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Sterling #130 (aka American V8 ~ Chapter 2)

nbb350

Member
I cropped out the floor-to-ceiling pile of all my stuff along the other wall...it already DOES fill up all that space! lol
 

Peter

Active member
I used to have a space like that, once
Eagle in garage.jpg
 

nbb350

Member
This is mostly just a test of Imgur photo hosting...but it's also to show how far along the shop is now!

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...after a few attempts and tweaks, it works!
note to self: resize image BEFORE uploading! that first attempt was HUGE!!! lol
 
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Side view mirrors

Here's the thread, Rick: American V8

The Euro-Nova boards had recently been revamped, so most of the links had changed.
letterman7
user-offline.png

Senior Member Join DateJul 2007LocationDowningtown, PAPosts2,559

Re: American V8

Fair warning: you won't be able to open the canopy windows at all, unless you modify the glass. I had used mid '90's Caprice power windows on the OEM short stalks which put them about 3" from the canopy side. I still had issues with opening the window (glass hit the mirror housing) and I still couldn't see over the rear fender.

What side view mirrors did you use. and if you did it again what would you use and why.
Great build journal.
Tom
 

nbb350

Member
I used Lexan for my side "glass", so it will bend a bit.
I used Corvette (C4?) power side mirrors with custom fabricated mounting "wedges".
I've had them both installed together, so I know they fit together. The window barely moves at the hinged A pillar and I have the mirrors mounted a bit forward for sightlines.

Granted, I don't remember if I tried REMOVING the side glass with the side mirrors installed, so doing that might create some swearing! lol
 

nbb350

Member
Since I'm posting...

NOTHING has happened on the Sterling since my last post. :( I've just been preoccupied with work and life and other projects. I kept telling myself "I'll work on it again in the Spring", but then we went from 14" of snow to 80F in two weeks, so I guess we're not getting "Spring" this year. Sigh... wife wants hardwood floors installed, I want to go to the cabin on the weekends, work demands I actually earn my paycheck...maybe when I win the lottery I'll finally have time!

In April during our 14" snowstorm I contracted Cabin Fever and installed some new fluorescent lights in the garage where I work on the Sterling. 20 of them. 10 quad bulb units and 10 dual bulb units. "My garage is so bright, you gotta wear shades..." ($100 on Craigslist!)

Last fall I got the new HE furnace installed in my shop ($400 on Craigslist!). I lofted it up into the rafters to keep my floor space free. Cost to keep the shop at 50F all winter? $25 per month. That $5000 worth of spray foam insulation is paying off! *laugh* We'll see if it starts getting hot out there this summer; if it does, I'll have to get an HVAC guy out to hook up the Puron central AC part of the system.

I also developed a Craigslist addiction over the winter...
 

nbb350

Member
Well, almost another 2 years have gone by and nothing new has happened on the car. Been busy with other things and the Sterling ended up becoming a storage tub for empty Amazon boxes. lol

BUT, I kinda ran out of other projects and have a bit of Cabin Fever, so this past weekend I hauled the Sterling out of the garage (which has a heater, but not turned on since that is also where we park our daily drivers and the big door gets opened and closed each day) and down to my Shop where I work on other projects and is heated/cooled year round. It's now occupying the middle of my Shop, so I can no longer ignore it!

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The To-Do list is fairly short except for the big ticket item: Paint. Not sure how I'm going to deal with that yet. You could call me Mr. Runs when I try to spray paint...
 

nbb350

Member
Been trying to clock a few hours every few days in the Shop working on the Sterling. Not all that hard to do now that all the bars & restaurants are closed and we're under "Stay At Home" orders here in Minnesota.

Got the radiator mounted, but not without a few compromises. When I measured and ordered the custom radiator back in 2015, I didn't have the hood hinges and struts installed. Big mistake. The new radiator didn't fit between the struts, so after considering ordering a new radiator ($$$), I decided to switch from struts to springs on the hood hinges. Seems to work OK.

