Friday, March 30, 2018

Aging is mostly the failure to repair

Since I'm kind of stuck waiting for the powder coat shop to get their shit together and finish my parts, I figured I'd continue on with the OCD organization of parts in the garage, cleaning up stuff that's waiting to be reinstalled and proper labels for some of the parts that I hadn't bothered to look up in the past.

I cleaned up the right side grey arm rest for the car and noticed several cracks in the vinyl cover - one in the hand pocket, one just above the Z and one about halfway down the top most section.  Seems that this armrest is drying out rather rapidly.  The driver's side piece seems to be okay for now - it was replaced when the car was received.  I have the two black arm rests from Icarus and, when the time comes, I'll have them painted and use them to replace the broken grey pieces...or I may get lucky and trade them for grey ones.
The cracks are small but discouraging.  It's hard to keep old vinyl pieces together as the ravages of time do their thing.
The crack at the top doesn't seem to be as deep/disturbing as the other two but it'll unfortunately grow as time wears on...

Thursday, March 29, 2018

“He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch.”

The bolts I bought from China arrived today.  They're a more correct length than what came with the brake kit.  The bolt on the left was a little bit too short, the second one was too long, and the other four were okay.  I'll likely be installing the black oxide bolts vs. the plated bolts because the plating looks like shit.

Still no word from the powder coat much for 'short turn around' given that we're going on week 3 at this point.
I spent a decent amount of time over two days further organizing and refining my inventory.  I found a few additional parts to, ahem, part with, so I posted them up and most sold within 24 hours.

I have bin tag label holders on the way so that I can take my OCD to yet another level with parts organization.  I think barcoding is the next logical step, no?

I'm now down to NOS front and rear hinges, hinge stays and hardware.  The used stuff is either posted for sale or sold.  I sold off one of the two spare 67 only brake fluid reservoirs since I'm highly unlikely to use it in the future.
While looking around for something completely unrelated, I stumbled upon these Type 3 specific pan boots.  I bought four and they're enroute from Germany.  I have an additional quantity on reserve - which I will buy once I have inspected the first batch.

The other elusive part is the 'missing' hinge rubber - I've been in conversation with a source in Germany about getting my grubby little paws on one.  The next day or so will determine if that happens.

It's still a little under two months away but I'm preparing for the move to Illinois and taking a hard look at what I have left in parts to decide if I can let any more of it go to another home.  It's hard to let go when I've spent so much time finding this stuff but I know I won't use it all (nor do I really need it) so now might be the right time.

Monday, March 26, 2018

All this static is poison

The progress crawls along ever so slowly.  The steering rod is installed and I've replaced the original horn wire with a new wire because the sheath was wearing thin near the exit point of the rod.

The rest of this is awaiting the return of the powder coated parts.  I emailed them inquiring about the status and have yet to hear when it'll be ready.  In the future, I'm going to use KBS paint and skip the powder coat - putting more of the work in my own hands and enabling me to control the delays a bit more.  This shop I'm using does nice work but they're never even close to the promised finish date.
 Column back together and loosely mounted - waiting on the steering box clamp so I can align everything before tightening it into place.
The CSP front disc brackets with new 12.9 bolts - waiting for the spindles and steering arms to return from powder coat so I can put them back together.

In the interim - I put some of the newer additions in the cabinet (why the actual fuck am I still buying parts?) and labeled a few others.

Speaking of buying parts - I may have found a couple of things that I've been searching to find for the last five years.  Fingers crossed they're in nice condition and available.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Disappointment is the mother of all expectation...

I picked up the parts from the metal finishing shop today...about half of them came back looking about like I expected: clean, plated and ready to use.

These ball joint nuts came back looking rather nice.
Pan washers came back looking pretty good as well.  The bolts that accompany these washers were 80% perfect with 20% defects.  Not really acceptable in my book.
 The steering column I'd cleaned only 24 hours before dropping it off came out looking the best.  I'm pretty happy with how this turned out.

Likewise, the caliper brackets for the CSP front discs came out looking decent as well.  I wish I'd gotten them plated before I installed the brake kit to save myself some rust along the way.
 These bolts show the inconsistency of the work that was performed.  All of these bolts went in looking the same - wire wheeled to bare metal yet they came back looking very different from one another - inconsistent coating, missing coating, poor coating.

What the fuck happened to quality control?
 These clamps were cleaned the same way the steering column rod was cleaned - they looked pretty good stripped bare.  I think they look worse now than they did when I dropped them off.
I paid a 'strip' charge to clean the bolts of all dirt/grime to ensure a good coating.  Perhaps they should have told the guy doing the work that the customer paid to have it done right.

