Body, Removing Seam Sealer

This morning I began doing the final preparations before I begin bodywork on the body itself. The first thing I did was to remove the seam sealer from within the engine bay, trunk, and inside the cabin.

I used a variety of tools, beginning with a small wirewheel mounted on my Dremmel. I found that using a utility knife allowed me to cut down both edges of the seam and remove the majority of the sealer.

Using these two methods I was able to remove the bulk of the seam sealer from the engine bay.

Next I moved back to the trunk, where I began with the lip where the lid rests against the body. I cut away with the knife and used a flathead screwdriver to scrape the seam sealer up away from the body.

Then I moved on to the inside of the trunk. In there the seam sealer was a black material unlike the white stuff in the engine bay and outside the trunk. In some areas there were big blobs of sealer. I used the wirewheel on my drill to get most of it. It came off in little, sticky bits that sprayed everywhere–all over the nicely cleaned trunk.

After I was finished with the wirewheel most of it was gone, though there remained some knooks and crannies where the round wirewheel could not reach, so I used my utility knife to scrape away at the very corners.

I used my shop vacuum to clean up most of the bits of seam sealer and then did the opposite side.

One the outside edges of the trunk there was more seam sealer along the lower fenders, where the drain plugs reside. I did my best to remove as much of it as possible mostly using the knife.

Then I worked across the lower edge of the rear panel, working across the trunk from left to right.

Inside the cabin there was more black seam sealer all along the seams of the firewall, which I removed.

And along the fronts of the rear wheel wells (and around them) on the rear shelf there was more of the white seam sealer which I removed.

On the floor behind the seats there was more black seam sealer. After removing as much of it as possible using the knife I scrubbed the remainder off using the same solvent I used to remove the tar-based undercoating from underneath the car, called De-Solv-It. I sprayed it on and used a wire brush to scrub away the sealer.

I also used a scouring pad with the solvent. After the solvent had done its job I wiped away the residue using a shop towel.

Overall I got most of the seam sealer removed, and used the same techniques to remove it throughout the car.

Body: Removing Windshield Post Weatherstrip

This morning, prior to beginning my second day of washing off the body, I removed the windshield post weatherstrip pieces. The rubber pieces themselves where mounted by long metal strips that were screwed through the rubber into the vertical windshield frame.

I unscrewed the small mounting screws using my cordless drill and a #2 Philips head driver.

On the lower end they were held in place by a small squarish plate, which I removed.

Then I unscrewed the remaining screws from the longer upper metal strip and pryed it off the outer windshield frame.

After I pulled the metal mounting strips off I removed the rubber strips themselves.

Detailing the Engine: Valve & Timing Cover

Today I spent some time stripping and cleaning the valve cover in preparation for polishing it. I also cleaned-up the aluminum timing cover for the same reason.

I removed the valve cover first. It was held in place by two cap nuts, which I removed using a 15/16″ socket. I then removed the washers underneath the nuts.

Next I removed the oil cap.

Then I pulled the valve cover off and then removed the rubber gasket from the valve cover.

I covered up the exposed head with some aluminum foil to keep out dust, rodents, etc. But first some gratuitous head shots:

I removed the small triangular vent cap by first unbolt the three nuts that held it in place using a 10 mm socket.

Someone previously painted this valve cover a tomato red color. Originally the U20 valve covers came in bare aluminum. I intended to return a more stock appearance to the cover by stripping off the paint and then cleaning and attempting to polish the aluminum cover so it will be shiny. I set-up my work area outside for stripping the paint. I used more Kleen-Strip, which I had previously used for stripping the intake manifold and carburetor heat shield. I began to apply the stripper in one heavy coat using a cheap paintbrush. As the instructions stated, I avoided going back over stripper I’d already applied in order to maintain its seal against the paint.

I coated the entire valve cover in a thick layer of paint stripper. Because it was a fairly warm day (>80 degrees), I covered the stripper with a layer of plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out before it had a chance to work on the paint.

I peeled off the plastic wrap after 30 minutes. The Kleen Strip really worked well–after one application the paint was bubbling off the surface of the valve cover.

I scraped the red paint off using my plastic paint-scraping tools to avoid damaging the aluminum.

