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IanMc

Polar White and Rust - a restoration epic, can it even be done?

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Hi Guys,

As promised above, I thought I would share with you a little fix that has worked for me on my last two Cavalier Coupes, so perhaps it might help someone else too?

I am referring to those Coupe rear quarter windows that just wont stay glued for more than a few days - if your that lucky!

Previously I have thought about and dabbled with a few different ideas (including drilling, until my local 'glass man' just shook his head at me and laughed) to try to sort out those awful opening rear quarter light windows. I'm not too sure how the GM design team thought that the design that they had come up with was a good idea, but there you go...

Firstly, center the glass in the aperture (ensuring that it sits on the rubber seal all of the way around),while it is still on the car and mark the hinge positions with some tape.

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Next remove the window from the car. Do this by removing the three screws from the rear opening catch and (assuming both hinges are broken) pull the glass from the car as it is (hopefully) resting on the small ledge below. If your worried, you can reach around the B pillar to support the glass while you are inside, or of course you can ask a friend for help.

Then either lever or pull the hinges out of the rubber boots. I find it useful to give the area a squirt of WD40 or similar, so that the rubber does not 'drag' or get damaged in some way while the hinges are being withdrawn.

With the glass and the hinges now removed the clean up and preparation work can begin. Start by removing any residue of old adhesive left on the glass. Then sand down the area inside your marked off rectangle with some course sand paper - I find something like 80 grit ideal. Your looking to make the glass opaque with your sanding. Don't forget to do the leading edge of the glass as well - the bit that will face the hinge (more on the reason for this later). Once you have sanded both hinge positions, each one should look something like this:

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Now turn your attention to the hinges. Give them a good wash under a warm tap to get rid of the inevitable accumated crud that you never noticed before :) Then sand the face that sits against the glass, using the same course paper that you used for the glass. You are looking to sand away all of the shiny chrome, ending up with a flat finish - like this:

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Next remove your tape the from the glass to leave two visible sanded rectangle for your hinge to bond to - well hopefully anyway... You now have a choice to make - use some old general purpose glue that you have kicking around or some 'super glue' that is in the cupboard - DONT! - do it properly and use a two part epoxy adhesive. Nothing else comes close in my experience. Previously I have used Araldite with great success, but now I use this:

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Mix up your adhesive EXACTLY to the instructions provided - in my case, both parts are ejected at the same time in equal quantities, so it would be difficult to get that wrong lol. Then apply the adhesive to the WHOLE face of the hinge that is to touch the glass. Next, gently press the hinge in place, pushing it forward so that the inside face of the hinge also contacts the glass. Now you know why I got you to sand that edge of the glass as well). To stop any chance of the hinge trying to rock forward under its own weight, I just add a little bit of tape to keep it flat to the glass.

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Read the instructions on the adhesive relating to drying/curing time to reach max bond strength and follow them to the letter! - don't say I didn't warn you if you think you can cheat this step. As you can see my adhesive wants 24 hours, so that is what it shall get before the glass even gets moved again.

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Of course after the adhesive has dried you can then refit the glass and hopefully the first time you close the window you wont hear a 'pop' from the hinges as the adhesive joint breaks.

Good luck to you - I hope that this helps somebody else at some stage   :thumbup  :D

 

ps - just remembered to add: when you push the hinges back into the rubbers, I use something like grease or some liquid soap to help ease the hinges back in.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by IanMc
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Thanks for sharing that info! Both my coupé's have those windows.

When it is hot they give more ventilation, and on the highway it is not so comfortable to drive at high speed 

with opened door-windows.

If you lost a hinge (as I had) they are for sale in Germany (Ebay): Reprotec ( rather expensive, but if you need them...)

An old pic of them:

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The shape is a bit different, they fit around the window.

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Thanks for sharing that information Herman.

The different shape will certainly help with security, but of course the adhesive and its application is still an issue.

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Thanks yes that was helpfull to me as well although mine is the hatch and has proper hinges on the glass it still has those window guides inside the front windows /doors that always seem to fall off the glass and make the window very wobbly. Ive refitted them with gripfill but it only works for about 3-5 years and then seems to get brittle and fall off.was going to experiment on an old window just to see if they would drill but not got round to it yet.

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Very small update today as we are off out later.

- stripped down, cleaned and got working again the drivers door courtesy light switch.

- cleaned, sanded and then glued the OS rear quarter light glass to the hinges (NS done yesterday - see above).

