Sunday, November 21, 2010
I spent the weekend getting the steering column and the shifter back together and reinstalled. I got a little nervous when the key wouldn't turn in the lock cylinder when I got everything back together. I disassembled the other car's steering column to look for clues. It turns out there's a pindle that protrudes from the lock cylinder into the steering shaft to act as the locking column. I must've gotten some grit in this mechanism during media blasting (even though I had taped it off to prevent just this sort of thing). This pindle needs to move freely to allow the lock cylinder to turn. Once I pressed it into the lock housing, the cylinder turned freely. Of course, I won't have a locking column unless it eventually pops back out. Oh well, the locking column never was much of a theft-deterrent. I heaved a sigh of relief when I was able to get the two 39 year old natural rubber boots to stretch back over the shifter linkage without tearing. I also got to try my hand at wrinkle paint on the shifter bracket. I was skeptical at first, since it goes on heavy and very glossy. But, to my pleasant surprise, when I checked it this morning, it was exactly the finish I'd hoped for. I did learn that wrinkle paint takes at least 24 hours to harden, as some spots got damaged on reassembly. So now the dash is looking even better with the steering column and wheel, the gear-shift and the pedals all in place. Sadly, they are all only temporarily installed. The dash is resting right against the body at the windshield bed. We are most likely going to have to install the windshield, and its corresponding rubber gasket, before the dash, steering column and shifter can be tightened into permanent position.