I know I talk a lot about the Vintiques Northwest Nationals car show in Yakima, Washington, but it’s just so dang much fun I can not help myself. The 2016 show, which was held in August, was no exception. Our son came to visit my wife and me for the show and we won another sponsor trophy for the 40, from Elvis’s Bar and Grille in Pendleton, Oregon. Our son enjoyed driving the 40 and my wife took the opportunity to cut up a little bit. It’s amazing to me the good times we have had since we got the car on the road! Every picture tells a story.
In the last few days, I have noticed a light clunk when I apply the brakes on the 40. I also decided I wanted to check the front wheel bearings to see if they needed adjustment. So today I pulled the front wheels off to take a look, and I am really glad I did. You can see the bright line of scuffed metal on the passenger side rotor hub. That was caused when the outboard brake pad had begun rubbing there when the lower caliper bracket bolt loosened and eventually fell out. It came as quite a shock to see an empty bolt hole. When I checked the upper bolt and the driver side upper and lower bolts, they were all not as tight as they should have been. When I began examining further, I noticed that the pivot bolt and nut for the lower control arm on the passenger side and the driver side were loose. I tried to get a photo that showed that, but it is not the best. I spent the rest of the afternoon checking every other bolt and nut I could find. Everything was good, but I will be checking regularly from now on.
Now that I have the outer hind quarter sheet metal pretty much in place it is time to finish the aft part of the trunk floor. Maybe finish is the wrong word. What I am installing may not be the way it ends up forever, but at least in the meantime, it will keep the exhaust fumes from coming into the car. I had built a sub structure of half inch square tubing to support the shape of the metal below the trunk, and attached bracing from there to the trunk floor, to replace the rust rotted tool storage structure. Then I attached galvanized sheet metal panels to extend the trunk floor to the lip of the trunk opening. I still need to refine the fit and seal around the edges. The old 40 is starting to look more and more like a real car.
Developed an exhaust leak when the nuts backed off the exhaust pipe attachment to the exhaust manifold. I re-tightened the nuts but it did not fix the leak. I decided to replace the exhaust donuts on both sides. It was much easier to remove the manifolds than to let the exhaust system down. Found the problem right away, and while I had the manifolds off, went ahead and re-did the high temp coating, which had started to deteriorate and the surface rust was showing.
Aftermarket gauges are the order of the day in the 40. The speedometer and the gas gauge are lit through the Nova wiring harness that I installed in the car, but illumination for the aftermarket gauges had to come from some other source. It had to be keyed 12 volts, that is, only hot when the ignition was in the run or accessory position. In the search for that source, I looked on the fuse panel and found an outlet named LPS. It turned out to be keyed 12 volts, and, as an added bonus, also to be controlled by the headlight switch rheostat, which controls the lighting for the speedo and gas gauge. So, when I dim or brighten the OEM cluster lighting, I dim or brighten the aftermarket gauge lighting. It is somewhat amazing to me that in 1973, Chevrolet engineers were thoughtful enough to realize I might need a source for 12 volts on a rheostat, and incorporate it into the factory wiring harness. They saved me a lot of money and nuisance. :-)