Rust, rust, and more rust!

1 Jun

I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much rust in my life on a car that still functions as it should. Every time I pull a part off, I’m certain that there’s going to be at least half an hour of prepping the part for priming and painting that I didn’t anticipate, although as of late. I’ve learned to expect the worst.

I removed the radiator, had to cut the hoses even though I would’ve preferred to reuse them; yet with their age, and frailty. I realised that there’s really no saving them, not even close. Just removing them, or attempting to shows just how worn out they are. So, I have to order I’m certain, entirely new hoses for just about everything. Big sad face! Very sad panda here, except for the part where I’ll have shiny (or maybe not), but new hoses!



Some rust removal

10 Apr

Now that at least in Colorado it’s warm enough to paint and other things without either having to bring parts into the house because it’s the only place that’s warm enough for the paint to dry, and cure. I’ve began to treat the rust on some parts that I just don’t want to remove the rust from as it’s quite the endavour. I decided to use some of Napa’s employee recommended Permatex rust treatment. I spray a few coats, and the rust turns to something else that’s black, and paintable.

This is the product



This hopefully is the solution, when completed. It’s just chillin’ against the house, drying and doing it’s thing.

rusty part

Car shows and the people

27 Jun

I’ve been to a few car shows, or many in my day and after going to a few this summer, even though I know the summer isn’t over, yet. 

I really like the machines most of the time more than the people whom build and drive them. Since waiting for parts for Athena, I’ve had a lot of time to simply do nothing when I could be working on her. Yet, much of the time I could be doing something is usually something I usually don’t want to do such as removing pitted, chromed pot metal and having that re done or finding replacement pieces. Many things simply involve more money than I currently have like replacing the interior. It’s exciting to think about, but then I look at the cost, and it’s a little over a grand if I don’t go for the factory original fabric (which is also going to take up to, if not more than 6 months because there’s only one guy of whom I know who makes them to those specs.)

So I went to a few car shows and brought my Ford because even though I think my Subaru is intensely cool being a special edition colour, many of the boomer and gen x crowd don’t hold my same sentiment. They simply want to see the old Detroit iron they grew up with. So I took it to a few car shows in the past, and of course lifted the bonnet. One thing to note is my dad had a (302cid) 5.0L installed in it, and the car still has the original 289 emblems. Now I don’t mind this at all since I grew up with the car, and even remember when he had the engine installed. I just thought it was really cool at the time, not thinking, “well, dad, this engine isn’t the original, so maybe we should just go back to the original.” He actually wanted a 351 (5.8L) Clevelor engine as his dream engine. It’s simply a 351 Windsor block with Cleveland heads as the valves on the “C” heads are larger and will fit on the “W” block with minor modifications. He however never had the chance to realise this. So the 5.0L engine stayed. 

One of the first things guys do at car shows is look at the engine and make comments that it doesn’t look like a 289. I tell them they’re correct. Then they walk away as if dis satisfied. Some of them ask me about that, and I tell them an annotated version of the above paragraph, and that’s when I guess it takes some pressure off of myself because I’m not the one whom did this “atrocity” to this classic Ford. 

Most of the time I simply don’t raise the bonnet at car shows. My engine bay isn’t super clean, and I’m not too concerned about that. Some peoples’ cars are their livelihoods and their cars are immaculate, or close to. I guess if I wanted to spend that much time and money on my car I could, but it really doesn’t matter to me at this point. Some of the people in addition to being perfectionists about their cars (which I don’t at all mind, in fact I love people whom have passion for whatever they do) also have attitudes of superiority. I love when people customise their cars, or restore or have them restored to original, or even a car which was a working car such as a taxi, or dirt hauler – a bit of a look into how things were well before I was born, and when things were I guess you could say a little bit simpler. 

It’s really just the idea of someone having enough passion to make their car their own. I’ve seen most things from Mad Max style rat rods to absolutely perfectly restored concourse-level museum quality pieces (although sometimes using Nissan or VW colour codes, but slightly changed.) 


Athena’s interior

5 May

The interior on Athena is pretty shot. It looks like rodents gnawed through the corners and the drivers lower part of the seat, so it was time so say goodbye to every piece of cloth, and well everything down to the springs.



