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jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
1/19/21 7:28 p.m.

I have never been to an autopsy, until this morning. I have taken things apart after they have, expired.  The engine in my BMW 2002 had some piston ring brake off and work it's way past the piston and was making an terrible racket getting beaten to death between the cylinder head and piston. The fact that the motor would still run is the topic of a discussion for an other day.  But the seats, this was cool. 

It remained me of reverse engineering a layer cake. The seat covers removed, the foam was the original at the base and then what amounted to 100% added on top (in the middle).  Working carefully you unpeeled the second layer and you had the original base starring back at you.  If this comes apart or starts to turn to dust it will be replaced, but what ever they used in the day has held up.

We have worked up the cover details, rebuilding starts this week. Pictures to follow.  

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
1/23/21 10:33 a.m.

Once the seats were disassembled the refresh begins.  One of the seats had a broken release to allow it to fold, other than that they had survived the years in good shape. 

I will admit that I do "geek out" on the design of things like this. Form, Function and Simplicity of Design.

        

All that and knowing this was made in 1969, a different world.

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
1/27/21 4:12 p.m.

I received the latest round of parts.  The shipping box is getting smaller. The price paid for the littler box, is not going down. Of course.  I talked to the upholster today, the broken seat latch is repaired and shaping the bolsters is next on his list.

This project is inching along.   

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
2/2/21 8:53 p.m.

The mess you make to change and upgrade an old car is not for the faint of heart. Let's see; update the steering wheel( going with the Racemark ), pulled the center console to get access to the transmission shifter and move the radio stack to get access the heater matrix to change the hoses, both.  Then with everything moved it makes it easier to replace the tachometer and its drive cable.  Plus the throttle cable is getting replaced. Yes the seats have been removed, they're out getting rebuilt. 

Yes, start with a good car. It will save you in the long run. Right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
2/13/21 4:05 p.m.

The seats, are coming together.  My request for these was simple, build in as much side bolster as you can.  Looks like that is happening.  I get to test fit them on Monday.  The materials for the covers is in and the center panels are going to be stitched up for me to sign off on.  How these provide a stable seating position will be tested in driving events, I'm looking forward to putting them to that test.

 

 

 

 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
2/16/21 7:25 p.m.

The rebuilding of the seats, continues.  

In this shot you can make out the layers, starting at the bottom; painted frame, wood base, high density foam-first layer, side bolster and the center panel on top.

Three quarter view.  The center panel is a weave, much like a Recaro type of fabric with two layers of different density of foam.

The ribbed section is sewn first , the pleating is meant to duplicate the stock ribbing and will match the original head rests.  The outer panels are added to each side of the center section to maintain their orientation to the center of the seats.  The sewn detail on the pleated section high lights a section detail of the foam base.

Then the final trimming of the foam is next.  Then measuring, cutting and more sewing. 

 

 

 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/16/21 7:32 p.m.

Checking back in on this thread.  Those seats are shaping up nicely, looking forward to seeing the end results.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/17/21 11:48 a.m.

really cool

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
3/2/21 9:32 a.m.

The seats are coming along, slowly.  To be honest, that's ok by me.  I am not inclined to rush the process, he is after all a craftsman.  That and the funds to pay for his efforts are due to me this week. It is all a matter of cash flow, right?

The last order of parts is making it's way on to the car.  The first picture is not that good but it reflects one of those parts that you are reminded you need after you get it put together, the first time.

 

On a side note, this is my first time posting with the "New" system and I am not sure how this will end up on the board.  The focus of this shot is the grommet that you run the heater hose through.  When ordering parts you might not remember this item the first time you are focused on replacing the accent rubber in you new automotive adventure.  Getting it in place does require just as much effort as is did the first time and cutting the new grommet to save you some effort is not really an option. Ever.

The next shot is a bit busy.  

 

The installation of the new throttle cable is done.  The routing of the fuel line is now complete.  The new hard line from the fuel pump across the front of the head will clear the valve cover.  The factory solution of running a length of rubber hose in this location offered a potential of a chafed and leaking source of gas under pressure.  Not on my car.

 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
3/3/21 5:48 p.m.

In the upper right of the above picture is the expansion tank of the radiator system.  With the effort of restarting the car with fresh coolant as a goal and removing as much scale from the system as possible the tank was removed. The goal was to clean it out and give it a coat of paint to match the radiator.  But it is never as easy as that.

The seam is obviously in need of some attention.  The shop that looked at the radiator is again tasked with looking at and refreshing the tank.  I am not sure if what I am looking at is some ones attempt to fix past leaks or a build up of calcification. When I get it back it will be soldered, tested, painted to match the radiator and ready to refill. 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
3/13/21 6:16 p.m.

