January 7 2010
Not much time in the workshop today. I removed the latches and linkages from the bonnet sides. The sheet metal linkage was bent and mangled I used a hammer and the vice to straighten it out.
I removed the paint from the bonnet sides using a scraper and the heat gun. The right rear fender was next. Removing the paint reveled lots of filler. It looks like someone rubbed up against a garage door entrance and creased the fender. Rather than try and remove the crease the fender was coated with body filler. I tried using a hammer and dolly to smooth down the offending area. I had some success but may have stretched the metal a bit too much. I made a shrinking disc out of some leftover stainless sheet. The disc is attached to my angle grinder, by passing the disc over the metal fender the high spots are heated, and shrink. That's the theory in practice it worked somewhat well. The crease was still a high spot and I tried using the English wheel with a high crown lower wheel. This worked great. flatting the crease and smoothing the area. The fender still needs more work but I'm on my way.
Blast and more Blast. Yes sand blasting today. I used two 30 gallon air compressors in tandem to supply air for the blaster. The front, rear fenders, running boards, bonnet sides and transmission tunnel all came under the merciless stream of sand. 400 pounds of sand 5 hours and most of the metal came clean. However I will need to blast them again prior to primer. Oh joy.
Big clean up today and set up for body work. I started with the right rear fender. The edge where it bolts to the body was a little frilly before sand blasting. I had hoped to use it as is but after the sand blaster had done its work it was obvious it was to far gone to leave. I cut a strip of 20ga metal and put a small step in it then I cut the slotted holes for the mounting bolts. The offending metal was cut off and the new strip welded in. I used a series of small welds to avoid distorting the fender. I also replaced a small reinforcing plate on the front inside edge of the fender. Another round o hammer and dolly work ended the day.
Same process as yesterday but on the left fender. It is not as rusted but is more dented. I worked hard to straighten it out. I used the shrinking disc, torch ,hammers and the English wheel to try an fix the dents. I have no idea what I'm doing. I set the fender aside for something fun. I powder coated the headlight buckets. They look great and no dents!
The sand blasting revealed the leading edge of right side running board was too full of rust holes to keep. I cut it out and welded in a new one. The transmission tunnel had an area that needed work so I cut out a small strip and welded in new metal. The previous owner had riveted the headlight buckets to the nacelles because some of the small brass nuts that hold the buckets on had broken free. I found some brass nuts in my large jar of fasteners. Using a soldering iron and some solder I was able to secure them in the nacelles.
I started the morning by retrieving the bonnet tops from the shed where they had been living for quite some time. I wanted to remove the hinges but the pins were stuck fast so I had to cut them off. Then I tried to drive them out with a hammer and drift. No luck. So off to the drill press, the drill bit went off center and came out the side. Great. I slit the hinges with the band saw drove the pins out, welded up the slits ground them down and re-drilled the holes. A great way to turn a 2 minute job into 2 hours. The center bonnet section was bent and cracked in the right rear area. I hammered it straight and welded the crack. To gain access I had to remove the hinge mounting point by drilling out the spot welds. I was missing one of the bonnet stay keep up thingies so I made a new one.