Isabel's West Coast Sister by relentless

By diyauto
( 1 )

Isabel's West Coast Sister


Compliments of relentless @ http://classiccougarcommunity.com


8-5-2014

Ever since I saw 1969XR7Vert's Isabel I have been wanting a similar car. As luck would have it, one appeared locally and I jumped on it. I posted a few pictures of it in another thread a week or so ago. In anticipation of the car's arrival, I ordered a set of Foose 105 rims and tires the same size as Robert has on Isabel. I also opened up my wallet and ordered miscellaneous parts that I knew were missing, like the air cleaner, Cougar badges, window winders, and the list goes on and on.

I took delivery of the car last Friday as the mechanic who went through it brought it out on his car hauler. I spoke with the mechanic and he told me that the 625cfm Barry Grant Demon carburetor was badly gummed up and he wasn't able to get the inner passageways clear enough for the car to run, so the seller decided to put a brand new 625BG carb on the engine. The mechanic said he started the car, but that the gas was really bad. I decided that rather than start the car I would do a complete gas cleanout.

So I towed the car into my yard and proceeded to wash it, as it had been sitting outside and the paint was dirty. I was careful with the water as the windows were down and pretty much unattached. I noticed when washing the car that the bumpers were loose and barely on, the rear backup lights were just set in place, and other parts had just been stuck on without fasteners to make the car look more or less complete. The front hood scoop had been removed for the transport to my house, and it only had two holes in the hood to mount it. In other words, this wouldn't be a quick turnaround to get the car finished.

The next day I towed the car into my big shop and gave the paint a good wax job. I have always been partial to Turtle's One Step Color Back, so that is what I applied. I took note of where several paint chips were located. The seller had given me the paint cans from the paint job and I am hoping that the paint might still be OK to fill in the chipped areas. We shall see.  

I then jacked the rear tires up and drained the gas, which smelled like turpentine. I shook my head thinking that the mechanic had started the car with this junk gas. I flushed a quart of fresh gas in the tank and let it drain out with the old. I blew out the lines running from the tank to the fuel pump, the lines from the pump to the carb, and also drained the float chambers. I sprayed some carb cleaner in the lines and blew them out again until the fluid looked clear coming out of the carb drains for the floats. I checked the radiator and found it to be a half gallon low, so I topped it up. I also checked the oil and saw it was overfilled, but the oil was clean as a whistle. 

After buttoning everything up, I poured three gallons of ethenol-free gas into the tank. Then I took the float needle out and carefully poured fresh gas into the float bowl. Since the engine was basically brand new I didn't want to grind away on the starter while the engine pulled gas from the tank to the carb. I sprayed a little ether into the carb and the engine fired right up. The engine really sounded beefy and it was a pleasure to hear that 408 run! It died after 30 seconds, so I again filled the float chambers with fresh gas. It started right up and this time I ran the engine for 10-15 minutes. I let the engine cool down and tried starting it again. It would start with some ether but would quickly die, so I have to troubleshoot to see why the engine isn't getting gas.

While I wait for a set of manuals to arrive, I am trying to figure out where some of the parts I still have to install go. The seller gave me three boxes of parts and cautioned me that some of the parts could very well have come off another vintage muscle car. So let's have a pop quiz and see who can identify these parts!

A. What is this and where does it go? 

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B. What are these brackets and where do they go?

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C. What is this used for and where does it go?

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D. Is this the vacuum cannister for the headlights? Does it mount in the engine bay on the passenger side by the hood hinge?

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E. Are these front disc brake guards?

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Here are some parts that were in the trunk.

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Here are a few pictures of the car after I did some cleaning.

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The front bumper turned out nice after polishing it with Turtle Chrome Polish and Rust Remover.  

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I was disappointed that the PO didn't put some rubber stripping between the hood scoop and the hood. You can see the scratches that resulted.

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D. Is this the vacuum cannister for the headlights? Does it mount in the engine bay on the passenger side by the hood hinge?

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Congrats and have fun!
That sure is the vac cannister. On 1970, it mounts under the driver side fender, behing headlights.
See pics that were taken before I removed it to repaint.


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8-9-2014

OK some of the goodies I have ordered have started to trickle in. While waiting for them I have been busy cleaning, cleaning and cleaning and waxing. I have also taken some parts off and will be taking more off in order to bring this car back to what it once was. The PO didn't mount many of the parts I have been taking off, and there are a lot of nuts and bolts that are incorrect. I will be rectifying that situation.

After removing parts from the front of the car.

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Lots of hidden dirt under the trim moulding.

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Found this hiding under the trim.

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New air cleaner that sits up too high. It will fit my '67 GT however.

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New stainless steel door moulding. Need to figure out what to do with seat hinge bracket, paint or cover?

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New Cougar badges, light lens and bezel.

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8-11-2014

I ordered more car goodies over the weekend. I received more car goodies today. I discovered more car goodies I still have to order.  :buck: 

My wife came out to help me today. She is a great cleaner, so she attacked the trunk/gas tank where the PO had put some weird rubber-backed rug in that managed to stick itself to the interior. She came into the house and did some research since the hardened rubber wasn't coming off easily. Tomorrow she will try soaking the area with WD-40 and using a plastic scraper.

