First Day at the Shop

My car was towed to the shop on a Friday.  I didn’t expect to hear much of anything until the middle of the next week as I knew that Val was working on several cars at once.  To my surprise and delight I received a call the next Monday afternoon.  The first item to discuss was the brakes.  Val had removed the master cylinder to see where I had gone wrong.  It turns out there were two issues.  The first problem was that when the push rod fell out of the brake booster I didn’t install it back in correctly.  So when the brake pedal was being depressed it wasn’t pushing on the master cylinder.  Hence no brake pressure.  After correctly installing the push rod there was pressure in the rear brake lines.  However there was still no pressure in the front lines.

Val said that he spent some time loosening up and tightening fittings trying to track down where there was and wasn’t pressure.  After spending some time doing this he was able to narrow the problem down to one of the flexible brake lines that connects to one of the front calipers.  Although the hose looked fine on the outside, it had deteriorated on the inside enough to block any brake fluid from getting through, even with the amount of pressure that the master cylinder was capable of producing.  This problem wasn’t unheard of, but was something that neither Val nor I had ever experienced.  Val put in an order for all new flexible brake lines so that he can replace all of them.  Hopefully that will square the brakes away.

Next item for discussion was the steering.  There was a bit of play in the steering that needed to be addressed.  There was also a problem with the rag joint that connects the shaft in the steering column with the steering box.  I was able to locate the original rag joint and I mailed it off to Val.  He planned to pull the steering box and inspect it on the bench.  Then he would call me and give me the options for repairing or replacing it.  If it was rebuild-able that would be one option.  If it required replacing then some additional options might be available.  Several companies make power steering conversions for that car that use more modern steering components.  What parts needed to be replaced and how expensive they were would dictate what path to take. But I can tell you that a power steering conversion with modern components really sounds pretty nice.

As far as rust on the car goes, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I had thought it might be.  No structural rust issues cropped up.  There was some surface rust underneath, and there might be a few spots that would require either welding in patches or just cleaning up and coating with a rust preventative.  I found that very encouraging because even though I thought the car was pretty much structurally sound I always had the nagging feeling in the back of my mind that the car would be deemed too far gone to fix.  Hearing that there were only very minor rust issues was the best news I could hope to receive.

I’m still waiting to hear back about the brakes and steering.  Right now the car is waiting for the brake lines to come in.  Hopefully I’ll have more to report in a few days.