Protecting The Chrome Jewels

On a recent visit to a good friend of mine who also owns a rather nice and rare coloured Mustang Convertible I was shown around his latest collection of Mustang memorabilia where I spotted in middle of his (man cave) garage a dehumidifier. He went on to explain the benefits of it and I could feel the air was different to mine at home. that was it, I was sold on the idea and set about getting one. So I done a little research from various places and found these points where I have collated them and made them a little more readable, I hope. I have since seen references to classic cars with lots of chrome like mine as the “Chrome Jewels”. I quite like that sying in fact. Many storage companies of classic cars all have climate controlled environments.

Rust will form where the surface of the steel has air and water. The first step is to stop the elements reaching the steel, paint does the job pretty well, but even better is wax or  similar coatings, or Waxoyl etc. Chrome is surprisingly porous and normally underneath the chrome plate is steel so it needs protecting. A covering of wax, ordinary car wax or Gibbs, will do the trick, it looks invisible, adds shine and protection. Don’t forget that a chrome cleaner is generally abrasive and removes any wax coating, by all means use it to clean, but it doesn’t protect the chrome.

Don’t get to hung up about the temperature vs humidity, as it’s often being mentioned to keeping humidity below 50% to stop rust, but it’s a bit more complicated than that and one of the keys is understanding about “dew” points. All air contains water and as the temperature drops that water tries to change back from a vapour to a liquid, that’s what causes rain, warm moist air pushed up by the weather cools and the water in that cloud becomes a liquid which is heavy and falls out of the cloud – rain. In your own home you see it as condensation around bedroom windows on cold mornings. It is around the window because that is normally the coldest part of the room.

There are 3 ways to fix condensation:

  1. Heat the room so the air inside can hold more water.
  2. Open the window (ventilate) in the hope that air coming in from outside will be dryer and therefore hold more water.
  3. Use a dehumidifier to reduce the percentage of water in the air.

The theory of condensation effect is to take a can of cold drink from the fridge and put it on the table or work top. Even in a warm house you immediately see condensation on the can as the water in the air rushes to the can and condenses back into a liquid. This is the same principle as how a dehumidifier works, you present a cold surface to the air, the air in turn gives up its water which is then collected in a container. The fan in the dehumidifier keeps an airflow over the cold chilled surface so as much air as possible reaches the cold surface.

Back to my Garage; heating the space to about 20c works well (in fact any heat helps) because the higher the temperature the less the water has a chance to condense back to a liquid. This is why I fitted a radiator in my garage, much to the bemusement of my wife! unfortunately it’s not the complete answer though. Another example of the condensation is that you get condensation in a bathroom after a long hot shower even if the air temperature is 25 or even 30c. You could indeed heat a normal garage to 20c, the car would sit in there and not deteriorate, but even with insulation that is expensive way of doing it. Hence why the US “dry State” cars are so popular in UK as there is not much chance of the rust taking hold in the past.

I have done all the usual things; The heating and water boiler is in my garage and gives of heat to the room as the hot water passes through the pipes. I have insulated as much as possible, the walls are cavity filled, the ceiling has plenty of insulation up there and the all important plastic floor to stop the cold coming up through the concrete. The up and over door has brushes to keep the draft out and the back of the door has heat insulating sheets. That way I should then be able to keep the space at least 9c throughout the winter with no additional heating and that is obviously a big help.

On the other hand, when you open the garage door the same thing can happen on a warm moist day, the air rushes in and condensation forms on whatever is coldest part in there, that is mostly going to be your prized possession, your car. I found this rather good chart to show the relative ranges of humidity and what I am trying to explain:

So I have bought myself a dehumidifier. I have reviewed it here and is also under the accessory menu on the main bar. I wanted two things from the non-negotiable options. An option for constant draining and the low-cost of running it over 24/7 scenario. The options were a little limited for my modest budget.  I managed to pick up a well rated PureMate PM412 for a modest cost of £120 reduced by sixty pounds from the recommended retail price. I also purchased a digital humidity gauge and left it in the garage for a couple of days to get a reading. There is a max and min scale for both the temperature and the humidity. The gauge is on top of the car in the middle of the garage.

