Friday, December 14, 2012

Snow! What to work on?

It snowed.  Unfortunately it meant that I couldn't go out and get the rocker installed into the car.  The snow itself didn't melt fast enough, and with the wind it was to cold to really do anything outside.  So what could I do?  I really wanted to work on the car, but with the current weather, it was difficult.  Wait a sec.  I have the engine downstairs, on an engine stand, ready to be torn apart.  I know what I'm going to do this week!

So I got everything together, pulled on some gloves and dug into it.  The intake came off really easy, I was admittedly a little surprised.  I pulled it off and found out why.  Someone had been in the engine before me!  All the rods had been pulled and were sitting in the engine.  Oh bugger, I hope that doesn't mean that there is something seriously wrong with the block.  Everything came off the way I would have expected it to.  Drained the oil and what came out first was a bunch of water.  Uh oh.  It might just be from sitting outside since I haven't seen any real issues yet.  Just the expected rust in the water passages.  After I flipped the block over, I got a good look at the bottom end.  I noticed that all the pistons had been stamped with numbers.  Looks like this isn't the first rebuild for the engine.  Everything was coming off relatively easy.  All the bearings had scoring and rust pitting in them.  Checked the crankshaft and camshaft, and sure enough, there is rust on them.  If I reuse any of these parts, they will definitely need to be machined.  I will probably try to sell it all as I plan on stroking the engine. I did notice as I removed the pistons that one of the rings was broken.  It probably was burning oil.  Makes me wonder what the PO did to this thing.  I might be spending time cleaning these parts if I can't get back to the sheet metal anytime soon.

I also pulled my upper hinge out of the molasses chelation bath where it had been soaking for several weeks.  I grabbed my brush and cleaned it off in the sink.  Pulled out the wire wheel and proceeded to strip off all the paint.  Repainted it with Zero Rust and put at all back together.  Had to take it to work and use the press again.  One thing is for sure, these rebuilt hinges should be stiff for quite some time with all the trouble it has been to put the pins in.


Backyard from the deck.  Looks like 3 or 4 inches of snow.

Front yard.  At least the roads stayed clear.

Poor car is covered in snow.

Hey!  Those rods don't belong there in that configuration!

Rusty water passages.

Right side

Left side

Top end pulled apart.

Just confirms that I have a 351w.   In fact, everything seems pretty much stock.

The lifters actually seemed brand new.  There was no determinable wear pattern and only some minor surface rust where a couple of them were sitting against the camshaft.

If I have deciphered all the casting numbers correctly, this is a pretty desirable block.  The D4AE blocks were the  last heavy duty blocks before the EPA got involved with all their regulations.  I think this block was cast in 75, if I read the code right.  It is hard to see in the pic, but it says 5K6, so Oct 6th 1975.

Look at all the silicon sealant under the water pump.  It was used way to thick everywhere.

The timing chain was rather loose, and more sealant.  It's even on the chain!

That isn't chocolate milk, that's water in the oil.

Bottom end with the pistons still installed.

Pistons removed, front.

Pistons removed, rear.

All the parts pulled and neatly stacked.

The bore is still the standard 4.000 inches.  That is good news for me.  I can get it bored .030 over .

After looking over it as best I can, everything on the block looks great.  I didn't see any cracks or anything out of the ordinary.  I will still get it magnafluxed of course.

All the left over parts.  Not sure if I want to try reusing any of this or just play it safe and buy new stuff.

After I pulled it from the molasses bath and cleaned with a brush.

Other side after cleaning.

Stripped of paint.

Painted with Zero Rust.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Rocker panel replacement preparation

I had to remove some pictures as I submitted a replacement procedure for the rocker to CJ Pony Parts.  You can see them and my write up there. Complete Rocker Installation

So I have been trying to take as much advantage of the mild weather we've been having here and been working on getting this part of the car taken care of.  I have had to do some repairs to places where the rocker has to be welded to and dealing with fitment issues.  Stupid panels won't fit without some tweaking first.  Overall the rocker panel fit pretty well right out of the box.  Although some of the dimensions were a little off to the original that came off the car.  At the end of everything, I did manage to get it fitted and looking right.  The real test will come after I remove the bracing and put the door on for gap fitment.

