Project: K.I.T.T. Blog
This morning we made a quick trip to Menards and then got started on the sound deadening. The first thing I did was get KITT's interior plastics down. We decided to put the plastics in KITT to see the exact area they will cover, and then sound deaden everything not covered by plastics. It is our intention right now to cover all the backs of the plastics with Ensolite prior to installation. This should achieve the same sound deadening as applying it directly to the RAAMmat BXT II. If that ends up not being the case, we can always still apply it to the areas behind the plastics.
While I cleaned off the plastics that had been stored over the garage door, Sara got started on the sound deadening. She worked on the driver side rear seat well.
We fit all the plastics into place inside KITT (loose, not secured).
Then we got to work sound deadening the areas not covered by plastics, which will basically be the areas covered by carpet. Because the wheel wells sit underneath the plastic, the factory die-cut sound deadening insulation is still available. I think I will order these to install over the RAAMmat BXT II.
We sound deadened the trunk area last. The two storage areas on the rear quarter panels still need to have both RAAMmat BXT II and Ensolite applied. I only have three sheets of the RAAMmat left.
The entire floor area from the firewall back to the trunk is sound deadened!
We bought a white tarp at Menards this morning to cover KITT with no that he is cleaned and sound deadened. Hopefully this will keep dust and dirt out of the car.
Next I wire wheeled the mounting hardware for the blower housing, then soaked the screws in the WD-40 we bought this morning.
The new blower motor did not come with a ground contact, so I had to remove this from the old blower motor, and then clean it.
I also sprayed down the foam and screen for the evaporator with cleaner and water and set them aside to dry overnight.
Our last project tonight was installing the blower housing.
The majority of the housing is held on by screws passing through the firewall from the heater box. There are three screws that hold the heater box on from the engine bay side. We used these to secure the housing tonight.
Installed heater box:
This morning we pushed KITT to the end of the garage so we could clean the engine bay without getting water all over the garage.
I sprayed the engine bay with a non-toxic cleaner.
Then I rinsed the engine bay with water.
I also cleaned KITT's windshield.
Sara repeated the process of spraying cleaner and then rinsing.
While she was doing that, I decided to touch up the metal trim piece for the blower housing that I dropped and scratched. Since I do not have the paint booth set up, I temporarily secured the trim piece to a piece of wood so I could hold it while spray painting it outside.
One quick coat of black spray paint covered up the scratches.
We then continued spraying the engine bay with clean water to rinse away all the cleaner and dirt. In this picture I am spraying water into the cowl to thoroughly rinse it out.
Sara used the pump sprayer:
and I used the hose:
Then we wiped the engine bay down with rags to dry up all the water.
I pushed KITT back inside the garage and squeegeed the water outside.
Here is the engine bay cleaned and dried. At this point we stopped for lunch.
After lunch we were planning to install the blower housing and heater box. I wanted to first clean and soak the bolts in a bath of WD-40, but I discovered I was out of WD-40 so I could not. Rather than go to the store to get more WD-40, Sara suggested we move on to the sound deadening. KITT was full of parts, so we had to first empty him out. I put the foglights and brackets in the blue tub marked "New Parts for KITT". (This is for my future reference.)
The Panhard/track bar was one of the items sitting inside KITT. (It had been sitting there since I painted it.) Sara cleaned it off and I installed it back on KITT, but I barely threaded the nuts on the bolts because I seem to be missing two washers on the driver side.
KITT is empty once again!
Sara spent the next 1.5 hours cleaning the interior of KITT.
I removed the '83-'92-style seatbelt brackets while Sara was cleaning (which made more of a mess for her to clean up). I plan to install the '82-style door sills and seat belts. The bracket is not needed with the '82-style seatbelts; instead the seatbelt uses the bolt the bracket was secured with.
Sara continued to clean KITT, and I picked up around the garage.
Sara cleaned both the interior and exterior of KITT. When she cleaned the rear trunk lip, she discovered RUST. The trunk seal sat over top of this lip, and was on the car when we delivered it to our ex-painter. The rust is above the lock mechanism for the trunk.
