An Open and Locked Case!

Locked out!

Went to get some gear from the car boot and found the lock was rather tricky to open with the key! I quickly realise that it is on the way out! Solution is a new lock after 47 years wear and tear!


Finding a replacement lock is not as easy as it seems, ebay and google give me all sorts of locks and keys but not an XT boot set.

All the pieces ready to go!

So after doing the rounds, Rare Spares and various GT sites I eventually get onto

Superoo Falcon Spares and they have several locks but no keys with the best of them!

However, a good locksmith, Advanced Lock and Key,  can make up a key and we are in business.

New key and a spare!


Success! New keys – all working nicely!

Lock in!

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In my last post I told the story behind the replacement of the windscreen 30 years ago due to a passing truck throwing up a stone and blasting the screen into hundreds of pieces!

This post reveals the real cause of the water leak that started this journey of exploration!

Mmmmm not too bad!

At first appearance the windscreen frame looks ok!

A little bit of rust but not bad for 46 years!

However, once we pop the glass we see that this is the veritable tip of the iceberg!

Ohhhhh Dear!!

Three rather nasty holes! The rest is actually sound.

The top has a few stains but no real damage! But I can see where the sealant had dried and pulled back letting in the water!

Steel Brush Time!

Out with the rust converter on all of the nasty business once we get the sealant off and the loose dust and rust gone!

Steel brush in hand I get stuck in!

Top is really good! But the holes on the bottom are serious!

Grinder in hand……..

I get stuck in with the grinder and remove as much of the nasty stuff as I can!

Many hours later and I can start finishing off the repairs and get some paint on!

Drop the cowl cover back in and the trim clips and ….

Now to slip the old windscreen in – keep the dust and flies out of the car until I get the windscreen guy to work!

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Leaking Windscreen?

It was on a drive back from the bush that I first spotted a little drop or two of water falling off the front trim inside the car!

Strange? I know I have not driven in rain for a while but that is not right! Solution is a new windscreen – well the old one is over 30 years old. I know this as I remember the incident where the truck threw a stone up on the bonnet and took out the screen in  the early  80’s!

Windscreen gone!

My daughter was in the back seat in a crib (the days before baby capsule and such!) and we were driving from Bunbury to Denmark.

As the truck drove past us the world exploded it seemed as the screen flew into hundreds of pieces all through the car! First thing to do is check the baby – she is ok! Then the wife and myself!

Broken Windscreen 1

We see a farmhouse a little down the road so drive to the house and ask for a moment to work on the car in their shed. The farmer was very friendly and invited us in for a cuppa!

Anyway I got as much of the screen out of the car as possible and then put up the replacement emergency plastic screen. Mmmm does not look too strong and we have 2 hours of driving ahead!

Yes, that does look like rain clouds too!

We said our goodbyes and thankyous and headed down the road.

It was not long before the rain and wind got real strong and we pulled off the road to wait for the worse of it to pass – then drove on! We got to the farm in Denmark  – but we were wet!

Today’s laminated windscreens may reduce this type of experience now so I think I will have a nice new laminated screen! Plus the old screen is so badly pitted that it is getting harder to keep the wipers running smooth over the glass!

2015 Windscreen out!

So back in the now and it’s time for the replacement of the screen and investigating the leak!

First step – remove trims and clips.

Trim off

Now we can see what needs attention!

Remove those clips and then pop the screen!

Starts with a steady hard push on the top left corner of the windscreen until you feel movement and then move your foot to the right continuing to push as you go!

The carpet on the bonnet is to catch the glass if things move too fast!

Now we are ready to find out why it leaked!

Tune in next post for the reveal!

The Petrolhead Blogger


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Water Water Everywhere!

You know that feeling when you have had 6 hours driving back from the bush and you are exhausted and yet so ready to fire the old girl up again just to hear the burbling old V8!

First though that red dust and mud from gravel roads has to come off – so out with the cleaning gear and give her a  good pressure clean underneath!

Ok, car clean, I have to go back to real life now and so the suitcases and gear has to come out of the boot!

Wet Wet Wet!

Mmmmmm, that carpet looks wet?

Oh damn it! Don’ tell me that the rear screen has leaked! I just installed the thing!

A quick look around the windscreen and no sign of water!

As I look around the tail lights I think I see daylight!

I do! There is a 1-2 mm gap between the metal and the gasket! A quick look and I can see that the rubber gasket has dried out so much it has pulled away from the car and – yep water has dropped in!

Now I know why its wetter near the taillights and not the leading edge of the carpet!

46 years of sunshine has take it’s toll on the old gaskets – ok off to the WWW to Rare Spares!

