27 August 2017
I hate working under the dash. Right, now that we have that affirmation done, let’s get back on track.
Early in the week I installed the LED globes for the dash and set about finding their correct homes. Note to anyone else restoring the dash- put the globes in above the heater fascia BEFORE you install the fascia. Getting the passenger side globe in place was a pig- plain and simple. Out came the glovebox liner AGAIN, out came the lighter (first time for that one) after the electrical connector was off.
Got the bloody globe in place and somehow-and I do not know how I managed it- the cigarette lighter wire connector now would not reach. Pulled out the heater cable from the firewall to disentangle it from the ciggy wire. Given I did not touch this in the moments just before, it has me buggered how it was now fouling. Everything freed and connected and all for two bloody globes you can’t see (only while they are not on I hope).
Reactivated the SIM for the tracker and used Hybrid’s cool app to see myself on google earth where I was standing- well the tracker in any case. The website and tracker app are bloody fantastic and a testament to Hybrid’s IT skills.
Given my previous electrical mishaps, I used the multimeter to check that connecting a battery would not immediately start a fire. Do you believe it, I had a short to earth from the feed coming into the cabin. Well not the feed (as this is coming straight from the starter direct from the battery) but the cable on the other side of the ammeter where it connects. Checked for obvious ends resting on the chassis, squashed cable, aliens but nada.
Left it a couple of hours (you have to eat right?) and returned hoping the electrons would sort it out themselves; they didn’t. Checked photos of the fuse block as perhaps I made a mistake in plugging everything back- nope, all good.
Disconnected the 12v feed to the fuse block and the short was fixed. At least this told me the 30cm of cable from the ammeter to the fuse block was solid. No, you are right, it really got me no further. Plugged the feed back into the fuse block and reattached it to under the dash.
As I sat pondering my nicely wrapped loom self-combusting with the first rush of current, I glanced at the wonderfullness of my as yet untrimmed drivers side door. Hold on, the door is opened and the interior light switch that it keeps open has 12v all the time and works by creating a short to earth when the door is released (read opened). You guessed it! Pushing the bloody door switch in stopped the short. I checked it five times just to make sure. Yep, that switch works well. Safe from my own electrical insecurities I packed up and called it a night.
2 September 2017
Jump forward a week as we went to BrisVegas last weekend. Sunroof time!
Daniel phoned and said he was bringing the interior side of the sunroof back. Better make sure I have everything for this sucker to go in. Screws for rear frame checked and screwed home. Handle mech was next AND what don’t I have photos of? Yep, this mech. Anyway, muddled which way the hook, handle and other bits fitted together. Turns out the new handle I bought a while back was set-up for a left hand driver scenario as the hook that latches to the front rail was on the other side- get that. Moved this around and it is now a righty(remember this for later).
Daniel arrived and stated early on that fitting the sunroof was going to be a pig (will not use what he actually said) of a job; oh goodie another challenge!
In the scheme of things, it really was not that bad but I am glad there was someone there who had done it before; read knew what he was doing. I made a thin metal spacer strip for the front bow and pop riveted this in, the original having snapped. I fitted the rear frame to the roof (with the screws I mentioned earlier) and then went to fit the rear section of the roof lining panel to this. It attaches via round piping/cord sewn into the rear edge of the lining that slides into a metal ‘tube’ on the rear top panel. Well it would slid in if the rear panel is off the car; rear panel removed. The reason I mention this is that the screws holding this rear panel to the car are concealed under the top black vinyl section and are bloody painful to access.
With the inner roof lining secured to the rear frame and this now secured to the roof, Daniel did things with scissors and a Stanley knife to his lovely stitched work all to make it look nice and tight. We fitted the new slider blocks to the sunroof runners that slide inside the side rails that are affixed to the roof. The bows that fit between each panel act like normal roof bows, running inside a loop of the material that runs across the sunroof opening. The ends of each bow have what I now know are called ‘socks’ that look like- you guessed it- yellow socks, over the rounded ends of the flat metal bows. These pieces slide on top of the side channels on the roof and support the inner roof lining, keeping it taught when closed and allowing the concertina to occur when opened.
I had to make one odd shaped metal clip that someone had had a go at before. These clips attach to the metal spacer strips and hook on the inside of the roof tape to keep it laterally taught. Now they all look similar and will keep the roof lining looking schmick.
As I pulled the front locking mechanism forward, Daniel glued the front edge of lining over the mechanism channel. The roof already looked good from inside. With his work done, Daniel left me to finish the roof with parting words of wisdom on how to secure the front leading edge down, minimising the risks of leaks.
Taking previously mentioned advice, I brought some high density foam strip to glue onto what will be the lower front leading edge of the sunroof.
This section will be clamped down tight on the roof when the sunroof is closed. This is achieved by the handle mechanism using a ramp type of arrangement to push up against a rod on the front section that pushes the whole shebang down at the front. This might explain it better:
The loop the ramp pushes up on.
Both handles (old on left) showing the nylon and metal ramps
I scrapped the old foam off, cleaned the metal frame with prepsol and glued on the new stuff. With this on, I could now reglue the vinyl over the front of the panel and I did.
