Sunday, May 31, 2009

English Wheel Mods

I spent most of the weekend working on getting the english wheel up to par. I spent 8 hours on Saturday machining the top wheel on the lathe with my wife's grandfather. It was about .009" out of round when we started. We got round with a side to side difference of .002". The steel was really hard in some places and soft in others, so machining was really difficult. We wound up taking a belt sander with 220 grit and using it to get a nice even finish across the face of the wheel.

I also built my superstructure while we were waiting on the lathe. I used 2-1/2"x 2-1/2" x 1/4" square tube for the vertical and horizontal pieces. I used 2-1/2"x2-1/2" x 1/4" angle for the diagonal brace. I used the factory bolt hole at the bottom and added two bolts on the vertical member of the wheeling area and two on the horizontal member of the machine. The assembly made the machine incredibly stiff. It is like a completely different tool now.

I also began polishing up the faces of my panishing hammer, it's two bottom dies, my main dolly and my favorite body hammer. I bought a set of 3 polishing wheels and black, white and blue compounds over the w/e so I could polish up my tools and the anvils of the e-wheel.

I'll have pics tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

English Wheel and Other Excitement

Continued from last weeks cut out... I had time to fab up and weld in the patch to the luggage shelf on the passenger side (the area behind the rear seat).

This is the patch tacked in

and the patch welded and ground down

I've wanted an English Wheel for quite some time. Last week I was in Harbor Freight looking for a pushbroom and grinding discs. I had seen an E Wheel in there before but I wasn't willing to spend $400 to find out if I liked it. They had them on sale for $200+89 for the additional lower dies. $300 I thought was cheap enough to give it a try. Of course they didn't have any in stock so I got a rain check. I called the two HF stores in my area yesterday and one of them had one unit in stock, so I went and picked it up. I bought 3" casters from Lowes and started assembling the wheel. I started the modifications right after assembly

I drilled and tapped a hole for the quick release to rest on, then started shaping a piece of metal to replace a horrible lap weld the PO installed.

E-wheel assembled (casters are a MUST)

this piece took about 5 minutes to wheel and fit the contours perfectly.

Bad section removed

New patch tacked
Patch welded in.
I was a bit too aggressive and I welded 4-6 tacks at a time and expanded the metal a bit. I'll have a fair amount of dolly work ahead to straighten out the welds even though the patch fit perfectly before I started to weld... Lesson learned - WELD SLOWLY and move around. Don't run a bead even 3/4" at a time!

I hammered out the bead from the panel I made with the planishing hammer and rolled it for awhile on the E Wheel. Here is the result. I need to work on the beads, but the surface of the panel is much better than it was with the planishing hammer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Cut out wheel well

I cut out a rotten section of the passenger side wheel well this evening. There are 3-4 layers of sheet metal that come together where the package shelf and the wheel well meet. Since some of the metal is for a Z-bar that I won't need with IRS, I won't be replacing that section. I may even remove or smooth it over so it looks correct. The factory pooped out the late models with this "extra" connection, so I guess they saved a few bucks by not replacing the die. It seems like some of the early cars did not have this connection, but I can't remember.

Cancer removed (hopefully)
This is a follow up pic. I completed the inner rocker welding over the weekend.

Followup pics

Here are the pics from this past weekend's fun and excitment. I bought a HF planising hammer in December and haven't really used it for anything real yet, so I figured I would make my lower apron with it. Here are the pics from my first go at the HF PH. Flat sheet marked out for the bubble at the bottom of the spare tire well

Shape roughed out on the hammer (5-10 minutes)

A bead tool I made by taking the pointy chisel from an air chisel set and grinding down the end. I chocked the chisel into a drill and then hit the grinder so the drill acted like a lathe and kept the end concentric

I then crafted a lower die out of a piece of tubing cut in half longways and a scrap piece of 1/4" plate

Here is the finished panel
The panel doesn't look too bad and fits really well. I am a perfectionist though and I don't like the zits that the planishing hammer left. I went to HF and looked at their E-Wheels. They were on sale for $199. Of course they had no stock, so I got a raincheck. I plan to buy the e-wheel and make this panel again. Hopefully they will get some wheels in the next couple weeks.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

General Update

I was able to get quite a few things going this weekend. I haven't had a chance to grab pics, so I'll make this brief and add pics later. I cut the rear 1/4 on the right side where a hack job had been done and started the slow process of moving the metal back to where it belongs (hammers, dollies, pry bars, etc.)

