Monday, May 9, 2016

Vintage 2016 Preparations

I've been away from the blog and maintenance on the 1600 for some time now. My son is now two years old (two!) and takes up a lot of time, as well he should. I didn't even make it to Vintage last year, because we were visiting family. This year, however, I'm getting my fix. Here's photographic evidence of my distraction.
I've been periodically eyeing the 1600, identifying small issues for which I am attempting slow progress. The fist on the list is the battery. When I first got this car, I installed a Miata-sized dry-cell battery on it's side under the back seat. It seemed like a perfect solution, but the batteries kept dying. I'm on my 3rd or 4th one. I've tried different brands, changed alternators, and I've rewired the entire car, and still, the battery drops to around 7 volts after a few days. I suspect the under-seat solution may be subjecting the battery to undue heat, causing early failure. So, in the spirit of over-correction, I removed the Miata battery and replaced it with a 34/78 Optima Red Top dry cell, which now lives in the trunk. I ran a new E30 battery cable along the passenger side and removed the driver side cable that used to run to the old battery. For those playing at home, an E30 battery cable will just barely make it from the trunk to the passenger side firewall. I made a little angle iron brace and bent up some aluminum strap.
It's bolted together with metric hardware and my new favorite tool, an Astro 1442 riv-nut tool. It's fantastic for adding a solid mounting point when you either can't get to a nut on the other side or don't want to use a self-tapping screw.
I made the top strap removable with two M6 bolts. It was a bit of extra work, but it will pay off in ease of removal if and when I need to take the battery out.
Cables attached and tidied up.