After months of disassembly, patching, and prepping, I finally put some pieces back on to Ringo this past weekend. Much of Saturday morning was spent spreading POR-15 on Ringo’s underside sheetmetal, but that was after I rebuilt the rear brakes. I first lightly honed the wheel cylinder bores and installed new rubber parts after coating them with brake fluid. The whole job went fairly well except the parking brake cable wouldn’t stay out of the way. I ended up reassembling the cross-cable to the main front-to-back cable and that helped.
With the underside shiny black, it was time to quit for the day and go through the painful process of removing the spots from my arms, face, and hair. It takes lacquer thinner and lots of rubbing to get it off. With Victoria’s help I’m now not a walking billboard to the excellent adhesion qualities of POR-15.
Yesterday, I was back at it and my main focus was finishing the underside work. Chevy welded in triangular shaped jacking pads just forward of the rear wheel openings, but Ringo’s are unusable as one has rusted away completely and the other has lost much of its strength due to the tin worm. Experience with maintaining the fleet has proven that there will be plenty of jacking opportunities in Ringo’s future, I decided to put back what the elements have taken away. I traced a template in the opening of the pad that’s still there and cut it out of pieces of 3/16ths thick steel. After ensuring the other side was the mirror image, I cut out the piece for the other side. My plan for the side that’s still got material left is to lay the replacement up against the original and weld the plate in place. The other side has nothing to hold the pad against, so I measure and cut two vertical supports and welded them to the new pad. They will bear against the solid portion of the body that’s roughly two-and-a-half inches above where the original pad used to be.
With those two pieces cleaned up, I coated them with Rusty Metal Primer and set them in the sun to dry. I then turned my attention to the replacement door that Ariel had primed a couple weeks back. I wet sanded the primer smooth, wiped down all surfaces, and masked off the areas that aren’t meant to get the interior color. Next, three coats of Colonial Red were laid down and the masking was pulled off. As nice as this looks, it makes me want to paint the rest of the interior, but there’s still so much left to do, I don’t want to add that task to the list.
Now for the turning the corner part; I actually installed some parts. I pulled both heating duct hoses through the rocker cavities and installed one of the rear heater plenums. The other side had some rust, so patched it with fiberglass cloth, primer, and a couple coats of gloss black. At this point, I also painted the new jacking pads.
The second momentous occasion was grinding on the rocker panel welds. This is the final step before spraying the epoxy primer, so interior installation can’t be that far away. I got the driver’s side done and part of the passenger side smoothed out before it was time to quit for the day.