Thursday, October 29, 2009

A/C install just in time for winter

I started this whole mess in August. I found a vintage air Gen IV system from Prodigy custom in Florida. Great price and free shipping. Frank at prodigy's was a big help. Many times I called for advice and after I found out I had the wrong evaporator he immediately shipped me another. Big thanks to him.
However, one project of A/C install prompt me to consider repainting the engine since I was going to have to remove one of the fenders. So why not both? And how about the bumper too? All of this mess just because the original block was painted red/orange? so I called two of my buddies from work to help me get the hood off.

I started off by removing the fenders and the front bumper. I removed the bumper as one piece with all of lighting still attached. This made it allot easier to take off the fenders. If I was only doing the A/C work the passenger fender would only need to be removed. However - it seems like everything is connected to those fenders. All the chrome trim, bumper and bolts/ and shims everywhere. The task was longer than expected because I labeled every bolt and nut taken off. But It would be a time saver later on when everything went back on. I went through a whole box of ziplock sandwich bags. I also took pictures along the way just in case the project took me so long I could not remember how everything fit together. So at this point I drained the radiator and disposed of it at the local oil change shop.
Then I started on the daunting task of removing all of the engine componets that I didn't want to get painted metallic blue. Alternator, power steering, hoses, spark plug wires, intake manifold, distributor, exhaust manifolds... etc, etc etc. Until I had it bare bones where I could start cleaning the block. Two cans of foam engine cleaner and allot of elbow grease. Then I went over the engine with scuff pads and wiped it with Pre-paint for a final cleaning. Then several nights of masking everthing. I made sure to make light coats to make sure it dried well so I wouldn't get any flaking. After painting - I made sure to cover everthing to make sure no dust or dirt got on it.

Next I got started on repainting the radiator. One Saturday morning I stripped it, straightened out the bent fins, cleaned it and laid down several coats of Radiator Black. 10 times better! I roughed up the firewall, A arms, springs, chassis, brackets, inner fenders, and radiator support. Preped everything and hit it with chassis black or Trim black to get the original black tones. This took probably another two weeks to get everything right. But I wanted a clean look.

So the engine is repainted and the hard task of getting everything back on was next. Everthing I could get my hands on was cleaned and reinstalled. Replaced all the rubber hoses for the radiator and gave the engine a brand new set of plugs.

Up next - Actually putting on the A/C!