the operation.  I'd already unbolted everything - the engine was just sitting in the bay.  We bolted the chain to the block, and lifted.  Within 60 seconds the engine was out - it couldn't have gone any smoother!  We found a place for it to sit in the corner of the garage, and that was that!  We removed the bell housing, just for the hell of it.  After that, we loaded all the borrowed equipment and returned it.

The only thing left to do is remove the suspension.  Then it will be ready for the body shop.

March 28, 2001

Removed the remaining interior, which was just the pedal assembly and left fresh air vent.  It was a bit more difficult than I anticipated; it wasn't quite "remove a few bolts and lift the whole assembly out".  I had to partially disassemble the pedals before I could remove everything.

After the clutch and brake pedal assembly was out, I then removed the parking brake assembly.  That was essentially just one cotter pin.  Then I had access to the air vent, which just needed 3 nuts removed.

Finally, I removed the padding (I don't know what else to call it) that was fastened to the inside of the firewall.  The interior is completely bare now.

March 29, 2001

Started on the suspension.  Tried to remove the steering box, but the nut, which is very large, wouldn't turn.  I've got a feeling it would come if I had a wrench large enough for it, but I was forced to use a plumbers wrench, and couldn't really apply that much torque.

So I moved onto the sway bar.  This was pretty easy.  Although everything was rusted, with a little heat, I was able to remove it and remove the stabilizers.

March 30, 2001

Tried to start removing the steering components.  Started by removing (again, with some heat) the nuts at each end of the left tie rod.  From looking at things, I thought the tie rod would just slide out of the steering knuckle, but after smashing it with a hammer and talking to Bear, I learned that a pickle fork will be necessary.  Not having one, I stopped hitting it with the hammer.

Looking for something else to remove, I moved on to the left strut.  Again with some heat, I was able to remove the nut where it connects to the K member.  At the very end, with just a couple turns left, I got impatient and broke off the end of the strut.  Crap!

March 31, 2001

Decided to start removing the rear suspension as no special tools are required back there.  I disassembled/removed both brake assemblies.  Getting the parking brake cables out of the backing plate was an adventure, as it has rusted in there tight.  In general, heat was needed to remove everything.

I then removed the axles!  It's fun to see how all this stuff goes together.  Remember, I've never done this before, so everything is new to me.  Having both rear axles in my hands was just plain weird.  The right axle needed a couple good tugs before sliding out, but in general it was quite easy.

With the axles out, I was now able to remove the chunk (aka pumpkin, carrier).  After removing all the bolts, it wouldn't budge.  It had rusted to the housing.  So I applied a dose of heat all around and sprayed WD-40 along the joint, and placed an oil pan under it in case it started leaking differential fluid.