New Digs

New Digs

My car will be spending the winter at François’ shop. The new one I’m renting does not have heat, so that will be problematic when the weather gets really cold! Luckily François has been generous with his garage space and found a corner I can put the car for what will hopefully be the final push to completion!

I started by putting the car up on jack stands to swap the rear hubs. I made a “rookie mistake” and mixed up the right and left side hubs. The hubs are splined with knock offs for the wire wheels. The threads are different for each side of the car so the wheels don’t unscrew themselves when you drive down the road. I wasn’t thinking about this crucial piece of information when I was installing the hubs, and managed to only get the front hubs right from blind luck!

After the correct hubs were installed, and the rear calipers were reattached, I began the brake bleeding process all over again! I jacked the car up on all four corners, and put catch trays under each wheel. François instructed me to take all the bleeders out along with the check ball that is inside the caliper. (A thin magnet helps retrieve the ball.) Making sure the reservoir didn’t go empty, I let the brake fluid work slowly to every caliper. It’s a slow process, but the gravity forces the air out of the calipers, and it doesn’t agitate air into the system.

Once all the calipers were dripping brake fluid freely, we tightened up the bleeder screws and bled the booster. This involved a hose leading from the booster back into the reservoir. By slowly pumping the brake pedal, small air bubbles were removed from the booster. François informed me that I was going to be lucky today, because he recently tried bleeding a Lusso that took him four hours! The fluid somehow gets aerated, and an inordinate amount of brake bleeding was involved.

Soon we had a nice hard pedal, and all the leaking fittings were tightened down, and carefully watched. Eventually everything stopped weeping, and I was able to move onto the next project.

I finally got the right sized gaskets for the fuel pickup, so I completed the last part of the fuel system. Soon we’ll be adding some high octane, and checking for flow!

Fresh from the painter, my steering column cover is back! This piece was a bit of a problem for the painter, so it took a while to get painted. It’s a cast bronze or brass so there was some pitting in the base metal. In order for the paint to adhere well to the metal, the part needed to be stripped of all oxidation, filled of all the pits, and primered with a good self etching primer. After these steps, could the color coats be applied. Needless to say it’s been a long, long time since I’ve seen this part! Luckily, it’s back just in time, so I started installing it.

The steering column was dropped a few inches to slide the cover in place, but that was after I snaked the wiring for the over drive, turn signals, and high beam switches inside the cover piece. This pictures shows a lot of the tiny pieces that fit inside the steering column. The turn signal cancellation mechanism is screwed onto the steering column, and can be seen touching the switch on the left side of the column. The right side of the column houses the overdrive switch which wires are colored yellow/black.

Looking at the picture of the steering column, I can’t wait to see the odometer ticking off some miles! See you next week!

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