Sunday, May 23, 2010


I'm still so far behind in getting this current, but at least when I make a posting it can include all the work that has been accomplished over some amount of time, making the post more comprehensive. Today's post is about fenders. If you look back at some previous pictures, you'll see the seemingly normal looking purple fenders, and for the most part they are/were normal. They are in great shape with no rust any where, however they are going to require a little body work. One of the fenders was obviously involved in an accident and had quite a bit of filler over a shoddy attempt at pulling some dents. Also, both fenders had areas on various mounting points (where the bolt goes through) that were either cracked or completely broke away. So to start this, we begin with some welding. I'll describe this with captions.

1. I took this to the Hendrick's residence to make use of their welder. Jason is a skilled welder and was itching to do some welding so he went ahead and made all the welds.

2. This piece here is a mounting point near the front of the fender where the fender bolts to the top of the inner fender skirt (or top of the engine bay). A large piece was missing and it had a large crack, so I cut it out altogether, snipped out a piece of metal from the old trunk lid (now retired as a metal donor) and we welded this in. It doesn't look like much right now, but just wait to see what the art of metalworking will reveal.

3. This is on the bottom of the fender where it bolts to the underside of the car. Here the metal was cracked so we cut it out and welded in a new piece.

4. The next step is to apply protective undercoating to the fenders so I'll never have to worry about them rusting. Begin with these dirty fenders...

5. Then clean them up with some powerwashing and wire wheel...

6. And finally apply two coats of Bill Hirsch Miracle Paint (an analog to POR 15). These fenders are going to be good to go for a long time on the insides now.

7. Remember that horrible looking patch we welded in earlier? After some grinding and cutting it comes out looking just like the other side. As it sits now you can barely tell anything was done to it. With a minor skim coat of body filler, this will look good as new.

8. Next the outsides of the fenders are completely stripped. I tried several methods of this--chemical paint stripper, electric and pneumatic DA with 40 grit paper, but at the end of the day a wire wheel on an angle grinder won out. It cuts through paint and filler like nobody's business and strips far faster than anything else. Both fenders in their entirety were stripped with the angle grinder and wirewheel.

9. You may have noticed the headlight buckets weren't painted earlier. I didn't paint them because I had to do some sandblasting around the edges on the inside. It's important to coat the headlight buckets as well because they are a part rusted out on many Rustangs. I sandblasted them and my lovely helper (wife as of one month from now) Rosemary painted them (she likes to do brush painting so I try to save most of it for her).

10. Good job Rose!

11. Now that the fenders are completely stripped and coated on the inside, for the final step they were treated with PPC's Phix corrosion treatment, which is a zinc phosphate product. It removes corrosion from the fenders that can't be removed by sanding. To do this process I first go over the entire fender with 80 grit on a DA to rough up the metal. Every metal surface is then degreased twice. The fenders are treated with two coats of Phix, leaving a nice dull protective zinc coating on the metal. This not only etches the metal and removes all the corrosion, but it also protects the metal from rusting before it can be primed.

Stay tuned for updates on door body work, additional engine work, installation of the steering system.

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