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Friday, September 19, 2014

Step Two of Three Achieved

Thought today was going to go like yesterday, but in the end, it was pretty good. Domestic duties took me until around 10:30 and then I started work on the car. I first tried to get the windscreen frame in.  Uh, yeah, moving on. Then, I wanted to get the boot lid fitted properly. I was unable to do that for whatever reason...probably just ignorance. I'm sure, out of the three nuts & bolts per side, there is an magic adjustment somewhere. But, as of now, the lid still rubs on the passenger's side. It will shut, but it rubs.

Next, thanks to Nigel at SpitBits and courtesy of the US Postal Service, the retaining clip for my 3/4" clutch slave cylinder arrived. They are not provided with the slave rebuild kit (unlike the master cylinder kits) for whatever reason and I guess they are pretty rare, but there you go. Nigel came through. So, I took a shot and rebuilt it. Well, it seems to have worked. I mounted and bled it (love that you can do that by yourself) and filled the master cylinder to the line. Then, I pumped it a few dozen times. Checked the master cylinder level and it hadn't changed. Removal and inspection of the slave didn't show any leakage, so I mounted it back up. It felt a bit odd, but it's been a long time since I've driven a stick shift let alone one that's almost 50 years old! Maybe I didn't get all the air out. I did order a new one from SpitBits in my latest order just in case this one didn't hold. I'll keep it, of course (at $50, why not?!) as a ready spare.

Rebuilt slave cylinder...properly oriented (bleed screw on top) this time.
Started the car, pushed in the clutch and put the transmission in first (slowly). No gear-grinding noise, so that's good. Slowly let out the clutch and she moved! Remember, I have no brakes, so I was doing this very gingerly and had blocks both in front and behind all four wheels just in case. An old car in the driveway is one thing for the wife...damage to the house by that old car is quite another! I tried all four forward gears and reverse and they all caused the car to move (reverse in the proper direction of...backward). Of course, until I get the thing actually moving down the road, I won't know for sure that the gearbox is all good, but it's a start!

So, now, the car runs (Step 1) and will move (at least a few inches) on its own power (Step 2). My expected delivery date on the SpitBits parts is Wednesday (does anyone else track UPS and FedEx packages every day?!) so, barring any further "while I'm in there" or "uh-oh" moments, I think I should have the brakes ready to go by week's end (Step 3...as in reference to the title...get it?).

Now, after the confidence boost of fixing the clutch slave and knowing the car would move (a bit), I went back at the windscreen frame again. It had been sitting in the sun since the first attempt hours before. I pulled and yanked on the bulkhead rubber quite a bit and even put some slits in it around the frame mounting posts since it would just not sit anywhere near flush there.

Prior to modification. Just would not follow the curve of the frame enough to get it seated in the car.
I cut it just enough that the seal's lip would grab the edge of the frame (hard to explain). Then, I put the frame in the car, leaned down on it and tightened down the two post bolts and the three mounting bolts across the top-front of the dash just enough so that I was pretty sure I could still pull a rope from under the seal. I put the "lubricated" rope in there again and secured it this time using painters tape so it wouldn't fall. And, I am happy to report that it worked! I went slow and there were some places that I had to go back too, but it looks pretty good to me. There were some light gouges in the seal, but no tears or cuts at all. I have to clean up the surface rust on tonneau cover snaps that go around those dash bolts and will then tighten down the frame fully. I will also have to trim the seal a bit, but I'm don't want to do that until I'm totally done, maybe including new door seals, too, just to be safe.

The fit and the excess.

Pretty happy with it. Especially considering what the original looked like (I literally broke it in pieces to get it off).
The windscreen itself is now what remains. I am going to need some help with this since everything I've read says it a two person job...one to push down on the windscreen and one to pull the "lubricated" rope to wrap the seal. This weekend, however, is packed with soccer games and paintball tomorrow and then my father-in-law and I are taking the boys up the Loudon, NH for the NASCAR race on Sunday. We even have pit passes so it should be pretty cool. I know the boys are psyched! So, don't expect much over the weekend (and my brother is coming, too!). I did have a small oil leak from the valve cover when running the car (did I mention that?). The cut-a-gasket material the PO used wasn't thick enough to seal that well (didn't fill the indentation in the valve cover). I tried with some RTV Blue today, but that was going to require entirely too much to allow me to not feel "dirty", so I wiped it all off. I just hope I remember that before I start the car again!

Just too much would be required. Can't do it.

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