Quickly knocked together some tubing to try and give structural support to the rear end. It should at least stop the back from crabbing when the entire trunk pan is removed. It may not even be necessary with the frame rails, tail panel and remainders of the quarter panels, but it won’t hurt anything, is easy to remove and doesn’t get in the way (too much).


The bars stretch from the tail panel (the tail light bracket) to the rear seat support and are tied together in the middle.


Current state of things.

17 August 2008

Progress hasn’t exactly been in the forward direction.


The subframe isn’t complete for the following reasons.
The upper control arm shafts need replacing, the threads inside each of them are not good, and when one bushing end cap was torqued to spec, the bolt sheared. These will be replaced with the better design “nut-ends” where the control arm shaft end is threaded on the outside and a nut hold the bushing cap on, converse to the original where the shaft was threaded internally and a bolt screwed into them. This also means that the bushings will have to be removed and reinstalled/replaced.


I tied the upper and lower ball joints to the steering knuckle thinking that the coil springs would fit through when compressed; but not quite. So I had to split the lower ball joint, this had to be done with the splitter tool underneath the knuckle (it was too hard pressed to split with a hammer without risking damage to the stud thread), which meant that no matter how much I wanted it not to happen, it did: the rubber boots tore. I ordered some replacement boots, but these did not fit, so have decided to buy new ball joints because: the ones I have installed feel very stiff, and I’m worried that I caused it due to some impromptu installation method (a vice as a makeshift press and a six foot pole on the handle…) but I now have access to a press, so I’ll redo them and satisfy that doubt.


The engine is awaiting my decision.
I will definately be having one cylinder bored and sleeved back to stock bore as it is currently damaged.
However, I am in a muddle over what to do with the heads. I’ve been advised both ways on whether or not to bother get hardened exhaust valve seats fitted (for unleaded use). Either way I will be buying new valve train components: rocker arms, pushrods, lifters, springs, retainers, valves, locks, seals. Guides to be replaced. Probably a new camshaft as mine is fairly chipped. Probably not new pistons as I am keeping stock bore, but as one of them has seemingly had an accident (a big gouge in the cylinder wall) I don’t know. New piston rings. Cam, main and rod bearings. Plus, have since discovered that one of my cylinder heads is not original and is a ’65 head. It has been made to work, but now I know about it, it feels wrong to leave it be. One very tempting option is to buy a pair of heads from Butler Performance, they come pre-assembled with top quality components, ported out to increase power/efficiency, hardened exhaust valve seats as well. The price to buy them is obviously greater than not to… but not unreasonably, as it is comparable to what I’ve been quoted for work done to my existing head and a numbers matching replacement, with all the components purchased individually. Just waiting for them to answer my questions. One big dilemma. The people at the first gen forums have been very helpful and given me a lot to think about.


Still, a lot of work on the body to crack on with in the meantime.

Where to cut?…

17 August 2008

Been working out where to cut, how much to keep, what to replace et cetera.


I plan on cutting the whole pan out along the blue lines (apart from to the right side, I’ll cut along the white line – this is the frame rail). Then cut out the filler panels on the red line (but not over the white line). Then the new boot pan will take the shape of the blue lines and the new filler panels the red lines. They will meet on top of the frame rail and both be welded to it and each other.


Here is my messed up shock mount, there are 3 layers of overlapping sheet metal to make up here, all three have practically rotted away. I’m thinking about cutting the top layer off along the red lines, and going from there.


Notice the hook in the background of the above pic, I’m going to cut around that just to save some hassle. Update: These plans changed slightly when I got underneath the car, there are some edges of sheet metal to cut around, and, stupid me, the frame rails are not straight along, they bend inwards, where the boot pan also does so…

Removed filler panel.

16 August 2008

Removed filler panel through drilling out spot welds to the top of the trunk pan, the bottom of the remaining quarter and also, unnecessarily (causing me more problems by doing so) to the tail panel.





Removed wheelhouse.

15 August 2008

Removed left side wheelhouse by drilling out all the spot welds, and a little bit of cutting.



