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Eric W

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Eric W last won the day on August 29 2016

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About Eric W

  • Birthday 12/06/1968

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  1. Replaced the main wire loom yesterday. Today, added connector terminals for the horn & tail / brake lights to mate with what's on the new harness. Pretty simple. Much more simple than the Studebaker, especially since this harness is split into several smaller / simpler sections. There's only 13 endpoints on the harness, not counting the center "starting point" that is inside the switch housing at the bottom of the steering column. 13 endpoints: each headlight has 3 (so 2 headlight connectors = 6 of the 13 points), horn is 2 more, generator output is 1, brake light switch is 2, and brake/tail light is the other 2. That's it. The headlight connector insert that clocks the 3 terminals in each connector is marked with "R" "G" "Y" for red, green, yellow, so you know which wire goes in which point in the connector.
  2. Thanks guys. Yes, the pump probably wasn't moving water very well, though the accessory thermometer radiator cap would just barely show any temperature. It's winter here, so I haven't seen how well it does when it's over 100F outside. Swapped in LED headlight bulbs to see a little better, since the cruise night that I usually go to is really at night, and because this is a "dark sky city" there are very few streetlights. The right side headlight's internal wires decided to crumble with this disturbance, so I've ordered some replacement wiring. Hopefully that shows up in the next week or so - wires internal to the headlights, the forward main wire harness (from light switch to all lights & horn), and while I'm doing this, a fresh one from the generator to the terminal box, though that one looked ok.
  3. About 2 1/2 hours to disassemble, swap the pump, and reassemble. Again using the Les Andrews handbook, though it looks like he was working with a '28-'29. I didn't have to pull the rear hood bracket, just loosened the radiator upper rods and leaned the radiator forwards a little to get the hood off. Pull radiator shell & radiator to allow removal of a pump with an aftermarket 4-bladed fan. So to the comment above, this is a much more recent fan - didn't look like any problems there. Yes, the pump was truly in 2 completely separate pieces. Went back together pretty easily. Didn't have time for a test drive to see if the ignition is cured, but at least it's ready.
  4. Ignition cutting out on a short drive a couple of days back. Just did the 5-step diagnosis per the Les Andrews handbook. Voltage where it was supposed to be. Found a new-in-package condenser in the small box of parts that came with the car and swapped that in. Did NOT make a test drive to see if problem solved, because I just noticed why the water pump is so weepy. Not sure how I missed it before (see photos). Anyway, I've got the new sealed-type water pump already here to install, so that's the next job.
  5. Got to the driver's door latch today. Replaced the latch support pin and latch spring. Seems to be working better. Found some photos online that showed the latch spring is supposed to hang over the edge of the latch base plate, and you push the spring inside the door opening with a screwdriver. The additional rotation on the spring by doing this brings the spring fully up to tight. I had some good luck with getting the outside door handle off - some of the things I found online made it out like this was a horrible, multi-hour ordeal. I had it off & back on in less than a minute. Here's some photos of the other items described above. The LED in the tail light also has LED elements along the "sides" of the bulb so it shines down onto the license plate. Speedometer almost looks like there's no glass in it at all. One of the dash panel screw threads wore down so much the screw wouldn't stay in - it looks like it's the screw that's worn down, so I'll get another one and hopefully the bracket in the dash still has threads.
