La Salle Repair

by Wayne Heikkila

I have been working on my 1940 La Salle while its engine has been in the machine shop. One of the major projects was replacing the wiring that was just falling apart with the main starter wire being burned black. This has been quite a challenge. The wiring came out definitely easier than it is going back in. I am glad I took plenty of photos and bought a large wiring schematic.

During this, I decided to upgrade the car to a 12‐volt system and ordered all of the bulbs, cigarette lighter, voltage regulator, coil, resistors for the gauges and heater, and redid the generator. One of the things that needed repair was the glove box light switch which uses a tilt ball that rolls back and forth making contact on one side. Joe and I took mine apart and had it working for a little while but not with any consistency. I found an online replacement for $2.00. What a bargain! I was able to install the new switch inside of the old switch to maintain the original look. I also installed a headlight relay to reduce the voltage draw on the old headlight switch. The only rewiring left is the heater which only works set on high!

Additionally, I also power washed, sanded and painted under the hood to give it a cleaner look. The car still needs the original gas tank and new sending unit to be installed along with a new bushing in the rear leaf springs.

I will keep you posted on the progress of the La Salle. Hope everyone is staying safe.