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Link to Part I

The winter projects have started.

For the longest time I've been torn between 15" or 17" steel wheels (wheel vintiques). I was planning to do 98-02 Fbody (ls) brakes, but decided I didn't want to be locked in to 17" wheels. So, the old girl is back up on jackstands :) CPP brakes and 16" rallye wheels have been sold :(



Found a good deal on the 11" Wilwood kit and I'm planning to keep the rear drums for simplicity. Wheels are 15x6 series 62.







The wheels will eventually be color matched. '67 caps will go on, the '66 cap was just a test :cool:

Since there's 6 months of hibernation ahead...I started another HUGE project. Could be a mistake, could turn out great, we'll see! The cars that appeal most to me are the ones that still wear their original paint, no matter the condition. The factory color of this car is Adobe Beige and I have found several spots on the car where the original paint is very nice...although some places have worn thin and the red primer is showing.

Here's a small test spot on the roof...we have the white top coat, second coat of gray sealer, middle coat of discolored white, first coat of gray sealer, and finally the original beige.



So...starting with the roof, the wet-sanding has begun! It will all be done in stages and the key is PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE:D

I'm using the drywall sander and 120 grit to quickly go throught the white top coat, second coat of gray sealer, and middle white coat...just enough for the first coat of gray sealer to start showing. After than I'm doing it all by hand with 400-600 grit until the majority of the final gray sealer is gone. After that it's being cleaned up with 1500-2500 grit, and then it will be buffed out.





This is the definition of insanity :)
 

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Few more of the progress :) Still two more coats to remove...wish I had a time-lapse movie!













 

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Removed the windshield by myself using composite wedges (the kind you would use to frame in a door in a house). From the inside I pulled the w/s gasket away from the window frame and put the wedge in between it and the body pinch-weld. This holds the gasket out letting it release from the body. I used about 20 wedges...up the sides and across the top. The gave it a gentle push and it popped right out, intact! 99% of the window frame is very nice and clean...just have to clean the old waxy window caulk off. It's amazing to me that the paint under the gasket hasn't seen the light of day in 50 years!









The passenger pillar has some small rust bubbles on the outside and some pinholes on the inside. After picking at the wound, they opened up...but, to be expected I guess :rolleyes:



 

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Ready for some ugly???? :D

All the gray will be removed, hopefully leaving only the beige and whatever exposed red oxide primer there is. There's hope I think? I so anxious to see how it looks after it's buffed out and the "spottyness" is reduced.








Getting down to the last coat over the original paint...



Just a footnote, I'm not a fan of fake "patina". I'm actually not a fan of the hip term "patina" at all...to me it's just age and originality! What I'm trying to do is preserve as much of the original paint as possible. In some places the gray sealer was applied right over the red primer. Maybe it adds character? Who knows...but no fake patina will be added! :D:D
 

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A little more progress. Almost ready to clean up the edges and then switch to 1500 grit to take off the final coat of sealer :D





 

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A little more progress with 1000 grit. I'm surprised how much primer is exposed, especially around the windshield. There are only a few small places where I went through the beige and I learned my lesson :D I've been very careful since then. Most of the spots showing now were already exposed under the sealer...wierd.

 

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Started messing with the new brakes today...just test fitting stuff :).

 

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Mocked up one side to get an idea of what it's going to look like :)







 

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The new brakes are on...looking forward to seeing how they work and thinking about adding the rear wilwood kit with the internal parking brake.





Here's a view of the caliper mount to upper a-arm clearance at full lock. The gold nut you see is actually at the lower end of the caliper bracket, the silver bolt head is the clearance I was checking.



Steering arm clearance with 15x6 wheels and 3.75" BS...







And just some random pics...



 

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Worked on the roof a little more tonight. Almost time to switch to 1000 grit, clean up the areas that are showing primer, and then buff it. Well see how it goes :rolleyes:



The new wheels and tires. I'll be using '67 caps unless I can find a nice set of '66 caps for a reasonable price. Fronts are 195/60/15 and rears are 215/60/15, wheels are 15x6 with 3.75" BS.











