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Before the Restoration

After the Restoration

Restoration Journal
  2001:
    January
    February
    March
    April
    May
    June
    July
    August
    September
    October
    November
    December
  2002:
    January
    February
    March
    April
    May
    June
    July
    August
    September
    November
  2003:
    January
    February
    March
    April
    May
    June
    July
  2008:
    August
  2017:
    April
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    August

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Restoration Journal

May 1, 2001

Built the dolly!  I figured this task would take at least a couple nights, but with my lovely wife helping me, we had it assembled in about 3 hours.  It seems pretty sturdy, and is more than adequate for moving the car around on concrete.  Hopefully it will also be strong enough to support the shell when getting it on and off a trailer.

Getting it under the car took a bit of work.  With only 1 floor jack and 4 jack stands, it took quite a few lifts to get everything positioned so I could roll the dolly under the car.  But after 20 or 30 minutes, I was pushing the shell around my garage!

May 3 & 4, 2001

Took the doors, trunk lid and front clip parts to the media blaster over lunch.  Couldn't get the hood in my Outback, so that will need to go with the shell when it get transported.

May 7, 2001

My uncle, David, offered to help me transport the shell to the media blaster.  He's a car guy - he's got 2 '69 Corvettes, and hung out with my Dad when I was a kid.  He even owned a '68 383 S car, so he's quite familiar with my car.

He owns a car trailer.  He showed up around 7:30, and within a couple hours we had the shell on his trailer!  It really wasn't too difficult; we raised the tongue of the trailer as high as we could, to get the rear of the trailer just a few inches off the ground.  Even though the height of the dolly is only 10 or 11 inches, that was enough clearance to winch the car up onto the trailer.

He brought his box of assorted chains and tie-downs.  After we felt we had the shell securely fastened to the trailer, we had an uneventful trip to the media blaster.  Once there, unloading the car took all of 10 minutes.  The dolly really worked well, and didn't show any signs of wear from getting bounced around on the trailer.

The body shop is right next to the media blaster, so I won't need to transport the car between the two places.  The shell of the car will now be out of my hands for at least a couple months.

A few images of the shell on the the dolly, and on the trailer.  Click on any image for full-size version:
 

May 8, 2001

Cleaned up the basement and organized all the parts that I've taken off the car the last 3 weeks!  They were really starting to pile up.

May 9, 2001

Mounted the grinding wheel I bought months ago on one of the benches, and replaced one of the grinding wheels with a wire brush.

That thing is awesome!  A few seconds with that thing, and 30 years of rust is gone!  I cleaned up a few stray parts that were lying on the benches and the results were great.  Any small pieces can be cleaned up with the wire wheel, instead of media blasting.

Also broke out the POR15 that I bought weeks ago and painted the Z bar (part of the clutch linkage).  It's really nice to see some restored parts instead of a pile of brown crap.

May 10, 2001

Put a second coat of POR15 on the Z bar, and then top coated it.  Looks like new!  Also used the wire wheel to clean up the other parts associated with the Z bar.  That little subsystem is now ready to bolt back to the car!

The brake fluid distribution block happened to be sitting on the bench, so that was next.  Took the torch to it so I could remove the remnants of brake lines sticking out of it, and then hit it with the wire wheel...

It's beautiful!  You wouldn't have known that brown/green piece of crap was really brass!  It looks like new and is ready to bolt back on the car.

May 12, 2001

Continued to restore miscellaneous parts that happen to be close to the workbench.  Probably not the most effective use of my time, but fun!

Used the wire wheel to strip the parts associated with the spare tire (bolt, wing nut, etc), followed by 2 coats of POR and a single top coat.  They look pretty nice.

I need to come up with a system for hanging parts outside for painting.  The fumes in the basement get pretty strong.

May 14, 2001

Decided it was time to start dismantling the rear suspension.  It was removed from the car as an assembly, so the shackles need to be removed from the springs, the axle housing needs to be removed from the springs, etc.

Got the backing plates and the rear shackles off.  The nuts holding the front shackles and the nuts holding the U-bolts wouldn't budge, so all I could do was soak them with WD-40.

Cleaned up one of the shackles (the one I didn't break) with the wire wheel.  It's ready for painting.

May 16, 2001

Picked up my fenders, which I bought from a guy in Texas, from the shipper.  They are of the 1969 variety, so the body guy will need to modify them to look like 68's.  They are also slightly dented, but that can be fixed.  They have some light surface rust, but the metal is solid.

After I got them home, I spent the night removing all the little fasteners/bolts, so they'd be ready for media blasting.

May 18, 2001

Took all 4 fenders (the originals and the replacements) to the body shop.  I took the originals so that Scott will have an example of where the marker lights need to go, and where the holes for the emblems need to be.  Who knows, maybe he'll even be able to cut up the originals and graph the marker light area into the replacement fenders...

May 22, 2001

Continued disassembling the rear suspension.  Gave up on trying to remove the nuts from the U-bolts the conventional way; those nuts show no sign of turning.  So I cut the U-bolts with a dremel tool.  Now I've got the axle housing and the springs separated.

Also tried to remove the front bracket from one of the springs.  That baby is rusted tight also.  Wrestled with it for a while before soaking it with WD-40.

May 23, 2001

Continued to try removal of front hanger from leaf spring.  Very hard to get any torque on the nut, as the spring flops around very easily.  After much wrestling, I got the nut off by standing on the wrench (that's how rusted it was), while my wife stood on the spring.  I was happy.

My happiness was short lived.  The bolt wouldn't slide our of the hanger/spring.  After pounding on it with a BFH, it could see that there is an inner metal sleave around the bolt.  Just like on the upper control arm bushings (read about my use of a Sawzall for that).  Assuming there is no way to get the hanger off the leaf spring, I'll have to find replacements.

Moved on to the grease seals in the axle.  I tried various things to get them out (I'm not going to elaborate, as a couple of them are not recommended), to no avail.

May 24, 2001

Tried once again to get the grease seals out.  Decided I need a proper tool to avoid scoring the axle, and stopped.

So I went to the basement and started refurbishing suspension parts.  The process is: wire wheel, POR-15, chassis black topcoat.

May 25 - May 29, 2001

Continued restoring rear suspension parts.  Not worth writing much about it.  Same old process - remove rust w/ wire wheel, paint w/ POR-15 and then top coat w/ chassis black.

Only thing worth noting over this labor day weekend was removal of the grease seals in the axle housing.  I went out and bought a seal puller, as I thought I needed the right tool to do this.

Well, to put it mildly, the seal puller didn't work.  The seal was in there so tight that I bent the handle of the puller trying to pry it out.  That got me pissed, so I moved on to the BFH and a screwdriver method.  I essentially pounded on the seal w/ the screwdriver until it deformed enough to pull it out of the housing.  As far as I can tell, I didn't harm anything using this method.  And it felt great!

May 30, 2001

Continued cleaning up parts.  Today was a rear brake drum and rear spring shackle mounting plate.

May 31 - June 2, 2001

Didn't work on the car.  I'd been feeling lousy for a few days, so I went to the doctor.  He didn't know what was making me light headed and sick to my stomach, but suggested I stop inhaling paint fumes for a few days.

I've been doing my painting in the basement, which is very poorly ventilated.  And that POR15 stuff is pretty nasty.

By June 2nd, I was felling almost myself again.  Moral of the story - follow the instructions!  I am now doing all my painting outside, and I'm using an air filter when I do.





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