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    1. Kit: , by (Yearly Subscriber) Roger Zimmermann is offline
      Builder Last Online: Oct 2019 Show Printable Version Email this Page
      Model Scale: 1/12 Rating:  Thanks: 2
      Started: 02-25-19 Build Revisions: Never  
      Supported Scratch Built

      People here know that I was doing for a long time a Continental Mark II; most may not know that prior to that model, I have also a 1963 Studebaker Avanti and a 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, both also at the scale 1:12.
      If the Avanti is a pure static model, the Toronado has an electric motor, centrifugal clutch and a 2-speed transmission plus reverse. Window, seat and headlamp doors are electrically operated, but that's far from reliable as you will discover the next few days.
      The goal was to finish the model, but, like every old thing you are dealing with, surprises arrise, usually to our dismay. It will be the same here.


      Now that the Mark II is ready, I have to really finish the Toronado. Why did I not finish it many years ago? Probably because I was very busy with my real cars; anyway, the fact is that the electrical system was not completed and the seat was no more functioning.

      In the seventies or eighties, a neighbors did for me a voltage reducer: the electrical motor for the traction is fed with 6V, but the motors for windows, seat and headlamps are fed with 2V. I had no idea if this device would still function, I never tried it.

      During the break in January, I did a case for four 1.5V batteries, (it could be that I did not completed the model because I had no 6V source) similar to the box I did for the Mark II.

      The first thing I did was to hook that voltage reducer and try if the windows would work. Nothing! However, the inside illumination was on, so I knew that the voltage reducer was active.

      As I had nothing to lose, I tried with the 3V box from the Mark II. The LH window came up, but with a high pitch noise! The RH window came up and down without noise, but very slowly. The quarter windows were OK too, but much slower than I had in memory. The seat would not move and the headlamps would not come up.

      The first work was to open the LH door and remove the motor.



      In retrospect, I did a very good job as everything is attached with screws. Once the motor was out, I separated the motor from the reduction gear and let it run with 1.5V. I had then the confirmation that the vibration came from the motor and not from the reduction!



      I put some oil at the output shaft, without difference. The back is closed; I tried anyway to put a drop of oil on it. I assume that the capillarity from the construction let some oil come at the right place as with the time, the motor went to a quiet mode.



      Itís now back in place, without noise. With 1.5V, it barely goes up and down when connecting the battery directly to the motor. Therefore, I tried again with 3V; it goes somewhat quicker, but you can almost get asleep in between. Thatís a design flaw: to improve the situation, I should use the same motors as the ones from the Mark II; this would require heavy modifications at the doors because the transmission (or reduction gear) is square.

      To understand what was happening and continue the electrical work, I had to remove the rear seat. I discovered the electrical mess under it; if I have the schematic of the system, I donít have identified the wires with the proper color, so Iím lost. There will be some detective work to find out.



      As some elements covered with leather were out, I cleaned them with a leather product. Despite the age (about 40 years old), they are in good shape; I must add that the mileage is maybe 10 yards!

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  1. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    As I had no motion with the switches, I had to assume that it was some oxidation there or worse, an open circuit. Again, everything is assembled with screws; I could remove the knobs to have a good view at the contacts. If the moving parts from the contacts were made with gold to avoid the oxidation, the pins were just brass and, indeed, they are black. A light cleaning was done as good as I could because, unfortunately, the switch base cannot be removed from the wiring. I will add some contact grease.







    When I was doing the switches for the Mark II, I wanted to see how I did the switches for the Toronado. I had unfortunately not the courage to remove all the parts attached with screws. It’s a pity because the master switch is almost a miniaturisation marvel and the way I did the insulation at the knobs was fantastic: I let first the knobs to be chromed and then I did the necessary insulation with 2K body filler! Easy, not a lot of machining and effective.



    I removed also the motor from the seat; fortunately, it’s not dead, it’s turning well with 1.5V.





    However, the seat’s tracks, a rod into a tube, was prone to jam.



    I will redo the tracks the way I did them for the Avanti and Mark II. The system itself with the string will stay because the mechanism I did for the Mark II could not be used here due to a lack of space. Cars were getting lower in the sixties!



    In between, I removed the hood because the mobile headlamps may require further disassembly.


