9/14/2003: Gas Tank and Headlights

I removed the gas tank and rinsed it out. It is full of rust, as expected. From the outside though it actually looks pretty decent. Check out the nasty fuel level sender:

The filler hose had basically disintegrated on its own, so I just cut it off.

The metal shield that goes below the tank is also largely rusted away, but enough remains to see what it’s supposed to look like. I could make a replacement, or just leave it out.

I also removed the headlights. This required a bit of dremelling, unfortunately, since the screws were pretty mangled.

I did this so that I could feel behind where the chrome trim attaches to the body- as I thought, it has a nut on the back of each end, and they’re rather hard to get to. I think the trim will stay on for now.

Well, at this point i’ve removed everything I wanted to in order to get a good look at the underside of the floor and rocker panels. Things look pretty good - aside from the obvious rust in the rocker panels, the rest of the floors are in good shape, requiring only minor patching.

The battery box is shot, probably more from leaking battery acid. It could be repaired or replaced.

Body work is, of course, needed throughout the car. Mostly in three areas though- the front end (rather tricky surfaces) the back end (a fairly flat panel), and the right side (a crease on and behind the door)

There are other small dents to contend with of course, and the trunk lid will need some TLC, but overall, so far I am pretty happy with how things seem to be turning out in the body shell.

At this point I really want to get the car to a shop that can evaluate and repair the rocker areas. I want to talk to some folks before I move ahead too much more on the car itself- it may make sense to pull out the engine/transmission at this point, for instance. No sense rushing things though.

I’ve got plenty of parts already removed that need to be sorted, cleaned and/or painted, and packed away.