June 2003

It's all happening! Alex Doig helped me decode the broadcast sheet and there are some nice options on it despite the fact that it's a bare bones Runner.
High Performance 383, heavy duty Torqueflite transmission, Performance axle package with Hemi suspension, 3:55 Sure Grip, fresh air hood (air grabber), décor pack and even F70 x 14 whitewall tyres…might give those a miss!

The gas tank is a lost cause and it makes better sense to find a second hand one rather than paying huge shipping charges getting a new one from the 'States.

Found lots more filler in the drivers side rear fender together with some more crash damage, but it's not the end of the world as the car's so sound. I'm busy knocking all those dents out with hammers and dollies in order to minimise the amount of filler needed to prepare the car for primer.

I have also removed the deck lid for better access to make sure it is absolutely straight and to prep it properly for priming and paint

The trunk floor is finished and ready to prep for painting, but I'm going to do some research on a really good rust inhibitor first, to try and stop any further spread of rot.

I've removed the rear window and trim, without bending or breaking anything. The secret here is to use a very broad bladed tool and carefully lift the trim away from the clips, which hold the edge of the trim against the outer edge of the rear window aperture.

Carefully clear the excess polysulphide goo from around the edges of the glass, stab the slightly rusted MIG welding wire (the rust acts like an abrasive, so it cuts better!) through the sealant, but a handle on each end. My wife Rosie got across the back seat…wahey! I stood in the trunk as we carefully sawed all the way around and the window came out as easy as pie.

 

 

So, here's the rear window aperture and there are no holes in the corners, which has to be a result! I'll try and save the trim clips but a couple have rusted through, so I need to find a few of those.

The great news is if you check out the rear parcel shelf you will see the original Jamaica Blue, which we have matched accurately using the R-M Colormaster system and we've matched it exactly.

The R-M colour code is MB 334.50. and that's the colour it's gonna be!

Finally, I tried straightening out the seriously squashed gas tank using a washer welder and a slide hammer...big mistake! Where there were four holes there were now sixteen, so not only was the tank wrinkly, it leaked liked a sieve... I had no option but to find a replacement second hand tank.

I removed the sender unit and checked it using an ohmeter and that sent the needle wandering all over the place, so something's happening, then proceeded to clean up the tank with a rotary wire brush and finished it in smooth silver Hammerite, which has given it a durable finish that resembles the original.

Next job is the big dent in the rear fender and shrink the metal on the top of the rear fender, once that lot's straight, we can drop the axle, prep, rustproof and prime the back end.

Now, I found this in the shed...it has Cragar written on the back and if I remember rightly, it made a nice whirring noise on the last car it was fitted to...the car was also jolly quick for some reason, then again it did belong to a fella called Clive Skilton.