Saturday, May 14, 2022

Words Are Tasty

I managed to finish sanding the major panels.  I didn’t find any new filler, which is nice.

But as I was admiring my work, I noticed the driver’s side rear wing was not right somehow. The entire rear driver’s quarter of the car is “depressed” by 3/4 inch or so. This explains why my test fit of the hardtop wasn’t all that great.

I was able to bring it back close with a little banging using my trusty dead blow hammer Mr. Big. But the rest will take some metal work to cut, straighten and reweld.  I’ll then spend probably 20 hours massaging everything to get the boot lid to fit properly. That’s a couple of weekends.  Then I can actually start on body work.

In my last post, I stated that this wouldn’t take much longer, but would probably end up eating those words. Words are tasty with barbecue sauce…

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Sunday, May 1, 2022

Sand A Car

With the metal work done, it's time to get dirty and prep for body work.

First things first - I emptied out the car.  There's basically a whole car in this pile...

Well, aside from the actual car, that is.

This isn't terribly exciting work.  I really only want to point out a couple things that annoyed me, like the grade of paint that was used to repaint most of the car.  It's gross.  Maybe it's just old, but it's clumpy and difficult to sand through.  Here's an example.  At least there was only one more layer of primer and paint (in the original color), so it's not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  That doesn't make it any easier.

I went down to bare metal in this spot because of some gouges.  But you can see the original primer, then paint, then new primer, then paint.  The original paint sands nicely but the newer stuff does not.  So it's all coming off, even if I just go down to the upper layer of primer.

It was also apparent that the car was not disassembled prior to this paint work...

After a couple of hours, I got this far on the bonnet.  You can clearly see the difference.

Maybe they laid down a few more coats on the bonnet. The rest of the car actually sanded down more quickly.  Or maybe I just got better at it.

I did burn off the stripes on the passenger's side (well, heated them up a lot, and they got kinda blackened).  A bonus was that the paint came off too, in strips.  The primer underneath is perfectly fine, so it stays.

I had previously removed a lot of paint during metal work, so this went rather quickly.  It's not bad even if it looks ugly.

Then I found some more you-know-what on the deck lid...

It's pretty thin and in reasonably good shape, so it will stay.

I also found an interesting bit of work on the driver's side rear wing.  If I hadn't sanded this down, I would not have known.

It is actually well done.  It appears the entire wing was replaced.  I don't have any records of this from a shop.  The filler is in good shape as well, and the profile is as good as I could do... so aside from a couple of touchups, it stays too.  It's not thick (and after some block sanding, it's thinner than before) - maybe 1/16" or so.  That's within my 'tolerance'.

So I got through about 2/3 of the car in one day of about 8 hours of sanding with about 10 40 grit DA discs and two enforced breaks to let my compressor cool down and to play a few games of Rummikub with may father in law.  I figure another 6 hours will do it, including the boot lid.  Then it's into the nooks and crannies to make things look decent where you don't normally look, and then I can start with filler.

I don't think it will take all that long.  (I am sure I will eat those words.)

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Metal Work Complete

I'm finally finished with what I can do to improve the metal on this car.

I stripped the driver's wing down and did some hammer/dolly work, pulled some dents, and cut out that big smash and replaced with a patch.  It's decent, but not awesome.  I feel like I could have done better.  But it is solid and will look good when filled - with 1/8" or less, of course.  Most places are 1/16".  You can see that this car got hit, hard - hard enough to dent the inner fender well.

Then, since I couldn't stand it, I made a patch for and replaced the passenger's sill like I did the driver's side.  I am glad I did - there was junk in there and the metal wasn't super great either.

I also touched up a couple of spots and fixed the hole where the passenger's door lock goes.

So here is what I have to work with now...

On to sanding!

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Monday, April 4, 2022

The Home Stretch III

Well, I thought I had crossed the metalwork finish line... and I suppose I have, in a way.  But this car is the gift that keeps on giving.

I made a patch and closed up the sill.  I think it came out pretty well!

That makes all the holes that shouldn't be there go away.

But then I nicked the edge of the driver's front fender with the sander, and saw... more Bondo.  So of course I had to investigate.

I mean, come on, man.

What HAPPENED to this car?

At least the metal is all there and I'm not fighting rust.  I ought to be able to get most of this out with a hammer and dolly, and my handy dent puller.  But it won't be what I hoped for.  If I can get this down to 1/8" of filler in places, I guess I can be okay with that.  It's better than the 1/2" divot by the door.

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Monday, March 21, 2022

The Antenna

I know it seems like an odd time to mention it, but I did finally remove the antenna.

It was the last bit of trim on the car, and I needed to get it off - but to do so, I needed to remove the closing panel for the driver's side fender.  I was rather nervous about removing it, both because I was afraid the bolts would not come out and that I would find horrors on the inside.  But my fears were not realized:

The panel came off easily - it had been removed before, as two bolts were broken off long ago.  The inside looked okay.  There is a bit of rot in the corner of the sill, but the fender itself is solid with no repairs evident.  So, I'm going to leave it alone.

The victory is in removing this:

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The Home Stretch II

Closer... the dogleg is once again intact.

I made a patch to close up the last hole in the inner sill:

Then I made one for the outer sill.  I tacked it in place so I could verify the dogleg would fit over it.

Then I cut the outer panel to fit and test-fit it.  It took a while to get right so the panel just fit in place without having to be forced.  Bit it did fit, and it fit over the sill as well.

Then, I went back and welded the sill into place.

Finally, I welded the panel into place.  I think it turned out pretty well.

The best part is that the structure is correct (inner and outer sill, and dogleg) and solidly welded.  I'm very happy with this.  And it took me even less time than it did for the passenger's side... experience pays off, I guess.

Now, I just have the sill under the door.  I have a pattern that I made for the sill under the dogleg, which gives me the correct shape.  It will be a lot of welding for that panel.  But then all the major metal work will be complete!
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Tuesday, March 15, 2022

The Home Stretch I

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I think it's a train.  I am getting close to wrapping up metal work on Alice, but it's going to be a long last mile... 

In what has become a familiar refrain, I knew there was something bad under the driver's side dogleg and sill.  I was hoping for the best -- but of course, I got the worst.  When I removed the flashing (yes, from a house) that covered both of them, I found...

That doesn't look too bad, right?  But wait for it...


Fine.  So, I started by cleaning things up and cutting out all the rot.

I sprayed everything with a rust converter to try and stop the spread, but you'll see that later.

I discovered I needed the closing panel at the back of the dogleg.  I had one - but it was for the passenger's side.  Fortunately, I have a vise and a hammer.  Now I had a closing panel for the driver's side.

To start, I made a panel to replace the rotted section of the inner sill.  It's a flat rectangle, so it wasn't all that hard.  I welded it in place, and then welded in my closing panel.  After a little cleanup, I have a sound inner sill once more.  Well, mostly.  I have a small spot I have to close up.

That's all I had time for this week, so stay tuned for our next episode!

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Going Topside

I knew there was something funky about Alice's cockpit surround on the driver's side, but I wasn't prepared for what I found...

I could tell there was filler in the area, so I started removing it.  And wow.

What the heck happened to this car? Did King Kong step on it?

This wasn't even worth trying to pull out, so I simply cut it out and replaced it.  I found some lovely rot I needed to repair underneath this house of horrors.

So much better.

There are still some areas around this which need a little attention, but those I can pull out with a dent puller to make it "better".

This took me all of three hours.  Why not do it right the first time?
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