With a return to work looming on the horizon, the work will naturally go back to a more sedate pace, but that's life - bills to pay  :)

Happy New Year to you all   :thumbup   :D   

Edited by IanMc
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Two quick jobs this morning:

- refitted both rear quarter light glass panels after giving the glue a couple of days to cure - no problems and they pulled up tight against the rubber on the catch :) 

- the worlds easiest fuel gauge/sender fix (no reading on the dash). Pulled the connector off the tank, sanded the sender stub and refitted - hey presto! I love the easy ones lol

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Bit more done this afternoon.

1) The NS indicators not working has been bugging me the last couple of days, especially as pretty much everything else is now doing what it should after many years sleeping.

After much digging around, prodding and using 'patch' leads to test different scenarios, I can advise as follows:

The flasher units is definitely not faulty - how do I know this now? - well:

- There is power (to earth) at the switch contact for the LH indicator on the stalk assembly (White and Black wire).

- Using patch cables I rigged up power from that LH indicator stalk contact to both front and rear bulbs (AFTER first disconnecting their loom cabling) and both worked normally on the stalk and the hazard switch.

So.... to my simple mind this says that there is a fault in the wiring from the switch and flasher unit to the light units themselves - but only on the LH side - do you all agree?

If so, I will now start a series of continuity tests to try to establish where the look fault is. I'm thinking that this is most probably a joint where both front and rear meet before going off to their separate destinations - the wiring diagram in the Haynes manual indicates that their is such a joint.

What do you guys think?

 

2) Finally managed to get the OS caliper off and stripped down ready for rebuild/refurb. As with the NS the piston was VERY tight in the bore and took a lot of persuasion to come out.

Onwards and upwards!

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Small additional update.

As I had been messing around this afternoon in the vicinity of the dash/binnacle, I decided to remove this to give it a good clean inside and out. Its quite amazing how much dirt this area of the car can collect over the years. Anyway, its all nice and clean now with all the faces of the gauges etc getting the treatment. 

I noticed two other things as I was doing this job though:

- one of the heater cables, the inside one that controls the temperature was bent at almost ninety degrees...

- the speed cable was broken where it goes into the back of the binnacle. Not sure whether this can be repaired or whether it just needs to be replaced (assuming that they are even still available?), will have a better look tomorrow.

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Stop press! - speedo cable fixed without having to do anything  :)

When I took the binnacle back out to the garage I thought I would take a look at what I thought was the other end of the broken speedo cable. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that it was not damaged at all, with the square drive end clearly visible inside the collar that is held to the back of the binnacle by that spring retainer.

I can only think that the cable broke for a previous owner, then they bought a new cable but couldn't get it to connect as unknown to them the old square drive was still in the back of the binnacle. At that point they must have given up...

Happy days  :thumbup  :D

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Productive as ever! A couple of easy fixes is always pleasing! 

I suspect you will have the NS indicators working soon enough! ;)

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2 hours ago, Monaco Blue said:

Productive as ever! A couple of easy fixes is always pleasing! 

I suspect you will have the NS indicators working soon enough! ;)

Thank you Sir.

Believe If or not the NS indicators are now working!

It turned out to be nothing more complicated than a slightly loose connection at the multi connector on the column under the dash.

A very pleasing end to the festive period. Back to work tomorrow...

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Great.glad you sorted it.the electrics on these are usually pretty reliable anyway ,especialy on non injected models.main things to look out for ive found after owning mk1's since 1984 are hazard switches becoming unreliable,heated rear window fuse getting hot and damaging the fuse holder ,dashboard voltage regulator,reverse light switch on gearbox occasionally popping a fuse ???.front sidelights being finnicky due to the flimsy holder design on the proper hella units.and thats realy it for the constant stuff .everything else is just wear and tear as it occurs and maintenance.   By the way ian did you sort the alternator ?     Sorry to be nosy just interested .

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Not sorted out the alternator yet mate, that’s probably going to be a couple of weeks away now.

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This morning I pottered around and got a few small things done:

- NSF caliper rebuilt and fitted (just awaits bleeding - well hopefully anyway :)...)

- tested the cigar lighter that I had previously forgotten about... I don't smoke, but of course its very useful for powering accessories. The lighter itself doesn't work, so more investigation required there i.e. is power present etc.

- refitted the numbers and letters to the original rear number/reg plate. The original star clips that were holding them on were well past there best and some were missing. I bought a kit with a selection of different sizes and luckily there were some for my job in there.

- tested the power supply to my (non-working) VDO quartz clock - all good there, so it certainly does seem like a clock fault.

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One more little job today.

Removed the rear seat backrest and cushion to allow me to thread the coax cable through for my replacement aerial.

Badically the old aerial mast had been broken off at the base, so picked up a cheap replacement and fitted that.

