ONWARD AND UPWARD

Another busy week has passed and the project is moving along. I worked on many different things to keep myself from getting bored.

Since I forget to get photos of the inside of the door last week I thought I’d start out with it this week. This is the first coat of primer. As you can see there are no more unsightly rust holes.

The door looks pretty nice but there’s still a little body work to be done to get it nearly perfect.

The outside of the door looks pretty straight but also has a little more work to go. I did get some of the sanding on the primer done and with a little more work the door will be ready for the last coat of primer.

Next I decided to remove the hinges and prepare them for a rebuild kit. New hinges are super expensive so I opted for the $15 rebuild kit which will do all 4 hinges and then they will be like new again. One helpful piece of advice when rebuilding your own hinges; before trying to pound out the hinge pins with a big hammer and drift, pound on the side of the hinge where the pin is held. That loosens it up so it comes right out. I wish I had remembered that before I pounded it with the drift a multitude of times with no effect. Anyway, I just got the rebuild parts in the mail yesterday so hopefully I’ll get the hinges back together this week.

After messing with the hinges I decided to get on with the arduous task of stripping the paint from the roof.

I got out the old paint stripper and went to work. I did it a section at a time. It’s messy but the end result is very good. It preserves the metal very nicely and when it’s stripped like this the bare metal can remain bare for a long time without it rusting (as long as you don’t get greasy hand prints all over it).

There are three dents in the roof that need to be repaired. With the paint off they are hard to see but if you take a flat metal file and go over the surface it shows up quite nicely. You can see the high and low areas in this photo.

The idea is to work the metal back into place with a hammer and dolly and then file it perfectly smooth. As you can see I was unable to work it out perfectly as there are still some low areas that will have to be filled with body filler. I still need more practice with my metal working. Some hands-on instruction wouldn’t hurt either.

This is the other half of the roof in the stripping process.

Here is a close-up of the stripper at work. There were 4 layers of paint on the roof. The key to getting it stripped off was to apply a really thick application of stripper and let it sit for about a half hour or so. After the layers of paint came off then I had to apply stripper again to remove the sealer and primer which required scrubbing with a wire brush and steel wool.

Finally it was all clean and the three dents were worked out and filled only having to use a minimal amount of filler. The roof still needs a lot of work. I have to trim up the side rails and then weld clips on so I can install the stainless trim after the car is painted. I need to finish the body work on the sides just behind the quarter windows, clean up the edges where the side window weather stripping goes, and then get it all in primer. I can’t wait to get all that finished so I can take the front end off and get to work on that.

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