with Bob Norman
Part 6: Finally.... Visible Progress!!!
Let the painting begin! After a brief trip to Prague early this month, I stepped right back in (no 9 month hiatus this time) and finished welding the cage in and began the long painting process.
A lot of progress was made in a short amount of time, I'm actually close to where I wanted to be on this project at this time (A small miracle!)
There was enough rust damage to the tranny tunnel to necessitate a re-skin. The old section got the rust scraped and treated, then a patch panel was made from 12ga. and welded into place. This will ensure that the seat belt anchors don't pull out when ...umm I mean... *IF* I roll.
Since I was working alone this day, I couldn't completely remove the body to paint the firewall. So, I improvised and hoisted the back of the body up with a ratchet strap, then lifted the front up by hand and slid it back to give room to squirt the paint. The firewall got painted yellow, in addition to the front clip, then the body pushed back forward and the body mounts fastened in place. One good trick to minimize overspray is to coat the concerned areas with WD-40 or similar light oil. This will prevent the excess paint from adhering to the surface. Now that the body is in it's final place, the rest of the cage can get welded into place. There is no removing this body now without a saw or a torch! The cage is welded to the body and to the frame. This isn't the strongest design for a cage, but will provide adequate passenger protection. The trick to a strong cage is "triangles", they're stronger than "squares". If all spans are crossed creating a triangle, it provides maximum safety.
Also, since the body is placed, I took another piece of steel and wrapped from the new body rear support that was created, and welded between that and the area behind the seats. I want to be sure nothing can move when ... oops, there I go again... I mean *IF* I roll.
Now that the cage is complete, the areas that will get a heavy hit of overspray get primed. I decided rather than fighting the overspray here, I'd let the yellow cover them and paint the final color over it.
A small oops. I never fit the fenders after cutting the body mounts and moving them.... ... but it's nothing the little body saw couldn't conquer. A few minutes later everything fits....
...and the front clip is in place. No jokes about being from Wisconsin and Packers colors please. So, until next month, I'll just give you a sneak peek...