I finally got the wiring completed. Well it was about 6 weeks ago but have been a bit lax in updating the blog. The final component was fitting everything up and putting the battery in so that I could test all the connections. I had to fix up a few earths but once that was done I was really pleased that everything worked. Headlights are nice and bright running off the relays and all the new globe holders work as planned. I even managed to blow a couple of fusing when installing the interior light as the live wire is very close to the body. That was pleasing as without the fuse I would have had a smoke show. I had a couple of dodgy instrument globes so I ended up changing all of them. There are a couple of small things I would like to fix but overall very happy. I also installed most of the dash and rebuilt the eyeball vents. I had the centre piece re-chromed and the rest I pulled apart and repainted the centre and had Warwick repaint the fascia. I though riveting them back together but they went back surprisingly easy, you just need to trim the back of the rivets so that the eyeball doesn’t foul.
Been a couple of months since I posted but plenty has been happening since then. Coronavirus has meant my work has closed and so I’m temporarily out of a job until the pandemic has passed. Lots of time to work on the car which is good, but the lack of income means a couple of things might have to go on hold. I have completed the brakes and suspension as well as almost completing the wiring. I will post the wiring update in a separate blog.
With the suspension I had an issue with my track rods. The new tie rods did not move freely which would have meant a lot of issues trying to adjust the wheel alignment. After plenty of WD40 and a few hours trying to work them free I came to the conclusion that they needed to be re threaded. Lots of googling and a trip to United Fastners to determine the thread pattern and I was able to source the correct tap for left and right threads. After running the tap through everything moves smoothly and the track rods and drag link were fitted up. Next up was the rebuilt steering box. Warwick repaired and painted the firewall cover plate and everything was assembled. It was, of course, at this point that I realised that the steering tube had been assembled 90 degrees out of alignment. Fortunately it was a simple fix and I was able to unbolt the tube and clock it 90 degrees without pulling the box out. It did mean that the painted bolts will need a touch up.
The hubs were assembled with new bolts courtesy of United Fasteners and new locking tabs courtesy of Yesterford. The backing plates have been freshly powder coated and new wheel bearings fitted. New disks, brake lines and brake hoses and rebuilt callipers capped off the brakes. With a bit of help from my 16 year old the brakes were bled. Inside the car the refurbished hand brake mechanism was fitted with a new firewall grommet installed.
The pedals were installed. I had the accelerator pedal re anodised but they did a fairly average job and I ended up having to take it out to free up the movement.
Track rods needed to be re threaded
Drag link assembled
Freshly powder coated backing plates and new bolts
New bolts and locking tabs were used to fit up the brake disks. Everything was torqued to the specs in the Gregory’s manual
New brake lines into the existing fours way junction which was cleaned up
New brake lines and hoses
New brake lines were made up
The steering box installed
Springs were re-coated and hand brake mechanism re-furbished
Freshly panted firewall cover
Freshly panted firewall cover
New handbrake rubber boot
Refurbished hand brake mechanism
With the wiring almost complete, I’ve started putting the car back together. First stop was to get some suspension back under it. All of my suspension pieces have previously been sandblasted and powder coated and the diff was sandblasted, rebuilt and given a fresh coat of 2 pack. Everything is being put back together with new bolts and new Superpro polyurethane bushes. Front springs are lowered King springs and the rear leafs have been reversed with an extra leaf added. They were also pulled apart, sandblasted and reassembled by Warwick. Shock absorbers are Spax adjustables with the fronts having a shorter throw so that the spring remains captive.
First step was to jack up the car and remove the front caster wheel setup. With the front on stands the cross member was installed with new bolts and new steering stop bolts inserted. The sway bar was mounted up and the control arms were fitted with new bushes and bolted into the cross member. This was a bit of an ordeal at first but a quick check with the helpful Cortina forum had me reassured that I was on the right track. The bush really distorts hard when they go in and I was sure it was going to tear first time around. Once you’ve got the knack of it, the next ones only take a couple of minutes. Some I pulled in with a bolt and washers and others I was able to press in with my wood vice. I was also sent the wrong bushes for the outside of the control arm which did cause a bit of confusion at first.
