Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cool Desert Nights - 2011

The weather could not have been better and we had a record turnout of 801 entrants.

Once again Gerri and I entered both the 1963 Corvette and the 1957 Nomad.

Dennis and Annette K. brought their 1933 and 1956 Chevy's.

Ty thought we should showcase the undercarriage since that's where a lot of our effort has been.  We put a couple rims under the tires and set several mirrors under the car.  It worked great.

There was a lot of interest in the Corvette all day long.

Everybody loved the engine.

This year was the largest crowd ever.  Thousands showed up.

Interesting vehicles included this pick-up truck sporting twin turbos AND a blower.

Jeff B. brought his custom painted lawnmower.  This thing brought more smiles than anything else at the car show.  Hundreds of photo's were taken and the kids especially loved it.

How about this custom 53 Buick Skylark.  This was my favorite and it was for sale.  I checked my wallet but I was shy $70K.

OMG!  Is that our Corvette in the winners parade?  Yes it is!

For the second year in a row we won Best Work in Progress.

It was a great weekend at Cool Desert Nights but the absolute best part occurred after the show.  We had trailered the Corvette to the show Saturday morning but I decided to drive it home afterward.  I drove it through town and out on the highway for a total distance of about 5 miles.  This thing is outrageous!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Passenger Door Alignment

Dennis S., the previous owner, had bagged and tagged 4 shims for the lower passenger door hinge and that is exactly what it needed.  When we moved to the upper hinge we found that it needed adjustment in the other direction.  The only way to do that is to grind away some of the thickness of the hinge and that's what Ty is doing in this picture.  He found my biggest grinder and started to "align" the door.  It turned out very nice.

About a 1/4" in thickness was removed.  Here Ty is using a 6" ruler to locate high spots.

After putting the door on and taking it off several times we ended up with the best fit possible.  All the hinge bolts were tightened and the striker plate was installed.   Now it was time to start working on the body.  The majority of the passenger door fit very well with exception to the area shown below.  In this picture the door is aligned properly, it's the fender that needs work.  The fender was purposely built "fat" when we repaired the A pillar.

After using a  burr grinder to reduce the fender height, the area was masked off then fiberglass was cut so that it would span both the door and the fender.

Resin was applied then worked into the area until everything was saturated.

Several hours later the fiberglass was cut at the door seam then sanded until there was a smooth transition between both pieces.

The same process was used on the side of the fender.

I primered the area but finishing work still needs to occur. 
Compare this picture to the one above.  It's a nice improvement.

Cool Desert Nights is next and this will be the 3rd year our Corvette is entered.  This year we can drive the Corvette so it will be off the trailer during the show.  Should be fun.  Stay tuned for pictures!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Weatherstripping our Doors

Installing weatherstripping on a door can be a very messy job, especially if the door is attached to the car.  Fortunately, our doors are not attached and we know a couple tricks.

The weatherstrip on a 1963 Corvette coupe is glued to the door.  There are no push pins, screws or clips.  We start the process by masking the door where the weatherstrip will go. 

That tape is then bordered by two more rows of masking tape as shown.

The first row of tape is removed then the paint is scuffed with Scotch Brite.

Weatherstrip adhesive is a contact cement that comes in two basic colors, traditional yellow and black.  We chose black because it matches the weatherstripping and it's hardly noticeable against our dark blue doors.

Adhesive was applied between the two rows of tape then allowed to dry for a few seconds.  All of the tape was then removed leaving a clean door with very little mess.

Adhesive was applied to the weatherstripping then the weatherstripping was glued to the door.  If you don't have a helper it's best to install the weatherstripping one section at a time.  It can get very messy.

3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner was used as a final step to wipe down the weatherstripping and the door.  This cleaner does a great job and it won't harm the painted finish.

Both doors are done and they turned out great.  Next we start aligning the doors.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Color Sanding

Color sanding removes orange peel, nibs (dust), fish eye (contamination), and other imperfections and it gives a smooth glossy mirror finish when complete.  Unlike what the name implies, color sanding is only performed on the clear coat, never on the color.

On the inside of our door there is only one area that's visible when the door is shut. It's the area shown below. All other areas are either covered with chrome, weatherstripping or door panels. We will color sand this area only.

If you click on this picture you will see we picked up a gnat.  Bugs can be difficult to remove because they can wiggle down into the paint.

I start by wet sanding with 1000 grit wet/dry paper.  I use a spray bottle with soapy water to lubricate and rinse the area as I sand.  I wipe the area frequently with a clean cloth checking the cloth to make sure I don't see any color.  If I see even a hint of blue I'll know I can't sand in that area anymore.  In this picture the gnat and the orange peel are still present and require more sanding.

I intentionally avoid sanding any area with rivets.  It's impossible to sand in these areas without sanding through a painted rivet.

The imperfections are gone.  Now it's time to remove the scratches left by the 1000 grit sand paper.

1500 grit sand paper removed the 1000 grit scratches.  2000 grit was then used to remove the 1500 grit scratches.  You can see where this is going. 

Cutting compound on a wool pad was then applied with an electric buffer.  That was followed by a swirl remover on a foam pad.

I think the results are spectacular.  Compare the first picture with this picture and judge for yourself.

What happened to the bug you ask?   Well... he's still there.  I stopped sanding when I saw a hit of blue on the wipe rag.  After long deliberation I decided to just leave him alone.  If he were on the exterior I'd have to re shoot the door, but he's not.  Besides, this guy is so small the only people that will ever know about him are those that follow this blog with a passion.  This will be our secret.

I think we should name him Wiggles.