Sunday, April 27, 2008

Fresh Air.

Since I fixed the exhaust downpipe, a working fan hasn't been as high a priority, but it's been something I've been wanting to fix since I got the car.

I thought faulty wiring would be the culprit, but it turned out that it was simply forty-some years of accumulated dust, pine needles, and automotive goo.

there's a fan motor somewhere underneath all that dirt

I got the motor partially apart before realizing that complete disassembly would only be possible after removing the brittle plastic impeller. It's a friction fit, so I wet the shaft down with WD-40, twisted back and forth slowly and carefully, and used the mantra "please don't break, please don't break."

Once apart, I gave the motor and impeller a thorough cleaning, polished the commutator and contacts, and relubed the bushings.

back to life, running on a bench power supply

Back on the car, the ground wire was making an intermittent connection due to dirt and corrosion. The fan ground is connected to the nearby brake line union (where the brake light pressure switch is located).

bolt at upper left of brake union serves as chassis ground for fan

After a good cleaning all around, and some preventative Ilsco De-Ox on the contacts, the fan is back in business.

Coil Plate.

The original coil with armored cable had been replaced at some point with a Bosch blue coil. The previous owner left the old coil (not connected) in place simply to plug the hole in the firewall. I found this an inelegant solution, so I crafted a blanking plate from some aluminum and chucked the old coil.

Cage nuts are used to secure the coil to the firewall. I'm missing one, and I've had a terribly difficult time locating a spare. I finally realized that they're used in rackmount equipment; unfortunately, they're typically sold in bags of 100, so now I have to find a way to get just two. In the meanwhile, I'm using some 3/8" nylon body nuts.

Coil wire was rerouted (for now, through the temp sender grommet).

Monday, April 21, 2008

Door Contacts.

The door contacts for the dome light aren't really designed to be serviced, but the spring in one of mine had snapped, requiring either replacement of the entire switch, or figuring out some way to disassemble and repair the assembly.

I opted for the latter and found that, after carefully filing away the rivet at the rear of the assembly, it was possible to disassemble the contact into its component parts.

from left to right: new screw (with allen wrench attached), new plastic washers, copper contact, plastic insulating spacer, fiber washer, switch body, spring, plunger (drilled and tapped)

I cleaned up the copper contacts, replaced the spring, and reassembled. I drilled and tapped the end of the aluminum plunger, and replaced the rivet with a small screw, using a stack of two plastic washers to hold the copper contact in place while insulating it from the rest of the switch.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Gas Cap.

Even though it's low on the priority list, it's been bugging me that the locking gas cap doesn't lock. (Then again, considering current gas prices, maybe it's not such a low priority.)

First off, I set out to make a key for the cap. Although still in business, the manufacturer of the cap, Waso, is based in Sweden, and locating a correct key blank (WS-3) proved difficult. Luckily, the folks on Brickboard listed a few compatible blanks including the Ilco YU1-X153 blank (intended for Yugo!). The Yugo blank is a little longer, but fit just fine after filing about a millimeter off the tip. After filing and fitting and filing and fitting, I had myself a usable key!

At some point, someone removed the guts of the lock, so I had to manufacture a new "bolt" from scratch.

something missing here...

The hardest part was figuring out what the missing part was supposed to look like.

FYI, 70's-era SAABs appear to use the same five-sided Waso caps.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Something smells funny.

Apparently, the malingering smell of exhaust in the passenger compartment wasn't just my imagination.

While replacing the motor mounts, I'd discovered that the exhaust downpipe had come loose and was hanging on by only one bolt. Furthermore, the gasket was severely eroded.

I decided to replace both studs and nuts. I was able to back out the old studs (actually, there was one stud, and one mismatched bolt) after a good hour-long soak in WD-40. (I picked up some PB Blaster later in the afternoon, but didn't need it.) I installed the new studs after dressing them liberally in anti-seize.

After unsucessfully trying to locate an OEM gasket for three days, I stopped by my local muffler shop and asked them if they could find something. The fellow there found one on his Wall-of-Gaskets and even gave it to me for free. Free! (In this day and age!!)

Back in business!