March 2010: The Importance of Corrosion Filtering Glasses
So now you have the beauty queen sitting pretty in your shop and you continue to walk around it, crawl under it and over it, and stare under the hood trying to identify all of the past owners' transgressions and fixes.
You know that it is inevitable that you will soon have to begin to cut, wrench, drill and generally destroy many former threaded fasteners which now resemble nuggets of coral... With no discernible thread or hexagonal shape whatsoever, in order to reduce your 'project' down to workable bits and pieces. These will reveal the beast in it's simplest form, components to be painstakingly cleaned and stripped and painted and then put onto that shelf over on the far side of the shop to await re-assembly.
You've probably lost sleep thinking about how you're going to do this, it seems so straightforward, take everything off and examine it to see if it meets your wavering mental bar of perfection. That bar, when faced with rusted swivel balls, is lowered ever so slightly under the weight of the cost of new ones. Then make the decision to replace or refinish those parts that will make up your re-born gem that will proudly adorn your driveway. And so you tackle the obvious and visually impressive chores first, doors and roof, fenders and box. Then comes the initially intimidating jobs like bulkhead removal, which require unplugging all of the wires and hoses that connect the CPU (gauges) to the engine, and then the surprisingly easy task of engine and transmission extraction.
All of this work produces a number of things; Dirty and bloody knuckles for one, a box full of Ziploc bags loaded with rusted and unrecognizable hardware, and a heap of various dirty and corroded parts that you hope you will remember the origin of in a few months. All of this also produces another thing, the nagging suspicion that you've made a terrible mistake and just produced a pile of scrap that is the equivalent monetary value of a family trip to Cuba for a week. You realize that if this Everest-sized project is to have any hope of completion the better half had better not sense your growing trepidation, because without her support (tolerance), the nightmare of parts before you will end up at the metal recyclers and the dream of cruising through town under the admiring looks of your male and female fans will be just that, a dream. You tell yourself that no matter what, this dream cannot die... Not to mention the fact that you've told everybody that will listen of your planned schedule of completion, and after all, it's just money right?
So maybe you should just spring for the new galvanized chassis from the U.K... After all, you want this thing to be a surviving testament to your fortitude, determination and sense of adventure long after you're gone.
What's a few thousand more? You could always start delivering pizza's on weekends to finance the project. It's this vision of adventure at the end of the tunnel that makes you go out into the shop on those cold nights when you would rather sit and watch T.V. It's this vision that allows you to see past the pile of rust under the frame that becomes deeper every time you use the impact wrench. Or perhaps it's this blurred vision that comes as a result of another piece of #@%* British folklore becoming lodged in your eye again.
Keep the dream alive fellow restorers!