New rocker in place, and paint no longer in place

Another mostly productive weekend went by, with only one calamitous discovery (which I was kind of expecting anyway).

First, the good. Yesterday, we finished the graft of the “new” section of rocker panel to Ms. Jenavieve. Came out pretty good. Apparently two semesters of welding classes have made an impact on my 18 year old. Ground down the seam and with a little filler you won’t even see the seam.

Also spent a LOT of time with a sander/grinder this weekend. All paint is removed, down to bare metal, on the rear valance, the rear deck (between the convertible top well and the trunk opening) and both rockers and door jambs. All that’s left to do of the “unibody” is to finish paint removal and prep of the trunk interior and the engine compartment. Then, prime and paint. I’m taking a week off from work (it’s nice to be self employed) next week to spend several full days working on her. The goal is to have this work all done by the 15th of March.

Now, while I was doing all this, I also stepped to the side and started the paint removal of the hood, because I had a nagging feeling that all wasn’t well there. Of course, I was right. Armed with a 50 grit sandpaper disc and backing pad on my angle grinder, I went to work.

After I got through the Maaco paint job layers down to the original finish, I started running into body filler. Yup, someone creased the hood at some point. They did a pretty good job with the filler, it wasn’t even noticeable other than the paint had cracked over it (which was my clue, it was right over the area where the telescoping hood strut would have been if it was still installed). Of course, I didn’t discover it until AFTER I hit it with the sanding wheel, so the filler got gouged up pretty bad. I ended up just going down to the bare metal there as well, and can see all the peen marks and such where they bashed it back into shape. No more than 1/8″ of filler, but that’s enough, and though I’m pretty fair with body filler this looks like a bit of a challenge with all the contours of the hood. I may ring up my body shop friend and see what he’d charge me to do it right.

Anyway, still not ahead of schedule, but at least not behind.