Meanwhile I inspected the lock set I picked up today.

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I installed the door locks, but ran into trouble with the rear trunk lock. I have been using a long flat blade screwdriver to open the trunk while I waited for the new lock to arrive. The lock set I bought didn't have the extending lever that the was on the truck lock I found in one of the parts boxes I was given, so I took the extension lever off that lock and put it on the new one. The new lock appeared to be the same length as the other one, yet the extending lever to work the inner trunk latch mechanism doesn't reach far enough. Length of the lock and lever is right at 4" and is too short.

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So I still have to figure out what's going on here.  

I cleaned the inner door panels and put on the repro inner door handles... After I removed the "made in China stickers." I also cleaned up the passenger door panel and put it on to see how it would look. I sprayed a lot of WD-40 in the doors on the moving parts, and they operated a lot smoother and easier. 

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Here's the new passenger door lock.

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My wife vacuumed the interior out. I will still be taking the carpet out and cleaning the floor underneath and then cleaning the carpet once more. Here's a shot of the new Grant steering wheel.

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I put the sun visors on but am missing the center pivot/mount so will order one. It was a pain to get the visors on their pivot rods. I ended up spraying WD-40 in the visor rod opening and had to jack with the passenger side before the visor would slide all the way into the rod.


8-12-2014

Well today I did more work on the car. I was bummed that the package of parts I thought would be here was a no-show. I decided to take another look at the trunk lock and compared the mechanism with the one on my '67 GT. I saw the GT had plenty of length on the lock lever to reach the latch slot. I considered lengthening the lever on the '69 by welding another piece of metal on the end, but then decided to try a different method of making the lever reach the latch slot. I split the spring on the lock with the lever and also removed the rubber gasket that seals the lock on the trunk. This bought me another 3/16" or so of length, which was sufficient to reach the latch slot.  

I put the end of the lock lever here where you see the screwdriver.

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I used black silicone sealant between the lock and the trunk sheet metal to ensure that no moisture could enter the trunk through the lock.

I next took the ignition lock and switch out of the car and swapped out the old lock for the one in the matching set I purchased from WCCC. I had to look at a video on Youtube that showed me how to remove the key cylinder, which involved making a tool out of a piece of wire to push into the hole below the key entrance to depress a spring loaded pin. This allows you to turn the key counter clockwise past accessory, and then the lock cylinder just slides out for replacement. The Youtube video is a big help in seeing how this works.

On reassembly I couldn't get the key switch to tighten up with the threaded bezel, so does anyone know how that works? I played around with the light housing back behind the dash using it as a spacer but never figured out how to get the darn thing tightened.


8-14-2014

Yesterday was an eventful one. Here are some of the goodies that showed up.  

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There is one area where they brushed the fins to remove the black paint where there is still some black paint showing. I plan on polishing the brushed area so no biggee.

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Here's what lies under the rocker covers.

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I picked up the Foose wheels and new Continental tires yesterday. They will be going on today and I will post some pix.


Some more progress today. More new parts.  :beerchug: 

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8-15-2014

Daryl, I may have the valve covers on the wrong side. I oriented them the way the PO and engine builder (Jeff Jahns) had them on the ones I took off. The oil fill is toward the back on the new covers, will that make any difference? Maybe I should swap them anyway? I did receive the five volume service manuals today so I will take a look in the book.

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Al, I am going to have these re-chromed and keep them for an all-chrome look for the engine bay at times. They have the walking cat on them and probably wouldn't look good on a truck anyway.

Robert, I first want to show you what the steering wheel hub cover looks like. I had three sizes of covers, and went with one that fit inside the tilt-away. It looks like you chose the largest of the three hub covers.

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As for the radiator support, I suppose anything is possible. But I don't know this car or '69 Cougars well enough to say. I do know that it looks factory and if it was done after it was sold they did a heck of a job. I haven't seen any evidence any of the sheet metal in the front of the car has ever been replaced.

Glad you like the wheels, but look at that stance! It looks like it just launched for a drag race! I measured 5" from the top of the tire to the wheel well. You mentioned that you only dropped the front of your car 1 or 2 inches, but it looks like I need to do a much larger drop. How do you think I should proceed?

Thanks for checking on the lock rod for me. I hope that '69 rod is a bit longer than the one on the car now.


Some more goodies showed up today. First was the replica rear spoiler. I later found out you need to order the extensions and mounting hardware separately. The chrome fender moulding also arrived today, but missing one bag of mounting screws. I also received the SS side mouldings, and they sure look nice. Finally I received the mounting hardware for the new aluminum radiator. I had to tap the frame where the lower radiator mounts attach, and cut a small section off the bottom of the driver's side lower mount to make everything fit correctly. But that big 3-row aluminum radiator sure looks handsome on the car!

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I also cleaned some rusty mounting bolts and hardware. I just painted them black for now, and will be looking for something a lot better. But at least I can look at the pictures now and see less and less rusty components that I have yet to fix.  

