I test fit the doors on Saturday. I was surprised to find that the doors fit rather well. I had to use some washers to adjust them a little, but overall not a real painful process. I made sure to keep track of how many washers I used and where, so I can easily put the door back on after the body work is completed. I also spent a good couple of hours cleaning out my garage.
On Sunday, I went to Roy's house to have him weld my driver's side seat brackets. I changed the design slightly from the passenger's side. I put less of an angle into them due to the steering wheel clearance and the angle at which the driver must push on the pedals. The other factor is that the driver's side has the dropped floor as opposed to the passenger side. Another thing that I had to consider in creating the brackets was to ensure that I could slide the seats back and forth using the Sube seat sliders. I had to mount the seats pretty far up to accommodate my short legs.
I spent late Sunday afternoon and the majority of the evening drilling bolt holes and mounting the brackets to the seat and frame. It was time consuming and difficult at times but it appears that the seats are going to work out fine. They sure look good, are comfortable and provide an additional measure of safety.
TIME THIS WEEKEND: 9 hours
March 15,16, 2003:
Seam grinding! Derrick stopped by Saturday morning to give me a hand with removing the body. I spent Friday evening removing all of the chrome and unbolted the body. Removing the body was not a problem with only two people.
To grind the seams I used my 4 1/2" angle grinder with 80 grit sand paper. I knocked the seams down flat. Since I have the older body I needed to grind down the gel coat that remains in the seam. The gel coat went pretty deep and it took a lot of grinding to get rid of it. Derrick and I used our Dremmel tools to sand the gel coat. It's a little scary grinding the fiberglass for the first time. Once you start doing it you don't think much about it anymore. Wearing a mask, gloves and long sleeves are a must. I was hoping to start filling the seams but the temperature was a little cold and the can of repair filler said to apply it at temperatures about 60 degrees.
On Sunday I did a little more grinding to make sure that I got more of the gel coat. I was a little conservative on the gel coat grinding. After reading Street Rod Painter's posts, I determined that I needed to remove more of the gel coat in the seam. I determined that the temperature was warm enough on today to start filling the seams. The temperature was falling fast so I ended up filling only one quarter of the seams. That stuff hardens quickly so you gotta move fast!
TIME THIS WEEKEND: 10 hours
March 18, 19, 20:
I worked on filling the rest of the seams with the 3M blister repair when I got home from work. The blister repair stuff is really tough stuff once it hardens. You should tape the seams before applying the blister repair because you do not want to get excess stuff on the body. It is difficult to sand. One thing to remember is to remove the tape as soon as possible. If you wait too long to remove the tape (e.g. 2 days), it is really difficult to remove. I wasted a lot of time scraping the tape off.
TIME THIS WEEK: 6 hours
Went to Snowshoe mountain for some Spring snowboarding. Conditions were a little warm and slushy.
Spent these evenings sanding down the gel coat with 80 grit. I originally sanded the gel coat with 180 grit but after talking with the painter, they said they were going to block it with 80 anyway so I thought I would do it myself.