I then applied a second coat of stripper to those areas where the paint remained. After allowing it 30 more minutes to work I used a scouring pad to scrub at the painted areas.

After the majority of the paint was removed I sprayed down the valve cover to neutralize the paint stripper. Then I sprayed on some Simple Green to clean the piece.

I scrubbed the valve cover with another scouring pad and then rinsed off the cleaning solution.

The next step was to begin the polishing process on the valve cover. For this I sanded the piece using 320 grit, 400 grit, 600 grit, 1,000 grit, and 1,200 grit sandpapers. Since I was wetsanding, it was very important to continually spray the part as I was sanding to rinse away the fine particles coming off, otherwise the sandpaper could become clogged and become ineffective. For this reason I used my parts washer, with plain water, to continually spray water on the part to keep it clean.

After several hours of sanding with progressively finer grits of sandpaper the valve cover was becoming cleaner and more shiny.

Then I went to work on the timing cover on the engine. I removed the front inspection cover first. I used 10 mm and 12 mm sockets to remove the bolts holding it to the head.

Then I removed the cover and pulled the gasket off the inner edge. I will replace this gasket when I reinstall the inspection cover.

Then I removed the water pump from the timing cover. Initially I wasn’t planning to replace the water pump, but the shaft where the pulley mounts is fairly rusty and I’d rather replace it now while the engine is out of the car. I unbolted the water pump bolts using 12 mm and 13 mm sockets.

I removed the water pump, which I will replace.

I made a plug out of a ball of masking tape to stuff into the water inlet hole to prevent any water or dirt from getting inside.

Underneath the water pump was an area I was unable to access to clean before the pump was removed. I sprayed this area, scrubbed, and rinsed it clean.

Then I wetsanded the timing cover, continually spraying it with water to rinse away the dirt coming off. After working through all of the grits (320, 400, 600, 1,000, and 1,200), the timing cover was fairly shiny.

Detailing the Engine: Initial Cleaning

Today I began the process of detailing the engine. Luckily for me, the previous owner of the car already had the engine rebuilt (expensive!). So my plan is to simply clean up the engine and make it look like new before reinstalling it onto the frame.

The first thing I did was to strip off the external engine components so I could clean and paint the engine. I started with the coolant plug, which I loosened using a 5/8″ wrench and then removed by hand. I used an old cottage cheese container to catch the remaining coolant and wiped off the engine block afterwards.

Then I removed a heat shield which I am fairly certain is not original. It was bolted in by two bolts that I removed using a 5/8″ socket.

There was an engine hanger on the manifold side that I removed using a 9/16″ socket to loosen the bolt.

Next I removed the engine mount bracket from the manifold side. I removed the two mounting bolts using a 9/16″ socket and pulled the mount free.

Next I removed the exhaust manifold gasket itself from the head.

Then I turned my attention to the crank pulley side of the engine. On one of the bolts through the front inspection cover was a loop-shaped bracket that I believe guides either the throttle or choke cable to its destination. I removed the bolt and the bracket using a 1/2″ socket.

I removed the fan belt by working it off the fan pulley.

I un-clamped the the water hose that went into the water pump using a Phillips head screwdriver. I pulled the hose off the pump.

I then unbolted and removed the fan. One bolt was missing, so I removed only three using a 10 mm socket.

From the factory there was a clutch mechanism behind the fan that regulated the fan speed relative to the pulley (i.e. crank) speed. I’m told that these clutches failed more often than not–on my engine the clutch had been removed altogether and the fan was mounted directly to the pulley, which I pulled off the water pump.

I am going to order a solid spacer block to go where the fan clutch was supposed to be. I am also ordering an earlier-style four-blade fan because the seven-blade fans are supposedly very loud (think helicopter take-off) in the absence of the clutch.

But next I removed the triangular alternator mounting plate from the timing cover. I used a 12 mm socket to remove the two studs that held it in place.

I believe the bottom of the alternator mounts on one end to this bracket. I am going to strongly consider moving the alternator to the other, cooler, side of the engine where it was on the earlier pre-smog cars.

Then I proceeded to the distributor-side of the engine.

I first removed the engine hangers from on the block up by the head on the timing-cover side. I used a 9/16″ socket on the single mounting bolt.