Next step was to bolt the rebuilt ball joints to the bottom of the struts. Then the springs were compressed and the struts bolted up to the car and attached to the control arm. The first side I compressed the shock by hand and then had my wife guide the ball joint in. Was a bit of an ordeal. For the second side I compressed the shock and then cable tied it to the compressed spring. Much easier and I was able to comfortably do it on my own. All bolts have been torqued up to factory specs but I won’t torque up the strut top bolts until I get it on the ground with some weight on it. I’ve gone for Suspension Concepts adjustable strut tops but have a set of originals as well if I ever want to go back to factory.
On the Aus Day public holiday Dad came over and we put the rear suspension in. We first had to get the dolly wheels and old GT springs out that had been put in to move the bodyshell around. We then re-bushed the rear springs and fitted them up. The diff was then installed and new U bolts fitted. The ones I purchased new were way to long and had to be cut down. I may have been sent ones suitable for a car with lowering blocks by mistake. For the front eye of the rear leafs the pin that came with the new Superpro bushes was too long and I had to cut about 5mm off to make them fit. With everything bolted up it was time to fit the GT tramp bars. This is where things got a little more interesting as each one was about 1mm short of fitting comfortably. After much pulling and pushing we eventually got them bolted up. I couldn’t find any suitable new bolts for where these mount to the diff so the original bolts were fitted up. I will find some suitable new lock nuts and replace those but the original bolts actually feel superior to new bolts. I will just paint the heads on them. Final step was fitting up the rear shock absorbers. All in all everything went back together really well so far and only a few pretty small marks to touch up which is a bonus.
Cross member installed
Underside of cross member
Sway bar mounts. New washers are quite soft and it’s hard to stop them spinning when torqueing up the bolts. I might make up some of my own
This is how I installed some of the bushes. You need to really distort them hard. This one is about 30% compressed and you need to quite a bit more before they practically fold in half and pop through.
Bushes installed in freshly powder coated control arms
Ball joints have been rebuilt. The new ball joints use nyloc nuts rather than castellated nuts with a split pin. I think I would prefer the split pin.
Front strut fit up with new King springs. I’m still not sure that I shouldn’t have changed the colour of the springs to black.
Adjustable strut tops. I didn’t like the big washers so have changed them to something smaller since I took this photo.
Stub axle ready to be fit with new hubs and brakes
Rear spring hangers with new bushes. I was very liberal with the grease. Bottom of the car is also a bit dusty.
Rear shocks in place.
Diff in place
U Bolts had to be shortened but I may take a bit more off.
In this pic you can see the extra leaf in the rear spring.
When I got round to my indicators I could see that they were in pretty poor shape. One of the indicators had a damaged globe holder and both of them had extremely perished rubber caps at the back, with wires that had been butchered over the years. I came to the conclusion that the best course of action would be to try and find some new globe holders. That set of a chain of hours of searching to find some new holders that could be adapted to fit the existing indicators. I finally settled on some Narva replacements that use the same globe as original. The indicators were stripped down, cleaned up, given a coat of new white paint and reassembled. I departed slightly from the original wiring by running an earth back to the central earth point for all lights. In hindsight I would have liked to have the indicators re-plated but it wasn’t worth getting just these two pieces done and at the time I had other items plated I wasn’t considering re-building the indicators. For the main wiring loom the new relays and fuses have been test fit to go under the battery tray. They should be out of sight but easily accessible if required. I finally finished most of the main loom. I took it off the board and test fit it into the car so that I could finish off the last couple of things. The fuse holders have been mounted high up under the passenger side of the dash. Again, accessible but out of sight. The 12 volt socket will be mounted on the under dash tray at the back and the electric washer pump has been fit off with connections soldered on. I still need to mount it up as I’m trying to find somewhere close to where the tubes come into the car without drilling holes into the firewall.
