Re-wiring Part 2 Headlight Pigtails

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.


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Re-wiring – Part 1

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.

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Brake lines

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.IMG_5820

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Home again

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.

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Nearly ready for paint

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

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Bodywork – Car Gapped

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.

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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.

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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.

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Diff & Brakes

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.

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Rear Brakes Completed

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!

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