Daily Archives: August 17, 2012

Wanna trade?

This Saturn SUV was turned in to a local car lot on trade. The car is very clean … except for the crease in the back bumper. You an see the crease in the first photo, taken just after the car arrived at the shop yesterday evening.

This is a minor issue, easily repaired by simply replacing the rear bumper cover and hatch. You can see that Chris wasted no time in getting the bumper cover off the car this morning. When the new cover and hatch arrive we will get them painted, put on the car, and this little SUV will be ready to got back into service as a nice clean car.

On the back burner

Nobody is perfect, and I am no exception. Back when I first started my business I was taking any and all work that I could get. This truck was one of my early projects. Back then I tried to do it all … engine installs, suspension … the works … in addition to the paint and body because I needed the work and I couldn’t afford to farm anything out.

In the last couple of years or so, however, my work as grown and I find that I no longer have the time to do the things I am not good at … like the mechanical work. So this poor truck has just been sitting in the shop, waiting for Murphy Rod & Custom to free up some time in their busy schedule to take this truck and finish it.

The paint and body is done so every now and then I push the truck out of the shop, blow the dust off, recover the truck and put it back in it’s place. Today was that day … and I wanted to get a picture of it out in the sunlight.

A silk purse from a sow’s ear

When the El Camino was delivered to the shop I took once look at the valance, the bit of the car just in front of the hood, and suggested to the owner that he would be better off just buying a new one. The one included with the car was, well, I think the technical term is hammered.

Yesterday we painted the new valance along with the hood. When we pushed the hood and valance together, with the intention of striping them together, we ran into a … problem. The new valance wasn’t even close to matching the hood. After much head scratching I decided that the best course of action was to fix the old one. 

In the first picture you can see the original valance with all the old body filler ground out and the metal sanded. After several hours of applying body filler then blocking it off the valance is restored to usable condition. You can see some loon in the second picture showing it off like a record breaking fish. You can also see in the second picture that we used a fair amount of body filler, along with several whacks with a hammer, to smooth up all the dents, dings and blemishes.

Also, near the end of the day, Chris and I spent a few minutes seam sealing the doors so they can be painted. You can see me applying the seam sealer in the third photo while Chris spread it smooth in the fourth.

Seam sealer is like caulking for cars. It is applied to gaps and holes as filler so that water can’t get into places and start rust. As the old saw goes, “Rust never sleeps,” and while that may be true, I do my best to make it work for it if it is going to rust out a car I work on.

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