1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

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Sugarmaker
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

a few more: Yep that's a cassette player in there too! Humm might have to see if I can find some old tapes??:)
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Several things to look at now that its home. Will need to start a list:
- Squealing belt/s when revving the engine- humm new belts or belt dressing? minor but annoying.
- Tires rubbing on or very close to wheel wells - need to correct this near top of the list and may need new smaller skins
- Drivers inside arm rest - This is minor but will need replaced with repro white painted unit
- Will pull wheels and review the current status of all the brakes - Put this near the top of the list
- Did find the original jack and base in the trunk under the spare. - Just nice to find things
- Center console refurbish - for sure minor but would like to improve this before we go for ice cream. (some time for that)
- power steering seems ok to the right but not great to the left??? - no clue on this. PO did change out the lower hydraulic unit.
- Passenger door courtsy light not functioning - May just need a new bulb?
- Clean inside and outside of car Lots of detailing can be done. Chrome needs shined up.
This list will surely expand as we learn more about "lil red"!
Thanks for checking in on us.
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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poboyjo65
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by poboyjo65 »

Man that gauge bezel looks great! do you know if it has been re chromed? must have been.

I hate messy belt dressing. I usually just tighten it a little more if it squeals. But if it looks kinda old I'd replace them & keep the old ones in the trunk as spares.

which tires rub,, front or rear?

steering may need more bleeding

keep in mine discs need a different mc than drums,just in case you're thinking of getting a new dual mc now & adding disc later . also a different one for discs on front & rear .

But man little red is looking good! :D
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Johno

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Jims65cyclone
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Jims65cyclone »

You guys have got a real cream puff! Like John said, that instrument bezel and dash in general is super. Looks like new rubber seals around the windows, too. Do the door, trunk and windshield/rear window seals look as good? The only thing I see wrong in the interior is the broken trim piece on top of the console. Did you say you have it? Hope so because its made from unobtainium. Nearly impossible to find a good Cali/Cyclone console lid, let alone just the trim ring. You can get a repop of the insert on the lid. You mentioned tire scrubbing. Front or rear, and what size tires are on it?

Jim
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Sugarmaker
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

John, Jim, guys,
I know that the Comet bumpers were new or re chromed years ago. No clue on the dash chrome, I thinks it is original dash chrome. The car must have had several good owners. It also spent some time in Memphis in its early years.

I do have that missing small chrome piece for the console. Needs to somehow be re attached to the console? Maybe a emblem glue??

Have not been able to locate a repo of the emblem?? Several suppliers show them as out of stock. Non to be found on the net.

The tires are 225R-70 (14 inch) Cooper Cobra front and rear.
The rear tires have rubbed on the inside of the fender well. Car has air shocks. Haven't checked the pressure yet. I think 80 is recommended with out the trunk loaded? Front tires are within a 1/4 inch from the front lower edge of the front fender. May be rubbing some in the front wheel well area too.
The magnum 500 style wheels may not have the same back spacing? But I like the look of those rims with the Merc man logo in the center!

Thinking of 215-R-70 BF Goodrich TA's as more correct tire size? recommended by my local Comet expert! I sure dont want to have a tire hit a fender and cause damage to the fenders.

Front windshield has been replaced, so maybe new seal was installed then. Drivers door seal has some damage.

I was thinking same on the belts. The one going to the pump is very smooth. I assume that is the one that is chirping?
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Sugarmaker
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Guys,
I will have many questions: Here is a couple weird ones. Can the front seats be interchanged and or moved back about 3 inches? At 6'-1" it is just a little tight with the seat moved back. The Drivers seat base seems pretty soft or springs worn ?
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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poboyjo65
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by poboyjo65 »

On the rear tires it probably is rubbing on the axle bumpstops which protrudes out from the inner wheel well. you could grind it down or cut them off . I took mine completely off.

I moved my seats back 5'' at first,(too far) then drilled more holes at 3'' back . just made them from some 1/4'' stock I think was 1.5'' wide;
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I had to countersink some bolts so the track would lay flat on it. I think I welded the 2 that goes thru the floor so they wouldn't spin when tightened. but the 2 going up thru the tracks are removable.
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I put a little rudder on the back because at 5'' back they hung off the humps on the outer ones but at 3 '' back you wont need that it wont hang off.

& 3'' would be about right for you. but keep in mine it wont go up as far forward so if your wife drives it you may could do with 2 to 2.5'' back. you could simply adjust it beforehand to 3'' from all the way forward & see if she can reach the pedals ok & if not maybe find a happy medium before you make your decision.

