July 2004

So, the engine is back together and if it goes as well as it looks, we should be laughing. Anyway. I turned my attention once again to the body and finally got the A post/inner and outer sill damage repaired by fabricating entirely new steel parts and welding the whole lot back in so it looks as near as I can get it to factory spec.

Completely stripped the floor, the engine bay and removed everything along with the dash including the heater box, all the sound deadening, wiper motor, brake master cylinder etc. Now everything is prepped ready for painting.

Oh, and while I was underneath I fabricated a set of frame connectors from 2 " x 2" box section steel and migged and tigged them into place.

 

This should stiffen up the whole shooting match and stop the body twisting under power...I had heard that it seriously improves handling too, so I may be able to attempt a corner or two...not that it's particularly important!

Next on the agenda is restoration of the K frame and front suspension, together withe steering box and new KYB gas adjust shocks.

Once that lot's together and the engine bay is painted, we may see some real progress again with things going back together and rather like the back end...when you start bolting things in, it gives the old enthusiasm a boost.

Getting there slowly.

Well, it's a week away from the Nats and I'm inspired. Cleaned up all the underbody and floor pan, cleaned and prepped the engine bay, degreased everything and we were ready for action.

Sprayed the R-M Euroxy etch primer and all went very well apart from the areas where a previous owner had decided for some reason to spray the engine bay with satin black synthetic paint...maybe he was a Chevy man?

Anyway it reacted on the bulkhead, where I haden't quite prepped well enough and soon it wass pickle city...the only solution was to sand it backl off to the metal and in some areas the orioginal Chrysler materials, which is great stuff to paint over.

So, following a some blowing in over the etch primer, in when the 3M two pack seam sealer...even into those seams that weren't sealed at the factory and two hours later, that had gone off. Straight over the floor, chassis connectors and front inner arches with 3M smooth stone chip and all those areas are nicely protected against road damage.

Now with R-M Euroxy, two pack epoxy etch primer, it has to be overcoated within ten hours or you'll be sanding everything again, so on went the R-M Diamont B7 blue basecoat and I had the evening off, so Rosie could take me out to the Thai Orchid in Banbury for a birthday blow out.

Sunday saw the R-M Crystaltop clear applied with a little Jet 5 accelerator and it was off to mow the lawns, while that lot hardened off.

With the newly painted areas curing nicely, I can start on the K frame and suspension, which is being treated to new rubber seales, new KYB gas adjust shocks and a nice lick of black paint...not precisely factory, but close enough for rock 'n' roll.