Moving right along, Its sometine around the end of summer 2007. I have started to work on the front clip. I can't tell you how depressing it is putting this big hunk of rust on the front of what was starting to look like a nice bugeye shell!
(Note from the future Dec 10, 2007) While this page may seem to ramble a bit, I do assure you that there is some kind of progress happening
In the picture below if you look above, you will see the original hood for the car. Remember way back when? After spending the money to have it dipped and stripped, I decided it was not gonna be repairable. You can still see rust along the back edge where it was so bad even the dip did not eradicate it. Not that the brown (rust?!) clip is much better. The answer may involve mixing the two..stand by.
For those of you who want to have real nice door gaps, here is a good trick. New doorskins suck when it comes to size. Maybe your car was a bit rough like this one. The trick is to weld a piece of metal along the edge of the door or "A" post until the gap is gone. If you look close, you can see where the strip of 1/8" metal was added to the "A" pillar. Then take a cutoff wheel and make a nice even gap that is exactly the width of the cutoff wheel! EASY>
Nov 4 2007. Beutiful warm day, so I decided to push her out into the sun and clean the dust out of the garage. Did I say dust,? the stuff is EVERYWHERE. Will have to stop the bodywork in my garage for the winter cause the smell gets in the house with the garage door open and the missus will not stand for it. Go figure! Some pics of what she looks like. Still a lot of work left.While it may look very similar to the pics I took last time out,( May 07) a lot has been done. The driver side fender has been reapaired at the lower rear. The rocker panels are fully welded in. Both inner arches in the rear have been repaired. End pieces for the rockers are welded in. The trunk floor to rear body has been welded in. The door gaps on the DS have been massaged. A lot of metal bashing and use of the srinking disk. While I have no intention of making this a mud-free vehicle, I do want to keep it to a minimum.
OK: Here is the next challenge. The Passenger side of the bonnet is a bit flat compared to the cowl. The plan is to remove the metal structue that runs inside the bonnet and to use a shrinker to recurve the part. It may also be necessary to put more crown in the bonnet.
The inner brace is removed by drilling out the spotwelds along the cowl edge of the bonnet. There are about 20 or so of them. The ones that run along the side are the hard ones to get at, but nothing too hard. You have to be careful because you are going to re-use these parts.
If we offer the inner brace up to the cowl, we see that it does not have enough crown or "curve" to match the cowl line.
Since we can't adjust the cowl, we need to shape the brace. The lip that is bent 90 degrees to the brace does affers rigidity to the piece, but at the same time prevents us from bending the brace to adjust the curve. Enter the Shrinker!
The shrinker does just that: it clamps a piece of metal in the jaws and "gathers" the metal in. By shrinking the flange on the brace, we can force the brace to bend along the perpendicular plane. The sesult is more arch to the panel.
You can see an improvement And from the side.
Next I will use the shrinker on the bonnet centre panel to the same as I did with the brace. It should be fun getting the bonnet into the shrinker.
The work being done on the centre panel will follow through to the fender to rocker panel fit: By bending the centre section the curve is transfered to the fenders with the corner at the fender to centre acting as a pivot. A little curve in the centre section will pull in the fenders quite a bit.
The passenger side of the brace loks a bit dodgy and will require some welding. Also I managed to break a bolt when removing it from the hinge. The rest of the hood continues to look just awful and will continue to do so until I acid dip the blessed thing.
OK, so it's Dec 9, 2007 and I think we have established that the front clip is a piece of Caca. So the challenge will be to get from this:
We will keep this bite of the elephant "Low Tech". Just hammers, tin snips, piece of flat bar and a hand held grinder (Optional).
Start by cutting out the spot welds (or other creative attachents method you run into!) Then lay the pieces out so you can use them as templates. I hammered the pieces flat so that I could simply trace them onto the new metal.
In order for the pieces to be strong and look like factory parts, you need to create a small lip or stiffener along the edges. I used a piece of flat stock 1/8" thick to form the bend. After the bend is formed, I run the flapwheel along the edge and sand down to meet the flat stock. This gives me a very nice even edge that looks like it was made in a press.
There is a slight notch in the panel that is hard to form freehand. No actually it is a royal PAIN to form. So, I traced the shape onto the 1/8" flat bar and ground it to match. Then it is the same trick of clamping the tin to the flat bar and beating the tin into the shape ground into the flat bar. Don't forget to use the grinder to clean it up and make it look factory!
Then place it all in place and go have a beer!
I really gotta get the thing dipped cause it is making my brillant metal work look bad (or GOOD depending on how you look at it!)
Well, it's Jan 28, 2008 and I gotta admit that not much has happened. Not for a lack of effort on my part, but to tell the truth the hood is geting the best of me. I think it best if I take a break before I call the crusher out of frustration. Check back in May or so to see if this is still a project.
March 16, 2008
Well I tried to get back on to the hood today. I purchased all the rubber bits to help locate the hood. The day went down hill very quickly when MOSS lived up to its ussual expectations. The cowl rubber had no relation to the piece that is meant to be used on this car. Yes, I should have known better, but it had been years since I bought stuff from them and Hope Springs Eternal!
So, not one to quit when I have no choice, I created the rubber planner! It actually worked quite well and I got the rubber to go in the channel. I felt quite smug until I put the bonnet in place and found out that not only was the rubber to wide, it is WAY to tall. The bonnet sticks up about 1/4". I know when to quit!
Also, note how with the bonnet edge centered in the rubber's "V" grove, the bonnet is too far forward. The bonnet flange is currently bent at 90 degrees. I could both lower the hoodline, and bring the bonnet back if I bend the edge forward. This would, however, result in the loss of some strenght along the rear edge of the bonnet.
I cut the rubber into three pieces. I then bent the back flange on the bonnet so that it was at the same angle as the backside of the "V" in the rubber. I installed the pieces in the centre and over each hinge point. The bonnet droped down and snugged into the cowl. The fit up against the A-Post also tightend up. All in all, one of the most satisfying days I have had in months!
I have since sourced a bonnet rubber from McGregor rubber parts and they sell the correct part. Do not let anyone tell you that the MOSS part is correct or can be made to fit.
Hood follows cowl and gap is nice.
Looking front to back
Looking back to front
A-Post fit is also much better.
Driver's side fender to Rocker panel is not too bad.
Passenger side fender to rocker will need some massaging. The good news is that I am back in known territory with the metal work.
The following pics are for Guy Weller who is working aon a similar project. If anyone else needs pictures or dimensions, now is a good time to ask!
Pasenger and Driver side rockers viewed from the front of car. I tested with a ball bearing and it will roll off the rocker much as you want water to do.
The A pillar to front of rocker is pretty close side to side (lucky me). Picture shows how measurement was taken.
Took the ugly rust infested bonnet to the sandblasters on May 2, 2008. Said it wou be three weeks to finish. So we should see some progress around the end of May. I will be building a new garage this year, so it would be nice to get this done.