Alternator Removal

This afternoon I removed the alternator from the engine, which is currently mounted on the engine stand. The alternator is mounted to the front of the engine block on the driver’s side. It’s pulley is driven by the fan belt.

Towards the top the alternator is mounted by a bolt through a slotted bracket. This allows you to mount the belt on the pulley and then swing the alternator outward until the belt is tight, and then tighten down the upper bolt to fix the alternator in position. I loosened this bolt using a 1/2″ socket.

The alternator is mounted at the bottom by a long bolt that threads through a knuckle and holds the alternator to the block. I loosened this bolt using a 9/16″ socket. With the bolt broken loose I was able to rotate the alternator upwards and towards the block, which provided enough slack to slip the belt of the alternator pulley.

Then I removed the lower bolt the rest of the way. I rotated the alternator downward on the mounting knuckle and then slid it off the block.

With the alternator removed I gathered it and the starter, which I removed when I pulled the transmission, and took them both outside to clean them up.

I wiped down the starter and alternator to remove as much grease as I could. I plan to take both out to a local place and have them rebuilt. They are both nearly 40 years old, after all. After that I will clean them up further.

Wiring Harness, Part III

Today I removed the third and final piece of the wiring harness, the rear portion that powers the tail lights, reverse light, and license plate lamp.

First I removed the single reverse lamp, which was connected to the frame by two 7/16″ bolts. When I first bought the car I thought that the other reverse lamp must be missing but soon discovered that there is only one (left) reverse lamp on these quirky little cars.

Then I began freeing up the harness from the frame. I previously disconnected all of the rear lights, all that remained was to remove the harness itself. The harness was held to the frame by several clips that cinch together and hold the harness. I pried these apart using a flat head screwdriver and left the harness dangling as I moved from the rear of the car towards the front. Two clips were located behind the rear wheel but I was able to reach them without removing the wheel itself.

Similarly the harness ran the length of the frame on the driver’s side with a clip every twelve inches or so. It fed through the holes in the frame where necessary.

Towards the front of the car, just before reaching the front wheel, the harness went through the frame and turned upwards and tucked into the engine bay.

The rear harness connected into the main harness where the front harness branched off the dash harness. I was able to disconnect it here and pull the rear harness free out towards the back of the car.

This completed the removal of all three wiring harnesses. Here is a shot of how they all link together.

There are a lot of connections but the whole thing is still fairly simple by new car standards. At the very least I am going to clean up the wiring harness and may end-up re-wrapping the whole thing in new electrical tape.

Wiring Harness, Part II

This morning I freed-up the front portion of the the wiring harness, which enabled me to remove the entire headlight and dash wiring harness assemblies.

The harness wraps around engine bay from the driver’s side firewall down along the edge of the hood and then around the front of the car. I already disconnected the horns, headlights, and parking lights previously, so the harness was mostly free from the front of the car (with one exception described below).

Moving up the car from the headlight connections, the wiring harness is grounded to the frame with a bolt that also grounds the alternator. Just above this harness ground is a branch of the harness that connects to the alternator. The connections to the alternator are shown below, right.

Further upstream are two clusters of connections to what I assume to be resistors. I labeled and removed these connections, four connections on one unit and three on the other. Then the harness was free up to the firewall with the exception of a yellow wire.

This yellow wire was soldered onto a red wire that connected into a box that interrupted the fuel supply. I assume this is a fuel pressure sender (?). Anyway, I cut this wire with the expectation that I will replace the soldered joint with a connector upon re installation.

With that wire cut the harness was free up to the firewall grommets. Inside the car, on the other side of the firewall, the dash harness splits into two branches. Both of those branches penetrate the firewall on the driver’s side. The outermost branch is the (right-side below) is the headlight harness; the other branch (left-side below) has three connections to the starter. I labeled and disconnected these and then pulled that branch of the harness through the firewall and into the car.

On the inside of the firewall the headlight harness connected to the dash harness with three connectors. I labeled and disconnected these and then was able to pull that section of the harness through the firewall in the other direction and out into the engine bay. This divided the full harness into two separate sections that could be re-connected together.

The dash harness was still connected to the flasher fuses just inside the firewall. I removed the two bolts that held these cylinders into the body and then labeled and disconnected their electrical connections.

Then I pulled the dash harness through one more hole in a plate that comes down under the dash and it was free.

Here are the two sections of the harness re-connected together. The dash wires are at the right of the picture and the headlight section is on the left.

