About Me

New Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Name: Todd Russo Location: New Hartford, CT, USA

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The rear windshield saga continued…


It is nice to know how many people actually read this blog on occasion! I only have one follower but receive many messages, some of encouragement and some with advice. This week will be about a tip I received from a fellow ADO16 owner. He suggested trying the age old “string method” to install the rear windshield. I watched the “My Classic Car” YouTube video where two fellows install the rear window of an old pickup truck. It looked easy enough! OK, I thought I would give it a try!
 

First step, install the rubber seal onto the rear window. Check.
 

Next step, put a string down in the groove of the rubber that will wrap around the car metal, lubricate it with dish soap, tape the string in place to keep it from falling out. Check.
 

Next step, get my wife to help and convince her to get in the car to pull the strings while I stand outside the car pushing on the rear window. Check. My wife did not want her picture taken so we will skip to the next step.

Next step, cuss and curse because the corners would not seat properly. Check.
 

The cord started to dig into the rubber corner miters so we had to stop. We at least got the top part installed so the window will not fall out.
 

This 90 degree corner requires another method besides the string method. Since the window is not seated properly, the locking strips cannot be installed. I need help on this one…and not just my wife.
 

I did manage to find a Wingard rear view mirror in my MG Midget parts stock pile. I had to paint the rod black since the mirror plastic was black.
 

But it turned out fine even though it is not the original gray color.
 
To at least feel good about something this week, I installed the rear view mirror. Shhh, please do not tell any concours judges or the "correct police" about the color. Maybe they will not notice.
 

I will have to do some research and give a few phone calls for the rear windshield dilemma. School is back in session so my time will be limited, yet, progressive.

Thanks for visiting.

Toddy

Friday, August 29, 2014

Tackling two more punch list items


The rear windshield has been a pain of a project to say the least! I had to take it out because the rubber seal gasket I used was too short and incorrect. I purchased a new rubber seal and wanted to get it installed before I go back to work at school.

My wife and I tried and could only get so far. The top of the rubber gasket was not cooperating. It kept falling off of the car body and would not go back in place.
 

I called John over but after fifteen minutes of trying, we also failed. The window was then taken out and set safely in the rear seat.
 

So I decided to not let that hinder me on checking stuff off the punch list. I had only two electrical issues left to finish on the car, the interior light and the horns. I attacked the interior light issue first. I needed to screw in the door push switches and then make sure all the purple (power) and purple with white stripe (switch grounding) wires were hooked up correctly. They were all good.
 

Even after screwing the switches in to ground them, when I opened the door the light was still not going on.
 

I had a brilliant idea (or you can say the light bulb went off over my head) to check the obvious. And, sure enough, both the fuse and the lamp (bulb) were blown. So I swapped them out. Only the horn and interior light hook up to this fuse (which has power from the battery (purple wire) all the time and does not need the ignition switch). Therefore, this also cures one of the reasons why the horn circuit was not working.
 

And, viola!
 

The horns were another issue. I just had them rebuilt this past winter so I knew the horn units themselves were working. I figured it had to be a wiring issue (since the fuse was just changed). Here is what I started with.
 

Since the workshop manual had no information on how to correctly connect the purple (power) and purple with black stripe (horn switch grounding) wires, I did some internet research and found out the right way to do it. So I swapped the wires to look like this.
 

I then went into the car and hooked a jumper wire to the purple with black stripe horn wire and connected it to ground. The horns worked!! But after I put the horn button in the steering wheel and pushed it, nothing happened. I figure that something is amiss with the rotor (#16).
 

I put another call into Chris to see if he will come to help me with the rear windshield this week. I will have him check out the horn issue, too.

Thanks for visiting.

Toddy

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A quick forty five minutes.


Chris had a chance to come up and help me with a couple tasks yesterday. There were two things to do on the agenda: to install the filler strip into the rubber front windshield gasket, and to hook up the tachometer wires.

He brought his homemade filet tool and started putting the strip in before I could even get the camera. But I did manage to get a picture of him finishing up the last three inches.
 

With the proper tool, it only took him about seven minutes to install the insert! This picture was taken after he left. Notice that I also installed the windshield wipers. Just putting the windshield in takes Old Biddy from being just a project, to being an actual car!!!
 

When I was installing the connecting wires for the tachometer, I read the instructions about ten times and still could not understand them! John even read them a few times before he became frustrated, too. Since Chris has done many of these, it took him just moments. I had one wire hooked up correctly (the one that hooked up to the coil), the other wire was obviously wrong. To make it right, he stripped the male connector off the “wrong” wire and put on a female connector in its place, then properly hooked it up to the fuse box (instead of where I thought it was supposed to hook up via the directions).
 

And, there you go! Old Biddy has a working tachometer!
 

Chris will be coming back next week to install the filler insert to the rear windshield gasket. I have to swap the gasket that is on now. Find out that story in the next post.
 

Besides installing the filler strip, he will also help to adjust the handbrake cables so they operate evenly, adjust the choke cable, and maybe even help with the wiring to get the horns working. A quick forty five minute visit takes this restoration a HUGE step forward!!

