Since we last checked in with Project Resolution we had a lot of goals and plans of action on how we were going to repair and restore the car. Since then, things have changed quite a bit! Sometimes we think this should be called “Project Surprise”! We’re constantly finding that the car has a lot of hidden damage and surprises that are much worse than initially anticipated.
After we heat shrunk the roof with an oxy- acetylene torch we found that the roof had been stretched so far that it wasn’t going to come back into shape. Instead, we decided to cut the entire panel out of the car and make up a replacement panel out of 18 gauge steel. We then lap welded the panel in place using the MIG 175. Now with the panel in place and the welds ground down we just need to do a little bit of pulling with the MIG Stud Welding Kit in the corners and we’re ready for a skim coat of filler.
The rest of the team has been very busy fixing minor dents and body damage on the car. We hope to have the removable panels on the car ready for primer any day now! We’ve also begun tackling the bodywork on the shell itself and luckily that looks like it will be pretty straight forward. Our new Tech Advisor Mike is a seasoned autobody tech so he has been whipping everyone into shape block sanding!
We’ve also picked up a replacement front clip that we scored off Craigslist for VERY cheap. This should save us a lot of time and really is the proper way to fix the damage we recently found further back on the frame rails. We’ll be cutting the front clip off at the OE seam just behind the strut tower and welding it back in place. This will allow us to cross check our chassis specs to make sure the car drives down the road straight. We’ll be making those big cuts here shortly.
Lastly our tired little 302 5.0 V8 is more tired than we had hoped when we pulled it apart. As soon as Kevin pulled the heads off the block he found the tell-tale signs of coolant and oil mixing and we all agreed we should do the job right and send the engine off to the machine shop to have it freshened up. We’re still trying to figure out how many go-fast goodies we can fit into the budget while it’s off at the machine shop!
Time is ticking and the Eastwood Summer Classic is about a month and a half away! We’re definitely going to be down to the wire on getting the car done! Stay tuned for what happens next…