Saturday, December 5, 2009

Well, I delivered another restored Corvair and I am just about done with the remodeling of the rec room so I was able to get back to paint stripping. I'm working on the right front fender and I am just amazed at the shitty workmanship and lousy repair practices this poor little car has undergone. The pictures show different views of the same area trying to capture the hack job done on the fender lip. The procedure, apparently, is to beat the inner and outer fender edges together, punch a series of holes with a chisel, wrap a strip of fiberglas around the exposed edge and then slather on about a pound of filler. Grind, file, sand or even maybe whittle until it resembles the original fender, spray on a fast coat of paint and get it out the door before the rust pops through again. Needless to say it appears I am going to have to replace the front fenders with new ones. I have already obtained an NOS front panel to replace the battery acid eaten one that is on the car. If I have to also replace the rocker panels, does anyone think the car will fold in half when the bad parts are removed? I'll have to start with the front panel, go to the fender and then the rocker panel. The process will be reversed to install the new parts and of course I will only do one side at a time. Hmmmm.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Didn't get any pictures but I finished stripping the whole left side including both sides of the door. I also removed the window and did a little maintenance on it. It had gotten rust in the edge guides and swelled up so as to make it very difficult to remove from the door. Once out, I scraped as much rust out of the grooves as I could and carefully squeezed the sides back together so it would fit through the opening in the door. I then painted all the metal part with POR-15. When dry, I wrapped the glass in foam rubber and put it in the attic until re-assembly. I let the car down off of the lift, pushed it outside, turned it around, pushed it back inside and lifted it up. It's now ready to strip the passenger side and see what horrors await me there.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I also discovered a new way to repair the flare on the rear wheel wells. It appears that you just beat the edges together and mold the shape you want from body filler. I just can't understand some people!

I got the rest of the fenders and half of the front stripped today. I found the rust I was expecting the last time. The best news is I now have a dedicated lift for the little car.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Now, here is the surprise. I would have bet that the slab of body filler was covering up a rusted out section of the fender. It is just severely damaged metal not rust, not sure how I'm going to fix it but it is bound to be easier than repairing rusted out body panels. I always welcome suggestions if anyone is reading this besides me.

Well they're late but here are the update photos of the paint stripping process. There were more body filler spots than I realized and a spot that I thought was rust was just poorly repaired body damage. I'll post that pic in the next entry. In the second picture the two holes in the front of the fender were for a mirror, the three holes near the windshield post are from pulling out a dent. They didn't get it all the way out though, I'll have to work on it some.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Not much new to report, spent most of the morning yesterday straightening the rear bumper before it goes to the chrome shop. I also did some more paint removal, the drivers side top and the top of the fenders. I'll try to get some pics today if I can.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I managed to get the fuel tank sent out for refinishing. Obviously before and after shots. I sent it to Tank Re-Nu in Rockwood Md for their complete treatment. Due to internal baffling and a deep fill pipe I didn't think I could successfully do it myself, so I bit the bullet and sent it off. They received it on Monday, evaluated it and called me with the estimate. I agreed to the price and was greatly surprised when it showed up at my door on the following Thursday. Four day service ain't too shabby. The process used is, first, chemically cleaning the tank, they then cut it in half, sand blast it with extra fine aluminum oxide, weld it back together, completely fill it with a liquid polyvinyl coating to insure complete coverage, the tank is then drained, the outside is sprayed with another type polyvinyl coating and placed in a 360 degree oven for ten minutes for curing. It is shipped back with a registration tag embedded in the coating, a warranty registration form and a lifetime warranty. It's not cheap but considering I couldn't do it and the fact that replacement tanks just became available at close to $1000 !!?? I feel I did the best thing to insure years of freedom from fuel and contamination problems. I'll get back to stripping the rest of the paint as soon as I can.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Finished the hood and trunk lid today. The left pic is after going over it with a 3M Scotchbrite wheel, the right pic is after treating with metal prep to keep it from rusting while i do the rest. I also removed the rest of the trim and the top bows so I can start on the rest of the car.

Monday, September 28, 2009

And so it begins, I started stripping the paint off of the engine lid. I was surprised how much surface rust was under the factory paint. When all the paint is gone, I'll go over it with a scotchbrite wheel,wipe it down with metal prep, wash and dry it and move on to the next section. The metal prep will prevent it from rusting until I can spray some epoxy primer on it. Only then will I use body filler to smooth out any small dents I can't get with a hammer and dolly. Body filler sticks to the primer better than it does to bare metal. Also makes it easier to see the dents.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Finally got a chance to finish the floor this morning. The next step, I think, is going to be paint removal to see what kind of horrors are under the two tons of Bondo around the wheel wells. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

well, I did get the floor cut out and the new floor fitted and welded in but I ran out of seam sealer so I don't have the finished picture yet. Instead of waiting and posting both later, I'll put this up here now since I'm going to be tied up with Corvair work for a while. Got a big job in Sunday.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I had an unexpected break from Corvair work so I jumped on the little car again to replace the passenger floor. Changed the lift over to fit and raised the car to working height. You can see why I am replacing this side also. By the time I removed the interior door upholstery, the door stop and the hinge screws, I removed the door and the polished aluminum door garnish strip, it was time to rest the back, leaning over really kills me. Tomorrow should be cutting out the old floor and trimming the new floor to fit, we shall see.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Since I'm still too dumb to figure out how to put three pics on one post without them overlapping, these are the finished buckets. The other pic is the reason the Bianchina can't get on the lift. It's a 1965 Corvair bracket racer that I'm working on that belongs to a friend.