Thanks for visiting.

Toddy

Monday, August 11, 2014

With help, good things happened!


 When Chris bled the system a few months ago, he said there was an issue with one of the front brake calipers not operating properly. I asked John to come over to help inspect them.
So we pushed Old Biddy outside, lifted her up, and took her front wheels off.
 

When Chris bled the brakes he used a suction pump. And, since he was alone, there was nobody inside the car pushing on the brake pedal. When the two of us were inspecting the front brake calipers, I was stepping on the pedal and John was turning the wheels and looking for piston movement. Everything worked correctly as it should! That was a big relief!
 

John suggested I borrow his nylon tools for finishing the windshield installation. Instead, I went to the store and got a 1 ½” plastic spatula. I asked my wife to come out and help me. With her on the inside of the car pushing the rubber seal out, and me on the outside grabbing it….
 

….we finished in less than ten minutes!!
 

Now, I just need to use Chris’s filet tool to install the filler locking strip.
 
 
Chris is scheduled to come here tomorrow. He also wants to re-do the rear windshield with the new rubber gasket, and help hook up the wiring to the tachometer. Then, I can move on to the next big operation, the doors.

 Thanks for visiting.

Toddy

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The windshield project Part 1


I know it has been over a month since my last update. Not much has really happened until this past week because of my summer schedule. I was sick of waiting for other people to help me and I do not want to pay the high price to have the glass company do it, so I decided to try to install the windshield myself.

First, I tried setting the glass in place with the rubber seal on. That did not work well.
 

Then, after watching a couple YouTube videos on how to install a “classic Mini” windshield, I found out that he first thing I had to do was to attach only the rubber seal strip. That went well.
 

Then I set the glass in place and slowly went around pressing and prying it into the rubber slot. It was slow and tedious.
 

Then I got to the last thirteen inches, and no matter what I did the rubber strip would not budge. I tried everything from dousing it with dish soap to make it slippery, to trying different tools. I decided to stop for now before I damaged the rubber strip or worse...the windshield itself.  This is the part where I really need another person to help or it could become a catastrophe!
 

John will be over to help in a couple days. The front left brake caliper needs tweaking, and hopefully he can help with this windshield project, also. Chris has the windshield locking strip filet tool to aid me in setting the locking strip in place. I hope he will let me borrow it for a few days.

Thanks for visiting.

Toddy

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Finishing the carpet and installing the front seats


Preparation for getting the windshield installed continues. I finally got to the point where I had to put the finishing touches to the carpet kit so I could get the front seats installed.

I bought the hard to find NOS carpet strip/door seal retainers back in winter time. I found some 5/8” #6 screws and went to town.
 

I had to cut the door seal rubber to size then install the metal strip. The first screw was the hardest to line up, the rest went right into place.The driver’s side came out nice.
 

And, the passenger side came out even nicer!
 

It came time to clean all the winter and spring filth and grime away and vacuum the carpet. All the pieces were then tucked in where they get tucked in. Gosh, it looks nice!!
 

Then I installed the front seats. Yes, I know they need to be reupholstered, but that is not going to happen until next year. What a thrill it was to sit in the driver’s seat and actually drive the car (albeit only backwards) into its parking spot!! After eight years, the car finally drives like it should!!
 

Next step is to call Chris to finish fiddling with the front brakes (the front left brake piston is acting weird) and help me with a few odds and ends. Then it can go down to get the windshield installed!

Thanks for visiting.

Toddy

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rubber seals and more!


Now that school is out for the summer, I can putter on the car again in my free time. Two days after the CT MG Club Gathering, I fiddled with the distributor a bit more. After I closed everything up, I turned the key, and she started right up!! I figured that she was just protesting and did not want to make the trip to the Gathering this year! But it took a couple weeks for me to find some uninterrupted time to work on Old Biddy.

The first thing that had to be done was to connect the bottom plate (the metal with the nut on it above the muffler)…
 

… to the top tensioner on the handbrake assembly. The first time we unsuccessfully tried to connect the two pieces for a half hour. We stopped in frustration. The second time (a week later)  it took only two minutes!! And, now it is done!
 

Then I rolled Old Biddy outside so I could open the doors to work on setting the rubber door seals in place.
 

I first finished putting the driver’s side door panel and pocket in place. I need to move some of the bigger parts in the shed out of my way so I just installed them.
 

When that was done, I installed the passenger side rubber door seal. It put up a bit of a fight, but at least it is on now and just needs final trimming.
 

The driver’s side went on much easier. It also needs final trimming.
 

I also put the driver’s side back window seal in place. With the seals installed, it sure adds the nice finishing touch to dress up the interior!
 

Since I was on a roll, I also installed the trunk (boot) lid rubber seal.
 

I did not want to stop for the day but I had to. Next, I will concentrate on getting the interior vinyl all finished so that the windshield can be installed. I have a place in town that can do it.
 

After that, there are still  a few important items on the punch list to do before I can take her on our maiden voyage.

 
Thanks for visiting.

Toddy