Shop Update: Mid July 2021

Doors off/Interior Out

I reached that point that if I were a nervous person, I’d be pretty concerned right now. Since the last update I stripped the interior out, and removing the carpets allowed me to get my first good look at the interior of the inner sills, the left and right front chassis legs, the bulkhead behind the front seats, the rear seat pan and the tunnel. The car, as expected is in rough shape. You’ll recall the only thing I told myself I’d walk away from is if the rear suspension points had ripped away from their mounts just to the aft of the driver and passenger front seats. Oddly, this is one of the best, least rusty parts of the car.

Drivers side, just below B Pillar.

It goes down hill from here in terms of low lights. The drivers side Inner Sill at the A Pillar connection is pretty much gone. I did find the jacking point, it was mangled and twisted and pushed out of position, but it was there.

Pretty Crispy Intersection of Inner Sill and Fire Wall, Drivers Side

The same area, driver side floor pan at the intersection of inner sill and firewall.

One of the bigger issues so far is the condition of the structural piece, often referred to as Chassis Legs. These give the floor pans support and spread load from in front of firewall to mid car just below front seats. On both sides of the car, theses supports are still attached firmly and mostly rust free (the good thing) but these box like structures are highly rusted, deformed and the metal is even ripped on diver’s side. This will have to be addressed before I go much further.

Drivers side Chassis Leg

This one gives you a good look at the macro view of the Drivers floor pan, note the chassis leg degradation.

The close up is worse. Note the metal tear.

Rip
Note the same Rip and general deformation

I don’t want to replace the chassis rails until the car is on the rotisserie, but I have to safely get the car onto the rotisserie without it collapsing into itself. I’m going to graft a box around the box and tie good metal to good metal to give that rip and tear area support and reinforcement. It won’t look pretty but it should do the trick.

The passenger side is only slightly better, less rust but a terrible dent from some point in its past.

I pulled the scuttle plate as well, and I could hear my Dad telling me the dangers of not keeping the 70’s era cars scuttles and cowls free of leaves and debris. Highly rusted, this will take alot of patience and time.

Scuttle

Cowl under windshield
Cowl below driver side windshield lower corner. Most of wiring harness runs through there.
Note the Scuttle Drain hose on firewall
New Scuttle to be ordered. Too much work to press in the slots.

The project plan continues without change from the previous month. The engine bay is mostly stripped of ancillary hoses and things that would get in the way of pulling the engine. My next steps are to remove the brakes and possibly the steering box, along with some of the front suspension, as I build towards engine and transmission removal. After the engine and transmission are removed, the next step is to get the car onto a rotisserie. Once the car is braced, more disassembly will take place (Glass removal, dash, wiring harness, more suspension) and then the car will go airborne.

I wanted a challenge. I enjoy working in my garage and I told myself I want to build/repair/reimagine every part of this car so when I am on the Peking to Paris or Key West to Deadhorse, I will have the confidence to know that no matter what breaks I’ll know how to fix.

I will slow down either just before or just after engine pull day to complete some upgrades to the shop. A 220V circuit dedicated to a scroll air compressor (so quiet) and an air piping system, along with one more work bench.

Life prepared me for this. The United States Navy Submarine Service taught me not only skills but dealing with stress and developing a can-do mindset. I continued that mindset over a 30+ year career. I could have spent more money on my project car, but I didn’t want to do that. I could have bought a finished car, but I didn’t want to do that. I need the car in about 5.5 years when I turn 60. That was always my goal. Along this journey I will learn new skills, make mistakes, do things more than once. Nothing worth doing should be easy.

Goodnight Moon

Published by Anthony

My name is Anthony and I was born in Niagara Falls, NY in December 1966. Life is short: We live, we love, we die. Make the most of it. I came to this reality, you can say a sudden awakening (a zen concept called Satori!) or an ah-ha moment in 2019, upon the death of my dog and a reality check about my own mortality. I am exploring the last years of my life in a blog, where I pursue the Capstone projects of my life, the tasks and adventures that required a lifetime to prepare for.

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