Front Fenders

I spent today pulling the front fenders off the car. This is another big step towards removing the body so I can clean-up and repair any rust on the frame and the body. It was a lot of work, but can be handled easily in an afternoon provided you have a systematic plan of attack.

I had to start by finishing up a job I began the other day: removing the parking lights. During the week I removed the headlights entirely, but only removed the covers of the parking lights. Since those lights are mounted on the fenders, I began by removing what remained. The lamps are mounted to the inside of the fender by three small nuts (each) that bolt onto posts in the light assemblies. I used a 5/16″ socket to remove the nuts.

Also, each parking light is wired into the harness with three wire connections. I labeled and disconnected these and then removed the parking light assemblies.

Also, the doors need to be off the car in order to get the fenders off. There are bolts that hold the fender to the body that are concealed by the front edge of the doors. So next I removed the doors from the car. The doors have two square hinges that are bolted into the body with four bolts per hinge. I used a 7/16″ socket with an extension to get at the bolts at an angle.

The lower hinges I was able to reach with no extension on the socket wrench. There is a bracket attached to the door that guides the door shut. It is attached above the lower hinge with a Philips head screw bolt and nut below. This piece can be seen below left just above the wrench. It should be removed before the last two hinge bolts so that the door can come off freely once the last bolt is out.

With the door removed I could access a bolt that holds the curved edge of fender to the body. Even with the door off I could only get at this bolt using a 7/16″ box wrench.

Also, at the rear edge of the fender there are three more bolts into the body. I again used a 7/16″ box wrench to remove each of these.

At the lower rear edge of the fender there are two bolts that bolt into the frame from below. I removed these using a 1/2″ socket.

With the rear of the fender free, I moved up to the front of the car to work my way back. Starting at the bottom, there are three Philips head bolts that attached the lower inside front edge of the fender into the body. I used a 7/16″ socket to loosen the nuts on these bolts from inside the body. Towards the end I used a #3 Philips head screwdriver to hold the bolts and prevent them from spinning.

After removing the three bolts located behind the bumper, I could see that the fender would not clear the brackets that the bumper is mounted to. The bracket comes through a small hole in the fender and then spreads like a “Y”. The brackets had to come off so the fender would clear the body. So next I unbolted the brackets from the frame using a 9/16″ socket and pulled out the brackets on each side.

Moving up the car, there are two more of the same 7/16″ Philips head bolts located where the grille mounts on the front of the car. I removed the bottom one’s nut with a socket, but the top one did not have enough clearance for a socket or even a box wrench. So I clamped a pair of vice grips on the nut and used a lot of force to turn the bolt counter-clockwise with a #3 Philips head screwdriver. I got it free with a lot of sweating and swearing.

There are six more of these same bolts located under where the hood rests on the fender. I removed these the same way as the others.

The uppermost of these bolts is not accessible in the engine bay but in the interior of the car. I crawled onto the floor of the car and located the nut for this bolt up by the firewall. This one I removed using a 13 mm socket (the 7/16″ wanted to round-off the bolt–go figure). However, on the opposite side when I removed the other fender that same nut was frozen in place and I ended up unscrewing the bolt from above.

Those are all the mechanical fasteners for the fender! I held the fender by the headlight hole and wheel well area and gently worked it off the body. There was an absolute ton of dirt and road grime under there on the fender and the body. Thirty-eight years of dirt is quite a bit. Literally, piles of dirt fell down when I removed each fender.

Below are some pictures of the wheels with the right and left fenders removed, one of the engine bay, and one of the car from the side without the doors and fenders.

Headlights and Tail Lights

Tonight I removed the headlights and tail lights from the car.

The headlights are mounted in several pieces. I began by removing the chrome headlight scoop by unscrewing the two philips head mounting screws. The screw towards the grille is slightly larger than the outside screw.

Underneath the scoop there is a plastic lens cover that is held in place by a metal ring. The ring is mounted on two small philips-head screws. After loosening the mounting screws, I gave the ring a small counter-clockwise twist and it came free. Underneath is the headlamp itself. It is attached by a spring and one electrical connection.

The headlamp just unplugged from its electrical connection. Under that was another metal ring. This one was held in place by the three smaller mounting screws seen above.

With the metallic housing piece removed I then took out two larger philips head screws to get the headlight bucket free.

I then removed the front signal light covers. They each have two mounting screws through the chrome ring.

Then I moved on to the rear lights. In the rear there are two lights and a third small reflector above. The lights each have chrome rings with mounting screws. I removed these first.

Underneath each light has two more philips head mounting screws. I removed these and popped the light assemblies out of their housings.

