Sunday, September 30, 2018

Waxing Rhapsodic

I finished polishing the car, and waxed her today for the first time.  I also installed the bonnet, with a little help from my friends, of course.  Add a little chrome trim and a grille, and she's really coming together.  She looks, well, stunning.

The grille's not installed yet, just sitting in place.  I have to polish it up first.

I also added something special to the underside of the bonnet.

It's down to the chrome trim and bumpers, some mechanical tweaks, and we're there!
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Sunday, September 23, 2018

Interior Decoration

I installed the complete interior this weekend.  It looks fantastic.

I started with some sound deadening / heat shield underlayment...


Then I test fit the carpet, and glued in the pieces over the rail and the transmission tunnel.


From there, I fit the carpet over the wheel arches and the rear "seat".  These are glued down as well.  I spent a lot of time test-fitting since you only get one shot with the glue.  The carpet under the seats isn't glued or snapped in; the seats will hold it in place.

Then, I installed the snaps for the transmission tunnel cover and the footwell carpet.  In each footwell, there are four snaps: two at the crossmember and two on the firewall.  The transmission tunnel cover has six: three each side, where one is at the firewall, one on the back side of the crossmember, and and at the back end along the tunnel.

Once I had all the carpet in place, it was panel time!  I started with the doors.  They were a real fun job.

First, I installed some plastic as a seal.  

After that, in went the insert.  That's the original vinyl from 1965.

Finally, in went the door card, the pull handle, and the winder.


Then, I did the other one.  This one was harder; the panel didn't want to fit under the trim rail on the top of the door, so some gentle persuasion made things better.  Then, when I closed the door it stuck out over 1/8".  The door seal is sealing against the panel, which isn't right... but some quick work with a Big Hammer set things to rights.  Now, it shuts perfectly.

Next, I installed the rest of the cockpit surround and the vinyl that covers the door jambs.

From there, I started on panels. I put in the trim panels for the footwells and along the door.  That involved finding and mostly drilling lots of little holes.  I messed up on one panel, but it's the passenger's side by the seat and not too noticeable (I hope).

Once the panels were in place, in went the seats!  They fold down and everything.  They slide back and forth, too.  They are very comfortable and I sit at a good height.  I will say--it's much smaller in there than I remember. 😀


Once all of that was done, I went for a quick spin around the block.  Side streets only--I don't need to get in too much trouble!  So far, so good--I got up to temperature with no weird noises (well, once that sounds like a tire rubbing, but I can't see it).  Unfortunately, Speedostein (my cobbled together speedometer for the diff I installed) is a bust.  It showed me doing 50 when I couldn't have been doing more then 30.  So, back to the lab...

But doesn't she look great?

I got through over half of my punch list this weekend.  I think I might actually get there by the end of next weekend... or at least, close enough to drive!  Next up is the bumpers, cut and buff and install all the chrome trim, install the radio, and fit the bonnet with its heat shield.

I might actually finish this.
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Monday, September 17, 2018

Winky Winky I Got Blinkies

I got my turn indicators working last night.


I'll be honest... I'm not exactly sure how I "fixed" them.  I had some crossed wires, but uncrossing them didn't make it better.  I hooked up an old switch, which behaved the same way until I accidentally shorted a contact... and the indicators started working.  They work with the new switch, too.  It's not cool that I can't definitively identify the fix.  I think there was a grounding problem, but that's not a good enough answer for me.

Well, I'm going with them working until they don't.  I do have to fix the driver's front indicator as the bulb doesn't always make proper contact with the base.

I also got my high beam indicator working...

So as of now, all of the electrical systems work as they're supposed to.  This is rare for a Lucas electrical system.

Fingers crossed!
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Sunday, September 16, 2018

And Closer Still...

A busy day today... I sorted out a bunch of stuff and got that much closer to being on the road.

First off, I installed my new Maniflow Sebring exhaust system.  It's nice.  It has a throaty sound that's deep but not too loud, and it has twin tips that look really cool.  It also doesn't leak like the original.  It took a bit of modification to the middle mount, but it fits beautifully.


After that, I installed an axle stabilizer from SpridgetMania.  It adds a third member to make a triangle, to keep the rear axle from shifting under cornering.  It also helped me bring the axle closer to center.  It's still off but I think it's close enough and won't shift around.

Then, I finished bracing the dashboard to keep it from making noise (and keep the steering cowl from squeaking against the dash).

I took a bit of time to bolt up the high beam switch.

Next, I fixed up the driver's side door by installing the felt strip and fixing the bracket that holds the bottom of the quarter vent.  Neither job was fun.  I sacrificed a bit of me in the process.  I hope she doesn't become possessed, like Christine...

I then re-centered the butterfly on the rear carburettor to cure my high idle.  Now I can drop the idle down to 600rpm (which is too low) and I set it at about 1000 rpm.  I also installed the air cleaners, which took a bit of modification to the filters to get them to fit.  She revs smoothly and immediately off idle and runs just wonderfully.

Finally, I installed the trim pads on the doors.  That was another epic battle that I am glad is over.  But they fit and look great.  They're soft too.

Oh, and I installed the radio antenna. :)

Next up:

  • Finish fitting the bumper mounts
  • Fix the turn signals (EDIT: Fixed!)
  • Install the hood liner and fit the hood to the car
  • Install the interior carpet and panels
  • Re-fit the passenger's fender (it sticks out in one spot and I don't like it)
  • Install the headlight relays
  • Adjust the valve lash
  • Grease the front suspension
  • Try to fix that damn leak from the steering rack
  • Clean and finish cutting and buffing the fenders, then wax the whole car
  • Fit the remaining cockpit surrounds, chrome trim and the spoiler
  • Fit the bumpers
  • Attach the VIN plate
And I am done enough to put a license plate on it and drive.

About the plate: I went to the DMV to get registered, and there is an error in the title.  The title's VIN doesn't match the car; it's off by one letter.  This was their screwup, but my problem.  So now I have to get it inspected, which means the car has to be together enough to drive with a 3-day temporary.  I can get the plate after the inspection.

I am almost done, but I'm also almost out of time to get to the car show on November 4th.  I better hustle.
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Sunday, September 9, 2018


I'm getting closer...


I bolted on the wings (obviously), but I also modified and installed the heater switch (which works!), installed the speedometer and cable, and installed the headlights and turn indicators.  The headlights and running lights work, but the turn indicators don't.  I think the problem is the flasher unit, but I'll have to do some testing.

It looks good.  I like the drop from the lowering kit.

Next up: the interior.  That's a whole weekend.  Beyond that, it's the trim, hood (with liner) and figuring out how to fix the offset in the rear axle.  I also have to adjust the rear carb's butterfly so its seals better, and (finally) figure out what to do about my leaky steering rack.
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Monday, September 3, 2018

Please Take Your Seats

Not much work this weekend (it was Labor Day, after all), but I did spend an hour or two finishing up the seats.

Here's the finished product:

Here's what I started with:

They were pretty bad underneath:

Here's the links to the teardown and cleanup if you're interested:

Seats I
Seats II
Seats III

From there, I cleaned up the original seat foams (with a repair to one) and made new inserts that go under them to bolster the bottom cushion.  I also added the proper layers of batting and cushioning (maybe not in the original material, but good enough).


Then I glued the center pieces to the cushions, and installed them.  Nothing fancy.  It didn't take that long, and they fit nicely.  They are quite comfortable and supportive.

Now I just need to install the rails, add the spacer (a 3/8" piece of wood) and bolt them in after I install the insulation and carpet.

This was the last major parts assembly item.  Now I "just" have to put everything in the car.
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