Rust damage:



Rebuilding brakes.

7 August 2008

Front brakes
The backing plate (the flattened edge and the self-adjuster screw slot point towards the rear, so this plate is for the right-hand side), assorted hardware and the self-adjuster screw (thick grooves for the front, thin for the back).

The brake cylinder installed, the bolts holes only align one way with the holes on the backing plates, so it’s not possible to install a right-hand cylinder on a left-hand backing plate. The plungers pushed into the ends of the cylinder.

The brake shoes, the backing plate greased, and the shoe positioned on the backing plate. The pair of shoes consist of one long and one short. The longer shoe points to the rear, the shorter one to the front.

The self adjuster hardware:

Self adjuster bracket on the shoe, and the hold-down spring for this shoe.

For this shoe (with the self adjuster) a number 4 pin has to be used. With one hand holding the pin in place (through the back of the plate, through the shoe and the self adjuster and into the spring) use a pair of pliers to push down on the top of the spring and rotate to hold the pin in place.

The front shoe put in place and its hold-down spring. This side has a washer underneath the spring.

This little bracket plate gets put on just above the hydraulic cylinder. Then a solid bar ties this plate to the self adjuster bracket. Now is a good time to put the spring on the bottom of the self adjuster.

These two green springs are identical (no left or right). They hook onto the brake shoes and stretch to the bracket plate up top.

Now for the spring holding the bottoms of the shoes together (note that it is wrong in these pictures… instead of the rear-shoe-side of the spring being hooked from underneath, it should be hooked from the top – this is so the self-adjuster screw can actually fit). Then the self adjuster screw can be put in (better to do this before the spring), be careful of the orientation of threads on the self adjuster (right or left hand threaded). Lastly, the spring on the self adjuster bracket can be installed.


Rear brakes
The brake hardware. There is more hardware than for the front due to the parking brake assembly. Note the thin grooves for the rear self-adjuster screws.

The rear backing plate (the adjuster slot at the bottom “points” to the rear, so this is the right-side) greased. The parking cable. And the parking cable and brake cylinder installed.

The parking brake lever installed on the cable. To make it all fit the parking cable has to be pulled tight and held that way (grips on the end work). This lever fits underneath the rear shoe.

Fitting the hold down springs and pins…

More parking brake mechanisms. Note the alignment of the rear shoe and the parking brake lever underneath it. It’s also clear to see where the cylinder plungers go. The parking brake bar is pronged on either end – the wide prongs go to the shoe with the parking brake lever. The protruding section of the middle bar should stick out from the brake. The spring on the bar is oval – this should go on the shoe without the parking brake.

A bendy bar and more springs…

The self adjuster screw installed, and the last spring (self adjuster bracket):


…Fully rebuilt!

Installing new bushings.
I don’t have access to a press, so a hammer had to suffice. To install them, start with positioning one bushing in place, then slide the shaft into the inner sleeve, then position the other bushing with the other end of the shaft going into this inner sleeve. I used one the my old bushing shells to hit these new bushings as it was a good fit, to hit the metal flange and not the rubber.


Here it is all done.


Installing new ball joint.


If not already done so the old holes for the rivets of the old ball joint need to be opened up to allow the new bolts to fit. Also the surface should be smoothed.


Install the rubber boot on the ball joint and place through the upper control arm opening, then put the metal boot over the rubber one. The instructions say to have the metal boot on the ball joint, then press through the hole, but no way would this fit.


I found the only way to be able to install the four bolts (nuts on top) is to install 2 bolts in 2 opposite corner with no washers… this would pull everything together allowing the other 2 bolts with washers to be installed and then the first 2 installed correctly.




Installing rubber bumper.
This just pushes (and twists) into place.


Installing control arm onto the subframe.
To tell left from right is pretty simple… it’ll look wrong if it is wrong. The ball joint won’t line up with where the lower one will be.


Place the bolts through the subframe mounts. Slide the shaft over the bolts and install the original shims, then put nuts on the bolts.


Lastly, install the bushing end cap and bolts into the shaft.


All done.