Imperial Home Page -> Repair -> Body & Paint -> Paint & Body 101 -> Part 1
Stripping the body -- Day 1
Here is what I am up against. The original paint is in pretty rough shape and will have to go to bare metal in some spots although I will avoid that where I can. If the basic paint structure is good, I prefer to leave it as a primer.
Here is some problem areas. The fender had some stuff and is 'fixed' with some type of touchup paint. Lots of door dings to fix and a few hard enough to make a small dent.
Biggest problem from a bodywork basis us the right rear quarter. Someone crunched it and it will be pretty difficult to get to the back side in order to work it out. The trunk will need LOTS of the new color. Kind of hard to see it here but there is a rust bubble.
More rust under the trim.
Ok, time to get to work. It's 8:30 and 25 degrees outside. Nearly that in the shop but my little propane heater warms it up to about 70 in a half hour or so. I normally work in coveralls in the winter anyway so I just peel off a layer as it warms up. The heater is pretty much OFF/ON so when it gets too warm, I have to shut it off for a while and add layers as it cools down. I'm pretty happy between 50 to 70 degrees.
Coveralls make for some interesting things anyway. Usually as soon as I get suited up I have to pee.
Reminds me of the story about the three old guys sitting around talking about their problems.
First old guy says "Ah my problem is number 1, I have to go all the time but can't and when I do it hurts like heck!"
Second old guy says, "My problem is number 2, just can't go for days sometimes."
Third old guy just sits there shaking his head.
"So what's your problem?" they ask, "Number 1?"
"Nope, not number 1. Every morning, 7:30, like a water hose."
"Ah, number 2 then."
"Nope, not number 2. Every morning, 8:15, like Mount St. Helens."
"Ach, we should have such problems! You are lucky!"
"Nope, I don't get up till 9..."
Shop manuals are a must. The 66 manual shows each piece of trim AND the type of fastener. The bumpers were first. Front came right off but the rear had a carriage bolt that of course stripped and I had to grind the nut off with a carbide bit in a die grinder because I could not get to it. Bad design. At least I did not have to get the torch out.
It's a great idea to take photos of things you will want to remember. The jack sheet will get removed and is not savable. With the photo, I can get the proper one at Carlisle next summer and put it in the correct place. Same for the tags on the radiator support.
This is is some of the rust under the trim.
LOTS of problems under the rear window stainless.
Since this isn't an Imperial, I won't go into the trim removal except to say it is different than the Imperials. Lots more nuts and bolts instead of plastic. And the plastic self destructs. I'm going to need some of these if anyone has a source. This is what holds the roof spear on. this photo will help me remember what goes in the hole.
I pulled the back seat and the roof rail trim and weather stripping on the right side. The headliner has to come up on the C pillar to unbolt a piece of trim. Dang. Anyway, the interior will all have to come out or get covered due to the spray.
Time to go in and fix supper. Tomorrow I'll try and finish the tear down unless I run into another snag. I had planned on painting the trunk inside and storing all the loose parts in it but decided to just bundle them up and put them in another room. My good friend Robert Soule was supposed to come over this week and help with the job but something came up so I started without him. He's torn down a few of these and would have saved me a lot of time as I stumbled with how things came apart. After a couple calls to the "Doctor", I think I'm over the hard part unless I run into problem with the door panels. I like to never figured out how the fender skirts came off. They have a lever that I released but then they just would not come off. Finally I whacked down on them with a rubber mallet and they fell off. Been in place quite a while I'd guess.
I really want this paint job to be nice so I'm somewhat bummed by the level of problems. It's going to take longer than I had planned but then things always take at least twice as long and cost three times as much. Maybe tomorrow will be better but I doubt it.
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