Front tire clearance with CBR lower arms and coil overs...

 

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The roof is coming around. You're probably wondering who would want paint that looks like this...well, I don't know. But the areas that aren't showing primer are really nice and after buffing shine up great. For now, having part of the car showing original paint is better than nothing. :rolleyes: The drivers half is what it looks like after 600 grit..the passenger side is after 1500 and some minor buffing. It should really be done with 2000 but I've already done enough sanding for one lifetime. :D





After 7 months it's back on the ground! Again.



And so it goes...
 

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The entire top part of the roof is now done with 1500 grit. Looks like a case of the chicken pox :D Gonna clean up around the edges and break out the buffer.





 

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Making some changes :)



Gotta love careful shippers....



 

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Started the 4 link install over the past couple days. I chose the ridetech kit because of the minimal fab and modification of the underbody it requires.





Installing this kit requires eliminating the stamping where the fuel sender wire goes through the body...wagons have the same stamping as a coupe, just no hole for wire. I traced out where I wanted the cuts and drilled the corners...flattened the four pieces, welded it up...flapper disc'd it smooth on both sides and painted it.











The upper arm brackets installed...



You can barely see in the last pic...I made some 1/8" aluminum spacers for between the brackets and the stock shock mount area. I had to make these so the lower part of the bracket would sit tight against the body. Without these, the bracket would slide 'up' the floor and there would be space between the floor and the vertical part of the bracket. 60's tolerances?? Just an FYI if anyone is considering this kit...it's probably not going to be a 100% direct fit since each car is a little different.
 

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Put the upper shock bar in tonight. If you have a wagon, you'll have to modify the bar a bit. The cut is 2" wide and 1.25" tall.







To clear the cargo area support...







 

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Had to put the install on hold for a while, but back at it today.

I ended up making two axle tabs for the upper link bars because the ones that came with the kit didn't fit well. The 'large tabs' have a radius way too large for the axle tube. Pics......

Here's the tabs that come in the kit. The bolt is not parallel to the tube and the tabs would need lots of grinding to get them to fit the tube well. And yes, I've tried switching them front to back, side to side, every way possible :)





Made a template and got out the 3/16" plate...









The new tab in...bolt is parallel and no huge gap...





Heres a comparison of the original tab vs the template...



Last test fit and tack...rearend has been centered, ride height set, and pinion angle triple checked...



And ready for final welding and paint...



Next hurdle will be redoing the upper shock bar. :mad: More info to come on that.
 

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Had a friend tig the brackets on....didn't trust my mig (115v) :no:







Had to add the posi tag :D



 

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Ok...back to the shock bar...the fun part. Not sure if this is just a wagon problem or what but I did see one other member had to do the same mod and I assumed he just did not want to notch the two side brackets. Anyway...

The directions state to put the shock bar in at the point where both ends are tight against the frame rails (duh!)....well, when it is installed in that location, it sits directly above the pumpkin, and at the ride height they specify, all it will take is a good bump for the rearend to crash into the bar since there is only about 2.5" clearance. The other problem with the shock bar in that location is the top of the shocks are tipped so far forward, the springs are tight against the axle tubes. (I should have installed the shock bar after the control arms were in and this problem would have been obvious, but thats not the order they have you do it.)

In order to have clearance for everything, the shock bar had to be moved rearward 1.25" from where it was previously installed. No notches in the brackets were really needed :mad: and now I have extra holes in the frame to boot. I had to add .100" spacers on each side (I bought .125" flat stock that measured thin) to make up the difference.







So now that the shock bar is in the proper location, everything is good. You can see the clearance between the pumpkin and the bar in the second pic down.









All that's left is to tighten all the bolts, build exhaust, and put the new fuel tank in. I'm not even sure I can get the wheels back on at full droop. :confused:
 

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Getting the tank ready. Went with the 255lph pump for possible future plans :devil::confused::)



 
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