Thursday, November 5, 2015


With the driver's door post damage repaired I started on the back of the car where most of the rust is, removed the rear bumper, trunk lid, tail lights & housings and gas tank. The gas tank was beyond saving with about 2 lbs of rust in it and the sender rusted in place so it was put in the scrap pile and a new tank & sender ordered. When the tail lights were removed the rusted metal between the lens's came out with them, the bottom of the tail light panel and the rear gas tank support brace were badly rusted. I checked and found that  replacement parts were available then removed the tail light panel and other rusted parts.

 The rusted areas at the back of the car were sand blasted to determine how much metal had to be replaced.
 The tail light panel rusted out on both sides.
 Lower rear fender behind the wheel rusted in to the wheel well.

 The rear of the trunk floor pans rusted out at the bumper supports above & below.
 The rear corners of the trunk opening rusted through. The right side is fixable the left must be replaced.
Once the trunk floor pan was removed I could see how bad the rust damage was at the bottom of the rear fender just behind the tire (looking from the trunk at the inside of the rear fender).

 To get access to the spot welds at the bottom of the rear fender the rear end and springs had to be removed. The break drums were rusted to the axle and I had to make a drum puller as the gear pullers I have did not have a large enough span. Even with the puller in full force I had to use the torch to heat it up be for it break loose.
 A pattern was made then the patch cut and fit at the rear fender.
 This is the patch welded in place. The bottom of the fender and wheel well still had to be fixed.

  The new parts came right & left trunk floor pans, rear trunk brace / gas tank support and tail light panel.
 The tail light supports, trunk latch bracket were removed from the old tail light panel then bead blasted primed & painted along with the bumper supports.
 All the brackets had to be located and welded to the new tail light panel.
New trunk floor pan in place and the bottom of the fender and  back of the wheel well fixed.

 Above & below the floor pans and trunk brace have been replaced. 
The tail light panel fit very good and did not take much adjusting to get it in place.
The back of the car is back together with the left trunk corner left to be fixed, there is not a 69 replacement corner available so I bought a 68 corner and did some surgery on to get it to fit.

The first 4 weeks and 100 hours has gone whizzing by and the fun has just begun. 
Last week we took the transmission to Phoenix for rebuild and to visit the Starliner with the upholstery just about complete then back to Hot Rods by Dean to finish it up for the Good guys show Nov. 20 to 22 in Scottsdale.

Saturday, October 17, 2015


In the 80's my son bought a 1969 Mustang with a 302 in it, loved the car, and put a lot of miles on it. Unfortunately someone hit the car, T-Boned, it in the left front that wiped out the front fender, door, part of the grill and bent the left front door pillar or "A pillar". He bought a fender and door, put them on but because of the bent pillar things did not fit right. the car had some engine and transmission issues that he could not afford to fix at the time so it was parked at my house in Sebastopol CA. (now it's his house) where its been stored under a tarp for 30 years.
His youngest son, now in his 20's, took interest in in the car so I told them that I would do the repairs if they would pay for the parts and last Friday they delivered it to me in Kingman AZ.

 My son, grandson and me on Friday. They had to get back for work and left on Saturday as it is a 12  hour drive each way.
 I spend a couple days removing upholstery, floor mats, all the loose parts and cleaning. The car is in surprising petty good condition after being stored all those years.
 Pushed the car out and pressure washed it top and bottom then removed both fenders and doors, sorted through the several boxes & buckets of parts and pieces they brought then put them in the RV shelter so I had room to work on the car.
 Below is the damaged outer pillar/kick panel sheet metal looking from the fire wall with the left end of the cowl at the top.
 This one shows the damage looking from the door hinge side and you can see where the bumper of the other car hit the pillar just above the bottom hinge.
 The damaged outer panel was removed by drilling out the spot welds to avoid any further damage to the back parts. The kick panel air vent was also destroyed and removed.
 The back part of the panel at the door post was folded in and the end of the cowl pulled down.
 The damaged panel and air vent shown below. 
 This is a close up of where the other car hit the door post that pushed it in about 1".
 Inside the kick panel the air vent and emergency brake pedal along with the bottom of the dash were in the way of access to the back of the damaged pillar. The E break release handle was broken off (that will need to be fixed).
 I thought that I could remove just part of the lower dash but that was not the case, the dash had to be removed from the top down.
 The steering column supports and heater controls  was a problem so I took pictures and marked things so I would know how it goes back together.
 With everything removed I have a clear path to set up the port-a-power and could get the heater core out to be checked out.
 The damage is behind the kick panel sheet metal so it had to be cut out where the black ink marks are.
 The port-a-power was set with a 4 X 6 oak block on the passenger side to spread the load on that door pillar.
 I used a flat foot base to push the larger dent out then 2 other shaped ends to push the crease out.
 The oak block worked out and no damage was done to the passenger side.
 After the pillar was straightened the door and fender were installed to make sure they fit and the door opened and closed.
 A new pillar panel was purchased from Larry's T Bird & Mustang that fit very good after the folded piece was straightened and the cowl pushed up.
 The folded back piece was straightened with a pair of channel lock pliers, single jack then hammer & dolly. The port-a-power has a hydraulic duck bill assembly that was used to push the back edge of the folded piece out from the inside of the kick panel. You can see in picture 6 how badly it was crushed.