Since my lift is still full of Corvair, I started looking for something to do that didn't involve the lift. I decided to refurbish the headlight buckets. They underwent the usual blast, prime and paint treatment as shown above. Why red springs? Why not? Maybe they will act as a hidden identifier if the car is ever stolen. When the buckets are installed in the car, they will get new headlight bulbs even though these check out okay. I also need to get some more of the retaining spring wire thingies, I'm missing three of them.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I drilled out the pivot rivets on the seat tracks so as to remove them from the seat. I bead blasted them and started the tedious chore of straightening them so they would slide on the new floor tracks. After they were straight I painted them black and hung them outside in the sunshine to dry. I fabricated end pieces for the cross members under the floor and welded them in. I then seam sealed the bottom. You can get a good high off of that stuff, good thing all the doors were open. I installed the dry seat tracks and temporarily put the seat in just to double check the operation. I know the seat isn't pretty, ignore it, it will be re upholstered down the line. Chased the threads in the door hinges and re hung the door, lowered the car down to the floor and rolled the lift out of the way. I pushed the car back over to the other side of the garage and swept the floor. All ready for Corvair work. I'll do the other floor next break in paying jobs.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Okay, so I lied. I spent yesterday cleaning up the Corvairs for the show Saturday. Today I finished welding the floor in, ground the welds smooth (left pic) and seam sealed all the joints (right pic). I think tomorrow I'm going to remove the drivers seat tracks and work on them until they glide smooth on the new floor tracks. Welding this was literally a pain in the back so it's rest time now.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I did the final fit and got the pan spot welded into place. I started the finish welding and realized this is going to be a long process. There is a lot of leaning over involved and my back is complaining. I listened to the complaints and quit, I'll go at it again tomorrow. Probably even get some pictures too.

Yesterday I spent most of the day trimming the opening for fit, scraping off some undercoating left in the middle of the car under the "console", making and welding a patch panel for the bottom of the inner fender well shown above. Today, I hope, will be the final fit and welding of the floor panel.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

This is one of the floor pans as received from the vendor. It has the seat rails already attached on the top and has the two cross braces welded on the bottom. I am still trimming off the extra metal left when I removed the old floor. Hopefully, tomorrow I can start welding it in. I have to say I am very impressed with these floor pans. Everything is in place and correct and it looks like it will fit in exactly as the original floors. Any one considering this replacement, buy both sides at the same time. Shipping is the same for two as it is for one, $30.

Friday, July 31, 2009

The new floor pans arrived yesterday as promised so today was cut the floor out day! If you look real close at the before picture, you can see the various 3/16" thick patch panels added sometime in the cars life. The one that really made me shake my head in wonderment was the one under the outer seat track. The seat sat higher on the outside and would not adjust back and forth. What the hell kind of fix is this?? Makes you wonder when Darwin's theory takes hold. I used my cut off tool on the outer edge and on the rest I used my plasma cutter. The results are shown in the other picture. Felt a twinge in my back and decided enough for today. Tomorrow I will trim off all the little extra pieces and start fitting the new floor pan. It looks like it installs from the bottom, I'll find out for sure tomorrow. When it all fits nicely, I'll glue it all in with body filler and pop rivets. PSYCH!! I will actually break out the MIG welder and weld it all together. After any finish grinding I have to do, all the seams,inside and out, will be covered with paintable seam sealer.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not much to report, moved the car back into the working bay and lifted it up preparatory to replacing the drivers floor. Also removed the gas tank and siphoned out the stale gas that was in it. I then removed the sending unit to see what shape the tank is in. Bad move, looks like it is full of coffee grounds. I'm checking on the availability of a new tank versus sending the tank to Tank Re-Nu for refurbishing. Bead blasted then buffed and clear coated the gas cap, made a new rubber gasket for it also. Scraped, sanded, buffed and clear coated the aluminum scuff guard on the bottom of the door opening. It had navy blue, red and dark green paint on it. Those colors are nowhere else on the car, can't explain it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Not much new to tell, I did remove all the chrome from the front end and removed the botched up wiring harness from the whole car. I am waiting on my parts supplier to get in touch so I can order new floor panels. We've been playing phone tag since last Thursday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

I also added the engine mount, fuel lines in and out of the pump, made a bracket to hold the fuel line to the carb, added the spark plug boots that were missing and installed the fan belt.
Before the power train is installed in the car it will get a new fan belt, new points, condenser, cap, rotor and wires. I have already installed the new plugs. See anything that I have missed?

