Master Cylinder Take 2

After replacing the brake master cylinder with a Dorman model, I noticed the brakes were already fading by the end of the 150 mile trip home. I started the trip with a full, hard brake pedal. By the time I got home, there was barely any braking down to the last inch of pedal throw. The last couple of times I have driven the car, the brake pedal was clacking against the floorboard. I have always kept an eye on the back side of the wheels, looking for leaking wheel cylinders, and up to this point, they were always dry.

So, I ordered a new master cylinder, this time a NAMCCO model (Amazon link). When installation day came, I jacked up the front of the car, removed the drivers side front wheel and there it was, rusty new master cylinder. Brake fluid was leaking from the hard line at the front and the rubber inlet.

When I got everything disconnected, I found the top hose that we recycled should probably not have been.

It wasn’t losing much (if any) brake fluid, but I think the pressure was escaping without creating puddles. I cut that nasty end off and recycled that hose again. Lesson definitely not learned.

I got the new master cylinder mounted to the firewall, to keep it from flopping around while trying to connect those hard lines and the inlet hoses.

I got everything reconnected except the very last hard line. I was maybe 45 minutes into the process at this point, then spent the next hour or more trying to get it started.

With my fingertips raw and fully defeated, I packed it up for the day.

Convinced that I couldn’t have been doing anything wrong, I decided the master cylinder must be drilled or threaded wrong. I got the old master cylinder out and the hard line screwed right in without issue.

I have been looking for a reason to buy a tap and die set for a long time.

With this being a strange size and thread pitch, I had to get a complete set (Amazon link), or pay nearly half as much for just that one size.

Anyway, in talking to my dad about it, he said “If you unbolt the master cylinder from the firewall, I’m certain it will thread right in.” He was right. Mostly. It was still tough to get it going, but after a tough half a turn, it broke through and threaded the rest of the way in, instead of popping out like it was before.

OK, so, that worked great. I took my manual brake bleeder vacuum gun around, bled each wheel, and had a good, solid pedal. Maybe not as much as last time we changed it, but good, safe transportation.

One win and one loss. Randomly, the drivers side headlight was cracked. I’m sure that is a result of the previous struggles I had with even getting the trim rings to mount at all.

Stop calling them Saturday Updates

Back onto the headlight bezel thing for a minute.

The new outer bulb brackets are the same size as the old brackets, so that’s not the problem. It looks like the bulbs are just sitting off center in the bucket. Kicking that can on down the road for another day.

There is this thing that also needs attention.

Which looked like this after a little while

and is now torn down even further… No spark. New points, condenser, coil, and a fresh fuse.

Anyway, back to the other lady.

I replaced the heat exchanger hoses (which were held on with black household caulk) and the air intake hose (Amazon link). All shiny, but man that original cardboard covered hose is so much sturdier. I will likely end up having to put that back on unless I can find one that isn’t made of aluminum foil.

More of that purplish paint back here.

Every couple of days, when I lift up the trunk lid, the gas tank has overflowed here around the fuel sending unit. “New gas tank” he said. Sometimes it’s a little puddle and sometimes it has flowed all down the sides and into the spare tire well.

I tried to measure the resistance of the fuel sending unit with a multimeter, to figure out why the gas gauge stopped working, but either I wasn’t doing it right, or it’s dead. But either way, new gasket and mounting screws with little nylon washer things to snug down in the mounting holes better (Amazon link).

Seeing as how the spare tire well is always wet with water (and hopefully no longer with gas) it’s pretty rusty down in there. I thought that would be a good, out of sight, place to do some painting.

I got some nylon cup brushes (Amazon link) and went after it in the wrong order (the softest one didn’t remove much, so I stepped up and removed a little more, then stepped up to the stiffest one and removed a little more).

Wiped it all down with acetone and started spraying. First with rust converter, then primer.

You can see that the factory Zenith Blue paint is actually blue, when you put a gray primer up against it.