The thing is there were only 2 places I could cut samples to send off to try and have upholstery matched.



So I sent some off to be matched, and well received them. There are a number of samples and whilst most look really cool, some look questionable to me. 



I’m also realising that the Athena’s colour isn’t the same thing listed on the build sheet/window sticker. So I asked myself why I had to have to “original” or whatever I think the original is. It is after all my car, and I can do pretty much any pattern and colour I want.  I contacted SMS Auto Fabrics, and the woman whom answered the phone laughed loudly when I told her how amased I was at the amount of samples sent. There’s really nothing anywhere stating exactly (to my knowledge) what was in the car when built. At this point since my car was supposed to be, or was at one time coral and beige my idea is to go with more of a coral orangish pink fabric than the variations of blue shown here. 




Passenger window is in!

9 Mar

The weather finally warmed to the point where I could install the passenger side window without freezing, so I did it! Athena feels more and more complete every day. It took about 3 hours because I forgot exactly how everything was removed, and I had to find some hardware, but once that happened, things went well!

Fuel Filler Neck and the Cap is Toast!

2 Mar

I discovered that the fuel filler neck had a locking cap on it, and of course I wasn’t given a key for it. I can imagine that this might have been a reason why the tank was bone dry. So I decided to get my hands dirty, and crawl under Athena and see what could be done. It wasn’t a super easy job, but I managed to pull of the disintegrated rubber sleeve from around the back of where the cap sits, and after a few minutes of praying, finally gave way to the do-all utility knife, and said good bye to the hose connecting the filler neck to the tank. After all 50 or more years of use, I think she could use a new one.

Of course then I had to go to the local Napa Auto parts and buy a new hose, and see if they might be able to somehow remove the stuck on filler cap. They had the recommendation from one another of simply drilling the lock core out like most locksmiths would recommend after having a few home door locks re-keyed. Two guys jump on the neck, one holds it tight, the other rams a screwdriver in where the key goes, and both after a few seconds, give up. One guy takes it back to his station and tries the same thing, and then has an insidious smirk on his face, walks off to the back of the store. I’m thinking “Ok, he’s finally going to take a drill to the lock core”, but then I hear what sounds like a circular saw “I’m thinking to myself, that doesn’t sound like any drill I’ve ever heard”. Within a few minutes he comes back, and throws this on the counter, and made the comment “It’s off!”. I couldn’t stop laughing, and the guy was chuckling himself. I asked for a replacement, whole, and working, locking cap. These guys’ personalities being very logical and somewhat sadistic sense of humour in ways would’ve simply put the two pieces back together and handed it to me if I asked for a filler cap replacement.


I also cleaned a lot of rubbish off the original filler neck, and scrubbed it with steel wool until it shined. I primed it, and am waiting for it to dry.  My next step after this dries is to paint it with (yes, over-the-top) black engine enamel.



Here’s the new locking cap, and it has 2 keys! Doesn’t quite look the same, but way better than someone syphoning all my expensive fuel from the tank. It happened before when I lived in Cali, in the south bay.


Windows are going in

13 Nov

I finally pushed myself during quite a few exams and heaps of studying to order windows from Chris at  They arrived from one of their suppliers in Cali and they’re beautiful as a window should be. They’re tinted green as all the other glass in the car is. I removed both of the window cranks and all the hardware so I can clean and possibly repair as needed. The crank on both windows need lubrication as I had to get a pair of locking pliers just to turn the crank to pull the cradle from the door. I realised the cog was slipping from the teeth on the regulator because of the offset and many years of putting so much torque on it because of a lack of lubrication on the cog. I had to buy some stainless washers to space in a bolt to ensure the new offset of the crank (from physically rolling the window up and down so much) was eliminated so I wouldn’t have any more slipping. Once is this is completed the windows can finally be installed. 

The cradles and everything attached also had some rust on them which was fixed with a soothing wire wheel. I could use a chemical, but really what fun is that when I could get in close and grind the hell out of a piece of metal, take my frustration out, lower my stress levels, and make a piece of metal which was once dull and ugly, look shiny and new again. 


Pics of all this to come! I’m taking all of these photos so far with my iPhone 5, and thinking about purchasing a Nikon or Canon DSLR camera to get higher quality photos.