Dashing Around

It seems like most of the work on my “dash project” has very little to do with the dashboard itself, at least so far.

Booster and master cylinder, out of the car once again.
Booster and master cylinder, out of the car once again.

One of the first things I had to do with this car was install the brake booster assembly when it was returned from the rebuilder. I remember that as being difficult, but not impossible. Getting it out of the car, even with the dash out was, well, difficult still, but not impossible.

I pulled this unit because the brake pedal is awful close to the floor in normal braking. One culprit may be an out of spec adjustment where the master cylinder meets the booster. I pulled the two units apart, and it does look like someone took the time to mate them together properly. When I reassemble them, I’ll watch to see that the plunger (from the booster) fits into the piston on the master cylinder with close to zero tolerance. The pedal feel may be the same when it’s back in, but I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it is normal for this car.

The not-so-special bolts. These should taper in the middle to allow oil flow.
The not-so-special bolts. These should taper in the middle to allow oil flow.

It’s easier to get the booster out if the valve cover on the driver’s side is removed. When I pulled it, I noticed that the cover was pretty dry on the inside, as if not much oil was getting up to the top of the motor. I posed the question on the VTCI forum and learned that special bolts should be used to allow oil up into this area. I pulled a couple out and found that mine were not special at all. A friend from the club offered up a set, which I’ll install when they arrive. Hard to tell at this point is damage has been done from the lack of proper oiling, but I don’t think so.

Test lettering the old speedo with a silver leafing pen.
Test lettering the old speedo with a silver leafing pen.

I did do some experimenting with the actual dash this week: I picked up a silver leafing pen to touch up the lettering on the speedometer. The pen holds liquid paint that’s applied with a metered tip. It’s pretty easy to control once you get the hang of it. I practiced on the old unit and despite a little bleed at first, was pretty pleased with the initial results. After practicing along the rest of these numbers, I’ll tackle the replacement.

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