Finally got a day on the Lincoln. Or a half day, I guess. I went into the big city to grab a throatless shear at HF 25% deal in the morning. It's my new favorite way to cut sheet metal.
I can't believe I didn't take a before pic of the inside of the deck lid. I was really happy the lid wasn't rusted through on the skin. A lot of them did. Enough that a guy makes fiberglass repops and sells them all for $3000 each. I didn't look at the inside lip when I bought it, but it wouldn't have made a difference.
It seems the way to do this stuff is to not try and do too much in one shot. It's easy to weld small parts together. It's really hard to keep everything straight and square if you try and work it too much. You can see all the seams still on my repair. I could dress them more, but all the YouTube guys say you have to use short strand fiberglass to seal the welds anyway.
Got a before picture of the better of the sides. The corner I already fixed was just lace. There wasn't much to go from. I uncrimped the skin and replaced the whole corner.
Finished up the trunk inner structure. Patched up the front crossmember
A guy on the Suicide Slabs group got quoted $5k to fix his. Took me about 3 hours and some scrap 3/16. Mine wasn't as bad, but having looked at the structure I can't imagine someone with the right tools would take 20 hours to build it from scratch.
Got pretty distracted. I wanted to get the Gold Wing Tupperware repainted before it got too cold. I got it all down to bare plastic in 220 grit, a coat of adhesion promoter, a coat of primer sanded to 600 and ready for color.
Then I bought another flagship project. Shopping on the CL. I didn't feel very strongly about a cadillac for the next one, so I started looking at Barn Find for random projects. Mostly to see what might get me exited for the next one. The Mercedes 450 SL did the trick. The prices are right on them, but there are some more desirable years than others and the late 560s with decent FI are spendy. 72/3 are the rarest and most analog but are the most finicky with a terrible P jetronic early analog electric FI. 74-80 are CIS mechanical FI and somewhat reliable, but still not easy to diagnose. Those are also super smogged throttled and have porch bench safety bumpers
Stupid Faceballs. I quit it because its the debil, but my dog lets me use her account for marketplace. Saw a bunch of nice 450s in a decent range, but nothing that I would consider before finishing the Lincoln. I got bored and threw a bunch of filters on a search anywhere in MI.
Not running. Ugly as Hell. Clear across the state. But poorly written ad and stupid cheap. And a 73. The only year badged as a 450 with pre-emissions and pre-safety bumper. I drove out the next evening to jump the queue and bought it. Went back out yesterday and picked it up.
Floors are shot. Fuel pump has a broken fitting, but runs. Starts on fuel down the throttle body. Great oil pressure. Trans engages. Took a while to get the hard top off and the soft top storage bay open. Soft top has a small hole, but otherwise looks great. Windows came clear with one application of plastic polish. No rust from a leaky hard top or in the soft top well.
Ripped out the carpet and seats. Cleaned out a lot of mung. Powerwashed. Scrubbed and washed. 0000 steel wool on the stainless and chrome. Level 1 tidy at best.
The driver door trim was in the back.
The trunk is locked by a central locking system that is vacuum powered like the Lincoln. It did not appear to unlock. Found the two vacuum lines to the trunk and applied vacuum with a Mighty-vac. I could hear the actuator moving but no change in the button. Just moved like it was locked in lock, power lock and key unlock positions. I watched some videos and went to work with some picks and PB Blaster. Poking and prodding through little drain holes. Figured out what the button needed to do and was able to pop the trunk with a curved pick. The c clip holding the part that pushed the latch with the button was gone so the button couldn't press the latch.
Found the 4th alloy and the missing badge that prolly knocked $1k off the price when the guy selling it for the old man in the nursing home didn't know what model it was.
Found the factory tools, but in a crown royal bag.
I had put a Jetta wheel on it to get it to roll. One of the tires was split all down a sidewall. The jetta wheel was hediously ugly. I'll find a set of 275/80r14s for the chrome alloys. The painted hubcaps are really cool on the 450s, but I like the alloys and that's what I have.
Detinted the windows too. First car I've ever had that I preffered no tint
Plans are a 5.3l 6l65 swap. The motor is cool, but high miles and the FI system blows monkey nuts.
Better seats, prolly black. Black carpet. I'm torn on the Avacado interior and silver green poly paint. I might dye the interior panels. Needs enough metal work that I'll need paint, but I dunno about a color change. Definitely changing the hard top color no matter what the data tag says. I think 73 was the only year with hard tops available in a different color, but that green is terrible.
I'd like to get it running to make it easier to move around. After that it'll prolly go on the hoist for the winter and the Lincoln will go in the body shop side for wiring plumbing and interior over the winter.
Re-wired the tail lights. 1157 LED bulbs in the stock sockets. Three tail lights in a row so I got a sequential flasher unit designed for LEDs. I put the brake lights on the other circuit and put LED strips behind the fin reflectors.
Wired it all with new SXL wire. Bare crimps with shrink tube. Got a new crimper that does a good job. Shrink tube for the loom too. I tried to find label maker shrink tube, but the tube wasn't available for my label maker. I couldn't find one for less than $100 that would work so I went with regular label inside clear shrink.
I would recommend watching Superfastmatt' YouTube video on wiring.
I need to order more weatherpack parts and wire and grommets
Media blasted the tail light housings and cleaned the grills up a bit. Blasted, treated and POR-15ed the bumper brackets. Wire wheeled the inside of the bumper, treated the rust and POR-15ed it as well. The chrome on the inside is pretty much all gone. Replaced all the hardware with grade 8 new. I don't know if I'll replace, re-chrome or just drive on these bumpers, but I couldn't just leave them trashed, and I wanted them fitted to make the tail light harness.
Trunk is done until carpet so I put the deck lid on. Put all the stainless in the trunk except for the rocker trim. It won't fit in the Jersey hearse trunk. Gained a ton of floor space between the lid on sawhorses and the giant box of trim.
Trunk harness works with the power probe from the dash area where it terminates. Mike Bellos says wire a car from the outside in so you're not in and out alla time. Sound like an idea so I'll try it. The sound deadener is filthy. That's all crap from wire wheeling the undercarriage clean over the summer. Prolly pretty close to what my lungs look like.
Started on the first door harness. 9 wires including the door lock solenoid because I'm not doing vacuum door locks this time. Putting the bosch relays in the door for the power windows. Ford ran the giant metal relays in the trunk. They had a huge bundle of wires and vacuum hoses running through the door hinge. They also had no connectors at the hinge. I'm putting in a couple of weather pack connectors at each hinge. One pic has the old harness on the right that goes all the way into the trunk and back out to the dash. My new harness to the hinge is on the left. I still have to run up the c pillar and down the sill to the dash. Once it's done, I'll map it out on the masking paper and make 2 more just like it. Driver's door is more complicated.
Got two of the door arm rests apart. I need to replace the window switch, courtesy light switch, ashtray lights, courtesy lights and lighter sockets for all the doors. Fortunately, I had a big new bench to put them on.
I didn't think this would come back. Door pull on passenger front was broken and bent. The gap at the crack was about 3/16. It's made of die cast white metal. I clamped it with a bar clamp and heated the inner part of the bend with a heat gun. I let it cool and reheated a couple more times. When I let the clamp off the metal stayed closed.
White metal is very brittle and can't take much heat, but it worked.