I pounded my head against the wall for a little while today while preparing to install the steering wheel for what was hopefully the final time. I did not want to tighten the nut until I knew everything was ready. I could not get the horn to make contact.
As far as automotive electrical diagnosese go, they don't get much simpler. The center of the column and the steel frame of the wheel were both grounded and I could honk the horn with a scratch awl or screwdriver, but it would not work when I put it all together. Finally I figured out that when I painted the steering wheel, the metal structure part of it got painted too. Even though it was grounded, pressing the center did not complete the circuit because it was painted underneath the contact mounts. Duh!
I figured it out, and tightened and installed the wheel and horn button. I also got the correct bulbs for the inside quarterpanel interior lights, installed those and the lenses. Anyhow, this was the last of the interior. It's all 100% finished now*. (don't mind that harmless little asterisk).
I also jacked the car up, and scuff sanded the visible parts of the frame, and spiffed it up with a little aerosol undercoating.
The temperature was in the 60s, so I made hay while the sun shined, so to speak. My dad came over, and I made us a huge breakfast, then we went to work on the car. He volunteered to help, as I think he wants to see it make the show almost as bad as I do. He is making a streetrod out of a 1920s fire engine, and is a ways from completion just yet. I'll be sure to post some photos of it once he is able to pull it outside.
Today he installed the cowl kick panels, reproduction sill plates, and the plastic plenum under the dash. I re-installed the seat bottom before he arrived, and worked on the center armrest while he was here. I broke a bolt off in the seat frame, but drilled and re-tapped it without too much trouble. I attached the upholstery, and the plastic frame cover on the back. I bolted the seat belts and retractors in. We each installed one seat back, and I put on the stainless trim and caps on the sides. He said he didn't want to poke the holes for the screws! I don't blame him, it's one of those gotta get it right the first time kind of jobs.
After he left I installed the rest of the underdash ductwork, routed and connected the speaker wires, and stowed them under the dash. I finished up tightening the column, and installed the cover underneath. I then assembled and installed the lower A/C ductwork. I wanted to install the steering wheel for what I hope is the final time, but I can't quite figure out how the spring works for the horn. It either honks full time, or not at all, it needs a simple adjustment of some kind, but I ran out of light.
Things are looking good, I'm 98% done, but I still don't have the bumper back yet. I sure don't want to install the crappy repro, and then have to take it back off, but not be able to return it.
Standard operating procedure calls for something already finished, to be taken apart and done over again. This time I chose to take the front seat loose and install the black plastic cover to hide the seat tracks. It was broken and did not get installed the first time. This morning I patched it with a small strip of thin aluminum and some fibreglass. Since it is entirely hidden, I didn't even have to paint it.
Shown here I propped the seat bottom up with a 2 x 4 scrap, so I could unbolt the seat track from the seat frame. I left it connected electrically so I could move the track to get at both bolts.
Working on the steering column. A difficult thing to put together, even with the service manual. I don't think the manual is written real well, as the instructions are not clear to me. At any rate, it's together, and I should be able to get it installed tomorrow.
Repro bumper number 2 is also not usable! The chrome looks terrible!
I took the rear bumper from a '72 hardtop I have, and sent it down to United Bumper to get straightened and plated. The Forest Park Easter car show is just 10 days away.....
Sometime over the last couple of chaotic, business-moving weeks, I managed to locate the part I needed to fix the tilt steering column. The guy saw me coming and I had to pay $40 for it.
I removed my steering column, which had the bad knuckle and a number of other problems, such as a broken turn signal switch, and the whole thing was too short, the collar was beat down on the shift tube too far, which made the linkage not work properly. So now all of that is back in pieces on my workbench.
In St. Louis each Easter Sunday, a car show is held in Forest Park, in the upper and lower Muny (outdoor Municipal Opera) parking lots. The St. Louis Street Rod Association with hot rods and customs are in the lower lot, and the St. Louis chapter of the Horseless Carriage Club has restored cars in the upper lot, and between both, there could be close to 1000 cars there, weather permitting.
So I've thrown down the gauntlet on this car, I really need to get it done. I've paid the money to display the car in this show, and told friends, acquaintances and family members that it would be finished and on display in the upper lot in this car show, on Easter Sunday (April 16, just 18 days from now). I made a real presentation of it, and some family members came over to see the car early and I said no! Come to the show and see it when it's actually finished. So April 16th will be either my great automotive makeover reveal, or maybe social swan-song.....