 Above and below the new panel has been welded in and the pillar is straightened.
The inside of the kick panel is welded in with some grinding left to do.
This is my winter project and I will update the blog as progress is made, its off to a good start being able to straighten the door post.
There is a long list of rust repairs needed on the bottom of both doors, bottom of both rear fenders, above the left tail light at the trunk seal and around the tail light, battery box area and several minor places in the floor pan. 
The radiator support was damaged in the wreck and will also have to be straightened.  This week will head to Phoenix with transmission to be rebuilt, and to see the Starliner at Hot Rods By Dean

Thursday, October 1, 2015


In 2006 I was working on a gazebo area in the back yard with a rock retaining wall and rock floor.When I decided to make a stained glass ceiling for the gazebo. I picked out a picture from the Hubble Space Telescope book of a Ring Nebula that is on the front cover and page 32 "Images Of Star Death" that I thought would work well with a 12' - 6 side ceiling.

 This was my first try at stained glass and I was told that it might be to much to tackle on a first try but I went ahead and ordered approximately 150 square feet of glass.The green glass ball in the middle is a Japanese fish net float that had a heavy jute covering, from the 50's, that had hung on my mothers back porch for about 20 years.
 It took quite awhile for the glass order to get here so I did a full size lay out of the frame on the shop floor and bought the 3", 1 1/2" and 1" square steel tubing needed.
 Started with the 3" post as I was pouring the concrete floor and wall foundations. Once the posts were set I went ahead with the rock walls, set the cabinet and built the rock structure around the cabinet  and rock seating area.
 The ceiling frames are made with 1 1/2" tubing for the main outside frame and 1" tubing for the glass support, welded up on the shop floor then moved into place with my tractor and welded to the posts.
 The 3 side glass panels and cabinet door were an after thought inspired by my wife and she bought the statues, one the Angel of Patience and the other the  Ascending Angel. All of the outside of the glass is covered with GE Lexan plastic to protect it from wind, snow and hail.
 The concrete slab has been covered with a 1/4" stone veneer that I cut from rocks that were found on our property with my rock saw.
 The retaining wall is made with large rocks all from our property and are at the right height to sit on. The large one in the middle rolled off its block and broke my foot that set me back a couple of days.
 Below is the stone step entry way from the house.
 On the other side I made a field stone patio that follows the slope.
 A view looking south.
 The lady at the glass shop convinced me to try a small project before the large glass ceiling so I got a picture from my wife's needlepoint book, drew it larger and added to it for a 2' X 3' window and made the dragon lady, who has a Crystal in her hand and a peacock cape, as my first stained glass.
 My third project is a stained glass picture of my chopped and flamed 1951 Ford that was used as part of the display at the Grand National Roadster Show and the Autorama.

They now hang in our dining room window.
 Number 4 was a request from my wife for 2.5' wide by 5' tall stained glass of cranes for the master bedroom door that opens onto the patio.  This was to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, she requested the cranes as symbols of longevity and happiness in marriage.

 Number 5 is a 4' X 5' stained glass  window  for our office to triple insulate the room from the afternoon sun as it got very warm in the summer. The bird is a creature from a book The Art of World of War Craft that I drew with a little spin on it to make it work for a window.

 The latest one, #6, was done for Dean of "Hot Rods by Dean" where I used the hot rod that is part of the logo used on his t-shirts with sun flowers cactus flowers and a road runner in the fore ground, Phoenix skyline and Camel back mountain.

double click on any of the pictures to enlarge for a closer look.