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My wife helped me out by removing the rug backing that was embedded in the trunk. We had to use a 3-M paint removing pad to remove some of the dried rug [email protected] I will be re-painting some of the trunk as a result. She also was able to remove the duct-tape stickum from the front firewall.  

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Robert, I measured the vertical distance from the ground to the front fender well at 29 3/4" and the distance from the ground to the top of the tire is 25". What are the dimensions on Isabel and how do you think I should proceed to lower the car? Thanks in advance!


8-17-2014

Yesterday I started putting the wheel lip mouldings on the car. My wife really likes the look! Next on the agenda is to install the stainless steel rocker cover mouldings. I am missing one nylon mount and also need to verify the orientation of the mouldings, as they are different on each end. I am assuming that the more tapered end goes towards the rear of the car, and the more rounded end faces front.

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Front or rear?

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Bad luck again, missing one nylon mount.

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8-20-2014

Thanks very much Robert. Today I put on the passenger side rocker moulding. These are a high quality part. I used a couple of the OEM mounting holes, but found out I had to drill some holes to ensure that they went on dead straight. The template I received with the rocker mouldings didn't have the end holes in the place I needed them, so I used a three foot yard stick along the top of the nylon mounting pads once I had them attached, to draw a straight line and then measured down for the hole for the end mounts which are made of metal and the hole goes in the middle vertically. I learned the hard way to protect the paint when installing these parts. I will never use pop rivets on this car again!!!! Don't ask. 

Here are some pix of the covers on the car. I verified with WCCC that the panels have the more pointy-top end facing front.  

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I also received the seat hinge covers and repainted them and then installed them.  

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I also received the set of front fender extenders I will be repainting. They had the front Cougar emblem, which I put on the car for a look-see. What do you think Robert? If yours is better I definitely want it, as this is OK but not show quality. Still better than nothing.

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Parts keep arriving daily. I received a chrome alternator but it doesn't fit the stock mounts, although it was advertised as for a 351 Windsor. So I need to look into that. More goodies are on order and I am looking forward to making more progress in the coming days.


8-21-2014

Here is the info on the chrome alternator I bought that is smaller physically than the one currently on the car, and hence doesn't fit the mounting points. Even the chrome mounts are different! 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 1415646392

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Today I tidied up some of the engine compartment with new mounting hardware, plus painted the coil and put on a new chrome mounting bracket.

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I also received the missing screws for the lip moulding, so I was able to get the last piece mounted.

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I received the mounting pieces for the rear spoiler. I don't have any instructions, but I figured out how the pieces from the spoiler to the deck struts go. I still need to figure out where they mount to the trunk lid. Any measurements for this referenced from the bottom of the rear of the trunk lid??

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Tomorrow is my 33rd wedding anniversary. I won't get much accomplished on the car, but sometimes there is nothing better than to spend time with those you love. Life is short!


8-24-2014

I was able to get the driver's side stainless steel rocker moulding mounted without incident. I also used a brass wire brush on a drill to knock the rust off the disc brake rotor. It looks a lot nicer behind the wheel and I need to do this to the other three rotors.

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The Eastwood paint for the brake resevoir and gas tank arrived yesterday, so I think I will go and finish off the trunk, where the PO never mounted the tank. He just set it in place with no mounting hardware and then the [email protected] rug that boogered everything up so it has to be repainted.

Today I was able to finish off the gas tank install. I started by removing the tank and sanding down the original paint, which was damaged by the PO putting a rubber backed rug in the trunk, which managed to glue itself onto the paint to the point it took paint removal tools to remove the embedded rug. I used Eastwood's Tank Tone paint, which I thought looked pretty good.  

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I spent some time cleaning the trunk area, as well as the underside of the rear of the car while the gas tank was out.

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After the tank was painted I used Eastwood's seam sealer to lay down a generous bead before I put the tank back in the trunk. I then used new tank mounting screws to secure the tank back into place, re-installed the gas line and fuel guage sending wire, and put a new rubber sleeve and new hose clamps between the tank and fuel filler pipe, which I also painted with the Eastwood tank tone paint.

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My wife wanted something nice on the back of the trunk lid, so I obliged by installing a new aftermarket Cougar emblem.

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I used some naval jelly to attack the rust on the brake resevoir and power brake tank. Tomorrow I plan on painting these pieces and that will be one more item off my list of things to clean, paint, and/or repair. I also sent off for a spring compressor so I can remove the front springs and find out why the front of the car is sitting so high.


8-26-2014

More progress. I was able to remove the front shocks, although one nut was more difficult to remove. Three of the nuts were able to be removed using a half inch socket and socket wrench with extension. One nut on the bottom was too close to the shock rocker and I couldn't get a socket on it. I ended up using a crow's foot socket and a socket wrench with extension.

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I found a lot of chipped paint under the top shock mount. There is a spring isolator in the shock tower. Total Control Products makes a 1/4" isolator that I think will help lower the front of the car, but I won't know everything until I remove the spring.  

