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
A while ago I sent my gauges off to Geoff at Classic Restoration. I needed the tacho converted to negative earth as I am running electronic ignition and want to add a hidden 12 volt plug. At the same time I thought it would be good to have Geoff look at the rest of the gauges. Good thing I did as the speedo was stuffed. I have attached Geoff’s description of the work completed.
Description of work carried out
Broken Speedo Case
Temp Gauge Before
Temp Gauge After
Oil Gauge Before
Oil Gauge After
Fuel Gauge Before
Fuel Gauge After
AMPS Gauge Before
AMPS Gauge After
It’s amazing how much time you can spend getting the little things right. Some time ago I had pulled apart my handbrake mechanism and had the housing sandblasted and powder coated. When I went to put it back together again I realised that the original mechanism was broken. So I sourced another under dash handbrake. When it arrived I realised that the handle was metal, whereas my original was plastic. Other than that they were identical. This turned out to be a blessing as I was able to restore the handle. I sanded it back and painted it up gloss black. I also sanded back the linkage and gave it a coat of silver as it’s not possible to re-anodize the end as it is fitted to the cable. The lever was sanded with fine wet and dry to remove scratches and discolouring and polished to bring back some shine. With everything dry I fitted it up to the previously powder coated original housing. A new rubber grommet was installed as the original had hardened and tore when removing from the car. The rubber grommet was actually one of the harder to source items on the build, eventually I found it on eBay UK.
Original mechansim. You can see the spring loaded latch at the bottom which should be flicked up.
Replacement handbrake lever
Replacement handbrake lever
You can see the spring loaded latch as it should look on the replacement handle
The replacement handle was disassembled
I sanded back the handle to remove any pitting and scratches and sanded it back with fine sandpaper as I wanted a smooth finish
The plasic lever had some discolouration and scratches from years of use
I sanded out all the scratches and polished it up
The new lever looks as good as new
Handbrake painted and reassembled
Handbrake painted and reassembled
Handbrake painted and reassembled
The end attachment was sanded and painted silver and a new rubber grommet installed
Have been cracking on with lots of little jobs in preparation for getting the car back soon. Completed building up the diff. Fitted up a new bias strap for the rear handbrake mechanism. The old one was pretty much stuffed so I drilled out the rivets and disassembled the brackets on each end. Sanded them and painted them with etch and then gloss black engine paint. Finally I bolted up a new replacement rubber piece that I bought from the UK Owners Club. Looks really good fitted. You can buy replacements that look close to the original but they are $70 and while this one is accurate but not quite concourse, I’m pretty happy as it only cost about $5. Installed a new rubber bush for the handbrake lever, greased it up and installed my bias bar, that has been powder coated, with new nuts and washers. I had new brake lines made up a while ago as a copy of my old brake lines. The back one across the diff has some bends in it which I’m not really sure why they are there. I copied how they were bent when I took them out but I think I’ll get a new one made after I’ve put it in the car as I think I can get it a bit neater. I’m also missing the clevis pin that holds the brake bar in so will order a new one shortly. A couple of areas need a touch up with some black paint but really it’s all as good as new now.
Posted in Brakes, Diff
Tagged Brakes, Diff
So, I finally got round to completing the rear brakes. Was a bit of fiddling around getting springs back on and a fair bit of sanding out of holes to remove paint and powder coating but everything appears to be operating as it should. I’m not sure how the self adjusting mechanism works, I guess I’ll find out the first time I go to stop!
Posted in Brakes
Tagged Brakes, Diff