Monthly Archives: July 2019

Pontiac renovations, part 20.

Windshield defroster heater

I continued dismantling the engine compartment, from the firewall was removed the windshield defroster heater. It was disconnected when I got the car, and had shown signs of leaking.

Heater box in pieces

I spoke to a guy who rebuilds the heater valves. This one is a thermostatic Ranco valve, and it leaks around the spindle seal. The thermostatic portion of the valve was checked and is fully operational.

Heater matrix

I flushed the heater matrix out. Not much dirt came out of it, surprisingly. It is free flowing both ways and doesn’t appear to leak.

Orbital sander

I buzzed the rust and paint off the heater box with my orbital sander.

Outer clamshell

I applied rust treatment and painted the shell semi-gloss black.

Removing rust

All the screws were very rusty. They looked as though they were originally plated with chrome, but that was long gone. I sanded them down smooth in my drill.

Shiny screws

The screws were then pushed into the side of a cardboard box.

Then the screws were painted gloss black enamel.

Reassembled heater box

The heater box was then greased (spring loaded parts) and reassembled. Once the valve is rebuilt, it’ll go back onto the heater frame and be connected via hose to the rest of the system.

Horn, drilled

Someone kindly sent a pair of (mid sixties) Delco horns for the car. While they aren’t visibly the same, the tone they produce is the same. The brackets were too short and at the song angle so I drilled out the spot welds to remove the brackets.

Steel

I bought a length of bar stock of the same size as the original brackets.

Measure and mark

I measured up, marked out, drilled and filed two brackets to shape.

Horn brackets

A few holes drilled for welds and the brackets are offered up to give a visual representation.

Horns with brackets

Having filed surfaces down I decided to clean up and paint the horns. They were rubbed down with a wire brush and painted up in gloss black enamel, as per original spec.

Nice finish

I do like gloss black enamel. It produces such a wonderful result straight out of the can.

Paint scraper

Being as I was working in the firewall area, I decided to start removing old rust and paint, in order to be able to apply new.

Bare metal

I ran out of time after this photograph was taken. There’s a lot of nooks and crannies to sand, with some areas that I cannot fit the sander in. A finger sander/powerfile would be the tool of choice here.

5128

The original written code for Starmist Blue was written on the shell. I had sanded over it but it’s etched into the metal. It’ll not be visible after paint, but it’ll be there.

Glove box badge

The glove box badge was originally all silver. However, over the years the silver has fallen off. Previous keeper had painted red over the back, which looked horrible as a lot of the silver was still present.

Brass brush

I attempted to mechanically remove the paint from the back of the badge. It did remove quite a lot but still, not enough.

Partially clean

The net result was poor. I spoke to a few people and they suggested oven cleaner. Apparently it doesn’t attack the plastic but removes the paint.

Clear

They were not wrong! All the paint came off nicely.

Lettering

I dripped cream colored paint into the lettering with a piece of small gauge wire.

Lettering done

With the lettering looking tidy, I took my pillarbox red paint and converted the back side of the plastic.

Red

Overall, very pleased with the results.

Restored badge

It looks good now. Not perfect but a lot better than it was.

Glovebox

Finally reattached that to the car. It needs to look nice, it can be seen from outside and the passenger has it right in front of them all the time.

Pontiac renovations, part 19.

Car, pushed outside.

I pressure washed the car and the engine compartment down, working to remove more dirt from the chassis.

Cleaner engine compartment

With that washed down, the car was parked back into the garage and left to dry.

I ended up having to buy a couple of tools. An inch-and-a-quarter socket to remove the nut from the bottom of the Pitman arm and a puller to remove the arm itself.

Puller

That allowed me to remove the rather sizeable nut holding the Pitman arm on.

Securing nut and washer

Which then allowed me to pull the Pitman arm off the cross shaft.

Pitman arm splines

With the arm removed, the cross-shaft could then be removed and checked for condition.

Cross-shaft

The ball race was a little slack but otherwise good, the plain bearings that carry the shaft are worn, and in need of replacement but for now I’m going to repack the box and come back to the problem.

Steering box lid
Steering box

I took the ball race apart to clean it up in gasoline. There’s a mix of the wrong type of grades of grease in the steering box and a lot of it had congealed badly.

Soaking in gasoline

Reassembled, tightened up a little then peened the nut. Most of the slack in the ball race is now gone.

Clean cross-shaft

Then to stop it from deteriorating, I gave the steering box lid a coat of paint.

Painted black
John Deere “corn head” grease

I bought a tube of corn head grease, a polyurea blend grease that will sag down once it’s been pushed out of the way, ideal for this application. It’s also designed to only become fluid where it’s worked. Around seals it stays very solid and doesn’t leak out so badly.

Chassis leg and brake master cylinder

I then started cleaning up the chassis leg on the driver’s side. The brakes needed looking at because pressing down on the pedal would sometimes cause it to jam, and it would always make a bad noise.

Bent fillet

The fillet plate had been installed incorrectly, was bent and fouling the brake pedal.

Rust treatment

I hammered it flat again, rubbed the rust down and applied rust converter.

Fillet painted and in place

I painted the panel up, and fixed it in place correctly.

Sounds deadening material

The original sound deadening was added back to the fillet.

All set in place

The clutch pedal blanking plate was fitted, after having been found sitting in a crook of the chassis, which looked like it had been there years. Then the top sections were added. Looking better and the pedal moved smoothly past it.

Brake pedal

Then, I took it all apart again to remove the brake pedal. The clevis pin was missing it’s R clip, and wouldn’t come out to be serviced. I ended up having to hammer it out. Repainted everything up after that.

Painted pedal

The grease point was a large glob of dirt, and upon removal, showed that it had not been greased in a long time.

Grease nipple with old grease

That was all cleaned, the operation of the nipple was checked, and everything reassembled.

R clip

I bought a new R clip for the clevis.

Paint

Finally, I finished cleaning the area and started to add some paint to the chassis.