I removed the engine mount from this side using a 9/16″ socket to remove each of the bolts.

I unbolted the water outlet elbow using a 13 mm socket on each of the two mounting bolts. This revealed the thermostat underneath.

The studs onto which the thermostat housing mount have been known to rust up and bind. I carefully applied some Liquid Wrench to the studs. After allowing it to soak in a bit I gave each stud a couple of taps with the sledge to try to pop them loose from the holes in the housing.

This must have worked because I gave the housing a couple of light taps with the mallet and off it came.

Here is the backside of the housing with the thermostat intact. I am planning to order a new thermostat (it is around a $6 item) and replace the housing gaskets.

Lower on the block was a mysterious plat covering a diamond-shaped recess. I realized that this plate was where the original mechanical fuel pump was located. It had since been replaced by an electrical fuel pump located on the lower passenger side of the engine bay. I plan to re-install a new mechanical fuel pump before the engine goes back in, so I removed this filler plate and the 13 mm bolts that held it in place.

Next I removed the oil line using two 7/16″ wrenches at the same time.

Then I unscrewed the small Phillips head mounting screw for the distributor and pulled the distributor out of the engine block.

I popped the spark plug wires off the spark plugs to remove the distributor and wires as one unit.

Here is the distributor removed. It looks like the brain. No offense to points, but I am planning to replace the old distributor with one that utilizes and electronic ignition.

Next I removed what I suspect is the tachometer cable using an 18 mm wrench.

There was another short oil line on the other side of the distributor that I removed using a 10 mm wrench on the top and a 10 mm and 12 mm wrenches on the bottom.

I understand that these oil lines are pretty rare items and bent in a very specific shape. I will look after this one just in case.

Here is a shot of the distributor-side of the engine stripped. I left the oil filter in place for now.

In preparation for washing off the engine, I applied some duct tape to the exhaust manifold gasket. I plan to reinstall the taped-over gasket to the head so that it prevents water from entering the engine during washing. I also put some duct tape over the area where the distributor mounts on the block.

I wheeled the engine outside to clean it up. Here are some pictures of the two side prior to cleaning.

Here is the crank pulley end of the engine, and a close-up of the timing cover.

And here are the water pump and inspection cover.

I wet down the entire engine and sprayed it liberally with Simple Green, which I have found to be a excellent at removing grease. Then I scrubbed the entire thing, top to bottom, using scouring pads and #2 steel wool pads.

Then I rinsed off the filth and scrubbed some more.

I scrubbed the engine block also.

The aluminum timing cover was very dirty but came fairly clean in the end.

Here are the two sides of the engine once I had finished scrubbing and rinsed them off.

I also scrubbed and de-greased all of the small bits and pieces I’d just removed from the engine.

Okay, so once everything is clean I intend to paint the oil pan and engine block and polish up all of the aluminum nice and shiny, and then put everything back together.

Trunk Hinge Removal

The last thing I did was to remove the trunk lid hinges from the trunk. The hinges were spring-loaded by two black wire springs that criss-cross the top of the trunk. Each spring hooks in to the opposing side of the trunk by the opposite hinge and spans the length of the trunk mouth and then feeds through the trunk hinge itself.

First I unbolted the metal hinge using a 7/16″ socket and a short extension. I disconnected the hinge springs from each and removed the metal hinges.

With the hinge-sides of each spring free I was able to unhook each hinge spring from the body where it was still connected on the opposite side of the trunk.

Clearing out the Engine Bay

Today I spent some time removing the remaining components from the engine bay. This included the hydraulic components (master cylinders and hard lines) and some other miscellaneous bits and pieces. Here is a picture of the engine bay before I began:

The first thing I did was to remove the hood pins. These are not original, so I am going to try to repair the car to the point at which one cannot tell they were ever there. The pins were threaded and bolted in on the top and the bottom.

I loosened the lower bolt using a 3/4″ wrench and socket, and out it came. XXX is a nice dent and hole where the pins were located that will need to be repaired.

On the driver’s side of the firewall were the brake and clutch master cylinders. On the passenger’s side was the brake junction box that contains the switch for the “S-Brake” light in the car.

I started with the clutch master cylinder. I loosened and removed the clutch line fitting on the side of the cylinder using a 7/16″ wrench.