The unit is compact and neat looking with a capacity of twelve litres a day. There is a digital read out and super simple to work and set up. The gauge above shows the first night was 45rh to a max of 50rh which I was super happy with.

The unit has a castor wheels and a recessed handle which is so easy to move around. There is a one meter length of tubing they even supply for the constant drain should you need it which I will of course. The ease of movement makes it ideal to shove out-of-the-way in the corner of the garage when working on the car.

The collection tray can hold one and half litres of water, and over night I think it was up to about a little under a litre. So I am having to empty it morning and evening now until I plumb it in. But, that is the unit settling the environment down then they should reduce considerably after a few days. It doesn’t matter if I forget to empty it as the unit will shut down when the tray is full.

The power consumption os a max of 245w on full power, but as I only ran mine on a low setting it should work out quite economical to run especially as it will be on all the time. Has anybody else got any tips or tricks they would like to share storing their car over the winter? Please post a reply and we can all share the knowledge.

Roll on the spring so I can take the car out for a drive. I have an itch I can’t scratch when I can’t drive my car.

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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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Some You Win…

I try to post on a Sunday evening so I can give an update on the work completed by Mustang Maniac during the week and the work I do at the weekends. The reason I haven’t posted is quite simple. Trying to catch-up on the huge amount of  I have taken and the huge amount to work the MM (Mustang Maniac) guys have done. Most of the photo work has been completed now and hopefully the delay will be worth it. Where do I start?

The first thing I noticed when  I turned up was the back of the car was sitting in a white primer where Terry had cleaned and seam sealed it up.

The back of the trunk is to get blown over of the Acapulco Blue when the car goes for the full paint job. In the mean time a couple of light undercoats of colour will be applied to the areas that you can’t paint once the rear quarter panels are welded in place, such as the chassis drop off points and the top of the rear arches that can be seen when you open up the trunk. The hinges I prepared last week were cleaned up and given a spray and hung up to dry.

The next part to be spotted was the upper cowl that had been fitted in place and welded to the lower cowl. The Black resin coated parts in black are now all welded in place and brazed as they should be. Tape was placed over the vents and masking paper placed in the vents to avoid any and dust and rubbish getting into the fresh paint. The paper will be pulled out at the time of fitting up the rest of the car.

As I wanted an export brace on the front of the car going from the fire wall to the shock towers this one was going to be fitted correctly. What I mean here is that the export brace was fitted to a thick piece of plate also welded onto the top of the fire wall to add the required strength. Many export braces fitter later in life are just bolted into the original shock tower bolt holes and the fire wall. Under load the firewall will bend and give which defeats the whole point of the export brace being fitted. The welding you see here is exactly how it was when they were first fitted, no neat seam all round welding, just the little lines of weld you see in the close up. The brace is only resting in place as its not needed at this point of the restoration.

When I arrived on Saturday Terry was competing the repair plate to the roof and quarter panel lead area. Yes you read that correctly – lead, not filler and welds as modern restorations will do for you, but this lucky little lady was going to get the forgotten art of leading and brazing the quarters in place. The filler and welding are not ideal and could blow through with damp and rust at a later date. The Common place to have the rust appear is at the top of the B pillar as the water runs down and sits at the back of the strengthening sections and so it will eventually rot. Welding and filler will be especially susceptible to the damp. Red oxide paint was applied to prevent any more rust. The replacement plates in this area are common and the secret is make sure the plate are lower than the rest of the roof in order for the lead to run into any holes and fill the cavity up with strength. It’s this attention to detail that sets these guys apart from everybody else.

