Deep Clean - 10/01/2011

Now the car is mine! Legally! All mine! Time to fix the minor issues it has like not being able to see out at night or see behind you or see the instruments at night or just clean out the "stuff" that has accumulated in the car over the years.

I managed to track down the proper 5" x 2 7/8" mirror through Autozone. It's not under any particular car, but it is Look! part number 51013. Here we let it set up overnight after laying down new silicone sealer on it.

The old windshield. Since it is SO scratched, it's time to replace it.

Being a non-AC car it doesn't use Softray, it uses LOF clear with an antenna. This meant there was no band across the upper portion and it wasn't factory tinted glass. The doors aren't factory tinted either.

Trim is removed. TONS of pine needles and dirt were under them. The glass guy cleaned everything up very nicely. Sadly 6 of the trim retainer clips were broken. Being plastic and 34 years old, broken isn't exactly surprising.

Old windshield removed. They used butyl tape AND urethane sealer, the glass guy had a heck of a time getting the glass out. He had a special electric cutter tool that made short work of it all though. That little spot in the lower left is the ONLY rust spot on the entire dash area.

New windshield is in. The guy primed the channels to prevent rust after cleaning them VERY thoroughly and added activator to the glass to make sure the urethane only stuck where he wanted and would seal quickly once it was in. I got to help!

Windshield install is done. Need to track down the clips to get the center piece in. Found them at Autozone, Dorman Help! part number 961-120. It contains both the plastic and metal versions that GM used in the 2nd generation F-body. Being a vintage car, they sell the parts but there is ZERO association with the model year and cross references, so you just need to know the part number ahead of time to save yourself a headache. Amusingly, driving with a new windshield is almost like driving with NO windshield, it's so clear!

Found the rearview mirror in the back seat. Note it's in 2 pieces. Someone tried to glue it back together and was not successful. I ended up cleaning all the goo out and found that there is a tiny channel in the rubber that houses the glass. I pushed the 2 pieces together and they snapped in and are now one again. I've got it hanging up on the car now to see how long it holds, but I sure hope it does! Nobody makes a drop-on replacement mirror, you have to use the new button and not the factory one, and that's a hassle.

How a non-AC heater core box looks. Nice and tidy. I'll tackle this job another day.

Non-AC hush panel. Kind of a pain to remove, but it finally came out. All the metal dash bracing underneath and for the glovebox is universal for AC & non-AC cars. Considering almost none of the dash lights work, it's time to fix that! Not to mention all the buzzers and relays just dangling...

Le sigh. The heater\defroster selector cable has a broken retainer. It's currently stuck on defrost. Not that I care *that* much, it's just annoying because this cable isn't reproduced and finding another is going to be an adventure. I at least have defrost when I need it. Burned out bulb in AC housing is replaced as well.

We've seen this before! Reference the '75 for what was done here, extra grounds were added and 7(!) dead bulbs were replaced.

The kicking jams box. Sounds pretty decent for a vintage tape deck. Tape function doesn't recognize tapes being inserted, so it doesn't work. Stereo works fine despite no illumination. A little crackly, I'll replace it one day most likely. I did find the original radio harness left in place by one wire, so that made my day. Not exactly sure what's hanging from it. Lucky wine cork with petrified rabbit's foot? Quite a bit of old Help! parts boxes are stuffed in the map pocket along with an old screw driver, a few fuses, and a packet of instant tea.

Quite old safety flares are in the glove box. I guarantee they likely are not safe anymore. Maybe the previous owner felt the car needed more flair? Several takeout plastic fork\knife\napkin sets were also inside.

Not to be undone by the glove box, the center console has extra forks, 6 match books, a lighter, a leaked out packet of salt, a nickel, 8 fuses, and a bunch of plastic pieces that go to nothing in particular.

All the accumulated trash is piled on the floor ready for disposal. Extra vacuum lines and a broken check valve also were found in the map pocket upon deeper inspection. Note the black gunk near the kick panel. Means the ventilation seals probably have gone south and will need to be redone. Oh gee... we're not tackling that any time soon, park car under cover to avoid excessive rain - check.

Ooh! The fun begins! Emptying out the trunk! It's contents were as follows:

1 set of floor mats for this car
1 set of black floor mats (not for this car - the Lemans has them now!)
1 set of red rubber floor mats (also not for this car)
1 spare brown floor mat
1 empty antifreeze jug
1 empty bottle of Prestone Power Steering Stop Leak! (hmmmmmmm....)
5 rags of a smelly variety
1 unopened bag of brand new rags (hey, free rags!)
1 sun visor attachment that contained the previous owner's registration and insurance paperwork from 1999
1 used lower radiator return hose (complete with rusty anti-collapse spring)
1 pencil (still sharp)
3 good tail light\turn signal bulbs (doesn't explain why the turn signals didn't work when I got the car but I digress...)
1 dash mat for this car in good shape (probably why it isn't cracked)
1 set of brand new wiper refills that warped due to excessive heat and are now useless except as squiggly line generators
Not 1 but 2 sets of jumper cables (you never know?). One for this car, one for the Lemans!
1 original space saver spare tire as an aesthetic conversation piece
1 can of fix-a-flat that has bulged out due to age
1 Craftsman tool box
1 crusty radiator cap
The CB radio magnet base

I also replaced the mounting tabs for the license plate since only one was still functioning and not very well at that.

One good deep vacuuming later and all the junk and trash is out of the car! It looks close to new now. Note the sun fading pattern on the mats. Also check out the lack of color coordinated seat belts (who has $10 to spend in 1977?).

Hey! The trunk is clean now! Still has the trunk mat and insulation inside too. No rust either!

A set of belts, an entire set of stockets with ratchet, a spare ignition module, empty radiator cap box, empty gas cap box, sand paper (?), spark plugs, and a set of screw drivers. Guess the previous owner didn't want to risk a breakdown and wanted to be prepared. None of the boxes have UPCs on them, so you might say they are "vintage." Guess that speaks to the reliability of the car not needing these pieces in the last 35 years...

Two sets of cables! For when one just won't cut it! I now can save myself the $85 having to buy my own set for 2 cars.

The car cleaned up pretty nicely! All the windows were filthy and came clean quite nicely and are surprisingly not all scratched up and nasty. At least no one ever decided to put tint on this car...

A beautiful car again! It's a shame, someone really cared and liked this car at one time to keep it in such nice shape, and then just forgot about it. Luckily it's got a good home and someone who will enjoy it. I've got a power steering pump on order to replace the wasted one on the car. Need to replace the heater core and get a new set of tires on it and we're ready to go!

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Last updated October 1st, 2011