Thursday, December 3, 2009

Exhaust(ed) Replacement

Since I was on a tight budget and exhaust parts for this car are astronomical, I actually found a used exhaust on ebay for a good price.

It came in the mail and I began to work. To say the least, it was the toughest job I've ever performed on a car. The nuts and bolts all were rusted solid and already partially stripped. I ended up buying all kinds of tools and doodads and finally after about 20 hours the old exhaust was out and the replacement was in.

There was very little room underneath the car so I had to use small tools. Ryobi drills were the only drills that were small enough to maneuver. I had a cheaper Ryobi and bought a newer Lithium Ion drill shown below which came in a nice soft case to transport. I also used some pretty amazing cobalt drill bits from Rigid. After killing a few other drill bits I gave my pops a call and he said I needed some cobalt bits. Rigid were the only cobalt bits I could find and they worked great.

I looked all over the place for a small hack saw to cut the bolt off and the one I went with was a small Lenox with heavy metal blades. The salesman at Home Depot told me this brand was my best bet so I bought the saw and some blades and luckily it fit

In place of the old steel fasteners I installed stainless steel nuts and bolts so the next person who worked on the car would not have to go through what I did to get the exhaust off.

Seriously, I would like to never think about this again, I'm just thankful it's over. Here are some pictures of the process.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Third Step: Body Work

When I bought the car, it had a small dent under the passenger headlamp that was ruining its appearance. Could I successfully pop this dent back out or would I need to fill, prime, and paint it? The answer turned out to be both.

I was able to pound out most of the dent with some mallets and clamps but there were still some areas that wouldn't pop out thanks to the solid sheet metal used on older cars.

So I sanded the area down with 320 grit sand paper and filled it with body filler. It took about 4 or 5 coats of filling and sanding to get the perfect surface I was looking for.

Since the nose panel and headlamp covers had so many stone chips I decided to sand down and prime them too. Luckily I had access to a spray booth because primer is highly toxic and should only be used in well ventilated areas.

I also filled and primed a few other areas of the car that needed attention including a spot by the passenger rear wheel and an area on the rear end.
(There will be plenty more body work to come when I prepare the car for its new paint job.)

The results turned out great, especially given that this was the first bit of body work that I've done. Check out the results below!