Smooth Lines

The weekend took an age to arrive be fore I could get down to Mustang Maniac. I have been kept up to date with the progress of my car via teaser emails from John. The car is now in a very strong position to be taken from the supporting jig and mounted onto the transporting dolly or trolley, a big moment for my car. This also frees up the panel shop and the jig for the next little lady who needs it. Now maneuverable, the car can be moved around as required, especially important when she comes to be being painted of course.

On a personal note this was a huge milestone for me as it seems to be less of a permanent fixture in the workshop and shows that the work so far is at an acceptable standard to move onto the next stage.

The car had the fenders attached and aligned up to the doors and the hood. The story as you are well aware by now is to strip down the panel(s) to see what lies beneath the paint and then make a decision on what needs to be done.

dolley4

Last week I stripped down both fenders, things were looking pretty good. The left hand side fender was inspected for the filler prep the few dents were not to bad to look at, but the metal had stretched to a point that it would pop in and out just above the wheel arch with the filler removed, the same scenario as the left hand side door. So the the decision was to replace the wing unfortunately. The amount of filler and man hours to repair the fender was possible, but the man hours to make it paint ready was not going to be viable and the results could be questionable after paint. But, on the positive side this new fender will last the test of time. The new left fender fitting was good apart from the back sculpture of the fender to the door where the gap was a little out, so the MM boys being perfectionists that they are, made a little cutting and fabrication along a little metal work magic from Terry who gently refabricated the correct shape for the door – fender gap.

Terry made the repair to the bottom of the right side fender and welded the freshly fabricated new section as the bottom was a little peppered with rust holes. The repair was ground down and a light filler applied to protect the join. The headlight recess was repaired to make the rusted out odd shaped cable hole circular again via a new drilled out plate that was welded in its place.

The rear quarters were leaded up and rubbed down properly. The rusted parts of the windscreen were repaired with new lead work as the original lead had cracked. More of the same lead and ground out rust parts along the lower water channels to the windows frame at the rear. Once the lead had been rubbed down a final top coat of filler was applied.

With all the panels aligned and fitted the next job was the look and especially the feel of the panels, any minor imperfections were not going to be acceptable by the guys as it would show in the paint, so a little filler would be required which we knew would be the case. The leaded and brazed areas were now given a coating of filler and Terry worked to fill, rub down, add more filler and build it all up again in order to meet their high standards. A spray of dye coat or guide coat, was then applied to the first batch of filler. Later on this would be rubbed down to 500g ready for the fine paint prep work to begin.

Yogi started some filler on the top of the right fender where there were a few minor dents, I was given another master class on smooth filling and rubbing down with the aid of dye coat. It’s really annoying when these guys make it look so easy. The filler was applied so smoothly the amount of waste and rubbing down was minimal. Yogi did get a bit dusty, for which I received some grief I might add, all because it was a Saturday! Sorry Yogi, but it was funny! 🙂

Once I had seen enough to realise that the pecking order had been reasserted when it came to filler work I got on with my job, to remove the last persons efforts of filler work on the hood and see what lies waiting for me under the red oxide primer. The hood was placed on their panel work frame ready to start work as I put on my gloves. I wanted to start on the leading edge of the hood where all the primer was, if it was beyond repair it would be here was it filler or holes? I was about to find out.

As more paint came off and there was only a little filler that was found, the smile on my face got bigger. That was only half the story as the underside could be a big issue. The underside was unbelievably hard to get off, the heat of the engine maybe I don’t know but I was going through stripper like you wouldn’t believe. At 6pm Adam came to see how I was doing and helped me get the last bits of paint off. All was good, except for my back which was killing me.

We flipped the  hood over and the surface had started to get a little surface rust very quickly, so we went back at the surface again with wire wool and washed it all down with a good dose of thinners and a light coating of WD40, just for now. If you look closely at the front edge just to the right of the sculpt line there is a dent, this just happens to be the size of a palm print, common when the hood gets shut apparently over the course of time. But in general I am pleased to say the hood is in good shape. it will need some mastic to bond the frame and the skin together on the underside, but that wont take to long. Chris was back with me for a little while who kindly cleaned up the headlight doors which were in a good condition, so I was happy with that. Thanks to Adam, Yogi and Chris who all helped me out today.

The last couple of bits they had done was the dash and door. As the dash will fit the ’64 – ’66 Mustangs the gauge recess was generic. But, for the five gauge GT dash from ’65 (as an option) to ’66 it would not fit so the small cut out was made to accommodate the larger speedo. I have circled it so you can see it a bit clearer.

dash

The right hand door was lightly shot blasted back to bare metal in order for the light contours around the door cards to be painted properly.

shotblast

Sunday was a day of dusting things off, degreasing the metalwork that had been stored in the man cave and spraying them in them in red oxide, over the top of the anti-rust paint of course. These bumper irons will match the chassis when they are bolted into place.

Yes it’s another big post, but a lot happens in a few days when the MM guys get going. Once the car gets to paint then things may slow down a little and mechanical things will need to be done! quite what that will be I will wait and see.

Note:

McVitie’s Jaffa Cakes and Hob Nob biscuits are a popular choice with the guys, so I am looking for sponsorship from McVitie’s as they go through the stash of supplies I take down every weekend! How much are the McVitie’s shares???

