8/31/2003: Exposing the areas that need body work

The mission for the day was to remove any trim pieces that were right near the areas I want to have checked out for body work.

I began by removing the chrome rocker panel trim strips on both sides. I seem to have bent the passenger side one slightly, but it looks like it can be straightened. About half of the retaining clips that held these on were totally rusted away (crumbly dust in the shape of a clip ;-). The other half are almost as bad. There are a few reasonably decent ones that can be used as a template to locate or fabricate new clips though.

I also removed the top trim strip, the top itself, and the cardboard panel that was behind it (from what I can remember, this was a temporary replacement that my dad made for a missing part- I need to find out what the original panel looked like).

I also decided to remove the trunklid to see why it fits poorly and sticks against the body when you open it. I found the cause- the part of the trunklid that the hinges attach to is bent and somewhat torn, probably from placing something heavy on top of the trunk at some point. This will need to be corrected.

I also went back to the nose, to see if I could get the chrome trim piece that goes along the front edge off. It’s held on by three nuts, but there seems to be no way to hold the other end of these bolts so the rusty nuts can be removed. I did get one off (mostly by luck). The other two are stuck. One is 10mm, one is 7/16”. Clearly not original :) I decided to try to remove the rest of the grille, so this part could move more freely. However, after removing the 4 screws that hold it on, I found that it wouldn’t clear the bumper on one side. The bumper is rather twisted, so it sticks up too far on that side. OK, so the bumper has to go first. *sigh*

I sprayed the two main bolts that hold the bumper on with penetrating oil, and decided to return to this another day. It looks as if I might need to take ou t the headlights to be able to reach in and get to the backs of the other two b olts that hold the bumper on. So that can wait a while longer.

I also took a scraper to the undercoating to see what I had to deal with there.

It’s pretty tough stuff. Heating it with a heat gun seems to help soften it en ough to scrape it off though. In the experimental area I tried, it looks good underneath. I need to get the car up in the air before I can do any serious s craping though.