Minion Missile - 1973 Colombian Patrol Project

Builds, refurbishments, restorations, upgrades

Postby mad4hws » Wed Jul 01, 2020 3:48 pm

I'm working on the wiring again. Specifically the gauges and trying to incorporate the voltage regulator from amazon. In doing this, I had some questions/observations for the forum. In looking at the stock gauge, it looks like the voltage regulator may be incorporated into the water gauge. I have this spare gauge cluster that has original wires attached (see picture below). It looks like 12v come into the water gauge from the fuse block. There is a jumper from the water gauge to the fuel gauge that I think is supposed to be 9v. I put my voltmeter on it and it actually fluctuates between 9v and 4.5v. My question for the group is whether that fluctuation is normal, or should I just be seeing a steady 9v? I'm going to swap out the water temp gauges between the two clusters to see if that makes a difference. Good news is that when I hooked up the fuel gauge and the oil pressure gauge, they worked (I have really low oil pressure if the meter is working correctly).

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Postby Flaggoni » Thu Jul 02, 2020 12:19 pm

The original regulator does produce the fluctuations in volts. Not sure about the Amazon replacement.
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Postby mad4hws » Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:42 pm

Thanks. The amazon replacement doesn't fluctuate- it is constant. Based on what you said, if I hooked back up through the water temp gauge, I think I would be fine too.

I have the new (old) steering column installed. I have the steering wheel also installed...well, sort of. It's on, but the nut that I have doesn't fit. I have driven it up and down the street without the nut, but I need to find a nut. I have tried M16s - they'e too small. 5/8" is also too small. I'm ordering an M18 from McMaster - hopefully that will do the trick. It's an odd size and can't be found at any local hardware stores.
Once that is on, I can see if I can get the horn working - That is the last thing to do on the wiring at this point. The new steering set up is great. Much much much less play than was there before. Ann got her learner's permit on Tuesday, so want to get this rig to be a little more put together before going for a ride with her. It's already scarey enough without having to worry about the car in addition to the driving.... :shifty:
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Postby mad4hws » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:10 pm

Today was the day for the Minion Missile to something it hasn't done since I'm guessing 1973... Take it's top off! Raul said that he and his crew can do it all in one piece. Since there's only a few of us and we have no interest in keeping the hardtop, we decided to do it in pieces. First were the rear doors, then the top, windshield and sides.

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Once we freed up the top, Ann and I got underneath it and shoved it over the side:
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The hardest part by far were the sides. They were bolted down and then spot welded to the bed rails throughout. I was hoping that it was going to be pristine underneath and that I could get right to attaching the soft top frame I received from Raul. I wasn't that lucky. There's a fair amount of rust on those frame rails - a product of the top sitting on it and trapipng mositure for all of those years. I guess Ann and I are going to get more practice with that welder repairing some of these rust spots.

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Postby Esteban » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:48 pm

Good thinking about taking the top in pieces. Otherwise the frustration would have been bigger.

To bad about the rust condition of the top rail of the tub. I’ll guess that an easier approach will be to use a preformed member, maybe from som cold rolled profiles and weld them. I will keep looking for ideas.

Thanks for sharing this with us
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Postby rdarnell » Sat Jul 11, 2020 7:02 pm

Were the tops one piece on later models? I know the earlier models I have taken apart were 3 parts.
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Postby RiverPatrol » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:08 am

rdarnell wrote:Were the tops one piece on later models? I know the earlier models I have taken apart were 3 parts.


This one was an after market top. It came from Colombia, they never got the factory hard top.
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Postby mad4hws » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:04 am

Yes, RiverPatrol is correct. As I understand it, nearly all of the patrols that were imported into Colombia came into the port as soft tops. Most also had hardtops installed either before being sold or shortly after being sold. There were several manufacturers of these hard tops and the methods of attachment were different. I was hoping that mine would come off fairly easily. It was welded on in a number of places in addition to being bolted on. So, it took the entire day to remove it and I need to go back and clean a couple of areas up that have some jagged edges. It is made out of pretty heavy steel, so it weighed a considerable amount. I have to take a picture of the Patrol without it on and compare to the picture with it on. Without all of that weight, the Patrol is actually riding higher than it was before.

