Bringing a '74 back up to her intended glory.

Bmachine

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Very nice progress, Bo!

Are you removing the hood hinges before painting? If you do, drill two small holes through the hinge and the metal behind it (where it is bolted to the car), to easily get it back into the correct position again later.
This is also a good trick to do on the hood-side of the hinge, drill two small holes through hinge + hood before removing the hood, so you can put some small drill bits in those holes later when installing the hood.

This is of course only if the hood is aligned and sits perfect before you remove it, I did this in the bodywork stage of my car, aligned the hood, drilled, removed the hood and hinges for paint. It helped tremendously when we installed it later, took us about 10 minutes to install, no alignment required.

Yes, it's a bit late for that in this stage with the hood already removed... But I just came to think of it, might be useful later down the road!

Keep it up!:)
That is a great tip Robert! I did not remove the hinges from the body specifically for that reason. I wanted to minimize later alignment problems. But with your trick I will totally do it.

I had scribed the position of the hinges on the hood part prior to removing it. I will try use your trick and remove the hinges from the body first. Then if I can still see my marks I will put them back on the hood and drill those pilot holes.

Thank you.
 
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Bmachine

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Next was paint prep. Went over everything with the 3M red sanding pads. Those things are awesome. Soooo much easier to use on uneven surfaces than sand paper...

Then everything was cleaned with Duplicolor PaintPrep. And then came the final masking. There are sooo many little things to mask when you just want that paint to stay in the engine bay!!!
 

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Bmachine

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I was now ready to paint. Except for one little detail.... AutomotiveTouchUp, the site from which I bought the paint, specifies that it needs to be applied between 70 and 90 degrees temp. It was barely creeping to 54 for the last few weeks! Damn. Now what? With a lot of bare metal showing up, I could not afford to risk waiting for warmer weather.

So I got a little oil space heater and placed it inside the engine bay. Then, using a lighting tripod I had as a tent pole, I placed one of those Harbor Freight moving blankets on top of the whole thing and fired the heater up. It took about 2 hours until the thermometer read above 70 for most panels.
 

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Bmachine

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But this meant that once ready to spray, I would have to remove the heater so I could jump in there and have only a few minutes before the metal would get too cold again. That was primarily because I had to open the garage door so the noxious fumes would not bring a most premature end to my adventure with this car and on this earth. On top of that, I had to build a tent around the whole thing so that the overspray would not coat everything around it in the garage.

This was a complete pain in the neck to be honest. But I eventually got two coats of primer on there so at least we are protected from rust until warmer weather allows me to shoot the color without having to jump through all of these hoops.

Note that in those photos some areas are not coated evenly. That is because 1) I will shoot a third coat later and 2) the firewall area will be mostly covered by the sound deadening foam.
 

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Bmachine

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All is much too quite on this western front due to an intense project at work. That will keep me MIA until June.

But I did manage to acquire a nice 265 transmission from my old racing buddy Rob at least. I also got a 320i shifter to get a slightly shorter throw.
 

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Bmachine

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One thing that can be done when you only have a few hours a week available is to modify the gear shift surround from auto to manual. Master deQuincey had written an excellent tutorial on the subject a while ago so I followed his footsteps to do mine.
http://www.e9coupe.com/forum/threads/shifter-console-transformation-from-auto-to-manual-is-doable.20350/

There is a cutout under the auto one but it is fairly useless because it is off a bit on nearly each of its sides. First thing I did was to detach the front and rear vertical panels in order to have easier access to the center portion.

One of the challenges of this job is that the wood is actually shaped in a compound curve. Meaning that it is curve front and back as well as side to side.

To get a good guide, my friend Gavin loaned me the one from his Art Symonds CSL. If you're going to copy, might as well copy from the best.
 

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Bmachine

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Let's start by cutting out that center portion along the precut lines.

Because of the compound curves, I decided to fill the hole with solid pine. This will make it make better for carving then the original plywood.
I traced the cutout from the manual tranny and cut it out on the bandsaw. Then time to glue that in its new home.

Next is using the router to carve the depression into which the securing ring will be lodged.
 

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Bmachine

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After that, I tried to remove as much of the old glue as possible. I did not want to use chemicals because I did not want them to seep into the wood. So I scraped most of it out with a razor blade.

Then I glued and restapled the front and rear panels back on.
 

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Bmachine

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Next was leather time. I found this great piece of black leather with a grain that matched very close to the rest of the interior. This is a bit tricky to do. One thing I did was to create some wooden plates that matched the aluminium ones to press the leather into the corresponding the ridges.
 

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Now time to build the ring that will hold the shift boot in place. Some half inch aluminium is perfect.

And the shift boot is installed!
 

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Well Done! Wish I had your pictures when in did my conversion 6 years ago. Mine looks good but I re-used my vinyl and even though I filled in the groves in the wood with filler I could not get the old vinyl to lay completely flat at the very top on the shifter opening. Hard to see, but I know its there. Threading the post on the trim pieces is a great idea.
 

Bmachine

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Well Done! Wish I had your pictures when in did my conversion 6 years ago. Mine looks good but I re-used my vinyl and even though I filled in the groves in the wood with filler I could not get the old vinyl to lay completely flat at the very top on the shifter opening. Hard to see, but I know its there. Threading the post on the trim pieces is a great idea.
Thank you. As I mentioned at the beginning much of these ideas came from Señor DeQuincey.
 
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Bmachine

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After many months of auto hibernation due to insane work schedule I finally have a few days off.
My first priority is to finish the engine bay prep and paint while the weather is right for that.
I did a lot of internet research to figure out how I could do the best possible paint job on the engine bay in a home garage situation. Keeping in mind that I need to keep our second car space clean at night for my wife’s car I came up with this solution:
I will wait for a warm but windless day. I will purchase one of those 10ft by 10ft canopies with mesh sides. This will allow me to roll the car in the driveway, paint it without needing a fan for the fumes and have basic protection against dust or leaves while keeping overspray at minimum.
Here is the setup but without the sides since I just did sanding today:
 

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Bmachine

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Another project I tackled recently was the front suspension. I took the struts apart, cleaned them all up and cut one coils off the spring as a temporary lowering solution.
I also thoroughly cleaned the strut bearings and sucked all the crap from the last 45 years out with solvent and/or a shopvac. I then repainted them with epoxy satin black and repacked them all with fresh grease.
 

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Bmachine

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I really HAD to finish this engine bay paint before the weather started to get too uncooperative. As a reminder, I am returning the car to its original fjord color. I am painting the engine area myself prior to installing the new motor. I will then have the outside of the car painted professionally later. Painting at home is a real pain in the ass because if you don't have a paint booth, there are a million things that conspire against you. Temperature, wind, dust, fumes, overspray, light, humidity, etc... On top of that with an intense work schedule I had very little time flexibility. But I took a few days off this past week and set up my portable "paint tent" (see 2 posts above) and kept my fingers crossed for no wind.

I had purchased the 037 paint from AutomotiveTouchUp and, although it was a ton of work, pushing the car in and out of the garage, setting the "booth" up several times over 3 days, jumping through all kinds of logistical hoops, etc... it turned out decent enough.

I don't know if I was just lucky or if it actually worked, but the mesh sides of that canopy did a pretty good job at keeping dust and bugs out while still providing plenty of fresh air to avoid creating a breathing death trap. Because there was definitely more breeze than I would have liked on Sunday.
 

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