Cleaning Day - 02/02/2013
Now that the car is a runner and a driver with registration and insurance, it's time to clean it up and get it ready to drive around. Time to bring it back home from the super secret ranch storage location (and I'm sure my hosts are glad to see an eyesore like it leave). This involves driving down the mountains 25 miles. Going up several thousand feet and then back down. Better not be leaking any fluids and have maximum drivability to prevent being a roadblock and having people get angry.
The new choke rod from Ames arrived. Perfect fit, now the car has a choke and it fires up perfectly when cold just as it should.
Water bypass on the crossover is leaking. Naturally. I loosened the bolts on the intake and got another 3/4 of a turn on the tighten down bolt on the timing cover, then tightened everything down again. Leak solved!
All my junk is packed in the trunk for the drive home. Not going to be a jerk who leaves trash behind! I did leave a set of wheels behind due to lack of space, I'll return for those at a later date.
I also had a new motor ready to go to fix the broken power window. After attempting to bleed the brakes and having a bleeder snap off, I should have known better than to try and do this job with that luck. Let's just say this job was deceptively hard. The motor bolts are up against the door insides. Not easy to get out. It was an ugly 3 hour job after the window fell out of the track and I had to put it back in (not 100% aligned either). At least the window goes mostly up and halfway down now.
After a harrowing drive down the mountain, I made it safely home. The brakes decided to reveal themselves as lazy and not in the mood for stopping. Which is not good. A good firm standing on the pedal helps out, mostly. Fortunately no pedestrians or cars jumped out in front of me. The speedometer reads a lot faster than it should, which makes me wonder what the rear end ratio really is. Combine that with NO mirrors for zero rear visibility... taking a lot of risk here. Despite running into not 1, not 2, but 4 police officers (including one doing a speed trap) no one pulled over the obnoxious beast with no tags attached (but in the glove box). Got quite lucky today. Audrey says the car vibrates the pavement in the garage when it sits there idling. Yay for annoying cars!
Dirty front seat, time to clean it out. And remove that wiring fiasco.
Window goes up further in back than front, leading to slight cock-eyed performance. Not too terrible, just annoying.
Removing the back seat foam. Someone lost the clips. Note the vintage '71 California only gas tank vent emissions, venting into the back seat and out through the trunk. Extra speaker wires everywhere for good measure. Luckily the 3 bezels for the headlights are included. Extra half of an intake gasket too!
Pretty nasty trash in the back seat. It's missing the seat belt ends on both sides, which is annoying. And yes, that red carpet is house carpet that has been cut in an attempt to fit, with a sheet metal screw here or there for good measure to keep it down. Credit for trying I guess.
A form for someone we'll call "buddy" who is attempting to go back to school. High school for adults that is. The rules for this program are pretty strict, only 2 absences allowed, no excuses. Paper is dated from 2001. It's not the same guy I bought the car from, so I presume it was in there from before his time.
Buddy was a child of learning who was trying to better his station in life, but he didn't know anything about stereo installation. Almost 30 feet of wire, everywhere. Much of it held together with duct tape to the floor insulation. All removed now. This was not good quality wire either.
All clean now. Still have some floorboard holes to deal with, but POR-15 silver and fiberglass should take care of most of it. Other than the holes here, it's extremely solid.
Back seat all clean. Several plastic cups, LOTS of GM vintage hardware (all saved), LOTS of sheet metal screws (NOT saved), 8 pens, 2 pencils, a rotten bottle of lime juice (yuck), an unpaid cell phone bill notice, several parts store receipts and instruction manuals on parts not for this car, and lots of duct tape. All gone. I'm having a hard time figuring out who Buddy was. He definitely was not a clean person. I did find chunks of what was the build sheet, but most of it was so illegible I have no idea if it was even for this car.
Trunk all cleaned out. Yet even more sheet metal screws (looks like someone had a sub box in the trunk at one time), more speaker wire, lots of leaves and branches, and plenty of junk. This car led a rough life. The trunk floor had butcher paper laid all over it, most of it vacuumed right up. It did trap moisture though, so some of the trunk has surface rust. It's not thin or weak, so some POR-15 again should coat that and solidify the trunk. Looks like a jug of paint was spilled at one time. And strangely enough, it looks like someone made a resin chunk that they stuck in the driver's side quarter drop off. It was a large heavy chunk of solid plastic, pulled out and junked too.
Never one to not allow people to have fun with my cars, I let Lorelei draw on the trunk lid of the car. She took to it quite nicely and put a mural on the back.
Continuation of the art. I was told it was a scene from the Lion King. I still haven't scraped the Crane Cams and Edelbrock stickers off the back yet.
Catalina Brougham (aka "Bro-Hammer"). Fancy way of saying "Bonneville, just almost." This was a nice car at one time, shame they get like this. Vinyl top has seen better days.
That took quite a bit to get it done. I need to replace both calipers, pads, brake hoses, vacuum booster, and drain the rotten brake fluid out of the entire system to get it stopping nicely - all parts fortunately readily available at my local NAPA. At the same time I'll also replace the steering column with one that wasn't beaten with a hammer. And put the new ralley gauges in it. And replace the dash bezel with an uncracked one. And put a new stereo in it. And re-do the engine harness to allow the gauges to work and get the haphazardly run wire gone. And...
Return to 1971 Catalina
Last updated February 2nd, 2013