October 31, 2012

Unearthing parts and pieces....

The wheels went on and the Cougar went to paint today....

Here's where the Cougar sat - giving me back my engine and metal fabrication areas!


Lots more time spent on wiring the 40 Ford today.

Below is the door opener actuator control box. Once it's all wired up I'll mount it to the inside of the dash panel.

The wiring for the door actuators and power windows were all slipped through the door wire tubing:

The power window switch is wired up and awaiting it's spot in the soon to be fabricated console.

As discussed in my last  post, there's a metal tube that routes the water from the water pump to the back of the engine and then on to the heater core. In this application however, there was no room to connect it that way, so I had to move the EFI harness, un-bolt the intake plenum and remove that tube in order to re-route things...


Also un-earthed some long-dead residents in the process!

Below: I'm holding the tube I removed from under the intake plenum which will be exchanged for a hose connecting the water pump to the heater exchange unit hanging from the firewall bung.

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October 30, 2012

No photos...

I have been reading (and studying) up on high-end vehicle wiring and AC installation and am amazed at the amount of work it takes to wire up a new rod from scratch - even with an aftermarket harness. Add to that the wiring and installation of an AC system, EFI, power locks and windows and a full compliment of gauges  and we're talking weeks of full-time effort!

Unfortunately, for a Blog such as this - dependent largely on photo's over the written word - there's not a lot to show!  Today I spent 4 hours routing and connecting the power window and lock wiring, running the AC vacuum hoses that open and close the doors for the heater, vents and defrost sections of the Vintage Air system, as well as routing the heater hoses.

Compounding things is a metal tube on this model engine that routes hot water for the heater under the intake manifold from the water pump to the back of the engine. The tube terminates right up against the firewall where a hose would normally be fitted and attached to the heater core. In this custom application, there's no room to route a hose from there, then to the Vintage Air Heater Control Valve before attaching to the firewall bung leading to the Vintage air heater core. To remedy this, I'll have to remove the intake manifold (1.5hr book time!) and either remove or cut the metal tube back so that the heater hose can be routed properly. All part of the fun in building a custom rod!

 I've got a fair amount of time booked in the shop this week and hope to get a lot of this stuff knocked off. Stay tuned - I'll take photo's of the good stuff tomorrow!

Don't forget to check out the website at www.E-tekRestorations.com!

October 29, 2012

Got back from a week in New Orleans and couldn't wait to get back to it.....(is that weird?)

Got the AC and Heater firewall bung set up with a bevy of connectors which will allow me to hook up the heater hoses and get the engine running when the time comes. The AC hookups and charging can be done last.

The shaved door handle kit came with an over-ride switch that can be used in case the door fob(remote) is lost or locked in the car. It gets wired into the door lock actuator power wire and installed somewhere that can be accessed when the need arises.

The spaghetti slowly getting sorted....by weeks end it'll all be routed and tucked up nicely!

...and the windows are working after I figured out how to wire up the 6 wire GM-style switch. Power goes direct to the switch, then 2 wires go to each power window motor. The trick was figuring out which way was up and which down. The switch will go in the center console and will definitely add to the "Cool" factor.

Don't forget to check out my website at 
www.E-tekRestorations.com !

October 23, 2012

I have to go to New Orleans for work next weekend, so I took a shop day today (hehe). Got a lot further on the AC and door wiring systems. The Shaved Door Kit system is rather complex, with 2 remotes that can activate 8 channels. 

Right now I'm just connecting the doors, but eventually we'll tie in the trunk popper, fuel door, tire-slicing wheel centers and, of course, the ejector seat.

First up today was installing the stainless door wire conduits:

The stainless spring slides into a plastic bushing, which resides in a hole drilled into the door jamb. Pretty slick and relatively easy to install (relative to the wiring that is!!):

 The key is getting the hole in the jamb and door perfectly lined up. If it's even a little off it could bind the spring and the door....

Make sure your drill is up the task! I pulled out my medium duty "PowerFirst" Brand drill (Ok, calling it a brand is being charitable,,,) and went for it. The door side was no issue at all, but the jamb side was double-walled and I although I didn't notice the drill heating up, it started smoking something fierce before I gave it a rest!

After switching drills and finishing up the holes, the bushing almost slide right in. Some final filing was required to get it to seat.

The spring is then held on place on one side (your choice) by a snug grommet and the other end slides easily through the plastic grommet

Looks good!

Works too!

