The door panel project has been a slow process as I am making laminated wood blocks to serve as the arm rests, and kind of feeling my way through this as I've never tried it before. But now both rests are finished and padding material was glued across the top of the panel and the vinyl itself was glued on. There was an allowance of extra material to wrap around the edges to hide the panel edges as well. Using a sharpened tube as a drill bit, holes were cut for the mounting screws. After showing the finished arm rests to family and friends the steel angle was replaced with aluminum. It seems as if everyone thought the steel too heavy and a friend donated the used 2x2 aluminum. It was cleaned, drilled, and polished some. Once the whole thing was finished and installed it looked pretty good for someone who never attempted any thing like this before, maybe I can almost be upgraded to an amateur now. I was a little disappointed with the padding. I had intended it to smooth over the relief bumps but in gluing they still show somewhat and the area is a little uneven. The plan for the other door is to double the layers of padding and not press them down as much. This will also make a softer drivers door over the arm rest.
Between winter weather and winter disease I have not made a lot of progress on my winter projects. I have 3 or 4 car show trophies started which will be donated to some one's show and have started to refurbish the hot rod's interior. The removable door panels (or at least one of them) have been brought in the house where it's warmer and sanded, hammer and dollied, and cleaned. An on line search turned up a reasonably close source for upholstery vinyl and two yards were purchased. A small sample allowed me to closely match the color for repainting the seat riser, lower dash, and other exposed panels to match the vinyl. The door panels have several bumps which were to clear latch and lock mechanisms and the decision was made to pad the top 8 inches to smooth that area. It will also make a softer cushion around the arm rests. A paper pattern was made from the panel and the vinyl cut with an inch around to allow wrapping the edges. The padding and vinyl will be glued down. Also on the list are arm rests which were missing from the original doors. Angle steel is used and wooden blocks will be fastened in the angle. The plan is to make and use laminated wood to sort of match the shift knob, dash knobs and window cranks. Maybe spring will come and real progress can happen.
This has been a really slow winter so for doing anything to the hot rod. I did finish the installation of the bigger fan and the relay and cleaned, sanded, and repainted the headers. They are still in great shape and are remounted with new copper gaskets. I have also been trying to adjust the nose trim piece that holds the hood hinge. I have replaced the mounting tab that holds it on the grill top in an attempt to better center it, keep it solid and allow better clearance for opening the hood. I'm still not sure what else it need but it still needs something to look better. I'm afraid it would be reworking the hood. Due to this year's flu which turned into walking pneumonia I've been a little slow in shop work but hopefully things will progress soon.
This winter's fixes have been a little slow so far, roofing, holiday doings, and deer season interrupted the schedule. I have installed a new larger electric pusher fan that is half again wider (10'' to 16'') and flows over twice the air (1000 cfm to 2500 cfm). It needed only small modifications to the brackets on the core support to mount where the smaller fan was. Still being shy about mounting anything touching the radiator there is about a quarter of an inch space between the fan and the fins. To help keep the air directed through the core I mounted a plastic strip edged with a split rubber hose to act as a shroud at the top. The fan was simple to reverse for pushing and works fine so far. I posted questions to this forum about using a relay as I hadn't before and thanks to all that answered I think it's mounted and wired correctly. The fan runs on the harness' supplied fan circuit and the relay is connected to an unused circuit for power seats. It still runs fine. The exposed spade connectors are coated in white lithium grease to help protect from weather. New loom covers most of the wiring and it's all zip tied and tucked up under the hood side panel. I probably won't know how all this cools until much warmer weather. Next is the annual repainting of the headers.
This weekend was the last car show/event of the season, at least for me. It was an unseasonably warm fall day and perfect for a car show. There were five ''Old Guys'' attending among the 70+ entries and we may not see each other for some months so goodbys and best wishes were swapped. Most were planning for winter fixes and changes to their rides, both simple and major. The morning drive was great and engine temp held but again it was cool early. The ride home in the much warmer temperature caused some concern but no over 200 degree readings although close when going through towns with lights and traffic. The hot rod is parked now while the building gets some work and eventually this winter I may look into a much more powerful and larger electric fan. This was the fortieth event of the year and the 174th over the last six years. It's been a fun adventure.