This winter has been unusually mild for northern New England. Normally by now we would have seen 15 feet of snow, frigid temperatures where we are warned not to go outside with exposed skin for more than 10 minutes and any thoughts of working outside on a car restoration project would be unimaginable. We have had some cold days. some with wild temperature swings like -11f to +54f in the same day but we have also had many days above freezing where we could work comfortably in the sun outside of our south-facing workshop.
The warm weather has allowed us to make more progress than expected on the front wings and this week we finished the right front wing. This panel has been through a lot with accident damage at the front and the usual rot at the bottom rear. It looked pretty good in primer a few weeks ago but the first time we put some color on the panel a bunch of pinholes appeared within a few minutes.
We considered the usual causes like solvent pop or surface contamination but after some further sanding and exploration we determined that we had pin holes in the skim coat of body filler covering the front curve that we had not noticed during the sanding and primer stage. So we sanded back to the body filler, filled the tiny pinholes, primed and painted the right front wing again. This time no pinholes.
Here is John putting on the first coat of color while we anxiously watch for pinholes..
We wet sanded and buffed this wing as you can see in the header image and I mounted it temporarily on the tub today to test fit the baffle plates.
The baffled plates under the front wings are shipped flat so the first task was to bolt them on and figure out where to bend them so they follow the footwell. No problem there but I realized that when I replaced the floors I did not leave room for the sealing plate to sit properly. It just took a couple of minutes to remove a small amount of the floor edge to allow the baffle plate to sit flat.
Looking back at some 2011 pictures I can see that the floor flange stops well before the inner sill leaving room for the sealing plate.
The front wings were quite a challenge but they look good and we are now moving on to the next panel, the front apron.