Now that the front is on the car I am able to finish wiring the headlights. I pre-built the loom to go across the front of the car to the LH lights when I added the relays however I was unable to run it across until the front support panel had been installed. The loom will run in the channel which supports the Engine Hood Catch (forward of the radiator).
Once I had the length correct, I had to assemble and solder the connectors for the outside lamp.
Once the wire was inserted in the connector, I applied heat with the soldering iron from the bottom to make sure the solder doesn’t feed up into the connector. This has happened to me before, and it is a real pain to undo.
I then assembled the connector and wrapped the loom including the earth wires so it looks like it is meant to be there.
I installed the loom and connected it all up. Pretty happy how it looked when it was finished.
The most important part was switching the headlights on…..
There was however an issue. When I put the parking lights on, there was nothing. 15 minutes playing around with the headlight switch revealed that there was a conductivity issue with one of the switch contacts which is riveted to the positive rail. The only way I could think to fix it without damaging the switch was to clean and solder where the rivet came through the 12V rail. This was real fiddly, as it was under the bi-metallic strip but I eventually got there. I hope it lasts as I am not sure what I would do next if it fails again. When I connected the switch back in I had parking lights and fog lights. 🙂
Rear Bearing Seals
I had a closer look at the rear bearings, and the o-ring seals were flattened off to a point where they would not have been making contact with the bore. I removed the seals and cleaned up the bearings. Everything looks pretty good, so I decided that I will re-use the bearings, so I did some measuring up of the bearing and bore in the diff housing.
Now that I have all of the dimensions I am going to visit a seal specialist in Dandenong ( http://www.oringandrubberseal.com.au/ ) to see if they have a pair of o-rings for me. I have nothing to lose, and if it works, it has saved me $300+ for new rear bearings.
I also spent 10 minutes degreasing the LH Rear Brake Drum as it was pretty messy with gear oil on the inside and outside surfaces.
Engine Hood Sound Absorber
The ’59 Cadillac originally had a sound absorbing panel attached to the underside of the Engine Hood. I bought some reproduction sound absorber a while ago, and it makes much more sense to install it before the hood is back on the car. The Engine Hood had rusty coolant on it from a hose that obviously let go some time after it was painted. I tried to remove it with soap and water however it wasn’t very effective as it had a greasy element to it. In the end I had to use White Spirits to clean it all off.
Once it was looking better I gave it all (except where the panel will be installed) a coat of polish.
I then masked up the hood and also made a brown paper template for the sound panel. I used the template to cut out the shape using a brand new knife blade.
Next I gave the sound absorbing panel and the Engine Hood a coat of 3m High Strength Contact Adhesive.
After waiting for a couple of minutes I installed the panel. You only get one shot at this so I took my time to get it right. Once I had pressed it on firmly I removed the masking. It turned out pretty good in the end.
The Engine Hood is now ready to go back on the car.