Posts about ‘Body Work’

Motherlode Recap

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

This year I decided to participate in the Motherlode 400. The Motherlode is a 2-day gathering of vintage rides, mostly from Europe, and mostly of the sports car variety (though this year’s event did have a couple notable exceptions in the form of a ’76 Firebird and a Citroen Mehari, among various other outliers). Each day involves about 200 miles of backroads of the California Sierras and foothills, thus the 400 moniker. Elevations range from barely over 1000 feet to the rarefied airs at Sonora Pass at 9400 feet, with lots of twisties and single-lane roads twixt the two.

My intent for this year’s Motherlode was to give the Sprint 1600 its dĂ©butante party, but alas that plan was thwarted by a failed front main seal (I think), which caused oil to spew out onto just about everything in the engine compartment, including the exhaust headers.

Oil leak

Waiting for AAA. You can just see the oil dripping from the rails. Good times.

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Giulia Going Grigio Grafite

Friday, October 9th, 2009

In a rare moment of clarity and intelligence, I realized the Bondo work I was doing on the TI could, and more than likely would, be better done (or worse yet, undone and redone) by someone who gets paid to do this kind of work. Also, I’d lost touch with friends and family because they don’t much like spending their leisure time in my driveway. Go figure.

So last weekend I did the last bit of body work (banged on a few dents, sanded some bondo, etc.), and then ‘installed’ a spare Giulia Super seat I had in my basement to go drive around some of the shops down on International Blvd, aka East 14th. I love this street. For car guys, it’s where to go if you need something done (usually) reasonably well and at a fraction of the price you’d pay in the less, how do we say it, international neighborhoods. And if you’re not a car guy, you might enjoy one of the couple hundred or so taquerias.

I drove to a few different shops, but of course ended up back where I started, at Pete’s Body Shop and Frame (510-534-5402). Hand painted sign, 2-bay garage, no frills. I won’t say exactly how much it’s costing, but he beat the competition even on International by more than half.

Here she sits, wearing white paint for the last time ever.

Here she sits, wearing white paint for the last time ever.

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TI-ny bubbles

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I spent a few hours yesterday and today on the so-called ‘final’ body issues with the TI. Of the things I need to do before sending the car off for interior and exterior finishing work, I’m down to just three or four, namely:

  1. getting some bondo on the exterior pieces that I’ve replaced
  2. sanding and prepping the body as much as I can stand
  3. re-installing the dash and gauge cluster
  4. re-installing a driver seat so I can actually get the car to the various shops.

That should be a day’s work but I suspect it’ll take two or three.

Yesterday I addressed the front valence of the car, and the radiator support (again). The valence had already been ‘repaired’ at least once, and the bondo was 1/2 inch thick in some places. Bleh. I decided to cut out a bunch more of the old metal (and aforementioned bondo) in order to do a better repair and have a more regular shape to work with.

Valence, metal removed. Note fat layer of bondo at upper left of photo.

Valence, metal removed. Note fat layer of bondo, and mediocre repair (mine) of radiator support member at right.

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A little TI R&R

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

In this case, R&R means remove and replace. Or ratty and rusty. Rock and roll? Retch and regurgitation?

Anyway, after a 2-day bout of food poisoning courtesy of some shrimp zafrani of questionable origin, I found some time and energy today to get some work done on the TI. At last check, there were two remaining areas that needed patch panels and not just a quick and dirty application of fiberglass and bondo. The one, up front, is a simple enough job that will barely show anyway so I don’t need to worry too much about perfection. The other, today’s , was a less simple job in a spot that shows more (though still not a lot). This meant doing a more ‘correct’ job as far as conforming to the original shapes and contours of the body panel, and also remembering to err on the side of recess — in other words, make sure the repair is flush with or sufficiently below the surrounding (original) panels that the layer of bondo will cover any irregularities. That’s how it’s supposed to be done. I was mostly successful.

Here’s a couple pics of the area after I cut out the bad metal.

Here's the TI fender with the (majority of the) bad metal removed. I probably should have taken more off the rear section but I am nervous when it comes to compound cuves. Note some repairs (mostly just filling holes) already executed on the inner panel.

Here's the TI fender with the (majority of the) bad metal removed. I probably should have taken more off the rear section but I am nervous when it comes to compound cuves. Note repairs (mostly filled holes) already executed on the inner panel. Big clamp is the ground for the welder.

And the back of the rear wheel arch:

More fun in the orange and rust section of the crayola box. As in the previous photo, I'd already done some repair welds to the inner panel.

More fun in the orange and rust section of the crayola box. As in the previous photo, I'd already done some repair welds to the inner panel. If it shines, it's new.

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