If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

Mission creep: starting out wanting to change the spark plugs and ending up pulling the whole motor for a rebuild.

The clock pod, at the end of the disassembly process

Yep, I extended the scope of this project once again, this time adding new sheet metal for the rusty floorboards and new carpet to cover it all up. Parts are ordered and UPS is set to deliver them this week.

In the meantime, I’ve been running around town trying to track down locally available parts. A radiator shop quoted me a price to rebuild the heater core far more expensive than it costs to buy one new, and I completely gave up on getting a custom paint match to touch up the pot metal dashboard pieces. I was successful in tracking down a new blower motor for the heater (still available over the counter at O’Reilly’s!).

I have two clock pods and both a pretty dinged up, with bends at the flanges where they attach to the dash and scuffed paint from, well, who knows what? The bent flanges mean that the pod does not fit tight against the dash, which looks sloppy. By night, light leaks out the joints and it looks even worse.

Cleaning up the blower motor assembly. The motor in the background is a new replacement unit.
Cleaning up the blower motor assembly. The motor in the background is a new replacement unit.

Pot metal is brittle, and despite assurances that others had managed to pound theirs back into alignment, I was a little worried about breaking them in an attempt to straighten them out. As I mentioned above, paint suppliers could only give me a “close” color match in a spray bottle, but they told me that the finish would be s0-so and almost certainly not match the flat matte necessary for the interior pieces. In the end, I ended up at a body shop to both straighten the pod and repaint it to match the new dash. It’s a pricey option for a small piece, but it is the focal point of the dash and should look nice.

The blower motor assembly came apart easily, despite all the rust. I’ve scraped off most of the scale and will give it a once-over with some primer to try keeping the rust at bay in the future. If the new heater core comes this week, as promised, I could have the heater assembly back in the car this weekend, which would be great.

Of course, with new carpet, those door panels are going to look a little ratty . . . hmmmm.

Leave a Reply