I think 80 in air shocks would be stiff & ride like a log wagon. but you'll figure all that out by trial & error
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Johno

JimsHot66
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by JimsHot66 »

Very nice car! Doesn't look like there is too much to sort out...It'll be fun come spring, enjoy!

Jim
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Sugarmaker
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Johno, Jim, Folks,

At the controls of "lil red" , Yes I thnk the 3 inch movement in the seats would be great!
Dash has been touched up with silver paint.
I looked at the owners manual and found notes on the back page of oil changes showing the car has 181,000 miles on it! I was a little surprised, but stuff happens! (Rev A: correction on the mileage estimate: We now believe that the 81K on the odometer is original and someone was just putting down even mileage numbers in the owners manual for proposed oil changes. These were numbers in 2000 mile increments, which is not what you would do in actual oil changes: cec 2-1-24)
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I did get the small chrome trim piece for the console race track trim cleaned up and ready to fit and glue in place at some point.

Crossed one thing off the list at least temporarily. Friend Jim came over and we tighten the belts on the power steering pump and the alternator too. It was the alternator belt that was the issue. No more chirping when you blip the throttle!
Took the trunk mat out and did find one hole that had been patched with a gob of bondo in the inside right rear lower fender. not a huge surprise. The majority of the trunk floor looks pretty good, just a few spots of surface rust. Also need some seam sealer in back of right rear wheel well to fill in a small gap in the body.
Found a large chunk of dirt or old undercoating laying near the wheel well and fender. Took that out as it might trap water and rust out the fender.
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Engine oil looks fresh as it had just been changed recently. Engine is starting good.
Pulled most forward spark plug on drivers side. It was black and gap a little wide. Will change those all out with Auto lite BF-42's.

Original caps:
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Found the bumper jack parts:
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I like these wheels:
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tire clearance in front:
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Pumped the rear shocks to 80 psi. The rear came up about 1.5 inches. No test rides as the weather is winter here. That change provided more clearance between the wheel well and the tire.
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Tire sizes have me a little confused, I need to do some research on that issue.
Power steering is not turning good to the left. How does this system need to be bleed?
Thanks for the support!
Last edited by Sugarmaker on Fri Feb 02, 2024 2:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Jims65cyclone
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Jims65cyclone »

Sugarmaker wrote:
Sat Jan 13, 2024 12:00 pm
The tires are 225R-70 (14 inch) Cooper Cobra front and rear.
The rear tires have rubbed on the inside of the fender well. Car has air shocks. Haven't checked the pressure yet. I think 80 is recommended with out the trunk loaded? Front tires are within a 1/4 inch from the front lower edge of the front fender. May be rubbing some in the front wheel well area too.

Thinking of 215-R-70 BF Goodrich TA's as more correct tire size? recommended by my local Comet expert! I sure dont want to have a tire hit a fender and cause damage to the fenders.
Try experimenting with this tire size calculator.
https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc?ti ... -215-70r14
Changing from 225/70 to 215/70 will gain you about 1/4" more clearance on the leading edge of the front fenders, and a little over 3/16" more clearance on either side of the rear tires and the fender wells. You could gain a little more by dropping to a 65 series, but I checked several major brands of 14" tires and they drop from 70 to 60 series, which is a pretty drastic change on the dimensions. 14" tires are getting harder to find, and the options on sizes are pretty limited.

Jim
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Sugarmaker
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Jim, Folks,
Ok guys give me your tire pictures and your preference. I know some of you have big wide tires that look great on the rear! But I plan to keep lil red near stock. I would like to continue to use these magnum 500 rims with the Merc man centers.
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I spoke with the PO and he said they rebuilt the power steering control unit. Not sure what it needs but that is on the list.
The day/night mirror is nice:
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Remote adjust of the drivers side mirror:
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I did glue in the broken chrome piece in the console lid. But wasn't very happy as it just doesn't fit down flush on the ends. Well its way better than missing!
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Was thinking a piece of black walnut wood could work in the emblem spot if needed.
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I did find while cleaning up the interior that the seats have been raised 1 inch on blocks. Still thinking of shifting the seats back 3 inches. Thanks for the ideas on that issue.
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Cheryl in "lil red" Checking it out, I think she approves:
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I am working in the trunk to take care of some surface rust some touch up required, and some seam sealer will be applied to some joints.
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Got the courtesy bulb changed out in the passengers side door:
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Hope things are good in Comet land!
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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Groover
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Groover »

What a very nice Comet... although it's a little young for my taste (that's a 65 v 64 joke :)

With regard to the Power Steering: unless there is something radically different between 65 and 64 (I don't think so) and if it's original, there really isn't any bleeding required since the return line goes to the reservoir and air escapes at the top of the system. too much pressure in the system for air to stay in there. That said, here are a few things that could impact the steering in my experience.

