I started assembling the front end finally. After ordering some things I knew I would need, I started watching videos. I clearly got that in the wrong order. It ended up taking 3 orders to get what I need to finish the job. First stage will be to assemble the headlights.
When I was assembling the list of parts required, I remembered I probably have the original stainless steel headlight rings. My reminder was seeing that NPD had original replacements for $50 each. Good incentive to dig through bins. I found them and was reminded that they were covered in paint from a previous owner’s handiwork. It didn’t take too long with some 0000 steel wool and elbow grease to get them presentable again. Not the same polish as the window trim, but good enough. I can decide later if I really need them mirror quality after I see how it all comes together and how well you can see them.
Another thing I remembered here was that NPD has lots of parts. You can also buy the same parts in many ways. Like some previous assemblies, I ended up with a number of duplicate little parts as some kits came with more than expected. Another factor is not having experience, I didn’t know what each of the hardware kits were, so I opted to err on the side that didn’t delay me for another week. Below, I will list just the parts I used, not the ones I bought.
The rest of the parts for the light buckets and hardware came from NPD. I probably should have done all of this previously since they are self contained in the fender extension. As I started assembling, I realized it’s probably a good idea to assemble the headlights before mounting them due to the spring. All experience for the next project.
I started by putting the adjuster screws in place, as well as the plastic clips for the final ring. I didn’t have to replace the brackets for the adjuster screws since these were new reproduction fender extensions which came with them attached.
You might notice I also have some different light bulb sockets. I thought I would upgrade from the simple sockets that came with the set and get these ceramic sockets as they appeared more durable.
Next came the headlight bowl. The spring in the top right was annoying. The way I finally got it was to use a wire to pull it through as it was attached to the extension, and clip it to the bowl. I also put some painter’s tape on the sharp flanges, but I still managed to scratch up the inside of the extension. Not that it’s going to be visible, but still.
After that, I mounted the light bulb retaining ring that I cleaned up earlier. The screws were a bit of a pain since the new bowl was only rough cut for the threaded area. Next, the painted rings went on easy since the screw receptacle clips were plastic. They may or may not be original as they were dropped off with the chassis after paint. I also reused my old headlights for now. Once I have it running and the lights actually power up, I can work on upgrading them. Everything is in place now, but I will have to do some work on them later to aim them properly.
Pretty straight forward. Also a good lesson to assemble the lights before attaching the fender extension to make the project simpler. Time to wrap up the passenger side and move on to the stone deflector.