Anyway, I was given my task to strip the doors down to find any of Adam’s nasty little surprises as he likes to call them. The door, oh yes the lovely left side drivers door. The stripper was applied to door and the first layers of paint was removed no problem. Then I spotted it – filler. Ok, the filler was to mend any cosmetic issues for paint, so I kept telling myself. So the door got more stripper and more scrapping. The filler patch got bigger and bigger until it was across three quarters of the door. I asked Terry to take a look who said “You have to get it all out to see what is behind it”. So the door got more stripper applied to loosen the filler, then more and more. The scrapping knife was lifting the filler out like a spread of butter until the next layer of filler needed to be softened. Now I was going through the stripper like you wouldn’t believe as the filler was soaking it all up. The breakthrough to the metal was a good moment to behold and I thought I had cracked it, but no. The filler was about half an inch thick in some places, then I found out why. The car has had a knock in the door. There was regular holes in the door skin to pull the dents back out again with a slide hammer. At this point Adam was called down to survey the damage. Then he said “all the filler has to come out to see the full damage”, that’s consistency. Two hours later the filler was all out. The door panel was now fully exposed and any pressure on the door and the door popped inwards as the metal was stretched beyond repair, the filler was holding it tight. If I had of known this then we would have replaced the skin in the first place on the outside of the door.

The door had to come of to strip the skin. Adam went and got a skin and brought it over “it’s your lucky day – it’s the last one.” The door was mounted and the skin was knocked away from the door by breaking the spot welds. The inside of the door would show the damage if any done to the structural part of the door. The skin was popped off a little while later being careful as they were trying not wanting to damage the door frame. The skin was lifted off and with the inside exposed we could see the heavy rust at the bottom of the door and the thin metal about to break away. Not good. The side strengthening bar part of the frame had been bent on the initial impact and had not been straightened out at the time. Even worse. The arrows in the pictures show the areas of concern, the bent frame and rust holes.

In case you are wondering how much came out of the door? This much.

rubbish

The decision was made the door could not be salvaged with the amount of rust inside and the damaged bar. Yes, of course they could fabricate new parts and weld in place, but the man hours would out way the cost of the door. Terry went and got a new door. I had spots before my eyes or was it “£” signs, i’m not sure now??? Terry then offered up the door and fitted it along the B pillar and the sills. Adjustments had to be made with the door catch to make it shut correctly.

So to sum up:

1 x 5ltr od paint stripper = £30

8 hours stripping time

1 x door skin = £120

Terry’s time – a lot!

1 x new door = £400

1 x scrap cart full of my nice clean, paint free, bent door skin that has more bullet holes than Al Capone’s getaway car! One man was not impressed. BUT, some you win – some you loose, the original drivers door was a write off and that is the chance you take with old cars unless you know the history. I soon got over it once I had seen the new door in place. Oh, yeah it looked good. The other door Adam stripped down for me, that one was fine and OK to prep for paint. I think he was feeling sorry for me at this point, I did give him his door skin back though!! AND it only took him an hour or so to get this far.

door10

The door surround was cleaned up while Terry was prepping the door for fitting, this part of the bodywork came up pretty clean all round the inside and I was pleased with the results.

The door fitted with the clean pillar and inner door frame cleaned up looks amazing.

It was a silly long day and I would a special thanks to Terry, Adam & Frank for helping me out. I had a good laugh and it was great to see the new metal on the car and some colour.

I hope the wait for the post was worth it, it was for me. 🙂

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To The Scrap Heap

Well it’s the second week in succession I haven’t managed to get to my car and it feels very strange now. But things have not been allowed to stand still at Mustang Maniac, the guys have been turning bits of my car into scrap! Of course I knew what they were going to do it and why. The left side rear quarter panel which was in the worst condition and the outer wheel arch have been cut away to leave an exposed rear chassis. The full quarters have to be unleaded from the rear roof supports. Once that is done then the “B” pillar posts spot welds are drilled out along with the spots for the outer wheel arch. The panels were cut away in small easier to manage sections and thrown unceremoniously into the scrap bin.

leftrearquarterscrap
Considering these were the original quarters then it’s hardly surprising they have gone rotten in the usual place around the arch itself.

LeftRearArchRust
To remove the quarters correctly the car should be bolted to a proper jig to stop any movement, if anybody offers to do it without a jig beware! The panel was removed then the outer wheel arch.

