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Old 02-18-2010, 07:47 AM
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Default Progress on #782

Or possibly reverse progress would be a better term. I had the frame powdercoated but left the bonding of the body for myself to do. So far I'm not having any big regrets. I have the body stripped down and loose from the frame and I'm waiting for the epoxy and urethane sealants I ordered to arrive. There isn't too much about how this car goes together that I haven't learned through this dismantlement process. Since this is going to be an under chassis exhaust car I'm boing to paint the bottom of the floor pans with a ceramic based thermal paint prior to riveting and sealing them down. I'm also experimenting with a shimming process at the rocker panel to try and mimic the curved rockers of the original cars a little closer. The ERA has a little longitudnal curve there but not as much as the originals. Doing my own bonding is definately going to add a month or so of time to the project - working on it a few hours here and there. But, once everything is stripped down it looks pretty straight forward. I matched marked the body to the frame at several points as a precaution, but the factory temporary assembly screws make getting everything back in alignment pretty much fool proof.

I haven't tried to attach photos on this forum before so here goes.



Unloading the car during the only snow of any account that we have had in the last 10 years.



Safe in the garage at last.



Stripped down cockpit.



Engine side. An example of the tape match marks can be seen on the firewall. ERA apparently does a really good job of centering these as I had identical measurements on both sides from the front wheel well lips to the same points on the frame.

Dan
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:18 AM
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very nice .
sdr
________
FORD CROWN VICTORIA

Last edited by somedayaurora; 02-21-2011 at 05:09 PM..
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:33 AM
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Which Hill Billy are you in the pic?!!!!
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Old 02-18-2010, 10:20 AM
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Frank, actually, I'm the guy bending down low in the front (camera shy). The two guys in back are some very timely neighbors. I tired myself out at the last minute shoveling our driveway at the drivers suggestion and they did the hard work. Lucky to even have a snow shovel - not sure how old it is.

Here is a candid photo by my wife. I can't claim full Hill Billy status as I'm originally from Kansas and got transplanted here about 30 years ago. She refers to the Akransas River as the "Arkansaw" river and I call it the "Ar-Kansas" river

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Old 02-18-2010, 11:15 AM
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You got a little HB in ya for sure!!!
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Old 02-18-2010, 11:57 AM
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Great pics! That has to be a real thrill finally getting it into your garage. Congratulations!
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Old 02-18-2010, 07:04 PM
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Dan,

Good luck and don't worry about chosing to bond the body yourself. I did that as well. If it's not too late, one good suggestion: drill all of the rivet holes for the front inner fender panels before you take the panels off. Also, when drilling, just drill enough to mark the steel tube that reinforces the hood opening, then remove the panel and drill into the tube. I must have broken a half-dozen 9/64th drills before I figured out the problem! It's very hard to line up the drill properly centered on the tubing when you can't see it.
When all of the bonding and panel mounting is done, you'll feel a great sense of accomplishment plus you'll know more about your car than you ever imagined!

I'm still a long way from finishing my car, but I keep finding more reasons that I'm glad I chose ERA.
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Old 02-19-2010, 09:21 AM
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Thanks for the hint. I've already pulled all the panels loose that I needed to, to free up the body. But, it won't be any big deal to re-hang the wheel well panels with a couple of the temporary screws and mark them and then pull the panel back out.

When you mention the tube reinforcing the hood opening - do you mean the round one that runs between the oil cooler and radiator openings - or the square one across the top of the hood in front of the radiator? I'm guessing your speaking of the round one.

FYI - I asked Bob about bonding the square support across the top of the nose since I didn't see it clearly mentioned in the manual. He said to go ahead and do so. Mine only had one screw through it - to center the body. I'm planning to rough the frame support finish and fiberglass panel up and bond it and reinstall the original screw - but not try to rivet it since I would have to rivet or screw through both sides of the tube. Did you put any other fastners in that area?

Thanks
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Old 02-19-2010, 06:31 PM
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Yes, I was talking about the round tubes that run along the sides of the hood opening.

I didn't bond the support across the nose, but I think I still can. That's probably a good idea. I just put some caulk there to damp out any vibrations. I'll take a look tomorrow.
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Old 02-20-2010, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERA 778 View Post
I didn't bond the support across the nose, but I think I still can. That's probably a good idea. I just put some caulk there to damp out any vibrations. I'll take a look tomorrow.
I don't think it would be much problem to loosen the screw in the center, use some window/door tapered shims to create a small gap between the tube and fiberglass panel - and then squeeze in some adhesive and pull the shims back out.

Thanks

Dan
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Old 02-20-2010, 01:07 PM
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Great pictures and congrats on getting your car. Please keep us posted on your progress.

