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.


  1. Hey Grant. Thanks to your post on Sven's blog, I found yet another Mustang restorer. Seems like Sven, you and me have one thing in common...replacing rusty bits and pieces with our own fabrication. You also appear to have some fabulous fiberglass skills too. like you said, progress, small as it may be, is still progress. Keep up the great work.

    1. That was actually my first attempt at a patch. Most of what I have done up to this point required full panels. As for the fiberglass skills, that was a first as well. Had to figure some things out as I went, but I did a lot of research on the stuff before even buying materials. Your car is looking pretty good as well, I'll keep looking for progress on your car as time goes on.

  2. Good job with your first patch Grant! Also, I'm impressed with your fiberglass finishing skills. My fiberglass projects like that always end up with pinholes, or looking lumpy (most likely because I get impatient and don't do enough sanding/filling) but yours turned out awesome!

    1. My initial sanding I actually did with a flap disc on my angle grinder and a light touch. I also made sure to use plenty of material to ensure that I had stuff to sand down.