    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #2

  2. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    As some wiring is lose in the trunk compartment, and the trim non-existent, I removed the trunk lid to facilitate the work. I noted that the torsion springs cannot held the lid open; I removed the rear grille and had a look at what I did a long time ago: the rods are similar to the ones from a real car. I could not remove them, but I was able to bend a leg, giving more upwards strength; it’s now enough to keep the lid wide open.



    I then reassembled the master switch and had a good look at the small switch for the seat. After a while, I discovered a broken wire; no wonder the seat was not functioning!

    I cannot solder the wire to the proper place as the space is not sufficient and the switch too near from the door/pillar. The dilemma was: do I let it that way, reassembling all or do I remove the wiring to repair the switch? When I’m at finishing something, it must function, therefore the decision came rather quickly: I’m repairing the switch, which is a major job: taking the carpet out. I knew that I could not rescue it, but boy, it was well, too well glued! While I’m at that, the quarter trim panels are coming out too because the switches are not functioning. I had no clue how the wiring would look like; I completely forgot how it was done. I will have to cut the wires going to the door, repair and reinstall and solder together the cut wires. I will use less material to keep the wires together; the vibrations are so few that its not necessary to attach them the way I did.







    On top of that, the RH front window is no more functioning! The motor is turning, but nothing is happening. Some more panels to remove!

    Some good news: the switch for the headlamp is OK, but the LH lid for the headlamps is jamming and is staying closed. Something more to repair! I have the impression that this model is like a real car which was technically neglected: good looking but not reliable. And each repair leads to another one. Nice!


    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #3

  3. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    After I cut some wires to take the window’s harness out, I noticed that it was not coming out easily. Once away from the car, I noticed that I was not able to insert a single wire into the model from the hole in the A pillar! It was at that time evident: the dash must out. But how? Fortunately, I kept the drawings I did during the construction. Unfortunately, they are imprecise; I just found an incomplete description how the dash was installed: the heater and A/C module at the dash was put last and was glued. Fortunately, the glue after so many years is no more very strong: with a plier, I could take the assembly out. Behind that, a screw is attaching the left instruments assembly. When this assembly was out, I saw more screws. But, how to remove the instruments from the right side? My brain had to make some overtime and something told me that one of the radio knobs is the key. But which one? The RH one would not turn but the LH did. And, effectively, the assembly is coming out!





    After a while, I was convinced that the surround in leather must come out. I found the 3 screws but then, the steering column was in the way! It went out without too much trouble. However, the dash would not move a lot because of the light harness. Then, I saw that the light switch is attached with 2 screws; this allowed me to pull the dash.



    Fortunately, all went without damage to the paint or plated Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12 parts. I can now move to the seat switch; I think I’m doing another one which should be better.

    When all the “furniture” was out, I tried to let run the electrical engine which should move the model. It is intended to run with 6 V but with my battery pack, I had nothing. The accelerator Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12 is connected to a variable resistance; I could see the wire moving with the pedal but I was unsure how the other side of the resistance to close the circuit. I removed another trim panel at the dash; the view to the resistance was marginally better, not more. There is a black heavy wire attached to the dash’s brass structure; it should be the wire I’m searching…By applying current to the black wire and the slider which is moved by the accelerator Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12 , the engine ran. To make it short, I had two days to understand what was wrong! I remember that I used a small transformer for electric trains, which I still have. I connected it to the motor and I had an idle and full power!

    With that problem solved, I could have a look at the seat switch. I tried to rescue it, but I was not happy with the whole design. I did another one which may be better; the whole is now ready and assembled into the trim panel. I must wrap the wires with some tape and reinstall.






    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #4

  4. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Before I’m continuing with the wiring, I wanted to modify the seat adjusters. It could be that my seat was too narrow as the centerline of the adjusters does not line up with the seat base; the pedestals for the tracks were offset on the old system. I wanted to do similar adjusters to the ones from the Mark II, but due to this distance situation, I had to imagine something narrower. I’m more or less satisfied with the end result; it’s most of the time not easy to adapt something to an existing construction. I did a test with the motor and 1.5V; the seat is moving more or less with regularity. I hope that with 3V it will be better.





    Removing parts is most of the time more interesting than the restoration work because it goes so quickly! This is true with real cars and it does apply with this model too: as I know that the retractable headlamp system is not too reliable, the sole way to get at it is to remove grille and front bumper. I’m not sure if I will have to remove the front panel too, the future will tell it.







    Now I have more and more parts removed; it could be the right time to begin some assembly!


    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #5

  5. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Iím so glad your posting all these pictures, Roger.

