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.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Problems, chelation, and other things.

I know it has been a while since any type of update.  Things have ended up taking time away from the mustang.  The oil pan gasket in my daily driver blew and dumped all my oil in about 30 seconds, and the engine seized up about as quickly.  Needless to say that meant finding a replacement engine and getting the old one out and new one installed.  Result, two weeks of time wasted on the car that I don't really want to be working on.

Also I spent several weeks building a chestplate for a costume my wife wanted to do.  This was something that I really didn't mind doing.  It took as long as it did because I had to do it perfect.  It involved taking a mold of my wife's chest using plaster wrap and plaster of paris.  Lots of sanding and shaping before molding the whole thing with fiberglass.  More sanding and shaping after that had cured.  Then bondo, sand, more bondo, sanding, glazing putty, primer, sanding, primer, painting, masking, painting, and clear.  I think it turned out looking pretty darn good if I do say so myself.  In fact according to friends, I need to make these things for them.  Not so sure about that.
If you haven't figured it out, she's Baroness from GI Joe.
Here's the closeup.
Anyway onto the car.  Basically here are the things I have managed to do to it when I have had time.  I cleaned and rebuilt one of the door hinges and started on a second one.  As a result I have removed the old driver's side door and don't plan on reinstalling it.  I have a replacement that needs to be cleaned up and installed instead.  Finally I fabbed up a patch for the A pillar down near the rocker and got that welded in.  Shall we get into the details then?

Here it is after chelation and before paint removal.

Wait, chelation?  What is that?  Basically it is where you put it in a solution the converts the rust and gets rid of it.  For a better explanation, you can go here. This is where I first discovered it.  After my own research, I discovered that molasses can be used to do the same thing.  All you have to do is mix your molasses with water at a ratio of 10:1 or 9:1 depending on which source you look at.  You then dump the part in and leave it for a week or three.  When it comes out, simply clean off the part with water and a brush.  Voila!  Rust is gone.  If you arene't going to paint the part, you do need to protect it with something like wd40, otherwise it can get surface rust pretty easily.  I ended up taking the wire wheel to it and getting rid of the paint, wiping it down and painting it with Zero Rust.

Here is the upper hinge.

Here is where it will stay for about two weeks until it reaches it's proper aged vintage.

Lower hinge down to metal and painted.

Before I did this I had to disassemble the whole thing.  What a pain in the keister!  I had to drill out every last pin and then pound out the remainder with a punch. I hope the other side isn't as bad.  Anyway, I then took it into work and used the press to get the new pins installed and the whole thing assembled.

Cleaned, painted, rebuilt and ready for 40 more years.

Next thing was getting the patch to replace the rusted area on the a pillar.  I didn't want to replace the whole thing as A) replacements cost over $100, only available as a pair B) the pass side is pretty good and C) This is the worst of the rust.  So I cut some pieces out of the fender apron I am not going to use because it doesn't fit, and shaped the pieces according the the paper templates I made of the area.  Welded the whole thing in and primered it so it would be protected as we head into winter here.

You can just see the rust hole down at the bottom.  The whole area was completely rusted out.  It practically fell apart when I started taking this out.

Here is the area after cutting out the rust and welding in the first part of the patch.  I'm not worried about all the rust on the rocker as I plan to replace the whole thing a little later. It is beyond the effort of trying to repair.   I'm hoping to get it done before the end of the year.  We'll see if that happens, there is a storm that is supposed to hit this weekend.

Checking fitment of the second part of the patch.

Everything welded and ground down.

Add primer and it looks like it belongs there.  Just minor imperfections that some filler should take care of.
I know it's not a big update, but it is an update nonetheless.  On a side note, I was driving down the street when this flew past me.  I had to go stalker on the poor guy and when he stopped for gas a mile down the road I snapped some photos of it.  It is a Shelby clone that he is just about finished putting together.  I didn't find out much else about it as I was in a bit of a hurry, and so was he.  I just hope my car looks as good when I'm done.

Vroom!  Hey!  What was that!

Must follow!

Love the color, I couldn't help but drool a little.  Fortunately it didn't get on the car.

You can see here where he still has some work on the front of the car.