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11-21-2005 10:25 PM Anyone for an Old Skool Rat Rod project?
Picked up this '50 Plymouth Club Coupe to list for sale on ebay.

It would make a really cool "old skool" rat rod project. Here is the "before" shot, and "after" about 15 minutes in a quick Photoshop top chop and flame job....

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  [Entry #59]

11-20-2005 08:15 AM Finishing the trunk
Work slows down to a crawl as winter approaches. I have a huge 150,000 BTU kerosene torpedo heater to use in my garage. It works very fast, but is incredibly loud, and fills the garage up with fumes. As often as not, I'll just dress warm and work with the door open. I heated the garage up to about 9000 degrees, and sprayed the gray speckled trunk paint on the insides of the wheelhouses and quarterpanels. I also attached the jack instructions label to the underside of the lid.

One job I can do with gloves and layers of clothes is put the trunk area together. I bought a big piece of nylon loop carpet for the trunk. I taped together a template of the trunk floor out of newspaper, laid it on the carpet, traced it with a sharpie and cut it out. I installed the trunk light, the carpet, the spare tire and hold-down. I still have to install the power trunk wiring, it is seperate from the regular trunk wiring harness.

I really want this car done by spring. I still don't have the dash together, so I'll probably just tough it out a few minutes at a time until that part of it's done. The seats I can re-upholster in the basement.

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #58]

11-09-2005 09:15 PM Wiring Harness and Dash Panel
Consulting the assembly manual, chassis service manual and Fisher body service manual, I have some of the wiring under the dash routed wrong. I think the power window harnesses might be wrong, but there's no way I'm going to move them. None of the three books is clear about how they're supposed to be routed. It would take hours to snake the wiring through the tiny openings in the rubber door jamb boots, take the dash all back apart, etc. So I'm hoping it will all go together like it is.

I did take the time to route the steering column harness between the column and the brake booster brace, as shown in the manuals. I also managed to find both door jamb switches, and install the driver side. I have to procure the plug end for the passenger side, this means I get to go to the junkyard! Yeah!

The dome lights, (actually under the dash and on the inside rear quarterpanels) now work. The dash will go in first, but will take some doing. According to the manual, the wiring is supposed to be fastened to the back of the instrument panel, with screws, this wire bundle is supposed to fit between the panel and the metal dash structure, but there looks to be no room. Also I get to figure out how to screw it together while holding it up close enough for the wires to reach....

There still is no top or interior.

(click photo to enlarge)

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  [Entry #57]

11-09-2005 09:03 PM Gettin' It Together
This is the fourth weeknight I've worked on the front bumper. I thought it was done, but I didn't like the space in the center. I hooked the chain up to the old Accord again, and loosened the center stiffener bolts. Rolled the car back to pull the front center of the bumper out, and down. Tightened bolts, it works, I'm done, I promise.

I took another shot of it from farther back with the chain hooked to it in the center. It looks like earlier photos, but at least now everything is straight. It also was taken without a flash and looks a little more like the car's real color.

(click photo to enlarge)

(click photo to enlarge)
  [Entry #56]

11-07-2005 06:11 PM Cutlass Bumper Day 3
I've spent three whole evenings trying to finally get this right. I ended up tightening the back two bolts, (after dropping one down inside the frame, lucky I have small hands and could reach in and get it. ) I used the die grinder to egg-shape the front two holes. This allowed me to raise the bumper higher. I got it to look good on both sides at the fender reveals, but it was high, and touching the bottom side of the plastic stone shield in the center. It turns out I had forgotten to install the center bumper stiffeners. I found them, thankfully finished earlier and ready to install, and bolted them on. They took lots of bending and persuasion.

I ended up sticking a big chunk of duct tape on the top center of the bumper to protect the chrome, then hooked a tow chain to it, and another to my Accord. I very gently rolled back in the driveway, which pulled the bumper out just enough to tighten all the bolts in the stiffener brackets. Then I undid everything I had just finished, and moved the bumper left over 1/2 an inch. Tighten again, then hook the chain to the side of the bumper, to pull them not up, but out, and tighten the side stiffener brackets. I did both sides, one at a time. It worked. When I released the pressure from the tow chain, the bumper stayed right where I wanted it. This was important to me, because I see so many Cutlass' with bumpers that look wrong. Pushed up in the center, or out in the center, or closer at the headlights than the center, so this was worth the extra effort to me to get it right. While I was at it, I also installed this peice of wheelwell trim, and the chrome Supreme piece below and in front of it, as well as the grille sript emblem.

(click photo to enlarge)

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  [Entry #55]

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