Monday, March 23, 2009

Getting Racy.

Finally, a weekend with no work to do and good weather. Plus, my friend Chris Mosera who runs a cool production company called Garage Films is an auto racing nut, was in town and able to help me. Every project on a car goes like 3 times as fast with a helper than when you are by yourself.

The first project was deleting the headlight motor assembly. Four bolts and a popping off a circlip and this was done. 

Next, was deleting the windshield washer reservoir. Two bolts and then you pull it out from the bottom. Yank out the lines and this was done.

Now, the heater, not so easy. First, we needed to put in place a line that went from the water rail over the exhaust to the inlet on the manifold. It is a tight fight, and took some swearing to get the new 5/8 heater line to fit. Had to play with the length so it would not crimp. Longer was better.

Now to remove the heater, you need to remove the dash. Jim Pasha has a good article on how to do this. Once the dash was out, we were able to get at the heater assembly. Four bolts on the firewall accessed from the engine and it drops out.

I was going to reuse the dash but it is so ugly and cracked it was annoying. It is actually not that heavy. Maybe ten pounds. But I wanted to make a dash to hold the stock gauges. Luckily, I have a neighbor who is a metal artist and he let Chris and I use his shop. 

First, we made a template out of cardboard to make sure it would fit nice. Then, with access to some 16 gauge aluminum stock and a plasma cutter the dash was cut to size quickly. Finally, we bent some 1" metal stock for brackets. We left some room for a few additional gauges if I want to add them down the road. The dash weighs 1lb. The gauges themselves are very heavy though.

Some big house clamps on the back of the gauges hold them  in place. I moved the speedo to the left hand side of the dash, put the tach in the middle and rotated it so that the shift point was a twelve o'clock and then put the multi gauge in the right hand spot. Looks pretty sharp.

Too sharp though as the reflection is pretty bad. I will probably just spray it flat black or glue a piece of black suede to the top of it.

One small final thing was to make another aluminum panel to cover the whole left by removing the heater assembly. This was weather sealed and bolted in place. 

Wow. I am tired. And look at all the junk I was able to take out. Just sitting there on the ground. 

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