More suspension, more undercoating, more everything

3/3/00 More suspension, more undercoating, more everything

François removed the rest of the left front suspension for me, so it was my job today to get these pieces cleaned up and ready for nickel plating. It was barely warm enough to set my wire wheel outside, but the mess of the rust, and dirt left me little choice. I wore my coveralls,  cotton gloves, and face mask to keep from inhaling all the dust, but all the protection was not really keeping me warm. After a few minutes, my hands started to cramp from the cold. I went inside and put on a pair of surgical gloves under the work gloves, and they seemed to keep the wind from freezing my hands. As I continued removing the paint, I began to notice how the paint wasn’t coming off as easily as before.

I stopped the grinder and noticed that the wire wheel was much smaller than when I first bought it a few weeks ago. All this rust and paint removal actually wore out a wire wheel! I wasn’t sure if I was proud or sad from all the hours I stood in front of that wire wheel!

With a new wire wheel installed, finishing the rest of the suspension pieces took a lot less time. Now all the parts that are ready for nickel plating, and when they’re plated, I can can begin to reassemble the front suspension!

I spent the other half of the day working under the car with the undercoating. No pictures to show as usual, but I just wanted to commiserate with you about this horrible process. I sprayed a rubberized undercoating on top of the POR-15 in the rear of the car, so I’m almost done back there, but that only means I’ve got to start the whole process over again for the next section. I keep reminding myself that “It will all be worth it in the end!”

My shocks came back from KONI! They look great, all painted and rebuilt. The grand total, plus shipping, came to $426 dollars. Along with rebuilding the four shocks, they also replaced the rods on two of them because they were rusted. Considering I won’t be driving this car in any harsh weather, these shocks should last as long as I will own the car!

Before I started my day at the shop, I stopped by East Coast Auto Trim to show Frank the samples I got from the leather wholesaler in the City. Frank felt the leather sample was not going to hold up as a automotive application. Although it was a nice piece of leather, it was too soft to stand up to scuffs, and stains. He explained that automotive leathers are treated with a sealant that keeps water from being absorbed, and scratches from penetrating the surface. The samples I had clearly scratched too easily, and plain water soaked into the skins. I’m sure this leather would be fine in other uses, just not inside a car.

Frank didn’t have any luck finding a suitable Connolly replacement either. The color I wanted seemed to only exist in Connolly! We talked price, and how much I could save if we could actually find another supplier, and it came to around $1000 dollars in purchasing a cheaper leather. Frank’s business is seasonal, and as the weather gets warmer, he gets a lot of work reupholstering boat interiors. The longer I wait, looking for a cheaper leather, the higher the risk of delaying my job because Frank will be doing a large time-consuming job. I also felt that although $1000 dollars is a lot of money, could I risk knowing I didn’t use the correct leather for a Ferrari interior? After some thought, I told Frank to order the Connolly, so we could get started…. Who’s idea was it anyway to go and buy a damn Ferrari?!

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