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Re: How Tight?? '69 Eliminator Update

Finally got my rag joint apart and started to bolt it together. Everything was going fine until I started to tighten the bolts to the bottom of the steering column. I had but washers next to the bolt head ... but then when I tightened the nuts, the washers cut right through the rubber rag joint. I have a poly version and will retry ... but as there is no spec for this in the manual ... how tight is tight enough???
Just tighten till snug, the bolts have locknuts and will stay put.
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
'69 Eliminator father/daughter update

Well Dad went to the shop by himself today. Jenny went shopping for her sister's birthday and since both of them celebrate their b'days within 8 days of each other ... they're busy planning their celebrations with mom.

So Dad finished the following items today:
- I finished bolting in the rear-end with wedges, hats insulators and shock plates.
- Finished installing the rear shocks
- Installed the rear shock grommets behind the rear seat
- Installed the gas tank, sending unit and filler neck and bolted it all down
- Installed the interior floor pan drains

Body shop continues to hang doors and now a driver's fender to make adjustments to fit & finish.

Then I dropped the camera and broke the lcd panel on the back. Oh well, it's always something. Anyway, photos are in the following link:
http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x431/mzqj6r/

Oh yeah, we also scored a 5th argent GT wheel this last week on ebay. Once I get a tire ordered ... we got our spare and we've already restored the jack, bolt, wing nut and the lug wrench. The back end of the car is starting to resemble something.
 

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Re: How Tight?? '69 Eliminator Update

I think there are shoulders on the bolts which make them stop on the column shaft flange, perhaps what you are using are not the right bolts?
 

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Discussion Starter #45
Re: How Tight?? '69 Eliminator Update

I am using the bolt kit that I got from Don. There were no shoulders provided.
 

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Re: How Tight?? '69 Eliminator Update

I bought a Help! kit and after looking at what it consisted of, I decided that an original was the thing to use. If using the kit, did you use the metal wedge "washer" thingies from the original? Those should help avoid the cutting through you mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
'69 Eliminator father/daughter Update

Not much new to report this week. The shop was closed this weekend so was unable to work on any projects with the car. However, it is not a total loss. I went to Dallas Mustang and picked up a heater core so I can start rebuiding the AC & Heater box. We're going to be putting in all new seals and a new evaporator coil before it is re-installed. One the firewall pad is installed ... hanging these boxes, defroster vents, floor vent, etc will really start having an impact on the interior.

But while I was there, a friend of mine who works there said I need to look at some opera lights that came in from Scott Drake. These are tagged as "1969-70 Interior Quarter Light" and they come one to a box. I wasn't expecting much because others that I've seen do not have the "barbed" clips that hold them to the sail panel. Also, I wanted to make sure they were metal so that they matched the '69 model instead of the plastic ones used on the 70s.

My friend showed me two from Scott Drake. One was the version I had seen before and it did not have the "barbs" and they were vacum sealed to a piece of cardboard so they could be hung on a wall. Next he showed me the boxed ones. YEAH BABY ... exactly what I was looking for! Right mounting barbs, right wiring connector, metal, and great looking all around. They only had two left and he said he was not sure how many Scott ran in a production run so availability was first come first served. So I bought the pair and Jenny (my daughter) thinks this will really add some "Bling" to her car. She even thought they were cool. (How neat is that to have a 15 yo girl enjoy car parts?)

So in short, even though I was not planning to restore the sail panels (they are in pretty good shape, just no holes for the lights) ... they may move to the head of the list. Don sold me a pattern to cut the holes, I'll re-dye the panels and then install the lamps. That will get Jenny going. I'll also get a sheet of masonite to cut the package tray and maybe the divider behind the rear seat. I know that this is not correct for the divider, but it is so much nicer than cardboard. Also, I never cared for the "screen door" material they used on the package trays either. It always baked out in the sun too fast. So we got some black velour material that should look pretty cool.

Tryin' to do jobs where it is warm ...
 

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Re: '69 Eliminator father/daughter Update

So did your car not have opera lights originally (I thought they all did), or were your sail panels replaced at some point and not cut for new opera lights?
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Re: '69 Eliminator father/daughter Update

Nope, they were available as part of a lighting group that you could order. My first car ('69 Cougar Sports Special) didn't had them either ... but my brother and I added them. I just think they look really cool.

