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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #1 
Although this is primarily a Boat related website, the Projects thread was created to showcase whatever you or I may be working on.  The only stipulation is that it must be interesting.

Project X in the Main forum is not all that Kevin McCracken is working on, not by a long shot.  The other Kevin owns a business called Rustbelt Resurrections and specializes in hopeless cases.

We recently drove deep into Wisconsin to pick up a rare Dodge D-500 from 1958.  The owner has had it a long time and had nearly given up on ever getting it done.  This car is extremely rusty. 

As you may have seen from the Christine thread, this is familier ground for Fin City's most capeable Super-Hero.  In the weeks to come, progress photo's will be posted regularly as this once fabulous Sport Coupe is resurrected to it's former glory! 

Join us now as we have a brief look at the car at the time of pick up.

-KevFin

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KevFin

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As you can see the car has a lot of potential.  The glass is excellent, it has power steering and brakes with power windows and even a power seat.  All of the major pieces are present, including the special trim, though not shown here.  The engine was the largest cubic inch available and boasted a four barrel carb.  It also has the famous push button transmission!

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #3 
The fenders are inside the car!   We might have followed the formula of the famous old joke, "Honey, I scratched the fender a little bit, it's in the trunk if you want to look at it!"...

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KevFin

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...except that there is no trunk! 

From this view, you can look right past the former location of the rear seat backrest to see the grass beneath the car.

Stay tuned for further updates as the restoration begins, "same boat time, same boat channel!"

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #5 
Update:
The restoration whiz who agreed to take this on must have lost his nerve!  What a chicken shirt! 

It's been over ten "Mercury years" and we haven't had a single update!  Boo, Hisss...

Well fear not rust belt fans, I finally have photo's in the camera.  Been a rough week here (again) but I am planning an update ASAP, complete with all the gory details as we light a fire under our Rip Van Winkle of a superhero and get his butt moving again!

Stay tuned!

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #6 
...and here they are!  The first updates to this thread in two and a half eternities!

The very first thing done was to position the car on level concrete, wheel skates and jack stands.  Once situated a wooden frame was made and placed in the black hole that was once a trunk. This structure rests on the frame and helps steady a base for the two bottle jacks.

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #7 
The bottle jacks were used to raise the back half of the car up to the proper height.  It had sunken a great deal over the years without any support.  This caused the roof and back glass to drop as well seriously mis-aligning the doors.  Great care and measuring went into truing it all back up.

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #8 
With the body back in place relative to the frame, the rear wheel wells are now back above the tires where they belong!

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #9 
With the back half of the car in place, it was time to look at the cowl.  The area at the bottom of the firewall had rusted so badly that the door caved in at the bottom when opened.  The weight of the door and it's leverage bent the metal in and it stayed that way.  

Here you can see newly fabricated sheet metal welded to the replacement rocker panel which has been carefully fitted into place.

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #10 
Another view, from the front of the car looking back at the bottom edge of the cowl.  More to do here but you have to cut and weld a little at a time.  It's just like quilting but with sheet metal.  You can't take out all of the rust at once!

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #11 
Here is the inside.  This is the lower front edge.  Kick your left foot forward and to the outside of the car.  This is the area it would hit.  That's the offending door hinge at the bottom.  It had moved into the car with the rest of the cowl!  The wood block you see held the parts in place for welding.  It will not be removed until things are firmed up a bit more.  Wires are taped together from the de-construction.  These went through the rusted out rocker panel.

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #12 
A close up view.  Note the wood block mentioned above.  You can see some holes drilled for replacement "spot welds".  The cut out is to replicate the factory access hole.

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #13 
The back of the new rocker panel had to be attached as well of course.  It was quite a trick deciding where to begin on this car.  Here you can see some additional fabrication used to secure the new panel.  There is a lot of welding and fitting and grinding to shape.  Just like doing a big metal sculpture!

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #14 
To the rear of that was another weak area.  This is where the back seat would go.  The side panel showing is what the rear window will roll down into.  Welding clamps point to the rear tire.  All of this had sunken downward and had to be brought back up into place.

-KevFin

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KevFin

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Reply with quote  #15 
An access hole was created when the rust was cut away from the side of the car!  These two braces will be welded to the new rocker panel.  An area needs to be reconstructed in front of the rear tire to help firm up this location but it needs to wait for the replacement quarter panel.

-KevFin

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