Yep they have a repair kit for the XT tail lights! A couple of days and new ones should be here!

Rare Spares Tail light Gaskets

Ok, out with the tools and lets get this done!

The power screwdriver shows it’s value now!

Lens Covers Gone


Seconds and I have the lens cover off and the mounting screws out!

That inner lens gasket is shot as well! That’s why the little bit of dust in here!

Dry Gasket

The gasket has really degraded in the last couple of years – but maybe it has been like this for a while. I rarely drive the BeaXT in the rain these days so it may have been leaking some time!

Brittle rubber gaskets!

The gaskets just break in my hand as I try to pull them off the light holder.

Out with the Old in with the New!

A quick clean and wipe and check for rust around the rear of the boot – all good! Time for new gaskets!

So much better now! A nice tight seal and no more water leaks!

New dust seals for the lenses and like new!

Just check the lights before I seal it all up!

No Indicator!

Mmmmmm indicator won’t work!?

That might explain things!

The tab comes out in my hand!

Screwdriver out again! Lucky I have …….

Yes I have all sorts of spares around the house!

So, test the lights once more! Yes – we have light!



P.S. After the next hose test the water is not entering around the tail lights anymore!

BUT what about that drip from the front in that last heavy rain storm near Kojonup?

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Brake Rotor Replacement

Brake Fade

Out driving after having returned from trip to the Southwest to visit family and noticed that brakes not really pulling up like normal. At first thought it was maybe air in the system so a flush should fix it.

Removed wheels and discover that the rotors are just a little worn and extending the calipers to an extent they were never designed for! A brake line flush will not fix this problem. New rotors are a highly necessary action!

Worn Rotor 100000miles+

So off to the RRS manual and get that phone number. Ring the Sydney head office and speak to an enthusiastic assistant. Don’t you love it when the people you deal with have a passion for the job/business they are in/own?

Anyway after a discussion of the history of the vehicle and the current Phase fitted we organise new rotors! All I have to do now is wait!

New Rotors

A week later the new rotors arrive – excitement is short lived as I find something odd about them. They don’t look quite right!

Looks ok

Anyway I can only check by removing the old rotors and try a comparison.

So I dismantle the brake system on the right hand side and find that the rotor is not going to come off easily at all!

Easy a call to Pedders and I should have a solution!

Ok – it seems I just need a bigger hammer! So I get into the shed and get the bigger hammer. 5-6 very heavy hits later and the rotor finally comes off. More than just a few dents on it by now but hey I have a new one!

New one slips on easily – now for the rotor. Disaster the rotor cannot accommodate the caliper! I quickly compare the old and the new disc and it is obvious!

Now you can see that this wont work!

Wrong Kit

Well I am baffled and somewhat frustrated. All excited about getting on the road again and I have major mismatch of parts.

Ok to the phone! Send a photo to show my problem and the return answer is – “You don’t have a Phase 1 kit it’s Phase 2!”

So, bonus – my original fitting 15 years ago was a Phase 2 at Phase 1 prices! A bonus yes but means that I need different rotors and these must go back!

So I order new rotors again and figure if I have gone this far lets also add braided stainless steel brake-lines for the front end!

Mmmmm somebody’s courier business is doing well out of me this month!

Try Again

So wait for delivery of the new rotors – again! So hard not getting the BeaXT out and about!

Finally I come home from a morning working and there on the doorstep are my new rotors and brake lines! Now to get them on!

New shiny parts! Always love that!

First step rip out all the old brake-lines and brackets and loosely fit new lines to work out clearances.

Old kit has a few brackets and extra links in the line!

The braided lines are self supporting almost and require little of the brackets on the old lines. Just one bracket on the sidewall of the engine bay and all done!

So neat clean and tidy! Wish I had done this before!

Ok rotor back on and caliper over that. Repeat for left side of car and we will be nearly done! Less than 2 hours! Torque wrench out and all the bolts checked! Done! Now to bleed the system and get new fluid in there and all the air out!

Now that is simplification!

Little Bleeder

So here we are then, spanners out and away we go!

No, not that simple! The bleeders refuse to budge! I know not to force them as that can be disastrous!

Ok off to Hitech Brake and Clutch in Wangara – problem solved!

New bleeders and repair hint for free – take a hammer – yes a hammer – and hit the old bleeder hard on the top.

I do as directed and “bing” a nice clear ring of the metal –  drop a 10mm socket over the top and out she comes! Nor thread scores or damage to the caliper! Ok now back to bleeding the brakes!

 Test Drive

So all done and ready for a drive.

