Restoration Log Archive

exhaust fans done

We finished the paint booth this week.  This comprised creating a door (using a zipper) and installing exhaust fans and filters.  The exhaust fans create a cross-flow of air in the booth which enters at the top back and exits low in the front near the front door of our booth.  I taped some masking paper on the wall to use for dialing-in our spray pattern on the HVLP guns.  I installed a 4 stage dryer system for our compressed air lines and ran the air line into the middle of the booth and sealed the penetration point.   The last penetration (still do do) is to run our breathing hoses into the booth so Jack and I have safe air to breath.  We’re using Magnapoxy, a two stage primer which is extremely toxic and can be absorbed through the skin and eyes!  Consequently, we’ll be wearing full HAZMAT style suits with hoods and supplied air.  After all, Jack’s going to need every brain  cell he has (and then some) next year as a freshman at that trade school he’s attending back East.

Now if Jack will just find some time*, we can prime the bottom of the car, spray it with Monstaliner and get it rolling so we can send the car to the painter.  Which means he’ll have to make a choice between Bright Yellow and Calypso Coral.

* I think Jack may be boycotting the garage after putting in 55 hours over spring break.

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It’s been a looooooong week

Posted April 8, 2013 By dad
image

Occupy TLG protest commences after 55 hours in the garage this week.

here’s some of what we did this week:

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Burning the midnight oil (literally)…

Posted April 3, 2013 By dad

Jack and I just returned from the garage (at 12:30 a.m.) after a very productive day installing the sub-frame connectors from Total Control Products which are specifically designed to fit the 1969 Mustang fastback.  Jack spent about 10 hours on the car today while I had the easier shift (starting at approx 5:30pm).  We had already ground away the overhangs at the back of the frame rails and removed a part of the emergency brake cable bracket.  Next we pre-fit the frame connectors and saw we had some metal shaping to complete to get a good fit.  Using a hammer and dolly, we shaped the frame rails and rear floor pans for a good fit.  I cut some shims to fit into the  rear connector mounts, and Jack ground the metal to allow for a clean weld.  We primed the ground areas with some weld-through primer and tacked the first connector into place.  In the morning, we’ll repeat the process with the second connector, measure to make sure everything is even, then weld the sub-frame connectors permanently into place.

clamped for welding

clamped for welding

DARTH JACK

DARTH JACK

 

special garage fuel: Boston Baked Beans

special garage fuel: Boston Baked Beans

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No excuses

Posted April 2, 2013 By jack

It’s finally spring break, which means I now have more time to spend working at the garage. Which means I now have more things to blog about. Which means I should be posting more often.

Dad certainly hasn’t let me forget this. But really, there’s no excuse for the lack of communication lately, other than the fact that I’d rather spend my time wrenching, not writing. Anyhow, here’s a quick post to bring you up-to-date with my progress at TLG:

I finished up the leadwork on the rear quarter panel, adding a little more lead body filler (the one we use from Eastwood is actually Lead Free) before smoothing it over with a wooden paddle and filing it down to the contour of the body panels. We had better luck with the paddles this time, coating both the bottom and the top to avoid leaving ashes in the lead. The surface still isn’t perfect, but a thin coat of body filler will leave the area nice and smooth.

Dad finished up welding the battery tray area, which had a few holes left over from Dan’s work. I still have to grind down the welds, but this one actually has to look nice; I’ll probably move the battery to the trunk, which means the tray will be clearly visible with the hood open.

We also performed a little bodywork to reinforce some corroded areas. There was a gaping hole in the rear left frame rail (it didn’t look like rust, but I can’t conceive of any other cause), so we used the Bad Dog Biter (a sturdy nibbler) to fit a piece of sheet metal to the frame. We did the same in the front of the left inner fender, which was slightly more tricky, owing to the fact that it needed to cover three surfaces converging at a corner. We tried spot-welding the new metal to the old, but it wasn’t perfectly fitted and the gaps in some places were too large for a good bond. We then tacked both into place, and filled in the rest with a bead. Both are ground down completely and looking ready for action.

Yesterday, I spent a good chunk of time fitting the sub-frame connectors we bought from Total Control Products. The emergency brake cable bracket was preventing one of the connectors from seating properly, so I ground down the part of it that was welded to the frame rail until we could pry it free of the spot weld. I then stripped away the powder coating on the surface of the connector that cups the front frame rail, and still it didn’t fit very well. It appears the connector was welded at an angle, and so we’ll have to fill the gap with some extra metal. The fit in the rear was also pretty shabby, so I’ll contact TCP in the morning to see what they recommend.

We’re scheduled to have the car at the paint shop by the end of this week or the beginning of the next, so we still have quite a bit of work left to do. Dad ordered some plastic sheeting to erect a paint booth around the car, as well as a good supply of Monstaliner bedliner for coating the undercarriage. Once the sub-frame connectors are welded in place, we’ll be ready to prep the metal for a coat or two of primer and then spray the bedliner. We also did some research on the correct paint specifications for the Boss 302, which we’ll provide to our painter.

measuring subframe connector fit

measuring subframe connector fit

connectors must fit with minimal clearance
connectors must fit with minimal clearance

2013-04-01 18.46.48

it’s important to measure gaps at all welding joints

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Charlie’s famous!