I'm going to call them either tomorrow or Wednesday from California to see if we can work something out - this inconsistent quality is a problem that I shouldn't have paid for at all.  The lesson here is that, regardless of what the shop told me, I should have cleaned the ever living shit out of every single piece before I took it in to get plated.  I have a feeling this stuff is going to get plated again in the future for the final restoration.  The benefit I'll have in Chicago is that RediStrip is nearby so I can use them to get everything perfectly clean before it's dropped off for plating work - no excuses from the plating shop!

I'm hoping to be able to start putting the front end back together next week - there's a lot going on around the house right now so I might wind up being pushed back another week while the dust settles.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Waiting for others...

I'm now in a holding at plating shop for zinc and parts at powder coat shop - all in an effort to eradicate rust.  Not much is going to happen until those parts come back.  I've got a ton of stuff going on the next couple of weeks so this might be the last post for a while.  At some point, I'll get back to working on the car and posting up progress the mean time, I'll just be spending money, organizing the garage for the upcoming move to Illinois and waiting for a couple of phone calls.

I pulled the three NOS pop out frames and wrapped them in bubble sheets and then taped the wrapping.

I've got most of the stuff in the storage closet/room organized and prepared for the move.  My plan is to get to the rest of the parts in the garage over the next few weeks.  I'm hoping to get the car back on tires and ready to run/drive by the time it has to go on a trailer for the move back to Illinois.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Soup's done!

I pulled the steering rod out of the Evapo-rust soup today - in spite of the temperature being lower than the 'desired working temperature', this stuff cleaned the steering rod off perfectly.
The steering wheel end is completely clean and ready for a plating.

I found a plating shop that's not far away so the next step is to gather up all of the stuff that needs to be plated and take it over to them...they claim to have a short turn around time.

I also took the front hubs apart and I'm currently soaking one of the brake rotors in the soup - I'll get them as clean as I can before putting everything back together.

Not a lot of progress but little things are happening to keep it all moving in the right direction.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Minor progress today

The upper ball joints I ordered from came in today...they're Febi parts!  The lowers that I ordered the week prior were Ocap Italy.  Nice to see that it's possible to get decent parts at decent prices.  The tricky part about ordering from RockAuto is that you don't know what brand you'll get until they show up.
I found a long skinny box in my packing supplies and went to Home Depot and got a plastic drop cloth - used some binder clips and filled it up with the Evaporust that I had (just enough).  I'll pull it out tomorrow and see how well it's cleaned up.  Perhaps on Monday afternoon or Tuesday (after jury duty) I can get the column back together.

If the powder coat shop sticks to their turn around - I might be able to get the other parts back and tackle the whole front end at once...if not, I'll work on installing the torsion arms while I wait for those parts.  Then I'll move on to the door felts and see if I can extract the NOS felts  and try one out on the door - hopefully that'll solve my window problem.

Once I get this car back on 4 tires - it's going for carb adjustment and a 4 wheel alignment.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


 I had a little free time on my hands today - yeah, I know, what's so different about today?

The cupholder nubs in my Volvo have been slowly breaking off and they did a poor job of holding my drinks in place.  Rather dirty as well - mostly from the nature being blown all over and some sawdust from another project.  I went to the dealership, bought the $14 part and came back home to get on it.
 The entire center console, waterfall panel and center AC vent had to be removed in order to access the screws underneath to release the cup holder bit.  I watched a YouTube video to see how to get the main center bit out and then improvised the rest of it.  I managed to get it all out and back in without breaking any of the parts - although I did break one of the clips on a part that didn't need to be removed.  It doesn't change the function so I didn't sweat it and put it back into use.
All of that just to get back to this - a functional center console that properly holds drinks again.

Even if it's not Nigel that I'm working on - it's nice to have a 'win' once in a while!

I don't know if this can be considered 'progress' but I did get the steering rod out today.  I don't have a long enough vessel to soak it in the Evaporust so it's now waiting for that to be found/created.

Some of the parts I ordered for Nigel came in today - I'm also cleaning hardware that I plan to re-use.  I should have a more useful, Nigel-specific, update in a few days.  I'm in a holding pattern now while I wait for powder coat to finish and ordered parts to show up.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Intersection of activity

I dropped a bunch of small parts off at powder coat this morning because they told me that they have a short lead time (less than 2 weeks) and it's too cold to paint anything.  Spindles, tie rods, pittman arms (2), steering arms, steering box clamps, late style oil fill tubes and a few other miscellaneous parts.  I can swap the oil breather to vent to the engine block and dump the spare oil back into the engine vs. the early style that just dumps it behind the fan housing.  I'll still pull the steering rod and fix the column rubber and I can swap over to seeing about how I might be able to get the torsion arms installed and/or fix the doors.  I can also look into getting crates built for the doors and fenders.  Seems like there's still plenty to do...I'll figure out a way to keep moving forward.
The steering boxes arrived today - Tim did a bang up job on them.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Spindle Rebuild, round 2

Got the 2nd coat of paint on the brackets today - took a long time to dry enough for me to move them because the temp topped out around 65ºF today.  It was today or nothing - the temps are going to steadily drop starting tomorrow and hover around the 55ºF mark for a week or more.  They're far from perfect but the additional layer of paint after cleaning all of the rust off should help keep them clean for a while to come.