  6. Received a couple of gift certificates to the Model A Store. Ordered a few things: new sealed water pump, speedo glass & seal, LED tail light bulbs, door latch striker plate, horn gaskets, safety fuse, horn data plate, windshield washers, LED headlight bulbs. They didn't have the LED headlight bulbs, so need to try that again sometime. Got the LED tail light bulbs installed - much brighter, and you can see the LED elements when it's on, so it doesn't look stock. But I'll use this car for evening cruise nights, so visibility is more important to me than originality in the light bulbs, and they're easy enough to change back. Installed the windshield side bracket washers. Was supposed to be a pack of 4, but there was only 2, so I'll order another pack next time. These seem to do a MUCH better job of holding the windshield side brackets than the plain flat washers that were in there. These have rubber molded onto one side of the washer to keep tension on the knob and stop rattles. Added the safety fuse. This is on the starter, and is between the starter post / battery cable and all of the rest of the electrical in the car. There are no fuses in these cars - only smoke if something goes bad. Adding the fuse was easy, since it's designed to be a screw-in / bolt in item. Did the speedo glass next. Received the Model A maintenance guide as a Christmas gift, so it was easy to follow the directions in there to remove the gauge panel and get the speedo apart. Hardest part was getting the ignition switch back in place - 3 little screws, and the screwdriver accesses two of them at an angle. Tried the door striker plate, since the driver's door will open while driving. When I pulled it off, I noticed it's about 1/8" longer than stock - built up with welded-on material. So I just put it back. I also bought the door latch spring kit - that's what I really need to work on, as the latch in the door is sticky, and doesn't pop out inside the door frame very well to hold the door closed. Installed the horn data plate, mostly because the one that was on there broke off when I was cleaning it up for paint (2 very tiny rivets, which come with the replacement data plate, but aren't available separately). In seeing the replacement, I don't think the one that was on there was original, as they both looked exactly the same, and look like there's spots for stamped numbers or letters that aren't stamped. Got the horn gaskets installed between the motor and the sound plate. These have a clocking hole that lines up with a stamped bump on the motor side. Soldered new (vintage-style) wires onto the horn, since one of the wires had broken off, and the other was in sad shape. Got the horn reconnected, and the horn button works. Need to work some more on the horn (lube, brush adjust), since it just barely works. I did adjust the horn adjuster - it goes from too tight to turn to too loose to make sound in about 3 clicks. There's only 1 or 2 clicks that actually make sound, and the motor isn't strong enough to turn very well. Water pump is more involved. I'll save that for another time. Need to drain radiator, pull hood, pull radiator, etc. for access.
  7. Found a couple of photos of the white '93.
  8. Yes, this is the 3rd one for me. I don't recall the exact package numbers, but I my first one was a white '93 with the "big block" AM/FM/CD/Cass head unit. I did a lot of bad things to that car - changed wheels, tires, sway bars - really screwed up the handling. And a supercharger, which I took to the point where it exceeded the max fuel flow capacity, burned & cracked off a couple of valves, and drove home about 50mi on 2 cylinders, balancing between going fast enough not to get run over, and slow enough not to over heat. Yes, that was bad. Pulled the supercharger & head, disassembled the head on the dining table (single-guy stuff), and got the head reconditioned and put it all back together, less the supercharger, which I sold to the next kid to figure out it's not such a great idea. Next was a '94 black & tan - where I worked on "return to original" rather than modify. Pulled out a mess of cell phone add-on wiring & an aftermarket stereo. Replaced cracked/broken plastic parts back when these were easy to find. Found some photos - forgot how nice that one looked. This one - I got blue because when you find a decent NA Miata with a tolerable mileage and extensive maintenance history (back to day one), you go for it. On the white one, I added the factory "competition graphics package" (stripe kit) - long since no longer available. I'd add that to this blue one, but nobody is making them. There's one website advertising their own re-creation of that stripe kit, but the company is gone. The stripes are tapered slightly narrower at the very front & rear, and they taper out to full windshield width just in front of & behind the cabin.
  9. Decided to diagnose the horn. Wires in the steering column seem to be doing what they're supposed to. Then when I went to look at the wires out the bottom of the horn, one came out. So it's probably dead there. Got the horn off & wires disconnected from the car, then powered using a screwdriver to jump over to the contact on the horn motor. Motor is good & horn makes noise, so it should be ok with fresh wire soldered to the contact. Flaked off the loose paint, scotchbrited & shot w/ some rattle can Rustoleum. Need to order the gaskets, as the paper that was in there crumbled when I disassembled, and I don't know that paper would end up with the correct sound anyway. When I went to the store for the paint, decided to get the trans / diff oil. Checked online, and came up with a 50/50 mix of 2 modern products that would approximate. Got the trans & diff drained & refilled. Took it for a little drive. Seems like it's shifting better. Should get even better when I let it warm up more.
