Sunday, February 28, 2016

Celebration Time

I spent the morning making the driver's side door fit better.  I welded a roughly 1/8" bead to the bottom and the back of the door (where it meets the rear fender, that is).  Some grinding and smoothing later, and it fits rather nicely.  It's not as nice as the passenger's side, but I'll be the only one to notice (or anyone who reads this).

The astute observer might notice something else about this picture.  Namely, that the rear fender doesn't have any black paint on it.  Why is that, you ask?  Because I'M SANDING THE BODY.  That's because I'm done cutting stuff off of the body and welding stuff on to the body and plugging holes in the body.  I have to make a couple of brackets, and I'm sure I'll find a couple of spots that clean up best with a weld or two, but I'M FREAKING DONE WELDING!

That calls for a celebration.

Here's a start at sanding off the rust and stuff from the driver's side.  It's.. dare I say it... glorious.

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One of the door hinges is in pretty bad shape.  The pin is frozen to the hinge and it pivots on the body instead of the other way around.  I thought of trying to rebuild it, but Tom's Import Toy Sales came through with a new hinge.  It cleaned up nice (see my blasting cabinet in the background?).

Ain't she purty?

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Transcendental Blues

After my glass breaking party, I happened to notice this stamped near where the fan blower goes on the passenger's side.

Get it?

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I Hope This Means Good Luck

I was trying to reinstall the windshield frame, and I noticed the pads between the frame and the body were installed backwards.  So like an idiot, I used one hand to hold the windscreen and...


It was really nice glass, even for 50 years old.  Now it's junk.  I am really, really bummed.  I can get replacement glass easily enough.  But for some reason it was important to keep this glass.  I guess I'll get over it.

But it's good luck to break glass, right?  Maybe things will go smoothly from this point forward.
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I Feel MUCH Better Now

I replaced the A post skin on the passenger's side.  It looks nice, if I do say so myself.


I remounted the fender and it fits quite nicely.  I also filled the holes where the trim clips go, because I like the look better without chrome.  It won't be original but that's OK with me.

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Saturday, February 13, 2016


I'll look at the world like this again.

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Just a Little Filler

Greatest Years Sports Cars told me that the bonnet had "just a little bit of filler" to even out a low spot in the middle.  Well, the filler cracked while I was persuading the bonnet to fit.  That is what we in the amateur car restoration world call Not A Good Sign.

I figured I'd go ahead and clean it off since I'd have to do that anyway now... but there's more than just a little filler there.



It looks like about 1/4" of filler at its worst.  (Actually, it is.  I measured.)

I'm not surprised it cracked.  You can't lay filler that thick on a surface that will flex and expect it to hold its shape without cracking.  The funny thing is that it was pretty easy to pound the low spot out (up?) and get things pretty even.  It will still need filler, but now just a little bit.  Like I said in my last post.

But you know what... I am still really happy with it.  No complaints.
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Bonnet Bulge Be Gone

Well, what do you know... I made it fit.


I did what the Internets suggested and spent some quality time re-arching the wings.  I did this by bolting them in place securely, getting out my trusty dead blow hammer, and beating on them from the inside.  After about 4 hours of messing around (beat/close/frown/open/repeat), it fits really well.... best of all three.  It closes nicely, has decent gaps, and doesn't rattle around in front like the old one did.  It turns out I have nice new bonnet stops (well, 11 year old new bonnet stops) and they adjust nice and easy.

I am really happy with how it fits; just a little filler to even things out and it will look great.

It opens, too...

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Dilbert's Thoughts on Restoring Old Cars

Today's Dilbert daily calendar offering.  I'm not sure how I feel about it.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Bonnet Bulge

I read on the Internets that the reason the bonnet may not fit (too much 'arch') is because the wings (you know, fenders) are too low in the middle.  Theoretically, bending the wings up in the middle to give them more curve should bring things into shape.  I had to flatten the rear wings to get the trunk to fit better, so that's not unreasonable.

I'm going to try it, first with the repaired bonnet, and then with Black Beauty (as I now call the black bonnet).  I would really, really like to use that one since it is really nice, and eBay or bulk trash the others.  But if it doesn't work, at least I've got something that will fit pretty closely.
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Sunday, February 7, 2016

I Can't Leave It Like That

So the A post skin that I messed up while fixing it on the passenger's side is bugging me.  I can't leave it like that--even under filler, it's going to drive me nuts.  And the gap is uneven between the door and the pillar, which won't be easy to fix with filler.

So I bought new A post skins for both sides.  I might not do the driver's side, but I might because the gap there is also driving me nuts.  It does mean I have to remove the thing, which won't be fun.  But in the end I think it will be worth it.  It's just more to fix that I'm getting tired of fixing.

If it weren't for the fact that I'm having so much fun, I'd go crazy.

I am still planning to get busy with the filler soon, so I bought some along with sanding blocks and adhesive sandpaper.  

Evercoat Rage Ultra.  All the cool kids use it.

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Bonnets and Boots

I got over my obsession with finding hood hinges quickly by finding a great pair from Tom's Import Toy Sales. Now I don't have to try to fix mine, which are salvageable but I'm getting tired of having to fix stuff.

So I installed the hinges and proceeded to attach them to the beautiful bonnet I bought.  That was not fun by myself.  However, I figured out that since I have no pedals installed, the opening where they go gives great access to the hinges on each side.

With the hinges installed, I thought it would take care of the alignment that I was concerned about... but it didn't.  The hood has too much of an arch, like 3/8".  It looks like it bulges up in the middle, though it doesn't.  It's nice and straight and everything, but it just doesn't fit my car.

I was bummed.

So I got out the bounce house bonnet (the orange one) and installed it instead.  It fits really well, actually.  But it would need a lot of help to make it pretty.

So on to Bonnet #3, the one I bought years ago and found was rusted out in the front.  I had played with repairing it last year and while it's not perfect, it would be fine with a little filler to smooth out the front.  But that's not important right now.  What is important is that it fits pretty well, too.  Not perfect--there's about 1/8" of a "bulge"--and the front is a bit low, like 1/8"--but I think it is the best of the lot.  (Bonnet #4, the one original to the car, is just too trashed in the front to be usable.  But it haz parts I needz.)

Here's what It looks like...


I also got a new trunk seal and worked on getting the boot lid to fit properly.  I am very happy with the result.  It fits way better than before.


Do you know what this means?  It means that all the panels that came off the car are back on the car.  It's hard to believe but I'm almost ready to make things pretty.
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