Sunday, 17 May 2009

Bodywork begins...

A sunny Sunday morning greeted Scottie and Damian as they prepared to commence the first serious bodywork for Booger Mobile.

The goals for the day were as follows:

  1. Complete the welding/patching etc of the front chassis rail
  2. Floor Pans
  3. Boot space
  4. Rust removal from some panels if time permitted

Scottie got to work straight away welding and grinding the floor pans,

meanwhile Damian began scraping and cleaning the boot to remove old grunge and surface rust, ably assisted by his older son Aidan...

After cleaning, the scary-wire-brush-angle-grinder made another appearance, followed shortly thereafter by some rust converter. After drying, the boot was painted flat black - visible progress being made at last! Goal number 3 - CHECK!!

Once this was completed, Damian removed all the trim clips that were still remaining, while Scottie continued to weld. Interesting side-note - Damian's dog Tonka decided that standing and watching Scottie weld from about 3 feet away was a good option... Probably not the best, and Damian is now expecting to have a blind dog... His eyes were a bit red afterwards!!

The front floor pans took quite a bit of work - and still aren't completed. The boys decided the best way forward was to weld flat plates over the parts that were rusted to give the floor pan strength, then bog up any minor holes from below to seal it. While welding, Scottie suddenly realised that there was something terribly wrong - time for open heart surgery on the welder!!

The welding wire had decided it didn't want to feed anymore, and the tip was looking somewhat dodgy, so a replacement tip, followed by removal and refeeding of the welding wire was in order... Sadly this means wasting about 2 metres of welding wire, but hey, these things can't be avoided sometimes!

After completing the patch he was working on, Scottie grew tired of the front floor pan,

and moved onto cutting the rust from the rear quarter panel. Having cut a long strip out of the rear quarter panel, he began fashioning a replacement strip. After much hammering and cursing, Damian suggested Scottie try using the vice that was conveniently located on the concrete behing Booger Mobile. Much more success was had, and shortly the replacement panel was ready to weld into place!

Damian pushed the panel from the inside using Scottie's hammer, while Scottie tacked the panel on. Later, they were to realise that the hammer was showing signs of almost being welded to the inside of the boot, but all's well that ends well!

While Scottie welded, ground, bogged and sanded the rear quarter panel, Damian decided that removing the hood lining was a task that needed doing... What a horrible, messy job it turned out to be!! Perfect for Damian, who deserved it for being so useless with welders and bog!

The hood lining was removed to reveal a roof in very good condition (hooray), and a large amout of mess all over the inside of Booger Mobile. At one point, Damian asked Scottie if he had seen his goggles, as the crap falling from the hood lining was getting in his eyes. Scottie's reply "They're on your head, Damian!" d'oh!!

While Damian was getting snowed on by 45 years worth of hood lining dust and crud,

Scottie completed the grinding and bogging of the rear quarter panel,

then finished off the final touches of the chassis rail, black-jacking it to seal in the fresh steel goodness! Goal number 1 - CHECK!!

Once the hood lining was removed, the inside was cleaned out (yet again).

Once this was done, it was decided to complete the floor pan from under the front seat (or where it would be if it was inside Booger Mobile) to the back, leaving the front floor pans for another day after the collection of more metal. Cleaned, rust converted and black-jacked, the floor pans looked a million dollars - assuming a million dollars looked like a tarred floor-pan! Goal number 2 - two thirds checked - more steel is required for the front floor pans.

Scottie completed the sanding and priming of the rear quarter panel (to rough stage - final sanding etc will happen when the entire vehicle is rubbed back ready for painting). Goal 4 - CHECK!!

The boys then decided to spend an hour or two planning the upcoming months work and activities, to ensure all was on track for Booger Mobile's big reveal to the world - still planned for the Nambour swap meet and car show on 25 July 2009. After this was completed, Damian decided to remove the exhaust system to get it out of the way for next time (next time will involve black-jacking the entire underbody). Undoing the nuts at the engine end - difficult but doable. Undoing the nut holding the muffler at the very back - easy. Undoing the nuts holding the exhaust near the axle - impossible!! Bit more strength and kerping!! One u-bolt arm snapped off at the nut!! Some bending and bashing and the exhaust system was free - well, free to lie under the car and over the top of the axle.

The boys grabbed an end each, and after a minor issue trapping Damian's hand between the engine mount and the exhaust as it un-jammed itself, they were free to twist, turn and extract it out the back... similar to the way that you would dig, twist and pull a really long booger from your nostril...

Problem!! The shed was slightly too close to the back of the car. Solution!! Push Booger Mobile forward and extract the exhaust, then push it back again. As Scottie was about to push, Damian quickly grabbed the gear lever and double-clicked it down into Neutral - he'd fallen into that trap once before!! With the exhaust extracted, Booger rolled back into place, and a final clean up, the day was finished.

Damian is away with Camp Quality next weekend, so the next work on Booger Mobile is scheduled for the last weekend in May. Stay tuned!!

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