I know this looks like a mess (!), but it's actually mostly sorted! Unfortunately, these Vintage Air systems could use a little more wire in the harness!! The lines with the rubber elbows are actually vacuum lines to open the heater, AC and defrost flaps, then there's some regular 12 gauge wires, but also there's these 22 gauge wires to the switch that are barely 10 inches long.... makes for some limited mounting choices even if you choose to do some custom lengthening work.

If you look through the mess in these two shots, you can see I temporarily mounted the vacuum servos and relays on a piece of MDF in order to mock up the location of all those items and route the wiring.

 The Shaved door kit is another treat! It has 2 separate harnesses just to operate 2 doors! Sure, it can operate 8 channels total, but unless your wiring in a smoke screen, oil puddle and ejector seat, you won't use them all...

By weeks end I should have it completely sorted, then I can do some connection soldering and tie-strap it all in to make it look all professional-like!

Don't forget to check out my website at 
www.E-tekRestorations.com !

October 22, 2012

Gauge set up and wiring

In addition to this post being a regular "How I did it" post, it's also a "How do you want it done" - for the cars owner. With this gauge and panel set-up, the gauges will fit from the top and bottom of the beveled aluminum instrument plate, both ways taking some custom work to fit and each method of fitment giving a different look to the cluster - and therefore the dash. Of course one way looks best to me (and of course will take the most custom work....) - but it's not MY car to decide.

Here are the gauges inserted from the backside:

....and here they are fitted from the top-side:




You can guess by these two which way I prefer them!

Whenever someone does a job for you, especially if you're not an expert in the field, you have to accept that the work has been done right. I have often seen work done by people - from professionals to friends - that is so shoddy it's down-right embarrassing when you tell someone you paid to have it done! I don't want to do work like that....

Which is why I spend the time I do to get it done right:

 Each gauge in the cluster needs a ground wire. My plan to keep it all clean and well-grounded was to attach pigtails to each to each ground lug and run them all to a single soldered connection on a main frame component behind the dash.
I started by stripping a small amount of the plastic insulation off five 10" lengths of wire, crimping on 5 ring ends and also cutting 5 pieces of shrink tubing.

Each crimped end was them soldered so as to give a fail-proof connection and ground:

Finally, a length heat-shrink tubing was slipped over the wire:

....and heated to a tight seal.

I'll use this same method for the other ends, as well as every other wire in the vehicle. In addition to being the right way to connect wires, it looks good too - which is the mark of a professional! :)


Don't forget to check out my website at www.E-tekRestorations.com !

October 21, 2012

Getting ready to roll!

The owner of the 1967 Cougar came over today with all the suspension pieces that he has sand blasted and painted with POR15 and Chassis Black. The most exciting (OK, scariest - LOL!!) part was compressing the springs to mount them into their respective spring perches.

Also managed to get started on wiring up the gauges on the 40 Ford Rod. The owner purchased these cool "Analog-faced, full electronic" gauges, to be mounted in the original dash' gauge location:

These are gonna look great in the Rod. Five of them will go in a bezel that fits the main hole in the original gauge location. The tach will get mounted into the custom console I'll be building.

Don't forget to check out my website at 
www.E-tekRestorations.com !

October 19, 2012

What's in a name?

It's a universal kit called "It's a Snap" and came with the Rod I'm currently working on. Seems pretty good to me, though in doing some research on these kits it would seem "Painless" is the Cadillac of aftermarket harnesses and this one is a mid-line brand. Having said that, I'm not sure what else you'd need: it has a full fuse box, wires for each vehicle section (dash, interior, engine and front end and rear end). All the wires are labelled every foot with where they go. It even has a couple different clips that mate up to either a GM, Ford or Mopar steering column. This rod has a GM column, so I just had to use the male connector that came with and line up the same color wires to mate up with the functions coming from the column (lights, blinkers, horn, etc). It also has a horn relay and blinker (flasher) diodes.

The time consuming part is going to be cutting and connection the wire ends to all the things they control on the front end - from the engine management system harness, head lights, taillights, alternator and gauges - which will take the most work for sure. I was thinking I'll cut a foot or two of the correctly labelled wires, wire the gauges on the bench and then match the pigtails together in the car.

In this case I have to match up the engine management harness with the aftermarket one:

Today I also got the passenger side window powered up and even though still in the "Mock Up" stage I like to clean up what I can as I go, including polishing the window chrome before putting it all together:

With this project though, the aftermarket harness install is just one piece of the puzzle. As I said above, it al has to be married to the 5.0L EFI harness, a somewhat complicated Vintage Air set-up, as well as power windows, power locks and electric wipers! Here's what some of that looks like today:

Don't forget to check out my website at www.E-tekRestorations.com !