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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Adding Metal

What a difference a week can make at Mustang Maniac, my car seems to have gone from a shell to a recognisable car in a mater of days, it even has bolts back in it. I have been sent little teaser photos by Adam and John over the last couple of weeks and it seriously wetted my appetite to get down there as soon as I can to start work on her. The car was packed Friday night, the alarm was set a little earlier on the phone and wishing the hours away to the morning. I arrived to find that Adam had been invited to Goodwood Revival so I was left in the very capable hands of John and Yogi. I was taken around to see my car and my jaw hit the floor as the car has a rear end and sides now. Terry has been adding the panels, welding up and doing a fantastic job and his attention to detail is second to none. The pictures here are of Terry working on the quarters with old school techniques rarely found in this Mustang restoration business. Firstly clamping up the panels and the wheel arches to each other for a dry fitting, the trunk lid rested in place for quarter gap positioning. Once everything is place then the top joints welded and brazed in place just like they were from the factory. Many people will just weld and leave it as it will be covered with filler and paint, not these guys though and that is quality of workmanship that they have become respected for. (Please on the pictures to see the full sized versions.)

Do I apologise for such a large picture post? No way!

The other workmanship revolves around the bottom of the roof to the quarters themselves. These are normally butt welded up by some people or even cut around the lead work. But here the lead has been removed, the spot welds removed and the rotten sections removed and re-plated with the original contours. This allows for the full quarter to be to be fitted to the roof section and welded where it’s supposed to be. Terry welds into the original places and then it will be ground down to allow for the full leading to be applied where it will all be covered over and the strength is retained in the car. Many other places will not do the lead work as it’s a fine art and some modern garages don’t use it for daft health and safety reasons.

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With the quarters in place and fully welded up the next big panel was the trunk lid. With the freshly painted hinges and inner wheel arches they were lightly bolted into place and the trunk lined up to the quarters, once in place its all tightened up. The trunk will lay down under its own weight to allow final positioning of the trunk. Once that is done the tricky and dangerous (if you get it wrong) twisting of the sprung bars into place to keep the trunk open once the key has released the catch.

The next section was the filler and light panel to be fitted. The new rear quarters have alignment holes that need to be located to the light panel to ensure the light housings fit into place as the two halves form both the openings. The panel is then welded to the chassis brackets to give the rear strength.

trunkarea24

 

Next is the rear quarter links that join the rear panel which are positioned and welded into place. With everything in place Terry then completes the trunk and quarter areas he has done so far with the traditional brazing.

Forward thinking at this point see the guys dummy fit a rear bumper to see where the quarter end caps will sit in relation to the trunk and the quarters. These original fittings are notorious to fit correctly to new panels, but these went on like a dream and only small adjustments needed. The bumper will be able to be moved into the final correct position at a later date. The final panel for the rear section is the back up rear valance. My original was well and truly mashed up on the right hand side as if it had been backed over a rock. It could have been repaired but for the sake of £60 it was decided to replace with a new panel and there is no rust worries either at this point now.

Remove the bumper and then screw the rear valance into place after aligning all the sections up together.

With the welding all completed the seams were sealed up like they were in the factory and it was really was quite brutal in those days and nothing fancy. Terry then added the boot catch to the inner panel and welded it all up. Rear section done.

What does she look like from the side? Pretty darn good I would say. The next stage was to add a little filler to the panels to smooth out any imperfections and apply flexible sealer under the quarter to the sill.

During all of this you may be thinking well what did I do Saturday? The answer was simple, I was prepping the other panels and removing the paint in order for Terry to be able to weld up properly. My tasks this week was to strip the fenders the “A” pillar posts once I had removed the doors, and then start on the roof. A large amount of work, but it all needs to be done so I left very late into the evening, I was physically hurting at the end of the day. The same old story, strip, scrape, strip again wire wool and strip any remaining last bits before a final wipe over with thinners.

