My last set of photos made it look as though I had finished installing brake lines. That wasn't quite the case — I still had the longest section (running to the rear axle) to install. The trouble with this segment is that it runs in a "channel" shared with the harness, the fat battery cable, and the fuel line. So I had to undo all the clamps/brackets/tie wraps and let it all hang loose. If I had been thinking I would have ordered new rubber thingies (4-slot bricks that hold the four lines), but as it was I thought I could reuse the old ones (which of course were as hard as rock). While it was dangling I cleaned and rewrapped the harness, adding wires for the OD switch and for reverse lamps. This last made it harder to fit the mess back together.
It wasn't entirely clear what the best approach would be insofar as bending the brake line. I eventually decided to start with the rear end and fasten everything up as i moved forward. This worked until right at the end, where I wound up with like 4 extra inches of line and no place to take up the slack (as it had to go into the junction, and that would be a horribly visible place to just put an arbitrary loop). In retrospect, i should have started at the front and made it all neat, and worked backward, since any funkiness at the rear end would be out of sight, but to do this, I probably would have had to bend the whole brake line first, then start bundling it, so it would take two passes under the car. Anyway, I re-bent the last three feet and got it to work out OK. But the trouble with this nickel-copper line is that it comes in a roll, so it's hard to even get a one-foot section perfectly straight. And then once you put a few bends in it, it becomes so hard it is very difficult to work with, and you will never get the reworked section ruler straight. Ah, well...
I did find that my super cheap-o creeper was extremely handy for this process, and really saved my back and neck.
Once I had that in place, I went and finally tightened up all the joints in the lines, and tightened down the loops and clamps.
The next task I attempted was the heater components, including the dreaded heater control cable. I didn't even try to install it with the heater box, as I didn't have a helper (I've read the horror stories about this). But the last time I replaced a heater (25 years ago), I managed to hook it up through the footwell opening, so I thought I could do that again. Ha. Neither my eyes or my fingers are what they were 25 years ago. I decided the process (in degree of difficulty) resembled threading a needle wearing boxing gloves while peering through a keyhole and standing on your head. A magnet-on-a-stick turned out to be the essential tool.
After this extreme stress procedure, I went back to cleaning and refinishing parts for a bit. I installed the deckled badges and one taillight when I had a half hour to spare. Weeks later I went back and dealt with the other taillight, but then swapped for the lens on the red car whenI found a crack in the upper section. But looking at the lenses later, I realized the one from the red car is a much darker hue. So now I need to steal the other one so they will match.
I also amused myself by fabricating an LED license lamp assembly, inspired by a thread on the forum. I have always thought the standard Mark I license lamps were ridiculous — enormous lamps that light up the whole rear because they are way too far apart (being designed for UK plates). I wanted to repurpose these overrider-mounted units as reverse lamps by flipping the heads around (they should be nice and conspicuous for this purpose), so I found some very small and discreet chrome LED units on Amazon that were intended to fit into the license plate screw holes. But this would be an enormous pain in the butt, as you would have to completely remove and un-wire them just to remove the plate. So I rigged a slim bracket that fits behind the plate mount panel and places them out on either side of the plate, like the later model lamps (which I also considered, but decided they were too clunky and not vintage-looking). Of course, the LED units are not vintage-looking, but at least they are inconspicuous — only about 1/2 inch in diameter.
Oh, the reason I bothered to wire up for reverse lamps in the first place is that my 1977 OD transmission has the switch already. But I didn't want to cut the bodywork for factory-style reverse lamp units. I felt a need for reverse lamps, as without them, I have found that it is very difficult to get out off a parking space in this area — if they don't see your reverse lamps, everyone just bulls on through — they even ignore the fact you are moving backwards (apparently because they do not feel intimidated by the tiny size of the vehicle, compared to their behemoth SUV).
This last weekend my goal was to remove the front lever shocks from the red car and send them out to World Wide for an exchange pair. I am planning to use the entire front suspension from the red car since it has been rebuilt with new poly bushes, but it was set up with the ancient Wheelworks telescopic shock kit. I wanted to swap back to Armstrongs, but I naturally wanted a fresh set. I figured if I install the new ones on the red car, then I can drop the entire crossmember and install the whole thing as a unit on the green car. That saves me from dealing with any of the rusty nuts and bolts on the green car, other than the crossmember bolts. Anyway, while I have it apart, this time I painted the spring pans and springs. The lower arms are newish parts that just need cleaning. I semi-cleaned the calipers and am waffling about painting them — they are a pain to prep and the paint tends not to last very long. But I suppose I should.
Foot's-eye view of the heater flap control cable end. Win!
Hard to see, but this is the slender bracket for the LEDs. It goes behind the bolts for the license mount.
License mount with LED lamps. The wires go through the nylon bolts (no stress on this component).