There was a clamp securing all of the hard lines onto the middle of the firewall that I removed in order to free up the lines.

Then I was able to remove the clutch line, which terminated at a bracket on the body on the lower passenger side, where the soft line attached to it previously.

I loosened the bracketed that held the clutch master reservoir in place using a 10 mm wratcheting wrench and then popped the plastic reservoir right off. My clutch master must have been replaced recently by the previous owner because it is in very good shape.

The master was bolted to the firewall from the inside; I loosened and removed the two nuts on the outside using a 1/2″ wrench (top) and a 1/2″ socket on an extension (bottom).

Then I was able to pull the clutch master cylinder through the firewall and out of the engine bay. Because I intend to re-use this master cylinder, I took wiped it down and cleaned it up and took it inside.

I cleaned up the parts using alcohol and wiped them dry with clean paper towels. If I keep the cylinder clean and dry it should not deteriorate while in temporary storage.

Then I turned my attention to the brake master cylinder. It has two reservoirs, and two similar hard lines mounted to the bottom of each. I loosened and removed these lines using a 7/16″ wrench.

Likewise I loosened the bolt on the reservoir clamps, then removed the reservoirs, and removed the nut from the top bolt that mounted the cylinder to the firewall using a 1/2″ wrench.

I had to use a fully rotating wratcheting wrench (1/2″) to be able to access the lower mounting nut. It was a very tight fit making it impossible to get a conventional wrench or a socket with an extension in there. So I held that nut with the flexible wrench and turned the 1/2″ bolt from the other side of the firewall to get it loose.

With that bolt loose the brake master was free from the firewall.

Then I pulled the brake master cylinder out. I plan to replace this piece because it is clearly old and may not be in the best condition, considering the brakes were non-functioning when I got the car.

Both hard brake lines from the master cylinder led into the bottom of a junction box on the passenger side of the firewall. This box also contains the switch for the “S-brake” light in the car. That light is supposed to come on when/if you lose pressure in the braking system. Out of the junction box emerge two more hard lines that feed the right and left left front brakes. The line out of the top of the box supplies the driver’s side and the line out of the side of the box supplies the passenger side. I loosened the box’s mounting bolt using a 1/2″ socket and removed the box.

I left all of the brake lines attached.

I removed the remaining fuel supply line, which had previously run from the fuel pump to the carburetors.

There was an oil line that connected to the oil pressure gauge inside the car. I pulled this outward into the engine bay and had to twist it around to navigate all of its bends through the hole in the firewall.

After popping the rubber firewall grommet off I pulled the end of the line through the firewall.

Then there were two metal brackets that the throttle arm and cable had connected to. I removed these using a Phillips head screwdriver.

From under the upper edge of the hood I unscrewed the four mounting screws and removed the VIN tag.

I also pulled off the sticker that indicates the paint color.

Inside underneath the firewall were the air/heat vents on either side. I removed the flaps that open and close these vents. Each flap pivoted on a post. In order to get the posts free I bent the metal tab holding them in place on the firewall side mounting hole.

Then I was able to slide that end of the post down and away and pull the other end of the post out of its hole.

Here is one flap after I removed it from the vent.

Next I removed the hood hinges, each of which was mounted in place by a bolt through the bottom. I used a 7/16″ socket and wrench.

Then I removed the hood prop from the driver’s side front edge of the engine bay. I straightened and removed the cotter pin holding it in place.

That completed the clearing of the engine bay.

Here are the two halves; the once and future homes of the master cylinders and junction box.

Stainless Steel Trim Removal

Next I went to work removing the remaining trim pieces from the body.

The first thing I did was to remove the D A T S U N and 2000 emblems from the rear.

Both emblems were connected through holes in the body by pins with little square tension clips on the inside. I pried these squares off the pins using a flat-head screwdriver and the emblems popped right off.

Next I removed the stainless steel trim from the rear fenders. These pieces were attached by bolts in the trim pieces and nuts on the inside of the trunk and fenders.

I removed the nuts from the inside of the trunk using my 1/4″ drive socket wrench and a 3/8″ socket–three nuts on each side.

There were a couple more nuts inside the fender just in front of the rear wheel wells.

