Monday, March 29, 2010


Even as Victoria and I cut off another section of Old Betty’s body yesterday, I was struggling with the decision I’d made to sacrifice what appeared to be a solid car. That changed after discovering much of Old Betty’s structure supporting the driver’s door hinges is fiberglass. In preparation for cutting off most of the left front fender, we needed to remove the “500” nameplate. The speed-nuts retaining the emblem are hidden behind the fresh air vent, so the kick-panel (the vent is integral with this part) needed to come out. As I started prying the rear edge of the panel off the pinch weld, I found, neatly aligned with the panel’s edge, a long flap of fiberglass. The patch looks like it extends across the portion of the body supporting the lower door-hinge. This is, unfortunately, a typical place where rust attacks LMs and is one of the more difficult places to properly replace. Additionally, we found this same area on the passenger side also has significant rust-through.

This latter discovery came when we removed the passenger door to give us better access cutting off the rear portion of the right front fender. Prior to unbolting the hinges, we drilled two small holes through the hinges and into the body panel. If I don’t use the door on New Betty, I’ll reinstall it to get it out of the way and the holes will make the process go quicker.

Victoria also put down some more Bondo on Glinda to smooth out some rough places around the windshield and backlight. She’s getting good at laying down the filler – practice makes perfect.

After stops at Home Depot (grommet) and Pep Boys (coupler and synthetic brake fluid), I now have all the pieces required to finish Lucy’s master cylinder swap. I still need to overcome the time and space factors of my TTT (see sidebar). With a wet weather forecast for the next couple of days and the garage filled, space can only be overcome by pushing Old Betty out into the elements. Not fun to do in the rain.

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