I soaked the rusted portions of the front valences in “Evapo-Rust” rust remover solution for a couple of days. It seemed to remove quite a bit of the rust. I also cut away some of the rusted metal.
Then I spent some time on a side project: a foot switch power control for my TIG welder, so I can adjust the power while welding. I had designed and bought the parts for this about a year ago, but never had a pressing need to actually do it, until now. I drilled a couple of holes in the welder’s front panel, added a toggle switch and a connector, and wired them up to the welder’s power control circuit. The fool pedal is actually meant for electronic musical instruments. I had to attach a longer shielded cable to it, and add the correct plug to fit the socket I added to the welder.
Now, when I get around to welding patches to the valences, I’ll be able to do a better job.
It’s been freezing cold recently. I did manage to get the other window seal installed. I also got the front valence assemblies down from the attic and removed the turn signal lamps and some grille trim from them. A few of the screws were too rusted to unscrew, so I had to drill them out. The valences each have a spot where there was some rust-thru. They will be a bit tricky to repair, since they have a two-layer construction with a gap between the two pieces of sheet metal, and the low spot rusted out from the inside, It is a funny place to rust out, since it was not exposed to much splay or road spray, but the inside surfaces of the metal apparently never got any paint or rust protection at the factory.
Lots of other things to do, with the holidays, travel, and various end-of-year obligations.
I decided to use one of the two pairs of side window seals that I had bought. I have to carefully trim the ends, since they were made about 1/2″ too long. I got one installed so far (they are a pain to install), and it looks OK. I also installed a new rear-view mirror on the driver’s door. Unlike the old one, it is the same style as the original dealer-installed mirrors, and it doesn’t wobble around.
The replacement door interior panels arrived, and they look good. As soon as the other window seal is installed, I can put the panels on.
After that, I really need to deal with the broken windshield.
I installed a few more bits, like the last of the rear trim and badges. The portion of the car behind the passenger compartment is essentially finished. I want to install the side window seals, but I’ve gotten two different sets from different vendors, and none of them were right. I may end up putting the old ones back. (They are only about 8 years old, and in fairly good shape.)
I managed to bust the windshield.
I was not happy with how well I had fitted it into the frame. The new gasket was not seating nicely against the glass all the way around. So I decided to remove it and re-install it. When I originally removed the windshield I simply cut away the rotted old gasket, but this time I wanted to save and re-use the new gasket. So I tried pressing the windshield forward and hoping the gasket would pop free of the opening in the frame. I had it almost there, and I suddenly heard a “pop”, and the glass had cracks all over it. So now I need a another windshield, either new or used. It’s not a total tragedy- the old glass had a lot of pits, and a small bulls-eye right in front of the driver.
I installed the rear quarter lights, most of the trim pieces around the rear valence, and the rear bumper. It took a bit of fiddling to get the bumper to line up, since it was being attached to the rear body panel that I had replaced. I also bead-blasted and spray-painted the little metal fuel expansion tank that goes inside the trunk.
I was all set to replace the rubber seals that run along the tops of the doors, against the window class, but the replacements turned out to be the wrong size. I’ll have to call the vendor tomorrow and see what the deal is.
I had to buff out some of the paint on the rear fenders and rear deck. I had painted the hood a day after the body, and I had not completely covered the body to protect it from overspray. So all the horizontal surfaces on the rear of the body got a very light mist of overspray, which dried as hard as a rock. I thought it would buff out in an instant, but it actually took quite a while.
I painted the inside of the trunk, where I had replaced rear valence panel. I just used a brush and some enamel paint I had bought years ago when I had repaired some damage to the trunk. Then I re-installed the taillights and the muffler. I also cleaned off and re-installed the front headlight assemblies, using new rubber gaskets.
After the doors and trunk lid had dried for a couple of days, I bolted them back on to the body. Now I can begin re-attaching all the other pieces I had removed. I never got a chance to paint the headlight surrounds and the front valences that go underneath the front bumper. Those will have to wait until next spring. I’m burned out on painting for the time being, and I have taken down and put away the painting tent and my painting supplies.
Yesterday I wet-sanded the doors and trunk lid, and today I painted them. They came out pretty good, except that some tiny flies were attracted to the wet paint, and got stuck in it. This is the first time I’ve had this problem. The weather was quite warm today, and it will also be warm tomorrow, so by tomorrow evening I should be able to re-attach the doors and trunk lid to the car.
After another brief interruption due to a snowstorm, I dry sanded the doors and trunk lid. I discovered several small low spots, which I took care of with a bit of polyester finishing putty. Since there were several spots of putty, and I had also sanded all the way into the epoxy primer in a few places, I decided to give everything one more coat of filler-surfacer, thinned a bit so it would lay down extra-smooth.
Tomorrow I will wet-sand them, and the day after that I will hopefully be able to do the color coats. Fortunately they are predicting good, warm weather.