While the glue was drying, I retrieved the clutch pedal over-centre spring (yeah, I did not know I needed one of these either) from the molasses and cleaned it up. This ‘spring’ mounts on the shaft on the pedal box that I had always wondered what it was for and pushes the clutch pedal out, effectively releasing the clutch. The PO discarded the spring in preference for a normal spring that pulled the pedal back to the neutral position. Once I realised what the shaft was for, I found the spring on ebay as they don’t make a repro. The molasses returned a nice bright lustre to what was a rusty looking thing. Here is the rusty thing:
I will hopefully finish the sunroof and install said spring tomorrow.
Tomorrow: Well the best laid plans of mice and men…
Cut and glued the vinyl for the handle recess (see the image above) and fitted the new handle. Wouldn’t you know it but the ramp thingy that should push the bar up and the flap down against the roof is on the wrong side. I reversed the bar but still no good, as the ramp is facing the wrong way. Back to the old handle we go…
On the old handle there is a nylon block that acts as a ramp to push the rod up (the yellow nylon thing in the photo above). Over time, this ramp has worn down such that it is no longer acting on the bar to push it anywhere. As this nylon ramp thingy is only pop riveted on, removing it and making another was pretty easy- if you had the correct thickness nylon block.
I needed around 3mm. The sheet I had (picked up as scrap a while back) was about double that if not more. I cut the new piece out, increased the ramp height and then cut the sucker in half and pop riveted it in place. If the angle on the ramp is too excessive I can easily file it flatter. Here is what I am talking about:
The small plate in the shot is another little part I needed to make. The plastic bit that was on there failed about two PO’s ago. This goes over the locking hook as it protrudes out of the leading edge of the sunroof.
Here is how it sits at present:
Happy Fathers’ Day you blokes
'68 J-code GT Fastback
'67 S-code GT coupe, 'Pink Bitz' formerly known as 'Hookin' up a brother'
'69 M_____ GTS Fastback 'Blasted'
9 September 2017
Monday night was a great night. Went to fit the handle for the sunroof and was testing, looking, looking and testing. Then I wondered why I can’t use the new handle with the old top section. Simple (after I tried) the open arrow points the wrong way on the new handle; old one it is.
Primed and painted the little plate on the front.
Checked the handle insert for fit into the old body; does not fit well. Right, old handle in new body so the plastic insert lines up. Drill new hole in front panel to match new body pop rivet holes. Check everything again, including the nylon block is doing it’s job; it is and perhaps a little too much but I can adjust that. Take a little off the small end of the block as it was stopping the handle fitting nicely in the body- it was acting like an end stop just a little too early.
More checking and then pop rivet time. The handle has to be in the open position to install the pop rivets otherwise the nylon block is pushing the handle down and out of position. Five rivets in, colour matched to the roof of course. Whoops, should have mentioned that I had already installed the hook as it has to go in first otherwise there is no way to thread it in. Hook bolted to the handle and checked the operation of the whole shebang- works great. Insert installed and plastic push in studs secured it home
Then the moment of truth- did I connect the hook up to the correct side and then is the lining tight but not too tight that the roof will not close.
With the new slider blocks the roof is pretty tight. But with the handle now in place and being able to apply force to the middle of the panel it moved a lot more freely. Hook extended and she grabs the front panel just fine. A turn of the handle pulled everything nicely together. For the first time in nearly two years the sunroof front, rear and two side panels were reunited as one.
To celebrate, I called H down to inspect the closed roof and offer some sexy time in the now closed HT. She was busy knitting (funny as she does not have any needles or wool) and took a rain check on the latter. After I cleaned up some marks with prepsol, she said the roof “looks nice.’’ I could tell she was really elated, not nearly as much as me. Wonder if she has finished knitting yet…
Next night: pushed the interior panel back ready for the marriage to the black vinyl top. This is screwed to the latch panel at the front and the socks on the bows slip into slits along both sides.
Slits were easy but the two little screws on the front panel were a bit tricky mostly due to minimal access. A bit of careful manoeuvring that resulted in me taking out the front panel from the sliders and the sunroof was once again complete!
Now the moment of truth- first close. It is still pretty tight but she closes so that the roof lining is nice and taught but not overly so. The leading edge of the roof sits up a bit but I think this is as good as the design gets. Here is how she looks:
We will call the weekend the Dash- for a number of reasons. Firstly, I made the loom clips that hold the headlight loom up behind the radiator. Easy enough and even curved the sides to ensure no sharp edges. Secondly, I grabbed the bits for the steering wheel and figured out how they all fit together sufficiently to cancel the indicators and activate the horn.
With these easy jobs done, it was time to exhume the instrument cluster from its sarcophagus. Not much work there as it was now the only thing left in the Vault of Monaro. In the car, I set-about installing the cluster in the… dash. Took the steering column collar off the bottom as it was the only way I could even come close to getting it into position. Figured out you can install the light and wiper switch in the dash first but the ignition switch pushes in from the back and a collar clamps it in place. The choke blank must be fine as it was installed in the cluster.