Indicators before refurb.
The original bulb holders were removed.
Once removed everything was given a tidy up.
Masked up ready to repaint the white.
New bulb holders were assembled.
New wires were soldered on in the correct trace colours.
New fittings were soldered on.
Front headlight relays and fuses.
New fuse holders installed. Next step will be to clean and re-wrap the entire loom.
The fuse holders sit just above where the kickboard finishes.
I made up new pigtails for the front headlights. The old ones were non original but in pretty good condition. I wanted to run heavier 30amp cable so I had a look and worked out that I could easily retain the three pronged plugs and build new pigtails from them. The original connectors were stripped and new cable wired in. I was able to pull the wires from the rubber grommets and drill out the hole to fit the heavier wire. I then test fit the headlight buckets, measured up the new pigtails, soldered new ends on and wrapped everything in original loom tape. They came out really good and should provide for nice bright headlights with the new relays and heavier cable.
Removing the connectors from the existing headlight plu
New heavier gauge wire was soldered onto the existing plugs
The new cable was run through the existing rubber grommets
The new pigtails were measures, cut, new bullets soldered on and wrapped in original loom tape
Test fit into the headlight wiring block
New pigtails test fit to the freshly powder coated headlight buckets
View of the cable and grommet fit from the front. The connectors needs a little clean and tidy up but very happy with the result.
Haven’t updated in a while but have been putting a lot of time into re-wiring the car. Sometime in its life the rear wiring loom had been replaced with 5 core trailer wire. Did the job but I decided to build a new rear loom with the factory trace colours (unfortunately forgot to take photos). I also decided to wire in a fuse box and replace any crispy/damaged wires. The car will also be changed to negative earth to run the electronic ignition and install an alternator. Headlights to be run on relays. A 12v power socket will be installed under the dash and I need to wire in the electric washer pump that replace the original hand operated pump. Sitting against the backdrop of all of this is the desire to keep it looking pretty much original. Lots of work but very satisfying and hopefully will be finished soon so that I can move onto installing all of the suspension.
Full wiring loom
Alternator wires were looking a bit crispy. These will be replaced.
Original wires to the headlights had been cut and will be replaced or fitted withy new terminals in a correct wiring block sourced from the UK Cortina Club
Horn wires were very crispy
Original firewall connectors are in pretty good condition.
Stripping off the loom tape revealed that most of the original wiring under the tape was in excellent condition.
The main under dash harness was stripped and attached to a board. New wire to match the original trace colours was sourced from the UK.
All the joins were cable tied in the correct positions on the board.
The new fuse box was attached to the board in a position that would allow fitment in the passenger footwell. I originally purchased a very simple 8 fuse box but have since replaced it with a couple of common bus 4 fuse boxes. These are much neater and have less connections. Less connections means that less can fall out/go wrong.
In the original wiring loom nearly everything goes through the ignition switch. There were quite a few crispy wires in this area and the headlight switches had been changed and re-wired. I re-wired them back to original and all the power wires now run from the fuse box, not the ignition.
Any wires that needed to be replaced were stripped, joined, soldered and covered in heatshrink.
The plan is to keep the original regulator in place but terminate the wires that run to it in the loom. It will look original but do nothing. I was considering options to use the space in the box to hide fuses/relays.
The internals of the regulator were removed and discarded.
Splicing in new power cable. I recommend using flux to get the solder to flow nicely through the joint. My 60w soldering iron didn’t do an easy job of the thicker 6mm cable. I have since bought a 100w soldering iron that makes short work of the heavier cable.
Wrapping the passenger side engine loom in original loom tape. Slow and tedious work.
This is the passenger side engine loom in the car for test fitting. New wires run for the alternator and horn that will be terminated at a later stage. I am running new 6mm cable direct from the alternator to the battery (via the solenoid). It will run through the headlight loom and be hidden. Previously this wire ran under the dash and through the ignition switch.
