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Restoration Journal
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  2003:
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  2008:
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Restoration Journal

November 12, 2002

Decided it was time to get back on the horse! I've got tail lights back from AllTrim and one piece of trunk trim I can put on the car. So, I started cleaning up one of the tail lights. The housing is beautiful (all new chrome), but the chromed piece of the lens (that separates the red from the white) is corroded. I'll probably need to replace the lenses someday.

I removed the lens from the housing and touched up the black paint. I also removed some of the scratches with some plastic polish. I scrubbed down the housing gasket with Simple Green and a brush and also derusted (with the grinding wheel) the studs on the housing.

Then I put it back together (which wasn't much fun; the lens doesn't fit the housing perfectly, and you need to be careful with 34 year old plastic). It's ready to be bolted on the car.

November 13, 2002

Got the left hand taillight bolted on the car. Started the "cleanup" process on the right hand tail light, as described above. In addition, that housing has two of the mounting studs broken off, so I started soaking them in WD40 before going to bed, hoping I'll be able to remove them somehow.

November 14, 2002

Tried to remove the busted studs from the tail light housing. I used the dremel tool to cut a slot in them, hoping they would turn out with a screw driver. That didn't work; they broke when I applied torque to them. Looks like I'll need to drill them out and tap the holes.

So, I instead installed the upper trunk trim piece (after scrubbing down the mounting brackets). This went pretty well, and it looks great to have the correct trim piece back on there! It still needs to be alight with the tail lights.

November 15, 2002

Picked up a cobalt drill bit and tap on the way home. The cobalt bit is supposed to be able to fight through hardened steel, but it didn't. I spent two hours wrestling with a single broken stud. I made some progress, but I don't have the old one removed yet...

November 16, 2002

Bought a specialized drill bit for removing #10 studs (which is the size in the tail light housing). It worked like a charm for the first one, but had gotten too dull to get the second one out. Oh well - 3 studs is probably good enough for now, and I was tired of wrestling with the thing!

After installing the second housing, I started troubleshooting my lack of a right directional. Symptoms are similar to a burned out tail light, but I know the bulb and ground are good because it lights when I turn on the headlights. After much experimenting and research, it looks like my turn signal switch is probably bad. Add that to the list of things to do this winter...

November 17, 2002

Took the car over to Bear's to meet Sean (BOGer from Chicago). That was the last outing for the year. Took some pix to document the appearance of the car at this point (as always, click on pic for full size):





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