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I spent some time with a brass brush on my drill cleaning the rust off the front rotor. I then painted part of the rotor using a VHT caliper paint rated at 900 degrees. I am hoping I can keep the rust off if this paint holds up.

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So I bolted the driver's side front wheel back on and was satisfied with new black on the front rotor.

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I then took the driver's side rear wheel off and gave the rear rotor the blackout treatment.  

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After that I decided to see if the Verseilles rear disc brake guard would fit. I found out why the PO didn't install them - there was a broken bolt snapped off where the bottom hole for the guard mounts. So I spent a lot of time drilling out the broken fastener and then re-tapping the hole so I can put a new bolt in place. 

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8-29-2014

Some new reading material showed up.

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I did some cleanup and painting on the brake resevoir and tank. I used Eastwood's paint for the resevoir and was very pleased with the results, it looks just like bare metal. There is a lot of metal in the paint so be sure to use gloves! Here is a before picture after using naval Jelly to take off the rust.

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The chrome spring retainer bracket for the carburetor arrived today. I had to do some clearancing on the bolt holes to get it aligned properly. It is also easier to attach the springs while the brackets are off the car.

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The engine compartment is looking much better than when I purchased this car!

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I dismantled the front grille. I have to figure out the best method of removing the right side Cougar emblem and black background.  

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There are two pins that appear to be melted into the back of the emblem frame.

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The new parts.

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I am thinking that I need to use a drill to carefully drill out the back of the two pins on the old Cougar emblem, then peel the original backing off after the emblem is removed.


9-1-2014

Yesterday I went out for a while to tackle the front grille, which was looking pretty sad. I started by taking a LOT of pictures before and during the disassembly process. Nothing worse than putting something on bass-ackwards just because you didn't document your work!

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After disassembly, I scrubbed each component thoroughly and then let it dry in the hot sun. I had a lot of the original paint flake off where there was chrome underneath, it didn't look like the factory scuffed up the metal before they applied the blackening paint. Once dried each piece was painted. If there was any bare metal I used Eastwood's 'Paint Over Rust' product after using a wire brush on my drill to remove any rust that was showing. After that dried I finished the paint off with the VHT high temp black paint I had used on the brake rotors.  


For the pieces with chrome that face out, I painted the black and quickly wiped the chrome outer area down with a paper towel soaked in ****** to remove the paint. Disclaimer! Don't do what I did! You should mask off the chrome and then paint!! If you don't heed this advice at least make sure you are in a well ventilated area for painting and other paint-related activities, use proper hand and eye protection, use a respirator suitable for whatever substances you are spraying, wear a painter's suit, and so on and so forth. In other words, protect yourself!!!

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I used a drill to drill out the holes holding the Cougar emblem and background on the passenger side headlight cover. After drilling I turned the cover over and used a punch and hammer to lightly tap on the emblem studs, and the Cougar emblem came right out.  

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I used a thin flat blade screwdriver to pry under the black background and then peeled it off the cover. Underneath was the original glue, which I removed using a plastic scraper and then used pre-paint prep to clean the area under the cover and prep it for the new background.

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The cover with new Cougar emblem and background, fresh paint, and the chrome polished using Turtle's Chrome Polish. Rather than melt the two mounting studs on the backside of the cover to hold the Cougar emblem, I used some 3-M emblem adhesive.

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Next step will be to re-assemble the grille and get it mounted on the car.


I started reassembling the front grille but got sidetracked on the rear spoiler. I printed out the mounting instructions I got from WCCC. They show 7 1/4" in from the edge of the trunk lid to the center of the pedestal, and 19 3/8" from the top of the trunk lid down to the top of the pedestal. I taped the mounting point to protect the paint.

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After outlining the pedestal mounting point, I brought the rear spoiler over to double check the fit. Here is what I discovered.

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I checked the pedestal mounts to ensure they were plumb and not cocked off one way or another relative to the spoiler. I then centered the pedestal bases left to right using the spoiler and mounted pedestals, and oulined the adjusted position for the pedestals.

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So here is where the rear spoiler will mount based on the information I was provided. My big question is for those who have a spoiler on their '69, before I start drilling holes... Does this look proper relative to the rear of the car?


9-2-2014

Today a couple of items arrived. The first was the chrome bracket for the throttle cable off the carburetor. I will have to fabricate a small bracket to keep the main bracket from moving if it ever came loose on the main mounting bolt. But it was nice to get rid of the home-made bracket.

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The spring compressor I purchased off Ebay arrived today. It is a very stout looking unit and definitely worth the investment if you want to do the job by yourself and not risk injury. The top nut takes a very large wrench. The compressor has a worm gear rod that I lubricated before use to make things easier.

The spring compressor mounts to the top of the shock tower just like the shock absorber.

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The bottom mounts like the shock absorber as well, using two bolts that are welded on the bottom of the compressor. It was difficult to get the nut on the inner bolt. I had to hold the spring compressor up by pushing the outer bolt up to the bottom of the spring rocker, and then was able to get enough clearance to start the inner nut.  