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Big Step Forward

Another week has gone, and this week for various reasons I haven’t been able to get down to the car, but Mustang Maniac guys have been busy. With the car being red oxided last week it was down to time and effort from the guys what they wanted to do to it. Yogi made a good job of welding up the remaining parts as ever for the rusty bits that needed cutting out and replacing with fresh metal, welding in and grinding down flat. With the welding done Yogi run over the car with seam sealer which you can see in white. This will stop water ingress under the car and cause outside in rust issues.

OK, you think it looks odd in relation to the red oxide. It’s true it does, however it was always my plan to cover the red oxide with stone chip after final painting of the bodywork metal. You will not see the sealer or the red oxide but I know the car will be protected to the worst the UK weather may throw at it. I hear you say that the original spec was red oxide only! True, it was, nothing else except the red oxide paint. As I will be using this car to enjoy it, I don’t want to panic if I get caught in a rain shower for some reason so a little more than red oxide was for me.

They guys wasted no time in taking my car of the spit and mounting the car on the jig, the automotive version of the rack. The car was bolted down and within minutes the guys were checking the often overlooked and critical part of the car, the cowl to see just how bad it was. When it rains the water gets in the cowl and should drain out. Obviously over time this will rust away and the any water will run inside the car and ruin the carpets, electrics and sound proof that may be there. To replace it will be a major upheaval once the car is put back together again, but the guys can do it without damaging the original paint job that is on the car for the 64 – 66 that were welded in place. The fact my car has to be repainted makes it a lot easier for them to work on so it was off in minutes, drilling the old welds out and separating the parts. You can see it on their own blog http://mustangmaniac.org where they show the process in stages.
Car is mounted on the jig.

The front plates to the engine bay were removed as they were going rotten and they also hold a crucial part of the car to stop twisting from the doors forward and should only be replaced while on a proper supporting jig. With these small critical plates removed the cowl was exposed to be removed. The spot welds were removed via a special spot weld removal bit for their drills. With all the spot welds removed they lifted of the upper section to expose the inside. As they suspected it was shot and need to be replaced. While you are at this stage it could be repaired, but it’s simpler to replace with fresh clean metal to be safe not sorry when another part of the cowl fails in a few years time. The cowl was offered up, adjusted, fitted and welded into place.

With the old section removed the new one would outlast me now.

New cowl

The second day the guys decided that the battery inner wing was too much to save as there was massive amount of filler hidden under the plate. More than they suspected after original inspection. The front part of the radiator mount on the right hand side has a grill to allow the cool air onto the battery, on mine the inner very thin bar had broken away and was a little rusty around the edges at the bottom. Again the guys decided rather than repair the front with plates and there was no numbers on this section they would replace it to make a longer lasting job. This need to be aligned up with the rest of the body work and took a little fiddling around before Yogi went at it with the welder again.

battery panel

All of a sudden things have started to happen. New metal going in moves the car on at such a rate. Me? I am delighted with the work as I knew I would be. Thanks Guys.

 

 

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The Bits I Missed

A couple of weekends have gone by where I have not worked on my car. So much so that I have had comments like “Are you feeling OK” or “Are you getting withdrawal symptoms?” Last weekend was the Enfield Pageant where I took some photos on a previous post, the week before it was a logistical car issue I couldn’t get down there. Anyway, over the weekend I went down to see the guys at Mustang Maniac and got some cleaning up work done on the underside and some more on the tunnel area. In other words, the bits I missed that needed the clean up weren’t worth taking a picture of as it wasn’t to exciting to look at, just sheets of metal with a little rusty paint in the corner. Not boring from my point of view of course, but from a photo and a post point of view it could be. Now the panels are clean enough, they are now at an acceptable standard to Adam to move on to the next stage. We are hoping to take the car of the spit and put her on the jig next week to start on some of the removal of the bad bits of chassis and adding the good bits. But, things can change quite quickly so I will have to wait and see. I will definitely post some pictures on here when that all happens. This could be an exciting stage of the project if all goes to plan.

Yesterday I started a clean-up of the hand brake, parking brake, emergency brake or secondary brake depending who you talk to. It wasn’t too bad to look at but I managed to free it up a while ago. So while the car is in bits – all the way down to the nuts and bolts, I decided to refurbish it properly. Same ol’ story of paint stripper, de-rust, mask up and spray. I stripped the whole thing down by removing the pin and retaining clip, remove the wire it’s pretty much there.

 

The only part I have to think about was the mini fire that had melted the back of the handle. I used progressively finer grades of sand paper to get it smooth again. I can’t go to far otherwise it will get thin and crack. But, it has all come up pretty well and will look good under the dash now.

All I need to do is work out the colour for the lettering of the lever. Red, white or leave it black. Any ideas for the colour? I shall reassemble this and post a pic of the final version next week.

I need to make an apology now as I had been told that the link to the Batmobile article wasn’t working. So I have re-done it with a couple of extra facts and dimensions about the car. It should be fine now, I think. Let me know if there are any more issues with it again.

1966 Batmobile

Quick Links:

Articles – Original Batmobile 1966 or click here.

Photo Menu – Inside The Car Hand Brake Refurbishment or click here

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