Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Inevitable Rust Repair Commences

The last opportunity to go time trialing is quickly coming up. The NECC moved its end-of-summer event to the twenty-fifth of September. While I’m not sure how I’ll swing it financially, I need to get the car track-ready or it’s all a moot point. What are the track-ready tasks? Put in the bucket seats, adjust the clutch linkage, and get modified carburetors (jets relocated to prevent cutout on long turns) are the two major ones. I can probably get away with just that. Other nice things would be to get the trunk welded and relocate the battery, but I don’t see that happening with the short time I have left coupled with the house and car projects that are currently on my plate.

To start the ball rolling, I spent some time in the driveway with Glinda this weekend. Friday evening I pulled out the front bench seat and the front section of carpeting. Doing this necessitated removing the gas pedal. With the carpet gone, a rusty mess was exposed. After I went after all the loose stuff with a wire wheel, I could see fully what work I had ahead of me. Not too bad. For the most parts isolated to the front passenger footwell area.

With a cutoff disc on the grinder, I removed the rotted steel being careful not to cut through any fuel lines (been there once, don’t want to go back again) or into the channels under the floor that weren’t rusty (GM spent the money to have them galvanized). Next, I put the flapper wheel on the grinder and cleaned up all the edges where the patches will go as well as surfaces of the channel where I’ll be plug-welding the patches. The plan is to butt-weld the patches at the perimeters which requires the patch to perfectly follow the contour of each opening. That’s the next part of the job – making patterns from paper, transferring the outline to sheetmetal, and cutting out the patches. That’s for another day.

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