Sunday, June 17, 2012

Prep for Paint....FINALLY

I am now actually seeing the the light at the end of the tunnel. A few times, I actually begun to doubt I'd ever be this close to having a final paint job complete. I was ready to farm the next step of prepping for paint out because I just don't have the patience and I'm ready for the project to be done.  I know I'm well past the halfway mark but it's time to get on the road.
Jon talked me out of (just like the welding) and I'm going to do it myself. He was a big help once again to show me the ropes. It's not that difficult but requires the time and patience to get it right. 
 Again, I would rather staple my head to the floor than do this but I want to get it done right and I only trust myself and Jon to get it right. Even if there are imperfections, frankly, I don't really care because I would only have myself to blame.
Here I am working on the gas tank while Jon works on the Holy Grail of aircooled vehicles....the "W" decklid.  I think he's particularly pleased to say that he has done some body work on this piece. It's bragging rights for certain. Kind of like when you can brag about the girl that everyone wanted to date but could never get close enough to talk to. 
 The gas tank is in great condition but it has some typical pitting from the fuel that's spilled over the years.
Here is the right quarter panel that Jon and I worked on.  He did most of (ok.....all of it) the Bondo work.  There was a quarter sized hole that needed to be filled.  We covered it in fiberglass and then Bondo to top it.  He did a fantastic job.
 The front nose has so many pitting spots.  They're not hard to fill and take care of, but they are in tricky spots and there are just so damned many.  It took me hours to get this done and have it look right.  I'm still working on some of the areas still.  You can see the pink spots all along where the hood seal will go.  The trunk has some trouble spots too so I want those to look good since I'll be painting this area as well.
 I worked on this area and it came out pretty well.  The front corners of the nose needed to be smoothed out.  There were some gaps when the new front apron was welded in.  The fiberglass and Bondo is getting it to look "sealed". 

    Last, the fenders have pitting and holes in some typical trouble spots.  I had to spot weld in the holes where I could, grind them down and then Bondo over it to make it look right.  I've had to push this part off for a couple of months because I could never find a time when Katie wasn't taking a nap or having to watch her.  Grinding is so loud and usually wakes up everyone around you.  You can see how long it has been because of the rust around the edges.  That will come off when I grind it worries.

Home Sweet Home

Well......IT'S BACK.  It was a extremely rainy morning but a short ride in a U-Haul and a little help from Jon and my neighbor, Steve, the Oval is back in my garage.  Katie is so darned cute.....she came rushing over to see what was inside.  I don't think she really even remembered that this was in the garage really.  But BOY she was excited.  With the help of Steve and Jon, we just just unloaded it right into the garage onto the 4x4's.  At this point, it seemed logical to just set it right on top of the chassis to see how well it fit.  No time like the present.  It fit fantastically great.  I was a bit nervous because when it went to Chris Bolin's we didn't intend to replace the heater channels.  When they come off, it's a bit scary because you just don't know 100% for certain that it will all fit exactly as it should. 
Nick was ready to go for a ride.  He jumped in the back and found his spot.
It was very cool to look at the rear of the car and see that classic "W" deck of a kind for sure. And take a look at that engine.  Nothing is finer than a clean engine that has been rebuilt.  Especially sitting below that oval window.  Not a common site.  Check out Jon.  What a great sport!  I think he's enjoying this moment too! 

It was a short day for certain but it was so important.  I've been a bit of a wreck not knowing how or when I would get this back.  Chris did some great work on this car.  I love seeing the body in it's expoxy primer.  What a joy and I got so caught up in the moment, that we put the seats on their track and took some pictures with the kids!  What is amazing is that it's actually starting to look like a car! I think I went back into the garage six times that night just to take a peek. A went to bed with a warm grin that evening :) The next step is to get ready and prep for paint.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Yin without the Yang

It's been 9 months since the body has left the building.  Like most things with this car, it has taken longer than we all anticipated.  We surely thought it would be done by now.  Not so lucky.  I've been patiently waiting to get the body back and the first estimate of July came and went......the second in September came and went......the third before Christmas came and went.......but I was assured that definitely in March I'll get the body back.  NOPE.  Not going to happen and I'm not happy at all.  It's been 9 months and there has been some great progress.  But then again, after 9 months you'd expect some great progress, right?  Chris works his tail off during the week and I think this project is just more than he can handle.  So it's time that I go bring the lady home and call it a day.  Stay tuned for the next blog post to see how that turns out.  In the mean time, here's what has happened during that time where yin has been missing its yang.

The chassis is done and looks awesome! She is ready to receive her other half and boy I can't wait for that day. I'm seriously having a hard time being patient but what the heck can you do? The wheels were sandblasted and painted by Chris. I took them to Hick's VW to have them mounted and man.....they look awesome. It looks like a car now....or a really cool go cart, I suppose. I had to put one moon hubcap on just to get a glimpse of the future. These are the little things that keep you going. I had to clean out the carburetor, attach the accelerator linkage, put new clamps on the axle boots to stop the leaking, reattach the air cleaner, and weld in the j-tubes so they don't leak exhaust.  It's all done now except for the heater boxes.  I realized much later after I had finished the engine that I didn't have those.  Found some good ones used that I can restore later.  I might have said that in an earlier post.....too much time passing on this thing!

Here's what Christ has been able to do so far. He has the body on a rotisserie so that he can work on it easier. Everyone needs this in their garage. You can see where he replaced the heater channels. It wasn't what we planned on doing but after pulling off the bottom plate, we found the tube was Swiss cheese along the right side.  Then, the right side was fine but the bottom plate didn't match.  So it was easier and would match better if we just replaced the heater channel.  I was nervous that when we brought the car back it wouldn't fit right on the chassis pan.  This way we have a much better chance.  The cross bars are tacked on to prevent a twist in the car.  Think of it like insurance.

You can see here where the radio slot has been filled in.  It was fit with sheet metal and topped with filler. (not too sure what to think about that surface rust.....mmmmmm)
You can see here where Chris repaired areas that were not problematic but had little perforations.  I had intended to fill them with Bondo-Glass but Chris wanted to patch them with sheet metal.  Long term, I'm thrilled with his plan.  He also rebuilt the front passenger side door bottom corner.  It was mangled and rusted out.  he reshaped and fabricated new metal to fix it.  It looks great and matches the other side quite well.  Nice work indeed.  He also blasted and painted the gas tank, and seats.

Alas......I want to give Chris the time to finish this.  But he's expecting a baby any day the first week of March.  He won't surface for another 6 months and I just don't want to wait that long.  I'm going to have to finish this myself or take it to someone like Transporter Werks.  What frustrates me a bit is that there seems to be a lot of surface rust that I had removed before.  In some respects, I feel like I'm a bit further behind than I was before.  Although they say you shouldn't cry over spilled surface rust......or something like that.  Time to buck up and get this thing back and done.  Summer will be here soon and we will all need to go for a ride!