November 8, 2015 – Painting Accessory Brackets
I’d hoped to get the engine completely dressed and ready to install this weekend, but as usual, I got ahead of myself. Before I can even mount the accessories on the engine, I have to restore the brackets themselves. This required an arduous combination of soaks in the de-rusting solution, wire brushing, steel wool scrubbing, cleaning, priming, and painting that took most of my time.
While parts soaked, I’d wire brush others, and while parts were drying or waiting for the next coat of paint, I was prepping more. In addition to the power steering bracket, the water pump pulley, and the coil bracket, I also was able to get a nice coat of paint on the defroster vent grille. I’ve been slowly refinishing the fan as well, but I’m not sure I’m going to use it, so I haven’t finished with it yet.
As I’ve mentioned before, spray painting can only happen under a very particular set of circumstances. The dew point has to be low enough, the current temperature has to be high enough, the sun needs to be in the right place, and Jupiter has to align with Mars. For most of the day, the conditions were ideal. Painting with Duplicolor engine primer and semi-gloss black really seemed to work well. Once it cooled down too much, though, I had to look for other trouble to get into, so I took the time to work through the bench calibration of the air conditioning unit.
That was a lot of fun, actually. It sounds geeky, but I felt like a mad scientist with all the wires hooked up to the blower/evaporator assembly and a big car battery on my workbench powering the whole thing. Air blowing in my face, blowing papers around, it was awesome! Classic Auto Air’s system seems to be relatively straightforward to install, and this was no different. Follow the detailed instructions, and it works. I’d chosen Classic Auto Air over VintageAir because Classic Auto Air makes their systems specifically for the particular vehicle rather than trying to shoehorn a one-size-fits-all system into every car, and they seemed to really be enthusiasts. Their setup looks much more modern than VintageAir’s, too (doesn’t anybody else think the VintageAir ducts look like something out of a malaise-era econobox?)
In my frenzy of painting accessory brackets, I also discovered I don’t have several pieces of hardware I’m going to need, including the alternator brackets, the hardware to mount the power steering bracket, and the screws for the crank pulley. Once I finished up Sunday evening, I hopped on the computer and placed an order to NPD. I’d drive up, but between gas and the time, I’m happy to pay the $9 minimum shipping charge, especially since everything will be here Tuesday if it ships out Monday…
This is the final post in the series of updates related to previous progress. Moving forward, all entries will relate to the current progress.