After a bit of wrangling, I connected the right side globes and connectors first as in this position the loom had some play and I could actually get my hand in behind it. A triple check of the ammeter connections and these were on. The speedo took a fair bit of fiddling before it decided to ‘mate’ with the gauge connector. It was about now I noticed I had dislodged the globe from above the heater controls- oh cool.
Undaunted, I carefully slid the now connected cluster back into position in the dash but it was not actually fitting properly on the left side. A bit of checking and it was the bloody choke blank that was stopping it. This little plastic disc has a small threaded bolt impeded in the reverse side that effectively, with a large washer, clamps it to the dash and cluster via a speed nut. It was the large flat washer that was stopping it, as it was too large for the hole in the dash. Right, off with this sucker and this allowed the cluster to slide home.
Now, the choke hole in the cluster is rather inconveniently located under and to the left of the tacho. This effectively means you need four joints in your forearm or fingers like ET to actually reach it. A couple of attempts showed this was going to be one of those ‘easy’ but crap jobs.
Sure enough, I dropped the washer off the back and not only did it slide down the inside of the dash but it found it ways into one of the dash frame ‘openings’. 30 minutes later and I used the magnetic bendy thing to locate and retrieve the washer. Washer now stuck to end of magnetic thingy and threaded through dash canyon to meet up with the threaded bolt.
Learning from the previous adventure, I was not going to let the speed nut fall. Well it did. Now this sucker is obviously trained in the art of stealth and concealment. 20 minutes later and I had retrieved it, again with the magnetic picker-upperer. Applied grease to the small 3/8th bendy drive handle (thanks JBB) and with the dexterity of a blind space station robotic arm pilot, managed find the end of the choke blank. Thank God I got this bloody piece on but would I have to take it off to get the heater globe back in? Not if I can F*&^%n help it!
With the cluster in it was time to fit the ignition collar and key barrel. Collar on and key barrel lined up and in; then it came out. Perhaps I did not do it right. Take 2. Everything lined up and in and it… pops out. Now I see why the PO handed me the barrel and key separate to the rest of the car.
Under the dash I go and try to remove the aforesaid ignition housing from the multi-pin, two securing pronged plug. Did I mention this was done part way up from behind the dash?
On the kitchen bench, I could not see why the barrel would not ‘engage’ in the housing. There was clearly something not right but without a known serviceable unit it was hard to tell just what. Google was no help here either. At least I used the multimeter to confirm the switch was actually switching when I held the barrel in place and rotated it to the acc, on and start positions but it just would not stay in the housing.
I jumped onto Rare Spares site and it sells a replacement housing but it is not the same as the original unit; no prongs for a start. Tried Gumtree and found one here in Canberra- love that!
Sunday, being a day of penance and righteousness, I knew I had to fix the bloody heater globe. I had left it dangling up behind the dash overnight but knew I could not tolerate it that way. There was no way I was going get to it from the cluster side so I, for the sixth time, removed the glovebox liner so I could unscrew the dash speaker, again, and slide it out to give access.
With the speaker and demister vents out, I could reach up behind the dash and push the bloody globes home. With this done I just had to align and refit the speaker and demister vents that screw, from the top of the dash, to each end of the speaker. All done.
The second ‘Dash’ was to grab the gumtree ignition housing. As luck would have it, this was perfect but for the barrel being stuck in the housing and the key nowhere to be found. The exact opposite of what I was trying to fix!
Back home I used my advanced destruction skills to drill out the barrel sufficiently for the locking bar to drop in. Be careful to hold the barrel and not the housing when you drill this sucker and only drill as much as you need for the locking bar to come out. FYI, with the correct key in the barrel it depresses the bar back into the barrel, allowing it to rotate int eh housing.
With the mangled guts fished out, the barrel could rotate anti-clockwise. I then used a pin to depress the locking pin that allowed the barrel to turn a little more anti-clockwise and then pop out.
With the barrel out it was clear to see what the issue was. There were two metal stops/tangs part way down the centre cylinder housing missing from the original unit. It is not a good photo but you can just see one of the tangs in the unit on the right whereas the original on the left is smooth all the way down.
Replacement housing cleaned and barrel fitted a couple of times to make sure it worked. I then fitted this to the car. Collar fitted and barrel installed. Dare I say it but the dash is now complete!
For the balance of the afternoon, I made a plate to take some more relays that I will hide under the other side of the battery tray, out of sight. This is for electric fan/s if I fit them and a spare. The plate is etched and drying in the enviro booth.
I fitted the flexi fan and started to fit the radiator when H declared Tea on the days play. A satisfying week’s progress.
'68 J-code GT Fastback
'67 S-code GT coupe, 'Pink Bitz' formerly known as 'Hookin' up a brother'
'69 M_____ GTS Fastback 'Blasted'
The logos and trademarks used on this site are the property of their respective owners.
We are not responsible for comments, advice, opinions, products or services posted by our members, as they are the property of the poster.