Home Restoration, Log 18

Restoration, Log 18

Another update. A lot of work this last couple of weeks!

I finally got the new lock cylinders keyed properly and ready to install. It was a difficult process, as it required removing the old ones – which were never meant to be taken back out of the door. This meant that the inner retaining ring that held the cylinder into the door skin needed to be snapped from the inside to destroy it enough to slip out. Who knew removal of anything via destruction could be so difficult? But that was only the beginning. After removing the old locks, the door skins need to be modified to accept the new ones. This requires clipping a jig to the hole and filing out small slots with a diamond file. It required significant psychological effort for me to do that to the skins… but eventually I did it. Then I had to use some sandpaper and a blending pad to remove the circle patterns from under the old locks – the new ones are slightly smaller. That took an hour or two as well. Anyway, the new cylinders are great – much more positive, the key fits better, and should be much more reliable and easy to remove/replace in the future.

I also finally broke down and purchased new floor mats. They are replicas of the original dealer equipment and just look bloody phenomenal in the car. It makes a huge difference in the feeling of the interior over the nasty one-size rubber ones I had in there previously. The DMC mats were really expensive but are amazingly high quality, thick pile carpet with thick rubber backing. They are cut to fit the footwells with incredible tolerance. Can you tell I love them?

Next, I installed a hidden iPod in the center console. The new head unit I installed has full iPod control, and I was tired of having a cable plugged into the front. I ran the USB cable from the back of the head unit, up through the center console and to an iPod mini that I attached to the bottom of the ashtray with Velcro. It fits perfectly – invisible during normal operation, perfect functionality, and easy to take in and out of the car to change music. Very pleased with that.

The machine shop here in town has also been working on my prototype part – I got my first sample on Tuesday, but the size wasn’t exactly perfect. They’re making me a new one, so stay tuned again.

Lastly, Clint and I spent all day Saturday rebuilding the brakes on the car. We stripped off the calipers, rebuilt them with all new seals and pistons, flushed the lines and master cylinder, installed all new pads with every conceivable anti-squeal technology, and capped it off with stainless brake lines and fresh fluid. We found one seized piston and one blocked line, and it would appear that the rear pads were original to the car. It took us almost 12 hours, but we got the whole job done and everything works great. I was also able to take the opportunity to do some cleaning on the suspension bits. Scraped off almost a half-inch thick coating of grime and grease on the control arms. After finishing the last wheel, we went out for a test drive through an industrial park near the house. Since it was so late, there was no one there – which made it a perfect place for a few 70-0 panic stops to break things in. Stopping distance is much improved, the squealing is gone, and pedal feel is much better. Worth every penny! But, when we got back from our test drive, I pulled into the garage and parked like i always do, but was alarmed when i pulled the parking brake and heard a loud clang as the lever swung wildly up. Somehow the parking brake cables got loose from the handle. Fixed that this morning and the car’s back to its normal, perfect self.

As always, pictures are in the gallery Stay tuned for more…

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