The roof tuned out to be a big task. The car is on the jig I couldn’t reach into the middle, even at 6’4″ tall my long arms didn’t make. So I had to balance on the sills hold on and apply stripper and scrape. Now I’m no gymnast and it was quite tricky at times to be honest and I think this is where the fatigue kicked in. But the results were good and the roof came up pretty spotless.

Sunday I have spent most of the day editing these pictures ready for the blog plus the afternoon nap too. Next week – I know what I will be doing, stripping the hood back to bare metal.

 

 

 

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New Paint Colour Revealed

The weekend still arrived slower than ever after a Bank Holiday at the beginning of the week. I was excited to get down to Mustang Maniac to see what had been done to my car. The lower cowl was going to be replaced as it had rotted through and that piece of work was known about. With the cowl off the guys could see the fire wall and the back of the dash clearly in daylight. On full inspection of the dash they could see it had gone a little thin underneath and rusted pretty badly all along the inside. A discussion was had to either replace the whole dash, or weld parts onto the old dash. This would mean shaping metal and replacing the radio slot that is always butchered on the classic cars. The decision was made to replace the complete dash, not a cheap option but it was going to be worth it in the long run. As ever Adam had a full dash in stock and was fitted, welded and brazed into place. It’s a little difficult to see black on the dark underside but you can make it out.

The top part of the firewall had to be fabricated as it was little thin in the top crease, so again it was decided by Terry to cut the top off the firewall and replace it with fresh metal and shape it to the new lower cowl. Metal work skills being displayed in all their glory and you can’t even tell it has been replaced.  With the lower cowl now firmly welded in place it was masked up and then given the first of a couple of layers of primer. It was at this point I was sent this teaser photo by Adam to show the primer had been applied to the cowl, this is the first piece of fresh metal to get proper paint.

lowercowlprime

I turned up very excited and itching to see the car expecting to see the cowl in primer. I wasn’t disappointed the lower cowl was painted in the colour that I wanted, Acapulco Blue. Obviously I am biased big time here, but it’s a bit different and a stock ’67 Mustang colour, I am absolutely delighted with it. This was the first time I had seen the colour on my car. A pretty special moment.

I got a bit carried away having a little bonding session with the fantastic paint job much to the amusement of the guys who followed me in to see my surprised look. Adam broke the news to me about the very busy day ahead of me. The trunk was to be removed and then strip it back to bare metal to see if there was any “little surprises” waiting for us as Adam puts it. What he means is, are there any pin holes or rust that have been covered up. I started on the top side and then worked my way to the underside. The underside took a lot longer due to all the corners and curves that made it hard work. I am pleased to say after a few hours hard work that the trunk is solid and no rust at all, except for a two very light surface areas where the paint had chipped off on the top side.

The next job was to red oxide the inside firewall as I had stripped it back to metal last week. The end results are pretty amazing I must say.

I was spoilt this week in my own little sanctuary, a nice guy Chris was given the dubious pleasure of working with me for the day. It’s normally quiet in the work shop, but last weekend it was a nice change to have somebody to share a conversation with all things cars. Chris made a great job of stripping the right side B pillar and the rear panel under the rear screen. Thanks for your hard work Chris. Throughout the day the normal visits from the guys was in full flow and towards the end of the day I was given some “homework” by Adam. That homework was to take home one of the fenders and strip it back to bare metal. Adam was right it was a busy weekend for me with a few more to come like it. Things have stepped up a notch, big time!

Sunday, I got up with a full day in front of me and the backs of my legs aching. My homework was to be completed along with the trunk hinges and sprung bars that connect them to hold the trunk open. The hinges were to be stripped and all paint removed as it has to be painted the same colour inside the trunk. I though I would try to be clever to strip and clean the parts with the sprung tension bars in place. Unfortunately this turned out to be a nightmare so I had to remove the bars.

