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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: