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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Something You Don't See Everyday

Finally figured out how to get the windshield and its frame out. I didn't document it very well in pictures, but I'll try to explain as best I can.

Look Ma, no windshield!
Windscreen removed. Lots of old rubber and stuff left to get off.
First, the windshield and framing are attached to the car with a series of three bolts and a bracket, per side. This bracket looks like half of a hinge without the hing pin in it. The posts that stick out of the bottom of the frame (they are tapered) go into the "hinge hole" and this is tightened down with nylock nuts to snug it all up. Simple...if you understand that's how it works. Well, I undid all the bolts yesterday and started to pull. Lots of movement, but not in the outward direction. So, I WD-40'ed the posts overnight, put the nuts back on to protect the threads and whacked away at it until it loosened up. In hindsight, I should not have removed the three bolts holding the brackets in but only the post nuts. The movement of the brackets made it more difficult to remove the thing. I would have put them back in, but I couldn't get the holes realigned because the rubber was all messed up and...it was a mess. But, I finally got it.

Silicone bead around windshield.
The windshield itself is in good shape, though there are some wipers burns on it. I may be able to polish these out, though. You can see silicone around the periphery of the entire thing...guess it was leaking. And, based on the rubber surround that I was literally able to break off to remove the glass, that doesn't surprise me.

Two of the three spots prepped for priming.
I was also bracing myself for lots of rust because the rubber between the car body and the bottom of the frame was dry-rotted, too. But, there were three very light spots of bubbling and some spots around the holes where the frame posts enter the body. These were also bent up a bit; probably from years of pulling on the frame to get out of the car (that's how I do it, anyway). I brought these to bare metal, sanded them, applied rust converter as a paint prep (says so on the bottle), wiped it clean and primed it. It looks horrible, but hopefully I did more good than harm. Besides, after having removed this it comes off easily enough that I would pull it to paint the whole car anyway.

The other thing that I found was the original paint color in good condition where the rubber was. Not quite sure why the PO painted it. The original red is very nice...of course, it may have been in pretty bad shape. I keep looking for extensive frame damage, indicating an accident that required new body parts and, hence, new paint. But, the frame is also this bright red (Signal Red, Code 11 from the commission plate) where it has been protected from the elements, so I'm going with just oxidation over time.

So, everything is all cleaned up and nice and pretty. I have new rubber for the screen and the frame bottom and will try to get that back in tomorrow. There is a handy website that I found with tips on how to do it, so hopefully it will go smooth.

My other problem for today was a rear brake line. There is a little solid brake line that runs from the 3-way splitter for the rear brakes to a bracket for the driver's rear drum. It bolts through this bracket to the brake hose that runs out to the wheel. Well, you would be surprised (or maybe not) that it is very hard to find a brake line made this way (male on one end, female on the other). So, for whatever reason, when the PO did the brakes, this line went missing, or was broken or something. To the point, I don't have it. Thanks to the guys on the forum, it looks like The Roadster Factory has them, but I want to call them tomorrow to verify. No one else seems to have just that line, but I can buy all sorts of kits to do the whole car!

The brake line I need.
So, that was it for today. Tomorrow morning, first thing, I'm taking a ride to Providence to pick up a boot lid that a very kind gentlemen (who I also contacted via the forum) has offered me...for free. This will replace mine that only has a matter of time before it totally rots away at the bottom. Then, domestic duties call, so I'm not sure if I will get the windshield back in or not.

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