May 2 2004
Today I spent some time and came to a conclusion of sorts on my temp gauge problem.
The temp and fuel gauge are both fed by the same contact on the voltage stabilizer under the left side of the dash. My fuel gauge always seemed to work OK except I'm pretty sure I run out of fuel at ¼ tank. The temp gauge had some mist on the inside of the glass so I thought it was toast.
Last week I brought the temp gauge over to my fathers' house thinking he could test it and see if it was OK. I had previously put 12 volts across the gauge and saw it move but was skeptical that it would respond to anything fewer than 12 volts. I was thinking this because I had tested the wires going to the gauge in the dash and saw 10 volts but no movement. Everything seemed right but nothing worked. Anyway, while I was doing something else my father had already tested the gauge and printed out all kinds of info on current draw and such. The gauge was pronounced functional. OK, so what's going on? We connected the gauge in the car and checked the voltage. 10 volts on the meter. My father pointed out a little "m" on the display that I had missed. This "m" indicated milivolts. So I had a whopping 10 milivolts as opposed to 10 volts. Ahhhhhhhh, a dead voltage stabilizer. I may have to get my eyes checked again. It's rough getting older.
So why did I see the fuel gauge die when I disconnected at sabilizer? Re-read the part about eyes and getting older.
So if the voltage stilizer is inop, why does the fuel gauge work? Pulled the fuel gauge out and found another/different wire going to one contact. So it seems the previous owner had wired 12 volts to the fuel gauge to get that working. I reconnected the proper wire.
In my pile of parts I found an old rusted looking voltage stabilizer. Plugged it in and found it sends battery voltage to the gauges. Better than nothing I guess. Out for a test... I find that the temp gauge reads high, typically sitting right at the bottom of the red. After testing the gauge with my father, I believe it'll read right after I get a good stabilizer connected and the voltage reduced. Ordered one this afternoon.
So now the question I'm asking myself. Is the fuel gauge reading high like the temp gauge? If so, that may be why I seem to go dry at ¼ tank.
May 31 2004
After reassembly I found the windows now go up and down very smoothly. Faster too. So there was binding either by the old channel seals or the window frame was out of alignment. I'm guessing a bit of both as now the top window frame matches with the door seal on the body better. Took it out for a spin this afternoon and now have a lot less wind noise. Still some from the quarter glass and sunroof. Did I mention I dislike that sunroof?
I replaced the door speakers while I was in there. When removing the passenger side speaker I found the long lost official lock knob stuck to the speaker magnet. Bonus!!
The previous owner was kind enough to pass along new door seals for both sides, so that's next.
I found the shop manual to be pretty lacking when describing the procedure on this. Seems quite often the manual says to simply remove bits without telling you what to do in what order.
The manual also seems to suggest you can remove the door glass before the channels/frame, but I have a hard time believing that is an easy thing to do.
Check how the top frame aligns with the body before removing any bolts. I found it best to remove the bolts at the bottom of the run channels, then the top bolts. I was able to remove the front bottom bracket from the channel, leaving the bracket still bolted to the door. The rear was a bit different in that I had to unbolt the bracket from the door leaving it attached to the channel. This bracket will keep you from lifting the frame up and out. You'll have to lift the frame until the bracket aligns with the light in the rear edge of the door. Pull the light out and remove the bolt securing the bracket through this hole. I would suggest making a note on how the brackets are connected to the channel and door to give you a reference when putting it all back together.
At the front, you may find that the bracket below the vent glass hangs on the top front mounting points. I used a wide pry bar inserted from below and twisted to get just enough clearance to lift the assembly up past that. About the same trouble going back in too.
After the frame was out I had to remove the belt molding and that required removing the glass. A little tense there as the mounting packing had bonded to the glass. Just wasn't sure how to remove it. Firm pressure without tools did it and the glass popped free.
On reassembly you'll want to be sure the glass moves well and the
upper glass frame aligns with the body correctly. I had the door trim
back on before I realized the frame wasn't aligned properly. So all
back apart again.