The rust is above the lock mechanism for the trunk on both the outside and the inside.
The lip rust is also along the driver side rear quarter panel.
Here you can see the channel where the seal would sit. Our ex-painter painted over the rust cancer instead of properly addressing and treating the issue.
This is another shot of the rust in the channel along the driver side rear quarter panel. It goes all the way up. I am going to sand these areas down and apply POR-15.
I took a picture of the cleaned interior. Sara did a beautiful job.
I wanted to make sure that we had poked through all the holes for the wire harness clips. I used an ice pick to puncture the RAAMmat BXT II sound deadening.
I took picture to document all the holes, mounting hardware, studs, etc. on the interior. After the Ensolite is covering the interior it is going to be a lot harder to locate these mounting points when installing carpet and plastics. The following 18 pictures are for later reference.
Here I am laying out the Ensolite sound deadening.
We attempted to use a 28" strip on Ensolite for the entire length of the driver side floor pan.
We decided that method was not ideal. The Ensolite is very flexible but it is still like working with fabric. It will only bend and give so much before tearing. Once you peel off the backing, entire backside is extremely sticky adhesive. Basically where you put it down the first time is where it stays. With such a large piece we developed air pockets, especially around the seat rails. When I tried to smooth them out with my roller the Ensolite tore.
We decided to work with 12" x 12" panels instead.
I was looking at the sail panel and remembered that I had planned to put the Ensolite on the backside of the plastics, instead of directly over the RAAMmat BXT II.
We covered as much as we could with our 12" x 12" panels, and then pieced in the rest.
We stopped working about 7:30 PM tonight. Here is what we accomplished so far:
Sara is happy because we are done for the night, and I am grilling steaks for dinner!
The parts I ordered for the heater box and blower housing arrived this week. I needed to compare them to make sure everything looked right. Here are pictures of new versus old.
Old versus new heater core:
New blower motor resister:
Old versus new blower motor:
Old versus new evaporator core:
This is a picture of the new evaporator core on top of the old evaporator core so you can see the size difference. The new one is shorter but the pipes are longer (and make up the size difference).
The new heater core did not come with caps for the pipes. My grandfather never threw anything away, and he literally had a jar full of miscellaneous caps. When he passed away my dad inherited them. I stopped over at my dad's to look through the caps and found two that fit nicely. Thanks Grandpa George, and thanks Dad!
Last night after work I stopped at Troy's garage to show him the new evaporator core and the seal, foam wedge, and screen that was on my old one. He said the rubber seal, foam, and screen need to be removed from the old one and used on the new one. When I got home I took pictures of the old evaporator core from each side so I had a reference to follow when reinstalling these pieces on the new core.
I used a putty knife and carefully scraped the rubber seal off the evaporator core. It actually came off easier than I was expecting it to.
Next I slowly worked the screen off. It was only adhered in a couple of spots.
I decided to remove the receiver drier/accumulator from the evaporator to give me better access to the foam wedge.
With the receiver drier/accumulator removed, I used a putty knife and slowly worked my way underneath the foam wedge, working my way all around the evaporator.
I managed to get the foam wedge off in one piece. It was glued on with some type of weather-strip adhesive.
The last thing I removed from the old evaporator core was the bracket that holds the receiver drier/accumulator.
My next project was covering the diverter doors. I cut new Ensolite foam pieces for each side, following the adhesive pattern that was on the diverter door.
I used some of the bent/creased Ensolite. You can see the marks in the foam piece below. These marks gradually faded.
Tonight I wiped down the few last dirty spots on the heater box. This was mainly around the area of the hot/cold diverter door.
The rubber seal around the diverter door cleaned up very nicely. The rubber is still very soft and pliable.
Next I wiped down the frame and brackets for the heater core.
The brackets needed a little more help, so I removed them and used some light grit sandpaper and gave them a quick bath in WD-40.
When I went to reassemble the brackets, I found out the heater core would not fit in the brackets!