Ok, I wanted it back before it got painted.  Something about a vintage brass part that allows you to see the detail of its reconstruction.  The internal baffle that you can not see, was hiding all sorts of slag that would have been reintroduced into the cooling system.  I am not sure what it cost in the day, now to reproduce this would be all sorts of compromises.  But it is done and ready for paint.

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
3/20/21 7:22 p.m.

Returning to the seats, yes these are taking some time to complete.  But I am choosing to let them be completed at a pace and in the time frame that works with the one man shop that is doing the work.  He is on board with what I am trying to accomplish and is adding details that will add to the finished product. To that end, the head rests will be added to the refresh.  Now, to more pictures.

The final shape of the bolsters is just about complete.  

The shape of the seat backs is just about done.

The test fit of the bottom corners is getting worked out.  Having grown up in the restaurant business I am very comfortable with not over reacting to work under construction.  I can see what is coming and I have the patience to let him work out how he is going to get things done.  If people had any idea what their food looked like in the kitchen they might never eat out again.

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
3/22/21 9:29 a.m.

This weekend was both a quest and a treasure hunt.  I knew I "had" what the prize would bet, a faint idea of its location and to dig it out I would have to move "cars".  First, how and when I acquired the bit of required electronics is a blur. The labeling on the wires is a clue that I will dwell on, maybe.  But the need of finding it resulted in a bit of spring cleaning.

Sorry for the size and orientation of the picture, still working out how to dial in the new posting system.  The Datsun has a refreshed distributor that will now provide an electronically generated spark to a pre smog delivery curve.  This bit of magic will, with a very conservative 5500 RPM chip, limit the potential of really old and expenses stuff from needing to be replaced. I hope.  More on why, later.

Yes, I used this as an excuse to set the battery charger on a couple of the cars on Saturday to make sure I could drive them on Sunday.  The cars are stored inside and the lot is big enough to putt them around outside and not attract any attention. In first gear. As long as I stay behind the gate. This was a test, I did pass on this trip.  I was on a quest to retrieve the MSD box, focus.  

But moving the cars did allow for cleaning the area and washing the cars, nothing more.  Maybe just a little TLC, but they all did run. On their own.

Everything has its place, the MSD box is going to be installed and I got to burn some calories.  Who need a gym membership when you have to move around race tires!  

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
4/7/21 11:35 p.m.

Getting closer to having a running car.   The array of under the bonnet issues is slowly coming to an end, I hope.

The second picture is just a different orientation of the same shot.

Almost done!

 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
4/21/21 11:31 p.m.

The seats, are getting close to being done.  I know, I have been saying this for what seems like weeks.  But as of this Friday, I have the money to actually pay for them.  Now I can get things moving in my direction.  The fact that it has taken 65 days to land the transaction to pay for these is not lost on me.  Now, the pictures.

The more time these spend in the sun, the smoother the leather will lay down.  Both the upper and side panels for the bolsters are leather, for the bottom of the seats. 

Again, the fine tuning of the fit of the covers comes with the reconstruction of the seats and time in the sun.  

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
5/4/21 2:40 p.m.

Getting even, closer.  I have taken this interlude to think about and work up a plan for the next part of this never ending project.  The front end.  The front bushings are warn out.  That is the next starting point.  But I need the seats back first and the tachometer in the dash.

They just need some time in the sun.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
5/5/21 9:56 a.m.

they look great! I want to get some new seat covers on the x1/9 I just brought home.

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
6/13/21 10:17 p.m.

And, they are done. These are going to work so much better than the units that were in place, as purchased.  I am having a 3" cushion sewn up to accommodate a shorter co-driver, everyone will have a clear view.

                           

Now to finish up the interior refresh and start on the front end rebuild.  All it takes is more time and more money!

damarble
damarble Reader
7/8/21 1:59 p.m.

Those came out fantastic. Now I'm definitely stashing my stock seats to treat myself one day. 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
8/3/21 9:07 a.m.

Now that the seats are done, I am ready to take on the front suspension of the car. It of corse it is in need of just about every thing that has a grease nipple.  This can be understood when a low volume manufactured car designed in the early sixties is driven by owners that might not have used their grease gun every time they changed the oil in their car.  The fact that seeing the oil build up on the underside of their car does not mean that it is still in those locations required to lubricate the vast array of joints.  The secondary job of escaped grease is to collect road grime, as well as melt gaskets and rubber parts through out the under carriage.  After 130,000 plus miles mine is proving to need, everything.   Almost?