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Removing the spring took a while. After compressing the spring enough that I knew there was no pressure on the lower arm, I removed the nuts holding it to the spring rocker so that I could drop the lower arm enough to clear the two rocker bolts. At this point you can begin to back the spring off, letting it slip outward on the rocker arm. I ran into a problem when the spring and rocker reached the fully extended rocker arm and wanted to hang up there. I used a dead blow hammer to try to keep the spring and rocker slipping out and down, but there came a point where there just wasn't any clearance left.

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So I ended up loosening the nuts on the bottom of the spring rocker that held the spring compressor on, and that eased the spring another 3/4" or so. After that I loosened the shock tower cap and tried to tip the top of the spring compressor farther inward in an attempt to cock the bottom of the compressor, spring, and spring rocker outward enough to clear the lower arm. This helped, but didn't take all the pressure off. Prying made the bottom piece pop out, with enough tension that I was a bit concerned about getting bit.

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So I was finally able to remove the spring completely, after two to three hours! I measured the spring at 17 1/4" not including the upper spring isolator.

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I now have enough information to shop for lowering springs.  

I tried to remove the control arm the spring rocker mounts to but there seems to be a clearance issue. I need to get it out so I can clean and repaint it, along with all the other components that have lost their clean shine.

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9-3-2014

Thanks Robert for your measurement on the rear spoiler, and sorry about the postage cost. I probably should have just welded an extension on the one I had, since this isn't a concourse restoration. I hear you on shipping - I just returned the chrome alternator and brackets that don't fit and the shipping was $27.55 USPS!  

Today I called Total Control Products in Sacramento and spoke with C-Ray about my front springs being 17 1/4" long. He told me that the 1" lowering springs they offer are 13" free length, so I ordered them and the 1/4" spring isolators. The installation instructions say that the springs can be cut and each 1/2" off the spring lowers the car 1". This has me a little puzzled because if that is the case and these new springs are 4 1/4" shorter than what was on the car, the lowering amount would be 8 1/2" which is a lot more than the 5-6" I am looking for.
Well I will know more once they arrive, and for anyone needing to know the P/N for the 1" lowering springs is TCPSLM2-60 and the isolator TCPSVM1-01.

I finished painting the front grille and let the paint cure before I will assemble it.  

I then turned my attention to the suspension and brake components that have weathered. I started by removing the control arm that the spring rocker attaches to. Two bolts on the underside, which I couldn't get to with the overly-long spring on, mount the arm and pivot. The nuts are accessible in the engine compartment.

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I was expecting the pivot shaft to be riding on needle bearings or a bushing, but this was not the case. The inner shaft was a worm gear of sorts and the end cap/nuts with the fine threads on the outside are being bypassed because the threads on the control arm are stripped. So it appears I need new control arms. There were zerk fittings on the end cap/nuts but the pivot was not greased. Good grief.

In case I can still use the pivot and end cap/nuts I painted them.

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The rest of the day I spent cleaning the lower control linkage and disc brake mount getting them ready to be repainted.


9-5-2014

Robert, I measured for the rear spoiler based on the specs you gave me for Isabel. Here are the pictures that show the position of the spoiler:

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Does this look correct? The spoiler struts are right on the cusp of being on a rounded surface, based on the curve to the rear for the trunk lid.


9-7-2014

Let's see if anyone can identify the words on the fender protector on the car, and the car in the background.

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9-8-2014

Today I was able to get back to working on the car. I had a few items show up that helped. One was a handheld thermal no-contact temperature gauge that I will be using to monitor the temperature of parts that I powder coat. It is important to keep the temp close to 400 degrees for 20 minutes when the powdercoat is being baked in an oven. I also received a touch up HVLP gun that I will be using in places like the trunk where the paint needs to be resprayed. Finally, the new springs and spring isolators arrived!

I started by installing the rear spoiler. I admit I was a bit nervous drilling holes in the trunk lid! But I measured several times before I finally drilled pilot holes, then the final holes. I am pleased with the way it turned out. My wife and I like the flat black look of the spoiler as it came. It matches the interior, roof, and tires, and breaks up the Prowler Purple paint, so I won't be painting it to match the car's purple, at least for now. I cut a stick down to use to hold up the trunk lid for now.

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I then turned my attention to the front suspension and brakes. I removed the front brake rotor and used Navel Jelly and a drill with a brass brush to remove the rust. I then started bolting some of the suspension components back on the car. I had to clean some parts that had turned nasty.

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It was a lot easier to put the new shorter spring back on the car than it was to remove the old, much longer incorrect spring the PO had installed.

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After some cleaning I touched up some of the black suspension components. Tomorrow I will finish this corner of the car and get it back down on the ground to see how it looks lowered!

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9-10-2014

Yeah, a second spoiler would be a cool thing in Prowler Purple Metallic (and maybe some accents).

Yesterday I cleaned up the right front underside. I found that the 3-M paint removing disc did a good job removing the rust from the (new) brake rotors. Well they were new ten years ago and have not been used. I used plenty of hi-temp grease on the bearings.