The lead has to be removed, cleaned up, preped ready for the full quarter to be re-fitted. In these pics you will see the lead being worked by Yogi.

I replaced the hinge pins a while ago (click here for the link) so there is no movement on the doors which is always a good idea when doing this type of work in order to avoid the door dropping on the hinge. You will also notice that the doors are still in place for a good reason, with the rear quarter removed from the car, the door is now the only constant to work from at this point, you will need as little movement as possible, hence the hinge pin replacement I completed a while ago because I knew this work was coming up. The full replacement quarter panel would need to do the same obviously but in reverse, matching up to the door now. Any misaligned panels at the rear will be multiplied considerably due to the length of the door and the fenders themselves. By the time you get to the stone bumper guard and the bumper itself, depending how bad the misalignment is, it could be enough to stop the panels being bolted back together again. The very common mistake is to take everything of the car and then weld the quarters on. The panel alignment should always be worked from the back going forward, the fenders and hood will have to line up correctly with the doors and hence the rear quarters. This is a very timely and tedious but critical part of the process, get it wrong and the car will look very odd. Or even worse, if this type of work is done without a purpose-built jig, beware!
Once the arch and the quarter were out-of-the-way, the old rotten section of the chassis rear left leg was to be cut away at the point where there is plenty of good metal.

A butt weld is not acceptable due to the stress on this part of the chassis so the guys make up a heavy plate which is to fit inside the original chassis leg and the new section of replaced chassis. The new section of rail was welded to the plate and the joint welded together to give the support for the welds and new rear rail.

With the chassis rail now in place the trunk cover panel section was placed over the rail and welded into place to offer more support and look a lot nicer in the trunk area.

I dare say I will have more red oxide painting to do when I am down at Mustang Maniac again to match it all up.

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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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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.

rearoxide3

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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Retake

The weekend arrived and I was tired, dead to the world. There is no alarm set at the weekends just for the sake of it, we enjoy our time to wake up slow talk and work out the weekend plan of action. I normally leave the house by half eight to get to Mustang Maniac, but this time we didn’t wake until almost nine. All I can say is we both must have needed the sleep. I got up showed, dressed and left without breakfast. I got in the car and looked for to my trip down to see the guys. Unfortunately as I arrived near Duxford air museum the world and his mate was going the same direction as me. The roads were coned into a single lane in order to filter us down to the entrance. I must say well done to the brain surgeon that decided to send all traffic the same way even though I didn’t want to go there. Hardly the loudest bang in the firework box should we say! Unfortunately I have to go past the main entrance to get on the country roads to Mustang Maniac.  The main problem I had was that there were people standing in front of my car trying to direct me into the airfield car park. When I asked them to get out of my way so I could get past, they got the hump with me for not wanting to go in there – get over it! Not everybody wants to see planes, just as not everybody wants to restore a car. I eventually turned up at almost eleven, this delay was cutting into some serious resto time. I was not a happy bunny.  But as promised, the first thing I done was to take some more pictures of the car from last week and the work I have done this weekend. I painted the front of the car now except for the small parts that need a little mig welder work to fill the holes and the battery section of the inner wing. We will take the plate out and work out if we need to replace the whole inner fender or not. The other part that has not been painted on the front is the radiator cooling grill to the upper right side. The grill was patched up with filler previously and was very brittle, so we will now have to replace that little section too. So, rather than show a few similar looking pics, I have added the completed front end over the last couple of weeks and the end results. I think you can see more of change that has taken place this way.  I even tried my hand at a little impromptu panel beating. The radiator opening at the front had a few wavy edges so I got a flat faced hammer and a sturdy flat block behind the metal and give it some therapy. Boy did that feel good, my mind wandered to other things that were bugging me over the last few days as I was doing that little bit.