-Ray
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Old 02-20-2010, 06:24 PM
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Dan,

Looks like you are well on your way.

Good luck with the build, I'm sure it will be a doo-zee!

Eric
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:15 AM
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Dan,

This looks like the start of a great build! I have to hand it to you and the other guys that build a car from the bottom up, especially bonding the body to the chassis yourself (just like ERA 778). You have a lot more talent than I do! ERA is an excellent choice and I look forward to following your build ... keep those photos coming.

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Old 02-21-2010, 05:30 AM
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Dan,

This looks like the start of a great build! I have to hand it to you and the other guys that build a car from the bottom up, especially bonding the body to the chassis yourself (just like ERA 778). You have a lot more talent than I do! ERA is an excellent choice and I look forward to following your build ... keep those photos coming.

TKB
Thanks. One good decision was that I had originally planned to paint the frame myself but I changed later and had it powder coated by ERA. I am sold on having them do that. One, it really looks nice and powdercoating is tough. Two, I don't think it would be easy getting this body off the frame and then back on later. You really would have to have a bunch of folks to help spread the sides way apart and lift it off. I hate bending fiberglass that far but obviously it will take it or ERA wouldn't be able to get them mounted.

Dan
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Old 02-23-2010, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ERA 778 View Post
Dan,

If it's not too late, one good suggestion: drill all of the rivet holes for the front inner fender panels before you take the panels off. Also, when drilling, just drill enough to mark the steel tube that reinforces the hood opening, then remove the panel and drill into the tube. I must have broken a half-dozen 9/64th drills before I figured out the problem! It's very hard to line up the drill properly centered on the tubing when you can't see it.
.
778 - I just finally figured out what you meant by the steel tubes reinforcing the hood opening. I didn't realize there were steel tubes embedded in those thickened flanges. I thought it was just built up fiberglass. I'll be sure and do as you suggested.

Thanks

Dan
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Old 02-23-2010, 07:20 PM
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Dan ,

That's right. Just be careful drilling those holes as I said before and you should have no problems.

One other thing I did was take tons of photos while I was dissassembling everything - every detail. You think that you can remember how everything goes together, but believe me, after six months it's good to have those pictures refer to. Take pictures from different angles; it will make it easier to find how those two parts really go together. Today I actually dug through photos I took of the cut-=away car ar ERA to determine how some of the wiring should be routed - it saved my b***!

Enjoy the ride!
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:49 PM
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Epoxied the body on today using a TAP 2-part fiberglass repair epoxy. Went pretty well although the mixed epoxy didn't end up quite as stiff as the test batch I made up. However, it was probably about as stiff as possible and still work through the fillable caulking tubes I used. It did a pretty good job staying in the joint. Still a lot of rivet holes left to drill out - probably about half through (I hope). Only broken one drill bit so far.



TAP epoxy and empty tubes from West Marine. I think I have a life time supply of 2-part epoxy left over.





Also, epoxied the nose bar in front of the hood. Everything lined up again with just a little pulling and tugging. I still have the rocker panels to do.

Last edited by DanEC; 02-24-2010 at 05:52 PM..
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Old 02-25-2010, 06:43 AM
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Why did you not use the type of panel bonding adhesive that "mixes" in the nozzle as it is applied? It would have been a lot easier.
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Old 02-25-2010, 11:19 AM
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Why did you not use the type of panel bonding adhesive that "mixes" in the nozzle as it is applied? It would have been a lot easier.
I considered it but I needed something with a lot of body or thickness to it, to fill the bond gaps. It had to be something that wouldn't sag or run out of the joint. I haven't used any of the 2-tube panel adhesives but from what my impression was they are fairly thin. With this epoxy I could also add cut fiberglass hairs to bulk it up if I needed to. The other reason was the long set time for this particular resin. In my 60 deg garage I had nearly 2-1/2 hours working time with this product. Again, although I've heard a lot of the panel adhesives have longer work times, I didn't have the impression it was this long.

I'm pretty happy with this product although it did end up having a little more sag to it than the first test batch I mixed up which I could whip up into a ball and it just sat there and cured. But, it filled the gaps well.

There probably are some panel adhesives that would work just as well. Another consideration was that some of them require a special gun to use the cartridge in.

Last edited by DanEC; 02-25-2010 at 03:20 PM..
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Old 03-03-2010, 05:25 PM
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Finished drilling out the last of the several hundred (or so it seems) rivet holes in all the panels and frame today. There is no denying that part of doing-it-yourself build lacks in the thrill-a-minute factor. Surprisingly my old Harbor Freight 18V drill held up through all of it.

If anyone has ever wrecked one of these and had to separate the body from the frame for repairs - they have all of my sympathy.
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