Aug 03, 2010: Front Frame Rust Repair

Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
For those that have not seen it, here is my previous post and how-to instructions on frame rust repair: "How-To: Fixing Frame Rust"

During the front suspension work I wanted to take the time to touch up the remaining frame rust on 10084 that has been present since I purchased it over 5 years ago. Because of its location it was very hard to reach when I initially was doing the frame touch-up, but with all of the suspension components removed it was much more accessible.

Some things I have learned since my previous frame rust post: ACE Hardware Smoke Grey paint is a closer match than the Krylon I initially used. Also - a cordless drill with a wire wheel brush helps speed up flaking epoxy removal.

Here are some pictures of the front areas from the drivers and passengers side during the repair. You can see the POR-15 as it stands out as very silver compared to the frames grey color.

And for comparison, the before and after pictures:

Aug 11, 2008: The Summer Job (Round 1)

Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
Current work underway:

- Replace slow leaking A/C compressor
- Replace accumulator, low pressure switch, and orifice tube
- Paint engine compartment walls
- Replace rusted bolts/nuts with stainless
- Hide wire bundle under manifold
- Paint engine cover hinges
- Clean engine/engine compartment
- Pressure test A/C and refill with R12

So far I have removed the old compressor, disconnected some A/C lines up front, removed everything from the walls of the engine compartment, started cleaning, and purchased some stainless hardware. Next up is the sanding/painting of the compartment.
Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
The reason for my window work is when the car was out of the garage it rained for several hours, and upon checking to make sure things were fine, water was found behind the driver and passenger seat. As the inner seal, roof seal, and sill seal have been replaced recently, something else had to be at fault. My toll booth seals were showing their age, and at some points peeling from the car. Assumption was that the door was filling with water (fast from the hard rain) and leaking through the vapor barrier into the car. So, some pictures below are of the replacement procedure. It was easy to do, just pop off the upper door panel, push in the tabs to remove the weatherstripping, clean the area, insert new stripping and line with weatherstripping glue. Also, its a good idea to clean the silicone between the seals and replace it nice and flat (better than from the factory)!

However, as it turns out, my leaks were not from the above seals (although I am glad I replaced them anyway, as I am sure the old seals didn't help). When the new ones were installed and a hose test was done, it appears the 'fixed' window seal was leaking on the back edge, that water was running down the inside part of the inside stainless panel of the door and right to the bottom ledge of the car, spilling out onto the carpet. I used a small screwdriver and fine tipped silicone tube and filled in the area. After letting it sit the test was done again and no leaks.

Mar 11, 2007: Also fixed window felt

Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
When I had the passenger door apart I also took the time to fix the window felt strip on the inside of the door. Mine was coming unglued and gunking up the passenger window. Simply unscrewed the bracket, removed the old strip, cleaned with goo gone, and replaced with the soft side of a velcro strip. Hopefully the glue holds, but only time will tell. Works really well for the time being. Here is a quick picture:

Jan 06, 2007: Fixing frame rust

Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
Finished today with the cross beam of the frame beneath the engine. For anyone interested in doing this, you need the following:

POR-15 (silver or gray)
60/150/400 grit sandpaper
Sanding block
Chisel/Screwdriver/something to scrape
Paint brush
Krylon Smoke Gray
Optional but recommended (mask/safety glasses/gloves)

Sand down and chip away loose epoxy from the rusted areas, use something and scrape in around the hardened epoxy as some will chip off and will get you a better surface to prep/paint. Sand down all rusted areas and try to blend epoxy down into bare frame. Follow POR-15 instructions with prepping and cleaning surface, paint. Go over with 400 grit sandpaper and grind down any bubbles or drips. Spray over with Krylon paint.

Here are some pictures of the frame after the POR-15 and before the Krylon paint:

For the hole in the first picture, this is drainage and the whole area is hollow, you can see through it from either side of the car behind the wheel. I had some rust up in here so I scraped whatever I could reach, and as I couldn't see where I was painting in there with POR-15 I bought Rustoleum Smoke Gray paint also and plugged one end while I sprayed lots of paint in from the other end.

Here are some before and after pictures:

Altogether I am happy with how it came out. I am sure you can make it look more stock/flat if you really sand it down flush. For me it was hard as I had the car on jack stands and wanted to touch up and stop the rust that was already there. The Krylon Smoke Gray paint does not match perfectly, its a bit darker gray, but I am sure after it gets dirty again you won't be able to tell the difference.
Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
Let me start off by saying for the most part, my frame is in fairly good shape. In some spots where there are welds or seams the epoxy has started to chip and of course rust starts, but this seems to be common on these cars at 25 years old (this month for my car). :)

However, on my car there are a few spots that are worse off than anything else. Those would be right below the transmission across the engine brace part of the frame. The epoxy started peeling and the frame has rust around the edges. I am assuming this was from a leaky slave cylinder that the previous owner never replaced. The other area is the tow hooks, which my guess is the car was hauled on a carrier and the tow hooks flexed causing the epoxy to crack, thus rust sprung up. Finally I have rust in the front frame extension on the passenger side, which upon talking to Rob Grady at a tech day said it was common from cars that are driven in the rain then parked on a street, causing the water to pool up in that area. Since I have no idea when or where the previous owner drove/parked the car, I can only guess this is true.

