Thursday, April 2, 2020

What's next for the Festiva?

There's a number of things we'd like to get done on the Festiva before the first car show we plan to attend in July.  Relatively minor projects include installing a water temperature gauge, rebuilding the lower radiator hose, replacing the rear transmission mount and installing new strut mounts. 

Heading to the mountains for some cross-country skiing

The major one is some rust repair on the drivers' side of the car, mostly on the door and rear quarter panel. I will also be repainting the grill and front and rear bumpers.

In the middle of the driver's door!
By the driver's door
Front bumper takes a beating in everyday driving!
I got a start on the body work a couple of days ago and discovered that there was a lot of body filler on that side of the car. Because the car has a rebuilt title I knew it had been in an accident at some point in its life so now I know where it was hit! The main ideas with this job is to repair the current rust situation, do some preventative work and the make the car look better than it did before.
Off to a good start.

I've had the water temperature gauge on the shelf for a long time and recently picked up the necessary bits for getting it in the car. I'm using an inexpensive plastic single gauge pod which will be mounted on the left side of the dashboard and complement the triple pod mounted in the center. The gauge is an older VDO model so I picked up the appropriate sender from a local supplier and a water sender hose adapter from Glowshift. I still have to wire up the fog lights so I'll run wires for them at the same time. I'll add a couple of extra wires as I may add air horns at a later date.

All the bits... gauge, sender, adapter, clamps and housing.

The sender will be mounted in the hose that runs from the intake manifold to the heater. It's the closest spot to the cylinder head I can figure without drilling new holes or eliminating the stock sender as I plan to retain the stock gauge. The spot I'm mounting the new gauge pod is a little tight so I had to modify it so that it would sit flat. I managed to retain the pod's stock mounting points which makes installing it a lot easier. 
Modified gauge pod.

You may be wondering why I have to rebuild the lower radiator hose. There's a couple of factors: first the engine isn't stock and secondly I had to further modify the outlet at the water pump to clear the turbo and the A/C compressor. My custom lower hose is made from three different sections with joiners in-between and standard hose clamps holding the whole thing together. Shortly after I rebuilt the engine the joints let go and I had to scramble to find replacements and it looks really ugly. I know there in no off the shelf bit that works so I'm hoping to fabricate a new hose with only two sections. I've picked up joiners from Silicone Intake Systems along with some heat shrink clamps from Gates to put everything together. The heat shrink clamps will replace the typical screw type at the intermediate joints and make for a much cleaner install.

Components for the custom lower rad hose.
 When I reinstalled the engine after the rebuild I discovered that the rear transmission mount was starting to come apart. I didn't have time to order one so I just picked up some Gorilla Glue and stuck it back together as best I could. I have since found a relatively new, slightly used one in my hoard... err, inventory... of parts so I'll swap that out while I have the car up on jack stands for the next job.

Replacement transmission mount

Strut mounts starting to split and showing signs of rust.
The current strut mounts are more than ten years old and are starting to show signs of splitting. I initially ordered a pair of Gabriel mounts from Rockauto but when they arrived I found that they weren't manufactured correctly. The part number was correct but there was no Gabriel branding on the packaging or product anywhere. Rockauto was very good on refunding me and providing prepaid shipping for the return; thank you Rockauto!. I replaced the Gabriel ones with Moog and they are the correct ones. I might just touch up the paint on the strut brace while I have it out.

New Moog strut mounts ready for installation.
So there you have it! Watch for upcoming posts as I make progress through each of these projects. Thanks for following along. Would love to hear from you... leave a comment below with ideas, suggestions or tips.

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