Nearing the finish line

Sunday, February 3, 2012

IMG_4425

The old girl looks so sad, lights plucked out, handkerchief at hand to dab away the tears…

Don't worry Phiona, consider it like lasik eye surgery, which will allow you to see more brightly and clearly.

It looks like we are in the final stretch with Phiona's restoration.

After her brief (early) debut at our car show on January 19, the response from friends and others in attendance and readers of my blog have all been very positive and supportive.

On Friday, 2/1, Carl Walus came over and we got the trunk re-installed with relative ease. Then the only problem remaining was an electrical one, the headlights not lighting up and the heater motor not working.

Inside the right side headlight bucket with the nasty wiring that needed to be redone. 

The  whole assembly was removed from the stanchion, the wiring replaced and sockets repaired.

Steve Moore arrived yesterday, Saturday, 2/2/12 to help resolve what we had concluded must be a grounding situation with the headlights. Very quickly we found paint overspray on some of the terminals which we easily sanded down and made good contacts. An initial test then revealed the headlights would light up, but not all at once, nor with high or low beams, or one parking light on and the other headlight on, one headlight off, both parking lights on, one or the other headlights not functioning. It was confusing and left us scratching our heads. 

Steve showing a newly repaired light socket.

In the process of investigating the problems, Steve strongly suggested we replace one headlight's wiring (which was not done by an infamous repair shop in Tempe back in 2008). That took some time as we carefully rebuilt those connections and wiring. Carl stopped by again and also lended a hand with our project. But, still we had a problem with the right side headlight. Reluctantly we disassembled the headlight bucket and disconnected the wiring. AH HA! There we discovered more paint overspray on one of the terminals, which was easily sanded down to the bare metal contact point. Steve also carefully inspected that wiring (which was the only headlight wiring that same shop had replaced with new). Concluding it was in order and would be ok, we reassembled that headlight bucket, tightened it all down, and did a light check. Viola! ALL the lights were back online, with high and low beams, parking lights and passing beam features all functioning as intended. One taillight failed to relight however, but with some soldering, a better ground was reestablished and that light was again glowing brightly. 

By now the whole day had passed and it was already dark outside. Perfect for us to then aim the headlights.

I have the headlight lighting adjustment patterned already taped on the garage wall, so after lining the car up properly, we proceeded with adjusting the lights. Being satisfied with our days work, we finally wrapped it all up and both felt very proud of our accomplishments of the day. Now I can safely drive the car day or night.

We forgot to fiddle with the heater motor, but I'll tinker with that in the near future.

But, tomorrow, Monday, 2/4/12, I am scheduled to take Phiona to Aatco Upholstery so that they can commence installing the interior upholstery. I'm hopeful that that project can be completed in just a few days. Then all that will be left for me is to install the window garnish moldings, the front floor mat and Phiona will be done!

I'm then going to start planning a debut party for Phiona.