Slowly back her out of the garage and give the brake a squeeze, mmmmm not as good as expected. Right we clearly need to bed the discs in so off I go down a quiet section of road and basically heat up the rotors and pads until they are bedded in.

Drive at 60kph and brake down to 10kph – 7-8 times in a row. Get a few queer looks from pedestrians along the way but I suppose it’s fair enough!

Until next time!

This petrolhead is gone….. seeya out on the road!






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New Carpet and Lining


Now that the headlining is in and safely tucked and glued attention can now be turned to the bare floors!

New carpet was ordered quite a while ago and has been sitting in the office patiently waiting to stretch it’s legs! The carpet comes with underlay so once the floor is cleaned and the paint is dry I can get started.

Floor cleaned, rust treated – paint over those areas.


 I have laid the carpet out on the driveway to get warm and more pliable. It is custom made for the car but there are sometimes little production variations that will need a little more push or lift – softening the backing makes this much easier.

Step 1 Underlay

The underlay is in two pieces, one for the front and one for the back of the floor. I use masking tape to hold it in place until the carpet is in and the trim screwed back.

First piece.

The front piece needs a hole cut for the T-bar and that is about the hardest task!

Underlay to car floor

 Step 2 Carpet.

Ok, now for the carpet – basically the same task as the underlay but no room for error once you cut the carpet!

The carpet has to be alined carefully so that equal overlap is evident on the sides for the fitting of the trims. Also there are seatbelt reels and seat floor bolts to cut holes for!

Carpet centred – cut for the T-Bar and holes cut for bolts!

Getting the holes aligned for the seat bolts and seatbelts is a major task – I have learnt to insert long bolts as I cut the holes. The last thing you need is the carpet to move as you cut the other three holes for the seat mounting frame!
Some parts need the underlay removed under the carpet in order to fit the part (Inertia reel for the seat-belt a good example).

Aluminium Trims hold the carpet down along the door frame.

Back door trim.

Seatbelts in! Note plastic trim holding carpet from front to back trim!

Centre Consul

Before fitting the seats I just take moment to tidy up and re-colour the centre consul.

Consul out and ready for a cleanup and maybe some vinyl re-colour!

Seats Back In

With everything cleaned and ready for fitting seats can now be bolted back in.

Front seats in!

Rear seat is in!

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Headlining this Month

Well with the car in pieces and the inside gutted, repairs to rust all finished, time to turn to fitting all the new good stuff.

First task is the


Tools you will require are, Stanley knife, scrapper, cleaning fluid, bulldog clips, (any strong clips help), spray on adhesive, patience!

Some basic tools for getting the car ready for the new headlining!

First step is to lay out the headlining to “relax” the vinyl. Insert the rods (check the order!) by the numbers and left to left and right to right!

Here you can see the rods are in and I am just clipping and testing the fit. I bought 30 little bull clips to hold the headlining as I check fitting and also as the glue dries.

I have done the doorways so now onto the rear window. A few little cuts in the corners allow for the curve of the windscreen.

These pieces of trim go back over the headlining once the glue has dried.

The sides are well and truly dry before I start on gluing the windscreen.
The creases start disappearing as you tighten the edges – a few weeks after fitting very few left.

Here are three tabs along the parcel shelf for holding the headlining. (circled) There are a set on each side and along side the seat back as well.

Tension is added by pulling done onto these “teeth” which bend over once finished.

So front and back done sides in and trim replaced! Just leave it for a day or two to soften out the creases and then I will start on the light fittings.

Taking a Stanley knife I make 4 little cuts from the center of the light location to the edge of the hole in the panel. Must not rush this – one wrong cut and ………

Refit the globe holder and the facia and – lights in action!

Repeat for the center light and the bits of trim and sun visors!


Rear view mirror.

The visors look rather sad against the new white headlining! Will spray them later!

Finished and parked in the sun to warm and soften to work out creases!

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Out With the Old Interior

Just Rip it Out

Well the new carpet has arrived some weeks ago and I am just waiting on the headlining to arrive and to find some time between landscaping jobs to strip the whole inside of the car out.

Its here! Now, do I take on the task of fitting it myself? Do I find an auto-detailer to do it for me?
If I stuff it up that’s $200 wasted!

New White Headlining. Perforated like the original

I am doing it myself! First though have to strip out all the old carpet and fittings – seats – trim and headlining all must go!
Always the fun part!

20 Years Old and showing it!

Rods for giving tension and form to the headlining. All numbered and left and right marked!

One seat gone – one to go! Also the seatbelts and consul, trim around doors as well.

Half way there! Left side done now back to do the rest!

