Part of the no car show side effect of the pandemic is that you are kind of forced into doing the stuff you have been putting off for years, last year and earlier this year it was interior trim, this time it’s painting!
The rear end of the chassis, ancillaries, lamps are all freshly painted.
Also added is the new to me 1929 Penna licence plate along with the strengthening of the original number plate and fitting reflector bolts.
Took the Sport Coupe for a Sunday run, and about 5 minutes in there was a loud noise consistent with a transmission issue.
Got the car back to base, jacked it up and put it on stands. Once safely in the air I drove the car in first and second gears, and the noise seemed to be coming from the speedo area. Another symptom was the jerky operation of the rolling Stewart Warner speedo display.
The power to the car was switched off , speedo cable was disconnected and the dash assembly removed and taken to the bench. You can the reproduction chrome dash in this slideshow
The speedo and other items were removed from the current dash assembly as the opportunity was taken to replace the repop dash with an original heavily patina’d item obtained from an auction in Holland.
The speedo was extremely notchy in operation so some 3 in 1 oil was applied to the gears and the speed spun over a number of times. This seemed to do the trick, but until the car is driven again it will be hard to tell.
All the items were moved into the new (old) dash assembly including a new repop script ammeter, which was a terrible fit requiring two cardboard shims to be made for a tight fit. The dash was then refitted and the lamp, ammeter and ignition switch all tested after switching the power back on.
The car was once again run up on the jack stands and the noise had disappeared. Once the testing was finished the car was lowered and road tested, again the noise was no longer apparent and the speedo operation was smooth. Happy all round with the easy fix and the original dash in place
As it looks as if the car show circuit will begin to slowly open up in 2021, it was about time to give the Sport Coupe a bit of a tune up. Plus some pinking/detonation had been present under heavy load on the last few times out.
First task was to break out the tools to make life a bit easier.
1/ NuRex timing wrench
2/ D&B Quick Point Gap Setter
First off the points gap was checked and found to be within specification
Please note these are the “modern points” however the tool works on both types of contact breakers. Prior to adjusting the points they were given a quick clean with some emery cloth, the distributor cam was lubricated and few drops of oil added to the distributor oiler.
The NuRex wrench was then used to set the timing, following the clear and simple instructions on the tool
The instructions state to have the spark lever all the way up, this works better for me with the lever one click down. They also state to make two turns, however I’ve always found that one usually does the job. You’ll need to see if either of these suggestions work for you as results will vary from vehicle to vehicle and may be better to use settings on the tool first time out
As you can see the result was a very pleasing idle with good power on road test afterwards, will need to see if the detonation issue is cured.
The Coupe was missing most of the door furniture and the trims are not really correct
The door cappings and trims were removed and inspected
The trims were cut to allow the door lock escutcheons to be fitted, as the door trims are incorrect repairs had to be carried out to allow the fitting of the door furniture
At this time the holes to allow the fitting of the footmans loop checkstraps were also created. The trims were then fitted to the car. The window winder handle locking pin holes had to be reworked as they were too small for the pins to be fitted. Some slight adjustments were made to allow smooth operation of the windows. Otherwise all is well.
Here’s the process we used to restore the seat base on the Sport Coupe
Removing the cover, foam and padding which was attached via a combination of nails and hog rings. Once the cover was removed the details from LeBaron Bonney were found and the production date was 1997
The seat base had clearly been worked on before and as we began the strip down we found that some interesting repair methods had been employed, now it may be that some of the repair work had been carried before the aftermarket luxury that we enjoy today.
The chicken wire or fencing had been wired onto the springs of the seat base, this was very sharp and not easy to remove.
Once all the wire and other detritus was removed if was found that a number of the springs were broken. These were repaired using metal brake pipe
To add additional support to the springs they were stuffed with high density foam which also has the added advantage of making the seat more comfortable and quieter in operation.
Once the foam was added to all the springs webbing was added and the hessian base was applied via hog rings.
The layers of of foam and padding were then added and secured with hog rings and stitching
Before the cover was refitted a number of repairs were required, including a new piece of material dyed with tea to match.
The cover was then put into place and secured with staples from an air powered staple gun and the edges stitched in place, rather than the previous effort which was damaged by the use of hog rings. Some tape was added around the edges for a neater finish. Once this was completed the base was test fitted to the car.
This is not the way that everyone would do this but it works!