Time to do a little more painting… as I like to say, hopefully the last of it, but I know it wont be. I have been queuing up all of the remaining pieces that need to be painted black. Most notably the bumper brackets which were still a rusty mess. The front driver side bracket needed to be modified with an additional hole for the upper steering box bolt which wasn’t needed in 1956 since the original steering setup was a rear steer design. The ’82 Olds being a front steer moved the box forward on the frame. Normally not much of a problem, but the bumper brackets are made from 5/16″ spring steel and are neigh on to impossible to drill through. After dulling several bits, I blew a hole in the bracket with the plasma cutter which didn’t seem to care how hard the material was! 🙂 After working the brackets over with a flap disc on my 4 1/2″ grinder I ran all the pieces through the sand blast cabinet for a final cleaning. After wiping them down well with wax & grease remover I sprayed them with a heavy coat of black epoxy followed by two coats of SEM Hot Rod Black. When I hauled the tail gate out of storage, i.e. laying on the floor in the garage, I noticed that the paint on the top edge had some major chips from knocking around on the floor. So while I was in a painting mood I went over the chips with some 180 paper wet to feather them out and blend them into the surfacer. I the got out the air brush and mixed up some orange and gave the chipped area 3-4 coats with the Binks. It sprayed out well enough that I wont have to color sand it or further fuss with it. I really need to find some smaller measuring glasses. The air brush uses very little material and I end up throwing too much of it away.
Oh, while I was fussing around the back of the wagon I found the tail light lenses and gave them a good cleaning with soap and water followed by buffing them out using my machine polishing compound and one of the small foam pads I bought in Flagstaff. It worked great! The lenses look like new. I still need to finalize what I am going to do about the LED lights that I bought to mount where the reflectors were. My main concern is screwing things up at this point… which is a valid thing to worry about. I may end up with putting the reflectors back in…
The Last of the Painting … wink, wink, nod, nod!
Before I install the dashboard, I had to get the windshield wiper mechanism installed and checked out. Luckily it all went well! I then installed the cowl vent, its gasket and the rear hood seal. I originally had the nozzles for the windshield washer but as of today I still havent found the bag where I stored them… so I put in a couple of chrome button head screws to seal the holes, sometime down the road I might install a set of washers. In addition to the cowl vent, the ’56 had a set of driver and passenger flapper doors on the firewall to allow either one or the other or both to provide fresh air. The evaporator effectively took out the passenger side flapper door, so I installed the one for the driver side to help direct the fresh air around the cabin. Since I was laying around on the floor, I also installed the break pedal that I had re-coated with black Dip-It spray on rubber coating.
While I had the upper radiator support out so that I could paint it, I took the opportunity to install the temperature sensor for the electric cooling fan. Once I had the sensor mounted and the radiator support back in, I pulled the battery out to mount the fan control module on the back side of the core support next to the power steering tank. Its a fairly well, out of the way protected place for the controller and it is next to the battery and fan so that the wiring runs can be minimized. While I had the battery out, I also replaced the mount hardware with some 5/16 running thread that I covered with some 3/8″ ID plastic tubing to hide the threads. Its a lot more secure now and looks a heck of a lot better.
While in the mode of bolting stuff back on, I installed the tail gate hinge brackets/supports and also the tail & lift gate latch plates. Once I get the the 5/16″ x 1 5/8 chrome oval head Phillips screws I should be able to complete the mounting of both pieces. I also attached the fuse blocks to the bracket that I had just painted and installed it. I then did a 1st pass at routing the behind the dash wiring harnesses.
Before going much further, I need to finalize how I am going to route the A/C heater fluid lines and the ducts for the A/C outlets and defrosters. To get a sense of how things will fit, I mounted the evaporator to the firewall and braced it into position. At this time all I can say is I have my work cut out for me try to route all this stuff in such a small area.
Getting Ready to Wire the Dash Area