I held one of the hinges in the vice and lever out the first bar. This was enough to start a cascade of events. The sprung bar unleashed itself like a coiled cobra and the end of the bar slapped me on the left hand at the base of the knuckle, the instant pain caused me to rub my hand as the other bar sprang away hit the man cave rubbish bin, this in turn was sent flying leaving a cloud of old sanding dust and rubbish all on the man cave floor in the doorway. After the initial clean up and the bruise on my thumb and wrist getting darker by the minute, I took the hinges back outside to complete the strip down. Both hinges came out pretty well and I was well pleased. To protect the inside of the hinges I gave a coating of Eastwood Rust Encapsulator to prevent additional rust on the inside of the hinges. The sprung bars were given an undercoat of red oxide and then a top layer of silver.

The homework was a dilemma, how to remove the paint from the fender. I decided on my Dewalt dual action sander with a 100grit discs. I intended to go down to the undercoat and then use a lighter and lighter grades to get to the bare metal. Some of it went to plan and some of the paint came straight of and I went to the metal. I will have to fine buff the tiny swirl off the metal work now this weekend. The purpose of the homework? to see if there were any little surprises waiting for me. I am pleased to say I didn’t find any on this original panel so far. I still have the top edge to complete but that could be later in the week or next weekend.

A big update again and a lot has happened, I intended to post on Sunday as normal. But, I had so many pictures to edit it was very late to start writing this little lot up. Forgiven?

Quick Links:

Right fender work to treat the inside click here

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Front End Fixes

The guys at Mustang Maniac have been busy welding up new plates to the inner wing and replacing the top cap plates to the fender from the cowl area. This little plate is quite a critical part of the car structure. To remove it without being on a jig will cause the car to bend at the firewall, in effect making the car sag in the middle. Although I had painted the areas and left the offending holes unpatched Yogi has taken a big chunk out and welded a completed new piece back in its place, just to be sure. The welding has been ground down and ready for more protective red oxide.

The steering linkages are the concentration this weekend as I am a little frustrated about having all the parts over my bench. Yes, I know I can move them, but it also prompts me to do something about it. So the plan was to remove the Gibbs Brand, not that you need to, but I Wanted to clean it up again to remove a few little pockets of grease I had missed around the valve mechanism. I applied the degreaser and with a clean white cloth to see where the dirt came from. Once I was happy with the parts being clean and dry I started the tedious masking up of the areas not to be painted. First of all was the rubber sections, and nothing else as everything was going to get a good coat of red oxide primer over it. I found that carrier bags on the larger parts inside the masking tape areas is a quick and easy way to protect the areas not to be painted. Only a small amount of tape is needed to hold it in place. I applied a blob of poster tack into the screw in sections to stop the paint getting in. Once it has been sprayed pull it out and throw it away.

The spraying of the red oxide primer was a little slow to dry due to the weather not being its best. But allowing coats to thoroughly dry before giving a second layer. I also sprayed the idler arm sections and the steel pipe from the valve as well at this point as they are quite small.

With the red oxide dried the next task was to mask up everything that was not going to be satin black painted. That was going to be the valve area and the main ram. To save the valve area complicated masking up I used a vinyl glove over the part and pulled it towards the accurate masking I had done earlier, to secure it in place was a simple wrap of tap around the wrist section. You only have to turn it inside out to re-use the glove with no wastage! The satin black paint dried a lot faster now as the sun was coming out and warmed the man up to an acceptable temperature.

The final part once the black had dried to was to reverse mask up ready for the silver spray. The smaller parts didn’t need to be masked again as they were going to be a single colour. Unfortunately the silver is taking hours and hours to try even though I used thin light sprays to build up the colour it is still a little tacky. I was hoping to add the pipe work to it today but the cool weather has put a stop to that. Rather than ruin the paint I decided to leave that till next week.

I would like to share a final photo of how I am supporting the ram and main steering bar while it all dries. Yep, I know it looks a bit naff, but it works.

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Review:

I have added a tool review for the Makita GA454530KD Angle Grinder here, or go to the Tools Review Menu and find it there. This was the replacement for my unbranded grinder that caught fire on me a few weeks ago. What do I think of it? Find out by reading the review. You can also click on the picture to go to the review!

makita2

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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.

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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.