    Though I am certainly aware of what you can do, it is very different to see what you have done!
    QUOTE QUOTE #6

  6. Jo NZ's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    The size of the wires is the only thing to indicate that this is not a full size car. The detail and sharpness is incredible. I need to double-take on every picture and remind myself that it's 1/12 scale.
    QUOTE QUOTE #7

  7. MODEL A MODEL's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Hello Roger, This is a fiber-glass body? About how thick? -and did you have any problems with "fabric " print thru? (when the resin Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12 continues to shrink showing the weave of the fiber-glass cloth)
    -craftsmanship is a lifelong project of
    self-construction and self determination
    QUOTE QUOTE #8

  8. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Thanks for the comments! Yes, the wires are obviously not to scale!
    Yes, the body is fiberglass. It's rather thick, about 1.5 mm. At that time, I had a regular job; I could work on the model during the evening and week-end. It took an incredible amount of years to get it painted. For this reason, I have none of the problems usually associated with fiberglass; the surface is smooth and rather free from recesses due to shrinkage of material used to fill the pores (which is not the case on the Avanti!).
    Now that I have the model in pieces, I saw that the paint job is not as good as I was thinking. There is orange peel Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12 and some runs; this will be eliminated by sanding Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12 /polishing.


    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #9

  9. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Indeed, I wanted to install the door’s wiring. It went not so well, therefore I had to take it out again. I “managed” to break 2 wires; putting in question if, with the door installed, I can install the wiring where it belongs.

    Before I went up, I had the idea to remove the LH fender; it would help greatly with the wiring matter. Surprisingly, it took about 10 minutes to remove the fender, very easy, compared to the recent model I did, the Mark II.

    First the rocker panel molding must be removed; I remembered that both small moldings at the front fender and rear quarter, above the rocker molding, are just inserted into a slot because I could not attach them with clips.





    4 screws later, the rocker panel is gone. Instead to remove the fender with the wheel house, I removed the 5 screws attaching both parts and 5 more and the front fender is gone.





    It was then easy to take both pins from the hinges out and the door is removed. Now, I can install the wiring through the door, and assemble it.



    The RH door has too much play at the above hinge; as the fenders are so easy to remove, the RH one will be removed too at a later date. Anyway, if I have to remove the panel in front of the hood to improve the headlamp system, the fenders have to be removed because there is one screw on each side of the panel with is attached at the radiator cradle.

    The vacuum motor to activate the headlamp door is of course a fake one. It’s here just for the show and out of view when the fender is installed.


    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #10

  10. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    The door’s wiring was installed yesterday and the electrical continuity tested. As I cannot do a conduit with rubber like the real car, I wrapped the wires with an strange electrical tape: it can be lengthened getting thinner Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12 and narrower. The benefit of it: it is self-adhesive and is extremely difficult to unwrap, in contrary to the regular electrical tape. Don’t ask me its name, I don’t have it and don’t remember where I bought it. Then I installed the trim to the door’s shell.



    Today, I refreshed the seats (logical, with so many driven miles!) by using a leather paint I have since ages. It’s very thin, is hardly covering, but gives uniformity because the leather was not perfectly tinted when I bought it. When the paint was dry (it takes a few minutes to dry), I rubbed the leather with a leather conditioner I’m using indeed for my real cars.



    Murphy’s Law? While removing the RH trim panels to check the window switch, I noticed that the string actuating the quarter window was no more in its lower guide. This guide is attached to the body with 2 screws inserted from the wheelhouse. Easy to remove, but it was another matter to reinstall it. How did I do that many years ago? Sure, front and rear windows were not yet installed, I had no glasses and the body was not yet installed on the frame. With some tricks that guide was in place after about 2 hours. I tested the switch just to see that the string went out at the upper guide! It stayed there very brave when the string had the wrong position at the lower guide; Did I that different path years ago to avoid problems at the upper guide? I don’t know. I will remove the channel and modify the upper guide. It seems that I will be busy for some time!



    To unscrew the lower guide, I had to remove the wheel. It was a good opportunity to put a drop of watch oil into both ball bearings. Have a look too at the brake drum; I don’t remember exactly how I did them; I just remember that the drum itself is brass and the fins are made with polyester. I see now the importance of documentation, even for a scale model.







    As you probably know, Toronado cars had a monolame leaf spring at the rear. Unfortunately, I could not duplicate that single leaf and had to make a conventional system. The parking brake from the model is the sole to function without problem because the actuating pedal is at the right location to be pushed with a finger.


