Daily Archives: June 29, 2012

So long old friend

At long last, after months of sweat and toil, sanding and painting, this 1965 Chevelle is finally finished. Well, finished as far as JMC AutoworX is concerned. Today we installed the hood and aligned the fenders, the last two items to finish before the car could be turned over to the owner. You can see me working on the hood latch in the first photo, finishing up the last few details.

The rest of the photos, numbers 2-5, are of the old girl, out enjoying the sun, turned out in her very best. The paint is as perfect as I can make it. The body panels are aligned and the gaps even. In short, the car is ready to go to the next step … installation of the interior, a few remaining mechanical issues and final trim out. Those operations will all be performed by the owner.

I kind of hate to see the ol’ girl go. She has been in the shop a while, taking up space and getting in the way. But just like your kids, you wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I mean, look at it! I derive a great deal of satisfaction from taking a car damaged in a wreck and making it whole again. But nothing compares to the feeling I get when I wipe down a High Performance Finish car for the last time, the last time I feel the slickness of the paint before turning the car over to the owner. Now that is satisfaction for a job well done.

Next week a roll-back will come and take the car away. I won’t say I will shed a tear when it leaves, but like saying goodbye to an old friend, I hope to get to see it again. Soon.

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Making the bed

Yesterday we slung a couple coats of paint on the bedside of this mighty Chevrolet pickup. The paint, having dried overnight, allowed use to do a quick switch0out of the besides today.

The first picture shows the truck as it arrived at the shop. It doesn’t look to bad, but you can see in the second photo there was some damage … too much damage to try to repair.

The third photo has Chase (in red) and me working to remove the bed side. The side isn’t heavy, but because it is made of plastic it is rather floppy and hard to handle, especially when you have to raise it up over your head to detach it from the truck. Having two or three sets of hands makes handing something like this much easier.

The fourth photo shows the truck with the side removed. It’s sort of like looking at it’s underpants, except not as embarrassing.

After removing the bedside, we installed the new, freshly painted, bedside by doing everything in reverse. In the fifth photograph we have raised the panel over our heads, inserted slot “A” in channel “B”, and with a little beating and banging to make everything line up, lowered the side into place. The result is in picture number six.

Then came the fun part, fitting the bed around the wheel well. Where getting the side off the truck was easy because it just pulled loose, putting it back required a little more finesse. You can see in picture seven that I am using a pair of flat bladed tools used to remove pins to walk the edge of the bedside into place. Chase is pushing and pulling as needed to have the lip of the fender slip into place. I’ve done so many of these trucks that it isn’t hard to do … I’ve learned all the little tricks to make it go smoothly, but it took as long to fit the fender lip into place as it did to mount the entire side of the truck.

After bolting the bedside down I added the finishing touch … reapplying the 4 x 4 sticker on the fender. This another one of those tasks that seems harder than it is. Because the sticker has all the body lines marked on the backing, it was a simple matter of a few squirts of water, align the arrows and notches, and pull off the backing. Pictures eight and nine show the process.

The last photo, number ten, show the truck all cleaned up and ready to go to the beach, which is where it is headed as soon as it leaves the shop.

It’s a good thing we got the truck in and out today … everyone wants to look good at the beach, and this truck is looking its best indeed.

The spaceship is ready to launch

This Toyota Sienna, a spaceship of a minivan loaded with every conceivable option, is ready to launch. Or, less metaphorically, ready to go home with its owner.

A minivan isn’t a viable option for me … I need a truck for my business, but after driving this minivan I can sort of see the appeal. This car rides good, drives good, has good power … and most importantly, had enough do0dads and whatizts to keep me entertained for hours.

Yes I know … I am easily amused.

Oh yeah! I’m hot

On July 12th of last year I saw the hottest tempreture of the year in the shop at 109°. Today, we set a new record … 115°. You will notice that the humidity, the small needle at the bottom, is low at only 30%. Better than having the humidity at 70%, but all it really means is the shop is like an oven.

And no, the thermometer isn’t displayed because of masochistic tendencies … rather I need to know the temperature and humidity in order to properly mix the paint.

So, enjoy working in an oven for eight or nine hours? They you too can enjoy a glamorous career in auto body repair.

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