A Spot Of Welding

Weekend came and I was ready to go on Friday night, the bag was packed with a change of clothes and my new angle grinder ready to rock. Saturday morning and with Mustang Maniac just over the hour away, the aircon was on, the shades were on and I was on my way. The trip was peaceful for a change and I seemed to go all the way there without stopping.  I got out the car and the heat was getting hotter. Adam was being escorted by a couple of his dogs as usual, no sooner had he opened up the steady stream of customers arrived. I saw myself to my car and got straight to work. Yogi (Al) had been busy again welding up the last parts of the underside and the front right shock tower. He had again done some nice welding with the spot welds that I decided to keep them. The top of the shock tower needs to be flat ready for the export brace to be fitted so they were ground down, a little filler applied and painted.

The underside had been exposed since the day I removed everything I could of the under seal. There was a little surface rust still and the odd bit of under seal. I started rubbing down with the angle grinder and wire wheel to nice a bare metal ready for the red oxide primer.

This last little section was taking a lot longer due to the complex shapes for the rear shocks and suspension mounts. The tufts of wire wool ( if that is the technical term for it) was difficult to work with, trying to get in all the corners that the grinder wouldn’t fit. The manual work had made my fingers and wrists ache. But it was worth it. This time I took a part way picture.

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With all the red oxide primer done for now the difference is amazing. I finished at the point where some of the thin metal will be removed and replaced at a later date. You will notice a couple of little spots haven’t been painted as they need a couple of spot welds. With a little luck and man power available, the car should be taken off the spit and clamped on the jig getting ready for some upper body work. Then I suspect there will be more under body painting before she goes to the proper paint shop.

Sunday was a day tidying up in the man cave, the localised tornado that hit my shed on Saturday while I was out just happened to have the same name as my wife! I also cleaned a little more on the steering rack, and the photos looked no different to the previous pictures unfortunately. So I didn’t post those ones for wanting to look like duplicates.

I am planning on doing a review of my new Makita GA4530KD if anybody is interested.

 

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Flaming Nice Surprise(s)

In the UK we moan about bad weather then we moan about hot weather. Me I love the hot weather and it makes a change to have a few days of nice weather. The only bit I’m not to keen on is when the multitude of bugs decide that my flesh is A la Carte on the menu, prime nose bag material. Everything that can bite has tried to take lumps out of me all weekend. Still at least it’s warm and not chucking it down with rain. Friday I had my bags packed and ready for the start to Mustang Maniac. Earlier in the week I had a cryptic message sent to me by Adam to say they had a surprise for me. Saturday and I was out the door in record time and everything was goin’ great guns until I was about six miles from Mustang Maniac. A country lane had a tree that had come down from the storm early in the mornings and partially blocked the road, note the word partially. The point is I pulled up to get by and the police car that was there had parked across the road so nobody could get past. Now, anybody with a little sense would have moved some of the branches out the way with a borrowed saw from one of the houses opposite, cut a few away, then traffic moves again, nope, not this clown. He just stood at the back of his car swirling his finger in the air like he was stirring a cup upside down with his finger. I think this was his Neanderthal attempt to signal me to turn around, I wouldn’t want him to walk or verbally communicate or anything. I sat there for a while and so this lunatic just stood there, the neighbours were now out in force and all looking at said tree and fine figure of authority who had all the gear, but no idea! When I say tree, I have seen bigger indoor Christmas trees if you get me? The plus point is was sitting comfortably in my airconditioned car and this herbert was standing in the heat with his hat on and high vis jacket. So, it was inevitable that I had to do a seventeen point turn in the road which included collecting some hedgerow in the rear bumper while I was at it. I had to go all the way back where I had just come from and go the long way round, it took me what seemed like an age to get to my final destination. I parked up at Mustang Maniac and was greeted by Adam who took me straight to my car, the surprise was obviously to do with my car. Adam showed me the work Al or Yogi as he is known, had done to my car. A lot of the holes had been welded up, the old rotten floor support brackets were taken off and the new ones put back on. The rear chassis leg was repaired and the hand brake bracket put back in place and the holes around it repaired. Yogi had done some brilliant spot welds that I liked so much I left them on there as a feature to be seen. The attention to detail is amazing, as I knew it would be. Yogi had taken some pics for me so thanks to him and Mustang Maniac for letting me use them.

The bodywork on the inside of the supports was in good condition and needed no additional work. The area was carefully marked up and a single support was changed at a time. The guys were happy nothing moved and continued to fix the supports in place. Check out Yogi’s spot welds that were just to good to grind down or cover up, they were different and I wanted them to stay.

With the parts welded in place Yogi gave the floor and welds a generous helping of filler. which was soon to be rubbed down by me.

By the time the filler had been rubbed down I looked a little white should we say. The Dewalt sander had gone through my supply of 80grit discs and made light work of getting it down to almost smooth. I didn’t worry about the very fine grade as the slightly roughed up surface gave the red oxide a good key point. I used my angle grinder to then go over the pans one last time to remove any hint of surface rust. Here was where my second surprise got me, after about ten minutes the angle grinder suddenly got warm, ground to a halt and flames were licking out he front of it like a dragon with a bad cough. I was wearing welding gloves and goggles so I put it on the floor rather quickly and unplugged it, it was left to fizzle, crackle and smoke having its own little melt down, literally. What do you expect from a cheap angle grinder? I am surprised it lasted this long. Adam did say to me it wouldn’t last long, he was right.