There are some weird angles in there and I had a couple of runs. I’m a well-qualified rattle can spray painter, but this Krylon Fusion 2 in 1 really runs wayyy too easily.

I pulled the inspection panel covers off and gave them the business as well.

And then a couple of quick coats of Matte Vintage Blue paint, Krylon Fusion. Oh, and I did wipe off that body tag and the gas tank with acetone after each coat to get rid of the over-spray.

Note: This color is apparently no longer available from Krylon. That happens SO OFTEN – I find something I like and it immediately is removed from the marketplace. I only bought one can and am now hitting every Ace Hardware in town trying to buy up all remaining stock. They are completely gone from Lowes…

Why are there flies all over my truck?

Anyway, with it all back together, it looks pretty sharp. The color match isn’t too bad for some random rattle can from Lowes.

I don’t think I would paint the outside of the car with it, but if I’m doing body work and removing rust, it would definitely be a better alternative to leaving it in primer for who knows how long.

Seriously, there are flies all over…

The Next Saturday Updates

Back at it this weekend. I’ve got replacement headlight buckets to be mounted.

You can tell in the last picture and the fact that the bottom mounting screws were so hard to get at on both sides, the bulbs are sitting off center, way down at the bottom right. The chrome bezels wouldn’t mount over the bulbs. That’s a problem for another day.

From the spare tire well fiasco, you can tell she had a front end shunt at some point. Also evidenced by the front trunk lid being smooshed in around the handle.

The front trunk is always wet (with water AND gas, more on that later). I tried putting a big fat weatherstrip seal around the underside of the trunk lid, but that didn’t work and quickly peeled off. $26 well spent.

While poking around, I found another area where water was getting in. The sunlight caught my eye.

Removed the handle and sprayed some rust converter on both sides.

I replaced the hood handle seals (Amazon link) and put a strip of copper shielding tape I had laying around (Amazon link), left over from a couple of noisy guitars I was working on last year.

In doing some further archaeology, I found there is another vinyl seat cover underneath the black vinyl seat cover on the driver’s side.

And just below that, I found the stickers on the new floor pans that were installed on both sides. It looks like 2009, but that may just be a part number or something.

“I’ve never seen such good floor pans in an original car” he said. “I’ve never seen such an unmolested original car” he said. I’m happy it has new floor pans in it and a rebuilt engine, but that’s not the original engine, either, friendo.

These are good things, I suppose, more work has been done than I thought, but the “original” was what I thought I was paying up for. Oh well.

There appears to be a bug on my backup camera.

Saturday Updates

As I was poking around, I finally found an actual rust hole. If this is as bad as it gets, then the old girl is doing pretty OK.

This is at the top left corner above the engine bay, behind the air vent louvers. Not even sure how you would get up in there to fix it.

Next, the headlights were both aimed in crazy directions. Derp eyes for real. The screws to remove the chrome bezels to get back into the headlight buckets where the aiming screws are located was not going to be easy, on account of these rusted screws that wouldn’t turn with a screwdriver. Soaked them in PB Blaster for a couple of days.

Harbor Freight sells the best screwdriver for the job.

With the headlight bezels removed, I could finally get at the headlight aiming screws.

There were broken and missing screws, more rusty metal, and alas… The nylon blocks that the headlight aiming screws screw into are split and just spin without moving the headlight.

Well, at least I was able to find the right screws to replace the rusty chrome bezel screws. I took the better of the two that I had removed to Napa and they were able to identify the size and thread pattern for me, though they didn’t have any in stock. They are #10-32 machine screws. I bought some at a little Ace Hardware down the road that were 2 and 2 1/2 inches long. The ones that came out of it look like 2 1/4″ which they didn’t have in stock. The 2 inch ones worked fine.

I also made a trip to a little tire shop down the street from my house and got the new tire mounted on the Empi wheel. When I got home with it and tried to put it in the spare tire well, it had apparently shrunken back into the old smooshed position.

Metal memory.

So I got the scissor jack and scrap wood out again and made it fit.