The driving experience is filled with audible sensations: some good and some bad. Blower whine-good. Fan belt whine-bad. Exhaust rumble-good. Interior rumbling-bad.
It doesn't take many of these bad noises to ruin the time behind the wheel of our favorite machines. And if there's one thing that can make a car seem like a pile of nuts and bolts, no matter how fast it is, it's the rattles and squeaks. Tracing and quieting some of these noises can be difficult at times. The easiest solution is to crank up the stereo and drown out the offensive sounds.
Unfortunately we weren't able to perform the quick fix on our '70 Monte Carlo, as the car didn't have a working stereo until recently. After spending five months using the Monte as daily transportation and listening to all the moans and creaks, it was finally time for us to do something.
The most noticeable problem was a worn-out driver's side door hinge that allowed the door to bounce up and down while cruising with the window down. We contacted The Paddock and ordered a hinge repair kit and some weatherstripping. As it turned out, the repair was performed by one guy and only took about an hour. A quick fix to several months of suffering.
While we were working on the doors, we also took the door panels off and made sure that there was no debris rattling around inside them. We also checked that the lock rods and the door-release rods were not loose and banging against the inside metal door skin.
The door, hood, and decklid latches were all checked to ensure that they were adjusted correctly and holding the panels tight against the bumpers and rubber. By taking a slow walk around the car and tapping on the sheetmetal or bouncing it up and down and looking and listening, we were able to find a few other problems, as well. The front bumper was making contact with the grille and needed to be adjusted down a tad.
There are still some offensive noises that only show up while driving-they are getting fewer but harder to detect and fix. After all, this is a 30-year-old car and will never be as solid as a new one. However, with help and some adjustments it doesn't have to be an annoyance to drive or ride in.
Two new bushings were installed in the hinge half that remained on the body post: one from the top and one from the bottom.
To ensure that the hinge would work smoothly and quietly, a dab of wheel bearing grease was applied to the bushings before the hinge was reassembled.
The new pin was installed from the top to make sure that it didn't accidentally slip out at a later time.
The pin was then driven into the hinge with a punch and hammer until the knurled portion was seated into the hinge.
The hinge was now repaired and ready for the door to be reinstalled. To aid in adjusting the door, the jack and board were used as a lever and fulcrum to raise and lower the front of the door until it was tightened up and adjusted perfectly.
With the door now swinging properly and solidly, we decided to make sure that it would seal correctly. You can see here how brittle the old rubber was.
We removed the old rubber and wiped down the door with some mineral spirits to clean any old residue.
The new weatherstripping from The Paddock came with all the clips installed and was literally a snap to fit in place. All the clips lined up exactly where they should. We are planning to paint this car eventually, so we decided against using any weatherstrip adhesive-as it turned out, none was needed.
New rubber bumpers were also installed on the doors, decklid, and hood to prevent any of them from making any unnecessary noise. To make the job easier a small amount of silicon lube was sprayed on the backside of the bumpers.
The hood bumpers simply slipped over the adjusting bolts, but the door and decklid ones had to be carefully pushed into holes in the sheetmetal. By applying a little pressure with a finger and slowly pushing in between the rubber and metal with a small flat-blade screwdriver, we were able to get the bumpers fully seated.
We finished up by removing the interior door and quarter-panels and vacuuming any debris that had accumulated over the years. This will help quiet anything that may have been bouncing around in there as well as help any water drain out, thus preventing any rust.