Sunday, December 12, 2021


I always want to do a good job with things, even if I can get away with some short cuts.  But I can't make myself take them!  That means I did more than I planned and stripped Alice down to the bones.  And I'm glad I did.

The first thing to go was the gas tank.  I had planned to do that anyhow - but I thought that maybe I could wait until after paint to make the swap.  I decided to go ahead since I needed to drain the gas to remove the fuel pump and do a little sheet metal repair around the filler neck.

That old tank was... old.

I think Alice is happy to have it gone.  I sure am - the gas stank and you can see the detritus of 47 years (there's no way this thing was ever removed).  I had to cut some of the bolts out, but all the ones press-fit into the trunk floor remained intact.  I've got new ones anyhow.

But then I saw something disturbing.

No, that's not Michael Myers or the Necronomicon.  But it is rust where the spare hold-down resides.  A little poking with a screwdriver revealed...

It turns out that caulk does not have any structural integrity.  So it's more for me to repair.  This one's easy.  The others I found will be less fun.  But all in all, the damage is pretty much constrained to this area and I can work with it.

Next to go were the bumpers.  Our Lady of Auto Disassembly is still blessing me.  The bumpers came free with only moderate effort.  Here's the rear.  The valance isn't too bad - a little hammer work and a bracket for the exhaust, and she's ready for some finish work.

I then removed all of the trim, including the clips, followed by the front and rear side marker lights.  The front ones broke their studs while removing them (did I anger you, Lady?) but I have access to replacements.

Next up was the doors.  This wasn't that bad; in fact, it was easier than taking apart Gidget's doors (because they're bigger).

After drilling out the rivets holding the remnants of the glass outer door seal in place, that door was done.  Then I did the other one.  The doors are in good shape with only a mall amount of repair needed to the passenger's door.

By the way, I think this car got hit pretty hard in the passenger's rear quarter.  It's been put back together - and while it's pretty straight, there are lots of cobbled together  items that I will have to replace.  I really dislike having to fix other people's shoddy work, because there really was no excuse for not finding the correct parts (like nuts and bolts and retaining clips).  The only thing I can think of is money - either a lack of it, or the desire to take it from someone.  I suspect the shop that worked on this car just "made it work" and may have taken advantage of the PO.  Sad.

Anyhoo, let's keep on truckin'.  After the doors were disassembled, I figured it was time to box everything I had taken off so far.  All the parts are in bags, even the stuff I will replace, so I know what to replace.

There wasn't much left to remove.  Clips, fasteners, and all the rest of the small chrome bits.  I removed the door sill plates (I think I will have to replace them - they look pretty bad).  I also finished cleaning out the interior, by hand, with of all things a gasket scraper.  It did a really good job without damaging paint (much) or the sound deadener inserts on the floor.

Here's what I started with on one side...
Here's the first pass...
And the final pass.  Much better, eh?

And the best part is, it doesn't smell any more.  It was pretty rancid in there.

So I'm almost ready to start rust repair.  I have the car completely stripped with the exception of the headlight buckets, whose screws refuse to come free.  I must make an offering to the Lady and see if that helps.  I even removed the defrost vents and the vinyl covering the gap between the windscreen and the dash, though I saved it for use as a template.

Once sheet metal repairs are done, I'll get those stickers off and start prepping the body with some minor bodywork and scuff it well to get ready for paint.  (Of course, there's more than that - but much of the car doesn't need more than that, which is a refreshing change from the FIVE YEARS I spent on Gidget's bodywork.)

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