I started with the front valance hammer and dolly work as well as some shrinking disk work. It's still just as tedious as it always has been and I struggled, but it finally got to where I wanted it. As I've said before, the metal work progress doesn't show up too well on photographs so you'll have to refer to the video.
The metal work done, I moved on to getting the strengthener brackets ready to go in. As I've mentioned, I was afraid that using the spray gun I would be unable to adequately get behind them. So, I took a small chip brush and did the backside of the brackets and the area of the front valance that would be hidden by said brackets.
|Passenger's side of front valance painted.|
|Brackets painted and drying.|
Those are few words and pictures that represent about half of the full-day visit at the garage.
Because epoxy is expensive and I didn't want to waste it, I moved on to doing something similar to the areas of the bonnet that were inaccessible to a spray gun - behind the headlight buckets and the tops of the wheel arches.
|Inside the bonnet...lit for your viewing pleasure.|
|Another shot showing the very front portion of wheel arch.|
I tried as best I could to get into those areas with several cleaning methods (wire brush, greenie, etc.) and got the areas as clean as possible. For the paint, again I used the chip brush to get to those areas. Behind the headlight buckets is especially tough to get to so full coverage wasn't possible, but I got it as best as I could.
|Back of the wheel arch, partially painted.|
In addition, the inside of the wheel arch, at the fender flare, needed to get painted as well (just like the rear arches), so I took care of this as well.
|Inside edge of fender flare painted.|
I took a little side-track then and cut out the old wire harness tabs that line the front of the bonnet near the grill. These are used to guide the harness for the headlights and front signals. I made new ones and got those painted. I decided not to weld them in because they would only tear up my arms as I try to clean the bonnet.
|The new tabs, ready for epoxy primer.|
I moved on to metal working of the boot lid at that point and my day started to fall apart a bit. This was really the first large-area repairs that I tried to do. The front valance wasn't too difficult (to me) because it was a relatively small area with an even smaller area of damage. With the boot lid, however, the entire metal area increased exponentially and the dents were much larger...and deeper.
|Hard to see, but there's lots of dents here.|
This is the forward (flat) part of the lid, near the gas cap.My problem was that I just didn't understand what I was doing. Using the hammer and dolly to work from the top of the boot lid just wasn't clicking with me and I needed to study. I got pretty frustrated (you can probably hear it in my voice towards the end of the video), but thankfully I was smart enough (I can learn!) to stop and walk away following a long-ish day.
But, I came back after studying and the work went much better. I got about half of the boot lid straightened up (at least much better) and I was much happier with how it went. Again, the video does better justice in trying to show this process. Being a school night, however, my time was limited.
|How I left it. Again, hard to see the difference but you can see a lot of high and low spots.|
And that was about it. Another post coming soon!