Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gone, but Not Forgotten

I told the lovely Loriann, there’s a space in my driveway and a hole in my heart. I’m always saddened when I sell a car; Saturday was no different when TwoTone was hauled away. I can take comfort in the knowledge that the new owner, a really nice guy and his teenage son, will probably have her back on the road faster than Mikhaila and I would have. ‘Vair buddy, John’s, free ’64 coupe sealed the deal. They’ll be converting TwoTone to a 4-speed. It’ll be too cool.

What else is happening with the fleet?

There’s no change, sadly, with the ongoing battle with Ringo’s driver’s door. Even after adjusting the door, it’s back to needing to be slammed. Irrr. It’s nice to report, though, that Ariel’s only needed to use the ignition bypass once.

I spent some time on Glinda last weekend. Saturday afternoon I decided to install the new clutch and brake pedal assembly. When I first started planning to do this swap, I researched what I’d need to do, and had been led to believe that the large support bracket was different to accommodate the clutch, so I bought a used version along with the pedals and pertinent parts. Over the last few weeks I’d cleaned up the used parts, primed them, and shot them with a couple coats of Rustoleum gloss black. With them ready to go, I crawled under the dash to determine the best path of attack. It didn’t take long for me to figure out the bracket that was in the car looked exactly like the one I’d bought. Okay, the hardest part of the job didn’t need to be done. Yay. The existing brake pedal came out once I’d popped off the clips that held the two shafts (pivot and master cylinder rod) in place, slid the shafts out, and dropped the pedal straight down. Getting the new, longer clutch pedal shaft into its pivot hole required me to remove the defroster duct; which required me to remove the glovebox; which required me to remove the new radio housing. With all that stuff out of the way, the clutch shaft slid into the hole, through the brake pedal, out the other side of the bracket. The clutch pedal slid over the end and was retained with a washer and nut. It took a while to convince the duct it needed to go back in, but it finally succumbed, and the rest of the reassembly went well. An adjustment to the brake pedal switch completed the pedal swap. The other task I undertook was repairing the failing vinyl on the driver’s seatback. I’d purchased a repair kit a while back. Step 1 was to glue a backing cloth to the backside of the vinyl surrounding the hole. Since it required a four hour cure, that was the end of Glinda work for the weekend.

Sunday was Luna day. Yes, the car that hasn’t moved in months got some attention. Victoria and I decided it was time to tackle installing the convertible top. With the sun beating down on us, we fought with the attaching the rear window piece to the trim sticks for a couple hours. Finally, we had to give up since the baking black vinyl and cloth were getting too hot to handle. While we made some good headway, it would have been nicer to finish the job. Well, they’ll be other weekends. While she (Luna) was out in the driveway I fixed the tie-rod problem I’d discovered when we did a lube job soon after bringing her home. A previous mechanic had adjusted the joint in such a way as to bind the balljoints. I needed to turn one end relative to the adjusting sleeve, but that entailed some doing. First, I needed to loosen the two clamp nuts from there associated bolts. This was done with great trepidation since these guys are known to just torque right off due to being seized. Well, God was looking down on me since both came off cleanly with only penetrating fluid and careful wrenching. The threaded connection of the tie-rod end into the sleeve took the aggressive application of flame to get it to the point where, with me standing on the end of a pipe wrench, I could get it to move. It only took a few degrees of rotation to free the tie-rod centering it in its travel. After cleaning the bolts on the wire wheel and generously applying anti-seize, I reassembled the clamps, dropped the car off the jackstands, and called it a day.

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