Old carpet sorted! 20 years wear and tear, two kids, 5 years as a landscapers work vehicle!

Now to the parcel shelf and rear seatbelts!

Screen out with no scratches so far! Cleaned up and ready to go back in a weeks time!

Ok cleaned up and stripped right down to the floor! All rust areas treated with POR15.

Some of the insulation was loose and needed regluing. You can see my new speaker cable ready for the sound system replacement. The red line is the high-rise led brake.

All the side trims are repainted. These sit under the aluminium plates. All the speaker wiring has been replaced with new cable.

Ooooh! Nasty rust found as I removed the window rubber! This is going to be a challenge!

Oops same on the other side!

After trying to find a talented MIG operator I ran out of time so opted for the epoxy, fibreglass option! It’s as strong as the metal and should give me a few years while I plan for a future repair with metal!

So a couple of days later – sealer and topcoat added – test the windscreen rubber – fitting is ok! Time will tell if we have stopped the rust and water leaks!

Window in, trim fitted, seal perfect! Have been in two storms of torrential rain and still dry in boot!

Ok! Interior gone, repairs done, rust treated and repainted metal!
Next it’s fitting the headlining – but that is another days story!

All of this is in order to get the car looking A1 for a certain young ladies wedding in September!

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Trim and Tidy

Having fixed the mad steering drift it now time to start on the other more cosmetic issues that are challenging the old BeaXT! First up the nasty nose!

Nose Job

It a few years ago that I managed to put a rather large dent in the front of the old girl – courtesy of pebble gravel, a steep driveway and a rather heavy trailer. The upshot was to either drive into a very solid granite strainer holding up a heavy gate or roll the car over the edge of the driveway!
A no brainer – the post it was to be!
Well avoided the rollover but some very nasty dents in the bumper, trim and bonnet!

I managed to do a little repair on paint and knocked the bonnet back into some semblance of straight! The trim was too bad and had to be replaced. A call to Superoo in Armadale and all done!

Clean and Strip

This process is pretty straight forward – having done it many times over the decades.
Fist off clean the car and then remove any polish or tape. In this case the bonnet had a piece of protective contact put over the nose – this was a short term fix after the bump. It held the paint in place and stopped anymore chips.

However, removing it stripped all the paint off down to the earliest primer layers from the 1980s! Nothing a little primer and spray putty cannot fix!

Primed, sanded and spray puttied and sanded again!

Add the colour after the last coat of primer!

Clear coat and then we are ready to do a little cut and polish. Not perfect but waterproof.

Next Time – the new carpet for the boot and interior has arrived!

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Rewire the Steering Column

Ok, the steering box is back in, engine starts – battery has not gone flat after sitting there for two weeks (I did disconnect the car at the battery while working on this). Now to tackle the steering column!

First problem is the the worn horn contact. The horn failed last year and it was the motivation to get on with the steering box replacement. Now I have to deal with the reason for that and it means a complete replacement of the column wire harness.

New harness

Rare Spares to the rescue on this one – I visited the store when fixing the threads on the steering shaft. The part had to be ordered from the eastern states so it will take a week to get here! No worries, I had plenty to do at this stage anyway.

Old Horn indicator wires

If you look carefully you can see that the outer pin is worn and not repairable so the whole horn and indicator switch has to be replaced.
I found a great video on youtube and watched the two guys do the same job on a Mustang – identical almost to the XT!

Wire it Right

Once you start pulling wiring apart it is very easy to forget the order of the wires in the connector so the first thing I always do is take a photo!

Plug for horn indicator harness

This is the plug from the steering column to the major wiring harness so this must be rewired correctly!

Alarm connections

This is the piggy-back setup to the alarm system to give the alarm access to the lights to confirm arm, disarm and alarmed!
The alarm wires are all black so a little tape is used to distinguish one from another!

Cut and Pull it Out!

Once the plug is cut off it easy enough to remove the wires from the column but I tape one large wire and attach it to some steel garden tie. Then as I pull out the wires the tie will move up through the shaft!

Taped end to hook onto follow wire

Follow wire threaded


All I have to do is now run some heavier wire up through the shaft pulled thru by the green tie wire so I can pull back the new harness! (That black wire is the back-up line for the automatic gearbox to turn on the two indicators when selecting reverse.)

New harness taped and ready to pull up the steering shaft

New wires in

Carefully and gently I pull the wires through and then we can start reconnecting the plug.


Remove old wires and in insert new ones carefully!

It was at this point I discovered that one wire had not been duplicated in the same colour pattern as the old one so care was needed when rejoining the plug!

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