With all of the nuts removed the trim started to come free. I had to work a couple of the bolts out from inside the turn in order to get the trim totally free.

There were similar stainless trim bits on the doors. There were two more 3/8″ nuts towards the rear end of the door, which I loosened.

And two more nuts towards the front end of the doors.

The door trim then came off with a bit of prying and tapping on the bolts from the inside.

I then decided to remove the hinges from each door. First I removed the door “levelers” that add support to the door and prevent the doors from swinging open too freely. They were inside the door post on the body and I just pulled them out.

Inside the doors are some plate that the bolts attach to that reinforce the connection; basically so there is more than just sheet metal anchoring the hinges to the door. On the front edge of the door were the four bolt heads, which I loosened using a 7/16″ socket.

I removed all four hinges, one at a time. When each came off I marked it using my nailset to create a divot in the upper edge of each hinge.

These markings will ensure that I can put the hinges back in the same positions they were in so that the doors are more likely to close. I put one mark on the passenger side upper hinge, two dots on the passenger side upper hinge, three on the driver’s side upper, and four on the driver’s side lower hinge.

The “twisties” and hooks used to secure the top and/or tonneau covers on the rear edge of the cabin were bolted in from underneath. I removed the twisty bolts using an 8 mm socket and the bolts on the hooks using a 9 mm socket.

Then there remained some large bolts into the wheel wells, which I loosened using a 21 mm socket.

I did the same on the other side and that completed the removal of the trim pieces that remained on the body.

Emergency Brake Parts, Removal from Body

Before I took the body off the frame I disconnected the emergency brake cable from the differential. Today I disconnected the remaining emergency brake components from the body. The emergency/parking brake begins with the handle in the car, which mounts to the transmission tunnel. Pulling the brake rotates a pivot inside the tunnel that pulls a cable mounted on the underside of the body that pulls another pivot, which tugs on the emergency brake bracket mounted on the differential.

Here is the emergency brake handle. I removed the two mounting bolts using a 1/2″ socket.

With the handle loose I was able to pull it away from the transmission tunnel, which popped the rod it rotates on out of the opposite side of the inner tranny tunnel.

That cable connected to the rotating rod connected back to another rotating point. I removed the cable from the second pivot by pulling out the cotter pin through the pin that held the cable to the second rod.

With the cotter pin removed I popped out the pin and that allowed the cable to drop free.

With the cable connected to the handle detached, I was able to pull the handle workings through the hole in the transmission tunnel and off the body.

Further back, the secondary rotating mechanism was bolted to the underside of the body by four bolts. I removed the bolts using a 1/2″ socket.

With those four bolts out I dropped the rod to the floor, leaving the cable on its rear attached.

Further back still was another arm that the cable moved up and down, pivoting against the body. To remove this arm from the body I pulled out the cotter pin and removed the pin that the arm rotated on.

That arm had attached to it another cable that led back to the pivot on the differential. I dropped the entire mechanism down, which completed the removal of the remaining emergency brake parts from the body.

Removing the Final Parts from the Body

Today I removed what remained attached to the car’s body. There were miscellaneous parts remaining in the engine bay and elsewhere, as well as some trim elements left. Basically I haven’t touched the body since I removed it from the frame last summer and I am beginning to turn my attention in that direction.

First I removed the mechanics of the parking brake. Then I removed the stainless steel trim bits from the body and doors. Next I cleared all of the remaining hydraulic components from the engine bay. And last I removed the hinges from the trunk.

Emergency Brake Arm Disassembly

I disassembled the emergency brake assembly in preparation for cleaning, painting, and re-installation on the differential. The e-brake assembly consisted of two arms that pivot on a rotating center bracket. The center bracket is activated by a cable when the emergency brake lever is pulled, which then pulls on the arms which activate the brakes on either rear wheel hub. The whole assembly is located on the back of the differential.

Here are two shots; the first is of the arm assembly and the second is a close-up of the center pivot bracket.

Both arms were connected at each end by pins that have cotter pins through them. First I removed the shorter arm by removing the pin that held it in place. Then I removed the cotter pin that held the other arm and pulled out its pin, freeing that side.

With the arm assembly apart I then removed the grease zerk from the bottom of the pivot using a 5/16″ wrench.