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Fresh paint really helps it look clean, as my camera seems to show off every little speck of dirt.

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The moment of truth, the wheel goes on and the car lowered back onto the ground.

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Neeless to say the car now sits crooked!

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And now my aggravation. I get to pull the spring and straighten out the spring isolator!  

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I kept having a problem when I put the isolator on the spring, it kept popping up and wouldn't lay where it was supposed to be. I was careful when I guided the spring and isolator up into the shock tower, but not careful enough it seems. The spring compressor uses the shock top mount making it very difficult to see what is going on up there when using it.

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So today I start out by taking one step backwards... and hopefully come up with a solution that holds the isolator in place until the spring's pressure captures it.


9-11-2014

Yesterday I was able to fix the duffed up spring isolator.

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Here's the difference in the original spring height and the new lowering spring. I can actually compress the new spring a little bit by pressing down on the passenger side of the car!

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The wheel moulding lip is now about an inch above the top of the tire.  

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9-15-2014

Hmmm, my entire new post disappeared! Well here are some pix of the progress.

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10-5-2014

I haven't posted out here in a bit. But I still try to get at least one small thing done each day. I recently took apart the front latch, cleaned and repainted it. I also took off the front bumper, which had the attachment arms to the frame just floating with no bolts. These parts were taken apart, cleaned and repainted. I treated the rust on the inner part of the bumper with naval jelly. Here are a few pictures to show how things look then and now.

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I also got the air tank installed in front of the driver's side tire. It was hard to get the bracket screws on with the wheel and tire still mounted, but my wife was nice enough to hold the heads steady while I put the washers and nuts on. 

Next on the agenda is to reassemble the front grille, and install the grille, fascia, and chin shroud. I still have to get headlights and put them in and wire things in front.


10-6-2014

Today I put the grille, stone guard, and lower fascia back on. I still have some adjustments to do, but the car is looking more complete. Here's how she's shaping up.

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10-8-2014

The past couple days I have been playing around with powdercoating parts, mainly bolts, washers, and nuts, but also some bigger parts.  

This brace was cleaned with a wire brush to remove the old paint, then wiped down with a pre-paint prep.

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After spraying the part with the powdercoat paint, the part is put into a 400 degree oven and baked (after flow out) for 20 minutes. I use an infrared thermal thermometer to ensure that the temp is correct. Here is the cured part in gloss black.

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Here are some old and some new bolts that were powdercoated semi-chrome. The old bolt heads were cleaned up with a wire brush on a drill before being coated.

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You can compare the result of the newly coated bolt here installed on the side of the driver's fender well, compared to the two that haven't been powdercoated (located below).

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Over time I will get all the fasteners powdercoated in the engine bay. I am also going to re-powdercoat the power steering fluid bracket and radiator fan.


10-15-2014

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10-18-2014

Thanks badcatt. I have to admit, I have most of the pictures with the motor exposed.  :)

Here's some with the bonnet down, although I don't have the hood latched completely.

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10-28-2014

My wife likes the silvery color of the new radiator, and it compliments some of the interior of the engine compartment, so it will stay as-is for now.

I removed a lot of parts from the front of the engine, including the radiator, so I can paint some areas and refresh them. The engine block needs some fresh paint, and I am also powdercoating some of the parts to give them a fresh look.

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The upper block radiator pipe before and after powdercoating, along with the heater hose fitting. Bonus points to anyone who can identify the third part I powdercoated.  :devil: 

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Robert, I don't know if you realize what vintage Porsche 914 spark plug wrenches go for these days, but NADA! But nice try!  :beerchug: 

Today I enjoyed powdercoating some more parts, cleaning up the engine bay some more, and painting the water pump housing. I also put on the exit pipe for the upper radiator hose and the heater fastener.  

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I will pay for a case of beer for anyone who can identify this part!!! That means the manufacturer, model, and year:)

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10-31-2014

More paint and powdercoating. Let's take this crusty looking alternator and make it look purdy.

Step 1. Remove components.

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Step 2. Clean components thoroughly.

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Step 3. Apply paint.

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Step 4. Apply powdercoat.

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Step 5. Re-assemble.

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1-19-2015

I haven't been hibernating, just have several projects being done in parallel which takes away from the car project. Plus I was no longer able to log onto CCC with IE8, so I have switched to Google Chrome recently.

I wasn't happy with the two-tone blue paint on the engine and heads, so I decided to spruce the front of the motor up a bit using Eastwood's "Old Ford Blue" and their urethane activator. I started by removing all rust spots and sanding the original paint down a bit to smooth the surface for the next paint layers. I used a brush for the application and applied it in two coats. I kept a couple drop lamps on the paint overnight and it had set up nicely the next morning. I was pretty pleased with the results, and will hopefully put the engine compartment components back in this week.  

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1-20-2015

Well, it was time for a browser upgrade that's for sure.

