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12-15-2005 08:31 PM A Pain In My Seat, Part II
Here is the frame, painted. This evening, I used the padding and burlap from the blue 4 door, but even it was wet and ruined around both lower corners. I used some of the pieces from my old one, and shored up the corners. The pad from my convertible was really wasted, and came off in peices.

This is the new cover, ready to install. I used the steel rod from the four door to run through the sleeve for the hogrings to attach to, and had to cut about 6 inches off of it.

Hogring pliers and hog rings.

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  [Entry #64]

12-15-2005 08:24 PM A Real Pain In The Seat
As easy as the power seat mechs were, the seats themselves have started out the opposite. I have reproduction PUI covers to install, so I removed the cover from the top half of the rear seat. The springs were so rusted, it probably felt like sitting on the floor, and soon would be. I went to the good old junkyard, but there was only one coupe, of course no convertibles, and the frame is convertible only. My plan was to get a nice looking four door seat frame, and cut it down to size. It did not work, as the side frames are different, the mount holes are spaced different, etc.

I decided to remove all my rusty springs from the frame, and replace them with the cleaner ones provided by this blue 4 door donor from a 1969 Cutlass. I had to pry apart each fastener that held the springs to the frame. My top and bottom rails were pretty rusty, so I cut those from the donor also, and clamped it all back together. I used a few hogrings, but mostly the original fasteners crushed back together with pliers. The ends of the springs twisted around the frame as shown. The first one was a little difficult, but they were much easier after that. When I finished, I wire brushed off the frame, and painted it semi gloss black. I was amazed to discover this project took 4 hours!

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  [Entry #63]

12-13-2005 01:07 PM The Seating Arrangements
After I finished both seat track mechanisms, I took apart the seat motor drive transmission. It looked good inside, no grit, no broken parts or gears, no broken drive cables, no money spent. I did a quick clean-up, and put it back together with new lithium grease. I re-assembled everything, hooked up a battery and did a test run. It works very well in every direction. All in all, the power seat phase of this project went fairly well.

I've brought the seat frames and PUI reproduction seat covers inside where it's warm, and I plan to start that soon.

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  [Entry #62]

12-09-2005 02:59 PM Supremely Powerful Seats
This evening I finished restoring the power seat track assemblies. I had been afraid of them for a long time, but once I got into them, they were no big deal. The seat drive transmission could be another matter though....

Shown here are the before and after versions. I had to grind a notch in each side of the upper frame in order to remove the little drive gear box. The pivot pins must be riveted in place after the gearbox was installed by the manufacturer, because it wouldn't come out any other way.

I did them one at a time so I could use the other as reference. Once disassembled, I soaked the assembly and slide track in chemicals to move the old hardened grease. Both the up/down and front/back motions were almost completely frozen on these. I then bead blasted it in the cabinet, and then aired it off while working it up and down to remove all the grit. It then worked perfectly, like it had never been bad. I painted it with gloss black Rust Oleum and let it dry overnight. They turned out looking pretty good. It's wintertime and my progress really slows down, so i was glad to get something like this done. Always plenty else to do this time of year, but I'm looking forward to getting more of these things accomplished that I can do indoors. Next I will see if the seat drive motor and transmission are salvageable or not.

I sold the '50 Plymouth, and then last weekend I bought two 1970 Cadillacs. Addiction is a powerful thing, but I guess there are plenty of worse things in this world to be addicted to than automobiles!

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  [Entry #61]

11-27-2005 07:29 PM Cutlass Interior 1
It was a great day here in St. Louis today, 60 degrees. Around noon I went outside to work on the car, just for an hour or so, and of course came in many hours later, after dark.

I installed the dash pad and panel assembly, and got it bolted in. I routed some of the wiring and plugged in the headlight, wiper and convertible top switches. I installed the speedometer and fuel guage, and got the dash lights wired, grounded and working. I moved the steering column back a little, but now the shift is funky, and it seems to overtravel for the shift indicator inside the speedometer, it keeps coming unhooked. I've still got to figure that out. I also installed the interior A-pillar padded trims, and rearview mirror mount.

After dark, I resumed teardown of the front bench seat. I removed the backs, and then the mechanisms for the power seat. The seat frame is rusty, I'm not sure what I'm going to do about that. The power part did not work, I hot-wired the motor and it runs, but the tracks don't move. I took the track mechs off, and they are rusty, stiff and gummy. The passenger side barely turned with a screwdriver. I've got to figure out how to get all that cleaned up, because I can't sandblast it. I don't know if the little 'transmission' is fried, because sometimes it turns the drive cables, and sometimes it doesn't. In case you're wondering, the milk jug is used for small parts and fasteners storage. Cut a hole in the top, insert parts, and mark the outside with a Sharpie.

I'm not converting to green interior, this carpet scrap was just something I took out of another car, and I'm just using it here so I don't have to kneel and lay on the metal floor.

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  [Entry #60]

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