Posted April 2, 2013 By dad

MakeThree Lions Garage was mentioned today in one of my favorite magazines  Check out today’s Make Magazine special edition here:

Charlie & Monty

 

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Lot of new developments but nothing to say?

Posted March 25, 2013 By dad

we’ve covered a lot of ground with the Pony over the last several weeks, but we haven’t had an opportunity to bring you up to date…

here are some photos to keep you going, new posts to follow soon…stay tuned…

proud lead man

proud lead man

rail surgery

rail surgery

surgeon's handiwork

surgeon’s handiwork

doctor...

doctor…

...at work

…at work2013-03-16 17.51.14

2013-03-16 19.10.14

template

template

patch

patch

2013-03-27 21.28.102013-03-24 20.54.592013-03-27 21.28.20

 

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Leadslinger

Posted March 13, 2013 By jack

T-minus two and half months until deadline. We’re moving right along here at TLG, thinking about various projects simultaneously as the time ticks right on by. Lately, we’ve been communicating with the folks over at the United Auto Collision Center (a friend referred us for a paint job), who have been quite unhelpful and unaccommodating: it took at least four calls to get a hold of the man we were looking for (and we never received a call back), and after finally contacting and establishing a time to meet with him he stood us up. Needless to say, we know where we won’t be going for a paint job.

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Surface preparation

In the meantime, I’ve been finishing up all the tasks left over for us to complete before we can paint the car. This weekend, my dad and I finally got around to leading in the left rear quarter panel seam. After we had moved Charlie’s Lexus outside for some elbow room, I began by cleaning up the metal using a pneumatic angle grinder with a 36-grit sandpaper wheel. With the surface prepared, we applied the tinning compound and worked it in with a coarse steel wool, melting it over the metal with a propane torch. Once it had cooled, I wiped down the area with lacquer thinner to remove any impurities, and then with a water/baking soda solution to neutralize the remaining acid. To be clear, we didn’t use real lead, but a substitute made for this purpose (and legal in California). Application wasn’t terribly difficult, requiring only that the metal be hot enough for the lead to bond properly but not so hot that it would run off. Spreading the lead, on the other hand, was slightly more trying: Dad kept setting our wooden paddle on fire, and because our surface was inclined we learned to apply the lead above the area to be filled.

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Applying the lead

With the seam now filled in, I can get started on filing it down. I have a feeling I’ll need to apply a little more lead to get a perfectly smooth surface, so I’m going back in tonight. Once this is finished with, the next priorities are the interior and underside. After those have been finished, we can get the car rolling and deck it out with paint.

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Moving forward

Posted February 24, 2013 By jack

As expected, cleaning the car hasn’t been the most enjoyable part of the restoration, but after all, somebody has to do it. Glass abrasive appears to have caked itself over everything, even some areas that haven’t seen sunlight since the car was assembled back in ’69. Needless to say, it’s been tough work. In addition to the confounded glass, I had also neglected to scrape off the gummy adhesive that lines the windowsills and doorjambs when I removed the windshield and doors, so it was about time I tackled that task. Using a gasket scraper, I first removed all excess gunk on the car, before applying denatured alcohol to eliminate the residue it left behind. Since we’ll be painting the interior soon, I focused on the inside of the car, pulling all the remaining fiberglass insulation out of the roof as well as all the glass abrasive I could access.

The fruit of my labor: two sizable globs of fiberglass and window goop.

I’ve decided to leave the rear quarter panels alone. Should I, or any future owner down the line, decide to return the car to its original S-code specifications, re-replacing the panels to include the fake side scoops would be a significantly irksome task, considering it could have been avoided to begin with. Finally, there’s also the financial matter: the car will never be more valuable as a Boss 302 clone than as an original ’69 S-code.

The next few steps are to weld in the roll cage and sub-frame connectors, lead-in the left rear quarter panel seam, and have the underside, interior, and engine compartment painted. Looks like quite a bit of fun ahead of us yet!

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Spring Cleaning

Posted February 6, 2013 By jack

Well, Dad’s off to Europe. He and a few of his buddies decided the American auto scene didn’t offer enough panache, so they’ve been living it up at the Retromobile in Paris, France. Meanwhile, I’m stuck at home with a car to restore.

image

In the past few days at the garage, I’ve finished grinding down the welds in the battery tray area, which is now looking good as new. When I wire up the car later, I may decide to move the battery to the trunk for a more balanced weight distribution, in which case there would be no need to actually weld a tray to the metal. Originally, the battery rested on a small platform to keep sulfuric acid off of the metal surfaces (and that worked just swell), but that was rusted through and cut out with the rest of the metal.

 

Next step is to go over every inch of the car and remove leftover glass abrasive and dust with an acid etching compound. As I clean up the car for final bodywork and paint prep, I’ll have to make some decision regarding the fake side-scoops in the rear quarter panels. My original plan had been to cut them out and weld in new metal, in keeping with the design of the 1969 Boss 302 I’m replicated, but today Dan the Muffler Man pointed out that the scoops are actually quite desirable, and removing them would diminish the value of the car. Thoughts, anyone?

(click for greater detail)

1969 Mach 1 w/ side-scoops

1969 Boss 302, sans side-scoops

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