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Restoration Journal

May 2, 2002

Installed the regulator up-stop, and finished tightening all the various nuts/bolts that align the window. It lines up quite nicely. I also finally figured out how the windows should mate with the roof rail weatherstrip, and I'm confident I've got that installed properly.

Next task was to install the window channel weatherstripping; these are the two pieces that contact the window as it rolls up and down. There's an inner and outer piece.

I got the outer piece half way installed, and then realized I needed to remove it. Well, without getting into all the details, it wouldn't come off. For some reason, I lost my temper really quickly, and proceeded to destroy the weatherstripping while ripping it off the door.

It was a stupid thing to do, and quite unnecessary. They make reproduction pieces, but they only come in kits for the entire car, and they are expensive. Bummer.

Spent the rest of the night surfing the web looking for vendors that might sell individual pieces. We shall see...

May 3, 2002

Cleaned up the passenger side lower quarter window stainless trim, and installed it. Then I installed the outer weather stripping for that same location.

Rest of the night was spent degreasing/derusting/lubricating the quarter window regulator.

May 4, 2002

Installed the passenger quarter window regulator and window. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be; I just read the FSM and checked out the video I took when I removed it to refresh my memory of how it all fit together.

Even the adjustments went pretty smoothly. I've got it lined up very nicely with the door glass and roof rail. The only issue is that I don't have a seal against the lower weaterstripping. This may be because the original stuff is just worn out. I'll either need to replace that weatherstrip, or figure out some way to adjust the glass so that it contacts the weatherstripping (which I don't think can be done).

As of right now, water would just roll off the glass and down into the quarter panel.

May 6, 2002

Started working on the driver's door guts. I had to remove the vent glass and weatherstripping from this vent frame, as I needed to replace the upper pivot (the spot where a screw actually passes through the glass). The old one was rusty and frozen in place.

Also, the metal channel within the frame that the weatherstripping slides into had separated from the frame. I used JB Weld to secure it.

I also had to replace the weather stripping at the rear of the glass, where the quarter window mates. The original piece was cracked and worn out.

Additionally, the rear frame was not secured to the glass any more, so I glued that in place with weatherstrip adhesive (probably should've used contact cement, but this should work).

Of course, I also took steel wool and WD40 to all the bright trim and cleaned it up. Everything will be ready to bolt in the door tomorrow. Several small repairs needed on this side that I didn't have to do on the passenger side...

May 8, 2002

Before re-installing the window, I need to bolt on the mirror, as it would be difficult (impossible?) to get at those bolts with the window in the car. So I gave it a once over with the steel wool (it's a used mirror I picked up on Ebay), and took it out to the car for a fitting...

To my horror, I discovered that there was an extra hole in my door for mounting the mirror. I knew that the mirror I took off the car was not stock; the original must have been ruined during one of the collisions the car was in 30 years ago.

Anyway, the repair shop must've drilled an new hole in the door for the replacement mirror, which was now exposed when I bolted on the new mirror. Crap! I proceeded to post a message to the email list to ask for advice and also left a message with my body guy to see what my options are.

May 9, 2002

Spent the evening in the basement, cleaning up more driver's door parts, including the lower quarter stainless trim, roofrail weather stripping and the long stainless piece that the weather stripping clings to. I Believe I also installed these pieces that night (I'm uncharacteristically writing this several days after the fact).

May 10, 2002

Tried to install the left vent wing frame and window. What was expected to be a 10 minute task turned into a horrible ordeal.

I could not get the vent wing frame seated in the door properly, which was a big surprise, since the right hand side went so easily. My wife was helping me. I got very frustrated (but didn't ruin anything!).

Ended up giving up. Since the other side was all together, I didn't have an example to look at. It's difficult to describe, but there are 2 brackets inside the door that the vent wing frame slide between. There were 2 spot welds holding those brackets together, and for the life of me I couldn't see how the vent wing frame could be installed with those welds there.

And like I said, I couldn't look at the other side (without taking it apart). I posted a message to the email list, but very few people have taken their doors apart, and it's hard to describe, so I didn't expect much help.

The only explanation I could come up with was that Scott (did the body work) had spot welded those brackets together, although I don't know why...

May 11, 2002

Had Dawn examine the internals of the door with me to make sure I wasn't missing something obvious. In the end, I didn't see any other solution than to hack saw through the welds holding the two brackets together, so that's what I did.