They have the following information on them
BIN 17-G-2
DOM 10/28/2011
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Father/Daughter '69 Eliminator Update - Steering Wheel Restoration

Just thought I would drop a new post in regards to what we've been doing with the Eliminator since our last one.

Well ... if you followed our previous posts, the engine compartment has been restored with a new inner fender apron, radiator core support, body seam sealer, primer and paint. We've rebuilt all of the brake componants at the wheels and finished the front and rear suspension. Pedal assemblies, hood hinges are done and we're waiting for a nicer weekend to install the firewall pad, finish the parking brake and address a few loose ends.

However, since we couldn't work on the car this weekend (shop was not open) ... I decided to continue to make progress on the steering assemblies. Since the center drag link is installed ... I've had the control valve and steering gear box rebuit. However, these last two are not yet installed. On nasty weekends, I worked on tearing the steering column down, striped it, primed and painted it, rewired it, and reassembled it. I also screwed up a rag joint by over tightening it (a problem my Dad always said I leaned towards), but I got a new one and got it installed on the column. I've even gone so far as temporarily attaching the triangular brace to the front of the column so it won't grow legs and get lost.

Well, besides working on all of these pieces ... there was one that needed attention that I never restored before. That was a steering wheel. Since we have an Eliminator, we have a three spoke wheel with rim blow. Well ... where do you start. I know the switch is shot. It was original and was as hard as a twinkie left out for a week. Well, I disconnected the wires and said "Here goes." A swift pull later and the top half of the switch was in my hand and the bottom half was still in the wheel.

OK ... time to chisel. I was reminded of that old 'I Love Lucy' episode. Step by step, inch by inch ... I worked towards busting out the remainder of the old switch. It eventually was broken out in 1/8" fragments and I was able to get all of it out from under the lip of the wood grain piece and the black plastic portion. So ... success. That's one step down.

Next, we're lucky ... no cracks in the circumference of the wheel, but there were cracks of various size on the three spokes. Again, we're lucky that they were only cracks and no missing bits. So what to do? Research. After a bunch of that, I stumbled upon a product called POR-15. It's a two part clay epoxy that is drillable and claims to even withstand a die tap. Finally, it says it is often used in steering wheel repairs. So I place an order and when it comes in, I again say "Here goes nothin'".

I mix up a small amount and kneed it per instructions. I then pinch of small amounts and press it into the cracks. Since you're supposed to use wet fingers to smooth it out, I say "What the heck ... I don't know what I am doing any way, so lets do it." What do you know? It fills the cracks, smooths off well, and the small amount I had left hardened to a point where I hit it with a hammer and no effect. Cool ... So I sand everything smooth.

Well, I then use 000 steel wool and clean the horn connectors and all of the exposed metal and then I throw a gaze at that faux wood grain. Man that's 43 years old and is just a nasty brown. We can do better than that ... can't we? So I then found myself masking off everything except the wood grain itself.

Now I've done some art projects in the past and I know that a process like this requires that you 'layer' colors on top of a base coat. So yesterday, I bought some model paint in aresol cans. One was earth tone and the other a gloss clear coat. I sprayed an even coat over the exposed area of the wheel yesterday and this morning I used what I call a 'dry brush' approach to simulate the wood grain. I had some old enamel in brown and black. I used a palatte and started with the brown first. A small amount of paint went onto the palatte and then brush was wiped almost dry before I applied it to the wheel. Using long strokes, you get a streaking effect that starts to look like wood grain. I then did the same with the black and I am really please with the look. The trick is to start with the lighter colors and work out to the darker using less and less paint each time. Remember, you do want all colors to bleed through.

Next, as soon as that paint drys ... I will put two coats of clear on it. Once that drys this afternoon, I'll pull the masking tape off and shoot the back half of the wheel in interior black. (That's the same can I used on the steering column.)

The final cosmetic step will be to replace the chrome strip around the circumfrence of the wheel. It's not an easy item to find ... but here is what you do. Either jump online and eBay it ... or go to a radio controlled airplane store. If you go to that Hobby shop, ask them for 1/8" Metalic Silver Model Striping Tape. The vendor is KwikStripe and it also carries the name of GreatPlanes on the product. It was $3.50 for 36 feet. (I don't think I will need that much.)