I checked the old heater core and it fit inside the brackets perfectly. Comparing the two heater cores, there is a difference in the way the ends were manufactured. I figured I got the wrong heater core, so I checked online to confirm the part I ordered was listed to fit. It was.
Not wanting to get frustrated, I moved on to cleaning the vacuum actuators and arms. Here is a before picture:
Here is the after picture:
Here is a before picture of the second actuator:
Sara and I went to a couple of auto parts stores to see if we could find a heater core that would fit, but both stores had the same core that I ordered. It was listed to fit. One of the stores had instructions in their heater core box that mentioned needing to remove the brackets from the heater core frame and use the provided foam. Sara and I grabbed a Detroit-style pizza for a quick dinner, and then tried fitting the new heater core with the brackets removed.
The heater core does fit flush with the brackets removed, but there is nothing to hold it against the frame. I am so glad I spent the time to clean the brackets! (Not!)
I tried to carefully fit the heater core and frame into position. This was difficult with nothing to secure the heater core, but it does fit.
I removed the frame and heater core to see if there was any way to secure it to the frame. There are small flanges along the top and bottom of the heater core. On the end closest to my hands in the picture below there are also small plastic flanges on the frame. You can see this right along my index finger. I am not sure if you are supposed to do this, but I bent the metal flanges on the heater core further out so they would put pressure against the plastic flanges on the frame. This provides enough pressure to hold the heater core firmly in the frame.
With the core secured in the frame, I wrapped the foam seal all the way around the outside edges of the heater core.
On the bottom of the heater core frame there is a small triangular lip that had a thin strip of foam on it. This fell off when cleaning. I decided to use a small piece of the leftover heater core seal to recreate this foam piece.
Another quick test fit with the foam seal installed:
Everything fit perfectly so I secured the frame with the four screws.
Heater core is installed!
I installed the three actuators and both diverter doors. I added some polyurethane lube on the shafts of the diverter doors where they pivot in the plastic case.
I reinstalled the front plate and seal:
The heater box is complete!
Sara is pushing KITT...pushing KITT real good (Salt-N-Pepa style). ;) We decided it would be easier to clean the engine bay if KITT was flipped around so the engine bay is facing out of the garage.
Sara located the mounting hardware for the blower housing, and then removed the painters tape from the foam seals on the blower housing. Then she cleaned the housing so it is ready for installation tomorrow!
On Saturday afternoon, Sara attended a bridal shower, and I tackled dismantling and cleaning the heater box. One of the things I have discovered while looking back through my blog for reference pictures is that I did not take enough pictures. I have had trouble finding pictures of certain parts, fitment, sides, angles, etc. I have decided I cannot take too many pictures of this project, hence all the pictures of the heater box in this post.
This is all four sides of the heater box before I got started Saturday afternoon.
This is the heater core that I will be removing and replacing. In the process of taking this picture, I propped the heater box so it sits level.
With the heater box now sitting level, I took another picture from this side.
I removed the two screws that hold in the heater core.
The heater core seemed to be binding against one of the vent control arms.
So I decided to remove this front plate and seal.
This screw (dead center in the picture),
and this press-on washer secured the plate and seal to the heater box.
Here is the plate removed.
This is a picture of the heater box with the front plate and seal removed.
This picture shows the heater core is free to pull out.
The heater core is removed.
Here is a picture of the heater core and the shroud that secures it.
Here are the clips that hold the heater core to the shroud.
Here you can see the actuator arm that controls the diverter doors. I hadn't considered that they would be simple to unhook and remove. I decided that the box would be easier to clean with everything removed.
There is a small adjustment on each arm where it attaches to the actuator's arm. I numbered and marked the position of each actuator arm with a black sharpie.
There are two press-on nuts securing each vacuum actuator.
The actuator arm on this particular diverter door was simply hooked through.
With the two nuts removed, the actuator pulls right out. I did not have to separate the actuator arm from the actuator so hopefully my marks won't be needed.
Here is the actuator and arm assembly removed. I repeated the same process for the other two actuators.
