Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Little Shop of Horrors

The Midget had been in a front end collision at some point long ago.  I'm starting to wonder if it was used in a demolition derby.  Not only that, but the front frame rails where the bumper and radiator are mounted take the worst punishment from the weather, so everything was a mess.  My dad had brazed the bumper mounts on, and I ended up patching them a couple of times over the years.  But it was finally time for the whole mess to go.

I ended up replacing the front frame rails (you can buy them as a patch, so I can't be the only one who's had to do this) and the radiator mounting brackets.  This was another critical job, as it determines the alignment of the front fenders to the body and bonnet.  So I measured many times and kept the angle at which the front frame rails exit the front cross member.  I think I got it right as everything still fit in the end.

I had ordered new radiator mounts, but only one came in.  The other was backordered for 19 weeks.  19 WEEKS?  Who orders one radiator mount and not the other?  So I managed to salvage the passenger's side (it was still straight and rust free) and reused it.

Here's where I started.


Look at the lovely rust.


All better now.

The bumper mounts were rusted but salvageable.  They aren't expensive, so I may just replace them outright.  But I wanted to try to fix them.



Time to replace the other side...


And after much careful measuring and test fitting...

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Kicking Some Plates

I finally get back to the Midget in early January of 2015.  I know I could buy the kick plates for the foot wells, but I'm running a bit low on car cash and I wanted to try my hand at fabrication anyhow.  I bought a large piece of 16 gauge sheet metal, and I've got a template--the kick panel I cut out of the driver's side foot well long ago.  So I give it a go.

Measure five times, cut once, and some bending... and I think it looks pretty good.  It fits, too.  So I made the other one.



I say, "Not bad".  I even installed the nut on the back of the driver's side plate to hold the high beam switch like it should be.  Before, it flopped around a bit because it only had one nut holding it to the car.  And that nut was NOT me.

Believe it or not, that finishes off the middle of the car as far as sheet metal replacement goes.  I might be nearing 50 percent complete.  But there's plenty more to come, so stay tuned.
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