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September 28, 2015

International Harvester Metal Work - Rust Prep

A key ingredient to my metal work involves liberal amounts of POR15 Metal Prep (nee Metal Ready). It's expensive at $65.00 a gallon, but the chemical reaction the phosphate creates is like nothing else. It turns rust (Iron Oxide) into a black inert substrate (Ferric phosphate) that can be then primed and painted.

Eastwood sent me something similar to try, but it doesn't work as well I found....

So, with the "liquid-money" in a spray bottle, I doused the rustiest part with it. You're probably
 asking - why didn't you sand blaster that part? Reason being that it was rusted really thin 
around the one side and so we could either blow it apart with the sandblaster, or actually 
build it up by turning the rust into ferric oxide.

 After it dries, you can see the white phosphate that is left behind, doing it's work for days to come.

Lots of hammer and Dolly work is next:

Plus some cutting welding:

Everything that was just surface rusted was spared the abusive sand blaster  but will be treated with the Metal Prep.The Gallon will go quick on this project, but what better insurance?

Repairing the BRE front Air Dam on Datsun 240Z

The E-tek Datsun (Nissan) 240Z is on a 5 year-to-completion schedule and this weekend was the time to do some repairs to the front air dam. BRE (Brock Racing Enterprises), the Datsun racing team that took many SCCA races in the mid-70's, put together a 240Z shell that stil looks great today. Much of that cars iconic shape is die to the front air dam and the small rear lip-spoiler. All these years later, we still have an original BRE-inspired fiberglass dam for our car - but it needs work.....

So, being fiberglass, we purchased a small FG 'bondo' branded repair kit and went at it. The kit comes with everything you need: resin, hardener, fiberglass matting and some mixing paddles:

But before we start mixing, we'll need to make some extra-strength repair pieces out of metal bits, secured by some well-placed rivets:

With those bits completed, its now time to mix up the resin with a few drops of hardener:

Once mixed, the FG matting is dipped into the resin mixture and placed strategically on the saned repair areas. All areas where rough-sanded with 80 grit.

The tongue-depressor paddle that came in the kit was handy 
for lifting and placing the soaked matting, A couple of layers, plus a little
 resin to smooth out and adhere the edges will make for a strong repair

And once dry, the fibreglass is like rock. With the metal structural bits underneath, it'll be near-indestructible and likely won't crack in those weak spots again.

 The overall shape is back and the edges are stronger than they ever where. We'll sand the rough bits down again, then fill them with easy-sanding filler. Once done no one will ever know - except you and me!

Another piece for the Datsun: the gas tank was sandblasted down to 
bare steel, removing 45 years of paint, rust and scale:

Of course 45 years doesn't go by without some chemical reactions occurring. A close inspection showed a few perforations that will need to be addressed with the welder:

Once welded it will be completely sealed with Rust-Bullet Single Stage Epoxy paint. Stay tuned!

September 7, 2015

Variety is the spice of life - and of restoration work!

The holiday weekend coincided with my having several projects in progress and in need of attention. 

The '68 Camaro 's seat backs where blue units and had been painted black at some point. With the rest of the car at show-level, we couldnt just leave them like that, so new ones where ordered. 


While the new ones look very similar, instaling the lower screws was impossisble due to the angle of the bottom fold-over and the position of the screw holes. 

Look closely: the holes on the originals are closer to the edge and the screw that secured them to the seat bottom pulled the hole right to the very edge - which meant the new holes where way off....

The fix was to drill anew hole closer to the edge, allowing the screw to go into the threaded seat bottom hole without being overly angled or stressed.

Next up was some prep work on the 390FE for my 67 Galaxie. The block is at the machine shop being honed and fitted with new pistons. Here the heads were cleaned and tested:

After a thorough cleaning, the runners on each side of each of the heads was filled with cleaning fluid from the parts washer. Cylinders with well--sealing valves would maintain the fluid. Valved that didn't seal perfectly allowed fluid to leak past. On one side you can check the exhaust valves - flip the heads over and you can check the intakes:

As shown in the photo below, the intake runner on the number 6 cylinder leaked. As it was the only valve that leaked - and this engine is being set up for a turbo -  I won't need to address it. Had it been a large/fast leak, or had several leaks been evident, a valve job would have to be considered.

The 240Z project got some attention today as well. With the fibreglass kit I purchased a while back I finally got to work on the front air dam:

This kit from BONDO has enough resin, hardener and fiberglass matting 
to do several large repairs - or many smaller ones. Just pour the required amount of resin in a mixing container and add 8 drops of hardener per ounce of resin. 

Then, having cut the fiberglass matting to the required size for the repair
 (I used strips sized 1/2-1 inch past each side of the cracks), dunk them in the resin to coat them with the resin....

Then lay the strips over the crack, gently pressing them down to lay flat on the surface being repaired. The kit comes with a 'tongue-depresser' to use as a tool, but a small brush works best. 

The resin - and soaked matting - hardens like a rock in 25-40 
minutes and is ready to shape shortly thereafter.

The largest cracks were reinforced with metal strips secured with 1/8" pop-rivets:

 With the 240Z's front air damn repairs hardening, I turned my attention
to the rear suspension, which is about half-way through the re-assembly process

The front underside is mostly done, save for the sway-bar mounts!

Looking back at the air dam, the repairs are now hard-as-rock and ready for shaping: