Wednesday, 26 December 2007

As usual - good news and less good news

The good news - some very kind and helpful blokes off the AMC mailing list sent me details on where the clip goes. Great. It was all going swimmingly until I had a coffee break.

Upon returning I had to try and fit the flexi hoses. Unsurprisingly the left hand side union was seized solid to the old steel pipe. Removing the old fexi hose caused the steel pipe to twist and snap. Realistically, although I could have fixed the flexi hose on by keeping the fixed pipe union static and turning the flexi, that wouldn't have helped when I had to tighten the pipe at the other end - or for future removal.

The only option was to chop the pipe and put in a new section. The pipe was otherwise in good order and I decided this was preferable to trying to replace the whole pipe as it runs the width of the engine bay and disappears into a mass of pipework and wiring at the other end.

This was fine in itself until the former that deforms the end of the pipe snapped off - maybe the steel pipe was a bit too hard for it.

Oh Well - off to my favourite spares and tool shop in the morning....

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Brakes (still)

I'm now stuck on one tiny detail - I have the parts manual diagram for the '82 Concord brakes but because the view is exploded and I've never done '82 Concord brakes, I can't work out where the little spring clip goes...

Monday, 5 November 2007

Off with the old....

Time to take off the old discs, spindles and caliper brackets (the calipers had remained off since they spewed fluid everywhere.

One side proved very tricky, even after a good soaking with WD-40 so I asked for help on the excellent Practical Classics Forum. A helpful poster on there recommended Loctite Freeze and Release, and once I tracked some down, it was excellent, so the nearside came off really easily.

New Parts have arrived

The whole Kit for the brake change has arrived from the USA - great stuff.

Monday, 22 October 2007


Before I took the more expensive option to go to the later brakes, I was looking for a place that might be able to resleeve the old calipers. A friend mentioned he'd seen an advert in a Classic Commercial Magazine - and he sent me the details. Alttough the details of their website were actually incorrect in the advert, I managed to work out that they are here They have details of their e-mail address on their website SO I e-mailed them. Twice. No reply so I ordered from the USA - the supplier there answers my e-mails. Sad.

Monday, 10 September 2007

Argghh Brakes

I dismantled and reassembled the left hand caliper. As soon as I'd managed to bleed the system effectively, fluid started pouring out of the outboard bottom piston (again). Worse still, the exact same thing started to happen on the other side, which, as far as I know, wasn't happening before :(

I did manage to adjust the parking brake so that it works well, much to my surprise.

A complete new front brake setup complete with spindles is now on the way from the US.

Not sure what to do with the '67 - I keep stealing parts of it for the '68 but it's a far more original car that hasn't been messed with, but it is a mess inside and under the bonnet (hood).

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Ho Hum

It didn't all go to plan. I had to take the drag link off the '67 as the old one on the 68 had been damaged by the loose inner tie (track) rod. The loose joint had worn a large oval hole in it.

That sorted it was time to do the brakes. The old pipe was so rusty I had to dismantle loads and replace the flexible pipe and the fixed one beyond it to the caliper. This was all going well until bleeding resulted in fluid pouring from inside the caliper - oh well....

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

more steering stuff

Removing the outer tie rod (track rod end) was trickier than I thought, but with the new "pickle fork" splitter I bought it was OK in the end.

Splitting the inner and outer rods from the sleeve was tricky, too. The outer is a left hand thread, which is obvious if I'd thought about it!

Friday, 6 July 2007

MOT on the '68

I've had to change the blog title to the plural now there are two of 'em. Two of the failure items were a loose inner tie rod balljoint and a loose joint on the pitman arm. RHD pitman arms seem to be as rare as rocking horse dung, but the inner and outer tie rods I ordered arrived today, with an unexpected bonus - a Pitman arm. Sadly it doesn't fit! Next prob is getting the outer joint separated - can't get either of my pullers to fit on it. I have applied WD40 and am off to get a different puller.

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

Failed MOT and a new car

The Rebel failed its MOT, so to cheer myself up, I bought another one! It's a 67 model - been standing 20 years. It is very mouldy and rusty. Someone had removed the brake drums, wheel cylinders, calipers and master cylinder - not sure why. I have all the bits and I put the wheel cylinders and drums back so I could get the parking brake working.

Mileage of the '68 at MOT fail was 93615 as I had been out a couple of times not recorded in here.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Trip Out

Took the car out for a run. Now at 93582. I'd noticed a small garage locally and decided to take a drive to see if they could take care of the MOT.

Spoke the charming Lady proprietor who said they'd been looking after a Pontiac for some time and she was sure they could help. Great news, I thought. Enter the grumpy mechanic "we don't do them, we can't get the parts",he whined - I countered that I can obtain any parts with no problem, but the sour look on his face told me all I needed to know, and he confirmed it. Such a shame as the proprietor had been so polite and helpful.

Not to worry, I'll find someone else to look after my car, and hopefully with that attitude, the garage in question will be out of business soon.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Fuel Leak cure

Fuel was leaking from somewhere between the mechanical fuel pump on the side of the block and the carb. It looks as though this was a steel pipe originally, but at some point it's had a section removed and replaced by two lengths of rubber hose and an in line fuel filter. As soon as I took off the assembly it became clear that the plastic casing of the in line filter was cracked. This explains why the leak was sometimes worse than other times and sometimes didn't seem to be occurring at all.

I replaced the whole pipe with a copper one, using the original Unions and flaring the ends like a brake pipe - job done!

Monday, 26 March 2007

Mended itself

A week's trickle charge and milder weather seemed to have put the Rebel in a good mood. The starter turned the engine over at the first try without any of last week's drama. It took a while to fire up but it ran as well as ever once going.

There's a bit of a fuel leak however - that's going to need urgent attention - having fuel dripping isn't the safest thing I've ever seen.

It seems to be coming from the pump outlet, either at that elbow or the short piece of pipe before the inline filter.

Tuesday, 20 March 2007

It won't Start

I haven't taken the car out in a while as the weather hasn't been up to it. This weekend I was called upon to use it as a prop in a photo shoot for the school teddy bear.

Went to garage to find I'd forgotten to leave the battery trickle charging - I think the electronic flasher is draining current somewhere (to earth of course!) so the battery was flat.

Unfortunately, jump starting wouldn't work either as the starter seems to be jammed. One for next weekend.

Sunday, 4 February 2007

A few more odd jobs

Finally checked the tyre pressures - they weren't too bad.
The boot lid has never stayed up in spite of having counterbalance springs on each side. The guy I bought the car from said it was due to the body filler in it. On investigation it seems there's a way to adjust the spring tension. It's not easy but after a bit of messing about - the boot stays open.
The bolts are now at the other end of those slides.
Also fitted the electronic flasher unit that I've had for about 25 years (!) It is better - and an interesting side effect is that if the ignition is turned to "off" with the flasher stalk still down (or up), the courtesy light behind the driver's seat flashes! There's a path to earth there somewhere - one for another day.
I went around the hinges and locks with spray grease as it was all looking very dry.
Cleaned the roof with "Armor All".

It's been a great fine weekend, so took the car for a spin yesterday. Miles now up to 93555 and my nieces have even taken a shine to it.

Put another 10 litres of fuel in - noticed a small drip of cooling water after paying for the petrol - I checked it later and there's no noticeable drop.

Saturday, 20 January 2007

And another

As I had the previous ODO reading, I now know I did about 20 miles today - we're now up to 93540 and I'm pleased that my new top and bottom hoses seem to be holding up well with no sign of leaks. It was another bright dry day and I saw an easy 70 on the Motorway, although the very high winds persuaded me that 55-60 was a more sensible choice.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Went for a drive

I put the dashboard back together (more or less), and as we were blessed with a fine (if chilly) day, went for a drive. I reckon I did about 25-30 miles after putting about 25 litres of fuel in (the gauge doesn't work). I forgot to check the ODO reading before, but the after one was 93520.

I was surprised by the speeds (used the gizmo I bought to check as the speedo needle's still thrashing about all over the place) the old bus seems to accelerate better than I expected. Driving is characterised by a lot of torque developed from low revs and once rolling only minimal throttle is needed to maintain decent progress.

Jobs to do (!)
Find out what the shimmy about 40ish (as I now know) is
Get Interior retrimmed
Check tyre pressures (I Know!)

Monday, 1 January 2007

Fusebox Located!

I have a wiring diagram and the shop and owner's manuals, but I was having trouble finding the fusebox. I guess they could have found a more inaccessible location, although it's hard to see how (and to be fair, someone may have moved the panel).

Of course, now I read the book again it makes sense (sort of). It says the fuse panel is located to the far left side under the the instrument panel. Mine's behind and above the instruments, (on the far right hand side) partially obscured by the bracket for the parking brake.