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Sweating the Small Stuff - Pt. II



I've been out in the garage for about the past week. Today and yesterday were really my breaks off from working out there....mostly because I've nothing left to do except things I need parts for (harmonic balancer and a battery)...but I did get a LOT accomplished and working. I don't know if I can remember the details, but I will sure try.


Also, a disclaimer, none of this will probably be in order...I'm just going to write it as I remember it. So if you're reading it can't do that before you do that....well, that's why.

I got an order from Clarks in the mail one day...150 dollars worth of all misc. stuff. Sway bar bushings, tank sender parts, shroud bolts...all sorts of things. So I went to work.

One thing I did that I failed to get a picture of was paint my gas tank with Yellow Rustoleum....yellow because it was on sale, and since I get a lot of crap from people about painting my car Yellow.... Just one nice thick brush coat to make sure it would stop rusting, and seal it up if there might have been any chance of leakage(which I doubt). I installed the sending unit with new retainer and seal.

For those of you who don't know, my working conditions are not that great. First, I'm in Northern Minnesota, where we've had a warm winter, but it's still been about 20 in the garage...LUCKILY though, we have a vent from our hood over the stove that goes straight into the we put it on high, got the stove warm, and heated the garage up....probably on average I'd say it's been about 45 in there, which ain't too damn bad. Also, it's a small one stall garage, where we have so much stuff, that it's amazing we can fit a car in there....and to think there's usually a 1958 4 Door Edsel hardtop in there. WOW.Here's an idea of how the car fits in there. Good room front and back, but not much on the sides.

One of the first moves of work on the car was installing the new grade 8 bolts onto the retainers. If you remember from last fall when I put them on, one of the bolts broke off inside the yoke, so I was expecting this to be a bear of a job. But it wasn't. The hardest part of the job, I would say...was having to turn the wheels from under the car to get to each bolt. I got all of the bolts in (with lock washers) and when i got to the broken bolt, my dad and I went into Grand Rapids(7 miles away) and got us an easy-out and a nice hardened steel bit. I came back home, drilled the hole in the broken off bolt, and well, basically used my fingers to turn the extractor. the problem I guess was just that I couldn't grab onto the head of the bolt, so even though it wasn't that tight, I had no way to turn it. The other hard part of the job was when one of the cups slid off. I'd had the u-joints greased when our buddy Randy who owns one of the best running gear fixing shops in the area put the u-joints in for me, so when it came off, the bearings only moved a bit, so I pushed them back into place, and the cup slid right back on. I was happy about that. I was having a hard time getting the u-joint centered in the yoke, because I was trying to do it with the other strap only loosened, which apparently isn't enough to let you move the piece.


There were other unfinished business type things that I needed to do...I got battery cables with this parts bag, and decided I better get all of the wiring hooked up and one of the days, I went into Wally-World, and got myself some new light bulbs. I mounted the voltage regulator on the firewall, hooked that up...(I noticed that the connector that goes on the the males on the voltage regulator had a really hard time getting into the female end. (It's so bad how sick electronics can possibly sound.)

I also got a used back-up lens because one of the ones that I had was melted from the fire the car had MANY moons ago. I polished up the chrome and cleaned up all of the lenses, and installed them back onto the car. I hooked up all of the lights and realized, oh yeah, I forgot I still have too hook up the back-up lights. After some help from Matt Nall (who has been a priceless fountain of knowledge for me on this whole project) I found what wires went where, and I fixed the switch (The place where the wires went was broken and mangled, so I cut off the old ones, and since the rivets were still on good shape, I took to U shaped connectors of the right size, and bent them together on the rivets. I then used Liquid tape on them to make sure they don't move and short out on the light housing to ground. I reinstalled the switch on the trans and hooked everything up.

I hooked a 4 amp battery charger up to the now hooked up battery cables, and tested out the wiring. Everything worked. The blinkers work, the reverse lights work, the headlights work (actually I need two new high-beams cause one smokes and the other is burned out) even the idiot lights that come on before the car is running worked. End of that part.


I changed out the differential lube. See, those of you who know, know that late model 4 speeds don't have dedicated drain plugs...which usually requires you to have a suck-through system (I can't explain it well, but we had one at the Jiffy Lube that I worked at last year) or you have to take off the side cover. I didn't do either of those things. There's a plug that holds in a spring and bearing on the bottom rod for the shift detent (what's even more funny is, I'm not completely sure what that means, but I'm guessing it has something to do with keeping it from popping out of the gear that it is in....kind of like on my dads car where when you coast in third gear, sometimes it pops into neutral) Anyway, I took that out, and let the lube drain into a bucket. It was a bit low when I started, so I only got about a quart and a half/two quarts.

I cleaned the ball bearing off, and reinstalled the pieces in place. I filled it all back up with Valvoline 80-90 Gl-5 Lube using the squirt it in till it overflows method, and reinstalled the cap in place.


I figured that nothing else is coming off now that hold in oil, so i figured it was about time to prime the engine up, even though I'm not starting it for a while, just to get some oil in everything, and get the seals swelled up a bit. I added to the engine 4 quarts of cheap 5w-30 and 1 quart of Dex-Merc ATF. I fashioned a priming stick from and old broken piece of clutch rod....about a foot and a half. I used a torch to heat up the end, and pounded it wide and flat. I got a 3/4" wrench for the crankshaft bolt, and as I primed the engine, I rotated it to get the oil into every little hole in the bearings and so on. I probably did about 4 or 5 revolutions through the cycle, and felt that was probably good, and left it.


Just before Christmas, I got a carpet set from Norm Witte for my car. It is a bit faded, but it still almost new shape as far as quality goes. So, one of the days I was working, I decided it was time to put the interior back together. I took out the two seats I had in front, and vacuumed the floor clean. I decided that I really don't care about the back of the car, cause I have no clue what I was going to do with it, so I put the original back seat back into the car after the carpet was back in. For a bit more sound-deadening I used some inner-tube rubber inside the bottom of the bottom seat. The carpet fit very nicely....seems to me it's molded carpet, because it kind of snapped into place in the corners and turns. The front seats were installed in the car, and the trim was all installed. Looks like this-


I used the square metal DIN mount that I had laying around, did two very small cuts in th dash to make it square, and installed my Eclipse CD player in the dash. I need to put something one the sides to keep it from moving side to side, but even now, it's a fairly nice tight fit. Looks like This-

And here's a nice full dash shot.


That's about all I can come up with right now. I'm planning on getting some POR-15 for the trunk. there are no holes in it, but the bottom inside is a bit rusty, and I don't really feel like welding a new bottom in. A nice coat of POR and some gray splatter paint should be all that I need to make it new again.