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Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring Has Sprung

While it wasn't necessarily a nice day today (cloudy and threatening rain) it was NOT cold. Work will be done.

I started with trying to get the steering rack, specifically the inner tie rod, apart. Couldn't do it. The locking nut just wouldn't budge. Put up a question on my favorite forum and one response was that the thing is really tight and requires some heavy lifting to get it loose. I didn't revisit it today.

I found that I really like the wrinkle paint from VHT and decided that's how I wanted to go with the gauge cluster. I stripped down the metal plate to bare metal and degreased it (the paint demands a properly prepared surface) with some citrus cleaner.

Prepped and ready. It's pizza night...hence the mozzarella cheese.
Then, I hit the back with some Rustoleum primer and let that dry. Next, following the instructions on the can, I painted it up. You are supposed to do 3 coats (side to side, up and down and angled) with 5 minutes of waiting between each coat. The stuff goes on pretty thick, but that's the point to make it wrinkle good.

After the last coat, I took a hair dryer to it to get it to wrinkle up. The can says to cure it in a 200F oven, but I watched some stuff on YouTube that talked about a bad smell and the wife, I'm sure, would not appreciate that. But, the hair dryer (also found on a YouTube video about a TR3 dash) worked fine for me; I just hope not heat curing it in the oven won't impact its toughness.

Full view
Close-up around the ignition switch hole. Picture not that great, but you can see the effect.
There were a couple of spots that didn't come out too great (the top between the tach and speedo). Not sure if I didn't clean it well enough or what. The wrinkles are also much tighter than I expected, but very close to the wrinkle paint on some of the stuff that came off the car (center support, steering column support). But, all in all, I am happy with it and hope it's in keeping with the spirit of the LBSC!

The "messy" spot.
I then moved on the leaf spring that came off the '64. Tore that apart (no broken bolts, if you can believe that!) and cleaned it up a bit. Nothing too major. I need to clean it up more, paint it, get new buttons and put it back together. I already have the bushings but you know how much I like getting those things out. Beat on it, heated it up, beat on it some more...nothing. I'll try again later.

That was about it. I went for a bike ride after that (I fancy myself a cyclist at times) and of course the rain finally made good on its threat. So, a planned 15+ mile ride turned into something just shy of 10. Too old to play outside in the rain anymore.

Thanks for reading!

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