The ’57 got a trunk today. We installed the rubber on this and the doors last week and today we were able to get the trunk installed. Tomorrow a door goes on and the last door hinge should get painted. We had to send that hinge over to our buddy Kelly to get it repaired. One of the decorative covers was bent up pretty badly and he worked his magic on it and was able to save it.
Now that all of the sanding, buffing and polishing is complete, lets start putting this beauty back together. We like to start with the seals. Its much easier to install these while the parts are off and you can get around them. They also aid when lining up the panels. If you align the panels without the gaskets, you may have to adjust them again when you do install them. No since in doing it twice. We ordered our parts from Danchuk. These rubbers are very nice. They fit very well and come in bags labeled for where it goes. As you can see they look great as well. Goals for this week are to start hanging parts and getting them operational. That means the latches and mechanisms that make these parts functional will all be cleaned inspected and lubed up for installation. Stay tuned.
Another busy day working on the Bug. Today we started building the left door. We now have both doors hung and operational. The window tracks are all in as well as the outer window scrapers and the clips that hold the felt channel. We have both vent windows built as far as we can go. We are waiting on one seal that goes in the vent window but it wont arrive for a couple of weeks. Once we hit that road block we started putting the decklid and hood back together. We decided it would be easier to wire the car and install the gas tank with the hood off so we didnt install that just yet. We then dug out the old fuse block, cleaned it up and installed it as well as started running some wires. Tomorrow the installation of the spaghetti system marches on.
A week or so ago we ordered a whole slew of parts for the Bug, They came in Monday and after going through and making sure we had everything we started putting the car back together. We started by disassembling the vent windows. These have to come completely apart to replace 2 of the gaskets that keep the wind and rain out. We are missing one of those rubbers and dont really have answer yet on when they will arrive but we went ahead and disassembled them. Once apart they were cleaned and polished up and the black frame was repainted. Now, when all this goes back together it will look really nice. We then installed the outer window scraper and the clips that hold the felt channel in place. Yesterday, before we left we set both of the door latch mechanisms in some degreaser to minimize scrubbing today. It worked beautifully. We rinsed off the latches, let them dry then lubed them up before installing them. We also installed the door handle as well as the door rubber and check rod. Before we installed the window regulator we applied a little sound deadening material to help with noise inside the car and to help make the doors sound really solid when closing them. This is about as far as we can go with this door until the back ordered rubber parts come in. Tomorrow we will do the same for the other door.
The body work on the ’57 is now complete! After a solid week of bodywork, blocking, sanding and priming, the body is now ready for its final sanding. If the finial blocking comes out nice, the body will be ready for paint. This will really only leave a few trim parts and some interior parts that need painting. The straightening of these panels actually went very smoothly. Jordan and Cole get all the credit for that hard work. These guys worked really hard getting the body nice. Paul, then took his turn masking it off and spraying a few coats of high solids primer on here, twice. Its a dirty job and hard work, but the rewards worth every bit of it.
This past Friday was another good progress day on the FJ, we were able to get the doors painted. We started off by masking off the freshly trimmed out backside then flipped them over and prepped the front. Paul started with coat of urethane sealer followed by 3 coats of the white. Once all that was dry, we carefully masked off the line for the red and papered up the white. Three coats of red was then sprayed on the lower parts of the doors. We then unmasked the white and applied the clear coat. While Paul was spraying the doors, Jordan and Cole built the rear bumper and installed it with all new hardware. This week we will get the doors back on the vehicle and continue the assembly process.
Its been a long time coming, but the FJ is really starting to take shape. The left rear door has given us a little bit of trouble so we decided to just remove that part from the equation. The lower part of the door had been patched a couple of times and they were not really getting along so we cut out the whole section and replaced it. The body work portion of that repair is almost complete and should be in primer tomorrow. The paint work on the body is now complete as well. We shot some color on this on Tuesday and it really looks nice. A coat of sealer was applied to create a uniform ground coat for the color. We started with the white masking it off for the Freeborn red once it was dry enough to tape on. We then unmasked the white and applied the PPG urethane clear coat. This thing really stands tall now. Today we installed the head lights, left rear side marker and tail lights, new body to door gaskets, stripped the grill and bumpers. The bumpers have served their purpose. Lots of dents and body work were hiding under several layers of paint. All that was removed today and bodywork will start on them tomorrow. We will paint the doors, grill, head light doors, side vents and bumpers next week if all goes well.
We have been steadily working along on the Ghia this week. Several thing have been checked off the list. Rear package tray, radio, windshield and glove box and door are in and operational. We have also been prepping the bumper brackets and painting them but I dont have any pictures of them. Next on the check list are the bumpers and deck lid, then the hood. Once that is done, the carpet and seats. We will then put a few miles on the car to make sure its all working properly.