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eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/30/20 8:32 p.m.
einy (Forum Supporter) said:

Totally off subject, but that is a sharp looking GTI that you have in the first picture !

You want it?  It's my wife's, and might be for sale after the pandemic dies down and she has to commute to work again.  It's wonderful to drive, but VW has proven they are still good at making things that shouldn't break, break.

Was a little busy today (had a socially-distanced 100th birthday party for my wife's grandmother), but was able to spend a little time doing some diagnosis on the various leaks under the car.  After a very interesting time getting the car up on ramps in front, and some wood under the rear wheels, I was able to get underneath:

  1. Transmission cooler lines, but I already knew that one.
  2. Power steering fluid is leaking on the right side of the car, but I don't have a precise source yet.  When replacement lines show up (probably Monday), I'll pull the alternator so I can get a better look at the power steering pump, and I suspect the problem will become more clear.
  3. Transmission shifter linkage - I don't think this is a big one.
  4. Transmission pan gasket - looks pretty bad sitting still, but I suspect the cooler lines were a bigger source of the loss when it is running.  I checked with Curtis and the gasket is pretty new, so I'll try re-torquing the pan bolts tomorrow.  I also ordered a new gasket and pan, just in case, as the pan has definitely taken a few hits.
  5. Front main seal - very tiny leak, will keep an eye on it, but don't think it will be a problem
  6. Oil cooler lines - even smaller leak - nothing is even hitting the ground.
  7. Weird fluid under the trans pan - I spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how a light colored fluid could be coming from the transmission before realizing it was from the leaking remote brake fluid reservoir hose on the Beetle when it was parked there.

While under the car, I was also able to reattach the wiring for the coolant temp gauge and verify it works.  The plastic part of the connector on the sensor is gone, so it'll probably fall off again later.  May order a new sensor eventually, but will try to get by with this for now.

Ordered more parts today, and will be ordering some transmission hose to deal with the cooler lines.  I'm hoping in under a week I'll have the whale back out of the garage.  Still need to hit the BMV to get the ball rolling on getting the title transferred and the plated.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
5/31/20 11:33 a.m.

Torqued the pan bolts to 9 ft-lbs.  Most turned at least a bit, so that leak may have been dealt with.  We'll see after the other work is done and the car gets another test drive.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/4/20 9:30 p.m.

Pulled the battery, serpentine belt, and alternator tonight, in order to get a better look at things.  The transmission lines are pretty much rotted where GM put brackets, or covered them with rubber, presumably to protect them better.  I know about where to be cutting them, and will try to get that done this weekend.

The power steering leak is going to be a bit more involved.  I think it is coming from the high pressure outlet on the pump, the line itself looks good, so I am guessing it will just need a new o-ring.  The problem is access.  As big as the engine bay is, they crammed the alternator on top of the PS pump and the AC compressor right under it.  I tried removing the part of the bracket that the alternator attaches to, but that seems to be a dead end.  I'm not entirely sure how the lines are supposed to be disconnected, even after looking at the service manual.  I'll hit up the internet over the weekend to find out how to really fix it.  I don't want to have to drain the cooling system just to replace a power steering o-ring.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/5/20 3:19 p.m.

Finagled a line wrench onto the high pressure fitting for the power steering pump, and was actually able to turn it a little bit to tighten it up.  In the interest of keeping the budget low, I'll see if it was just leaking due to that.  If the leak persists, I'll pull everything back apart, since it didn't take much effort.  I'm just worried about taking too much apart to get access, due to the whole 24 year-old car from the rust belt thing.  So easy to break everything you put a wrench on.

Hit a small snag with the transmission lines - the tubing cutter won't fit in the spaces it needs to.  Going to run out this evening for a smaller one, and give it a go.  I did peel back some of the rubber covering just to see how bad it looked.  Instant seepage:

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/6/20 4:12 p.m.