It was disconcerting. I couldn't see a reason for those welds, so I went ahead and did it. I'll have to ask Scott someday if he placed those welds there.

Once the welds were gone, we were able to get the vent wing frame and glass in the door.

Over the 10th and 11th I also decided (after talking with Scott) that I would fill the hole in my door myself. It would be quite expensive to take it to Scott to have it welded shut, and then repainted. I filled it with JB Weld, painted the back side with POR15, and put a thin layer of Bondo on top of that. I haven't done any painting yet.

May 14, 2002

Had the headliner installed! Very cool to have something prettier than metal up there. The guy had broken a couple appointments on me, so he knocked $50 off the cost, which was a bonus.

May 15, 2002

Cleaned all the old sealant off the perimeter of the windshield and rear window. I need to get them ready for installation on the 16th.

Just a bunch of tedium, scraping the glass with a razor blade and then removing what was left with paint thinner. Took the entire night.

May 16, 2002

Had the windshield and rear window installed! Everything went quite smoothly; the installers were done in about an hour.

In the evening I gave the car a bit of a sponge bath; after having the headliner and glass installed, there were greasy fingerprints and some grime on the car, so I got those areas cleaned up.

Then I cleaned up and installed the driver's door regulator. That went quite smoothly.

May 17, 2002

Bolted on the front valence. I'd gotten tired of hearing the fenders rattle without any lateral reinforcement.

Rest of night was spent adjusting the driver's window. Things are lined up about as well as I can get them. I don't have an air tight seal in one spot at the roof rail. Oh well!

May 20, 2002

Decided to attempt to fix the water leaks. They were all minor, but numerous: one timing cover bolt, the radiator housing, a pipe plug, and the bypass hose fitting on the intake.

So, I drained the radiator at the petcock, then drained more fluid once I removed the leaking timing cover bolt (what a mess; it would be nice if you could drain the hole system easily at one location). Then I removed all the leaking parts.

Went in the basement to clean them up and scrape the old gasket off the thermostat housing.

Then I reinstalled everything, using Permatex thread sealant on all threads, and silicone on the thermostat housing gasket.

I filled the system back up, and had a leak at the bypass hose. Crap! Drain the radiator again, remove the fitting, put more sealant on it, reinstall it, fill the radiator again...no leak! Good.

It was too late to start the engine to test things.

May 21, 2002

Before going to work I cranked her up; I had to see if I had fixed the leaks. I really want this baby to be dry so I don't have to deal with constantly mopping up water...

Right after starting it (before even getting warm), the bypass fitting is leaking. Crap! In fact, it's worse than before. I let it run for about 10 minutes, mopping up the water on top of the timing cover. The good news is that the other leaks appear to be fixed. I'll need to run it more than 10 minutes to be sure, but I'm hopeful.

But the bypass fitting is leaking badly. I'll have to up the ante on what kind of product to use to seal it, I guess.

After I got home, I removed the bypass fitting, cleaned and dried the threads on the fitting and the intake, and put some teflon tape on the fitting. Then replace everything.

As I was filling the system back up, I saw a slow leak. Damn! So I drained it again, removed everything, blah, blah, blah. This time I also used thread sealant on top of the tape.

I put it all back together and filled it up, and started the car. Well, there is still a very slow trickle, but it's much better than it was. I've had the damn thing apart so many times that at this point I'm gonna give it some time to see if it seals itself.

It's hard to get a good look at the threads in the intake, but I believe it was mis-threaded once, which is probably why I'm having these problems.

Hadn't taken any pix of the car in a while, so it was overdue:


May 22, 2002

Cleaned and put a coat of POR15 on the fender splash guards that a generous internet acquaintance sent to me. The originals were swiss cheese.

Also ran the engine for 10 minutes to see how my water leaks are coming. Good news: the bypass fitting didn't leak a drop! There is a very small amount (a few drops) at the thermostat housing, but I believe that will seal itself. Water leaks conquered!

I also tapped the holes in the frame rails for the front bumper bracket (I broke one bolt on each side removing them). Then I bolted on the brackets.

I was surprised and unhappy to discover one of the brackets is bent. Must've happened when the car was hit in the late 60's. I'll have to remove that bracket and somehow bend it back into shape before I'll be able to mount the bumper.

May 24, 2002

Removed the front bumper and the brackets. From talking to people on the email list, the brackets should not be welded together, so I cut the brackets apart with a hack saw.

