Tuesday, March 29, 2011

passenger compartment part four

After months of grinding, you'd think I'd be sick of it...and I pretty much am - but after scouring out the dash area the end was most definitely in sight with just the front part of the floor and the upper A-pillars left to take care of. Here's a shot of the front of the car several weeks ago:

The main areas of concern were the drivers floor pan, where there was some obvious rust - the extent of corrosion wasn't as bad as it looks in the picture below - most of that mess is fibers from the underlay which have stuck to the rust in the floor pan.

Rust on the passenger side was less serious but still needed attention.

As usual I started off by scraping away the sealer around the seams in the floor with a stripping knife.

Then it was on with the wire wheeling; first the passenger side...

...and then the driver side and front of the transmission tunnel.

There was some very noticeable corrosion on the inside of the upper A-pillars - I was relived to be able to remove this with the wire wheel without much fuss, as these areas will be displayed when the car is complete.

I also cleaned all the old sealer out of the channel around the windshield, using a rag soaked in lacquer thinner and plenty of effort - this job sucks....

...but eventually I had a nice clean windshield opening to show for my efforts.

I also dealt with excess sealer on the inside of the channel above the dash.

Another grinding session later and the seat platforms and rear foot wells were all cleaned up.

A through wipe down with the usual lacquer thinner-soaked rag and the metal took on a clean, dull hue, all ready for epoxy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

grinding on the dash

Cleaning up the inside has been a long slow grind, literally - it's now almost three months since I started sanding of surface rust around the perimeter of the roof. The area behind and under the dash was always destined to be the most complicated - all those small edges - and so it proved. This area was covered in surface rust, and I'm not even sure if it was ever properly painted. Here are some "before" pictures:

I was concerned about throwing grinding dust all over my new primer in the back of the car, so I taped off the rear section as best I could - not perfect but better than nothing.

I started wire wheeling at the passenger side. Apart from the inherent danger of grinding in such closed quarters, there are also a ton of places where the wheel just will not fit.

Here's the view looking towards the driver's side after the first grinding session:

And looking back towards the inside of the dash...plenty more work to do here!

At this point in the proceedings I had already turned the car around and pulled out the engine, so it made sense to remove the steering column and clutch pedal support in order to get better access to the dash on the driver's side.

This was as far as I could get under the driver side dash with the big wire wheel:

Switching over to the drill and die grinder provided better access to some of the tighter corners:

The cowl area in this car - a notorious area for serious rust issues in the Mustang - is in absolutely fantastic shape. A little bit of surface rust was all I had to remove from the underside.

At the end of the second marathon grinding session I had most of the area under the dash cleaned up.

Then it was onto the outer side. I mainly used the drill for this area, as it runs at a lower speed and although that means it takes more effort to remove the paint, there is a much lower risk of damaging the sheet metal by catching an edge with the wire wheel - this area is going to be seen after all. This part of the project was also much easier because I didn't have to contort my body while I was working. I started at the front and worked upwards.

And then moved on to the top of the dash - having the windshield out of the way was an enormous advantage.

Pretty much done in terms of the first pass, and ready to move on to cleaning up the foot wells before I give the entire area a coat of epoxy primer.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

goodbye to the oil pan & more

Speed of progress, when measured on the restoration time line, is a rather abstract concept. For example, I'm just finishing up the work on the passenger compartment, which I started back in November, and, although I've been working on this area pretty hard, it feels like it has taken forever and a day. Compare this with what's been going on with my motor: I acquired a 302 V8 at the start of the year, and followed it up by pulling out the six, and then finding a new home for the latter...which has taken two months, but seems like no time at all.

The six banger on the day I pulled it out

After I removed the starter, the motor sat for a while...

On Sunday I helped load the six into a friend's pick up - he has an attached hoist, so it was easy...best of all, I even got rid of donated the 3 speed transmission at the same time. Now I have to get a T5! I'd like to say that, because I got my V8 for free (cheers Abe!), I gave away the six in the interests of good karma, but I was also really focused on getting it out of my garage; if I get any karmic effect, that's a bonus. As I stared down at the departing oil pan, the very first bit of work I did on the car flashed before my eyes...and then I waved bye-bye.

goodbye oil pan...