Tugging on the newly installed tires on the rims of the car, it was obvious the lower A-arm bushings were worn out completely. This leads to the obvious, when the front springs come out of the car what else needs attention?  In my case it is complicated by the rules laid out by the SCCA, for the use of the car in future endeavors. I can change one sway bar, front or rear, but the car must run the as manufactured, unaltered, springs. The shocks are open to changes that are only are limited by the money one is willing to spend. In my case I will not install the 860 lb front springs that seem to find there way too may of the refreshed Datsun's on the road today.  I have driven cars like this on the road and they ride like they belong on the track, only.  I will be spending money on shocks.  More on that later, after the Nationals when the demand ebbs a bit.

Back to the box of parts that showed up yesterday.  I now have "new", both upper and lower arm bushings with the associated mounting hardware.  The vendor for these parts does bundle them so picking the complete package gives you every thing you need to hang the A-arms back in the car, but the ball joints are not included.  On my car they look new.  Until they come out of the car for a closer inspection, there condition is an unknown.  One of the reasons this car was parked was the speed at witch it was grinding  the front tires.  I found that the car had brand new KYB shocks and what look like new ball joints, both upper and lower. The fact that is was still not "right", along with the what has turned out to be frozen points advancement plate in the distributor, parked the car.  Seeping oil and grease only make you look bad when you drive away.

I am getting closer.  The car show in Long Beach is a goal.  This could happen.   

 

 

   

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
9/11/21 6:45 p.m.

This slow motion refresh, continues.

Yes, when I master rotating pictures, I will fix this.  What we have is the motor all resealed and ready to refire.  The gaskets that can be replaced on the motor and transmission in the car, have been done. The replacement of the motor and transmission mounts, that the seeping oil has turned to goo, have been done. The retarded timing that is required by the post '68 smog system has been addressed with the rebuilding of the distributor. The non working smog pump and air injection system has been deleted.  The radiator and reservoir have been flushed and painted. The carburetors are clean and the gaskets are fresh. The cabled for the throttle is new. A working tachometer and new cable are going into the mix.  We had the car running before all the work. Yes, it should run even better!

"Should", could be a three or four letter word.  I am coming up to the end of my first year of ownership, oh joy.

 

wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L)
wheelsmithy (Joe-with-an-L) PowerDork
9/12/21 8:51 a.m.

Thorough usually does not equal fast. Great work there.

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
11/20/21 9:41 p.m.

In no particular order, pictures of minor accomplishments.

The passenger seat. is bolted down.  Still confirming how high the front of the seat will end up and the seat back is also adjustable.  The stock seat belts are surprisingly supple given their age.  They are still in the car until I can locate and acquire a replacement, that is appropriate.

This is a classic shot of what is next, what is in process and how much can you pile into and on your project.  Old car ADD at its finest.

But it again runs.  It will run better as more things get sorted.  Then washed and detailed.  Getting the trim taken care of, will happed way down the line.  Driving is way more important than details like that.  Getting that tachometer into the dash has to happen before the drivers seat gets installed. It's tasks like this that remind me the original workers on this car were tinny.  Not its current owner.

 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
12/20/21 9:43 p.m.

As of today, it is running much smoother. After confirming the counter clock wise rotation of the distributor and the spark pug wiring order, 1-4-3-2, then hitting the starter until the car had enough gas pumped to the carbs and it came to life.  Ok, not quite but it did start, eventually.  After confirming it would run and idle, sort of, it started to clear up and it actually started to sound good.  Using a good quality timing light made short work of fine tuning the correct timing of the distributor.

Now, just as a point of review.  The cars built in 1968 and going forward, were now considered smog motors. From this point in time they would have to be good citizens and be hobbled to produce less. Horse power and emissions were both going to be compromised. But in my case I can spend some money and the construction of the distributor provide alternatives.  The stock unit is built in two half's.  Some one, years ago worked out that the lower half from an old Datsun can be uprated to the older pre 1968 cam gear/timing wheel and then combined with the top half of a much later later electronic distributor.  The results are an earlier distributor curve and no more points.

Once the timing is set, this should be one and done.  Yes I could have spent even more money and purchased a programmable distributor, but mine looks OE.  That and I might not want to spend that much money, at this time. 

 

 

jr02518
jr02518 HalfDork
3/10/22 7:45 p.m.

And now we have no spark and it will not fire.  It might be a ground issue.  Like this project, just a little more time is required.

But next hurdle is the front end, the upper and lower bushings are next.  Driving is going to happen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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