The only problem is that the car still has the original MW/LW radio fitted and there are no stations to receive lol :)

Incredibly the car still only has the dash top speaker wired in, there are no additional front of rear speakers installed...

So really my work is purely cosmetic at the moment.

My plan is to either fit another head unit in the glove box (retaining the original on display), or simply use my phone and z Bluetooth speaker.

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15 minutes ago, Exclusive Opel said:

Good find Exclusive Opel - many thanks for sharing.

The depth is normally a factor with any replacement unit on these cars with the ducting behind, but this one is so shallow it should fit really easily.

It looks seems like a good combination of retro but with all the toys. I will squirrel that one away for another day. Thanks again :thumbup

A couple of small wins this morning. For some reason I noticed that the OSR tail lamp wasn't working the other day, just assumed it was a bulb. When I went out to the garage this morning it had miraculously fixed it... I like those ones  :)  It may have had something to do with me moving wiring around in the boot yesterday as I maneuvered the new aerial into position?

Next on the list were the dash bulbs, you know those daft plug in things just under the lip of the binnacle. That turned out to be just two blown bulbs, so replaced those and all good again.

Next on my list of electrical things to sort out was/is the low brake fluid warning wiring/lamp. I have posted a query on this in the Basic tech Help section: 

 

All help appreciated. 

Edited by IanMc

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ps On the subject of the dash bulbs and holders - I decided to remove the 'filters' from the bulb holders. I remember doing this on a previous car and the difference in usable light output was significant.

Mind you I guess I could swap the bulbs out now for LED equivalents - anyone done this?

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4 minutes ago, Mickfrad said:

Definitely a worthwhile easy upgrade 

 

Nice one - Cheers Mick, much appreciated!

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Couple of quick jobs tonight:

1) Rebuilt the OSF brake caliper - this will probably be refitted and bled at the weekend.

2) Decided to bodge up an air inlet 'flexi' that connects from the bodywork tube behind the nose cone to the inlet of the air filter housing. I only did this because I stumbled across some suitable materials and thought why not?! Its amazing what you can do with a bit of cardboard tube, some duct tape and too much time on your hands  :)  I appreciate that its not exactly factory, but it works - probably, just... lol

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Edited by IanMc

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Little update tonight:

- fitted the OS caliper again, along with the pads etc as well of course. Unfortunately I couldn’t bleed that line though as my lad was taking a power nap... oh well, it can wait until the weekend. That means I should have all brakes fully functional again for the first time in lord knows how many years :)

- took a quick look at the brake reservoir cap - it definitely has the electrical contacts, but sadly both are snapped off. I think I might be able to effect a ‘tactical repair’ though (if I can sort out the wires that I need to connect to it- help please lol).

Have a good evening everyone.

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they do tend to snap off very easily.you may be able to solder to the remnants if your lucky.or just fit a replacement cap,not necesarilly from a cav.the thread size is common and if i recall correct a cap from a mk2 cav or astra etc fits fine and has proper spade connectors. there should be a connector nearby that they connect to.brown/ white and possibly a brown that bolts to the end of the master cylinder as an earth. it then operates the handbrake/ clutch wear lamp .

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7 hours ago, cam.in.head said:

they do tend to snap off very easily.you may be able to solder to the remnants if your lucky.or just fit a replacement cap,not necesarilly from a cav.the thread size is common and if i recall correct a cap from a mk2 cav or astra etc fits fine and has proper spade connectors. there should be a connector nearby that they connect to.brown/ white and possibly a brown that bolts to the end of the master cylinder as an earth. it then operates the handbrake/ clutch wear lamp .

Nice one, great info as always- sincere thanks!

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Bit of a mini project this morning, I decided to try to repair my brake reservoir cap. Basically the two metal contacts have snapped off on the cap, just where they enter the plastic housing... great   :thumbup 

Maybe this little 'how to' / bodge might help somebody else at some stage. Somebody else with the same deep pockets as me lol and would rather first try to repair something than by a new one lol  :)  :P

Anyway, so take off the cap and strip it down so that you have a little pile of parts. At this point I decided to try to remove the contact 'stubs' from the cap by carefully cutting away the moulded plastic that seemed to be holding them in. After a few minutes with a knife I ended up with this: 

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Now I was able to wiggle out the two stubs.

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After drilling a small hole in what was left of the stubs I managed to solder on some fresh wire and finished it off with some shrink seal:

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After a general clean up of all the other bits, the contacts were then pushed back in and the circuit was tested:

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As everything seemed to be working, I reassembled everything:

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All I have to do now is to find the wiring under the bonnet I need then connect everything up.

Happy days - have a good weekend everyone.

 

 

Edited by IanMc
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