Replaced the rusted out lines with hose today, and double clamped each connection, since there really wasn't room to use the tubing flare tool in all the spots.  Here's hoping it doesn't leak.  Looking at it afterwards, I kind of want to run longer lines, and relocate the cooler to in front of the bumper, bosozoku-style. smiley  I also have about a foot of good transmission line that I cut out, so it'll have to stick around until the challenge is over, just in case it's needed (Yay hoarding).

Did run into a couple of snags - I don't have much Dexron in the garage, so I need to run out and get a little bit to replace what went missing on the trip.  And I cannot find the wheel lock, so for now, can't pull the wheels and grease the caliper slider pins.  Will try to rectify both of those quickly.  EDIT: Thanks to Curtis, found the wheel lock - it was stashed in the pull out storage bin/ashtray in the center of the dashboard.

As for budget, I bought hose and clamps in "bulk".  Used 4.5' (I'll round up to 5, unless the budget gets really close) of a 25' pack of transmission hose, and 8 out of 10 clamps:

Prior budget:  $1500

+ (5 / 25) * 32.95 for the hose = $6.59

+ (8 / 10) * 6.55 for the clamps = $5.24

Current budget:  $1511.83

 

ClemSparks
ClemSparks UltimaDork
6/7/20 1:05 p.m.

I absolutely love your "garage" of build threads here.  The S10, The Super Beetle, This one.  Seems like maybe there are others, but anyway...carry on!

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/7/20 1:56 p.m.

In reply to ClemSparks :

Thanks!  I think I spread myself way too thin sometimes, but I've just got too many ideas bouncing around in my head.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/7/20 5:14 p.m.

After some testing today, looks like the trans cooler lines are probably dealt with.  A small amount of fluid on the garage floor from that general area, but I think it is residual.  There is still leaking near the trans pan, not sure if it is from the pan or the shift linkage.  I'll do a little research and see if there is any way to seal the linkage up if I drop the pan.  Power steering is definitely leaking, I think it is from the high pressure line connection.  At the least, it'll need an o-ring.  However, the pump itself is kind of noisy now, even after bleeding the system, so for now, I may just keep adding fluid, and just replace the pump closer to the challenge, depending on budget. 

Mechanical work will have to wait for a while, though.  Working in the garage with this whale was a bit of a nightmare, between the size, and how much it had been lowered.  It's going to stay in the driveway for a while, and get some road time, while I clean the garage up some more, so there is more working room.  Might paint the fender and door, and install those, in the meantime, too, to help clear more out of the garage.  May see if I can ge the factory radio reinstalled and working

The test drive was the first time I got to put it through its paces since I got it home, since I was babying it on the trip home.  Can definitely accelerate well, but I had limited experience on that, as I got stuck behind a Mercedes 240D right when I pulled onto the best "test" road around.  Handles the curves fairly well for such a big car, too.  I also got a temp tag for it yesterday, so it can be driven to the BMV for an inspection, then I can swing over to the title office, and get it put in my name.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/10/20 12:03 p.m.

Picked up some paint and supplies for the replacement door and fenders.  If I can clear enough garage space, painting on them will begin this weekend.

Thinking farther ahead, I will need to do something to the wheels.  The clear is coming off, and there is some curb rash.

I really like their style, and budget constraints mean I probably won't try to run something different.  Worst case, I guess I can clean them up quickly, and hit them with cheap silver paint.  Then they'll look good in photos, at least from a distance.  On the other end, I could see about media blasting them, but that seems like a lot more than I want to deal with.  One possibility, even though it may not exactly be Radwood-ish, is cleaning up the worst of the clear coat delamination, and hitting them with some plastidip.  I'm thinking the car would look really good with the wheels in bronze.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks UltimaDork
6/10/20 5:07 p.m.

Do they make a silver(ish) plastidip?  That'd be a fast way to make them presentable. 

I always thought they were a great looking wheel.  If you can blast and refinish properly with mostly just your time (and no real budget hit), I think the results would be worthwhile.  I'm not sure what the best way to handle this is on old OE aluminum wheels with a mix of machined and as-cast surfaces.  I made some old Mustang 10-hole wheels look presentable without a ton of efford and a little clear coat (seen in my Fairmont wagon thread).  

