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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Just A Shell

Need I say where I was over the weekend? Yep, Mustang Maniac to take the final parts off the car. The front and rear glass was to come out and I was little nervous about that to be honest in case I cracked one. There are two ways to get the glass out; the easy way and the hard correct way obviously. The hard way is to fold the rubber back a bit at a time and lift the glass out, it takes time, patience and luck not to crack any brittle glass. The principle is the same for the front and the back glass. We looked at the car and decided that the rear rubber was showing signs of age and a few splits in places, this one was going to be the easy way. The front was going to be a pain though. The front has either been replaced or the original put back in. The reason I suspect is that they were trying to find a leak inside the car. This leak was enough to make them take the rubber and glass out and seal it all back in place with copious amounts of mastic. They must have shares or own the company looking at the amount they used. Anyway, due to the mastic there was no way I was going to be able to save the rubbers at the front although they didn’t look to bad. The easy technique is to lift a flap of rubber that is over the top of the glass insert a sharp knife at such an angle to cut the top rubber section of the bezel of as it were. Once the rubber is cut of you can just lift the glass out, but first you have to free it from the rubber by gently tapping it up with your hand. The rear was simple and straight forward and came out without any issues. The front on the other hand was a pig of a job; the mastic was so thick I had to do it small stages and very slowly to avoid putting too much pressure on the glass. Eventually it was all cut away and I had to be just as careful when trying to break the mastic hold on the glass. With a sigh of relief it came free and the glass was lifted out. The worst part of the job was to remove all the old mastic and rubber that had been stuck on the front. The leak by the way didn’t look to be coming from the glass, the vents at the front obviously let the water in and it runs of to the sides were it sits unless it runs out through a drain channel. As a result the cowl will go rusty in the corners so when it rains the channel to drain away is circumvented and goes inside the car. I know I may have to replace the cowl, but that needs to be inspected for repair or replace shortly. The link for the full process of getting the glass out and more pictures can be found here, or the quick links at the bottom.

The rear glass being removed.

The front glass being removed showing the generous usage of mastic.

Today I was cleaning up the steering column. This needs to be stripped back to bare metal in order for it to be painted and coordinated to the interior colours. The column was in a bad way at the bottom end where it goes through the fire wall to the steering box. The grease now gone hard, dirt, grime and anything else had to be cleaned off. POR Strip was used and wire wool to get back to the metal. Inside the column was full of old grease and needed to be cleaned out as well. The steering wheel end has a collar which holds the horn assembly and the indicator lights stalk. The horn section I have thrown out as the wires were brittle and were on an old Grant Steering wheel which I want to replace with a nice wood one. My arms ache but it was a job worth doing. The final part is to coat it from rusting with Gibbs Brand Lubricant until it needs to be painted. I just love that Gibbs Brand, see here for my review and articles. The brackets and plates I will finish them next week.

The exciting news:

Now that my car is a shell with nothing in it or on it apart from the doors that is, we could well be putting her onto a rotisserie soon to allow me access to the underneath  in order to clean it all up and look for the repairs needed. The rear quarter panel needs replacing and lining up with the door, once that is done the doors will come off as well to get to the pillars and work on them too.

Quick Links:

Front and Rear Glass can be found under Photo Menu – Glass Work – Front & Rear Glass or click here.

Steering column work is can be found under Photo Menu – Steering – Steering Gearbox & Column Renovation or click here.

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