Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Budget builds take time, draw blood, and beat you down . . . but I'm coming out ahead.

I decided to restore my tank instead of paying out nearly $800 for a new one.  There was around an inch of sludge and varnish built up in the bottom that had hardened to concrete.  I removed all of the fittings and access and tested the ability to chip away at it with no luck.  This got me thinking as to how motivated I was really going to be trying to clean the tank based on the abilities of chemicals I could get my hands on.  I don't like working with volatile chemicals without the right facility.  I had chemical gloves on hand which made manipulating anything smaller than a steering wheel a daunting task so I opted for some surgical gloves which would snag and tear every other minute or so.  The first chemical I introduced was Phosphoric Acid.  This proved to be a pretty motivated liquid.  It sizzled and bubbled and produced gasses that could incapacitate a gorilla.  However, it didn't seem to be a magic dissolver of rust and varnish.  The next step was Muriatic Acid.  I had another set of hands on the job this time and my buddy suggested dumping a couple hand-fulls of penny in the tank to act as an abrasive.  Not sure what the acid would do to the pennies, we dumped them in anyways.  The pennies proved to do a nice job. They moved in and out of the baffles willingly and were easy to remove.  This round showed better results.  I treated it two more times with the Muriatic while rinsing very well between treatments with a pressure washer.  The pressure washer nozzle got into the tank just far enough to blast some hung varnish out of its home.  At this point, it was time for the POR 15 tank coating kit.  It came with Marine Clean to eat away any varnish and rust left, Metal Ready to de-acidify the surface and the interior coating.  The kit worked very well.  Note - take care to keep it out of your threads while rolling the product in the tank.  Q-tips can help clean out the threads while its still wet.  Also, take care with these chemicals.  I saw the job they did to my drive way where I spilled a spot, pretty impressive!  But i don't think I would want it cleaning my hands.  I used an old 5 gal plastic bucket as a designated holding container for all of the chemicals I used.  Remember to take this to a disposal facility when your done . . . don't just pour it in the drain.  Gloves and masks are a must!  I can't stress that enough.  Also, stay in a well ventilated area.  I finished the interior and the exterior and am pretty happy with the results.

  These show the interior after the 
application of POR15.  It was still wet at this point.

 Photos above show the outside of the tank after prime and paint.
I'm very happy with the results.  In the end I spent right around $90 for chemicals and the POR15 kit.  This made for a $700 savings over buying a new tank.  If you have the time to spend and the patients required, it makes for a very rewarding project.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hot days make David a dull boy

As we drift into the year, every day means one step closer to working in the garage and not having blurred vision or signs of dehydration.  Large fans can suppress some of these symptoms, and they have been running full blast around my place. 

I received a new battery support that I found on Ebay for a really good price.  Brand new and powder coated, it puts my old one to shame.

The trunk is now prepped and ready for the fuel tank.  I will be ordering a rubber kit for the fuel tank which will include new gaskets, hose etc. that will be needed for the tank to be fully functional.  Once the tank goes in, I'm NOT going to want to take it back out. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Making headway!

Its been a few days since I have been able to commit solid evening work to the E Type (projects around the house are almost done!)  I have been focusing my attention to the fuel tank.  I know this one is usable, just need the determination to get the chemicals in it and start shaking.  Upon further inspection, what I had originally determined was extensive rust turned out to be varnish that flakes off easily.  I will be calling a couple local radiator shops today and inquiring about using their vat which would REALLY simplify this process.  I have prepared the manifold surfaces for being re-united with my Strombergs and will be getting gaskets on order should the rebuild kit not supply them.  I also have begun assessing the state of hard hoses.  While the carbs are out, it is easy to get at a lot of these hoses which would be a pain to replace once the carbs are back on.  I will start replacing the worst of the worst, for the price of a hose its worth it to me to know that they are fresh.  While I am without carbs and fuel pump I need to get some cleaner in the hard fuel line to make sure it is free of debris etc, I have some pretty nice chemicals for that.

The interior is out and I am studying the seats.  I know the recline bar that runs behind the seat on the passenger is broken at the end.  This isn't a big deal as I can have my friend weld it up good as new.  The center console seems to have been covered by lighter vinyl that is over the factory black, this will all be removed and re-finished.  I'll be shooting more pics tonight that touch on these areas, so check back!

*** While I'm thinking about it. . . . Does anyone have a good suggestion for a de-greaser?  I am trying to clean and coat areas that a brush etc can't get to efficiently.  It would be nice to be able to spray it and wipe it down. ***

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

This is the current state of the valve cover.  I have since done a little polishing . . . looks awesome.  Ill leave this here to show what it came from and drop a finished pic in when I finish all the fins and my fingers re-coop enough to type again.

 This is officially, the first SNG Barrett delivery I have received.  Shipping was great!  I placed my order Monday and had this on my door step Wednesday!  Inside were two oil filter elements, since Ill be running the motor for the first time in 25 years I will be making 2 changes fairly close to each other to make sure I cycle some oil through and get it out incase it is contaminated.  I also ordered a new air filter, fuel filter, fuel tank sump bolt plug, sending unit gasket, one valve cover stud and one valve cover acorn.  These parts, with the addition of my fuel tank which is soon to be reconditioned, a Facet fuel pump (original was a no go - failed bench test), and my carbs which are being done as I type should being me up to operational tests!  I am crawling through these stages, as I dont want ANYTHING to hinder getting it to fire.

