Separation Anxiety

Today we are NOT working on the car – because I dropped it off at a garage to let some pros look it over and tell me what’s really wrong with it.  I have some real frustrations about not being able to work on it today, because so far I have really enjoyed everything.

Let me chronicle a few things we’ve done so far.

In the featured photo you can see a battery and tray I’m leaning over.  Not so interesting until you realize that there’s already a battery and tray on the opposite side of the engine bay (far right).  The one I’m leaning over I put in, and I had to relocate the washer bottle (previous article) and, in another personal first, take out and replace a component of the air intake system.

The internet told me the only function for the air intake muffler I was removing was sound-aesthetic – indeed, this muffler was redesigned out of existence in the 1995-97 Land Cruiser.  I still had some consternation about messing with a mechanical rather than electrical component.  Turns out it was pretty simple – you can see the two pieces of hose that I took out right in front of the battery compartment in the photo, and we managed to find a near-perfect fit piece of hose to replace them at NAPA Auto parts.  One half of a bracket was also bent out of the way, but nothing that couldn’t be undone if needed.

After this, we were almost ready for the battery tray to go in – first it had to be trimmed a bit to fit around the radiator.  A drill and a cutting disc was sufficient to make the necessary trims, and five bolts later the tray was installed.  Then the battery went in, complete with tie-down kit – it looks more pro even than the original battery (whose tie-down has gone missing).  Looks nice but not super useful yet as we haven’t yet installed the electrical cabling that hangs off of the battery, as well as the system that charges the battery from the alternator.  Soon!

The following day we started working on the sound system.  Basically we would take out nine old speakers, put in new two (or three…we will see) new speakers, and eventually a new head unit.  However, in a twist, we would use the opportunity of the door panels being off to install some sound dampening material, which is basically adhesive tar paper with thick aluminum foil backing.  This has the effect of reducing road noise fatigue, but also in just making the car environment more livable.  The Land Cruiser is a truck – not a lot of luxury – and installing sound dampening makes it just that tiny bit more refined.

I had some excellent assistance from my install tech for the fatmat – Melanie proved an absolute pro at working the inside of the doors and quarter panels.

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Then I got to work on the speaker installation.  Suffice to say that there aren’t many speakers that fit in the Land Cruiser doors because the install space is so shallow.  We put in some Pioneers after a false start with some (diameter) too big Precision Power speakers.

The install hole (below) prepared with some dampening material around the rim.  The bar in the back is the window rails, and there is a maximum of 1.5″ for the deep part of the speaker.  Not the easiest space to fill!

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As you can see below (from inside the door), the speaker BARELY fit, and we put some sound dampening material on the back of it to avoid vibrations as it comes into contact with the window.  (Soldering of original factory wires to speaker by me.)  We also had to make sure to route the wires so that the window wouldn’t come into contact with them…

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The door panels then went back on, and the speakers were tested with local MN radio and Dad’s lame Gary Lewis & The Playboys CD. All good – we are ready to install the new head unit.

As far as the sound dampening is concerned, we are really glad we did it.  The doors now have a satisfying WHUMP when they close rather than a truck-ish clatter, and the road noise is definitely reduced as well.  We will be using this stuff on every possible surface until we run out.  A great modification, highly recommended for older cars.

Here’s hoping the garage doesn’t turn up anything major and we can have the car back later today!  Fingers crossed.

One thought on “Separation Anxiety

  1. Lame? No way. Classic Rock!! And there were plenty of other great ones to chose from but you chose wisely. Good work on the car. When to discuss flying blades?

    Like

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