Mission Creep

It’s nearly impossible to start a small project on this car. Everything I do, it seems, leads to more things that could be done. In the case of the cooling system, I had already planned to do a lot: the power steering pump and perhaps a little clean up on the engine (while so many parts are already off). And while I’m at it, what about scrubbing the engine compartment? And getting that sound padding finally installed on the underside of the hood?

Coolant Reservoir
Coolant reservoir, cleaned to the bare metal. Well, mostly

Cleaning and painting the engine, though, is a big deal, and probably off the table if I want to be driving the car any time soon. (Not to mention all those other tasks!) The PCV valve, though, is very accessible with the carburetor off (and is clearly very old), so I may add that to my list as this project progresses.

I did make some progress today, and I expect to be back on the road next week. Today, I cleaned and painted the coolant reservoir, which looks way better (if not quite concourse quality) and made some progress on the power steering pump.

Coolant Reservoir
Coolant reservoir, cleaned and painted.

Unlike a more modern car, the new power steering pump was just the pump . . . not the pulley or the reservoir that holds the fluid. I had left the pump in an oil drain pan, and after a couple of days, it was sitting in a pool of goop.(Nitrile gloves are a godsend in situations like this.)

The reservoir, pulley and bracket came off easily. I was a little surprised to find that there was a filter for the power steering fluid inside the reservoir, so I ordered a new one on short notice–only available on-line, unfortunately. (Chance are, the one in there is old and clogged.) The parts to be re-used are partially cleaned. The plan is to get them stripped, painted and mounted to the new pump tomorrow.

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