Here is the diverter door removed. You can see the foam on this needs to be replaced. I plan to replace it with some of the sound deadening self-adhesive Ensolite.
My dad came over to help. Using a putty knife, he scraped all of the existing foam from the diverter doors. Thanks dad!
Initially I was worried about the pattern for applying the Ensolite, but we discovered underneath the existing foam was a tar-like substance. It must have been an adhesive that was used to secure the original foam.
When I removed the third and final actuator and diverter door, the arm was secured with one of the press-on washers. I used my door trim tool to remove the washer.
All of the foam has been removed from the first diverter door.
My dad removed the foam from the second dual-flapped diverter door.
I took the heater box outside and put in on saw horses so I could clean it and hose it down with water. I sprayed all-purpose cleaner on the heater box and then let it sit for about 10 minutes. Then I sprayed the whole thing off with water. Then I reapplied the cleaner and wiped everything down with a rag, and then gave it a final rinse with water.
Once my dad had all the foam off the diverter doors, he used some very light grit sandpaper along with steel wool to clean up the rusted areas of the diverter doors. He also shined up the ends of the spindles where they pivot in the case.
This is actually a two-piece mechanism that allows this diverter door to function in two different ways.
This is a before and after picture of the cleaned diverter door compared to the non-cleaned door.
Sara's dad came over as I was finishing up cleaning the heater box. I took this picture just for fun since both our dads are in it. They were discussing that the heater core looked fairly new. :) I will probably end up keeping it as a spare.
Right after I took this picture Sara called and said the bridal shower was over. We had a graduation party to attend, so I put everything back in the garage and headed in to get cleaned up. Part 2 of the heater box project will be coming soon.
Today we mounted the fenders! Up until now they have just been hanging on the frame of the car. First we located all the hardware for the fenders.
Then we pushed KITT back and pulled the front of the car over to the center of the garage.
With the hardware located, I needed to find the V-shaped brackets that secure the lower front portion of the fenders. They were in the POR-15ed parts tub.
I found the V-shaped brackets in the tub.
I wire wheeled all the fender bolts, the bolt clips, and the V-shaped bracket bolts and clips. This took quite a while.
Before and after wire wheeling pictures of the hardware.
While I was wire wheeling the hardware, Sara experimented with some foaming glass cleaner on the RAAMmat BXT II. One of the next projects we want to tackle is applying the Ensolite foam in the cabin. There is paint overspray (and dust and dirt) on the RAAMmat BXT II, and I am worried about the Ensolite not adhering correctly. As of tonight, Sara is planning to vacuum the cabin interior and then clean the RAAMmat BXT II with foaming glass cleaner.
Sara also wiped down the fenders and the support frames for the fenders.
Here is all the hardware for the fenders, wire wheeled and bathed in WD-40.
I installed the five frame clips on the driver side fender frame support and then installed the bolts.
I installed the bolt for the lower fender tab on the driver side.
I installed the five frame clips and bolts on the passenger side fender.
Then I installed the bolt for the lower fender tab on the passenger side.
Next I installed the V-shaped bracket on the driver side.
I went to install the second V-shaped bracket on the passenger side, but I really had to tweak the fender to get it to line up. It put a lot of pressure on the fender. Sara asked, "Are you sure the brackets were the exact same? Maybe they have to go on a certain side."
So I removed the V-shaped bracket from the passenger side, and compared it to the installed driver side bracket. The only difference I could see was a dimple at the base of the arms on this bracket. We looked at blog pictures from when we removed the brackets in September of 2012, and sure enough, the dimpled bracket was on the driver side.
So I needed to switch the V-shaped brackets. I removed the bracket I installed on the driver side, and installed the dimpled bracket in its place. I noticed this pushed the fender out a little bit more than the other bracket had.
Then I installed the other bracket on the passenger side, and it fit easily.
Here is the correctly installed passenger V-shaped fender bracket.
Here is the correctly installed driver V-shaped fender bracket.
With both fenders installed, I just needed to push KITT back to his side of the garage.
We had a good KITT weekend - we installed both the front and rear bumpers, and also both fenders. We are planning to test fit KITT's nose this week.