Well that Eastwood paint is fairly tough with the catalyst added. I had a few drips and some over-brushed areas to clean up. It would have been so much easier had I just cleaned them up before the paint dried!  :cyclops:  

I managed to start to put parts back on. I am not happy with a couple of powdercoated parts, like the PS bracket and pulley, but will probably not re-finish them right now. I also need to clean up the wiring, but the engine bay is looking waaaay better than it did when I started on it.

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Today was devoted to cleaning up the shop and then car assembly. Here are the results.

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Here is what the engine bay looked like when I brought the car home. It is coming along nicely.  :beerchug: 

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1-22-2015

Yesterday I removed the passenger's side rear tire to look at things behind it. Here is what it looked like:

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It took a BIG breaker bar to bust loose the two bolts holding the caliper on. 

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I removed the rusty brake disc, and was ready to try this Eastwood Fast Etch rust remover, which they show on the container how it performs on rusty discs.

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I admit, I had my doubts as to how effective the Fast Etch would be. I have spent plenty of time with other rust removers, wire brushes on drills etc. I poured the Fast Etch into a clean oil drain container and dropped the disc in about a 1/2" deep.

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After five minutes I began to see a lot of the rust coming off.

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I'm not sure how long this was, maybe 30 minutes or so.

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After no longer than 45 minutes, and only using a soft bristle brush, this is the result. Amazing!

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The other side that was down, had all the rust removed except where it was against the plastic drain pan.

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The final result with a little more time spent with only a brush. Man, this stuff really works!!

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In conclusion, I wish I had tried Fast Etch before!


1-23-2015

The instructions state to soak a rag in the Fast Etch and keep it wet for vertical applications, so today I did just that to the rear drive axle that was very rusty.  

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Every so often while working on other projects I would come by and wet the rag down. After a few hours I finally took the rag off and was happy with the results. I am only using the dirty Fast Etch that was left over from the disc brake, and I think some fresh Fast Etch would have gone faster and done a better job, but what the heck, squeeze what you can out of your supplies, right?

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2-14-2015

After painting the engine block I grew dissatisfied with the condition of some of the accessories that mount to the front of the engine. These had been powdercoated for the most part, but time had taken a toll on them and they looked a bit tired. I read up on re-powdercoating and decided to try it. After removing some parts I heated them up in the oven and gave them a new spray of powdercoating, then baked them in the oven again at 400 degrees. I found out that heating the parts to 225 degrees (after a good cleaning) seemed to make the new powdercoating grip the old pretty well.

Here are the results on a couple of parts:

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I took off the power steering pulley/reservoir and need to find a place that can press the pulley off as I need to disassemble the unit so I can powdercoat the mounting bracket and pulley, and paint the reservoir. The manual shows there are special tools that press the pulley off and re-mount it. I don't have any local shops I am familiar with that can perform this work, so I will have to locate one.

Finally, I painted the fan clutch a silver-gray color, just for Robert! A bit more attention to detail in the engine bay should have me fairly satisfied with the work I have done to bring it back to looking fresh.


7-15-2016

It has been a while since I have posted on my progress. Mainly because until recently there wasn't any! However, I am now pushing to get the car ready for a show at the end of the month in my area, namely Back to the 50's event in Grants Pass, OR.  

So I finally re-powdercoated the power steering bracket and repainted the power steering reservoir to match the gray/silver of the alternator. I like it better than the original block blue the PO had painted the reservoir. After that I put the radiator back in.  

Since I don't have a lot of time before the show I opted to put the low profile air cleaner in. I will need to modify the hood to use the larger oval air cleaner that matches the valve covers. I was able to use the three extra walking cat emblems to add some extra cat bling to the top of the chrome air cleaner cover.  

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The hood scoop was only held on by two bolts in the back near the windshield, so I drilled two more mounting holes in the hood in front. To line them up I first put down masking tape and drew an outline of the hood scoop with the two rear screws attached. After making sure it was aligned correctly, I used more tape to mark the front/rear position of the mounting hole in the scoop. I then marked this on the tape on the hood. I then laid down some tape horizontally and measured where the hole in the hood *should* be located and marked it. Finally I cut two pieces of bolt and threaded them into the hood scoop, put some goop on the end of the threads and re-mounted the scoop pushing down on the front bolt stubs. They lined up exactly where I had measured the holes on the hood, so I then drilled the holes for the front mounts.

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The front bumper stuck out more on the passenger's side than the drivers, so I slotted the mounts on the right side and moved the bumper back to align evenly with the driver's side. There still is a bit of a twist on the driver's side, but I will have to deal with that after the show. I also ordered repro bumper fills and will mount them as soon as they arrive.

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The puller/installer from HF did its job. You are correct that some lube on the pulley shaft helps. I bent a couple washers doing the install and finally used a steel bushing on the puller, along with the bearing.


7-17-2016

OK, two weeks until the Back to the 50's car show. Here is some more progress. I dumped the oil and put in fresh synthetic. Some of you might doubt the wisdom of putting synthetic oil in an engine that isn't broken in yet, but I trust science. Here is an engineer's perspective. I was not aware that all new Corvettes have synthetic oil straight from the factory.  

https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/

I scored some black XR7 door panels. Still waiting for the speaker covers and door pull straps, but I think they look a lot better than the standard door panels I had. I also put on the XR7 stainless steel window mouldings.  