I ran out of welding gas while I was welding in the inner rear rocker section. I got a new c25 tank and finished welding in the inner section.

I need a new front lower apron. I decided to make it myself and pulled out the planishing hammer for it's first real job. I'll post pics later. I also made a tool and die for adding the bead (more pics of this too.)

I have the new headlight buckets out ready for the mill grease to be cleaned off and their first coat of DP90. I'll weld them in hopefully this week.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

heater channel installed

I fitted up the passenger side heater channel tonight. The second side went MUCH smoother than the first. I couldn't believe how quickly everything went together.

Next will be removing the old dogleg and installing the new one. Also, I need to install the inner rocker at the back side of the new rocker. Hopefully I'll get some time this weekend to keep things moving forward.

After I get done with the rocker work I'll be back to sand blasting the body in sections. I should have some pictures tomorrow evening.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Patch for wheel well

Slow night, but I did get a few things accomplished. I removed the lower section of the inner rocker, ground down the new piece that I welded last night and I patched a small rotten piece on the wheel well.

Patch clamped up and read to weld

Patch welded in and ground down

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Passenger rocker skin installed

I welded in the passenger side rocker skin and stiffener today. I spent about one hour cleaning up the welding point behind the b-pillar. This seems to be one of the few areas where the factory welded the crap out of the part.

On the initial fit up, I noticed that the bottom gap was huge, about 1/2". Upon closer inspection, I noticed the bottom of the b-pillar didn't fit the curve of the bottom of the door. I set a jack under the area and pushed (bounced) on the top of the rear quarter to bend the curve back up. After about three tries, I had it where I wanted it. I tacked everything up, then cut off my bottom angle iron brace. Evidently, I have an issue somewhere with the body meeting the pan. After the brace was off, the door no longer lined up. I am going to have my wife's uncle help me at some point this week to get the body shimmed up and get the door closing correctly. When I get it good and lined up, I'll weld the Dickens out of the rocker and heater channel.

Skin welded inAfter the skin was welded I welded up the inner rear rocker so it will be ready to install soon.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Right Stiffener Welded up

I welded the stiffener into the right rocker tonight. I punched holes into the top flange with my pneumatic punch/flange tool and plug welded the top. The bottom flange was just edge welded. I figured I would weld this up off the car since I already had the experience of the driver's side, so I knew the measurements and how it was supposed to fit together.
I used the stiffener I had fabbed up at a local shop, and I'll have to say it fit better than the one I bought from KGPR. I paid $30 for the locally fabbed one. Now that I have all the measurements, I'll have them fabbed if I ever do another rocker job on a vert.

I found out the paint problem occurs because the paint has been on the shelf too long. Good thing is, they have a reducer, DTV, that will thin the DP90 a bit. I think you can see some of the spattered texture in the pics.

Stiffener welded in

Hopefully you can see the notches I cut into the stiffener both on the top and bottom flange.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Work continues on the right rocker

I wire wheeled and otherwise cleaned the shelf rash off the rocker skin this morning. I also cleaned up the stiffener I had fabbed a few months back. I mixed up about 200 ml of DP90 to shoot them with. Something has happend to my paint. It comes out of the gun like spatter paint. I can see the material sticking to the needle of the gun and creating bizarre airflow patterns. I managed to get the pieces coated, although it left quite a texture.

After I shot my two parts, added a bit of laquer thinner and shot my dogleg (I figured I could experiement since this part will wind up inside the car). The paint flowed beautifully out of the gun after I added the thinner. I don't know if it's acceptable to add thinner to epoxy..? I plan on calling the PPG store in the morning to find out what they know.

Hopefully I'll get the skin on in the next couple days and get the rest of the rocker together in the coming weeks.