Thursday, August 30, 2012


 Say hello to "MR T..."   I got tired of looking at empty light sockets and wired up the VW Beetle headlamp assemblies to go into the wee car. I had already installed the signal lamps in the small grille openings on each side.
 Here's the wired up light set. Beetles had the park lamps inside the glass in these headlight units.  Works OK for me---Hey! It's a 1937 car!
Even boids flyin' over think MR T looks better with his eyeballs installed!


This conglomeration of wires and stuff is [left to right] 1--the steering column housing from a Saab 95/96. You are looking at it from a view you will never see when it is mounted inside the car. The steering wheel would be just beyond the TOP of the black housing. The round shiny thingy at the right center is a new, heavy-duty replacement ignition switch.  It is part of one of my new ignition key/relay systems for these cars. The relay is under the switch on the outside of the column housing.  The wire bundle is routed to plug right back into the original wires that were formerly attached to the stock ignition switch.
2--Center is the assembly jig showing the same switch, relay and wiring bundle.
3--At right is a completed system, ready to go in the box for shipment to a Saab customer who really would like to just get into his car, shove in the key, turn it, start the engine and be about his business. 

These are the same items, viewed from the front. Note that the ignition key is now on the LEFT side of the column housing. SOME 95/96 cars had the 4-way flasher switch on the left. It is now on the RIGHT, for those cars. MOST 95/96's had the 4-way switch up on the panel to the left of the instruments, AND For those cars, there is a black, push-in plug that covers the ignition key hole on the right. It's a neat, bullet-proof system!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

SAAB Sonett III New Ignition Switch System--Testing

Old--uhh--VINTAGE--cars tend to wear out. Or break stuff. On vintage Saabs the ignition keys/cylinders/locks get tired and finally head West. New Saab parts are NOT available, so I engineer good quality replacements that work well and are reliable. In the case of the Sonett III cars, you have it easy. All you have to do is get rid of the housing that carries the key cylinder AND the steering column lock mechanism. It is a pain in the butt anyhow. Saab 96 & 96 cars are even worse, but I'll talk about them later.

 Saab used snap off bolts to hold the mechanism to the  Sonett III steering column. I use a very sharp small chisel and ball peen hammer and back those bolts out. It is easier than you think [see drawing above]. I have a very good replacement system for the Sonett III cars, which bolts quickly back into place, right where the original assembly sat.
 I refuse to install anything I don't test first. Above is the simple test rig I use to make sure I have the replacement ignition switch system wired correctly. The bulbs light up as I turn the new switch to it's "ON" and "START" positions.
 The switch is in the "ON" position here. Current is flowing through the heavy wire that will feed 5 fused circuits in the Sonett, as well as to the coil circuit for running the engine. I got that one wired correctly--HA!
This is the prototype replacement switch/relay/wiring/mount  assembly for a Sonett III. It would be rotated 180 degrees to mount in an actual car. Once in place, all you have to do is pull the wires off the old ignition switch--one at a time--and plug 'em into the [well marked] wires shown here, and you are good to go. Pretty neat, eh?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Engine Cooling Fan Fix

Everyone needs to work on his/her Subaru Brat once in a while....assuming he/she owns a Subaru Brat. This is "MR B", my wee Subie 2 or 4 WD pickup. Neat little truck!

 MR B has two electric engine cooling fans. The No. 2 fan decided to SQUEAL at me a day or so ago. So I got the battery out of the way, and with only minor amounts of swearing, pulled the fan assembly.   
 These are the parts---fan blade, motor ass'y and mounting shroud.
 The sealed motor is NOT meant to be taken apart. So, of course, I took it apart. The shaft bushings--after only 182,000 miles--were dry. I cleaned up the armature, the shaft, the bushings and the four wee brushes, lubed the bushings and put it back together again. Works like a champ.
The assembly, ready to go back into MR B.  Good to go for another 182,000 miles. See how much fun it is to work on your Subaru!