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I had to take the front wheels off to put some bolts back on and do some basic cleanup. You can see where I slotted the bumper mount to body so I could pull the passenger side in to line the bumper up even with the driver's side, and in line with the eyebrow skirt. I have bumper fills on order.

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I've spent countless hours dinking around with the engine bay. I am happy to say that today I am nearly finished dinking. I covered the wiring harnesses as best I could and put on the new spark plug wires.

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Underside of the hood is now painted flat black - much better than the raw fiberglass color.

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While the wheels were off I gave them another polish job using Turtle's Chrome polish, which I really like.

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Front turn signals are repainted and back on. Still have to wire them in. Robert, what is the best way to route the wiring harness from the turn signals to the main harness, can you provide me a picture please? Does it route through the opening inside the hood stops like I show here?

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Did you guys catch my joke?

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His tail's up! That's a Brit expression for someone going for it.

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The hood cowell doesn't seem to be fastened down, what screws do I need? I found a rubber hood seal, does it mount as shown and if so, what do I do about the ends?

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I'm gonna have a ton of questions about the interior. I have never pulled one of these cars apart and all I have are boxes of ... parts. I was able to get the clock mounted in the dash, but I need to figure out what to do about the plastic cover that isn't very clear.


7-19-2016

Thanks Robert for the photos. I have routed the wiring accordingly.

Yesterday I received the antenna, trunk mat, and front bumper fills and put them on the car. I couldn't get the bumper fills to align completely so I decided to glue them in with rubber trim adhesive in steps. I started by gluing the bottom section in, using tape to keep it aligned. After it set up overnight I used more of the adhesive and tape to continue to line up the bumper fills and glue them in place. With luck I can complete the job tomorrow.  

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I wasn't happy with the shock tower caps that were painted purple. The paint was easily chipped and so I spent time today stripping all the paint off and then powdercoating them gloss black. I think they look a lot better now.  

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Wouldn't you know that the side mirror would be a pain. Only the front mounting hole lined up with the door. I had purchased a kit from WCCC and riveted the rear nut-insert in place. It was nerve wracking making sure I had the mirror lined up before I took the plunge and drilled the hole for the insert.  

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I received the halogen headlights and wiring kit but discovered I was missing the headlight buckets and trim rings. Once they arrive from WCCC I will be posting progress on this part of the car.


7-24-2016

Thank you 70 Cougar. I also want to thank Robert for all his kind assistance.

Less than a week before the show. The driver's side window was loose, so I glued it back into place. It was a tremendous help watching the Youtube video WCCC/Don did showing how to do the job. The only extra issue I had was that the glass was very loose in the brackets. The PO had put some kind of welting against the glass and then used some sort of glue to try to hold it in place. When the welting was removed the gap to the glass made it move back and forth quite a bit. When I glued it in place I did my best to find the middle ground in the play.  

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I ordered headlight buckets and trim rings from WCCC as there were no headlights in the car. As luck would have it I did find four headlight buckets in the pile of parts I have. Oh well, the ones from WCCC were in better shape. I cleaned and stripped them, then powdercoated them gloss black. The trim rings were polished to bring out their original shine. I ordered halogen headlights off Ebay and the wiring harness from Rocketman.  

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The end product with purple LEDs!

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Six more days but I am coming down the home stretch!


7-26-2016

Today the car came down off the blocks. I had the kind assistance of my wife to steer the car while I used a tractor to tow the car and turn it around so the exhaust points out of the shop when I (hopefully) fire the car up tomorrow. Only three more days to get the car ready for the show.

Here is the car out in the daylight. It still needs a good spit-polish and detail.

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The leaky hydraulic pump in the car for the powered top.

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8-5-2016

Hi Scott it was nice speaking with you and I look forward to adding those guards to the car.

While attending the Grants Pass Back to the 50's car show last weekend I swung by the car's previous owner and picked up the rear valence that he still had. It actually was a NOS metal that had been painted the Prowler Purple. It had a few nicks and chips, and the paint had some overspray. I was able to use rubbing compound to remove the overspray and bring out the shine on the paint. I had to remove the rear bumper to install the valence. I had to fit the valence by bending some of the sheet metal on the car to get it to fit right. I put the larger outer bolts in first before installing the much smaller screws that attach the valence. Some of the smaller holes lined up and well, some did not. A drill took care of that.

I also had an issue with the rear bumper not fitting properly. It was tilted up toward the back, making the gap between the backup lights and top of the bumper crooked. The brackets on the bumper were pretty straight, and the bumper itself was straight. I had some rubber that was wedge shaped and I ended up putting that between the bumper bracket and car body. This stepped the top of the bumper out enough to even the gaps on the bumper. I have a set of NOS backup light lenses that I haven't installed yet.  

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The taillight housings and lens need some love to look better. Then maybe some plasma lights. I still have to test the electrical and determine the state of the sequential taillight system.


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