Lots got done this weekend - on several different vehicles. For a change of pace, I spent some time on my 1971 Datsun 240Z, removing the badly deteriorated partially-fiberglass quarter. First thing to do was scribe around the new replacement panel so I would know where to make the initial cuts:
It took a fair amount of cutting, grinding and ripping to remove the several layers of glue, fiberglass and fillers that connected a fiberglass panel and made up the wheel arch:
In order to minimize the dust cloud that would be created by using a cutting wheel,
I used the air saw to cut through the fiberglass and filler instead.
Judging by what was on top, it was not as bad as I thought underneath. It'll take some custom work to rebuild these inner portions, but the fiberglass work - in addition to being stored for much of the last 15 years, may have protected it from further deterioration:
Over the years I've found the air chisel - and now those newer cove cutters
- to make quick work of undercoating.
I'm always amazed at the amount of crap that comes out of a rusted car.
This pile of metal, rust, fiberglass, glue and fillers.
Here I've clamped the new quarter panel section on the cut-out portion. Nows the time to fit it into the exact position, then measure and make the other parts that go in and around this panel. As well, one has to decide whether to butt weld, overlap or crimp a flange into it. Butt welding leaves the nicest finish in and out, but is not always the strongest choice. Overlapping may be the easiest method, but requires too much filler to cover the lap joint and leaves a gap between the two sheets where rust can start again.
Next I'll begin making and fitting the various pieces to be welded in under the quarter skin.....
But before getting to that, I also wanted to also get a start on the 390FE I bought from the local chapter moderator (Morris) of FTE.com, my favourite truck site. Morris is one of those guys that always has a few extra's of everything and the stories to go with! I've now purchased a '53 Flathead engine (which cuurently resides in my '46 Merc) along with this 390FE.
This particular engine was apparently running when removed, turned easily and had the factory 4 bbl manifold and Holley carb on it. This would be a great exhange/spare for my '67 Galaxie Convertible.
Getting the original Holley 4 bbl carb off for an initial clean and soaking was task 1.
Spacer below is a nice piece without a bunch of vacuum openings that would have been added later.
Detailed reference photo's for re-assembly. We'll come back to these when the engine is back together and looking like new!
Once torn down, it'll go to the machine shop....about the same time this flathead block comes back!
Finally, I got back to a few things on the 40Ford Rod, like connecting some last bits on the dash cluster.
Here I'm adding ringed terminals with shrink tubing to lengths of wire to connect the gauges to the wiring harness already in the car. When I wire things up, I always remove the hard plastic end pieces from any terminals and replace them with shrink tubing. The hard plastic ends always get crushed when crimped and not only look like sh*t, but often leave bare areas or fall of altogether.
The ground wires from the LED turn signal wires came into close contact with a power terminal, so I cut a small piece of electrical tape to act as a protective barrier between the two:
Below, this small button gets wired into the digital speedometer to calibrate and set the various parameters built into the speedo's software. It'll get mounted under the dash.
Also looked at were the seat belts would be located. It's important to look forward as you go in case you need to make any changes, adjustments or considerations as assembly continues.
PHEW!! What a great weekend (for a car-geek)!!