Spring 2018: Mice!!!

This spring I took the car out for a drive, and I looked up and noticed a little hole in the headliner, over my head.  Then I noticed some stains on the headliner.  I investigated further, and I realized that the headliner smelled like mouse piss.  I had to tear out the (expensive) headliner and also remove all the interior panels that surround it.  I discovered even more mouse stuff under and behind the back seat.  To clean it up, I had to:

  1. Take out the rear seat.
  2. Take apart the rear seat back upholstery and wash it.
  3. Wash the seat back frame and springs.
  4. Reassemble the rear seat back.
  5. Clean under teh rear seat, and various places where the headliner is attached to the wooden roof framing.
  6. Order a new headliner ($$$).

I have the new headliner, and I will install it hopefully this weekend.  Then I have to re-install all those surrounding panels, which requires a lot of fussy nailing.  (Not like modern cars where everything snaps into place!)

The mice were able to get under the rear seat through the opening in the floorpan around the rear spring.  This gave them direct access to the underside of the rear seat and the space behind the interior panels to to the roof, so they could hang out there all winter without leaving any evidence of their presence (until it got warm and you could smell them).

There is supposed to be a cover over that opening, but I never bothered to install one.  I’ll have to do that, too.

Dealing with this has taken me from April until August.  I was hoping to fix up one of the rear fenders this summer, but it looks like that will slip into the fall.

Spring 2017: Improved Brakes

Last year I replaced the original stamped brake drums with new cast-iron ones.  This really improved the braking, and got rid of the fading that happened when the thin stamped drums got hot and expanded.  I sent my old hubs (with the old drums cut off) and shoes to Randy Gross in California.  He installed the new drums on my hubs and sent them back, along with a newly-relined matching set of shoes.  The only annoying part of the process was having to completely take apart the complicated rear brake/hub system to reach the shoes.