With everything wiped down, dusted and cleaned up with thinners I then started work with the red oxide to the point where I had got to with the angle grinder. I think you will agree it has made a huge difference. Once it has come back from paint the underside will be coated with some stone chip in black to protect it even more.

After the angle grinder had cooled down I tried to move it, all moving parts had welded themselves together by the feel of it. Guess what is going in Adams scrap pile?

Sunday was a day I usually do a bit in the man cave. Today I was asked to hang a garden gate, fix a fence panel and couple of other little jobs. So I didn’t manage to get stuff done that I wanted. The only thing I managed to do was clean up my sander and put it away. Oh, I did order a new angle grinder so hopefully it will be here by the time I go back next weekend.

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Sparks Will Fly

The weekend is here and I have an extra day to work on the car. I arrived at Mustang Maniac and found the guys preparing some cars for collection by their owners. I had a chat with Adam to see what needed to be done on my car first. The last bit of scraping then maybe a change if I managed to get it all done. I cleaned up the front engine bay panel and found some hidden numbers marked on it under the paint. I had a conversation with Adam about them and it turns out these are the original factory markings. This is good on two accounts; The first being that the front panel is original and has not been replaced due to an accident. The second is that the markings match up to the fender, secret numbers and the door plate. I have taken some pictures of the original markings during the cleaning and then I have gone over them in a colour to make them stand out a little better. The top set is actually 5A but it looks like the 6 prefix has rubbed off. These numbers which are the model type the other numbers are options for the car, interior colour – black etc. The third picture is after the clean up. I wasn’t sure if the numbers would still be there after the final cleaning up. No matter what I did to the marks they stayed there. Impressive stuff for forty eight year old grease proof marker.

I cleaned up the rear chassis legs to the point where they will be replaced. Then it was the right side wheel Arch for a clean up. Same procedures again, stripper, scrub, scrape and repeat. What was left is a little surface rust but it’s basically solid. There is a whole that needs to be patched up though, in the chassis leg that has been uncovered as a result of the clean up.

After that it was time for a change, the poor welding on the floor plan is to be ground down to see if there are any holes that are in need of re-welding. Adam was on the case to start the process to see the quality of the welding. The set of pictures here show just how bad this batch of welding is.

The grinding wheel started and the slow process to gently grind down the high spots without damaging the panels. The sparks were flying alright. The initial quick test patch was completed to his satisfaction. I was shown the technique ready for me to take over after putting on my new welding gloves, ear plugs & safety specs. I will post the pictures once I have completed some of the work. It made for a nice change and things look like they are starting to step up a gear.

I can’t wait for more of the same, but when somebody does it so easily and makes it look simple, it’s difficult to follow in those footsteps. I am a fast learner and I will step up my game.

 

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Getting There!

A trip to see the guys at Mustang Maniac on Saturday was filled with a little bit of fear. I knew what was coming and last week I hurt when I got home. But, I felt pleased with the progress although it seems slow while you are doing it. This time there was much more of the area to clean and what was to come of was more of the tar, under seal, paint and what ever else they piled on it. The newer paint is a lot harder to strip back due to the advances in the process I guess. The work was hard and painfully slow all day or so it seemed, but when you pack up to go home, look back at the car there is lots that has actually been done. I even had Adam tell me that now I was a “volunteer apprentice” (I’m proud of that title), no using electrical tools as that was cheating! We did get to use them later on though for a few test areas after we saw bare metal. During the day, I had an interesting experience should we say. Although I am working in a very, very well ventilated area, in fact the wall is a massive full sized steel door, when opened the sun floods in and natural light helps with what you are doing, I even had a mask on too. I was using thinners earlier to clean up a section and decided to take a short break. The thinner fumes had obviously impregnated my clothes and the can of Red Bull that I decided to drink, certainly gave me wings should I say. Now I know how Pink Floyd came up with those songs they did should we say. A quick wander around to the other work shops to see what the dogs were up too and take in some fresh air soon brought me down again, I seriously don’t recommend that one! Next time I think it will be just water to drink. Anyway, I came home in the evening and I was hurting again, poor ol’ me, but with a massive smile. The results are amazing I must say on the car and I’m pleased again with the amount of work that got done when I look back at the pictures. Adam joined me later in the day and he did get some tools out to see what was under the rust. We found a couple of issues but nothing to horrendous, some good old filler had been used on a chassis rail so a section of that rear rail will need a new section welded in. The previous welding has a lot to be desired and we will take some of it off and put back in some proper welding. Tip, never give your classic car to a bloke who can’t weld!

 

Once we had bare metal we needed to protect the metal so a spray of Gibbs Brand was used and she will not rust up again now. In fact she looks almost new underneath now. Apart for the suspect welding that can be seen on the top chassis rail, and the bottom floor pan section. Next week I hope to move to the engine bay and fire wall for a strip down. I am developing a better technique each time I start using the stuff I am pleased to say.

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I woke up today with arms that felt like they belonged to an orang-utan. As I was allowed to go and “play cars” all day yesterday I did promise that I would help the wife in the garden today. I had to put up a trellis, but the trellis was on its own to create a patrician. So I had to dig three deep holes for the posts to hold them up. So here I am having trouble holding the mouse let alone typing. The aches will pass for sure and I will be ready to go again next weekend. I even tried the sympathy vote on wife, I got “the look” and carried on digging. The trellis does look good, but right now – I hate it!

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