Sunday, September 30, 2012

small is beautiful

Once I was happy with the magic rust removal solution (ie exactly one day after I started using it!) I spent a while collecting together every small part that could possibly benefit from treatment....and then systematically soaked everything in batches. While this was going on I also stripped the old paint off of some of the other small parts that I was planning to refinish. It wasn't long before I had a growing pile of pristine, original parts.

I converted my garden shed into a spray booth so that I could get the nice shinny parts painted as quickly as possible. Anything that originally had the appearance of bare metal got painted with my favorite Eastwood Brake Gray over a light coat of etching primer.

finished marker light brackets
floor plugs
I decided it would be most time efficient to refurbish a few parts that I'm not even 100% sure I'll be reusing (like the fuel line attaching bracket, below) while I had my Production Facilities/Paint Booth fully operational, rather than coming back to this stuff later on.

By this time I was accumulating another large pile of empty rattle cans in the shed.

The black parts got hit with at least two coats of the same Duplicolor paint I used on the engine compartment.

window winding mechanism thing (!)
clutch and brake pedals
brackets from somewhere inside the door
headlamp inner buckets
Most of the shed was black too by this point...
I painted the tail light buckets with some chrome-look paint on the outside, and then I used some duplicolor brilliant white on the inside - this took a lot of masking and re-masking to achieve, but the white is much better for reflecting light than chrome or gray would be. At this point I have finished pretty much all of the small parts that will have a paint finish - so in other words the garage is still stacked full of boxes of parts, but now more than half of them are ready to go back :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

waving away rust with a magic wand

Rust treatment is one of the things you just have to get right when you're restoring a vintage car....and in my last post I described how my use of POR-15 was ultimately a disappointing experience. Fortunately that isn't the end of the story. In fact, in terms of treating rust that I just couldn't get rid of any other way, I've had a lot more success with Zero Rust. In fact, the main reason for using POR-15 in the first place was that I wanted a shinny black finish on the relevant parts. However, the future for Zero Rust, and all the other so-called rust treatments, is starting to look somewhat...err...corroded...thanks to the emergence of a new power.

My own definition of what makes a good idea has always been something that I really wish I thought of myself - and by good idea I'm not talking about something pretty cool, I'm referring to those life changing ideas that just don't come around every week. Or even every month. And, since I have a background in organometallic chemistry, I could well have thought of this one: take rusty piece of metal....put into bucket containing magic rust removal solution...wait...remove de-rusted metal...rinse and repeat. The reality though, is that the first I heard of this idea was when I read Thinking Outside the Rusty Box on the Boss Blog (as I call it). In fact, in order to get the best from the remainder of this post - or indeed to understand it at all - it is imperative that you read the above article and the even more important follow up Thinking Outside the Rusty Box part two before reading any further. summarize...the magic solution I used is really called Esprit Performance Rust Remover. It came from Rust Depot in NY and this particular brand includes a mixed in cleaning agent )more on that later). I ordered up a gallon of the concentrate, which came to about 80 dollars with shipping etc. While I was waiting for delivery I searched out the rustiest, most corroded parts I could find - the brackets from behind the front market lights were ideal. To be truthful I would have thrown these brackets in the trash if I could have found reproductions in any of the Mustang parts catalogs.

perfect candidates to test my magic solution

One evening after work I mixed some of the concentrate with six equivalents of hot water, tossed in the rusty brackets and left them to soak. The next evening I checked in, and I have to say I was surprised at how great the results were:

Not perfect, but WOW !!

Inside wasn't quite as good, but it was a heck of a lot better

OK, so the results were not perfect after 24 hours, but I was still absolutely AMAZED. It's one thing reading about this on a blog, however reliable you believe it to be, and another seeing it yourself in your own garage. So next step...upscale. I'm fortunate that I didn't need to apply the magic solution to the body shell, so it was onward with the small parts. 

The only limits are the size of the box
Here's a selection of "before" pictures:

After 3-4 days soaking in the solution, every spec of rust was gone. Here's the "afters":

I mentioned above that the Esprit product contains a cleaning agent. This really helped with parts like the door latches which had a kind of aged hue (in addition to the obvious rust), but came out sparkling after 3-4 days soaking...although you'll have to take my word for it because I don't have an after photo!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

billetproof 2012

I've hardly been to any car shows this summer, but one that I did make time for was Billetproof 2012 at the Contra Costa County Fairgrounds. It's nothing like your usual car show: for a start it's strictly limited to pre-1964 vehicles, so no muscle cars...and add to that a total ban on any visible aluminum or other "bling" (chrome is very much frowned upon, and I've seen several cars turned away for being too shinny)....and you've got a car show without any "show cars."  Throw in a bunch of live bands, a pin-up contest (see below!) and a whole bunch of sideshows and you've got one of my favorite events of the year.

If it's worth showing one pic...