Body Off Restoration of 1964 Corvette Coupe – Part 31


Last night when I quit working on the car, my wife was not home yet and her car space in the garage was vacant.  I noticed oil leaks from her 2009 Mini Cooper S.  This morning, I jacked it up and checked it out with a light.  The leak appeared to be about halfway up on the rear of the motor on the right side.  The local dealer was able to get me in late morning.  After about an hour, they proceeded to tell me that a bolt on the timing chain tensioner had backed out slightly which was causing the oil leak.  I expressed my surprise at such an odd issue and the dealer proceed to tell me it was 7 hours labor to fix.  And that my warranty ran out at the end of January.

I did a quick search online and discovered that I was one of many with this issue which has been reported to NHTS.  Many people were not as lucky as me and they lost all of their oil once the bolt completely backed out with sometimes disastrous results.  The dealership gave me the number for Mini’s zone rep whom I immediately called.  I explained that the car only had 25K miles and was a week and a half out of warranty.  Their first question was whether the service was up to date (it was).  They were looking for scheduled oil changes at the dealership.  I told the gal if I never changed the oil for the entire 25K miles, that bolt should not back out.  I would not expect that bolt to back for hundreds of thousands of mile.  Never heard of such a thing.  They gave me a loaner car, but it will be a few days before they get back with me.  In the meantime, no work will be done on the car.

2-13-13 overflow hose smNeedless to say, this seriously cut into my work on the car today.  I did get the spring installed in the overflow hose before I left this morning.





2-13-13 steering column 10 sm 2-13-13 steering column 9 sm 2-13-13 steering column 7 sm 2-13-13 steering column 6 sm 2-13-13 steering column 5 sm 2-13-13 steering column 4 sm 2-13-13 steering column 3 sm 2-13-13 steering column 2 sm 2-13-13 steering column smWhen I got back, I assembled the steering column.  To remove the old lower bearing, I used my garage broom handle.  Somewhere in the car’s past, someone had cut the harness to the turn signal and patched it back together.  I installed a new turn signal switch and now have it ready to put back in the car.







Went to the doctor for my six month checkup on my wrist.  He thought it was healing very well considering how severe the break was.  He was explaining how I had shattered the bone as it was not a simple break.  Now, thanks to the titanium strap, I should be as good as new once the stiffness goes away.

2-14-13 headlight motors 5 sm 2-14-13 headlight motors 4 sm 2-14-13 headlight motors 2 sm 2-14-13 headlight motors 3 sm 2-14-13 headlight motors smBought the wifey some Valentine flowers and then headed to the garage.  I had been waiting for the new style headlight motors but it was announced recently that the release date would be March 27 and who knows how soon I would actually get them.  We have a big car show at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on April 4-6 which is my goal.   Because of this, I decided I need to clean up the old motors and install them as they both worked when I took the car apart.  One of them is a repro motor that looks to be fairly recent, which jives with what the seller told me when I bought the car.  The other has been there awhile and was very encrusted with dirt.  It took me most of the morning to clean them up.   I mounted the brackets to the crossmember, slid the motors over the shafts, inserted the locking pins, bolted the bracket to the motor housing and hooked up the wires.  Much easier said than done but it was not a terrible job, especially since I had the grill out and could stand in the engine bay when needed.


2-14-13 grounding strap smI moved the ground wires to the outside as per expert guidance.





2-14-13 brake pedal smAlso, the car will now stop much better because it has the proper pedal pad!!!!





This evening I had a good conversation with Greg Hunt, the guy who loaned me the body dolly.  He had some good suggestions for the body drop.  I told him if he had nothing better to do, he would surely be welcome to help as he has considerable experience doing this.  Can’t come but did say he is only a phone call away.


After thinking about the comments about taking the headlight motors apart, I decided I should at least take the old one apart.  The other motor still had a sticker on it and has obviously not been on the car for very long.  I noticed when I manually raised the headlights that more effort was needed on the old motor.  I am glad I did take it apart.  In cleaning it up the other day, I sealed what I thought were all of the openings and bead blasted the case to get rid of the rust on the motor case.  Well, little did I know, it is not a sealed unit.  As you can see, beads have ways of finding their way in.

2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 18 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 12 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 15 smFirst you have to remove the clip that holds the manual adjusting wheel on as well as the wheel.  Turns out this was the only issue with putting it all back together as this clip was very rusty and broke apart when I tried to re-attach it.  Next you remove the two long screws that attach the motor housing to the gear housing.  You can now separate the motor housing from the gear housing.



2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 14 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 13 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 11 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 10 smPopping off the clips on each side removes the brushes.  They will spring out of their housings as they are spring loaded but they are attached so they will not go anywhere.  One of them is soldered to the side of the casing so be careful with that one.  To remove the motor you may have to sand the shaft that the manual wheel was attached to as corrosion builds up and will not allow the shaft to slide out of the housing.  I also had to use some WD40 to get it to slide out.  Once it is out use some very fine sandpaper to clean up the contact area.  It also recommended to use a knife to clean out the grooves in the contact area.


2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 7 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 9 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 2 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild smNext remove the bolts that hold the two sections of the gear box together and separate the boxes.  The gears were a mess with the hardened grease and the glass beads.  But, they were in good shape.




2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 22 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 31 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 28 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 27 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 26 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 25 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 24 sm 2-15-12 headlight motor rebuild 20 smI cleaned everything up and made it ready to reassemble.  Now thoroughly lube the gears and attach the two halves.  Once that is done, insert the motor into the housing, insert the brushes (the toughest part as the springs kept pushing them out) and reattach the motor housing to the gear housing.



I am going to the hardware store in the morning to see if they might have a retaining clip for the manual wheel.  If not, I will have to order one.  Much easier than I expected as the motors are relatively simple devices.  My friend Reese is having some issues with his headlight motors so he was pleased to see one apart.



1 Comment

  1. I was wondering if we could correspond and I could get some more photos off line of your steering column rebuild. My column for my 66 was completely dissembled upon buying it and I need to rebuild with all new parts.

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