Once that is on, I will re-lacquer the whole thing and finally install the new rimblow switch. A bit of touch up paint on the wheel pad and I should be able to call this job done.

I can then schedule an afternoon to go tinker on the car. I'll start with the control valve, then install the steering gear box, move onto the steering column and loosely connect it, and then once everything looks good ... I'll snug it up and install the restored wheel.

Although I still have to install the steering ram, and some hoses ... the fact that I'll be able to steer our roller ... I'm going to claim that steering is done. That means the following is finished:
- Front Suspension 100%
- Rear Suspension 100%
- Wheels and tires 100% (but I still need to do the spare. We just located a matching rim.)
- Rear-End 100%
- Brakes at the wheels 100%
- Brake lines 20% I've only done the three off the rear-end
- Steering 100%
- Parking brake cables 80%
- Pedal assemblies 100%
- Paint & Body, Engine Bay 100%
- Paint & Body, interior, trunk and undercarriage 100%
- Body alignment, 40% (both doors temporarily hung, deck lid hung, driver's fender hung ... everything else is pending.)

I have to also thank Don again for his video on door hinges. If it wasn't for catching it, I would miss the opportunity to do them once the doors come off again for paint.

Anyway, I hope this helps someone else out if they have steering wheel issues. Ya'll have a great one and my 15 yo daughter Jenny says, "Howdy". (After all ... she is a Texan. Sure 'nuff)
 

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Re: Father/Daughter '69 Eliminator Update - Steering Wheel Restoration

Got any pictures of the steering wheel? I've heard of a few different fillers for missing chunks in a stock wheel, maybe I need to look into doing that for some extra cash...
 

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Discussion Starter #54
69 Eliminator Father/Daughter Update

We've got all day today and the following items are on the list:
- Install fresh air vents and new seals
- Install firewall pad
- Re-install restored parking brake assembly
- Re-install parking brake cable and and adjust to spec
- Install front shocks
- Lube front suspension
- Install rebuilt power steering control valve
- Install rebuilt steering gear box
- Install restored steering column
- Install restored steering wheel
- Take pictures and congratulate daughter on job well done.
 

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Re: 69 Eliminator Father/Daughter Update

I think the firewall pad would be first.
 

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Re: 69 Eliminator Father/Daughter Update

Thumbs up! Progess is looking good!
 

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Re: Father/Daughter '69 Eliminator Update - Steering Wheel Restoration

Very nice job! On the wheel, and the car!

Great project and great idea to get her involved so young! Now she will know how the dang things all work..... All I hear is "dad, my car is broke again....fix it!"

Ugh!

Steve :)
 

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Discussion Starter #60
'69 Father/Daughter Eliminator Update

Well it was a pain in the keester ... but I finished the restoration of our tail light bezels. Last summer I included them in a mass re-chrome and polish order I gave to a local plating shop. I had two sets to work from and although both had pits, I had the better of the two re-chromed.

Well, they sure came back shiny ... but the pits can still be seen. But hey, I am gonna live with it cause at the end of the day ... no car is perfect. Ask anyone who built one and they can probably tell you where there is something they wished they did different or would fix if they went back to that stage of the project. This will be mine.

So, although they are not perfect ... they are cheaper than the repops that can now be bought. So after they were rechromed, I masked off the chrome areas. That included using 1/8th " pin striping tape to do the verticle bars. Next came two coats of sandable primer and then a final coat of black. After setting up for a few hours, I peeled off the tape and I thought they looked pretty darn nice.

My next step will include replacing the lens seals with some I got from WCCC and then final reassembly. In the photos, the bezels are not screwed in place. Why? I want to look at my other set and see if I want to swap one out. Although I picked the best of the bezels, I have not done the same with the housings. Lens' are great and the reflector was too.

I'll tell you what though ... putting on that pin stripe tape took the patience of Job. Two nights went into just masking it all off. But I think it was worth it. Let me know what you think.

http://s1181.photobucket.com/albums/x431/mzqj6r/
 
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