Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Which project am I working on?

Didn't take a lot of pictures of the new project ... and you ask what new project. Well between everything else going on I took a little diversionary track down the road of helping a few friends and family over the last few weeks. One friend was updating his bathroom and needed my help because he had seen some of the results from my own home improvement projects and he was a self professed renovation rookie. Not a problem I said but a few weekends later and time away from my project meant not much got accomplished on the corvette. But here are a few pictures of the progress:

So that is it ... I cleaned up a few parts and repainted the hood latches and cleaned up the convertible frame. With that I removed the latches on the header of the frame and the header itself. It has some rust that will need some welding and cleaning up before I can por15 the whole thing. I did get the convertible latches cleaned up, primed and painted but will need to redo the chrome paint job because I got a few runs in the finish.

As you can see I didn't get much done on the car these last few weeks, with helping on a bathroom renovation and another car... what another car? Yep but it wasn't one of mine, it was Grandma's. Over the last few months going all the way back to this winter someone had backed into her rear bumper and cracked to the point it needed duct tape to hold it together. Well between friends friendly jokes, duct tape expenses and a son-in-laws growing shady tree garage expansion and willingness to be my first painting experiment. She took me up on the offer to let me replace the bumper with a junk yard reconditioned one. I stripped the replacement bumper, primed and sealed. Then broke out the new paint sprayer gun and went to learning some valuable lessons on painting. Several of those are to mix all the color you need once because it will vary and the pot time (duration) is large don't worry about unused portion setting. Take your time cleaning the gun after color is on and let it dry out completely and really blow out any residue. You don't have to worry about flash time, etc... for getting clear on after color. Speaking of getting the color on ... no matter what the part you have to get that piece up level or at least close enough to level so you can spray it at eye level or at least get down low enough to the piece so that you are eye level. I missed some spots and created coverage areas that I didn't notice until after I got the clear on. An the biggest lesson of them all .... once clear is on you are done so make darn sure you like the color and the coverage before you start the clear. I thought I could go back and lay color in areas that was not satisfactory and paid the price with a sub par result. Well I did manage to recover from those mistakes only after several more nights of repainting but here are the results of a before and a few afters. Thank you Grandma for letting me experiment and learn some painting techniques on your replacement bumper find.

The new bumper is on ...

and a few close ups, see if you can spot my mistakes...
Well even though it didn't turn out perfect, I really did enjoy the results and the fun doing it not only for the experiences gained but getting the chance to do something for Grandma as a favor back. Thank you Grandma for all the wonderful love and support you have provided our family over the years.enjoy the new bumper and the money I hope I saved you.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Getting things started

Well we got the car in the garage with the help of neighbors, took five us to push it up the driveway and in. I could have waited to take the doors and windshield off after I took the body off the frame but I thought it would be easier and take less effort to lift the body off the frame after I get the doors, windshield and front clip off. So lets see where we are at after some parts start coming off, and when I say we I mean it, I got a lot of help from my daughters. Either handing me tools, holding the doors or even unbolting while I held things.

There were moments of nervousness and special care but we finally got the windshield off. It took some grinding of screws to get all the trim off the windshield frame. Typical to these years.... the frame was rusty!!! and yes we have some cancer to fix. So much rust in the frame, I will for sure have to take the front clip off. So you might see the heat gun laying around in a few of the pictures, that is what that is for. I have read that it makes it easier to break the bond and yep it does help.I am beginning to wonder how far down the rust goes:
It's not all bad news, with the hood off, doors, windshield and trim, remaining interior. I had time to take a road trip with my middle daughter to western Iowa to pick up the convertible frame and top. (Thank you sweetie it was very nice to spend some one on one time with you... you are great company plus a big help on the trip to Arion, Iowa. The canvas top is new out of the box and the frame is in very good shape for the era. I couldn't be happier with the find, all of that was only $380, thank you eBay.
Plus it looks like a previous owner had their own way of venting their frustrations out:
just another thing added to the growing list of things to fix, speaking of fixing things. I am starting to take parts off the firewall so I can access the bond joints easier. I have the hood latches soaking in rust remover and will be repainting them. Of course pictures of that and much more coming soon.

Thanks for following.....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Start

Welcome everyone (friends and family), first I must extend my warmest and greatest appreciation to my wife for collaborating with me over the years and many discussions to get me to this place and time. For me this has been a long time childhood dream to one day own a C3 Corvette and specifically a big block 68 or 69 convertible. Well that time has come and on August 2, 2009 the journey began. Again welcome to this journey and over the days, weeks, months and years I hope you will enjoy reading and observing the challenges of taking an American icon thru a custom restoration process.

On the road bringing the 68 home: