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May 23, 2006 - Strange Weather

Boy, the weather sure is strange these days.  Cold, grey, and heavy rains one day then the next day, sunny, warm, and pleasant.  So why is the weather all jacked up on the weekends when I don't have to work, then gets nice on the days I do???  Story of my life.

Went to the Toyotafest show a couple of weekends ago.  Really big turn out.  More new school than old school cars this year but hey, it's all good.   Great to see all the Toyota cars and people who enjoy them.  The F20C powered Celicas and Corollas were out in numbers this year.  Sweet setup.  For me, the highlight of the show was being able to talk with some folks from Restored.jp.  They make fiberglass and carbon fiber body parts for old school import cars.  I'm hoping I can score a carbon fiber hood for the Liftback!

Work on the yellow beast continues to move slowly but the car is now ready to depart to the body shop.  I think I've done about all I can in regards to dealing with the rust.  Heck, not like the car is going to sit outside all the time and be exposed to the elements 24/7.  For the most part, the car will probably be covered and garaged.

I finished the hatch section finally and primered it all.  The primer I used is suppose to help with keeping the rust from coming back.  I guess we'll see if it works or not.  You can also see below that I was lazy and didn't mask off the gas tank.

I also found some rust inside the rear quarter panels just beneath the rear quarter windows.  That section was a bit tough to work on since it was hard to get tools into that tiny box.  Had to do most of it by hand since I couldn't fit my grinder or drill in there very well.  Did the same process as everywhere else.  Grind the rust, neutralize it, grind some more, neutralize again, then primer.

Although not as bad as the rear hatch area, there were some spots in the front seating area that needed treatment also.  These were easy compared to what I had to go through in the back of the car.  Man, if only everything was this easy.

The last area I had to work on was in the front.  The lower stiffener had quite a bit of rust because of all the rocks and debris that hit it.  Those little rocks chipped away the paint and exposed the bare metal.  Over the years, rust settled in and grew like mold on warm damp bread.  Here's some pix of the primered spot before I took the rest of the front off the car.

The last step I needed to take care of was giving the car a good scrub down and pressure wash.  The car was incredibly dusty from all the work and grinding I did on it and the undercarriage was covered with dirt and mud.  Something tells me that there's some interesting history behind this car.  Mud was caked on all inside the wheel wells and on the inside of the fenders.  So I broke out some Simple Green, some Comet, a nice new scrubbing sponge, my brother's pressure washer, and my garden hose.

I figure that I'll need to let the water soak into the mud underneath the car to soften it up a bit.  So I wash underneath the car with the hose and get it all wet then proceed to start scrubbing down the body.

Scrubbing down the body took a lot longer than I thought it would.  It was at the end of the day too so it started getting colder and colder as the sun went down.  Brrrrrrrr...  Using the abrasive sponge and cleanser really cleaned up the dirt embedded paint and removed a lot of the oxidized paint.  Gee, the car even looks like a darker yellow now and I can actually see a bit of reflection in the paint.

Anyhow, after getting the outside body all cleaned out, I go back to the undercarriage.  I start off with the hose again and chunks of mud come flying out of the wheel wells.  Nasty.  So I proceed to get closer with the hose concentrating the pressure to the inside facing of the wheel wells.  I reach inside to see how much dirt there is and I can't even feel the inside lip of the fender because the mud is so thick.  Man, this is going to take awhile.  So I end up using my fingers to scrape out the mud then wash it all out with the hose.  I then break out the pressure washer and finish the job up.  Man, what a mess.  My driveway looked like a washed out dirt road after I was done.

The car is nice and clean now though.  See below...

So you're probably wondering what happened to the rear hatch?  Well, the one that was on the car is destined for the metal recycling center.  My gardener offered to take it along with a bunch of other metal parts I had stashed on the side of my house cluttering up my yard.  He's suppose to pickup the hatch, the old 20r block that I hacked the rods out of, two flywheels, and some other Little Tykes toys that my kids are too big for now.  I hope he doesn't forget, I'm looking forward to being able to walk along the side of my house again and putting in my annual vegetable garden which I'm already late with.  The replacement hatch is at the body shop already.  Brian Kono already worked on it and primered it.  I found the hatch awhile ago at Pick A Part in Willmington.  Boy, got lucky on that one because the hatch had very little rust.  The keyhole was jacked up but Brian Kono was able to fix that.

So yesterday I called Brian Kono at Kono's Auto Body to setup a time that I could bring the car down.  Since I have to tow it there, I didn't want to take the car there then find out he was closed or something.  Unfortunately, Brian needs to get one last car out of the shop bay so he can put mine in there.  He told me he didn't want to leave it outside because it might rust out.  Gee, everybody has to be a commedian around here...

So it looks like the yellow beast will have to sit in my garage an extra week.  That's okay though, maybe I can do a bit more work in the engine bay area.  Not like I'm ahead of schedule or anything.  I think my original plan was to get it into the body shop last August!

I just hope I can be done by the JCCS show in September.

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