Monday, August 13, 2018

So Close!

Dateline - 08/10/2018 - Spent the weekend putting the car back together.  As in my last post, I only had a few things to do, but they took a lot of time.  I started Saturday off by going to the Department of Licensing and getting the car registered under the old plate (see https://leapingv8s.blogspot.com/2018/05/good-news-and-bad-news.html).  So, now my car is officially a Collector car!  $45 to register.  Not bad.

Next I picked up where I left off on the trunk.  I needed to install the backup lights, the chrome strip that runs under the the trunk lip between the backup lights and the license plat with its LED lights.  This all took about an hour to do.

I started working on installing the latch for the trunk, but realized I needed to tap some threads and I didn't have a tap the right size, so I put that off until Sunday.

Next I started working on the back right door.  This door proved to be a total PITA.  Nothing was going right and I struggled with it.  It took about three hours of just fiddling and I finally got it all together and realized that the window was binding.  I had to take everything apart again to find out that the door lock rod that runs from the inside door handle to the door latch was getting hooked by the window regulator.  I just needed to bend it back into the correct location, but again, what a pain to put everything back together again!  I just hate doors!

There was one good thing that came of all the work on the door.  I had a problem with the back door latch.  Once I opened the door, the latch would not move back into place and I had to manually reset it before I could close the door.  I thought it was the door latch and was going to buy a new one.  But as I was fiddling with the door, I unscrewed on the latch bolts and the latch snapped back into place.  I realized that there are two lengths of special screws used for the door latch.  A short one that used for the latch, and a slightly longer one that is used for the inside door handle.  I used the wrong one (too long) and it was catching on the mechanism inside the door latch.  Easy fix!

As I posted last week, I ordered LED lights to replace all the running and direction lights on the car.  When I installed the lights and tried them, I found out that I don't have any turn signals or hazard lights.  This has to do with the old flasher relays that are in the car (one for turn signals, one for hazards).  How these things work is they have a bi-metal strip in them that heats up as current is pulled through it. The heat causes the bi-metal to bend and break the circuit (and make the sound you hear with a turn signal).  When the metal cools, it pops back into place and turns the signals back on.  This works great as long as there is enough current being pulled to cause the metal to heat up.  Unfortunately, LED lights pull almost no current, so the flashers don't work.

There are three ways to fix this: 1) Leave some original bulbs in the car (some people opt to leave the front bulbs original and the back bulbs LED), 2) buy a LED specific flasher unit, and/or 3) buy load resistors that you can put in parallel with the LED bulbs to put enough load to heat the the flasher unit.

Since my flashers relays are in the dash, and I could not even think of taking the dash apart again, I opted for the load resistors.  I bought four of them and installed two in the back (one on each turn signal) and the turn signals work great.  However the hazard lights are not working. If I put a regular bulb in the front, the hazard does work, so I need to install the two remaining load resistors in the front turn signals.  I didn't get to that this weekend though.

On Sunday, I started work on the left front door.  This door went somewhat easier as far as putting all the window pieces together.  It was still a very fiddly job and you really have to do things in the correct order, but after several hours, I got everything together, just to find out that I broke a wire off the power window switch that activated the back left window!  So I had to take everything apart again (is this a theme!) and resolder the wire.  Finally, I got the door together!  And there was much rejoicing (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yciX2meIkXI)!

When I was going through all my chrome pieces, I realized that there was a bunch of chrome that went around the windows inside the car.  I left that off before, but decided to put it on.  This took about an hour of fiddling, but I does look a lot more finished now.

Finally, I ended the day working on the trunk.  I got a tap for the holes in the body that the latch mounts too,  mounted the latch, adjusted everything, and now the trunk closes and locks.  But I didn't like the grinding noise it made when I opened and closed it.  I originally thought it was the result of all the work I did rebuilding the trunk hings (see https://leapingv8s.blogspot.com/2014/12/its-december-and-its-time-to-work-on.html), and it turned out that it was, but not because of the hinges, but because the bolts I used to put it back together where rubbing against the inside of the trunk sides!!!  Now, If I was brave, I could have taken the trunk lid off, removed the hinges, ground the bolts down, then remount everything.  But I'm not brave, so several strong hits with a hammer on the trunk sides, and the lid moves like it should.

So, not much left now.  I'm still waiting for my window molding lock tool to come in.  Once I get that, I can installed the window lock and the chrome that goes around the windshields.  I've got a new Jaguar lettering for the trunk on order since I destroyed the one I had pulling it off for paint. So I need to install that and the "V8" and "350" badges.  I should also have my bumpers soon, so will need to install those.  Then it's time to get the front end aligned and start driving it.  I still have a few fiddly things to finish, but its very, very close to "done"!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Putting It All Back Together Again...Again!