1) the steering cylinder is bent (the ram attached to the drag link that pushes and pulls the steering left and right) or the bracket it attaches to (bolted to the driver side frame rail) is loose or misaligned.
2) the idler arm bushing. If it's loose, torn, or slipping, it may work fine to on side but slip in the other direction. That thing is a bugger. 65 may be better than 64 but it's still an issue.
3) the power steering control valve. That thing is a miracle of science and if somebody told me they had rebuilt it, I'd want to know more about their attention to detail, where they got the parts kit, etc. If anything is wrong in that spool valve it could have all kinds of affects.
4) that said, i seem to recall, there is an adjustment for the control valve that sets the tension of the back and forth of the spool valve, so that may be the easiest thing if the PO didn't set it correctly.
5) If anybody rebuilt the steering box, that could be another issue. When rebuilding it, it's tricky to get all those little bearings together and recirculating correctly. if one of those buggers gets outside the loop, the box will work but it will bind one way.
6) a dozen other things, but these are the first ones that come to mind.

Easiest thing is just lay under there while it's running and have somebody move the steering from side to side. look at each of those pieces and see what's up.

This is a great site for learning everything you want to know about that PS system, and if you need parts, etc (and if he's still in business) Randy is a fountain of knowledge. http://www.stangerssite.com/

Sorry of this is TMI, but I spent a good chunk of time rebuilding one of those systems once, and it's one of the few times I get to put that useless knowledge back in action.
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1964 Comet Caliente Convertible
30,000 miles on our rebuild

All Comets start out as dreams...

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poboyjo65
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by poboyjo65 »

I was hoping Groover would speak up because I knew he had worked on his. what he said about turning it back & forth is how you bleed the newer PS boxes but I dont know about this assist type. I would think it would do the same for it. So if you jack it up & turn back & forth to inspect like he mentions keep an eye on the fluid level just in case it does have air trapped in there & add if needed. be gentle when hitting the stops when turning all the way left & right with engine running.

your 14's are over an inch taller than my 15's on front . here's a comparison;
https://www.tacomaworld.com/tirecalc?ti ... -225-70r14
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Johno

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Jims65cyclone
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Jims65cyclone »

At the time, the Comet "performance" tire was a 7.35/14. The closest 70 series tire you'll get to that is a 205/70/14. That would reduce your width a little over 3/4" and diameter a little more than 1" compared to your current 225/70/14's.

Jim
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Sugarmaker
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by Sugarmaker »

Groover, Johno, Jim,
Thanks for the power steering pointers and the tire sizes for the 65.
On the tires I would like to do this:
- Want to keep the Magnum 500 wheels if possible. I think they are 7 inch wide rims. Not sure the backspacing dimension?
- Get at least 1/2 inch more clearance in the front tire to fender clearance ( now about 1/4 inch) That means a smaller diameter tire.
- On the rear and or the front I would not mind a wider tire look, but not sure the driving clearance is there? I have about 1 inch clearance on both sides of the rear tires (inside and outside) This is with the shocks at 80 PSI.
So maybe a 215 size tire might be a good option? Could I go wider??

On the power steering. I plan to soon get "lil red" on the lift and do some inspection of the steering and the brakes. Probably will have way more issues.
Now that I am pretty sure this car has 180K miles I am interested to see how well it has held up. (Revision A): After further review we believe the car only has the 81K miles as shown on the odometer, cec 1-17-24)

I will go to the link from Groover to get some details.

Working on lots of little things along the way too. Will keep you up to date.
Last edited by Sugarmaker on Thu Jan 18, 2024 4:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
Regards,
Chris and Cheryl
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SASSY
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Re: 1965 Comet Caliente (little red)

Post by SASSY »

If you have a wheel shop around you they can probably modify the back space to some degree to maximize tire size by moving the bell on the center.
By the look of the wheels in the pics back space could be increased by an inch or more.
I know those wheels well, have probably assembled a couple hundred or more.
I'd rather do it myself if it's done right or not,,,isn't that what hotrodding is all about

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