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  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 (!

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, 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"!