Monthly Archives: November 2014

Trunk cleaning

Unbolted and lifted off the trunk lid again as it’s a nice day.

Started out the same as yesterday but took the advice of the container’s labeling after and soaked paper towels in the solution, covering it with clingfilm and securing that with magnets.

Put the securing bar’s thread, the nut and the plate that holds the spare wheel into the back of the car into solution also.

Also put some onto the spare wheel because it’s kinda rusty also.

Made a start with some 409 and a toothbrush whilst that’s sitting working.

Scrub scrub scrub scrub! The seam sealer is all wrinkly and has collected grime over the years.

After a couple hours, everything’s looking very clean. Well, apart from where the paint’s gone through. That’s next up, get rid of the surface rust and get a bit of paint inside there.

Certainly better than it was. Slow process, but worth it, as it’s always looked kinda dirty in there. With the carpet back in it should be good. I’m tempted to cut a piece of hardboard to fit under the carpet.

More bodywork

Seeing as nice day + day off and the aircon place is shut today, I made a start on a few things I’d been planning on doing.

I took the spoiler off the back of the car and also removed the decklid.

bootlid off car

Overall it’s not bad, just the lower lip where the inside and outside sections are folded over on each other and spot-welded. That section is a water trap and as such, has gone rusty.

lid against house

I have some rust converter (which I’ve used before to great effect) and carefully propping the lid against the house meant it formed a gently curving channel along the lip.


Poured the stuff in and it’s just sitting there in the warm sun.. topping it up occasionally as it evaporates.


Whilst that’s working, I made a start on the window panel I rubbed down yesterday.
Set up in the professional spray-booth..

spray booth

Starting with primer, applying light coats, allowing it to dry each time in the sun

priming pt1

..until it had a thorough coat. Left that to set until I could touch it (about ten minutes).

priming pt2

Once that was dry, satin black. Again, light coats.

black paint now

Nice thick coat, made up from many layers. Not too much dust either.

painted black

Left that to dry in the sun, setting the box down to a more stable position.

paint drying

Inbetween times, the fittings on the back of the car were missing. I had a couple of broken lugs from the old back plastic that needed to come off. Boiled some water and set them into it to soften the plastic up some as it’s really really brittle.


After a short soak, gently twisting pliers between the lug and the peg liberated the lugs.


These then fit in the holes in the car where they were missing.

lugs fitted

That allowed a trial fit. Looks good. Needs to be rubbed down and another coat applied but that’ll do for now.

fitted trial

Waiting on the rust converter now.. slower than waiting for paint to dry.

Bath & Body Work

Seeing as the bathtub was covered in dog, I decided to start on the bodywork for the car, beginning again with the replacement (used) trim pieces that were missing from mine.

800-grit paper and the shower running cold water.. perfect for bodywork prep!

rear window trim before

Half an hour later I’ve rubbed back all the cracked, dry paint where it had gone bad and keyed the rest.

rear window trim after

Seems like a long time, but most of the time spent on paint is in the preparation. This is very true.


Oh, and I got the speakers in after having to modify the things to fit.. fake tweeters!

speaker mods

Tweter dome was just plastic.. removed the turret because it stuck out about 1/4″ and put the plastic dome over the hole on both

Speaker grille

Nice and tidy!

Sound okay now I’ve go the stereo set up with fade and EQ.

Oily bits and pipe

Decided to inspect a few things tonight.

First was the spark plugs, as they can tell you a fair bit about the running of the engine.

spark plug

Pretty good.. 300 miles and it’s just beginning to get a coating of pale brown deposits. That’ll work.


The spark plug seats were full of muck, in this engine’s design.. the plugs sit almost vertical in a small well that collects oil and dirt.

Noticed that the hot air intake had broken and come off the exhaust.

fusty pipe

Turned the pipe around and put the least shafted end onto the exhaust and managed to clamp the broken end onto the airbox. Running on warm air in the cold has improved the response of the engine at least.

switched pipe

Lifted the air filter lid and the PCV system is burping water everywhere.. seems the recent cool damp weather has caused moisture to pool and accumulate. I think a nice long run somewhere should boil all that off. Short runs don’t do it any good and turn the oil into mayonnaise.

gurgle spatter

Oil still looks clean and there’s no sign of emulsified oil in the top of the engine so that’s good.

Took it for a spin earlier and drove it hard for a couple runs up to about 70.. fifth is easy to miss and get third (not good) but the high speed running with the engine up to temperature appears to have burped the last of the air out of the system and the temperature doesn’t rise/fall/rise/fall any more. Apparently a common problem on these.

Finally spent a little while trying to see if I could get anything more sensible data-wise out of the Snap-On scanner I have.. the protocol differs from vehicle to vehicle but the core is the same. I think I’ll try strip the last of the sensible code and go from there.

It’s just too dark this time of year after work.

Speedometers and windshield wipers

After putting the GTA back on the road, I’ve been working through some of the gremlins the car has.

One is the speedometer drive had started to squeal above about 30mph. The other was the windshield wipers were very… erratic and slow.

Weather held this morning (despite being 75F compared to yesterday at the same time 34F) so I made a start on pulling the dash apart.

dashboard begin

Starting with the dash in one piece, first off we remove the steering wheel.

steering wheel off

Take out all the screws


Then remember the entire cowl has to come off

cowl off

Starting to accumulate a pile of bits..


Then the dash surround comes out

surround out

Pulling the gauges out shows that the holder has become seperated from the cable. The cable should not be visible..


Apply a little oil to both the speedometer and the cable.. and set it back down as best as I can. I think maybe it needs some sort of support sleeve but there’s not much space to do that in.

speedometer drive

With that done as best I can and a few other bits gluing, attention turned to the windshield wiper mechanism. Recent rain demonstrated that the wipers suck. One moved independently of the other and they were very very slow.

wiper mechanism broken

Took a look under the scuttle at the wiper mechanism. There’s a motor with a reduction gearbox that turns the spindle, and the wipers are attached to the spindle and move in a reciprocating motion from it. However, some plank has put the plastic on backwards, it’s broken and the left side rod isn’t held on by anything and has been chewing up the plastic spindle.


At this point it is regarded that I have been working enough to get dirty.

left rod spindle bush

Took a look at the bushings. This one was solidly attached to the ball socket. That’s half of the problem, it’s all rusted up and nasty.

drive spindle

The lower ball was what it was attached to and is supposed to rotate freely on. It was also installed upside down.

greased socket

greased spindle

Cleaned up and greased the sockets and spindles.

clean bush

Cleaned the plastic bushing out as best I could.


Straightened the linkage out to how it’s meant to be, cleaned the sockets and greased them up


Clicked the sockets back onto the spindles with channel-lock pliers

much better

Much better. The two bushings hold each other together and rotate around properly now.

that's all

Left the dash out for now as hopefully I have a pair of speakers arriving tomorrow, and access is 1000% times easier on this side at least, with all that removed.

More to follow