The red plastic pieces twisted off the light bulbs and then I was able to pull the bulb assemblies back through the body of the car into the trunk. This is basically the rear-end wiring harness.

Next I was able to pull off the rubber gaskets that go under the light assemblies. Underneath are chrome cylinders on which the light are mounted, giving them that distinctive torpedo-like appearance. The cylinders are mounted to the body with two nuts each, bolted onto a stud fixed to each cylinder. I used a 10 mm wratcheting wrench to remove those nuts.

With the nuts removed I was able to pull off the chrome cylinders exposing the gaskets beneath.

The small reflector was mounted just as the lights were, only without any electrical. There was a single smaller nut inside that I removed using an 8 mm wratcheting wrench. Then I was able to pop off the small reflectors in one piece. I then pulled off all the gaskets from the body.

Radio Console Prep

The other piece I intend to have reupholstered in vinyl locally is the radio console. So I spent some time taking the console apart and cleaning it up. In addition to the radio, this console is also home to four pull knobs that operate the choke, s-brake test, fan, and hazard lights. The choke knob must be removed from its cable in order to get the console out of the car, so it is not pictured. I began by removing the two knobs that control the radio. The top one pulled off after rotating it counterclockwise and the bottom one just popped off after getting it aligned correctly. The posts on which the knobs sit have grooves that plastic tabs in the knobs’ mounting holes slide into.

Behind the knobs sit threaded nuts and washers that mount the dial’s posts through the console and hold the radio in place. I used a 9/16″ socket to remove the nuts. On the bottom of the console there is a bracket with one small brass bolt that holds the radio unit to the console as well.

With the mechanical fasteners removed I was able to reverse the radio box out of the console. One electrical connection remained, which I labeled and disconnected.

The radio had some grime and gunk inside it after 37 years, so I unscrewed the two small brass bolts in order to remove the radio’s silver faceplate. I then cleaned up the plate inside and out, removing as much dirt as I could.

Back at the console there remained the three knobs to remove. Each knob was attached by a small flat-head set-screw. I unscrewed these and then pulled off the knobs. Under each knob was a silver collar that was threaded onto each knob’s mounting post. Each collar has two small holes for a special tool to unscrew the collars. Using a pair of thin needle-nose pliers I was able to unscrew the collars and then remove the mechanisms behind the console’s face.

With the knobs totally removed I separated the radio console harness from the console. The console’s face plate then slid away from the console as well. I will clean the faceplate and may give it a coat of paint so it looks new.

The console body I will send off with the other pieces to be re-covered in new vinyl.

Wiring Harness, Part I

This afternoon I got started on freeing the wiring harness from the body of the car. The diagram below, which was sourced from (which is a really really good resource, BTW), shows the general layout of the wiring harness.

The work I’ve done prior to today left the wiring harness feeding through the firewall on both the driver’s and passenger’s sides. The loop shown in the diagram above dictates that the harness be removed from the passenger’s side and pulled back through the firewall.

Here is a close-up of where the harness passes through the firewall into the engine bay on the passenger side. You can see that the wires split off in two directions immediately. On the right side the wires go out toward the engine block and on the other they go over toward the coil. On the block-side branch, there is a black wire and a yellow wire. The black wire connects to a terminal on the distributor cap. The yellow cable connects to another, red, cable.

The red wire (which was connected to the yellow wire) grounds on the rear-side of the coolant inlet on the engine block. On the opposite side of this inlet there is another green wire connected.

The green wire feeds back over and grounds to the body on one of the mounting bolts for the coil. The coil is also where the other half of the harness wires are connected. I removed the coil, which is mounted to the body with two bolts.

The coil has a large cable that feeds electrical current to the distributor cap. It pulled out at either end.

I then disconnected four black wires that branch off from the harness. Two of them were connected to the positive and negative terminals of the coil and the other two where connected the spring-loaded lower bracket mounted beneath the coil. Then I was able to pull the whole branch of the harness back through the firewall and into the interior of the car. This freed up the passenger-side of the harness. Between the grommets there were a couple of connections above the steering column. With those removed the harness was free all the way over to the driver’s side grommet.


Today I continued to work on removing the interior, making my way up towards the dash. There one piece of carpet remaning resides under the console and covers the transmission tunnel.

The console came out easy enough; it was just bolted into the tranny tunnel from the inside and there were a couple of electrical connections. The radio console was a bit trickier because it had a few more electrical and mechanical connections in addition to being bolted in.

Turns out I will need to remove the heater before that last piece of carpet comes out.

I don’t think I’ll get anything done tomorrow because we have plans.