Dateline - 08/04/2018 - Now that the car is back from paint, it's time to put it all back together again.  I started in the front with the grills, headlights and side markers.  Then I moved to the right back and installed the right tank cover, tail light and side marker.

I was going to start on the window chrome pieces, but there is a "locking strip" the is supposed to be inserted into the window seal that presses the rubber tight against the window and the body.  I didn't install this originally, but I thought better of it this time and wanted to install it.  After working on it for about an hour, I thought to myself, "There must be a tool for this."  Sure enough, I found out that there is a tool for this and ordered it on Amazon.  Should be here next week!  Then I started on the doors.

The doors are such a pain.  They really are.  Tight spaces.  Sharp edges,  just not fun.  Starting on the front door, I had to install:

  • Rear view mirror
  • Door Lock
  • Door handle
  • Vinyl water barrier
  • Outer Window scraper and chrome trim
  • Outer Window chrome edging
  • 1/2 of the B-Pillar Chrome (half is on the trailing edge of the front door, the other half is on the leading edge of the back door)
  • The window
  • The 1/4 light (e.g. "Vent window") and frame
  • Power window motor and regulator
  • Widow stop (lowest down position)
  • Door panel
  • Arm rest
  • Window Switch
  • Arm rest pad
  • Door threshold
All sounds easy, but of course, it wasn't.  The first challenge was doing things in the correct order, which I didn't.  The second challenge was the vinyl water barrier.  What a PITA.  All together, it took me about two hours to get the door together.

Then I started on the back right door.  Things to be installed on that door are:
  • Install rear 1/4 light glass into frame.
  • Install 1/4 light
  • Door Handle, 
  • Water barrier
  • B-Pillar chrome
  • Window scraper and chrome
  • Window
  • Power window motor and regulator
  • Window frame top (comes out so that you can pull the window out)
  • Re-install door seal that I had to take off to get the 1/4 light and window out.
  • Window outside chrome
  • Chrome piece below the 1/4 light
  • Window stop
  • Door panel
  • Arm rest
  • Window Switch
  • Arm rest pad
  • Door wind lacing
  • Door threshold
This door went slightly easier but I got about 2/3 of the way done when I got to 7:00 pm and decided to call it quits for the day and finished it on Sunday after my bike ride.

On Sunday, I finished the door, installed the rain gutter trim, then moved to the back left of the car, installing the left fuel tank cover, tail light and side maker.  I then started working on the trunk lid by installing the trunk knob, chrome "wings" on either side of the knob, and the trunk seal.  At that point, it was getting hot in the garage and I was burning out, so I spend about 1/2 cleaning my workbench, and called it a day.

Since I have all the side markers and lights off, I decided to go ahead and buy LED bulbs for all the running, direction, brake and backup lights.  Not cheap, but they should look good on the car.

So, what is left?
  • Backup light frames
  • Trunk chrome strip that runs between the backup lights
  • Trunk emblems (need to buy new ones)
  • License plate and frame (need to get the car registered with the old plate - See https://leapingv8s.blogspot.com/2018/05/good-news-and-bad-news.html)
  • Left front door
  • Left back door
  • Left rain gutter trim
  • Front windscreen seal lock
  • Front windscreen chrome
  • Back windscreen seal lock
  • Back windscreen chrome
  • Front bumper - still need to get back from chromer
  • Back bumper - still need to get back from chromer
The list is getting smaller and smaller!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

The Car is Back from Paint!

Dateline - 07/31/2018 - July ended with another hot day in the Pacific North West, and with my car returning from paint.  They were still polishing out the paint when I got to the paint shop at 3:30 and said that they would not be done until 5:30!  We talked it out and they said they can finish the buff-out by 4:00 ish, but I would need to bring the car back for a final polish and seal. We went with that plan and by about 4:15 they had finished and had it loaded and back to the house by 4:45.
At the paint shop getting polished
On tow truck leaving from paint
Arrival at the house
In driveway
Back view
Rear - right view
Moved the car into the sun for left side
Front left side
And front side - Oooo!  Shiny!
And...its favorite spot in the garage!
Also, the chromer contacted me to let me know that the bumpers are done.  Now I just need to get them shipped back.  Waiting on a quote for that.

I will start putting it back together this weekend.  Now that I have the door panels off and the windows out, I am going to spend a little more time fixing some items that I didn't take care of before, like putting a plastic vapor barrier in the doors, which the original had, but I didn't put back in.  I also have a few wire connectors to the front headlights that I'd like re-do.

