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Restoration Journal
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Restoration Journal

April 4, 2003

Removed the old vinyl from the passenger seat back. The original bun is in great shape and not stinky (the mice didn't nest in this one like they did in the driver's seat back), so I'll be able to re-use it. Hooray! That will save quite a bit of time.

Next I recovered the arm rest. It was quite easy; cut the old one off, transferred the single listing wire, and slid the new vinyl in place. Dawn held it while I secured the vinyl in place (I used tacks, while origiinally they used staples, but the tacks will work just fine).

Last activity for the night was preparing the seat rails to be reattached to the seat bottom. I removed the rust from all the studs with the grinding wheel, and then greased up the rollers. They work much smoother now.

April 7, 2003

Cleaned up the front passenger seat belts in anticipation of installing them. With the seat out, this is the time to do it. There was very little rust on the buckles, but I went over them with WD40/steel wool. Then I scrubbed down the belts themselves with soapy water, to get rid of that old car, musty smell.

Next, I attached the rails to the front seat bottom. All that's left to do is cover the passenger seat back with the new vinyl (which shouldn't take long), then I can install the seat belts and seat. Then the interior will be completely finished!

April 8, 2003

Dawn sewed a new piece of elastic to the passenger shoulder belt. The old piece, as always, was stretched to uselessness.

I did several small tasks: installed the springs on the front seat rails that assist in bringing the seat forward when you adjust it...attached the plastic clips that the seat belts fasten to when not in use...bolted the arm rest onto the seat frame...installed the driver's seat back on the frame...measured the height of the LD4B intake that I bought to see if it will fit under the hood. It's .5" taller than the Performer intake I have now, but I think I've got room.

April 10, 2003

Installed the front passenger seat belts in the car. Then Dawn helped me install the new vinyl on the passenger seat back. Once we had that done, we put the seat back on the frame. Then we were ready to put the seat back in the car.

Dawn helped me get it in the car and insert the studs through the holes in the floor. All that was left to do was secure them with the nuts under the car. Kind of ironic - removing those nuts was the first thing I did in the restoration process.

The interior is now completely done:

April 14, 2003

Started the process of replacing the differential. Got the car up off the garage floor, and removed the right axle. I had to remove the brake strut, but I was able to leave the rest of the brake hardware in place. I was glad to see that the inner oil seal was working properly, and not letting any gear oil get into the axle bearings. I'd been worried about that seal, as I deformed it slightly when I installed it.

April 15, 2003

Continued working on the differential...removed the left axle and unbolted the driveshaft from the yoke. Then I removed all 10 of the nuts retaining the chunk to the housing. I wiggled the chunk forward a bit, to allow the gear oil to drain. Stinky, stinky stuff.

Now the hard part: removing the chunk from the housing. Laying on your back, with the car only a foot or so off the ground, makes this an un-fun job. Especially since I wasn't about to place my body under the chunk, and get gear oil dripped all over me. So, I managed to get it out, but not without the chunk landing on the edge of the drain pan, spilling a bunch of gear oil on the garage floor. Grim! Not fun mopping up that crap with shop towels.

Next, I scraped off the old gasket, which took longer than I would've expected. Then I noticed that the remaining gear oil in the housing has a strange consistency to it; kind of grainy. There must've been some sand left in the housing from when it was sand blasted. I don't know if this contributed to the noisy rear end or not, but I definitely need to clean out the housing before installing my new chunk. I'll have to buy some kind of brush to get the axle tubes as clean as I can.

April 18, 2003

I bought a plastic brush for cleaning the axle tubes, but it didn't work very well. So, I made my own tool out of a length of steel rod and some plastic. Kind of like a miniature hoe. This worked great to push the grainy gunk out of the axle tubes and into the pumpkin housing, where I could remove it.

Next, I installed the gasket (a little white lithium grease on each side, and then attmpted to install the chunk. Well, after laying on the floor for a while and examining the situation, I decided I wouldn't be able to do it by myself. Just too little space, too awkward, and too heavy. So, I recruited Dawn, who was able to give enough assistance for us to get the chunk in place. Thanks Dawn!

I installed all the nuts and filled it up with gear oil and the limited slip additive. Then I reconnected the driveshaft.

On to the speedometer pinion...it wasn't as tough as I thought it would be. There is enough space to get it out and back in without too much difficulty. The only thing that bummed me out was that I had to drain most of the oil out of it, so I'll need to buy some new stuff and pump it in there.

April 19, 2003

Bought some 80W90 for the tranny, and pumped it in. This is actually a bit of a pain, as the fill hole is hard to access with the tranny in the car, and the oil must be pumped through a hose and into the tranny.

Then it was time to replace the axles. I wiped them down good, and put a little more bearing grease on them, just for good measure. I had to change the end play adjustment a little bit; either the space between the axles in the differential is slightly different for distinct units, or I had it set a little too loose to begin with.

Next I replaced the couple pieces of brake hardware that I had to remove to get the axles out (the strut and 2 top return springs). I wiped down the pads and inside of the drums with brake cleaner, and put them back on. Got the wheels on the car, and was then able to get it back on the ground for the first time in 5 days.

Cleanup took some time, as I had 5 days worth of tools and rags spread all over the garage, but another task is done! Waiting for the weather to improve before I can test out the new gears. Hopefully the speedometer will work and the rear will be quiet...

April 22, 2003

Took the car out for a test spin. The new rear, as expected, is silent! Whoo hoo! No more annoying whine; just the beautiful sound of the 340.

I can tell the difference in the lower gears, also. Not a huge change, but I did find myself shifting quicker. The car is right at 3000 RPM at 65 MPH, which is just fine by me.

Dawn took the car out by herself afterward. She had a great time - couldn't wipe the smile off her face after she got back. It was also the first time I've seen the car in motion myself, since putting it back together. It looks and sounds great, even if I do say so myself!





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