Verified that the right outer bracket is bent, and spent the rest of the night trying to bend it to the correct angle myself. I wasn't able to; the metal is just too thick. I'll have to take it to a shop.

May 25, 2002

Decided to install the headlight assemblies, so I cleaned up the stainless retaining rings with WD-40 and steel wool. Also scrubbed down (but didn't really restore to nice condition) the headlight buckets. I had bought new aiming hardware from Year One.

Surprisingly, the FSM doesn't have a diagram of how the buckets and aiming hardware all go together, so a fair amount of time was spent just figuring out how everything goes together. But I did figure it out, and got the left headlight installed by the end of the night and determined that the bulb is still good, and that the headlight and dimmer switches do their thing.

May 26, 2002

Put a coat of Chrysler Red on the Spark Plug Wire Holders. Also put a couple coats of undercoating on the fender splash shields. After they dried, I re-applied the weatherstripping to those shields so they're ready to bolt in the car.

Cleaned up and installed the rear view mirror. I got some WD-40 in the socket, which may have been a mistake. It moves too freely now. I may have to remove it again to tighten that socket...

Installed the right headlight assembly and verified it works. It's pretty cool to have headlights! If only I had tail lights...I'm not comfortable driving the car without brake lights.

Last task for the evening was installing the Spark Plug Wire Holders (on the valve covers) and re-routing the spark plug wires. They're much neater now.

May 28, 2002

It's possible I may be taking the car to a show in a few weeks (even though it definitely won't be done), so I've started concentrating on getting the exterior of the car done (as much as I can without my trim back from AllTrim yet).

I want to get the fender splash shields installed, but before I do that I need to install the fender emblems. Once I install the splash shields, I won't have access to the back side of the fenders.

So, I wiped down and waxed the areas where the emblems will be. I thought I should do that now, since I won't be able to get back there once the emblems are on. I used Zaino Bros Z1/Z2, after doing some research.

Next thing is to restore the emblems. The "Barracuda" emblems are in very good shape, considering their age. Not perfect, but after steel wool/WD-40, they look good.

I installed the left hand one. It required a little Dremel tool work, as the holes weren't quite big enough. I used some strip calk to seal everything up nice and tight. It looks really good!

The other emblem on the left side is the "V8/Fish" emblem. That requires more work, as it is painted red and black, and the original paint is mostly gone. I got the black painted before quitting for the night.

May 29, 2002

Picked up my bumper bracket from the shop. Put a coat of POR15 on all 4 brackets on the areas that were inaccessible when they were welded together.

Continued working on fender emblems. Installed the right fender "Barracuda" script. Also painted the black portion of the right "V8" emblem, and then the red sections of both "V8" emblems.

Also cleaned up and installed the pentastar emblem on the right fender. It's not in the best of shape. I'm trying to decide if I should buy a new one or not.

May 30, 2002

Put a coat of clear coat on the "V8" emblems. The flat black paint has chrome under it, so the bond isn't very good. Hopefully some clear coat will protect it.

Installed the front bumper. After considering returning it to TriCity (there are a few shallow scratches) and also switching it with the rear bumper (which is perfect), Dawn and I decided to just install it as is. The scratches are only noticeable if you get very close.

Installation was pretty easy; what a difference correctly bent brackets make! It only took a little fidgeting to get everything aligned.

Once I had that on, I then installed the license plate bracket, and the license plate. The front end is starting to look like a completed car; just the grille is missing.

Also installed the right side V8 emblem. It's not perfect, but looks very good. It would be nice if I could buy repros of all the fender emblems, but the line has to be drawn somewhere!

May 31, 2002

Tonights task was to install the fender splash shields. I had one emblem left to install before then: the left V8 emblem. I was fairly pissed when I took it out to the garage and discovered the holes had been drilled in the wrong spot(s). Scott must've measured them wrong.

Instead of drilling/enlarging holes in the fender, I cut off one of the mounting studs from the emblem, and glued it (with JB Weld) to a spot that should let me install it in the existing holes.

Then I installed the left splash shield. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't fun either. Definitely better to install them before the fenders, but that wasn't an option here. I eventually got it situated correctly and bolted in.

On to the right side. Then I realized I'd better get the antenna installed before the splash shield. It would be difficult/impossible to install the antenna with the splash shield in place. So, I proceeded to clean up the antenna and related parts. The original gasket between the antenna base and fender was toast, so I used some strip caulk.

I got that installed in the car, and then bolted in the splash shield. Successful, but late, night.