The fuel filter was removed as you saw a couple posts ago, I also blasted the bracket in frame, cleaned up the ground, and painted the fire wall area behind them with a rust encapsulator from Eastwood.  I will be re-assembling them will post new pictures of this area. 

I thought it would be cool to show what many years of grime and corrosion can look like with a little TLC.  "After" pics to follow in next post.

Some things to look forward to!
  • Prep boot for being re-mated to fuel tank (encapsulate)
  • Remove adhesive in interior floors and prep.  Decide whether to weld in new floor pan on drivers side.  (encapsulate)
  • Purchase and mount Facet fuel pump
  • Re-condition heater box
  • Strip bonnet of chrome and lights, prepare for body work!
  • Pick colors!!!  I have been going back and forth between Opalescent Silver Blue and Opalescent Dark Blue . . . I know these are Series 1 colors, but they stopped them in 68 (close) and I'm not making this a 100 pt car.  I want to drive it and LOVE the color.  
'till next time!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Adding light and pretty air!

I finally got some good light in the garage.  There are 4 more banks to go up, but it should look like a surgical room when its done.  Its amazing what a little extra light does.  My days in the garage used to have to end when the sun retired, now I can keep crankin to the wee hours!

 The air box also got some attention.  A little wire brushing and sanding and she was nice and smooth.  Rustoleum no rust primer followed by some hammered silver finished it out.  I think it turned out pretty well!

The fuel tank sump also cleaned up nicely.  I happen to be fortunate that my neighbor has a fine sand blaster.  The fuel filter assembly (right) looked horrible.  It cleaned up SO well after just a minute in the blast cabinet.  I am now starting to grab odds and ends and set them aside for blasting.  Why wire brush when you can let high velocity abrasive do the work for you??

New friends and AA for gears heads.

As I began on this project I soon realized that I had questions . . . Not just a small quantity, but loads and loads of questions.  I sought after information and people to answer them.  My awesome fiance Dillon suggested that I try to track down a forum as I had always had good luck with them in the past (motorcycles, jeeps, etc)  After a bit of searching I stumbled upon http://www.jag-lovers.org/  This was a meeting place for people all over the world that suffered from the same addiction.  I browsed for a few hours and found that it contained a wealth of knowledge.  So, I figured I would sign up.  My first post contained some background on my E-Type and myself and a greeting to everyone.  It was no more than an hour or two that someone asked me where I lived in (South Alabama).  We soon exchanged emails, turns out he is a 25 minute drive from my house and was restoring his own '64 E-Type.  Richard led me to his own blog ( http://www.xjjag.blogspot.com/ ) and said that we should meet up and talk Jags!  My father and I visited his garage one evening . . . breathtaking for a gear head.  And his 64? Gorgeous.  We talked with Richard for a couple hours and he invited us out to a club meeting.  ( http://www.sabcc.org/ )That following Tuesday my father and I went to the meeting at the Lake Forrest Yacht Club.  It was raining so hard outside, traffic was at a  crawl and there was no way to touch outside air with out coming in like you had just stepped out of a pool.  That didn't stop the trek however.  We strolled in like two wet rats and were warmly greeted by the nicest group you could ask for.  Everyone told us of what cars they owned and introduced themselves.  It was very well structured and comfortable.  After the meeting, we met everyone personally.  I was introduced to Mike Darby ( http://darbyclassics.com/ )  I was informed that he was the man to go to for tough jobs on our cars.  Before I left, I gave Mr. Darby a box with my carbs in it.  I know they are in good hands.  This down time with out the carbs is giving me some good time to go though other areas of the car that I would otherwise be tempted to skip.
 This is the actual day 1 of restoration.  The bonnet is an amazing design.  It attaches with two bolts and is surprisingly easy to remove.  Heavy?  YES!
 Now that this is off, I can work on it seperately by removing chrome, lights etc and prepping it for body work.  

We knew from the beginning that the twin Stromberg carbs were going to need some attention.  I removed the bells and gave them a good polishing in preparation for a rebuild.  Dremel makes some really nice polishing wheels that can shave years off of everything it touches.  Not suggested for use on faces.



In place

Here she is, fits like a glove.
This restoration will be considered a light restoration.  I am getting married May 19th.  This will be the vehicle we leave in after the wedding.  Primary concerns for this go-round will be that it is running (duh) and that it has a decent coat of paint.  With these areas taken care of, I will be able to drive and enjoy the car for a few years before it is time for a FULL restoration.  I believe that having my wedding as a completion date for these areas has really helped put some pep in my step.  The luggage rack on boot will be gone, holes filled.  I believe this was a dealer option at a lot of dealers, I just don't care for it.  The E-Type was so good looking because it was low, long, and sleek.  The curves, interrupted by a square luggage rack don't jive. 

Getting her settled in

 The day we moved her.  For having sat for nearly 25 years, shes in GREAT shape!  It has a miniscule amount of rust under battery support and a straight body with the exception of two small dents in the bonnet.  It really paid off that it was under a cover and stored in doors the whole time.

 Getting some assistance from dads truck to get down to my house.

 THIS, was exhilarating for me.  I have sat in this car numerous times growing up, wishing I could drive it.  Being pulled by a truck? . . . . Ill take it!

And this is where it will happen.  I prepped my garage meticulously to make the best use of the room I had.  Kayaks moved to the wall, work benches were finished, and the garage was cleared to make room for it to roll in.  Its nice having a double car garage to work in.