I finished the Chevy truck and have used and enjoyed it a bunch. I bought another, less enjoyable truck, but I'll get in to that later.
I uncovered the convertible, and drove it some this fall. Over the course of the year and a half that this car has been finished*, I had the old radiator out and repaired it no less than three times, but it would just start leaking somewhere else. They just don't make 36 year old cars like they used to, so I sprung for a new radiator. I also rebuilt the distributor and installed a new vacuum advance, for a noticable difference in engine idle and performance.
I found a little time to work on the ol' green Cutlass too. I removed the trunk lid and sanded the underside, as well as inside the jamb. I also worked the rear area, and re-worked an older repair behind the rear bumper.
The green Cutlass has been apart in my garage for more than a year now. What's my excuse? Here's one of them. This summer I was making progress on the car, when I found this wrecked '99 Silverado pickup truck for cheap, cheap, cheap. It's 7 years newer than the Ford truck was, and has a small V8, over the 6 cyl F-150.
I couldn't pass it up, so I brought it home and scraped off the old construction company decals. I paid to have the bent frame professionally straightened, then I found a damaged take-off bed for just $75. I did some bodywork on it, I then lucked out and found a tailgate at the local Pick N Pull, a bedliner on Craigslist, some taillights on ebay, made a rear bumper out of two damaged ones I scored from the frame straightener,and then did a two-tone charcoal and silver paintjob. I put this whole truck together for far less than I could have bought it in one piece, and all I did was work my butt off.
Last month I used the finished truck to bring home my next* project. More about that later.
Can't seem to get ahead of all the slot machine repairing I have to do. It's tough to squeeze in a moment to work on the old car here....trying to maintain sanity....I did this work and took these photos almost a month ago.
I finished up the body shaping by re-working the right rear quarterpanel.
I put it in etching primer, to protect the bare metal areas. I have the fenders and doors in a nice thick coat of buff colored Mar Hyde Slik Sand polyester primer. I got in a rush and had to go back and fill in some pinholes in the filler that I missed. I intend to do one light all over coat of primer when I finish everything, this I will sand with 400 just before painting. I don't use sealer.
Here it is with the yellow etch primer. It's translucent, which is a little strange looking. After this photo I managed to get everything in the first coat of primer. I've improved my method a little bit here. In the past, I always set the fenders on my benches or other similar surfaces to work on them. It was a real pain to constantly move them around and keep them from getting beat up, as I have very limited space around here. This time I spent a little time and made spacers out of wood and metal and bolted the front fenders back on the car-I spaced them well forward so that I can work the surfaces and prime the edges better. The spacers allow them to be more in line with what the finished body will be like so I can fine tune them better instead of working them while they are wobbling around unfastened on some workbench.
I want to fine tune the work on the hood a little more, and then I will start sanding, priming, painting the door and trunk jambs. When I get a chance to get back to this, it should go pretty quick as I won't need to spend too much time straightening things out in those areas.
I bought a cool new toy, a 30 inch long sanding block. It's expensive at $30, and a roll of adhesive back paper for it is an additional $27, but this will really make my panels straight.
After many hours working outside in the 90+ temperature, I finished the hood. With all the surface rust it had, it was a real chore. It had rust all over, and in the recessed areas where the trim panels fit. I ended up cleaning those out very carefully with a carbide deburring tool. Since it was all surface rusted at the beginning of this project, I had a hard time keeping it all bare metal long enough to finish it. One fingerprint or drop of water or anything, and it would rust even before I was finished sanding the other side! Eventually I managed to get a coat of etch primer on it, this hopefully will keep the rust under control from now on.
I also spent some time on the driver rear quarterpanel. This was the first panel I did, but I had a little finishing up to do to it. I didn't like the top rear edge, so I added more filler and hit it with my new block. It was successful and looks much better.
I worked a minor spot again on the trunk lid. The passenger quarterpanel is all that remains, finally. Then I can get the whole thing in primer. I've got to sand the jambs, but I don't plan to spend a whole lot of time on those.
Just shy of six months since I've worked on the car! I could have gone insane. I picked at it once or twice over the winter, but didn't get any real work done until the last couple of days.
I finished welding on both front fender patches. This should complete all the welding for the project. The date written in magic marker on the fender was the last day I worked on it last winter. I fabbed both inner and outer patches then, but when I started back on it a couple of days ago, I didn't want to use them. I decided to make better ones, with older, heavier guage sheetmetal.
It looks a little crude in the photos, but does the trick. After the pics, I finished welding and did the filler work on both fender patches, then lots of clean up sanding on the rest. I'm looking forward to having the fenders and hood in the first coat of primer very soon.