    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #11

  11. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    The day after was a really bad day for the model: after removing the window’s guide, I did a guard at the upper guide, and reassemble the whole. There are only 3 screws; I had the whole afternoon for the story. Then, I tried the quarter window. Strange, it goes very slowly, like a dead battery. But the string stayed in place until it was a tiny “crac” and the string broke. I will have of course to replace the string and, inside the model I will have to do 2 knots when I have difficulties to enter just one hand. The question is coming again, how did I do that for 30 years?

    For the moment, everything is out: the motor, the window and the guides. I’m putting the model on the side for a couple of days until I’m getting the energy to solve that problem or to let that quarter window fixed in the up or down position.

    To rescue that quarter window, I supposed that removing the RH door could not harm; there is anyway something wrong with the window from that door. Indeed, the string here is broken too! As it will be easier to repair the door when it’s out of the car, it’s like one stone and two flies.

    It was an easy task to remove the front fender, pins from the door and disconnect the single switch. Fortunately, the wiring is staying into the car, easier than on the LH side.



    There is too much play at the hinges; I noticed that I tried to solve the problem long ago with some soft soldering on the pins. I will have to increase the hinges holes and use larger pins.

    While I was at removing parts, it took the back window out. It was glued with contact cement which does not age well.

    On another forum (AACA), a member from England told me that I should use a Kevlar string; he had also questions why the original string broke so easily. It could be that the age has an influence: I tried to tear the remaining string: I could to it easily. On the contrary, I tried the same with the string I have since years (therefore it has the same age): I cannot tear it. I could not tear the remaining string from the rear window either. It could be that the string went weak for an unknown reason. I'm sure I could find a similar product locally. Anyway, the string diameter is important and the fact that it has to be "bent" on rathe small radii.

    The string I have has a diameter of .45mm (0.018") and the small pulleys have a diameter of 2.8mm(0.11").

    Anyway, something to think about!

    By the way, what about the string's health of the other side? As the LH door is not yet installed, it's not too late to have a good look at that string. I've not yet searched for that Kevlar string; it's making its way into my old brain!

    I'm glad that the windows from the Mark II are purely mechanical, actuated by the electric motors.

    The string broke most probably because of the stress. Have a look at the attached picture I did right now. When the window is going down, there is extreme stress on the string just after the pulley on the extreme left, because the window is coming to its stop. It the same on the extreme right. The string on the left near the motor has no tension now, but it will have a lot when the window is up. There is a pulley and a spring on the right behind that broad piece of brass, but the device is not well done and inefficient. As you can see that the string at the left of the motor is frayed, after about 10 times up and down. It's also a candidate spot for weakness.



    I did a search at that magic Kevlar reinforced thread; unfortunately, the diameter and other properties are not described in all the sites I had a look. If the properties and diameter are available for my needs, it will be the solution because I will not be able to avoir the stress at some places.

    Are you confused with my tentative of explanation? Me too!

    Since that window lift design was developed in the seventies, there was a problem with the string tension: either too much or there was slop. The tensioner I did then was not very helpful; time to do something more efficient: it’s a pulley on an arm, as well as a spring giving something similar with an engine’s belt tensioner. Indeed, there must be 2 tensioners but the tests I did are quite satisfactory with only one.



    By reaching my glasses this morning, the electrical wires were catch in the glasses and the door fell on the floor. The lower corner at the right is showing that misshapen; fortunately, the molding will hide it at the outside. I have no paint anymore; I will try to mix some to hide the inside damage.


    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #12

  12. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Indeed, my idea was to relate the end of the Toronado construction in the Mark II thread. As there are more repairs as I expected and due to the time needed to solve them all, I decided to do a separate thread. The status is now "searching of a more reliable string". The last picture was indeed from yesterday; therefore, you will now follow the "progress" live.


    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #13

  13. markus68's Avatar VIP/Sponsor
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    I think i should stop scale modelling (when i look at this).
    QUOTE QUOTE #14

  14. Roger Zimmermann's Avatar Yearly Subscriber
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    Don't do it! As I wrote sometime ago, your model is good looking. Don't try to compare your car to one from a different time. I still have the same feeling as you have when I'm looking at some pictures from Gerald Wingrove. Just go ahead and don't think it's a competition!


    Finishing my 66 Olds Toronado, scale 1:12
    QUOTE QUOTE #15

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