Monday, December 26, 2011

Happy Holidays

The Mad Monk works on his Studebaker
It was a little chilly in the garage this morning, but since I received a sweet Studebaker Authorized Service hoodie from my wife this holiday season, there was no reason not to start work before the garage was warmed up.

Having finished up the tar removal on the trunk floor, I have moved on to cleaning up the rear window surround. The more of this gooey stuff I can remove, the better (and faster--and cheaper) the media blasting will work.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

a change of mind

Originally, I wasn't going to remove the "soundproofing" from the trunk. But I decided that although I suspected the metal was solid under there, it is a common area for these cars to rust so now is the time to do it right. Off to the garage with the heat gun and putty knife and an hour or so later, I have most of the tar off the floor of the trunk.

Gloriously rust free
I have a bit of time to do more of this work--although I'll call and get another quote, I had a discussion with a body shop that specializes in classic cars and liked the conversation we had. Unfortunately, he won't be able to start on it until late January. So more time for me to do some additional work.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cleaning and sorting

The garage was so cluttered with parts and debris that it was getting hazardous, so I got the Studebaker carcass back on the ground and pushed it outside. Front fenders, doors, hood and trunk were neatly stacked against the side of the garage. And then the sweeping began. Amazing how much dirt comes out of a fairly clean car when you pull it apart.

After that, I started sorting the smaller pieces. What things would I clean up myself? What would a send to get rechromed? What would I have blasted? What pieces should I get chemically dipped?

The shop vac seems to want to be photographed frequently
Work has been a bit hectic lately, so I haven't had a chance to track down a shop to media blast the body yet.  But soon. In the meanwhile, I still have more cleaning and organizing to do. They say it takes the same amount of space as a 3-car garage to do a frame-off restoration on a single car. Less if you're not taking it off the frame. Well, I'm not doing a frame off, but my "almost" two car garage (which has a lot of old wood working tools lining the walls to begin with) is definitely being pushed to the limit. But at least I have a garage, otherwise I'd have to wait until spring to continue the project.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Part of the deal

When you work on old cars, you have to deal with stripped and rusted bolts. One of those was on one of the doors. I had stripped out one of the philips-headed bolts that holds the hinge to the door. While I was able to get the door hinge off the car (and the door with it) I still had to deal with that bolt. My initial attempt left a hardened steel drill bit stuck in the middle of that bolt.

So late this afternoon I decided I had time for a small project, and headed to the garage. I broke out the welder and a spare bolt and went to work:

Now if everything goes perfect, I can put a wrench on that bolt and remove the remains of the old one
After welding the new bolt onto the remains of the old bolt, I let it cool for a few moments then carefully turn it with a wrench and,  voilĂ :

Yup, the head snapped right off. But that's okay. I was able to get the hinge off--and so the door is ready to go to the blaster. And I'll simply drill the remains out of the door and chase the threads with a tap. At least now I can easily get to it.

Earlier in the day I stopped by the Willamette Chapter of the Studebaker Drivers Club's annual holiday get together in Albany--I got to see some pretty Studebakers and hob nob for a few minutes with Studebaker people--good times!

Next up? Cleaning the garage--it is a mess--time to push the car out of the garage and get things organized and clean again. Soon enough, all the really dirty stuff will be done.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Back on track

So the shell is stripped, ready for blasting (unless I decide to remove the rest of the undercoating first.)

Here's how she looks now:

I'm leaving the engine in for now.

I didn't find any surprises--everything was as expected--including this area by the vent behind the wheel on the left front fender. Ok, almost as expected:

What's that grey substance just above the small hole?
I knew there was rust, not very well repaired, on the driver's side front fender. It is a common place for these cars to rust--there is design flaw at the back of the fender that traps water and debris--so I sanded down the area quickly to see what was there.  What I didn't expect to find under that thin pink layer of body putty was a big lump of an epoxy substance commonly known as "liquid steel." That is definitely not the approved way of repairing rust--although I do have to admit that it has held up rather well over the years.

A good day's work today.