A pillar and cowl side panel seems to line up pretty well.

Initial fitting, looking down rocker.

Fitment issues at the quarter panel.  Uh oh.

Here is a good look at the gap between the quarter and the rocker.  Also you can see the brace just above the rocker attached to the B pillar.  It actually is supposed to fit between the two panels that make up the complete rocker.  It won't fit correctly until I drill out the spot welds and do some strategic trimming of the panel.

Here is the area drilled out and separated using my tools of destruction.

Had to fab and weld on a new flange at the front of the A pillar.  First time I have used these butt welding clamps I picked up from Harbor Freight.  Much cheaper than other places I have seen and I think they work awesome.  Welding this in took absolutely no effort at all.

Here is the finished product.  I think it turned out well.

Same thing needs to be done to the B pillar.  I know it's hard to see, but there is a flange missing.

After welding is done and ground down.

Needed a new flange for the quarter panel.  I have a patch for the quarter that covers pretty much the whole thing.  It came from the previous owner.  He just cut off the bottom flange.  Wish he hadn't done that, would have made things easier for me.  I am still going to try to make the panel work, and if I screw it up, I can still do a full quarter replacement.  Anyway the part you are looking at is actually for a 64-66.  It is about an inch and a half too long for a 67.  I didn't feel bad about buying this to see if I could get it to work because it only cost me a couple of bucks and they don't make one for a 67.

Back side of panel.

Area that I am going to patch.

Checking size.  I do have a little extra on the patch for some trimming to fit.

Comparison of old metal and new patch.  Everything measured up well.

Fitted and ready for welding.

Welded in.  The area at the back, near the wheel arch, isn't welded.  There was a really bad patch job done to the wheel arch using a lap joint and brass brazing.  Good thing I was already planning on replacing that area.  Everything around the joint was COMPLETELY rusted out, and filled with a bunch of bondo.   I just needed good metal down here to weld the rest of the quarter to and the rocker.

Here is the fitment of the rocker.  Everything lines up now that I have made the necessary adjustments.  Next week if the weather stays agreeable, I should be able to get it welded in.  Next on the project list is to finish up the torque box and possibly get the toe pan fitted.  The cowl side panel will wait until I take off the cowl, the left rear apron, and part of the firewall that needs to be patched.  This side of the car really took a beating from rust.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Rocker panel removal

I had to remove some pictures as I submitted a replacement procedure for the rocker to CJ Pony Parts.  You can see them and my write up there. Complete Rocker Installation

So we had our big storm, and must have dropped about a foot of snow.  I thought for sure I would not be able to do much work outside on the car after that.  Fortunately, it warmed up and the snow melted over the next week.  This week the temps made it into the high 50's and even hit 60 on one day, so I decided to try and get the driver's side rocker panel out.  It took me a couple of days to get it out as I had yard work to do as well.  The trees in my front yard dropped ALL of their leaves with the storm.  Took a while to get that taken care of.

Anyway, I did put time in and got the rocker removed.  I am glad I decided to replace the whole thing as it was in bad shape.  After I had pulled it off, I dumped out quite a bit of dirt, and a mouse nest.  I am beginning to wonder if this car had been parked in a pond or something on the one side.

Um, wow.  Look at the huge chunks of bondo.

Better pic of the misuse of bondo.

Here you can see what was being hidden by the crud.

The empty hole.

Here is where there should be a wheel well, but bondo helped take care of that.  I have an inner  and outer wheel well from Dynacorn.  Haven'e decided if I am going to replace it all or just try to patch it.

Upward shot of A pillar.  I am going to have to do some repair to flanges before I weld the new rocker in.  Some were perished with rust.

Looking into the rear torque box.  It will be replaced as most of the front side of it is rusted out.  Also you can't see the great big rust hole on the other side of the frame rail.

Looking down at the quarter flange.  I am going to try and fix this as I have a quarter panel patch I am trying to utilize.  If it doesn't work out, I still have the option of doing a full quarter.

Inside shot of the A pillar.  There is damage to the cowl panel near the bottom.  It will be fixed before the rocker goes in.

Just kind of an artistic shot of the old rocker through the empty hole.