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05-07-2005 08:03 PM Rat - Tail Light Installation
I also realized it might be wise to cut the holes for the tail lights before I shot the final primer to prevent any possible marring of the paint at that stage of the process.

Photo #1 Here are the tail lights/turn signals that I am using. They are your basic trailer lights from Fleet Farm (the Midwest's answer to Tractor Supply). I think they were $8 apiece. Note that they are a "friction fit" rather than bolt in. The light is pressed into the rubber gasket which then expands and holds everything in place. This does require, however, that the hole be cut very precisely.

Photo #2 I made a paper template by tracing around the outside edge of the light unit.

Photo #3 I then positioned the template where I wanted it on the rear panel and drew a cut line (just barely visible in this picture). Sorry for the quality of this might have to squint to see the line.

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  [Entry #175]

05-07-2005 07:49 PM Rat - More straightening
With the windshield stops in place, it's now back to more body straightening.

Photo #1 The curve on the rear quarter panel required the most work to get straight. This shot will give you some idea of the layers of filler, skim coats, primer and guide coats.

Photo #2 I like to block sand my primer "dry". I find I can see what I am doing much better than when I try to do it wet. Color coats - always wet...but primer I like to do dry. This is what I use to block sand. It is a typical hard rubber block but then I place a soft block under it. The sand paper is wrapped around the soft block and held in place by the teeth on the hard block.

Photo #3 Here is how it looks when sanding. The soft block helps prevent gouging the corners which I find a problem if I use the hard block alone.

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  [Entry #174]

05-07-2005 07:25 PM Rat - Windshield Stops
Oops, as I was shooting primer coats I discovered I had forgotten to put in the windshield frame stops. I want the stops to blend right in with the windshield frame so I need to install the stop before shooting the final primer.

Photo #1 I am making the stops out of 3/4 x 3/4 angle stock. One leg of the angle will be welded to the existing windshield frame and the other leg will act as the outside stop to hold the front side of the glass in place. Here the pieces are cut and ready for mock up. I was only able to find galvanized angle stock locally in the size I wanted so I will have to roll the car outside to do the welds.

Photo #2 I positioned the glass in the frame using the bottom cross member of the windshield frame as my reference point. I then butted each piece of the stop firmly against the glass and clamped it in place. (There will be a urethane seal between the glass and the metal stop for the final installation.) I then went around the entire frame with the smallest feeler gauge I have to make sure I got the most complete contact between glass and metal possible. I then removed the glass (from the back side) and welded the angle stock in place welding ONLY along the outside edge of the angle. This prevents any weld from possibly causing a imperfection between the stop and the glass. After the welds are completed they are ground down, filled, sanded, and shot with a coat of epoxy.

Photo # 3 This is just thrown in to show the rims after being sand blasted, primed, and painted.

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  [Entry #173]

04-19-2005 06:11 PM Rat - sand blasting
With continued good weather over the the weekend I decided to shift gears once again and try to get some of the outdoor sandblasting done. I have a number of parts that are too large to fit in my blasting cabinet so they need to be done outdoors with my portable Sears blaster (see picture). So I am taking advantage of the dry weather.

Photo #1 is an example of some of the heavily rusted parts I have. All four rims were this bad or worse. I also have to do the rear axle housing and the front axles.

Photo #2 shows the tools I am using. The Sears portable blaster, a hood, air mask, leather gloves and a couple large tarps so I can recycle as much media as possible. Not shown are the long pants and long sleeved sweatshirt I wear. You have to cover every part of your body. If you've never sandblasted the rule of thumb is...the sand will get EVERYWHERE. I am using regular sandblasting sand for this outside work. This is not recommended, however, due to recent studies regarding the silica. So I am using up the last bag of sand I had left over from prior projects and will now be shifting over to Black Magnum, a low silica media.

Photo #3 Here are a couple of the rims after blasting. I'll be shooting them with primer and then black enamel. The rims then get dressed up with moon disks.

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  [Entry #172]

04-16-2005 05:08 PM Rat - Fill Primer
As the fill primer dried a blotch "dalmatian" effect appeared in those areas where I had experimented with the resin soaked synthetic cloth as a quick-build filler over the welded sheet metal sections around the rear quarter curve. This is not a bubbling or lifting but rather just a discoloration in the primer like something bleeding through. I have posted a question on it in the "exterior" forum to try to nail down the cause and any necessary action I might have to take.


The consensus seems to be that these spots are due to the application of a highly thinned final coat of primer. I will be shooting additional primer over these sections to do my block sanding so hopefully they will not be a long term problem.

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  [Entry #171]

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