Sara and I spent Saturday mounting the front and rear bumpers back on KITT. I really do not need them on the car yet, but I also really do not need them off the car any longer. Plus, it will be nice not to have to store them any more.
Sara and I started by cleaning the nuts and washers for the front bumper. This is a fused nut and washer combo where the washer is allowed to freely spin.
I wire wheeled the nuts and washers and gave them a bath in WD-40.
Here is where I have been storing the bumpers since they came off the car.
I had forgotten that two of the front bumper studs had snapped off, most likely when the car was in the front end collision. Even though the broken studs would be long enough, I did not want to reuse them as I had no way of knowing the stress that was applied to the other bolts.
We slowly worked off the bolt retaining washers and removed the first of the broken studs. Each bolt pair was welded to a bracket that served as a washer for the bolt head. Because they were welded I was not going to be able to reuse this bracket.
I went to Menards and bought bolts, washers, and lock washers.
Here is what the new bolt looks like. We were able to reuse the retaining washers to secure the bolts.
Here is the new bolt in place.
Here is the support bracket sitting next to our new bolt.
Second bolt is in place. Six to go.
We use a small screwdriver and the trim removal tool to pry up the retaining washers. Once they were pried up, we turned them off by hand. Sara was very careful. We were worried about breaking these as they are not readily available.
Second bolt pair is removed.
Here is a picture of Sara working on her second pair of retaining washers.
Here is a picture of me working on my second pair of retaining washers.
Here I am installing the final retaining washer on my side. All eight bolts are now in place.
Next I brushed off the front bumper.
Once we had the front bumper in place, I secured the driver side.
When I went to secure the passenger side of the front bumper, we ran into a problem. Because the frame had been pushed back on this side a half an inch, it needed to be shimmed to make it even with the driver side. It was shimmed when we took the front bumper off, however they did not use enough shims to make the bumper even. Sara and I went to every auto store in town looking for body shims, but no one had them. We ended up going back to Menards to buy another pack of fender washers, which have the same surface area as the shims. I used the fender washers on the bottom bolts and the body shims on the top bolts on the passenger side of the front bumper.
The front bumper is back on!
Passenger side of the front bumper (shimmed). The shadow on the frame is actually where it is dented.
Driver side of the front bumper.
Next I wire wheeled the eight nuts and washers for the rear bumper. These also got a quick bath in WD-40.
Sara and I pushed KITT forward in the garage. The auto dollies make this super easy. We are very glad we bought them.
Before and after picture of the nuts and washers for the rear bumper. (There are eight - I was wire wheeling the one that is missing when Sara took this picture.)
Here I am installing the rear bumper.
Installation of the rear bumper was easy, other than the tight space between the frame I had to turn these nuts on. I could barely get my hand in there to turn on the nut. It was going pretty smoothly until I got to the final bolt. The nut cross-threaded and stripped the bolt. I ended up fighting with the bolt to get it out of the rear bumper.
I had an extra bolt leftover and used that as a replacement. It is not an exact match length-wise, but it is more than long enough to suffice.
Rear bumper back in place! It is exciting to get these larger parts back on KITT!
This week I finished cleaning the rock shield for the steering shaft.
Here is a before picture of the rock shield covered in dirt and grease:
Here is an after picture of the rock shield after I cleaned it up:
This week I also cut the remaining pod off the damaged light bar. (Remember I am using this one to practice on.)
After I felt I had perfected the process, I moved on to the good light bar.
I saved the hood bump stops from both light bars, as they were both in very good condition and will work as replacements for KITT.
I took these next pictures showing how the lights mount in the pods. They are more for my reference than anything else.
First pod successfully removed! This is the driver side.
Both pods have been removed! They cut very easily.
I smoothed the cut edges with 320 grit sandpaper.
I also separated the casing from one of the low beam headlights. I wanted to see how hard it will be to paint the metal casing with POR-15. I thought the built-in level would also be easy to remove, as it looked to be just secured with a screw. However, they also epoxied it to the metal frame. I do not think there will be any way to remove it without breaking the level. We will need to tape this off before painting the casing with POR-15, or possibly just spray paint the whole frame. I will need to decide which way I want to go.