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Next I tackled the rear louvers. I originally wanted struts back here too, but the struts I had ordered were way too strong. I tried building a "prop rod", but was very unhappy with the final look, so I trashed that and ordered lighter weight struts. After installing those, I'm quite happy with the final look and function.

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I also spent some time wiring in the Backup Camera circuit and re-wiring the Wiper circuit.
Next up is the louver mounts for the High-mount brake lights and wiring the HVAC system.
 

nbb350

Member
nope, no rear window. rear facing camera will be fed into a screen where the rear view mirror would normally be located. also side mirrors.

spent Saturday wiring in the HVAC system. I couldn't figure out how Ford/Mazda determined the wiring for the donor system, but it seems to WORK. Yeah, i have schematics, but everything i know about wiring tells me that +12vdc 12ga input shouldn't use a 16ga ground wire. But that's what it shows! Sigh...i WISH I would've sourced a Saturn or similar. GM wiring JUST MAKES SENSE!

next up is running the vacuum lines for the HVAC dampers.

after that I'll probably pull the battery out of my ATV and start testing circuit function in the wiring harness...
 

nbb350

Member
Well, with Coronapocalypse closing down all my normal distractions, I've found a bit of time to work on the Sterling lately! I've been trying to dedicate Sunday afternoons to the Sterling.

I bought a lawn tractor battery to test the 12v circuits, hooked up all the electrical items, and started testing them one circuit at a time.

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I'm happy to say that there were only three glitches in the wiring! one was an easy fix (make sure the firewall connector is tight, dummy!), one just required adding a diode (so the third brake light didn't flash with the Hazard lights), and the last one, of course, was in the LONGEST harness possible...all the way from the instrument cluster to the light in the far back corner of the car. It was actually more of an "oversight" than a "mistake" though...the wiring kit instructions assume that your stop/turn/tail light will be visible from the REAR CORNER of your car...but the Sterling lights don't wrap around the corner, so I had to add extra amber lights on the rear sides...which required running another wire to them so they didn't light up along with the STOP light. Oh well...fun times.

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Some circuits weren't able to be tested like the Tach, Alternator, Radio (no speakers), Fuel & Oil senders, etc. until the engine is all hooked up and running. It DOES turn over though! That was good to see!

And some circuits apparently went bad on the shelf since I last worked on the wiring 5 years ago - my rear view camera screen decided to start popping fuses when I hooked it up. When I got to a big enough fuse though, it just started melting inside! Ok, into the trash with that! No big loss there though since the old camera was like 240x480 resolution. The replacement camera has 2560 x 1440P resolution front and rear! Plus recording capabilities. Gee, tech sure does progress over a DECADE! lol

One afternoon I also decided to cover up and protect the back of the headlights by building some inner fenderwells out of some plastic dog-kennel liner trays. Much cheaper than ordering a sheet of ABS plastic in a similar size!

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Peter

Active member
Great stuff, road ready for summer holidays? *hmmm*
Done a bit on my disaster too. just the hood to do, I say "just", it's a bitch!


vJYLq6.jpg



New frame section, (plus lights, wing, hood bumper, etc.) and LOTS of paint.
 
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nbb350

Member
First off, if any of you are using Imgur to host your photos, they are going thru a VERY user-unfriendly redesign! If you get stuck in there, look for the "leave beta" option and click it. Then log back in to see the old, user-friendly site. ugh...

Anyways...spent a few hours in the Shop last night working on the Sterling electrical again.

First I hard-wired in the new backup camera display. It didn't work. Hmmmm...after a little investigating I realized I had the polarity reversed on the connector. Easy fix...display works! But that might also explain why I burned out the old display when I connected it if it didn't have built-in Reverse Polarity protection. Oops! oh well, the replacement model is a definite upgrade from the old one!

The new backup camera though will mount to the bottom of a louver, so I still have to fill in the hole I drilled in the body for the old camera. dammit.

After that I worked on identifying fuse sizes and relabeling the fuse panel as needed. The pre-printed labels in the kit were pretty high for some fuse sizes. I also clarified what some circuits were actually used for...i.e. "BAT 2" is actually the "RADIO.BAT".

