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.
We’ve been here. I know its been a while since my last post, we have been busy. Paul, my painter has been out with shoulder surgery and its just been Cole and I for the past 7 weeks or so. Its been crazy. Things are settling down some and we have been working on the Ghia recently so here is an update on it. The door glass, rubber, quarter glass and all rubber parts pertaining to them are in. All of these parts are original to the car, we just polished them up and detailed them so they would look as good as possible. The door sound so tight now when you close them. Its really nice. We also have running and driving car now. Although its not road worthy just yet. Its close. Plans for this week are to have the bumpers on, windshield in and get a couple of nick knack stuff painted. Its really coming together now.
Not that I was really expecting problems, its just a little nerve racking when you first hook the battery up to a car you just rewired. Luckily everything went very well. The ONLY problem we had was I wired up the headlight relay with two wires crossed. The stamps on those relays telling you what is what are mighty small and I mistook 56b for just 56. We tested every operation and they all work. Its a big relief. We also installed the door windows, the outer window scrapers and the moldings. We also cleaned up the quarter glass moldings and chrome trim. We were on tap to install the quarter windows but Murphy and his laws showed up. One would think that if you purchased a “body rubber KIT” it would include everything you needed. Well, it doesn’t. So, we have a few more tid bits of rubber parts on order. Yesterday we bleed the braking system and checked for leaks this morning. All is well with that too. Tomorrow we will install the gas tank and if all goes well, maybe a short video of the first start up.
Today we installed the upper dash pad that we rejuvenated this week and the new lower one. The freshly painted defrost vents look really nice against the dash pad. We also had to black out the area around the vents to give a more finished and cleaner look. The hands free microphone looks right at home beside the gas gauge. We also buttoned up a couple things with the wiring and installed the new throw out bearing. We have a quite a few parts on order that should get us really close to finishing this project up. We can’t install the engine until these parts come in, but I did get notification that they have been shipped and are on the way. Im looking forward to getting the engine back in and bringing this Ghia back to life.
Today we rejuvenated the original dash pad for the Ghia. I really wish I had thought to get a before picture. The transformation was really impressive. I used a product from a company call CarWorx. This product is supposed to last for years. We started by thoroughly cleaning the pad with a degreaser. We then went back over that with a milder soap. Once it was dry, we applied the CarWorx per the instructions. I couldn’t believe it! It really looks brand new. Now for the engine. A complete tune up was done consisting of points, condenser, distributer cap, rotor button, plugs and wires. The valves were adjusted and the oil was changed. A new header and clutch and pressure plate rounded out the engine work. While all that was being done, we painted the engine tins to clean things up a bit. The new header will allow for a little performance upgrade while offering a slightly deeper sound over the stock muffler. After all this work was done, it was test run to be sure it all worked like it was supposed to and now its ready to go back into the car.
We had a pretty prosperous day on the Ghia today. We were able to get the wiring pretty well wrapped up. The back up lights were wired up today and the switch tested. Its about the only electrical part that hasn’t been replaced so we tested it to be sure its working properly. Sure enough its working so the back up lights should be fine. We still need a few parts so we moved on to putting the doors on. It took 3 people to make sure they went on without any bumps or bruises but we were able to get them on just fine. They lined up pretty well. Once all the door rubber is installed we may have to tweak a few things but so far so good. The switches have been mounted and looking good in the dash. That lowered stance really looks good on these VW’s. We hope to get the engine back next week from getting a tune up and new exhaust. If we do, we should be able to hook the battery up and start testing all of the circuits. We have gotten many compliments on the color. The owner had a great vision on that. Stay tuned.