Obviously the previous post should have been done on Friday. Today I got a little further along. The shrouds have been added (twice) I had to remove one side to eliminate a rubbing of the fan on the side of the housing, finally got it right. The generator was added early because it is the drive for the blower fan. The air cleaner housing with a new filter was added, the carb linkage connected, distributor cap and spark plug wires added and routed through the stand offs with the new grommets, and the exhaust system added with all associated manifolds and mounting brackets.

I had a chance to work on the engine a little. I got the transaxle and engine mated together along with mounting the starter. If I get a chance tomorrow, I'll try to finish the engine assembly

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Having reached the point of not willing to wait any longer for parts and the fact that UPS lost my Corvair parts shipment, I had some free time this afternoon to really give my old timing chain sprocket a good going over. I could find absolutely no wear on it so I decided to assemble the engine using it instead of waiting for something that may never arrive. The chain, sprocket and oil filter all went together with no problems as shown by the above pic. I then turned my attention to the transaxle. I checked every part on and in it and couldn't figure out what the two different seals are that I have been waiting even longer for. I also assembled the complete transaxle with the new axles and sliding couplers shown in the other pic. UPS came and delivered the replacement order so it will be a day or two before I mate the engine with the transaxle and start adding all the periphery attachments. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Nothing new to report, just thought I'd post a photo of the shop so you can see why I have to shuffle the cars around to work on them. The yellow car is a customer car and is in the working bay. The pickup is undergoing (slowly) restoration, the Bianchina is waiting for parts and the motorcycle is waiting for me.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

After completing six disc decompression sessions I can now walk upright without pain. I finished scraping the rest of the undercoating from the bottom of the car. I lowered it down off the lift and moved it back to the other side of the shop to make room for a Corvair($$$). I probably won't post anything for a while unless the long awaited engine parts arrive. This will give me a chance to increase the Bianchina fund to buy more parts that I will have to wait forever for.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Monday and Tuesday I couldn't walk so I began disc decompression therapy again. I'm moving around a little better so I managed to do something car related. I was able to locate the missing left side engine apron. After the usual clean, blast, and paint ritual, I installed it just to see how it looked. Fits nicely. I'm going to attempt some more undercoat removal this afternoon. I figure I'll be laying on my back so I should be all right, wish me luck! Oh, the picture shows the apron in place.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Well, I finished the dent removal on the rear panel. It's all welded back together, filled and primed. I'm going to wait for the finish sanding until the rest of the car is done and do it all at once. I also was able to scrape more of the undercoating off the bottom of the car. It's clear to the front of the rear A arms, just have to do up to the bulkhead where the brake pipes tee off and I'm done with the rear. Since I'm planning on replacing the floors, I won't bother scraping them. Still have to do the rest of the front end too. I'm still waiting for engine parts and still trying to get my back to heal so progress is slow. I went to Silver Spring, MD yesterday to get some Corvair parts and the ride didn't do well for my back.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Well, got some time in today. Got the dent out of the rear panel and painted the inside of both pieces with POR-15. Also painted the suspension brackets I couldn't get to with the power train in place. I masked out the engine compartment and sprayed it with self etching primer. It's almost the original color of the car-bleahh! Tomorrow if I can stand up, I'll weld the rear panels back together. Notice the mystery yellow on the panels? It's not thin paint, I don't know what it is but it is just like the picture of the oil pan.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Well I got about an hour of shop time in today before my back informed me it was time to quit. I did get the rear panel apart using my new spot weld cutter. The right side pic shows the pieces as they go together, the other shows the inside of both. You can see all the marks made by that worthless stud welder on the shiny piece. After another 12 hours of sofa time, I'll start taking out the dent, welding up the holes and re assembling the panels. Love my MIG welder.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Didn't get squat done today due to my back, it just won't get better. I did manage to move the car over to the Corvair side and raise it up on my EZ Carlift. Maybe now it won't hurt so much to work on it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Today was a light work day, still trying to get my back to heal. You can see on the left the cleaned up gasket surface all ready for the sump. That's British for oil pan, it's kinda neat working from a British shop manual (Haynes). I prefer it over the factory manual. The other picture shows the sump (GGG) installed and torqued to 50 inch pounds. There were four of the oval load spreading washers missing so I had to make them. You can also see the air flow conductor piece on the right side that was missing when I got the car. I have no explanation for the yellow streaks on the bottom of the pan- oops, I mean sump. They are not there in real life and I can't see how bright white fluorescents could do it.

Welcome aboard, Jeff.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I'm still just screwing around waiting for the engine parts. This is a closeup of the broken bolt, which has been taken care of, and the sealing surface is clean. I started to work on the back panel that the engine mount is on. I noticed it was bent in when I removed the rear bumper. I bought a stud welder from Harbor Freight to see if that would pull the dent out. What a piece of crap. It will weld the smallest studs but the slide hammer will not grip them. It will grip the bigger studs but It won't weld them securely enough. It is going back tomorrow morning. After looking at it real close I think I am going to cut all the spot welds loose, remove the panel, straighten it and reweld it all back together. Wish me luck.
Yeah, I know the panel is upside down, I thought it might be easier to work on that way.