Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Still working on that door.

At least the work is on a different part of the door. I continue my modifications to make it look like an earlier model. I had two choices, use the doors from the 78, which need major rust surgery on the bottom (inside and out) or take the parts of the 78 that I like and weld them into the "rust free" 81 doors.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Finally got the door fairly close.

Had to take care of some family stuff and missed a few days, but back at it. This door / fender alignment has been a trying experience but I think I have it close enough to live with. I think if I spent another 20 hours messing with it I could get it fractionally closer. Sorry, just not worth it!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I'll be the first to admit when I mess something up!

So after cleaning up the inner lip on the back of the fender, I went about rehanging the passengers door. After fighting it for more than an hour, I figured out what was wrong. I never should have reattached the fender without the door hanging and I have it in the wrong place. It's at least an 1/8th inch too high...
I'll figure something out tomorrow!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Last bit of that fender went on today

Today, after spending 45 mins cleaning up after yesterday's blitz, I patched in the last bit of missing fender and then started fitting my passengers side rocker panel.
Today I also received an unmatchable bit of praise. The friend who told me the basics of welding sheet metal 2 months ago and has watched my progression from complete fool to managing nicely, sent a customer of his to me. I am sincerely awed that he would recommend me to weld on a customers car! That says more than anything that I am learning well! Thanks V!!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"It's never good to strip a car to bare metal"

I've heard that a few times and have to disagree. If the car has 6 or 8 layers of who knows what...
Strip it!
Urethane over lacquer over rust oleum over original paint and primer... 3 times... It's going to blister if I don't get rid of it!
I've removed the old paint from most of the nose and put a light coat of etching primer on. Got the nose mostly done and will keep working my way around the car.

Forward again

Did some measuring and got the two lights lined up. I added a small strip around the inside of my bucket to stiffen it up.
Then I moved on to cleaning up the hood.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Backwards again

The new fog lights came in and I started cutting out the jeep buckets I had used. I just got less and less happy with the adjustment capabilities of my last plan (can't say original, since it has changed so many times...) that I had to change direction. These lights are a little bit smaller as well, so maybe not so obnoxious!
Still a bunch of work to do but I think I have my new plan sorted and can move forward again!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Washed out, but still...

It's going to look great!

I learned something very interesting today.

Just to make sure I wasn't making a bad decision on lights, I went ahead and ordered the LED lights for front directionals and the entire tail light set up. I went about modifying my old tail light housings to accept the 3" LED tail, brake, turn and back up lights. All went as I had hoped, until I tried to take a picture for the blog. To the naked eye, they look amazing! Yet, in the picture, they look washed out and terrible. So, something about the diode and the digital image, just doesn't work. I might have to dig out my Pentax k1000 and go truly old school.
In the end, if you want to see how fantastic they look, you'll have to do it with your eyes!!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Thinking about going RatRod...

What if I just clear coat all the welds and patches? Ok, no...
Got a little time in today and went backwards again. I wasn't thrilled about my fog light plan and did some research. I found some better Hella fog lights and decided to make a bracket, bolted to my unused bumper support. The lights are on the way and in the meantime I cut away the inside of my light buckets so that it will be much cleaner. The new lights will "float" inside the fairing and be much easier to adjust than my original plan.
Nothing like going backwards...
But really, I have one shot at it before I paint the car.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fender surgery.

Nothing more to add, but cut it open, fixed it, stitched it back up.
Very happy that I learned about leading seams!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Brad came by this afternoon.

I swear, I would be buying new tires every time they let me out of jail, if I owned his car. That thing is silly fast!!

So we had lasagna for dinner...

And I spot welded the tomato paste cans in the front of the car for my turn signals. Yea, I got sick of my whole fender ordeal and bounced around, in order to find some sense of accomplishment. After I got them tacked in place, I cut and ground the excess and then whipped out my lead free solder. Filled all around, ground it down and popped the lights in to see what it looks like.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Stay tuned tomorrow for tomato paste!

My whole gang is laughing at my because tomorrow I am going to weld these into the car!

More wire management!

Today, I also welded in a pipe to bridge my wiring over to the drivers side. None of the wiring for the front lighting will run thru the engine bay.

So I decided to fix the fender...

Yep, you knew that was coming didn't you? In the end, I couldn't justify getting a different one. If this one was riddled with rust, then yes. If I had found one nearby, then yes. But no...
I cut all the bad parts out of this one and hammered out the dents that had been filled with body filler. It is pretty straight now and I rebuilt the whole hood hinge area. When the car was fixed back in Texas, they also didn't weld the hinge support in completely. If the guy who did these repairs, checks out this blog one day.... Thanks buddy!!! It made it easier to get the thing lose not having it properly attached in the first place.

While the fender is off.

I went ahead and welded in a chase to run all the wiring for my front lighting. This will help keep the engine compartment less cluttered. I also ran a chase behind the grill bottom to the drivers side. Finished repairing the bad areas and hung the fender back in place to see just how much work it would be to reuse it.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

"If you don't like the weather in Florida, wait 10 minutes"

Tropical storm Andrea came and left our area quickly and at 4:30 it cleared enough to do a little more weld and grind, or is it grind and weld? Yea, that's it!
Worked on more patching the inner fender before hauling the kids off to fencing.

Two in, no room left!

Ok, nothing happening today!
Well, except for a couple tornadoes and bucket loads of rain!
I hung a couple bikes and squeaked the second little beastie into the garage so it wouldn't BLOW AWAY!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Back at it!

Slow going on my inner fender patching but got back to it today. I feel very good about the efforts and the results. A major part of my goal with this car is to have to confidence in it, and when it is done be able to drive it anywhere I want to go.... Cali, to visit my brother and his family, Maine for summer vacation, and definitely to freak out 2014. My dream for 20 years...