Tuesday, September 27, 2011

engine compartment part two

At last it was time to breakout the DeWalt. The following photos encompass work done over about 4-5 weeks. Started at the driver side:

Then moved on to the passenger side:

By the time I got to the firewall I was really getting into the wire wheeling...so much easier working at a decent height!

I'd already completed the shock towers, which gave me a head start on the inner aprons.

Really felt like I was getting somewhere when it got to the radiator support.

Finishing up under the frame rails and supports was actually the hardest bit: lying on my back, grinding above my head, just like the old days.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

engine compartment part one

Lately I've been doing a lot of welding and grinding, but very little wire wheeling. Still, firing up my trusty DeWalt angle grinder has been at the back of my mind throughout, mainly because I know that once I get the engine compartment scrubbed out and coated with epoxy the worst of the project will be over. Here's the view after I was done with the shock towers and fender apron replacement.

The six cylinder mustangs came with a rubber strip attached to the radiator support - there has been some speculation on VMF that these cars were difficult to start in cold weather, and the strip was some kind of insulator, but nobody knows definitively. The strip was stapled on to the radiator support, leaving a series of small holes, which I decided to weld up - I won't be putting the rubber back, so why not.

There were also some extraneous holes in the front cross member, the legacy of a post-factory installation of GT fog lamps. I'll be putting the fog lamps back eventually, but I'll be doing it with a little bit more finesse, so these holes had to do one as well.

There were also several opportunities to refine my skills with a set of body hammers and dollies, after my friend Chuck gave me a quick lesson on techniques.

Then it was time to work on the frame rails, starting by blowing out forty two years worth of dust and grit...and there was plenty of it.

I taped up all the holes in the frame rails and then gave the inner surfaces a thorough going over with Eastwood's internal frame coating. This product comes in a rattle can fitted with a thin plastic tube that discharges through a diffuser. I sprayed on far too much, until it started dripping out of holes at the bottom of the rails.

The engine mounts got a good cleaning out and a coating of Zero Rust.

The final step before the wire wheel was removing the undercoating on the outer aprons and behind the wheels. I got rid of this with my heat gun and a putty knife, which was much, much easier and a lot less messy than grinding it all off. Two hours later and I was all ready for the wire wheel.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

zinc alloy and the hidden riders of tomorrow

Compared to last year, there has been some serious downtime on this project over the last six months, but in the background I have been chipping away at the hardware. I've experimented in the past with doing my own zinc plating on bolts and whatnot, but it never really came out that well. I decided that I wanted a more professional look for the hardware that would be visible. The key to getting a great finish is investing some time in getting the parts as clean as possible.

I used a pair of coarse and fine wire wheels to convert...
all this rusty hardware to...
Some pretty nice looking metal.
and this...
into this.

The thing is, when you start looking around for hardware and small parts to clean up, and you have the components of a 40 year old car to pick from, you can find plenty of material. Everything got a good going over with the wire brush, and then I took the more difficult-shaped parts over to my friend Chuck's workshop and hit them with the media blaster.

All packed up and ready to drop off at EPS in Hayward:

One week later: