Author Topic: Post-purchase fettling!  (Read 250 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Bruis

  • Posts: 3
Post-purchase fettling!
« on: October 30, 2020, 03:06:11 pm »
Since buying my outwardly immaculate Quattro Coupe a month or so ago, I’ve attended to a multitude of jobs.

First was to suss out why the engine temperature gauge was not working, - shorting the wires to the sender unit gave a full scale deflection so it wasn’t the instrument, and luckily the spare GT I had obtained with the Quattro provided a sender unit which fitted and worked as it should when swapped onto the Quattro engine.

Next I noticed the petrol gauge didn’t seemed to be dropping as fuel was used...a bit of a worry ameliorated to some extent by carrying a spare can of petrol. Inspection showed that the tank sender unit was also leaking smelly petrol around its seal...luckily this is located at the top of the tank so only a bit of petrol splashing up was leaking.  Removing this unit confirmed that it was not original, and the arm of the float was far too long,  allowing the float to rest in the bottom of the tank and giving the gauge  a constant 2/3 full indication!!!  This was easily rectified by iterative bending of the arm, and use of appropriate sealant around the sender unit base stopped the leaky fuel smell!

Inexplicably, and I still can hardly believe this, when I bought the car, I had not noticed that the original side panel skins beside the rear seat had been removed and substituted with hardboard panels with huge cutouts for large boombox speakers which were no longer there, leaving only the unsightly holes. Similarly the rear parcel shelf had been modified to take large speakers.  Would I have bought the car if I had noticed these ugly alterations?  Possibly still, if I had been able to obtain a bit of a discount!  However all was not lost as The similar parcel shelf from the donor GT was in good condition, as were the side panels, albeit somewhat faded.

The upholstery was generally in excellent original condition, apart from a large wear piece on the driver’s seat bolster which was releasing yellow plastic foam!  So when I took the seat to Kerry’s upholstery in Levin, he was not only able to put in a new matching piece, but also replace the faded fabric on the donor side trim panels also.  Refitting all these was as fiddly as expected, but the end result pleasingly original-looking.

More fiddly but satisfactory tinkering involved removing the adjustable dashboard ventilation outlets whose vanes were flopping uselessly.  An easy fix as it turned out.

Moving on to  the ripply sunroof, I ordered a new seal from Highland Quattro...which arrived promptly. It looked good, but is no way a replica of the original as it lacks the fabric covers.  The roof itself, although immaculately painted,  proved to be riddled with rust, bogged up, and economically unrepairable as rust had expanded the seams to the point where the new  seal would not fit.  Luckily John Stokes provided a spare roof, in excellent condition, requiring only painting to match the car.  With this done, and the new seal fitted, the sun roof problem is sorted..although that bald statement does not cover the hours spent adjusting the catches etc.

While fiddling with the roof, I accidentally brushed against the rear view mirror, which fell off, all too easily, unusually  leaving the steel button behind still sticking to the screen.   Inspection showed that this had been glued on upside down, which meant that the grub screw tightening the mirror stem on did not engage with the depression in the button, and had in fact slightly split the base of the mirror stem casting. With the button removed from the windscreen, a few hours lapping on an oil stone made the surface dead flat again, and it was reattached with the appropriate glue, the right way up, making fitting the repaired mirror stem to it, and retaining it in position, easy.

The high stop light looked ugly, pointing upwards incorrectly and with yellow glue showing when looking in the back window from outside! So another few hours were spent removing and refitting it.

Worse though was the copious oil leak from  the rocker cover. Oil had pooled on the recesses in the inlet manifold, and caked on the exhaust at both ends of the engine, giving wisps of oil smoke as these heated up!  Removing the cover showed an appalling home made cork gasket, with red gasket sealant used to form a seal over the front where the camshaft comes through.  Luckily the donor GT’s rocker cover seal looked as good as new,  and I was able to fit this, and also paint the rocker cover more or less in the right finish, curing both the oil leak, and the cosmetic appearance!  Luckily while taking off the various bits and pieces necessary to remove the rocker cover, I discovered the engine breather pipe was joined to the breather fitting on the engine by a short rubber hose, which was split wide open!!! In addition, one of the many small diameter pipes attaching to various fittings on the back of the engine...function a complete mystery to me but probably something to do with the emissions set up, had also split and wouldn’t stay  on the spigot it was intended for! Both easy repairs.

Another requirement was to remove the headlight containing an oxidised..i.e. no longer reflective, reflector, and send it away for re-silvering.  I had been told that Wanganui Electroplaters had been doing this as a service to the many vintage car restorers in the area, for donkey’s  years, but surprisingly, they have given it up. So it had to go to Progressive Platers in New Lynn, from where it emerged three weeks later, looking resplendent, but accompanied by a hefty $368 bill.  Since then I have discovered that these reflectors can be obtained in Europe substantially cheaper than this.  And incidentally, while  you can try respraying these with silver paint, you may get away with a WoF issuer not noticing but you will notice the pitiful lights soon enough when you drive the car at night. And simple chrome plating doesn’t work throws a peculiar yellowish light, or so I am told.

Is that all, you might well ask? Hmm...I  have found a pair of good ‘smoked’ taillights but they are not as pristine as the non-smoked ones on the car, and the exhaust still lacks the obligatory twin outlet pipes, so they are works in progress you might say. And I still need a ‘Quattro’ badge for the bootlid (any offers?) Oh and I forgot...when under the car checking out the driveline, I discovered the grease nipple in the central universal joint looked like it hadn’t seen a grease gun since the year dot, so that is now lubed, hopefully in the nick of time.

It is fair to say that I have not spent anything like as much time driving the car, as working on it, but that is par for the course with old classics, and indeed, at least in my case, is the main reason for owning them!   However it does drive beautifully, with a glorious free revving burst of power approaching 5000 rpm, light direct steering, powerful brakes, and delightful roadholding.  However these are pleasures to be experienced more fully in the fullness of time as they say!


Current Classic Fleet:
'85 Type 85 Coupe Quattro
'64 Porsche 356
'65 Panhard 24CT - just sold!
'65 Renault Caravelle

Offline RobClubley

  • ###
  • ***
  • Posts: 7244
  • Incessant car tinkerer
Re: Post-purchase fettling!
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2020, 03:30:08 pm »
Awesome, nice work!
1985 ur quattro
2011 Mercedes C200 Wagon

Offline slowburn

  • #
  • *
  • Posts: 1928
  • how many is too many?
Re: Post-purchase fettling!
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2020, 05:58:47 pm »
I didn't get you a shot of my CQ exhaust, i'll get on that, sorry. nice work on those fixes, sounds like the car went to the right person
99 B5 S4 Avant
85 coupe quattro
72 fiat 124 coupe
97 corolla wagon

Offline wolfgang

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 133
Re: Post-purchase fettling!
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2020, 06:01:48 pm »
Sounds like you gonna have it sorted in no time. Look forward to see it one day.
1985 Audi urquattro
1980 VW Scirocco S
1987 VW Scirocco Scala
1967 Dodge Coronet
1984 Chevy Corvette

Offline le mans

  • ##
  • **
  • Posts: 2649
Re: Post-purchase fettling!
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2020, 08:45:19 pm »
Nice work Bruce! She’s in good hands now. Nothing quite like enjoying the fruits of your labour.

Offline John Stokes

  • Posts: 19
Re: Post-purchase fettling!
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2020, 01:28:24 pm »
Good one Bruce.  Great to see yoy attending to all the issues - it will be worth it.
And, as you say, a delight to drive...