This is the new fuse blocks. Very neat with a common bus. This block will supply fused power to all items that require power when the ignition is turned on, hence the white cables.
It probably doesn’t look like much but this was the start of me putting the car back together and I absolutely loved it. After a couple of years of accumulating and reconditioning parts it was super exciting to finally see the pile start to go down. It’s also when the careful cataloguing should pay off. Unfortunately I now have so much stuff and so many photos I reckon I spent more time looking for photos than I actually spent working on the car. Job one was to get the brake lines under the car. I had new brake lines made up a couple of years ago. When I took the old brake lines off I took them to a pretty well know Sydney shop to get new lines made up, along with reconditioned calipers and new rear shoes. I was really careful with the lines so that they could make exact copies. Unfortunately they did an absolutely shithouse job and it looks like all they did was bend them by hand to approximately the shape of my old lines. Close enough is not good enough with brake lines that need to bend around corners and through panels so I spent a couple of hours straightening and re-bending the lines to make an exact fit. I fitted up the brake and clutch master cylinders as well. The clutch cylinder has a plastic cap which will need to be replaced with a new metal cap in time. While they are new, they’re not perfect and I’ve been debating whether or not to paint them. At this stage I’m leaning to not painting them as I want the car to look like a new Cortina and they wouldn’t have been painted from new. All in all pretty happy and nice to see some shiny bits making their way onto the car.
Posted in Brakes
The Cortina is now home and ready to go back together. The car has now been painted underneath in satin black and there is colour in the engine bay, interior and boot. The paint is amazing, Warwick is a perfectionist. Lots of masking and back masking ensures there’s not a speck of overspray. I chose to leave the engine bay, boot etc. as it would have come out of the factory so every hole, welding dag etc. is still there exactly as it rolled off the production line. As I mentioned on a previous post, because the car is being painted in Deltron paint, it was matched using a paint formula that was from the US in the 60’s. Same paint code ‘K’. It was a bit too silver in the spray out so blue was added to get it closer to the original 2K spray out. That turned out a bit too blue so the blue percentage was reduced and what we have now is pretty close to the original colour, albeit with a lot more depth from the Deltron. The colour actually looks blueish teal in the shade (and in photos) but goes silver in the sun. It looks really good and will be fairly unique as this colour with black interior is quite rare.
Loading up for the trip home
Loading up for the trip home.
This is where it will live for the next few months
Engine bay is fully painted
The outside of the car will be painted when it’s back together. Makes assembly easier.
This gallery contains 11 photos.
Warwick has been busy getting the car ready for paint. These photos were taken over a couple of visits. The car has been primed and block sanded. Underneath has been primed and painted in stone chip around the arches and … Continue reading
Lots of progress over the last couple of months now as Warwick finished up a long term project that was in front of mine. All the panels have now been gapped. Lining all the doors up was a bit of an ordeal as they don’t fit perfectly across the top and bottom. I suspect they never did. The compromise is getting all the vertical gaps perfect and making sure that the stainless trim will run perfectly down the horizontal. One of the back doors needed to be opened at the seam and re-welded to stretch it a few mm. Again, all the work has been finished in lead. The boot gaps are perfect but in the process a crack in the frame at the rear exhaust mount was discovered. In order to fix this the frame cut to be cut open, straightened, welded and a new captive nut welded in. The bonnet was a lot trickier as it was too tight across the front. To fix this Warwick split the front passenger guard so that he could widen the front end the few mm it needed. The final rust repair that the car is getting is the bonnet. They rust across the front as moisture runs down the curved bonnet and sits in the bracing at the front. A few minor spots turned into big holes when sandblasted, highlighting why blasting is such a good thing on these old cars. Warwick is concerned that the rust is under the bracing and will return so he is going to unpick the bonnet, repair any rust under the bracing, clean up inside the bracing and treat it so that rust never returns to this vulnerable panel. It’s amazing watching this craftsman work.
Posted in Bodywork