May 26, 2004

Front Fender Removal

Now it's time to remove the front fenders. After three different days of hitting the fender bolts with WD-40, it was time for them to come off. Before I started unbolting them, I wanted to remove the clamps on the headlight wires first. Since, there was no way they were going to fit through the holes in the headlight buckets:

So, I dragged out my trusty wire cutters again and cut off anything that would not fit through the hole in the fender:

This is what I ended up with:

After I pulled the wires through, it's time to remove the fender bolts. Here's where I screwed up. When I was spraying the bolt heads with WD-40, I should have been spraying the other side too. The threads that were accessible from inside the trunk. The bolts were threaded through the fenders, but didn't have nuts on the other side. No, on the other side were flat oblong shaped, threaded washer things that were welded to the inside of the trunk. There may be technical names for them, but they escape us right now. If we ever figure out the name, we will edit this post. Anyway, I dragged out the trusty compressor yet again and fastened the air impact socket wrench onto the end. All the bolts on the front fenders were 13mm. So, I hit the first bolt on the passenger side fender. This was located at the very front. When I hit it with the impact wrench, it turned and turned and turned and turned. But, the bolt wasn't coming undone. No, the little welded washer thing had detached from the car on the other side. So, I moved onto the other bolts which came undone. Now, I had a fender hanging on by one bolt:

So, I moved onto the other side. One bolt wouldn't budge and another one ended up with the washer thing detached. A third was near the floorpan of the driver's side, which was so rotted out, that it pulled out, bolt, washer thingy and all.

So, after trying everything we could think of to get the flat washer things off, we decided to hit the threads of the stubborn bolts with WD-40 from inside the trunk. And, we let them soak for a day. So, here's what we were left with:

Since we are most likely going to replace all the bolts. We decided to hit the one bolt on the passenger side with the good old reciprocating saw:

After about half a minute, the saw cut through the bolt and the passenger side fender gave way.

One the other side, one of the stubborn bolts gave way finally. But, the other two were constantly turning because one was still attached to one of those washer things that was constantly turning and the other was near the lower driver's side in the rotted metal. But, Mike noticed that the higher one was also mounted in rotted out metal and managed to just pull the fender off with the bolts still attached. He stuck his finger in the rotted out hole to show how badly it was rusted:

This is the hole down near the driver's side floor pan:

Mike also pulled away the nearly 40 year old rotten fender welt, which will obviously be replaced:

So, this is where we are now:

Posted by Valkyre at 09:26 PM

May 16, 2004

Rear Fender Removal

Before it got too dark, I decided to remove the rear fenders. I had hit the bolts several times with WD-40 over several days, so, I was hoping that they would be ready to come off. I also decided to cheat and use the air compressor, along with Mike's air socket wrench:

Not only were the fenders missing bolts, the bolts were different sizes. Some were 12mm, and some were 13. On each fender, the first "bolt" near the running boards were actually a nut fastened onto a stud. One the passenger side, I put the air wrench on the nut and pressed the handle. There was a lot of noise, and suddenly, I had a sheared off stud with a bolt still attached in my hand. It turns out that I had set the wrench to tighten, not loosen. It had two settings, "F" and "R". I figured "R" must have meant "reverse" and that would be the setting to remove the bolts. Wrong! So, the stud on the passenger side will have to be re-attached in the future.

So, after a combination of air-socket wrench on some bolts, and regular hand wrenching on some others, I managed to remove all the bolts:

The fender was still being held on by the wires running to the tail lights. Since we will be replacing the wiring harness, I just cut off the clips that were attached to the ends of the wires:

Now, the wires could be slipped through the hole and the fender removed:

After going through the same process on the other fender, this is how the car now looks with the fenders removed:

And, these are the two fenders, which we have the paint stripped off, sandblasted and treated with rust neutralizer, before they get primed:

For now, I am going to leave the tail light housings on the fenders. I figure that will prevent them from getting lost.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:19 PM

May 12, 2004

Removing the Rear Tires

We learned our lesson from the front tires and this time loosened the lug bolts before the car was raised.

So now, it was time to raise the car. As I was looking underneath, to find a place to raise it, I noticed this nice round thing under the oil pan that seemed the perfect place to locate the floor jack. However, Mike informed me that we did not want to raise the car by the oil pan. So, the jack was placed right in front of the oil pan, under the transmission.

After the floor jack was centered properly, we start to raise the car:

After the rear was raised nearly even with the front, it was time to place the jack stands. We put the stands underneath the torsion bar "sleeve". This is located on the side right in front of the rear tires.

Then, the car was lowered onto the stands.

Now, that it was nice and snug, and the rear tires were off the ground, we could remove them. We now have the hub left:

With it now sitting on stands only, Mike gave it a good hard shake. The car did not budge. It is nice and steady on the stands:

This is where we are now:

With the rear tires gone, I had access to the inner fenders. So, I hit the bolts, that hold them onto the body with WD-40, so the bolts will turn easier when the fenders are removed. This may be the next step.

Posted by Valkyre at 09:26 PM