It has been beautiful here the last two nights and I have made sure I was out in the garage taking advantage of it. I have been cleaning up a bit, and by cleaning I mean going through KITT's parts. Tonight though I decided to work on the fog light pods. I have been wondering just how to approach cutting off the pods from the Camaro headlight mounting panel. I am thankful that I have a broken one to experiment with.
I removed the remaining light in the broken pod. The light is held in by a spring on the bottom and an adjustment screw on the top. Once the spring is unhooked from the bottom, the light can be tipped up and slid out of the adjustment screw.
Here is the light. You can see the slotted opening where the adjustment screw holds the top portion of the light. This slotted area is angled forward so the bottom of the light has to be tipped up in order to remove it from the adjustment screw.
I applied some blue painter's tape for the sole purpose of illustrating where I need to cut. I will follow the top edge of the light pod straight through the mounting bar. I decided to try a hacksaw just to see how hard it would be to cut.
The plastic cut extremely easy, and aside from securing it in a clamp or having a second person help hold, this will be the method I will use to remove the pods. I had cut through the plastic in about thirty seconds with minimal effort.
Here is what the pod looks like removed.
As I was going through parts in the garage, I pulled out the two hush panels that cover up the underside of the dash. It was my intention originally to try to clean and reuse the foam pieces. Upon closer examination I decided it is not worth the effort because the foam is so deteriorated.
Here is the passenger side hush panel. This picture is for reference to show where the foam was.
Here is the driver side hush panel. This picture is for reference to show where the foam was.
The passenger side hush panel with foam removed, and sprayed off with water to remove some of the dirt.
The driver side hush panel with foam removed, and sprayed off with water to remove some of the dirt.
I intend to replace the original foam on the backside of these panels with more of the sound deadening mat and foam I used on the interior of the vehicle.
I bought Permatex Ultra Black Gasket Maker so I could put the rear differential cover back on.
Per the instructions, I made a quarter inch continuous bead all around the cover.
I put the top and bottom bolts through the cover and used them to position the cover into place on the differential. Once these were in place I hand-tightened all the bolts down, utilizing a star pattern. I had to leave this sit for an hour before I torqued the bolts down to their 30 ft lb spec.
Here is a closeup of the Pontiac arrowhead stainless steel bolts.
I received two packages in the mail today. The first package was from Mark Puette.
It was the gullwing knight-head emblem pins I ordered.
The knight-head and the back of the pin is a heavy black nickle plating that has a dark mirror finish. These look awesome! Thanks for making these Mark!
The second package I received today was the 5.0 L EPROM #16139492 and Calpack #16060836 I ordered from ebay.
When I decided that I wanted to replace the wiring harness on KITT, I knew that I wanted to use a wiring harness from Painless Performance. They have some of the best wiring harnesses available. I have been gathering parts that will be needed in order to use their electronic fuel injection harness. Troy had the ECM #1227747 and I just recently found the 5.0 L EPROM #16139492 and Calpack #16060836 from a seller on ebay.
The last piece I would need to make the EFI harness functional with KITT's Cross-fire setup was the Painless Wiring Cross-fire Injection Adapter Part # 60112. Unfortunately, this part was discontinued by Painless Performance in 2011. I tried unsuccessfully to order this from five different online vendors that still showed it as in stock on their web sites. Each time I was informed that they could not fulfill the order as the manufacturer no longer stocked the part.
Feeling frustrated I called Painless Performance and spoke with Mike in technical support. I explained that I wanted to use their EFI harness to power KITT's 1983 Cross-fire injection system, but that I could not without the adapter. I also explained how many stores I had contacted looking for the part. He said that he had one on the shelf behind him and that he would check with the powers that be to find out if he could just sell it to me. He took my number and promised a call back.
He called back about 15 minutes later and said that he could sell it to me for well below what I had found it online for! It arrived today. Thanks Mike!
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