I can't believe this car is almost done.  I hope to get some drives in August and September.  Let's see how it goes!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Back to Paint

Dateline - 07/07/2018 - The car went back to paint on Friday!  The paint shop expects to have it for two weeks.  Once it's back, I can put it back together and drive it!  In the mean time, I need to register the vehicle with it's new-old license plate, and find out the status of the bumpers.  Hopefully they will bee coming soon!

Here are a couple of pictures:
Back of car just before leaving for paint
Right Side
Left side
Front
Very blurry picture of car at paint.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Need New Paint

Dateline - 06/09/2018 - I finally managed to hook up with the paint shop this last week and drove the car down to the shop.  The paint guy was very impressed with the car.  He really liked what I did with the interior.  He said it looks modern but classic.  He was also impressed with the custom upholstery and carbon fiber work. 

So the news on the paint is that they are going to need to repaint the entire car!  Makes since.  That way they don't have to match any colors.  He did say that he saw some shrinkage (not sure what that means) and quite a few chips from putting the panels back on, so a repaint will make it look nice and fresh.  But it does mean is that I needed to strip the car of all the chrome, door handles, side windows, door panels, etc., and tow the car to paint and back. 

To be prepared this weekend I spent a day taking everything off the car except the front and back windows and the gas caps. I took my time and bagged all the hardware individually so it should go back together much easier then it did last time when I spent hours looking for the correct hardware or odds-and-ends parts.  I also found a few things that I need change while the parts are out of the car, so this will be a good time to take care of those items.

Front stripped
Back stripped
All the parts off the car
So, I need to call the paint guy next week to find out when they can fit me in.  He said he needs a couple of weeks to finish up a Nova project they are working on right now, then they can do my car.

If all the timing works out, this will mean that I may get the car back about the time the bumpers come back from the chromer.  Could mean I can finish it all up at one time.  That would be cool!


Monday, May 21, 2018

Good News and Bad News

Dateline - 05/19/2018 - I have some good news and some bad news.  The good news is that I have finally sent my bumpers off to be re-chromed this weekend.  My friends Roland, Joe and I went to the Monroe Auto Swap meet this weekend and I ran into a chrome shop that has a local rep.  He came to my house on Sunday after the meet and took a look at my bumpers and quoted me a price.  Probably not the cheapest, but I had a good feeling that they will do a great job, and I didn't have to ship them someplace.  He took them with him.

Now for the bad news, best chance of getting the bumpers back will be early July, so it looks like I am going to miss the Greenwood Auto Show this year, yet again!  It was starting to get untenable anyway because I still need to get the paint straightened out and I keep playing phone tag with the paint shop.  I don't think he could have the paint done for the show either, so there you are!  I do want to get the car going for driving this summer though, so I'm going to keep pressing.

On another front, Roland told me about a very interesting classic/vintage car rule in Washington.  Once your car is over 25 years old, you can get collector car plates as long as you are not going to use the car commercial use.  The nice thing about collector plates is that you only pay for them once, and you never have to renew the tabs!  That's really cool!

But the fun doesn't stop there!  The standard collector car plates are, well, a little funky.
New Collector Vehicle License Plate
These are the plates I've seen on most cars.  But Roland told me of rule that, if you get an original plate that has a year tab that is the same as your vehicles model year, you can use that plate to register your car!  Not only that, but you are not required to have a front license plate either!

Well, guess what they sell at the Monroe Auto Swap, old license plates!  So, for $50, I got a 1971 rear license plate in really good shape, to put on the car!  Now I need to take it down to the Depart of Licensing and get my title changed to this plate and I'm good to go!  I may have to pay for one more registration, but after that, I'll be done.  Plus, the old plate, that looks like this, but with a different number:
1971 Washington License Plate
Will look pretty good on the car.  I particularly like the unique year tab with the yellow and black.

Roland had a really good idea about the license plate frame, I should see if I can find a frame from Lew Florence, which was a dealership in Seattle of British cars in the 70's.  Or, I could research were the car was originally sold (I believe it was to a doctor in Seattle) and see if I can get a frame from that dealer.  Both would be pretty neat to have.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Got the Car Out of the Garage!

Dateline - 05/05/2018 - Didn't spend a lot of time on the car this weekend.  I needed to take care of my unruly yards.  But, I did finish the center console, and backed the car into the driveway for some pictures.  See below:

In the driveway - front view
Rear 3/4 view
Rear view

Back with center console
So, most of the interior is done now.  Just a few items to clean up.  I now need to get the car to paint and get the front end aligned.  The rest will probably wait until the winter.