I haven't yet found all of the hardware in one place - I have to call a shop tomorrow to see if they can source the one oddball bolt that I need to complete the set.  They've been pretty easy to work with in the past so I'm hopeful it'll all work out.  If not, I may have to give in and pay a stupid high price for two bolts (one per side) just to get this done.

The two steering boxes are finished with their evaluation and will be arriving on Wednesday.  I have a few more parts to get cleaned up and this week is going to be light on progress - little dude is out of school on Spring break so that's where most of my time is dedicated.  Next week, I have jury duty and the following week, I'm going to California...March is going to be a bit nuts.  April will be the last calendar month I'm likely to be working on this car because May is going to be the month of sorting, organizing (whatever is left) and packing for the move.  Seems like there's a lot of time but I'm sure it'll go by real fast...somewhere in there, I have to get the car back on tires and able to drive.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Spindle rebuild, round 1

 Got the spindles apart today - the plan is to replace the hardware, clean up the brackets, swap to the other set of spindles, clean the rust off of the rotors, repack the bearings and put it all back together.
 I stopped by the FLAPS and picked up another gallon of Evaporust for the steering column shaft, clamp and these brackets.  I ordered some paint and replacement hardware (M10x1 bolts are super expensive locally).

It's kind of surprising how much corrosion these brackets took on with one exposure to snow/salt.  Raw steel that's unprotected stands virtually no chance of long term use with the aggressive chemicals used on the roads for snow.

Next challenge is figuring out how to clean up the calipers and the corrosion.  I think I'd like to paint them in the future - something normal like black or silver.

I wound up getting the brackets cleaned off and painted with one light coat of Eastwood Alumablast paint that I had in the cabinet.  Should be warm enough to add a couple of coats tomorrow - then I can let them sit/dry for a few days while I wait for hardware to show up.

Only made a small amount of progress yesterday/today but I'm still moving forward.  I'll probably swap between the spindles and the torsion arm installation until this whole thing is done.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Beam Assembly, round 2

Spent most of the day getting this cranky bastard installed.  I tried to install the late beam collars but I just couldn't get them to seat I reverted back to using the original version.

NOS parts and an old car are not good friends - I fought this thing for two hours to get it installed and all of the bolts to line up and snug up correctly.  I spent almost an hour just trying to get the upper bushings that mount to the body under the fuel tank - new EPDM bushings and a car that had never been apart proved to be tough.  I had to jack up the car at the bumper bracket to pry the body away from the axle beam and then stuff the bushing in the top space using a variety of wrenches, wood blocks and a dead blow hammer.  It was a real treat!
While it is installed - I didn't get nearly as far as I'd hoped - the lower torsion arms are not set (the left one isn't installed at all), the upper arms are not installed and I didn't touch the tie rods.

I ordered new pittman arm bushings and wheel seals along with a few other random parts.  I hope to be ready for them when they arrive.
I dropped the spindle/brake combo off at the local brake shop.  I ran out of ideas so I decided to let someone else do it.  They didn't charge me anything because it took less than 5 minutes to pop them off.  The right side bearing was just a tad bit loose - this may have been the issue that contributed to the 'wandering' while driving.  In any case - it's all getting fixed up and will be back on the car sometime next week.  I'm leaning toward wanting to paint the brake bracket to keep it from rusting again but it's too cold/humid to paint so I may have to wait a while.  I'll put them back together so I can work out the ride height on the front beam and then take them apart so I can de-rust and paint them.

Tomorrow - I'm going to try to get the lower arms set and install the upper arms and do another round of garage clean up bingo.  I don't want to install the steering box until I've got a pittman arm installed on it and I haven't yet worked out a solution for that...perhaps I'll spend most of my time working on the brakes/spindles/bearings.  Then I can pop them on the car and drop it to the ground and see how well I documented the lower torsion arm location when I took it apart.  I may be smacking the retaining plates with a hammer - which means I might have some touch up painting to do.

It's coming together but WAY slower than I hoped.  Once this is all done - I get to try to start the car and see if my battery drain issue persists or has been eliminated...and I've got the doors to deal with as well.  One thing at a time though.