Fix It With Steve...
Dec 30, 2014 edition
This week I don’t have a lot to report from an action point of view but the good news is my motivation seems to have returned. I’m not quite sure why because it seems to have strangely coincided with the return to the day job after the holidays?!
Anyway the heater is not back in the car yet but I think the ‘brick’ seal from Victoria British has enough give in it that it will fit without the drastic modifications that I hear the Moss one needs. However I did have to cut away some excess rubber so the outer cable clip for the air control flap can be tightened once everything is back in the car. I did get the heater prepared for the install though by sticking on the new seals to it. The chiseled off screws on the firewall were drilled out and the captive nuts re tapped. A little portable vacuum cleaner did wonders to clean up the accumulated grot in the bottom of the air box and remove an old winter food store for some long gone four legged beast from behind the radio. I got the inlet & exhaust manifolds back onto the cylinder head and the distributor is back in as well. So progress has been resumed.
One tip that you all probably know (because it’s so obvious!) is how to fit a new cover on the radio center console. Moss sells the vinyl & foam cover, 453-707, to replace your old cracked one. The edges of the vinyl need to bend around the metal backing to make a neat fit, but it won’t budge! Answer is a hot air gun. It softens up the vinyl so it can be bent into shape and what’s even better is when it cools it stays in its new shape. Good job, ‘fixed-it’!
The garage was closed the weekend (1/16-17). I headed South & East to warm up for four days in the Caribbean and there was a race involved as well. (The weather highs were 75°F and lows 70°F along with sea breezes, palm trees……aaaahhhhhhh!)
So last week I said I thought there was enough play in the rubber ‘brick’ that the heater would go back in without any problems. As is often the case I was wrong, again! It would not go. I tried all sorts of approaches but in the end the ‘fix’ was brute force via a mallet and prying it using a wood block on the heater (to spread the load) and a pry bar between the cylinder head and the wood. In it went. I pushed in the sealing strips that go between the heater and firewall right at the end, they would have got in the way otherwise. All I have to do now is add the fastening screws and connect the cable for the air diverter flap, the thing that started all this.
Unfortunately I had a running mishap on Saturday morning when an unleashed dog launched itself at four of us about 8.5m into a 20 miler. Result one broken nose, two black eyes & a lot of road rash. Still I managed to finish the run but was not up to anything in the garage all weekend.
The compressor installation for the A/C is now finalized. And I hope to finish the A/C install off this coming weekend. Other cars are coming and the B has to vacate the lift.
There was one success in the week. The Austin Healey with radical Left wing tendencies (when braking that is!) finally got fixed and is now ‘straight’. New brake shoes did the trick. It’s been a long & frustrating saga and I for one am glad it’s successfully solved.