5YgAATv.jpg


The worst part about the evening? The fact that I now have to wear "cheaters" to SEE those tiny little labels!! *whaah*
 

Brett Proctor

Active member
Looking very clean.

I Have more than I care to admit of those to fill in from numerous attempts at things

Been needing them for some time now, I've just come to except it







First off, if any of you are using Imgur to host your photos, they are going thru a VERY user-unfriendly redesign! If you get stuck in there, look for the "leave beta" option and click it. Then log back in to see the old, user-friendly site. ugh...

Anyways...spent a few hours in the Shop last night working on the Sterling electrical again.

First I hard-wired in the new backup camera display. It didn't work. Hmmmm...after a little investigating I realized I had the polarity reversed on the connector. Easy fix...display works! But that might also explain why I burned out the old display when I connected it if it didn't have built-in Reverse Polarity protection. Oops! oh well, the replacement model is a definite upgrade from the old one!

The new backup camera though will mount to the bottom of a louver, so I still have to fill in the hole I drilled in the body for the old camera. dammit.

After that I worked on identifying fuse sizes and relabeling the fuse panel as needed. The pre-printed labels in the kit were pretty high for some fuse sizes. I also clarified what some circuits were actually used for...i.e. "BAT 2" is actually the "RADIO.BAT".

5YgAATv.jpg


The worst part about the evening? The fact that I now have to wear "cheaters" to SEE those tiny little labels!!
*whaah*
 

Peter

Active member
Can't see a darn thing under 18", need x2.5 just to use my cell p hone, and it's a 6.3" one.


I was tempted to use a ready built assembly, plenty of those about but went my own stupid little way and overdid it, as usual.

Now it's all about simplifying and tidying up.
CCB2 2.jpg
 

nbb350

Member
Took the day off yesterday to drive around to body shops with a "flyer" for my car listing all the parts I need painted. Not a good day...ugh

The first shop I went to was small and run by a perfectionist who LOVED to talk. Fine, ok...tell me a story or 20... Yeah, he might do great work, but when he ballparked me a price of $10,000 to $15,000 for a paint job, I knew we weren't a good match! lol Most of his stories involved show cars and complete restorations. Mine isn't that...

Second shop was on their lunchbreak and just took my flyer and said they'd look at it.

Next 5 shops all said it wasn't their cup of tea. The last shop said $10,000 and 6 months. sigh...

Now, I wasn't stopping at the big chains since I knew they wouldn't be interested and just want to work on the "bread and butter" jobs of late model insurance claims, but I decided to stop at Maaco anyways. (I'm not sure how big Maaco is, but they're popular in Minnesota for advertising $400 paint jobs. Nothing fancy for that price; basically they wash your car and spray it - no bodywork, primer or clearcoat for that price!) Anyways, the guy at Maaco was nice enough to not say NO to my face, but also smart enough to not give me a price. He basically said I would have to start with their $2999.95 "Platinum Package" and then add on things from there (like Primer, Door Jambs, Bodywork...). So back to $5000 minimum easily.

Well, needless to say I was pretty disappointed (by not necessarily surprised) by this point. So I stopped by my local farm supply store (Fleet Farm here in MN) and took a look at their "tractor" paint. Hmmm...Massey Ferguson makes a nice shade of gray for $25/gallon! ;) Satin black for the louvers too!

Not exactly kidding here...why spend $10,000 ($7000 of that which I can't afford) on a professional paint job that goes over $500 worth of amateur bodywork?!? WHEN the bodywork begins to bubble in the sunlight after a few years, how sad do I want to be??

The tractor paint can though talks about either brush/rolling it on (uh, NO), or using an "airless sprayer" to apply it. Also probably not gonna work...but what about a HVLP gun? Hmmm...

Obviously I'd start with the Satin Black and paint my interior panels since my mistakes will be much less obvious.

And with the Pandemic in full swing here and masks beginning to be required everywhere around me, I have nothing else to do and nowhere to go, so I guess I might as well start playing with paint!
 
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