  10. Rebuilt the fuel gauge yesterday. It had a bunch of goop sealer all around the gauge-to-tank interface. Turns out, they had the cork on the wrong side of the glass, so it was probably a big leak problem. I haven't refilled it up past the glass yet, but hopefully cleaning off the surfaces & getting the parts in the correct order will have it seal like it's supposed to. Nice to replace the "indicator line" washer as well. Before photo shows what it looks like when it's got a soggy, sunken cork for a float. The new float is some sort of synthetic - supposed to be able to withstand the garbage that passes for fuel these days. Working with Bert's in Colorado, as that seems to be the nearest major parts supplier. Got their catalog. Highlighted a possible shopping list. The water pump continues to leak, and there's an option with a modern seal system which should fix that. Also need to finish cleaning off the roof. Didn't get through it all last weekend. You can see in these photos that the speedometer glass is missing right over the speed dial, so there's another thing to work on. That all works - speed, odometer, trip meter - so I'll just get a glass & gasket for that.
  11. Thanks Keith - I'll take a look. Being LED, the tail lights don't draw much current at all. Here's another photo showing the difference on the before/after on the roof. Multi stage process - scrub with soapy water using a brush, small area at a time. Wipe off the loosened dirt & water for each small area with a damp cloth. After scrubbing one half of the roof this way, then go back, small area at a time with Meguiar's "ultimate black" rubber/vinyl restoration product. Drop some on the surface, spread it out by hand (maybe 6" x 12" at a time), work it into the surface with a stiff brush, then wipe off the excess/residue with a cotton towel, frequently refreshing the towel surface. The Meguiar's partially acts as an additional cleaning, as the excess that wipes off is really dirty. Here's a couple more photos of where I took the exterior photos yesterday to show more of what was around the car. It's a road that slopes upward out the west side of town, and has an amazing view. The photo with car in center and two mountain ranges - that's the Tortolitas on the left and the Catalinas on the right. I looked at a lot for sale along this road, but what few lots are left aren't flat at all (would require some very costly earthworks to add a house and workshop), as well as there being association requirements and approvals as to what you can build. It's about 5 minutes from my house, which is quite a bit lower elevation and closer to the city.
  12. Added message to catch a couple more photos. Working from a different photo editing app - need to work out how to compress the files more.
  13. Received the Brakelighter today and installed it. It's brighter than I expected. Needed to pull the rear seat to run the wire behind the seat back, and I used an existing small opening in the floor to get the wires out. Modified a ring terminal (drilled hole larger) to use one of the bumper bracket bolts for ground, and tapped onto the brake light wire. Got lucky there - completely expected to tap onto the running light wire, then have to do it over. Because when there's 2 wires, you always tap onto the wrong one first. Tried to ID by color - I could see under the tail light bracket that the brake light wire has a green stripe, but up under the body, any stripes are long gone. I also bought a set of magnetic-base LED towing lights from Harbor Freight - these are 12v, so I got a small 12v battery from Wal Mart. This is a completely independent and removable tail light system. I'll add photos when I get a chance. Also started cleaning the roof material. It's got decades of crusted-on dust. Scrubbed w/ soapy water & a brush, wiped off with wet rag, then added Meguiar's rubber restorer. That's a big, high roof to work on. Got about half of it done.
  14. Thanks Carl! I found this searching for 6v CHMSL: https://www.brakelighter.com/category-s/100.htm Looks very similar to Mac's, slightly lower price, though shipping options & ordering other things may make one or the other vendor more cost effective.
  15. Checked for the hand crank, as there were a couple of tools under the back seat. Only jack, jack handle, and a couple of wheel wrenches. Took it out just now for ~10 miles to get good and warmed up. Shut down in back in the garage. Waited a minute. Ignition, gas valve on, levers up, touch starter - good start. Shut down & waited another minute. Same thing - very quick start. To be more like a fuel stop, let it continue to heat soak & went back out a couple of minutes later - same thing. Key difference - don't touch the choke/mixture knob. When it's warmed up / hot - that knob doesn't need anything at all. Brakes seem well balanced. Ordering an 8-point socket to make the adjustment, as they could be tighter.
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