Bled Out

There are two key components left to complete before I get the car started up again: the brake system and the ignition switch.

A complete suite of stainless steel lines.
A complete suite of stainless steel lines.

I bench-bled the master cylinder before I installed it in the car, then got the new brake lines hooked up (after a little massaging and reworking to get them lined up). The rear brakes bled out just fine. The fronts are a pain, though–the bleeder screw is difficult to access and I haven’t found a good, clean, leak-free way to manage the fluid coming through during the process. The right front wheel cylinder didn’t take long, but on the left, the bleeder screw was jammed tight and the flats were stripped off.

The only way to replace it is removal of the drum, brake shoes and backing plate. Once off, a new screw was a special order from the parts store and a day wait for it to arrive–though I am glad they carry the item. It would have taken even longer to order it via mail.

It didn’t occur to me that while the bleeder screw was out (being used for comparison at the parts store) that the brake fluid was seeping out of the system, slowly but surely.


The carpeting, starting to come together. The seat belts were surprisingly difficult to reinstall.
The carpeting, starting to come together. The seat belts were surprisingly difficult to reinstall.

The new bleeder screw went in yesterday, followed by reassembly of the front hub. I’ll have to bench bleed the master again, then bleed the whole system once more. It will, however, be nice and clean.

Inside, I got the carpet down and installed the center console–cleaned up a bit, but not painted. The carpeting is a finicky, tedious process. I really didn’t want to undercut it, so I went slow: cutting a little, test fitting, cutting some more, re-fitting, etc . . . until it seemed about right. The old carpet had a buckle on the driver’s side, just forward of the door jamb. I never could get it to lay flat and it would pull away from the side of the footwell over time. The reproduction carpet is a little too true to the original–I have the same buckle and am not entirely sure what to do about it.

No tricks needed to get the console installed, just some care wielding it in tight spaces.
No tricks needed to get the console installed, just some care wielding it in tight spaces.

With the console in, the rear seat is back in place. With a few trim pieces on the passenger side, I can get that seat back in, too. Also, the console ties into the dash (of course), and the supports are now back in place to install the ignition switch.

3 thoughts on “Bled Out”

  1. Enjoy seeing all that you’re doing! I have a 64 that was an unrestored original when I brought it home out of the original owner’s garage back in ’99. My first step was to completely remove the entire interior and clean, polish, replace vacuum line, and whatever else needed done. I drove it off and on ever since, sometimes it would sit in the garage for a year. After a few mechanical and brake and fuel system restoration projects, I finally had a buddy do a paint job. Then I realized it was too nice of a car to be leaking oil everywhere it went so out came the engine. Its all done and just waiting for warm weather so I can push it out of the garage and fire it up. Hopefully all goes well.

  2. Hey Steve, nice progress, impressive focus. I just noticed your driver’s side new carpet has a reinforced heel/toe type of pad. Carpet’s on my own list (down the line), but I haven’t run into this product for our ’64s; I’ve surveyed the usual Bird vendors, plus a couple of carpet specialty houses. Haven’t decided on anyone yet, as other items are first in line. Got a source to share? Thanks, Paul

  3. Hi Paul–

    I got this carpet from Bird Nest. My only issue with the carpet is the placement of the reinforcement on the driver’s side, up on the transmission tunnel. The reinforced section (or vinyl pad or whatever) actually goes underneath the SS trim piece on that side. It should end an inch or less to allow a little bit of visible carpet before it disappears under the trim.

    Hard to explain, but I’ll post a photo when I’ve made a little more progress.

    The carpet placement on that side is dictated by the gas pedal–so I don’t think I got the placement of the carpet wrong, it’s just slightly different than the original.


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