Monday, February 27, 2006

A Milestone

Sunday was the first sunny weekend day in nearly a month. It took about two hours to remove the bonnet and the right front wing. With help from Debbie the bonnet was easy to remove. 5 bolts with the air ratchet (one is missing) and we lifted it off. The bonnet is heavier than it looks. Might be full of bondo. Most of the bomb is.

The wing was not so easy. There are three bolts along the back of the wing that can be reached through a small access hole at the back of the engine compartment. Not impossible, but it has to be done blind. As always, the bolts that are hardest to reach are the most rusted. It might also be possible to remove that splash guard first and then get at the bolts from there. I think that would have been harder. The wing was hiding significant rust damage. Figures.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

All Jacked Up and Nowhere to Roll

After the disappointing Torin, I did what I should have done 25 years ago. I bought a real service jack. I sent a few emails to local jobbers but none of them answered. I ordered an OTC 1525 from All Tire Supply. OTC makes good tools. Many of them are still made in Owatonna MN. The jack effortlessly lifts the bomb up several feet. On to the next problem.

The bomb must roll. I took advantage of a break in the endless rain a few nights back to try out those HF dollies. I used the BMW to drag the bomb out of the garage. Put it up in the air with the jack and set it down on the HF dollies. I hooked up the winch and started cranking. The winch turned effortlessly. Much to my surprise the bomb was gliding into the garage. It worked. Then the dollies reached the tiny lip in the cement where the driveway meets the garage. The bomb stopped. I cranked. And C R A N K E D. The bomb inched forward. There was a loud crash. I had pulled the bomb off of the dollies. Nothing broke that wasn't already beyond saving. If it ever stops raining I'll pour cement to smooth out the driveway. Until then, we are going nowhere.

A friend told me reading this was like watching an exercise video. Yup. Here I am on my back peddling Jack La Lanne's imaginary bicycle. No matter how hard I pedal, I'm going nowhere and accomplishing nothing.

Anyone know what used to go here?

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

To Do List

The bomb didn't come with an instruction manual. Time for a plan.

A. Strip the car.

  1. Get the car rolling
  2. Remove the bonnet.
  3. Remove bonnet latches.
  4. Remove radiator and what's left of the front bumper.
  5. Remove front wings, headlights and anything connected to those parts.
  6. Take lots of photos of the engine compartment. Write down what is connected to what.
  7. Remove whats left of the exhaust system.
  8. Remove engine and transmission.
  9. Remove steering gear and power steering pump.
  10. Remove all brake system components from engine compartment.
  11. Remove or unmount all electrical components from engine compartment.
  12. Remove heater box.
  13. Remove anything else that will unbolt from the front of the car.
  14. Remove all 4 door panels.
  15. Take lots of photos of the insides of the doors.
  16. Remove window regulators. About now is when I wish the bomb didn't have power windows.
  17. Remove window glass
  18. Remove door locks.
  19. Remove all 4 doors from car.
  20. Remove all seats.
  21. Remove headliners. (Both are completely shot)
  22. Document rear climate control and remove it.
  23. Remove rear quarter trim.
  24. Decide if dash stays or goes.
  25. Remove windshield. (it leaks...)
  26. Remove rear windows.
  27. Remove funky plastic around rear windows.
  28. Remove boot lid, latches and everything from the boot.
  29. Remove rear wings.
  30. Remove rear bumper.
  31. Detrim rest of body.
  32. Remove lower rockers. Bet I find nothing but rust behind them.
  33. Remove what remains of vinyl top.
  34. Preassure wash frame and underside of body.
  35. Hopefully frame and bottom of car are solid.
  36. Paint frame and bottom of body with POR-15 or zero-rust.
  37. Investigate moon roof removal.

so much for day one. day two:

  1. Grind off paint and rust down to bare metal.

B. Rust repair

  1. Roll bomb into my 'spray tent'.
  2. Clean the entire body.
  3. Spray everything with 2 coats epoxy primer.
  4. Identify what body panels need replacement.
  5. Find and purchase panels.
  6. Cut out rusted areas.
  7. Weld in new panels. Use weld-through primer on areas that will be behind welds.
  8. Grind welds smooth.
  9. Epoxy Primer on repairs.
  10. Fix dents.
  11. High build primer (All-U-Need?) and block, block, block.
  12. Evaluate doors. Replace doors or skins as needed.
  13. Spray epoxy primer on the repaired doors.
  14. Mount doors back on car.
  15. High build primer on doors.
  16. Block block block.
  17. Purchase new wings, boot lid and bonnet.
  18. Prep and epoxy the new panels.
  19. Mount new the new panels.
  20. Primer and block bonnet, boot lid and wings..
  21. Put the car up on blocks

Second mortgage on the house. Hock my computer. Send the rims off to Stockton Wheel. While I'm waiting for the rims to come back:

  1. Find full size rear glass to replace the silly limo glass.
  2. Send transmission off for rebuild.
  3. Buy a rebuilt long block.
  4. Send the carburetor out for rebuild.
  5. Drop the front suspension, rebuild it and put it back in the car.
  6. Rebuild the rear suspension.
  7. Repack or replace wheel bearings.
  8. Replace all brake components on all 4 wheels.
  9. Send some small parts like the heater box out for powder coat.

When the wheels come back, buy 4 new tires and put them on the car. All this so I can roll the bomb out and paint. After painting, put the car back together except for the interior. Assembly is the reverse of part A.

That is a sh*t load of work. After all this work the car still isn't close to done. I'm already tired and I haven't even started.