Monday, January 28, 2008

Copper wrapped in plastic


Man, I've been putting this off for a while, but since the engine is in the car and I can lay everything out, I really don't have any excuse anymore. While I'm at it, I'm adding in 2 extra fuseboxes: one for constant power and one for Ignition switched, because I'll be adding a lot and want to leave the factory harness more or less intact. These will control the radio, alarm, radar detector, foglights, aux fan, aux Gauge panel, and MegaSquirt. If I want to add anything in the future, it will be easy to add onto with these under the glovebox.

Relay Board for MS Under the glovebox, the fuse panels will go to the right of this.

Engine wiring, all this has to end up somewhere...

All the unwrapped wires coming through the firewall are new. They all fit through one new grommet, which is good because it fit a pre-existing hole that I had drilled at some time or another. I still need to route the battery cable through, but that can come later (and probably on the passenger side - its getting kind of crowded over here...) You can see red ends on all the leads here - I wrote the associated number of the plugs on these from the wiring schematic on the wall when I rebuilt the harness. This makes life much easier as I can just look at a plug, read the number, then look at the wall. No more tracing wires.

And a quick picture of my aux wiring schematic, as drawn on the side of a really big box with sharpie marker. I'm pretty low-tech.

More to come... cant wait to figure out where all this mess goes.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Engine in its home

I should be more excited about this, but after my incident with the sunvisor screws, I find a lot of things about the project more and more frustrating. Short version is that I used screws that were about 1/8" too long for putting in my sunvisors, and they dimpled the roof. Idiot mistake, and really took the wind out of my sails.

Regardless, the engine still went in this weekend. I'll let the pictures do the talking.

A couple of shots of the pulley shim w/ trigger wheel:

Removing some of the clips to put the welting on (I used the same stuff from McMaster-Carr that Bill Williams showed in Pikachu 2)

Testing the best way to cut out the dome light hole in the headliner on some scrap and a spare dome light assembly (when I first did my car, i had a spare, so I put two in. It had to be the worst wiring you'd ever seen... They would only work if the switches for both were in opposite positions...)

All of that was done while it was ASS FREEZING COLD outside. I realize some of you guys will laugh at this picture, but down in Atlanta, this is groundbreaking stuff. Thank god I bought a space heater, I think it was like 18 degrees in the garage before I turned it on...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

YouTube clip

The previously-mentioned YouTube video regarding headliner install:

In it, they're talking about the completion of the 2002tii that Mobile Tradition made in 2006. They show a few good shots of the assembly, but I wasn't able to follow the example exactly. For one, I used spray-glue as the industrial brush-on wasn't an option for me to acquire. I think the fact that they used a specific glue made for stretch-vinyl headliners contributed to the fact that there are no clips shown...

Once I yank all of these clips off, I'll offer the box to anyone who wants to do this to their own car. I don't see myself doing this again for a long while.

The sunroof headliners are different from non-sunroof ones. In a sunroof car, there are 2 ribs toward the back of the car and the entire rest of the headliner is held up by the seams around the windows and sunroof. In a non-sunroof car, there are 5 ribs spanning the length of the headliner and they support it over your head. Pic below is a non-sunroof headliner (powelli's car) in it, you can see the seams around the ribs toward the front where a sunroof car would have none:

I went with one of the Ebay headliners from It was a very nice quality, but there were some very slight alignment issues. Most notably, the material did not like to turn the corner around the sunroof, which is why that particular part was so frustrating for me. For the price, you can't beat it though. You just have to use a little heat on the corners around the sunroof and you're set!

I'm exaggerating about the frustration, really. The first part (before sunroof) was cake and actually a pretty good time. It was only once I had to start wrestling with the material around the corners of the sunroof that I really started getting pissed. All in all, it turned out well I think. I'll be putting in the sunroof and engine in coming weeks, so I hope my newfound progress and good fortune continues.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Headliner install (the reason why I've gone insane)

Holy piss, I never want to do another one of these for a looooooong time. My fingers hurt from all the damn clips... I think i used over 600 of them.

Total time start-to-finish was about 16 hours. I used Wurth Spray headliner adhesive, which explains the tape (to protect overspray)

Pix: The intro, it all looks so simple when you're just hanging the silly thing on the bars for the first time

I started in the back, got everything hung loosely, then just kept tightening up the slack around each side as I went along. I think this is key to getting all those pesky wrinkles out. My friend Joe is also in these shots; his house is where I work on my car, and I cant thank him enough for putting up with me squatting in his basement for the past year and a half. Thanks dude, I owe you HUGE!

Then we started glue-ing:

Move from the top of the back window, down the back of the C-pillars, to the front of the pillars, then up top to the B-pillars...

After that, we tightened up the front and pulled things as taught as possible to avoid any wrinkling:

Feathered corners (thanks to C.D. on the FAQ for that video on YouTube! it was a HUGE help.)

The end of day 1 wrapped up everything but the pillar trim and sunroof. Only one *tiny* wrinkle around the driver's C-pillar, which will be directly behind my head so i'll never see it!

I'll voulenteer to shove forks in my eyes before I do another sunroof again. This was an exercise in frustration...

B-pillar and A-pillar trim goes in....

And now she sits and dries for a week...

I'll never do this again.... but I'm glad it turned out as well as it did.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

New for 2008!

A few smallish updates from my crappy weekend. Saturday was ok, but cut short due to work, as was Sunday. At one point I was working on the hood latch bar and found out i had it mounted in "backwards" (that is, the spring was loading the bar the wrong way.) When I removed it, the spring dug a huge gouge in the paint of the rain tray, so now I need to sand that down and repaint it. I also broke the little wheel that the cable bolts to, and frayed the hell out of the cable too. OH! AND I also scratched the bloody hell out of the bar itself.

Because of all that, I've decided to send the bar off to be plated, as it bumps around too much during install for me to rely on it not getting the paint scratched off. I found the orientation of the hood latch bar a little difficult to track down (eventually got the answer on Bill William's Touring re-assembly blog) so I'll be documenting my re-install when the time comes rather thoroughly.

Anyhow, pictures... sorry for the crap quality, taken with my phne because I forgot my digital:

Axis OG-San 15" x 7", 35mm offset (there's a 1/2" spacer on it now, but I'll be running 3/8" now that the correct ones have come in from Ireland) Kuhmo Ecsta 195-50-15.

Started putting a few of the seals in:

Fabbed up a new dome light panel and some new wiring. Also tossed the roof foam back in... mine is in pretty decent shape for being 30+ years old.

And, finally, finished up the rear sunroof drain tubes. They terminate into a heater valve I got from pep boys that has been cut in half and epoxy-ed into the hole in the wheel well.

If I don't get the pulley in by Friday, the next step will be to do the headliner and start putting in the seals on the doors and windows. Hell, I may even put in the quarter glass soon if i'm feeling ambitious...

Friday, January 4, 2008

Custom Parts

I got a custom machined-and-welded pulley coming in from Tom over at 02again, ready for my trigger wheel to be press-fitted!

If anyone has an opportunity to work with Tom on anything, its a real pleasure. He is definitely one of the most helpful people you'll find in the '02 world. His site is