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/10/20 6:17 p.m.
ClemSparks said:

Do they make a silver(ish) plastidip?  That'd be a fast way to make them presentable. 

I always thought they were a great looking wheel.  If you can blast and refinish properly with mostly just your time (and no real budget hit), I think the results would be worthwhile.  I'm not sure what the best way to handle this is on old OE aluminum wheels with a mix of machined and as-cast surfaces.  I made some old Mustang 10-hole wheels look presentable without a ton of efford and a little clear coat (seen in my Fairmont wagon thread).  

I'll have to check out your thread.  They do make an aluminum-colored spray, so I could use that if I want the wheels to look stock-ish.  Its expensive enough that I'll probably hold back until relatively shortly before the challenge, just in case.

ClemSparks
ClemSparks UltimaDork
6/10/20 10:38 p.m.

Taking a closer look at the wheels I don't think the method I used  (the results can be seen on page 1...here:  https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/1980-ford-fairmont-wagon-family-cruiser/121218/page1/) would work well on your wheels (because of the design).  I'm guessing a chemical strip or media blasting (which you mentioned) are probably going to be best.  However, I'm far from experienced and am mostly interested in seeing how you are able to bring them back!  I've been wondering if maybe soda blasting is the answer to aluminum wheel abrasive refinishing. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/12/20 2:04 p.m.

Got it inspected and titled today.  Temp tag is still good for a little over a month, so I didn't worry about getting a regular tag yet.  Just wanted to get back home and out of all the lines.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/12/20 8:13 p.m.

Tonight's project:

Took only a minute or so to remove the door guard, but another hour or two to deal with the leftover tape that held it on.  Started working on it with a razor blade, but it was taking forever, so I found some sort of goo gone gel in the laundry room, and tried it.  That let me remove a big chunk of it with the razor.  Then, I used repeated applications on small areas at a time, and a bunch of shop towels to clean it off.  Seemed to work best when i started with a dry shop towel to loosen the gunk up, then a watered down one to wipe it off the door.

The Impala uses a different style of door guard than the Caprice, and I am hoping to salvage it from the damaged driver's door.  If it doesn't work out, I'll just hope it isn't very noticeable.

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/12/20 9:01 p.m.

If it doesn't work out take them all off.  Someone (3m?) makes a wheel that chucks up in a drill and removes the goo without hurting the paint.  

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/12/20 9:32 p.m.

Yup. 3m eraser wheel.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/13/20 9:12 a.m.

In reply to Patrick (Forum Supporter) and Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) :

Thank you both!  I really hope it works out though.  Something this wide should really have door guards.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/13/20 12:43 p.m.

Removed the lower trim from the Caprice panels (and the speaker), and got to cleaning them up.  Kind of forgot about the pinstriping tape, so afterwards went back and pulled it with a razor, and used some more of the goo gone on the glue.  About this time, it started raining, so I hauled the panels into the garage and stopped for now.

Tomorrow when it is dry, I'm planning on a quick wash again, and wetsanding the panels, then spray painting the inner areas that will be seen when the door is open.  Doesn't need to be perfect, I just don't want to see a bunch of gold/beige.  I remember really not liking that color back in the early-2000s, but now that almost everything seems to be either black, gray, silver, or white, I've softened my viewpoint a bit.  Going to use rustoleum professional gloss black, in a spray can for the areas mentioned above, and a quart can with rollers in on the panels.  I've done the roller painting trick before, but will need to do a much better job sanding and polishing this time.  I know it won't be a perfect match with the car, but I just want something that stands out less than the crunched panels.  I don't have the space to put together even a makeshift spray booth for this, so the roller method seems better than spraying outside in the yard, which I'll still have to do for the hidden parts of the door anyway.

Any suggestions for what sandpaper to use before painting?  I've been thinking of going with 600 since that is what is recommended for between coats of rolled on paint. 

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/14/20 6:54 p.m.

