Some more cutting.

28 August 2008

Decided to cut away the strip of the boot pan I had previously left on top of the box section. I would not be able to weld to it, like I had originally planned, it is of too bad a condition. I had concerns about it providing structure to the box section, but now think it is strong enough and is supported at either end to under the body and to the tail panel.

 

I also cut away the remainder of the pan to the right, fully removed the wheelhouses (just a case of finding the spot welds) from the rocker panel and tidied up some previous cuts. Just need to work out what to do with the shock mounts and then clean everything up.

 

A professional sand blast job is very appealing and seemingly a necessity. The entire rear end, bulk head, interior needs to be removed of rust, and there are too many awkward surfaces for a wire wheel or flap disc to do a satisfactory job. My new shot blast gun and 11cfm compressor is still not up to the job (to small a blast diameter, and not enough force behind the grit to remove dirt let alone rust and layers of paint).

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Something's missing…

26 August 2008

Cut out the trunk pan.

Before:

 

The cut out trunk pan:

Note the the upper corners. I had to cut slightly differently than what I planned, as underneath there is part of another panel that overlaps right in the corner, so I had to avoid cutting this.

 

To maintain structural integrity, a strip of the trunk pan which is spot-welded on top of the box section was not removed, also some of the pan was left where it meets the tail panel, and about a foot or so of it remains where the pan meets with the back seat. Also, cut away some of the pan to one side of the box section. Will finish the other side tomorrow as well as neatening some of the cuts (straightening them out) to make it easier to cut the new panel to shape.

 

It’s a little weird being able to see straight through the car now.

Cut away some more of the quarter panel and proceeded to drill out the spots welds holding the inner and outer wheelhouses to the body shell (to the rear seat pan, trunk pan, rear seat back rest, filler panel, inner side panel, trunk hinge supports and sail pillar support). An area down near the rocker panel is causing problems as to how to remove the wheelhouse spot welds from there, so for now I’ve just cut around the problem area. Also, drilled and cut out the filler panel.

 

Before:

 

After:

Drilled out all the spot welds between the trunk pan and the support straps in preparation for removing a large section of the pan.

 

I started by dot-punching and drilling a 2mm pilot hole (with a Cobalt drill bit) from underneath, then from above drilled the hole to 10mm (with another Cobalt drill bit). I didn’t worry about putting a hole in the strap, as I’ll be welding them to the new pan from underneath via plug-welding these holes.

 

From above:

 

From below:

 

The supports are then welded to the tail panel, but I’ll be leaving them there, I just wanted to free the trunk pan.

Quickly knocked together some tubing to try and give structural support to the rear end. It should at least stop the back from crabbing when the entire trunk pan is removed. It may not even be necessary with the frame rails, tail panel and remainders of the quarter panels, but it won’t hurt anything, is easy to remove and doesn’t get in the way (too much).

 

The bars stretch from the tail panel (the tail light bracket) to the rear seat support and are tied together in the middle.

Current state of things.

17 August 2008

Progress hasn’t exactly been in the forward direction.

 

The subframe isn’t complete for the following reasons.
The upper control arm shafts need replacing, the threads inside each of them are not good, and when one bushing end cap was torqued to spec, the bolt sheared. These will be replaced with the better design “nut-ends” where the control arm shaft end is threaded on the outside and a nut hold the bushing cap on, converse to the original where the shaft was threaded internally and a bolt screwed into them. This also means that the bushings will have to be removed and reinstalled/replaced.

 

I tied the upper and lower ball joints to the steering knuckle thinking that the coil springs would fit through when compressed; but not quite. So I had to split the lower ball joint, this had to be done with the splitter tool underneath the knuckle (it was too hard pressed to split with a hammer without risking damage to the stud thread), which meant that no matter how much I wanted it not to happen, it did: the rubber boots tore. I ordered some replacement boots, but these did not fit, so have decided to buy new ball joints because: the ones I have installed feel very stiff, and I’m worried that I caused it due to some impromptu installation method (a vice as a makeshift press and a six foot pole on the handle…) but I now have access to a press, so I’ll redo them and satisfy that doubt.

 

The engine is awaiting my decision.
I will definately be having one cylinder bored and sleeved back to stock bore as it is currently damaged.
However, I am in a muddle over what to do with the heads. I’ve been advised both ways on whether or not to bother get hardened exhaust valve seats fitted (for unleaded use). Either way I will be buying new valve train components: rocker arms, pushrods, lifters, springs, retainers, valves, locks, seals. Guides to be replaced. Probably a new camshaft as mine is fairly chipped. Probably not new pistons as I am keeping stock bore, but as one of them has seemingly had an accident (a big gouge in the cylinder wall) I don’t know. New piston rings. Cam, main and rod bearings. Plus, have since discovered that one of my cylinder heads is not original and is a ’65 head. It has been made to work, but now I know about it, it feels wrong to leave it be. One very tempting option is to buy a pair of heads from Butler Performance, they come pre-assembled with top quality components, ported out to increase power/efficiency, hardened exhaust valve seats as well. The price to buy them is obviously greater than not to… but not unreasonably, as it is comparable to what I’ve been quoted for work done to my existing head and a numbers matching replacement, with all the components purchased individually. Just waiting for them to answer my questions. One big dilemma. The people at the first gen forums have been very helpful and given me a lot to think about.

 

Still, a lot of work on the body to crack on with in the meantime.

Where to cut?…

17 August 2008

Been working out where to cut, how much to keep, what to replace et cetera.

 

I plan on cutting the whole pan out along the blue lines (apart from to the right side, I’ll cut along the white line – this is the frame rail). Then cut out the filler panels on the red line (but not over the white line). Then the new boot pan will take the shape of the blue lines and the new filler panels the red lines. They will meet on top of the frame rail and both be welded to it and each other.

 

Here is my messed up shock mount, there are 3 layers of overlapping sheet metal to make up here, all three have practically rotted away. I’m thinking about cutting the top layer off along the red lines, and going from there.

 


Notice the hook in the background of the above pic, I’m going to cut around that just to save some hassle. Update: These plans changed slightly when I got underneath the car, there are some edges of sheet metal to cut around, and, stupid me, the frame rails are not straight along, they bend inwards, where the boot pan also does so…