Sunday, February 24, 2008

Breaking the Logjam

Our nephew Brendan came down again to help us with a little auto-restoration fun. I'd been saving the tear-down of the passenger door for him, and since we're in sort of a holding pattern on the undercoating, we finally got back to the engine. I'd hit a road block several months ago, when I was unable to remove the clutch plate. It was supposed to just slide right off the shaft with minimal effort, but hadn't budged since bell-bottoms were in style. My buddy Noah was over to help and hang out, so between the three of us, we were eventually able to come up with a suitably dangerous solution to the problem. Turns out that all it took was grinding down two of the adapters for the slide hammer, holding a torch on the hub until it released the requisite noxious fumes, a little cursing, a lot of hammering, and we were home! After that is was practically no effort at all to open the drive chain housing, and remove the drive gears and sprocket. By this point we were all pretty pleased with the weekend's progress and didn't want to push our luck.

For a short introduction to the project, click the play button to watch our first Matilda video log:


Monday, February 11, 2008

Body Work Begins

Even though we are blessed enough to have an almost completely rust-free body, there were a few little spots that needed some attention. Fortunately, they are in places that will never be seen, but since we are doing this thing all the way, I figured it'd be a good chance to remind myself how to do this body work stuff. The worst of the two places that had actually rusted through, was under the driver-side door sill plate. I remembered taking care of some similar holes in a car when I worked for Tom Brown at Coachworks Autobody when I was nineteen. It involved tapping the rusty spot with a pointed hammer until you've broken out anything that isn't solid metal. This has the effect of bending the surrounding area down slightly which makes the body filler portion of the repair work better. Then you cut some light-gauge sheet metal into shapes that will fill the hole, while sitting into the recess created by the hammering. Next, you apply a coat of Duraglas (fiberglass body filler) to the hole, insert your metal plates, and cover the whole works with another layer of Duraglas. After sanding, and re-filling any low spots with regular Bondo, it's ready for primer. —GP