Got a late start today, but still moved forward.  Rewashed the panels, and wetsanded the exterior portions of them with 400 grit sandpaper, as the 600 didn't seem to be doing much.  While they were drying, I pulled the spoiler, and ended up breaking off one of the mounting tabs.  Looks like it'll just need a bit of epoxy, assuming I reinstall it.  It is looking fairly rough, and I'm not sure if I want to try to strip all the paint off and repaint it, or if I just should scuff it up, and paint it as is.  Regardless, it'll need some sort of coating to keep the fiberglass from deteriorating any more.

In the meantime, I tore up the passenger side under dash area to get to the blower motor.  It had a rattling noise, and a replacement motor was included in the trunk of the Impala.  Had to navigate around some of the wiring from the aftermarket stereo the car used to have.  Once it was out, though, the problem was pretty obvious.  There was part of what appeared to be a walnut shell in the fan.  Pulled that out, and cleaned the rest of the junk out of the fan, and reinstalled it, instead of putting the new blower motor in.  Maybe I can sell it for a little recoup.  I also put in a new blower motor resistor, so I can have fan speeds other than off and high.  Saved the old resistor, in case I need to reinstall it if the budget gets too close.

Tomorrow, I'll try to start spraying the panels, and later in the week, start rollering them.

 

Prior budget:  $1511.83

+21.19 (Blower motor resistor from Rock Auto + its share of shipping and 5% discount)

Current Budget:  $1533.02

 

*A note on the budget.  I have a $334.87 nitrous kit I want to install.  So, my target budget before the install has to be at  or (preferably) below $1665.13.  I'm sure there will be incidental costs related to installing nitrous, so I need to keep some leeway there.

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/14/20 7:00 p.m.

My spoiler isn't far behind.  They all do that

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/15/20 8:15 a.m.
Patrick (Forum Supporter) said:

My spoiler isn't far behind.  They all do that

Bummer.  I'll probably sand the edges of the paint, and any bubbles where it has delaminated, and do a quick paint job on it.  Won't look great, but will look better than it does now.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/15/20 9:56 a.m.

I have the day off, so I masked up inside of the door (and the glass on both sides, just in case) this morning after taking care of a few chores:

Then sprayed it and the fender:

With any luck, this'll keep it from looking like a $199 maaco special every time the door or hood is opened.  Now I just need to let them sit until they're dry enough to handle.  Was thinking of going junkyarding, but there is now rain in the forecast for the afternoon, and I don't need to be 30 miles away when it starts.  May work on the sanding the spoiler next, or let myself get distracted by something else. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/15/20 12:19 p.m.

Wetsanded and cleaned the spoiler.  Think I'll try the roller paint on it, too, as I used up a good chunk for the spray paint this morning, and would like to have it for any touchup work I might need to do.  Kind of tempted to make a NASCAR-style spoiler for the trunk, though, I think it'd look pretty cool, even though this car probably doesn't really need more downforce.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/17/20 11:40 a.m.

Rolled on the first layer of paint last night.  I think I used too much mineral spirits, as it was thinner than I remember in the past.  Will try to balance them better for the second layer tonight.  Tomorrow, I'll see if it needs its first round of wetsanding, or if the extra thin first layer means I can skip it until after a third round of painting.  Regardless, I am planning on having the painting taken care of by the end of the weekend, so next week parts can go on the car, and mechanical work can recommence. 

Judging by the leaks on my driveway, the PS fluid leak is going back to being really bad, even after tightening up the fitting.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/17/20 7:03 p.m.

Might have gone a little too thick on the paint mixture tonight, but coverage was pretty good.  The fender and door are probably going to be due for wetsanding tomorrow (or whenever I get around to it), but I'll keep rolling paint on the spoiler for a while before hitting it.  I think it is not going to look great no matter what, so might as well try to get the paint nice and thick before I even attempt to mess with it.  When I started tonight, I could still see the grain of the fiberglass.  Regardless, it's still way better than with the peeling paint and bare fiberglass look.

I might even get by with only four layers of paint on the panels, but will see how it all shakes out.

 

 

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