And not just a wagon but perhaps the wagon of wagons. I give you the Wagon Queen Family Truckster!
This wagon shepherded the Griswolds from the suburbs of Chicago, throughout this beautiful country of ours, and finally to Wally World (wherever that is). Well, not this one because this is a reproduction, but it’s currently up for auction! I’m not sure how much its expected to go for, but if you think you have some extra money laying around this is a solid gold investment opportunity if there ever was one.
I had a few minutes over lunch free this afternoon, so I decided to reinstall the central locking harness I repaired in the previous entry. The trickiest part was getting the end of the harness that fits around the lock itself in the proper place.
Notice the small, white bracket piece. In it sits a lug attached to the lock mechanism that turns with the key. This bracket is a small switch that makes the connection to drive the lock motor one way or the other to either lock or unlock the other doors. I had to make sure the lug was in this bracket before squeezing the plastic ring closed.
I placed the rod that the lock knob attaches to back through its hole and attached it to the actuating link for the central lock. Then I reinstalled the guide casing and taped the homemade vapor barrier back into place. As soon as I get the screws I need to attach the new handle I’ll close it all back up.
Since the weather has improved a little in the last couple of weeks I felt it was time to address a few things actually inside the car. As we’re in the Smarch part of the year, it is still generally too chilly and windy to do complicated things outdoors. I’ll be tackling easier things at first.
Replacing the handle
This time that took the form of replacing my broken driver side door handle. I had recently purchased a used replacement that needed a little paint, so that was job one. First came paint stripper and then some scraping and sanding.
As you can see, this went well enough. I even repainted the handle using a can of 16-year-old satin black Rust-Oleum I had laying around which had just enough aerosol in it to paint the handle.
There was a complication, however. When I took the door card off the door I got a good look at the central locking switch (part 3540135) wires. They were in a real state with a lot of the insulation flaking off and some of the wires beginning to fray. Touching them had the tendency to ground out the connection and trigger the lock. I imagined someone letting themselves in by giving the door a Fonzie-like fist pound and decided to switch tasks to the rehabilitation of this part.
When I got the harness out, the insulation continued to flake. I took it down to the shop, removed the loom, and snipped the wires close to the connector. I then covered the frayed sections with heat shrink tube and resoldered the wires back together. A simple continuity test told me everything was still connected.
Unfortunately that was the end of the day for me, so I didn’t have a chance to reinstall the wire let alone the new handle. That was missing one of its screws, a type and size I didn’t happen to have on hand, so I’ll have to stop by the hardware store to get one before I can address that. That’ll probably be the subject of my next post.
The cold weather has not been kind to my battery. It was almost completely dead. I once again borrowed my friend’s recharger and topped it off, so to speak.
Two small updates. First, I was able to locate the last piece of trim I need for the exterior. This was part 1255891, the “Dirt Deflector Moulding”. It runs below the doors, in my case on the driver’s side. I got it from a local guy who I’ve seen advertising on Craigslist for some time but had never been able to get a hold of through email. My persistence paid off, though, as he both had my piece for a very fair price and also had, like, seven other 240s around his house. I see him being a good resource provided I can keep him answering emails.
The second item on list was a few outstanding interior wall and door cards. For longer time readers of this blog, you may remember that the door cards in this car were not in great shape. I decided to rectify this by reinforcing all the cracks and problem spots with simple white glue. As silly as it sounds, white glue is well suited for strengthening paper. So I squeezed some along each fissure, around the shabbier fastener holes, and anywhere the card was coming apart. I placed heavy objects along the cracks to keep them together and the card flat.
The cargo area is now back together after taken most of the panels out when I replaced the fuel pre-pump. I also finally put the rear driver side door’s card back on.
The weather is still sucky in my part of Pennsylvania. It tends to vary between snow and mud with cold and windy as the consistent theme throughout. So not much work has been done to the car itself since the last time. I have finished cleaning up my shop, though. With that cleanliness some the ability to actually work in, and that is what I have done. Among the tools I received from my friend was an old K-Mart brand creeper (so you know it’s quality!). I actually used it when fixing my Honda, but it was in terrible shape. The wheels were these terrible, chewed-up plastic things and the foam rubber head rest had long ago turned to dust. Other than that it was fine, so instead of going out and buying a new one I instead bought new wheels, a few pieces of wood to accommodate them, and some new foam and voilà… I am now scoot enabled.