Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weekend of Car Fun, Part 1

Well, the girls are off having fun at Astro Camp.  I'm having fun here.  It's am amazing how much progress you can make when no one is around to interrupt you.  Although I'd rather be interrupted, to tell you the truth.

It's a beautiful weekend for this kind of thing.  High of 85 and it rained a bit, bringing temps down to the 60s.  Perfect for applying filler.  The humidity is surprisingly low, even with the rain (I know, like, what?), so when it started I just pushed the car farther into the garage and kept going.  It doesn't seem to have been a problem.

First on Friday evening, I tweaked the windscreen to fix the rubber seal.  "Tweaked" in the sense of "took it apart, cleaned all the innards, then put it back together".  The folks at Anytime Auto Glass did a fine job, and I'm not complaining.  It's not their fault I'm anal about car things.  The seal fits better now--there were a couple of spots where the remnants of the old seal was pushing on the new one, so cleaning that old crud out made a difference.  And I learned how it went together.  But I'm not doing it again.  They earned their keep on this one.

The result...


On to the car itself...  I finished all my touchups with the welder and went to town with the filler.  It looks like a lot, but it's not--and when you run your hands over it it's like glass.  Or "buttah".

I had a booboo when I was fitting the passenger's door.  I managed to screw up the sill with a screwdriver, because who knew that prying on something made a dent in the thing you pried against.  Well, my $15 dent puller came to the rescue, and a "little bit of filler" took care of the few remaining depressions.  It looks like I never touched it, other than the fact that it's not metal colored.

I've got a little bit of work to do on the driver's side A post, and the bottom of the driver's door.  But I won't bother until I remove the wings since I've got to fix up a couple of low spots on the edge where the wing meets the post.  Same on the passenger's side.  Maybe I'll get to it tomorrow--but probably not.

Frankenbonnet is done, and only needed, you guessed it, "a little bit of filler".  The total thickness is less than 1/8" at its worst, and covers the scars quite nicely. All that where you don't see filler is beautifully smooth metal.  I mean it... it is really good.  And yes, I'm bragging, cause it's not bragging when you got skills.

The driver's side wing is also done.  Only a skim coat was necessary for most of it; a little more in front to finish off the welding magic that made everything line up so nicely.  The wing got smacked long ago (like the rest of the car, it seems... was this thing in a demolition derby?) and the filler covers up the remainder of the dents I couldn't get out.  Not too bad, though.

Look at these gaps.  Oooooooooh.  The driver's side wing looks just like the other one, shape-wise.  The curve matches and is oh so smooth.


The front valance, too.  It's not finished, but it's really close.  There's more filler on there than I expected, but I can sand it down a bit more yet.  The big fun was using my $15 dent puller to get a deep dent out, filling in the holes the puller made, and then smoothing everything over.  The panel isn't accessible from the back in that spot, or I would have just pounded it out--and I wasn't going to cut it off and weld it back on just for a dent.  Even I have limits.

So this took me 9 hours of (honestly!) back-breaking work.  I mean it--my back, really my everything, is killing me.  Good thing I did all the laundry earlier today, because no way could I bend over to take care of it now.  Same with the litter box.  Given that one of our cats practically lives in the thing, there's no chance I'd do that now.

Hopefully I can move in the morning.  I've still got over half a day to have fun in the garage; then I have to finish my chores and clean the garage before I pick up the intrepid adventurers from school in the evening.

Man, I have never been so glad to almost be done with something.  Good thing, too.  I ran out of 80 grit sandpaper (but I have 120 grit, which should suffice) and I'm almost out of hardener for the filler.  Better order some.

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