So I started today in cleaning up the major areas of rust, so that no damage occurs to the safety and support structure of the frame from being eaten away. I will hope to touch up any spot of rust or cracking epoxy that I see, to prevent any damage in the future. Here are some shots of before of the tow hooks and below the transmission, and then after I sanded the areas down for a while. Next will be some POR-15 and then matching spray paint.

Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
Per the advice from DMCH I dremeled off the old bracket on the torsion bar. Came off fairly easy with no damage to the bars threads. It looked salvageable. Ordered a new bracket and took Marks advice (read all info in this thread) and tapped it on and off for about an hour. Have most of the head of the bar re-molded to fit in the bracket. I can get it on and off by and with just a little pressure and wiggling. I am assuming it should be tight as it needs to hold the bar in one position and have no movement.

After further investigation of the roof, it appears my roof has seperated from the fiberglass body. Brian P sent me over a writeup available here on how to fix this. I proceeded to do this fix, my roof was probably up about 3/8" or a bit more. Pounding it down brought it down to about 1/8", and bolting it down sucked it in the rest.

A few changes I would make to BrianP's instructions...

Go with a 3" bolt rather than a 4", you wind up with a lot of extra bolt regardless. 2" may be a bit too short. Rather than a cairrage bolt I went with a machine screw, rounded head (like a cairrage bolt) but a flat head screwdriver slot so it is easier to hold down and tighten.

I am not sure how much (if any) water gets in that area, but I did put RTV sealant under the washer and screw, and wiped off the excess that squirted out when it sucked the roof down. Hopefully that will keep anything from leaking. I'll probably paint (like Brian) to prevent corrosion and then cover with duct tape just to make sure it doesn't have a chance to scrape anything.

Here are some pictures:

The above picture is after it was hammered down. This brought the roof down quite a bit.

These pictures are from misc angles after I drilled the holes and placed the bolts in (prior to tightening).

And finally after it was tightened. Really sucked it right down back to where it should be. This should fix any noises that would occur when the doors open. No more squeaky roof, rubbing t-panel, or torsion bar rubbing the door hinge.

Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
So, I have a dent in the passenger side door from the previous owner. Something fell on it in a garage. Something heavy. Knocked the door out of alignment so it doesn't close properly and scrapes when opening. Its gotten to the point now that the car is actually being used that it has to be fixed, since it also hits the t-panel and its starting to bend. What is the fix? Loosening the door hinge and pulling the door back out a hair. But it can't be done with the torsion bar installed due to to the tension.

On to taking out the torsion bar. Simple 10 minute job for the Florida guys. Not our first time. First for this car though. Off comes the finishing panel, which shows that oooohh, someone has adjusted them a notch before as is obvious from the pencil marks. Up a notch rather than just buying the $50 door struts. Cheapness.

Take the first bolt out and holy shit, was this thing stripped. So was the hole. Seems like the time they were out last they stripped the bolt, then reinstalled it stripped which stripped the hole. F&*KING GREAT. Get to retap these babies when everything is going to get reinstalled. Oh wait a second, the bracket isn't budging like it usually does. Out comes the hammer, some screwdrivers to pry, and PB Blaster. 15 minutes later, the brackets still attached. Everyone is scratching their heads. Lets put it back in for a minute to think.

One problem, the bolts don't do SHIT. So its back in, barely holding, probably been barely holding for quite some time, but now I know its like that its going to bother me. What to do...

Yes. This is a torsion bar out of the car with the plate still stuck to it. With the T-Panel out we fully extended the passenger door so from looking behind it was like \ to relieve some tension, and then tested to see how much more we needed to get the bar our. Believe it or not it was just a hair further than the rear glass window. Figures. Wrapped the torsion bar in towels, put some buffer between the glass and the bracket, and beat the shit out of the bracket until it backed the bar out of the door hinge.

Special thanks goes out to the Florida group for the help.

Now its time to order a new one. I don't think this can be salvaged, I thought of machine pressing it out but the head is already too big from probably the PO jamming a larger tool in to get it out. It's almost as if it torqued in the bracket and melded the metals. Just my luck.

Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
Had a great time on Saturday at the Central Florida DMC club tech session. Managed to get several jobs done on my car that I have been meaning to get to.

#1 was changing the 25 year old transmission oil. Wow that stuff smells. Just took out the top bolt and bottom bolt, drained the smelly old fluid out, & cleaned up the tranny. Then teflon taped the bottom bolt, put it back in, filled her up, and plugged the transmission and she was good to go.

#2 was changing the oil. 3000 miles since the last change which was done August 2005. This time I put in the heavier 20w50 now that I am in a warmer climate. We will see if it makes any difference.

#3 was replacing the old (& partially bent) radio antenna. Picked up the cheap replacement for $14. Bit of a pain to get it lined up right in the vents, but thanks to the help of Mike C. got it installed and working great.

Here are some pictures of the gathering:

Category: Maintenance
Posted by: Derek
Received my LN-46 power antenna in today that I plan to install at the Central Florida DMC Club tech session this Saturday. Picked it up from for around $14 plus shipping. Should replace my old antenna just fine, as my old one has a bent tip when fully extended.

Also picked up some Valvoline 80w90 transmission oil so I can replace my 25 year old oil and hopefully get a smoother shifting transmission. We will see.