I am still contemplating putting new springs on and adjusting the shackles. So, I'm glad that I waited to evaluate that until after this hardtop was removed. There are a couple of places that need to be patched on the bed rails and there are a couple of other areas where the sheet metal needs some attention. I'm disappointed that I couldn't move right into doing a dry fit of Raul's frame, but we're one step closer at least. Patience...
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Postby rdarnell » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:22 am

Did you still need a frame?
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Postby mad4hws » Mon Jul 13, 2020 5:05 am

rdarnell wrote:Did you still need a frame?


I think this frame has plenty of issues for sure, but the more I think about doing a frame swap, I think I'm probably better served to do repairs to this one along the way. It is straight, so that's a plus. Things that I know I need to address:

* crossmember underneath transmission is rotted through. There is a repair job in-place, but it's kinda ugly and needs to be done properly. it's functional though.

* Rear bumper - has a ton of rot in it and needs to be replaced. I have been looking at that closer with the top removal. Intersting that ther was so much rust at the back end of that top, so now the rot on the bumper makes more sense. It seems like it wouldn't be that hard to replace. I would need to drop the gas tank first. The frame looks to not be affected though and the rust seems confined to the bumper.

* Shackle mounts - These have all been repaired at some point. I'm thinking about grinding them off and re-attaching more properly. A lot of work to do this.

This car is registered with the number that's on the frame. If i were to swap frames, I would have to figure out how to re-register, which would probably mean hours at the DMV.

Thoughts?
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Postby rdarnell » Mon Jul 13, 2020 9:23 am

i agree and pieces of the frame are easier to handle than the whole frame.
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Postby moore_rb » Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:15 am

I agree, too. patch the one that has the vehicle's original numbers stamped on it.
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L-R:
White 65 Hardtop L60-3-00617 (undergoing restoration)
Red 65 hardtop 4L60-002565 (scrapped for parts)
66 Hardtop "El-Bondo Patrol", L60-00511 (sold June2020)
Blue 67 Hardtop (sold March1997)
Green 62 Softtop L60-2-00504 (undergoing restoration)
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Postby mad4hws » Tue Jul 14, 2020 3:26 pm

Hi guys & gals;

So, I thinking about replacing the rear bumper. I'm not sure if it is stock or not. It is channel stock that is 3 inches in depth and 3.5 inches in height. It is welded to the frame. It needs to come out because it has a good deal of rust and since I'm going to deal with the rest of the rust on the back-end, I really should take care of this too. As I think about a replacement, I think I would like something that is removable - so thinking about fabricating some inserts for the frame rails that can be welded to the bumper and bolted to the frame. Has anyone else tried something like this? Also, I think I want something that is a little bit taller - maybe 5" or even 6". Appreciate everyone's thoughts.

Don.
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Postby RiverPatrol » Tue Jul 14, 2020 6:10 pm

The Patrol doesn't really have a rear 'bumper' per se. Most have the bumperettes on each side, roughly where your tail lights are. What you are referring to as the bumper is actually part of the frame, the fourth rail in the ladder frame. It can be replaced, much like folks have replaced the crossmember under the transmission. I would recommend against making it removable though, it's important to the integrity of the frame.
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Postby Esteban » Tue Jul 14, 2020 7:06 pm

I agree with RiverPatrol. That member is key to the structure.

I think that that member has a boxed construction, and duplicating it might be a very time consuming effort. I would source a steel channel with the closest geometry, and increase the thickness from what it is right now, and leave the channel open. That way you'll be able to paint it thoroughly for years to come.

While typing this I see that it might be difficult to source the steel channel, and maybe go to a rectangular tubing. However the closest one on a fast search is 120mm x 80mm x 5mm thick. (4.72" x 3.1" x 0.19") a little over 3/16" in thickness.

At the following place they have 4" x 3" x 3/16" rectangular tubing.

https://www.myalro.com/SmartGrid.aspx?S ... 1594771260

I'm sure a place that manufactures custom steel structural members will be able to get you something close.
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