Sunday was a day for cleaning of the steering mechanism. This was the usual remove grime, remove paint and remove rust. I have a link to all the pictures here or go to the Photo Menu – Steering – Steering Linkages Recondition for the full step by step pictures so far. This was a probably the most grimy job I have done to date. Now that the parts are cleaned up I will go over them with the wire wool and make sure they are ready for paint nearer the time. A little detail on them in black and some silver highlights sounds good to me. The cleaned up parts look a little shiny or wet as I have just coated them with Gibbs Brand in order to stop them rusting.

Just a couple of how it was:

How it is now:

In order to keep an eye on the parts and where they all go I have used some diagrams and my manuals of course. What I have done is I have compiled a selection of the most helpful Steering and Suspension Diagrams onto a single article that can be found here, just like my brake diagrams I compiled. I hope they are some help to you; As the parts are so integral to each other I decided to keep them together rather than split them up.

Quick Links:

Photo Menu – Steering – Steering Linkages Recondition or click here

Articles – Steering and Suspension Diagrams or click here

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Deleted!

You know the scenario by now, I go to Mustang Maniac for the day and work my arms off. (Yes, I did say arms, for those that think I may have said something different). It was raining and chucking it down and not the best of days to travel. Yet as I was getting close and closer to my own little paradise the sun was getting brighter. When I pulled up – full sun, what more can a man ask for? I was greeted by Adam who was just coming out of the refurbished workshop. I was given the tour of the new interior and it looks so much better and dare I say it – organised. The new racks, shelving, and inner panels made it look so much bigger. I was shown a few of the cars they had been working on as we walked to my car. I was shown what was needed to be done this weekend, the other side of engine bay and the inner fender all in red oxide. We rolled the car over and I got to work. I am getting quicker at this angle grinder clean up now and the amount of work to be done today was more than last week. Clean till it gleams, rub down and paint. Adam had removed the original welded shock tower bracket for me along with the botch job of a hand brake cable bracket in the tunnel, the bracket was only held in place by pop rivets. So I have pinched a few pics from Adam where he had done the work.

The normal process is that I take the photo’s of the before, during and after of what ever I get up too. I get home and upload the pics to the PC and crop them and upload ready for the blog. In a moment of madness I clicked on “Delete” option instead of copy from the SD card. As the SD card has no recycle bin they were gone simple as that. Yes I have some special recover tools but it’s not worth the time and effort to retrieve them. However, the were a few choice words uttered under the breath, over the breath and out load. I was not a happy bunny at this point. The only good thing is that the batch of pics I deleted were the after pics of the red oxide and a couple during. I will be able to get some more when I am down there next week, so it’s not a problem just more annoying than anything as I can’t show you the results of hard days labour. I will load the new pics next week with the next post. Am I the only plum to do the delete thing?

Sunday I have started on project which one of the bigger ones, the steering section. I have started to clean it up and remove the tie rods and idler arm. I have started to clean up the valve end as that was really greased up bad. The pipe fittings were only finger tight which might explain the state it’s in. I will create a Steering Rack page this week with any luck and the step by step process.

The idler arm has been completed today but it was seized up big time. A little Gibbs brand sorted that out though and was able to get it out, with the help of a brass hammer of course. The colour of the rust was so bright it almost looked like it had been heated up and was glowing orange.

Thanks Adam for letting use some more of your pics. 🙂

 

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Looking Good

A long week and the weekend couldn’t get here fast enough so I can get down to Mustang Maniac. I arrived with change of clothes and a packed lunch. The dogs were in high spirits and enjoying the sun running around the now spacious yard. Adam looked over the car with me and gave me my instructions for the day. Final clean up of the left side and remove the shock tower bracket that had been badly welded on. I wanted to replace the brakes with a nice smart export brace so they needed to come of anyway. I have seen some were the export brace sits over the top of the brackets and it looks a poor job. So while I was at this stage it was an ideal time to remove the first one. It was a case of the angle grinder to reduce the weld to as thin as possible then lever the old bracket off the shock tower. With the bracket off I was able to grind down the weld almost flat. I have become a lot better at using the angle grinder with finesse and can grind away quite accurately now with only the bits I want removed.

Cleaning up the metal to make sure no rust was about and wire wool the tight spaces to leave a fresh bare surface.